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New synagogue will be built in Outremont, despite opposition

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WATCH: The Outremont borough council has voted in favor of allowing a new synagogue to be built on Bernard Avenue despite a bylaw that prevents new places of worship from going up. They say that was better than a protracted legal battle. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports – Feb 5, 2019

Many Outremont residents spoke out at a council meeting Monday night against the borough’s decision to allow the building of a new synagogue.

The conflict had been lingering since 2015, when a permit was issued to Place Bernard Inc. to build a synagogue on Bernard Avenue.

A year later, the promoter presented plans to the borough, asking to expand.

READ MORE: Outremont passes zoning bylaw that bans new places of worship

Not long after, a bylaw was passed, completely banning the building of new places of worship on Bernard and Laurier avenues.

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Outremont referendum on ban of new places of worship – Nov 20, 2016

The borough’s previous administration fought the promoter’s request, which landed the case in court — where the two sides have been at a standstill for years.

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On Tuesday, Outremont Mayor Philipe Tomlinson said it was time to settle.

READ MORE: Outremont residents vote to uphold bylaw banning places of worship

“If we went forth with the whole legal process and we went before the judge, the lawyers from the city were not very confident that we would win our case,” he told Global News.

“They said, ‘we think this is the best deal possible for Outremont.'”

The agreement between the promoter and the borough means the empty building will have a 7,000 square foot synagogue and three commercial units available for rent.

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Outremont residents fight hateful messages with love – Feb 7, 2017

For those who live nearby, reaction to the decision was mixed.

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“I’m open to their reason to open it, of course, and as long as everybody can live in harmony, it’s really OK for me,” said Emmanuel Caron.

READ MORE: Outremont could hold a referendum on bylaw that bans new places of worship

In a statement to Global News, Martin Rosenberg from Place Bernard Inc., said “we commend borough elected officials for working with us in good faith to ensure this litigation is settled to the benefit of the entire Outremont population, which proves once again that by acting in good faith, peace and harmony can reign in our beloved neighbourhood.”

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Outremont Hasidic community outraged over yellow squares – Mar 8, 2018