Monday marked the end of an era at downtown Montreal’s Fulford Residence.
Despite a grassroots movement to save the 131-year-old private home for autonomous elderly women, all 21 residents have moved out. The last one left Monday morning.
Although the outcome is not what families advocating for the home to stay open wanted, they are celebrating a small victory.
“Our loved ones began to find placement in our requested public care home that only a few weeks before had been told that it could take many months, or a couple of years for them to be opening,” said Christopher Holcroft whose 76-year-old mother had called the Fulford home. His mother has already been relocated to a Quebec long-term care home.
According to Holcroft, beds in other seniors’ homes became available days after human rights lawyer Julius Grey sent a letter to the owners, the Anglican Diocese of Montreal.
In the letter, families requested that the closure of the home be paused and a committee of stakeholders be made to find viable strategies to keep the Fulford open. The families did receive a response, but Holcroft says there was no willingness to change from the board of directors. In the end, families decided not to pursue legal action.
Holcroft said the issue has put a spotlight on senior care in Quebec — an issue he wishes to see more focus on. While he is grateful his mom found a new place, the ordeal and uprooting were not easy on her.
“The concept of her moving from the home has been very difficult and she was and remains sad of having to leave what was her home,” Holcroft said.
His grassroots movement garnered tremendous public support.
The riding’s MNA, Jennifer Maccarone, voiced her support, writing letters to the board and the bishop about the importance of keeping the Anglophone institution open.
“I remain disappointed that we weren’t able to find a solution, a private-public partnership. And I do still feel that given the short time frame, we did not exhaust all possibilities,” said Maccarone, who is Liberal MNA for Westmount. She added that she is saddened for the families and community.
The fate of the building is yet to be decided.
The Anglican Diocese of Montreal denied an interview request from Global News.
Along with the Fulford families, Maccarone hopes the building will continue to serve the community in the future.