Inauguration of La Station, An Intergenerational Centre in the Verdun Borough

MONTREAL, Feb. 3, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - "A dream come true!" That was the underlining comment made last night by Claude Trudel, Verdun Borough Mayor responsible for public safety and security on Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee, at the official opening of La Station, a new intergenerational centre located in Verdun's L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood.

The inauguration was held in the presence of a number of guests of honour, including Helen Fotopulos, responsible for culture, heritage, design and the status of women on Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee, and was also attended by Henri-François Gautrin, MNA for Verdun as well as numerous other representatives from the City and the Québec government's Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine.

A centre for youngsters age 12-17 and adults age 50 and over, La Station has been set up in L'Île-des-Sœurs' former Esso service station, designed between 1967 and 1968 by world-renowned architect Mies van der Rohe. Shut down in December 2008, the service station was then recognized as a historical monument by Montréal City Council in 2009, not only for the building itself, but also for the land on which it was constructed. Conversion of the former service station into an intergenerational centre was therefore carried out in keeping with the station's original heritage value.

"I'm proud to be holding the inauguration of La Station today—the very first intergenerational facilities on the island of Montréal," announced Mayor Claude Trudel. "This large-scale project involving many challenges, due to the heritage qualities of the building, couldn't have materialized without the financial contribution of the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine du Québec and Ville de Montréal, and I therefore want to express my heartfelt thanks to them both," added Mayor Trudel.

Henri-François Gautrin, MNA for Verdun, is delighted that the project has become a reality. "The restoration of L'Île-des-Sœurs' former service station as an intergenerational centre is a fine example of a successful conversion. Thanks to the financial assistance granted under the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal (an agreement on the cultural development of Montréal), the sustainability of this site, recognized as a historical monument, can be ensured, while contributing toward the improvement of the quality of the community's living environment. The services offered through this new function of this building will mainly benefit residents in the Verdun Borough. I would like to wish La Station a long life," stated MNA Gautrin.

"Ville de Montréal is pleased to have financially supported this challenging project, which has provided an opportunity to give a new lease on life to L'Île-des-Sœurs' former service station. In addition to making it possible to enhance this heritage building for the benefit of youngsters and older adults, this restoration project is also ensuring the sustainability of this structure designed by the famous architect Mies van der Rohe, who is renowned, as well, for the construction of Westmount Square in downtown Montréal," added Helen Fotopulos, responsible for culture, heritage, design and the status of women on Ville de Montréal's Executive Committee.

From service station to "services station"

After 40 years of providing service to motorists. La Station has now found a new function—to offer activities and services to adolescents between the ages of 12 and 17 as well as to adults age 50 and over, while helping to bring these two age groups closer together. In a brightly-lit environment, typical of the architecture of Mies van der Rohe, La Station offers cosy, multi-purpose spaces for discussions, games or merely relaxation. Open 6 days a week, Monday - Saturday, La Station is designed as a place where they can feel a sense of belonging, a place that breaks isolation and provides youngsters and older adults with a chance to take advantage of their free time in a safe and sound environment. Qualified workers are on hand, under the responsibility of Action Surveillance Verdun, a local organization that looks after running the activities and services within a contract that it has been awarded by the Verdun Borough.

To succeed in this outstanding, unique conversion, the Verdun Borough has invested approximately $1,249,839, in addition to counting on a financial contribution of $326,805 from Ville de Montréal and $395,057 granted within the Entente sur le développement culturel de Montréal.

"It is my hope that youngsters and older adults can revive this mythical site that is a testimony to the growth of the L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood over the past few decades," stated Mayor Trudel in his closing remarks.

La Station is located at 201, rue Berlioz in Verdun's L'Île-des-Sœurs neighbourhood. It is accessible by public transit (the 12 and 168 bus routes) and parking spaces are available on site. La Station's detailed program may be found on the Borough's website (ville.montreal.qc.ca./verdun) or by phoning 514 766-4301.

SOURCE VILLE DE MONTREAL - ARRONDISSEMENT DE VERDUN

For further information:

Source: Verdun Borough
Arianne Lareau, attachée de presse
Cabinet du maire et du comité exécutif
514 872 4894

For further information: 
Francine Morin
Responsable du protocole et des relations publiques
514 765-7282
francine.morin@verdun.ca
francinemorin@ville.montreal.qc.ca

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VILLE DE MONTREAL - ARRONDISSEMENT DE VERDUN

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