Media Advisory - Chez Doris Takes Steps to Preserve its Iconic Building

MONTREAL, June 13, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - On Wednesday June 15, Chez Doris, a day shelter for women in difficulty, will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony to celebrate the restoration of its new front balcony. The generosity of the Silver Dollar Foundation and the J.A. DeSève Foundation made this project possible.

Date: Wednesday, June 15, 2016
Time: 5 p.m.
Where: 1430 Chomedey, Montreal, QC H3H 2A7

The iconic red-stone building located at 1430 Chomedey in Shaughnessy Village which houses Chez Doris, was built in approximately 1900 when the first owner Thomas Collins imported red sandstone from Europe to build a Richardsonian Romanesque style home, also known as Romanesque Revival.  Included in the construction were an ornamental cornice, rounded facade and balcony, which set it apart from locally hewed Greystone buildings.  This style was common in Montreal for about three decades but was rarely seen after the early 1900s, making the house one of the last of its kind.

Thomas Collins occupied 1430 Chomedey for close to three decades. In 1938, the house became a Catholic school, then a family residence once again. Following World War II the house did its part to ease Montreal's intense housing crisis by becoming a rooming house under owner Joseph E. Lalonde. The building changed hands again in 1972 when Colin A. Gravenor purchased the rooming house property and used a room for his office overlooking a busy parking lot across from the Forum, which he also owned. Gravenor was also known for having owned Nun's Island in the 1950s.

In later years the boarders slowly moved out and the home returned to its original function as a private residence around 1980. Gravenor died in 1993, and in the subsequent year, his widow and third wife, Belva Horne, saddled with a $10,000 tax bill, swapped the home valued at $300,000, for Chez Doris' building at nearby 2196 de Maisonneuve valued at $195,000. Chez Doris paid $115,000 for the house.

In 2004, thanks to a federal grant, Chez Doris extended the building to provide for the increased number of destitute women seeking help. The building, measuring more than 7,000 sq. feet, and the land, are currently valued at $2 million. To find out more about the history of the house, Click here.

"Heritage Montreal commends the steps taken by Chez Doris to preserve the integrity of the Victorian-era building which it owns.  For 40 years, Heritage Montreal advocates the restoration and enhancement of Montreal's heritage and this is an inspiring example of how owners, including community organisations, can play an important role in preserving our neighborhoods." Dinu Bumbaru, Policy Director of Heritage Montreal.

"We are truly delighted that this renovation project was made possible through the generosity of two foundations," said Talar Dikijian, President of Chez Doris. Marina Boulos, CEO of Chez Doris added, "The organization needs to raise additional funds to ensure the durability of the building which is in need of significant repairs. The costliest and most urgent repairs are the underground masonry. Chez Doris has a pledge of $150,000 for the masonry work, but must raise another $150,000 in matching funds in order to obtain the grant."

MEDIA is invited to schedule interviews between 2 and 5 p.m. followed by a photo opportunity of the ribbon cutting ceremony between 5 and 5:15 p.m.

About Chez Doris:
Chez Doris is a charitable organization offering a daytime shelter 7 days a week for all women in difficulty. The house provides meals, respite, clothing, socio-recreational activities as well as practical assistance in a secure and accepting environment.


SOURCE Chez Doris Women's Shelter Foundation

For further information: Marina Boulos, Executive Director, Chez Doris, Cell. : 514-654-7597,


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