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Downtown heritage battle puts heats into Gatineau election

Tom Spears, Ottawa Citizen
September 29, 2017

Expanding the heritage status of a downtown Gatineau neighbourhood would restrict condo development that would bring jobs, new homes and tax revenues, says a business group backing downtown development.

Gatineau has proposed heritage status for the entire Museum District, a neighbourhood of narrow streets and old houses just north of Place du Portage and Gatineau City Hall. Many of the old homes are now restaurants or law offices.

The district has about 50 buildings, including the Collège Saint-Joseph et the former presbytery of Notre-Dame-de-Grâce Church. Many date from soon after the Great Fire of 1900.

Now an “economic analysis” commissioned by a business group called Essor centre-ville (Downtown progress), says a plan to extend heritage status to the whole district would be “harmful” to the city.

The Gatineau Chamber of Commerce is against the heritage status, while Protégeons le Quartier du Musée and the Société d’histoire de l’Outaouais are for it.

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