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Save the Notman Gardens! QAHN Letter to Culture Minister Hélène David

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January 16, 2015

Madame Hélène David,
Députée d' Outremont,
Ministère de la culture et des communications,
Édifice Guy-Frégault, 1er étage,
225 Grande Allée,
Québec (Québec)
G1R 5G5

RE: Notman Garden, Montreal

Dear Minister David,

The Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN), a province-wide network of nearly 100 heritage and cultural groups, has recently become aware of a threat from development to the historic garden of the Notman House, 51 Sherbrooke St. W.

The Notman House itself was built in 1845 by architect John Wells for Sir William Meredith. It was then sold to the Notman family who lived there between 1876 to 1891. The garden has been present since the time of the first occupation of this site and had been preserved by the Drummond family and then the Anglican Sisters of St. Margaret through the years after the Notman family sold the property. There are many rare tree species in this garden, most over 100 years old.

The Notman House has been a protected historic site of Quebec since 1979, but this protection has not yet been extended to the adjacent Notman Garden with its small carriage house. We would like to request that steps be taken to preserve this important site, to protect it from development, and to rehabilitate the garden to create a much-needed green space, accessible to the public. There are very few green spaces left in the Plateau Mont-Royal district of Montreal. This area is rich in heritage architecture of institutional, religious and domestic origin. However, the proliferation of unsympathetic constructions by developers can detract severely from the ambiance of an entire neighbourhood.

QAHN is committed to supporting groups and individuals in their struggle to preserve the built and natural heritage of all Quebecers. The preservation of such sites as the Notman Garden is of benefit to everyone.

At a meeting of its Board of Directors, held in Montreal on January 10, 2015, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network voiced its strong support for the expansion of official heritage status at the Notman House to include the adjacent Notman Garden, as well. We hope that this designation can come about quickly.

Thanking you very much for your attention to this matter,

Simon Jacobs
President, RPAQ

Sandra Stock
Member, Montreal Committee, RPAQ

About QAHN:
Founded in 2000, the Quebec Anglophone Heritage Network (QAHN) is a non-profit, non-partisan organization engaged with its members in promoting the preservation of the built, cultural and natural heritage of Quebec. QAHN aims to promote a greater understanding of the history of Quebec’s English-speaking communities by informing, inspiring and connecting people through its activities. Membership is open to any organization or individual, regardless of language or cultural affiliation, with an interest in the history, heritage and culture of Quebec’s English-speaking communities.

Denis Coderre, Maire, Ville de Montréal
Luc Fernandez, Maire, Arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal
Alex Norris, Conseiller, Arrondissement du Plateau-Mont-Royal
Tony Antakly, Mouvement citoyen pour la préservation du Jardin Notman