From The Gazette


Batshaw wants to demolish building to make way for new facility in Beaconsfield

Beaconsfield’s demolition committee is set to make its recommendation regarding a request by Batshaw Youth and Family Centres to tear down an aging building it owns on Elm. Ave. that currently houses the Portage Centre, a substance-abuse rehabilitation program for adolescents.

The advisory committee is expected to make its decision on whether to grant a demolition permit on March 13. This recommendation will be voted on by city council at a later date.

Batshaw plans to construct a $50-million building with nine residential units to house 108 kids at its Elm Ave. property. The open-unit facility will offer educational and recreational programs and provide therapy and anger management sessions, Batshaw officials have said. Batshaw still requires a construction permit before it can commence work, which it has requested regarding a portion of the project.

Mayor David Pollock said, while he agrees troubled anglophone youth under Batshaw’s care need a suitable residential facility so they can be reintegrated into society, he would have preferred it to be on a smaller scale and possibly in a different location. He added that he would also prefer a design that better fit the neighbourhood than the modern -looking glass structure presented to the city.

Councillor Rhonda Massad suggests before granting any permits, the city should require Batshaw to provide a written statement that it won’t operate closed-custody units.


  1. By Adrien Guimond

    ARE YOU SERIOUS!!!! Wanting to replace a drug treatment centre where young teens can get help for their problems, work toward a better life, but then to demolish that and put a detention centre. i think its outrageous, how many youth centres are needed.

  2. By Stop Complaining

    It says nowhere that it would be a detention center, it quite clearly states that the “open unit facility will offer educational and recreational programs…” open unit means it is not a detention center. Rather it is a center for youth who are for whatever reason unable to live at with their families. Try having some compassion for ALL youth and not just the ones who are in drug treatment.

    • No, you’re right – it doesn’t say detention center but it is a detention center; minimal security. And as this is right smack in the middle of a totally residential area – the RESIDENTS have the right to be concerned, to be angry. It has nothing to do with compassion – it has to do with Batshaw having no respect for the rights of the property owners, behind and beside the facility. Youth do not end up under the Batshaw system simply because they had trouble fitting in at home or for skipping school.

  3. Mayor David Pollock and Councillor Rhonda Massad . Might I suggest inform the residents… the impact this will have on the community , your town security is not setup for this… Land values will drop .. who are you kidding .. This is not a Bakery !! .. Its understood the youth’s have issues and we need locations to serve them…But smack in the middle of Beaconsfield . Do understand once built it will be set in stone as to what you can build on that lot !! Undoable for all time !!
    Note… the now defunct lot at 575 elm awaiting the wreaking-ball and its track record, history !! Sure your ready for this ??

    Needless to say the Town would love the tax on a 50 million building !!

  4. Pingback: Beaconsfield is feeling the NIMBY syndrome | West Island Gazette

  5. A youth Rehabilitation Centre is exactly a place where “young teens can get help for their problems, work toward a better life” A Detention Centre is not the same. Youth can be detained in a closed setting but because it is with youth, the primary role is still rehabilitation ( unless you think there is no hope for teens to change their lives and turn things around). The number of youth centres needed is equal to the number of youth from the english community that need help. These kids, by the way, are already in your commmunity and will return to it after there stay at Batshaw. Lets not get so stuck and fearful that we waste thousands of taxpayers money making arguments that clearly legally have no standing ( Dorval anyone?!) and more importantly neglects the fact that many of these youth are from our community, desrve to be in it and have families as members of our community. Maybe if we help these youth reintegrate our community in a positive way (there here anyway people!) we will all be better off. Looking for a nice, non-residential place to put all these youths only gaurentees a greater alienation of our youth and eventually having 18 year olds, still in our community, with much less to build on….and much less connected to all us upstanding, problem free residents and property owners whose rights are being infringed upon. Maybe one of you can come in a teach some of these youths some cooking and baking classes…and we can have both a youth Centre and a new bakery in our community!!

  6. Why doesn’t Batshaw expand their existing center in the Laurentains where the kids will be further away from the temptations of the City and have a better chance? The huge size of the proposed complex isn’t good for the neighborhood as it won’t fit in with the small residential homes. This project has potential bad news written all over it with no upside to speak of for the community.

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