Griffintown co-op evacuated, demolished overnight amid sinkhole concerns

MONTREAL —; Several families were left homeless after a giant sinkhole opened up, threatening the Habitation Sainte-Anne co-op in the city’s Griffintown neighbourhood.

Families were hastily evacuated Saturday night and didn’t have time to gather their belongings before demolition crews moved in.

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    One resident told Global News she was forced to leave her husband’s ashes behind as she fled the building.

    “You can really see the state of people’s lives were like, in the middle of things, when they were kicked out. It’s crazy,” said Sean Zanti, who lives nearby.

    “It was definitely shocking to see them tear this building down, especially in the middle of the night.”

    De La Montagne Street, where the co-op is located, had already been closed for a week due to instability, but things got worse on the weekend.

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    That’s when officials deemed the building too unstable for residents to stay home.

    As of Monday morning, only parts of three units remained, but they will be completely demolished.

    Luc Filiatrault, a resident, said he left all his possessions behind.

    “I didn’t even have time to get my clothes,” he told Global News.

    Borough officials are still examining what happened as it’s not yet clear why the sinkhole opened up.

    The co-op was one of the last bastions of working-class housing in a neighbourhood emblematic of gentrification.

    Now, nine families are being forced to find somewhere else to live.