Mount Stephen Club No More?

George Stephen House - Mount Stephen Club

Image via Wikipedia

Did you solve the Montreal Mystery in my last blog post? Did you guess which Montreal mansion was the location for our decadent brunch?

Plaudits to Steph Sirois (@StefS31) and Linda Coffin who answered correctly that the mysterious Montreal mansion in the video is Mount Stephen Club! Both Steph and Linda have personal connections to the property, one from college reasearch and the other from growing up two blocks away... Bravo, Montrealophiles! (Shoot me your mailing addresses, and a prize will help you celebrate your smarts.)

The Mount Stephen Club occupies the late 19th century mansion of George Stephen, the co-founder of Canadian Pacific Railway. This extravagant home in Montreal's Golden Square Mile was architecturally inspired Italian Renaissance palaces. The interior is extravagantly finished in detailed Cuban mahogany, English walnut and exotic woods and boasts many marble mantles, stained glass glass windows, and grand staircase fit for royalty.

In the early 20th century the stately mansion risked demolition and/or subdivision, but the Mount Stephen Club was founded by Noah Timmins, J.H. Maher and J.S. Dohan as a private club for businessmen in order to protect the regal landmark. (See History of the Mount Stephen Club for more information.)

Nearly a century later George Stephen's mansion is in trouble once again.

After years of hosting elegant weddings, speeches and parties for Montreal’s elite, the Cuban mahogany front doors of the Mount Stephen Club are to close for good at the end of the year.

Years of operating losses, coupled with demands by workers’ new union representatives, are behind the Dec. 23 closing of the Drummond St. club, leaving 70 employees out of work, directors say. (Closing of Mount Stephen Club questioned by CSN union)

Is the Mount Stephen's Club finally finished? The loss of heritage and history would be shameful, but all current indications are that the storied institution will not endure beyond the end of the year.

A famous Montreal Golden Square Mile social club is closing its doors for good on December 23... The magnificent building at 1440 Drummond, built as an ostentatious home of CPR boss George Stephen, is as posh on the inside as it is from the outside... [but] some worry that if abandoned, the building would deteriorate fast.

"There are precious woods in every room that will deteriorate fast without proper heating and ventilation," said Heritage Montreal's Dinu Bumbaru. (Mount Stephen Club shutting down at year's end - CTV News)

Pollyanna-ish by nature, I'm gambling on the yet another reincarnation, but I need some positive indicators to hang my hopes upon. Please pass along any good news!