Association buys Montreal Road property

A local French-language organization displaced by the city's light-rail project said it has acquired a vacant building lot in Vanier, where it plans to construct a $25-million "hub" for the Franco-Ontarian community.

The Association des enseignantes et enseignants franco-ontariens said it has purchased a property on on the south side of Montreal Road, between Dupuis and Bégin streets.

"We had no choice," said association president Benoit Mercier in a statement.

"We were served with a notice of expropriation by the city of Ottawa for our property located at 681 Belfast Rd."

No purchase price was disclosed. The association said the cost of constructing a new office building on the site will be approximately $25 million. Architectural plans are still being drafted, according to an association spokesperson.

The city is expropriating several properties on Belfast Road to make way for a maintenance yard for the LRT project.

The French-language labour organization, which represents workers in Ontario's French-language schools and institutions, is hoping to find other like-minded tenants to share the space in the building so it becomes a hub for Ontario's Franco-Ontarian community.