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Blue Bonnets Demolition Imminent

Published: April 25, 2018 7:19 pm ET

Last Comment: April 27, 2018 6:31 pm ET | 2 Comment(s) | Jump to Comments

The days of a legendary harness racing venue are numbered, as the city of Montréal prepares to move forward with the demolition of the decaying Blue Bonnets racetrack.

According to The Globe and Mail, the grounds of Blue Bonnets, which hosted harness racing from 1907 to 2009 when it closed as Hippodrome de Montréal, have been eyed for residential use. Various proposals have suggested anywhere between 3,000 and 8,000 condominium units on the property, which has remained almost entirely vacant for the past decade.

Driver Sylvain Filion, now a regular competitor at Woodbine Mohawk Park in Campbellville, Ont., recounts his memories of racing in Montréal.

“There used to be a huge crowd there for Sunday afternoon racing,” Filion told The Globe and Mail. “You don’t see crowds like that at the races any more. The ambience was just incredible.”

“I never thought they’d demolish that place. At one point, it was one of the biggest tracks in North America.”

Despite proposals for the property to be repurposed as a residential area, the Office de consultation publique de Montréal will consult public opinions before moving forward with the project, as reported by the Montréal Gazette.

The demolition process is expected to last the remainder of the year and is expected to cost $11 million.

April 27, 2018 - 6:31 pmThere are so many vacant

Diane Lord SAID...

There are so many vacant Condos in Montreal, and they're going to build more?

It's too bad that Montreal has no investors that are interested in the horse racing

industry anymore. This landmark site would've been a perfect project and development

for the Woodbine Entertainment Group. That being said, I guess the Casino and Loto Quebec

would've said "no", to any project/development that would've cut into their business.

April 26, 2018 - 9:18 pmI really wish they wouldn't

I really wish they wouldn't do this, and that they could somehow bring harness racing back to Blue Bonnets. There is such history there, and Quebec has had such a profound impact on harness racing in North America. I know they have done a wonderful job in Trois Rivieres, and it would be so wonderful for the sport as a whole, if racing could return to Montreal.

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