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On June 11, a fire occurred in Montreal which affected the rue St-André building, one of our social housing buildings owned by Vilavi since 2008, offering 20 housing units with community support. The fire, which started from the neighbouring building to St-André spread to our building with the violent wind (see the TVA artcile).

Within minutes the residents were escorted outside safely. Some people were only able to escape in their undergarments, for which they were immediately given assistance. The building was heavily damaged by thefirefighters' intervention who were obligated to open the roof and to flood the interior to prevent any fire from starting (watch the video on Youtube). The Red Cross arrived onsite and the 19 residents who were affected were housed safely in neraby hotel complex. The tenants on floors 1, 2 and 3 were allowed to collect a few personal belongings (phones, medication and some clothes) but the 4th floor was inaccessible. A disaster-related security contractor intervened to barricade the building to prevent looting. Vilavi then carried out consultations to obtain sustainable housing conditions because very important work was going to have to be carried out to restore the building.

126 fires related to cigarette butts occurred in Montreal in 2020. Read Metro Journal's article:

Major fire on June 11, 2020, summary of activities:

  • June 11 2020: A fire started on the roof-terrace of the neighbouring building and spread to the St-André rooming house, an AccèsLogis Quebec project of 20 housing units. 19 units were occupied. The tenants were relocated to a neighbouring hotel (Hotel M Montreal, 1245 St-André).
  • June 15 2020: implementation of a support plan for tenants including emergency support, the preparation of an inventory of losses and support for relocation.
  • July 13 2020: Submission of the insurer's export report: the building is complete uninhabitable and must undergo major work (complete stripping), but does not require demolition/reconstruction.
  • Summer 2020: Support for the relocation of certain tenants depending on availability in other housing projets and the private market.
  • July 16 2020: Agreement with the architectural firm 2Architecture for the planning and supervision of work.
  • August 4 2020: Visitation of the site with 3 contractors for submission call.
  • September 10 2020: reception of submissions
  • September 18 2020: Selection of contractor
  • September 25 2020: Submission of permit application
  • October 5 2020: Beginning of work. Secured and protected the building.


  • March 15 2021: Delivery of the building
  • April 1 2021: re-integration of tenants (revised October 1 2021)

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