Hampstead residents vote to cancel luxury high-rise project

It's the end of the line for a 10-storey luxury apartment building project on Côte Saint-Luc Road that was vehemently opposed by some residents in Hampstead.

Tenants in the two buildings that would have been demolished to make way for the new apartment block campaigned for a referendum on the issue and gathered enough signatures to trigger one last month.

On Sunday night, the results of the referendum were tallied. The project's opponents won — with 593 people voting against and 267 voting for.

Developers Mitchell Moss and Mitchell Abrahams offered tenants in the two buildings the option to move into the new high-rise once it's completed.

The residents were resistant to the idea, saying that their twin buildings are one of the few places in Hampstead with affordable housing. They expressed relief that months of organized opposition finally paid off.

"We've been working crazily since June, all our energy, all our summer vacation, everything. Now we can take a break," said Marie Pontini, who has lived in the Côte Saint-Luc Road complex for 14 years. 

But she also said that residents remain concerned. The developers "could present another project tomorrow ... and we'd have to start all over again," Pontini told CBC Montreal's Daybreak on Monday morning.

"We don't know what's coming."

Jaela Bernstien/CBC

This fight has been brewing since the summer.

Hampstead council voted to cancel the project in July with a three-two vote, but the mayor vetoed that decision on the grounds that one councillor was not present.

In August, the vote was evenly split and Steinberg broke the tie, approving the project.

Now that the residents have rejected the idea via referendum, the project is dead in the water.

"We are obviously disappointed with the results, but the people of Hampstead have spoken," said Jonathan Goldbloom, a communications consultant speaking on behalf of the building's owners.

"Clearly our tenants are happy with their current location and we will continue to operate in a professional manner."