Owner wins appeal over Chez Henri hotel demolition

The owner of the Hôtel Chez Henri in Gatineau has been acquitted of charges he illegally demolished part of the heritage building, after the Quebec Superior Court overturned a lower court decision.

In June 2011 Nader Dormani was found guilty of failing to respect the conditions of his building permit after approving the removal of the building's distinctive roof and turret.

He appealed, and the Quebec Superior Court overturned the decision on Friday, stating the lower court had erred in its assessment of the facts and the presumption of innocence.

The City of Gatineau, which first brought the charges against Dormani, has not said whether it will appeal the decision.

The original Chez Henri structure, located at 179 Promendade du Portage, has a rich history. It was constructed as a private home in 1901 and became a popular nightclub through the 1930s and the Prohibition era, hosting musical acts such as Louis Armstrong and his band.

Dormani took possession of the abandoned building in 2004 with plans to resurrect the historic nightspot to its former glory.

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