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Historic Magog silo demolished

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--January 8, 2013.

larger_silo_magog1_0.jpgThe old feed mill (the "Coop des Cantons"), which has been a landmark on Principale Ouest in Magog since at least the 1940s, has been demolished. Following a split-decision of Magog's city council, and despite vocal opposition from several city councillors and a number of residents who cited the heritage value of the building, the silo was torn down this past weekend.

Magog's mayor, Vickie May-Hamm, has been quoted in local media recently, defending the city's decision to permit the demolition of the building by its current owner, promoter Pierre Bolduc, on the grounds that the building had been vacant for several years, was falling into disrepair and had become a home for vermin.

At the time of the city's decision, Mayor May Hamm was quoted in the Journal de Magog as saying she was surprised by the reaction that the city's decision had caused. She said that the city "had not taken its decision lightly."

The mayor also said that the city had met with residents of the neighbourhood around the silo to find out what they wanted for the building. "The begged us to demolish it," she said. The mayor added that according to the city's files, the silo did not have a great heritage value; and in her opinion (the newspaper reported), demolition afforded Magog an opportunity "to do some good work in that sector."

Others, however, regret the loss of what they feel is an important heritage landmark in the heart of town, one of a rapidly diminishing number of surviving grain silos in the Townships, and an important link to this community's rural past.

Local resident Martin Grenier, for example, who was a witness to the demolition on Saturday and Sunday, called it "sad and revolting." He said that the demolition took place "nearly in secret on the weekend before the end of the holidays, to avoid any organized opposition."

As to what will next occupy the now vacant building site, reportedly a new commercial building will be constructed and will house an outlet of the SAQ.