Curlers vow to fight as Quebec’s biggest facility, in TMR, comes under threat

Quebec’s biggest curling club is under threat, its devotees say.

The Town of Mount Royal, where the club is located — on a site slated for reuse — say it’s too soon to panic. But curlers say they want reassurances that their facility will stand.

“So few curling clubs left,” said Carl De Rome, one member of the TMR Curling Club.

“Most communities have lost their curling clubs. It would be a shame to lose this one as well.”

The TMR facility is the largest one in the province, a big building with six rinks and 225 members.

Only 40 of those, however, are local residents. The town is considering building a new multi-sport complex in the same space.

Members say it would be “terrible,” and “such a shame,” and not because of the loss to them personally — but because the facility recently got a big upgrade.

“I question how the Quebec government would react to scrapping a grant of $253,000 from only three years ago for a refrigeration system that normally has a lifespan of 25 years,” said director Cliff Carrie.

TMR Mayor Peter Malouf says the renewed materials could be recycled into a different facility.

“Whatever equipment is there can be reused in any facility that requires refrigeration,” he said. “That’s not going to waste, as far as I’m concerned.”

But he cautioned that plans haven’t been finalized, and more discussions will be held.

“I think it’s premature — I have to have plans to have public consultations,” he said.

The curlers insist that TMR should be able to do both: keep its curling rinks and also meet the recreation needs of locals. Plus, they’re not a burden on TMR, they said.

“I’m not sure which other sporting activity in the town contributes to the town and maintains its own facilities,” said member Sonia Pisanu, also the club treasurer.

There are only seven curling clubs left on the Island of Montreal.

Mayor Malouf says that while a new rec center is needed in the area at some point, to serve the majority of TMR residents, there are still many steps that need to be taken, including, first, getting a consensus with city councilors over the cost and timeline for a new complex.

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