The Drummond Tower building, spanning the four-lane De Maisonneuve Boulevard, had housed the YMCA for more than 90 years. It was demolished in the autumn of 2000 and the YMCA moved next door into the Norris building, constructed in 1953. Only the exterior of the Norris building still looks as it did, but much brighter since we cleaned the brick and redid the windows and the roof.
Very little of the old interior of the Norris building remains. The original structure still supports the building except for a small section of the ground floor, which was demolished and rebuilt on three levels to accommodate the concourse, a pool and the jogging track. Before starting the refitting, we had to complete some delicate operations. We cut the columns supporting 6 floors and installed 45-foot transfer beams in a space underneath the concourse and above the pool.
Three stories were enlarged, adding approximately 700 m2 of surface area. This presented a real challenge, as the workspace was very tight because of the proximity of the neighbouring buildings.
Sports enthusiasts are delighted by the quantity and quality of the facilities at their disposal: a gymnasium, two pools (one with an integrated whirlpool), 5 squash courts, an interior jogging track (one of the largest in Montreal), weight-room, 3 aerobics rooms, 4 saunas, 2 steam baths and, of course, showers, lockers and other conveniences.
The building also houses classrooms, a childcare centre and offices, and there is still a section of the 6th floor that has not yet been developed. A mechanical room occupies the top storey.
In 2001, this project won a Real Estate Award of Excellence from UDI Quebec.