Montreal bocce club to keep rolling until at least 2025
The future of a bocce club in Ahuntsic-Cartierville was unclear after its lease was set to expire, but a recent move by the borough will keep it alive until 2025.
In November, the City of Montreal proposed to pay part of the Acadie Bocce club's rent on the condition that the borough chip in the same amount.
The borough originally said it wouldn't cover the lease, but has since changed its mind.
It now says it's worked out a deal along with the Regional Council of Italian-Canadian Seniors. The mayor of Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Émilie Thuillier, announced on Saturday that it will renew the lease for the club one last time, which will cost just over $333,000.
"I'm really happy because we work together and today we announced a win-win solution for all parties. We are pleased," she said.
"The borough, after, we won't be there. But if the bocce club wants to continue, they have plenty of time to organize themselves."
'It's my life'
The locale also houses the Marcelin-Wilson Golden Age Club. The seniors who enjoy bocce and gather as a "family" there are celebrating the win.
"I've been playing bocce for 60 years, it's my pastime, it's my life. I'm 80 and I've been playing all my life. For us it's a culture," said bocce player Pitro Secondi.
"We try to enjoy as much as we can, we have tournaments, we play and come in every night. Today I'm very happy."
But, the players still worry about what will happen to their club come 2025, as it is the only bocce club in their neighbourhood. Although other seniors' activities are available, they're wondering why the city can't do more to protect their favourite sport.
"We will enjoy [it for now] but we will have that in the back of our mind: what are we going to do after this? And the future people who like to play bocce, where will they go?" said Nunzio Fazioli.
"Bocce is the sport that I love. I want to play it all the time until I die. I would be appreciative if they could find a long-term solution, but I was very happy to know they [chose to] extend it by any amount of time."