Roxboro Legion still unusable following October fire

“Everything was destroyed,” says Debbie Floud from the General Vanier branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Montreal’s Roxboro borough, where a fire broke out late October, the community now fundraising to help rebuild. Pamela Pagano reports.

The General Vanier branch of the Royal Canadian Legion in Roxboro served as a place for veterans and a space for community projects for 65 years.

But just a few weeks before Remembrance Day, a fire broke out at the Legion. Months later, the building is still unusable and the Legion fundraising to help rebuild.

“They attacked the fire and I, unfortunately, had to stand across the street and watch,” said John Floud, immediate past President of the Legion. “It’s sometimes hard to talk, I’m sorry about that.”

No one was injured on that Tuesday morning, Oct. 25, and firefighters were quickly on the scene.

Photo post fire at the Royal Canadian Legion in Roxboro. (Credit: Royal Canadian Legion)

John was also a volunteer firefighter in the community for 27 years – he says it was rough to not be able to help put out this fire.

Their insurance company says a faulty heat exchanger is likely to blame.

Still a shock to many, including Debbie Floud, John’s daughter and executive member of the Legion.

“We don’t know how much it’s going to cost to rebuild,” she explained. “We have to also get the furniture and all the appliances back.”

“Everything was destroyed on the main floor with the fire,” she added.


The community with more fundraisers planned for the Legion – this time, a dinner and comedy fundraiser on Jan. 27 and 28.

“We have five amazing comedians that will be there making all of us laugh,” said Debbie.

Taking place in Dollard-des-Ormeaux, the event is hosted by Ted Bird, featuring Joey Elias, and more.

Raffles were also on site, thanks to their many generous sponsors.

“It warms my heart that so many people are there to help us rebuild,” she added.

In October, a few days after the fire, smoke could still be smelt within the building. Now, a couple months later, the smoke smell is still there.

“It’s almost impossible to get rid of it completely,” explained John. “But they have special paints that will help, help seal it in the wood, and then they’ll have to repaint on top of that, a primer, and then on top of that, another coat of paint.”

“So, it takes a lot,” he added.

A flood also hit the Legion in December.

A heartbreaking time for a space that has always given back – from setting up food banks, sponsoring cadets, and most importantly, being a place for veterans.

You can reach the Legion by email or phone to purchase tickets or donate to their fundraisers: 514-684-9575 /

“The Legion will continue to help support the communities as we always have,” said John. “Community is important.”

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