Building that housed Montreal’s Super Sex strip club destroyed on suspicion of arson: police

The building that housed Montreal’s well-known strip club Super Sexe in the center has been destroyed in a major fire that police say they suspect was a criminal act.

Firefighters were called to Saint-Catherine Street near the Robert-Bourassa junction late Saturday around 11pm to put out the fire in one of Montreal’s oldest strip clubs that has been abandoned in the last few years.

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Club Super Sexe opened in 1978 but has been abandoned for the last few years. Its outdoor neon signage has long been considered iconic in the city.

Global News / Dan Spector

Authorities say the building was empty and no injuries were reported. The neighboring buildings were evacuated for safety.

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According to Montreal Fire Chief William Murray, about 105 firefighters were on the scene and 31 fire trucks were called to the scene.

Firefighters spent more than twelve hours putting out the fire.

READ MORE: Montreal’s Club Super Sexe sign will be removed soon

Police spokesman const. Raphael Bergeron told Global News that the investigation into the cause of the fire has been transferred to the arson.

Officials say the damage to the historic building is extensive.

“It’s a real tragedy that the sign burned down,” said Alexandra Tigchelaar, who worked at Super Sexe strip clubs in the 1990s and is now a PhD student whose research focuses on sex work.

“There were many opportunities to take the sign down and preserve it,” Tigchelaar said. “What has been lost in this space is decades of working-class women’s history in this city.”

Club Super Sexe opened in 1978 and closed in 2017. Its outdoor neon signage, which has long been considered iconic, remained.

Global News interviewed one of the building’s owners four years ago, who said the space would be occupied within months and the sign would soon be removed.

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The head of the Downtown Montreal Business Development Corporation, Glenn Castanheira, told Global News that he is furious and believes the building’s owners let it decay. He says squatters have been known to occupy the pitch since the club closed.

“It has been months since we sounded the alarm to the authorities over abandoned buildings,” Castanheira wrote in a tweet.

“The first thing that occurred to me was ‘I told you so,'” Castanheira said. He said he wants to see rules that require landlords to maintain their buildings.

“Feel my words, there will be a significant bidding war to buy it [property] and rebuild it. It is now first class property in the heart of the center on a newly renovated Saint-Catherine.

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– with files from Dan Spector, Global News


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Iconic downtown Montreal signage can be destroyed


Iconic downtown Montreal sign could be destroyed – June 7, 2017

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