The old Royal Canadian Legion Hall on Kensington Avenue in Calgary was demolished on Monday.
As some legion members watched, work crews slowly took the building apart, placing the remains in dump trucks to be transported away.
“It’s sad to see it go,” said one member. “There’s a lot of nostalgia, a lot of dances that I used to go to, good meals.”
Gary Hurst said he’s had a lot good times in the hall. He said he’s been a member for 14 years.
“It hurts inside a bit. Because even in the short time I was here, we grew accustomed to the people. We grew accustomed to what we had here,” he said.
The demolition of the legion was one of the last parts of a larger redevelopment plan for the site.
In June 2017, a brand-new legion opened its doors to the public.
The modern facility is much larger and houses the 1918 Tap & Table pub on the ground floor.
Murray Bond was part of the crew that helped to take down the old legion.
“My uncles were all in the Second World War, and they used to bring me down here as a kid,” he said.
Bond said he thinks the new facility is a big step up from the old one, as the old building was getting too expensive to maintain.
He also said it couldn’t accommodate the needs of the community because it was too small.
Still, he said it was sad seeing the members watch their old home be demolished.
“I’m watching the veterans. It kind of chokes you up a bit.”