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Having put $11,000 of the club's dwindling funds toward the removal of sand from the attic of Union Station, the Canadian National Recreation Association's handgun club will likely begin the process of retiring its name and membership next month.

After 81 years as the best kept secret in Union Station's attic, the club lost its shooting range when Mayor David Miller banished gun clubs from city property.

That was last August, and little has changed in the windowless space above the east end of one of Canada's busiest commuter hubs.

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"It looks exactly the same as when I walked away," said Tom Bradbeer, the club's president. "It looks as though I was there yesterday, other than the fact that the sand pit has been cleared out."

Mr. Bradbeer inspected the site earlier this week after a contractor removed the sand that lined the floor of the shooting range and trapped ricocheting bullets.

Without any money to re-establish the club at a new location, Mr. Bradbeer intends to begin the process of collapsing it at the annual meeting next month.

He hopes first to ensure that all 130 members have found new gun clubs.

By the end of the year the space should be used, well, like an attic.

Angus Cranston, senior project manager for Union Station Revitalization, said the space will be needed to support office space that is being added to the building.

"It truly is attic space," he said. And it will soon be filled with "mechanical equipment, ventilation equipment."

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The other club to be evicted by the banishing of gun clubs from city property was the Scarborough Rifle Club at the Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre.

According to its website, the club is in the process of searching for a permanent new range, and in the interim is renting space at another club once a week.

Councillor Adrian Heaps (Ward 35, Scarborough Southwest), whose ward encompasses the Don Montgomery Community Recreation Centre, said that because the club's former space was a gun range for nearly 20 years, it must be cleared of lead before a new group can move in.

"I'm hoping by the end of this year the space will be fixed up," he said.

So far, groups have come forward wanting to use the space for everything from a seniors' card club, to carpet bowling to a youth centre.

"There are far more constructive uses for the space and that's why we want to make sure that when we do refit the space it allows for the maximum possibilities," he said.

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