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Clean up underway on Montreal's Saint-Laurent Boulevard

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The annual clean-up of St-Laurent Boulevard brought together volunteers, artists and business owners on Sunday.

The goal is to have The Main looking good in time for the summer festivals and the visitors who come visit.

The crews scraped off stickers, scrubbed away graffiti and picked up objects left on The Main. 

This is "spring-cleaning" St-Laurent style and residents like film actor-director Henri Pardo welcome it.   

"I live here, this is my street so, to come out in the morning and see vomit in front of my door on a regular basis is very disappointing," said Pardo.

On St-Laurent near Pins Avenue, Dirty Dogs Bistro manager Olivier Pepin said clean is good for business as he wiped down tables and put out the trash.

"There's a lot of tourists coming to the street and I just hope for them that when they come it's clean and beautiful," said Pepin.

Tasha Morizio of the St-Laurent Boulevard Merchants Association said they hired a cleaning crew who themselves are looking for a fresh start.

"We work with a [non-profit organization] program called Spectre de Rue, TAPAJ where we have about 20 people on the street right now that are reintegrating into society, so giving back to our community a little bit," she said. 

From living on the streets to getting paid to clean them, Marcel David Junior said it's a step in the right direction.   

"They come from when they were doing drugs and stuff and they stopped," he said. "So they want to get back in the real life, getting a real job, getting a place to live. We're giving them a chance to get a job."

In early June, The MURAL Festival brings in thousands of visitors. 

Urban artist Maxilie Martel is already at work making The Main look good.

"It's maybe like a way to look at street art differently, so I find the project pretty cool," said Martel, while rolling paint onto the sidewalks to create beautiful flowers where grit was swept away.  

"St-Laurent represents Montreal, right? North to south, it should be cleaned on a regular basis," said Pardo. 

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