Construction closure: Montreal store owner says it's not safe to be open
Matt Gilmour, Kevin Gould, CTV Montreal
Published Monday, August 19, 2019 6:43PM EDT
A depanneur owner in Montreal's Little Italy neighbourhood says he has closed his business early all summer because of construction work being done on the sidewalk in front of his store.
Basil Farraye said the construction site is putting his customers in danger.
Road work began on Gaspé Ave. between St. Zotique St. and Dante St. in early July, and it has put Farraye's store behind a metre-deep hole for most of the summer.
"The people are afraid to go inside," said Farraye.
On Sunday construction workers installed a wooden footbridge to help people cross, but Farraye says it is still too dangerous.
The boards sag under a person's weight, dropping and bouncing 10 to 20 cm with every step.
At night, when Farraye does the majority of his business, "nobody can go in the store so to close it is the best way."
Farraye said on three separate occasions his only option was to close early.
"Those times we had a lot of workers beside the depanneur. A lot of stuff. A lot of machines. A lot of trucks," said Farraye.
Farraye estimates that he has lost 35 percent of his usual revenue during his busiest time of year.
Work on Gaspé is supposed to be finished by the end of this week.
A spokesperson for the borough office in Rosemont-Le Petit Patrie said Ferraye could be eligible for compensation from the city of Montreal.
Last year the city set aside $25 million for businesses affected by construction work.