Downtown Montreal stores now allowed to stay open all day
The Quebec government has granted stores in certain areas of Montreal permission to stay open 24 hours a day, seven days a week in order to take advantage of tourist traffic.
Stores in the downtown area as well as Ile Notre Dame, Old Montreal, Chinatown, the Quartier Latin, the Village and Quartier des spectacles will be able to take advantage of Montreal’s designation as a “tourist zone.”
The Quebec tourism industry wants to increase tourism revenue by five per cent every year until 2020, and it sees shopping as a way to do that.
Mayor Denis Coderre has previously talked about wanting to obtain the designation in a bid to revitalize downtown Montreal.
There are about 3,000 stores in downtown Montreal that employ about 318,000 people. The measure excludes bars. Stores may be able to set their own hours as early as next week.
Mayor Denis Coderre told media Friday that he had the support of many merchants. "I think it’s important to create the proper environment for investment, I am there to facilitate the process and accompany the merchants so they can have the tools to work with," he said.
Several merchants interviewed by CTV Montreal indicated that they were not likely to stay open all night. "I can tell you tht our clientele would not be out 24 hours a day," said Ben Owens of the French Connection boutique. "Sales go down pretty regularly in the evening."
Quebec attracts about 900,000 fewer visits from American than it did about a decade ago. The province recorded a $3.13 billion tourism deficit in 2012, according to Yan Hamel president of the Quebec Tourism Industry Association.