Old Port to close between midnight and 6 a.m. for indefinite future starting Thursday
MONTREAL -- Starting Thursday night, the Old Port site will be closed after midnight.
Anywhere south of de la Commune St. will be closed from midnight to 6 a.m. “until further notice,” officials announced in a tweet.
The decision comes after several busy and late nights in the area over the weekend. Following the Canadiens win over the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday, a 19-year-old male was stabbed and 18-year-old woman was shot in the foot.
Police said both victims were expected to recover, but authorities have determined that Montrealers have gone too far.
"Security is a priority for us and obviously we want people to respect the sanitary measures, we want people to respect our rules and we want to make sure that the excesses that happened recently won’t happen again," said Jean-Phillippe Rochette of the Old Port of Montreal.
Terrasses and restaurants will have to close by 11 p.m. and patrollers will circulate in the area to ensure the site is empty.
"We’re a touristic site, we’re a family site and we really want to stay that way," said Rochette.
Eric Luksenberg, who owns the terrasse at Chez Eric agreed there are problems.
"I think I’m scared because I dont know what is the solution," he said. "I close my restaurant at 11 o’clock."
He said, though, he doesn't agree with a curfew, because people will simply cross the street into Old Montreal.
"The Old Port its a just in front of Jacques-Cartier Square, (so it's) automatic everybody will come on Jacques-Cartier Square," he said.
Mayor Valerie Plante wants to remind people that large gatherings are not permitted.
"There will be more police presence in the Old Port, in Place Jacques-Cartier, in different parks this weekend, because it is important that people, I would say, celebrate but within the framework that has been established," she said.
Old Port authorities did not say when the curfew could be lifted.