Restaurants hanging by a thread, but St. Laurent sidewalk to get ripped up anyway
MONTREAL -- For businesses along part of St. Laurent Blvd., the timing of the news they got recently couldn’t be worse.
The city is planning to rip up a stretch of sidewalk in Mile End, and while normally that’s business in usual in Montreal, the businesses affected say they wish they could get a reprieve.
They won’t be able to open their all-important terrasses until partway through the summer season, when every penny right now counts.
It’s a “massive impact on us” at this point in the pandemic, said Stephen Kamp of Sparrow Bar and Cardinal Tea Room.
“If we lose any time at all with the terrasse out front, and if we lose easy access to our space -- we're already stretched pretty thin, we had a pretty brutal winter.”
The permit office told him the repairs are minor, but they could take at least three weeks.
His neighbours at Le Caribou say the borough sent them a warning email a few weeks ago, not giving specific dates, and they’re not happy either.
“Sixty-five per cent of what we make is on the terrasse, so it's a big loss,” said Audrey Leynaert of Caribou Gourmand.
“I don't even know if we're going to reopen the restaurant if we don't have the terrasse.”
A city spokesperson said efforts were made to ensure the repairs would be as painless as possible, and they were moved up by three weeks earlier than usual so as to free up the sidewalk by early June.
To watch the full report by Andrew Brennan, watch the video above.