5 Bishop Street Merchants in a Battle with the City of Montreal and the STM to Stay in Business

MONTREAL, April 12, 2017 — An application was filed in the Superior Court of Montreal today against the City of Montreal and the STM due to damages caused to Bishop Street merchants resulting from infrastructure work that may force them out of business.

The Société de Transport de Montreal (STM) began work on Bishop Street in October 2016 in order to build a new mechanical ventilation post. The work has completely transformed this popular thoroughfare into a real ordeal for potential customers of the businesses that reside on the street. Now, between De Maisonneuve and Sainte-Catherine Street, the work has left the street in a disastrous state, monopolizing parking spaces and making pedestrian access to the area difficult and dissuasive. Not surprisingly, the street’s shops have seen their business drop considerably.

Since the work began, the street has been practically deserted and worse yet, the work is set to be completed only in 2020, a period of approximately 42 months. 5 of the street’s restaurants and bars, namely, Mesa 14, Ferrari, the Gourmet Burger, Kafein, Craft and grilled cheese face a difficult situation: if things remain as they are, they will be forced into bankruptcy.

What the Merchants Are Seeking

The claim filed in the Superior Court is asking for interim measures to help Bishop Street’s businesses in the short term. These include:

  1. Improving the visibility of their businesses through free advertising in the Peel and Guy-Concordia metro stations and in the streets adjacent to Bishop Street;
  2. Making access to their shops easier for pedestrians by constructing a path offering direct access from the St. Catherine Street and for motorists by prohibiting construction workers from monopolizing the parking spaces reserved for shops;
  3. Prohibiting machinery that produces excessive noise from being used during peak hours, namely between 11am and 2pm and between 4pm and 9pm;
  4. The beautification of Bishop Street with plants and decorative signs that would make the environment more pleasant and attractive to potential customers.

Beyond these measures, Bishop Street merchants are requesting financial compensation in the amount of $2,500 per month for each month since the beginning of the work to indemnify them against the troubles and inconveniences they’ve suffered and that they will continue to suffer until 2020.

The 5 businesses are also requesting an amount of $25,000 to commission an engineering firm to examine the conditions of the work and determine whether the timeline can be shortened.