Owned by Jackie Lancia, it's a family-run business, with her daughter, a Cordon Bleu-trained pastry chef, making all of the pastries. And from the sounds of it, the staff and the team are basically part of the family.
As with many businesses, the code red protocols and restrictions have left Pâtisserie Italia in hard times.*
The bakery was, according to the owner, visited by the OQLF for using words like "espresso."
Jackie told MTL Blog that despite following signage guidelines, such as having French as the main language, the OQLF apparently found an issue with the words like "espresso."*
The OQLF shared with MTL Blog a complaint was made against the bakery, so they "went to verify the complaint as it should be verified. Neither the inspector nor the OQLF has given an opinion on the situation."*
Jackie says that when she asked the OQLF inspector what the problem was with using the word "espresso," she thought maybe it had something to do with the spelling.
The OQLF told MTL Blog that such was a false accusation, telling us that "espresso" is, in fact, in its permitted terminology list.*
She claims the representative told her that none of her questions would be answered in the visit and that she would receive a letter with all of the changes she would be required to make or be forced to pay fines.*
Many cafés around Montreal use the word "espresso," and many even have them in their name.
Pâtisserie Italia finds the entire experience frustrating.
"I've paid my taxes, paid my dues, I follow the law. This is really just disappointing."
After 15 years in business, Jackie says this is the first time that the OQLF has come after the bakery.
"I find it weird that all of a sudden there's all of these complaints."
But for Jackie, one of her main concerns is her employees.
"You don't want your employees to worry, too, that you can't keep them employed, especially during the pandemic. I'll make sure they know that they won't be fired. Because that's the respect that they deserve."
"When I'm barely making ends meet, why would you come after me?"
The support for the bakery has been incredible, says Jackie
Since the visit, people have been visiting Pâtisserie Italia to show their support.
Jackie told MTL Blog that some people have been coming all the way from the other side of the island just to visit and try some of the homemade Italian goods.
And when you see the bakery's Facebook page, it's pouring with love and support from old and new fans, praising the pizza, the desserts, but more importantly the service.
She says she will do whatever she can to stay open.
"If I need to change things I will."
"You need funds to go after the OQLF. Funds that I just don't have."
Le Marché Fooderie, a kosher market on Avenue du Parc, and Cible Jeu, in Ville Saint-Laurent, both pleaded guilty to violating section 52 of the Charter, which says "Catalogues, brochures, folders, commercial directories and any similar publications must be drawn up in French."
The infractions were specifically related to their websites, and each business was fined $1,500.
Guy LaRue, a notary in Verdun, pleaded guilty for posting public signs in French and another language, with French not being clearly predominant. He was fined $600.
Diebold Nixdorf Canada, which specializes in global banking and retail technologies, was fined $1,500 for violating section 140 of the Charter, meaning it did not submit its "francization program" to the OQLF within six months of receiving a notice about it.
"The francization program is intended to generalize the use of French at all levels of the enterprise," the Charter says.
This article's cover photo was used for illustrative purposes only.
Why You Need To Go: For the rest of the summer, seven spaces recreating colourful urban gardens are scattered along avenue Mont Royal. There's a colourful skate park, a light and shadow garden, a rose mural, and other funky spots to check out.
Why You Need To Go: If you've been craving something greasy, you'll be happy to know that you can get a free burger for a limited time at Burger King. All you have to do is download the restaurant's app and place an order over $1 to get a free Whopper.
When: Every day until September 6 from 7 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Address: Place des Commencements; 200, rue de la Commune O., Montréal, QC
Why You Need To Go: You can find Place des Commencements located at the end of the Grand Quai in Old Montreal, which has the most beautiful green terrasse where you can sit on chairs and admire Habitat 67 and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge. It's an ideal spot to watch the sunset.
Address: La Brise du Large; 1800, Chemin des Iroquois, Montreal, QC
Why You Need To Go: This is the new waterfront park on the Lachine Canal, La Brise du Large, that you have to check out this summer if you want to sit in the shade for a picnic or feel like you're in the South.
Why You Need To Go: A trip to the museum is always a good idea — especially when it's free. Note that the Christian Dior et Chapleau – Profession : caricaturiste exposition will cost you $9.50 on Wednesday evenings, but the rest of the museum is free to visit after 5 p.m.
"These were not cute storybook Eric Carle's 'hungry caterpillar' but rather something out of a horror movie," she said. "One or two would be sweet but to see each tree coated with these critters made us uneasy."
Experts told MTL Blog the bugs are most likely LDD moth (Lymantria dispar dispar) caterpillars, an invasive species that has been defoliating trees and pooping everywhere across Quebec, Ontario and the northeastern United States this year.
The moths, commonly known as "gypsy moths," were first brought to North America in 1869 by French artist Étienne Trouvelot, according to an online resource from the University of Wisconsin.
Without "many natural enemies," the moths were able to expand beyond Trouvelot's suburban Boston backyard to become "one of the most important insect pests of forest and shade trees in the eastern United States," the university explains.
McGill university insect pathologist Dr. Gary Dunphy told MTL Blog that, due to the natural ebb and flow of the population, LDD moth outbreaks occur every seven to 10 years.
They like trees such as oak, white pine, white spruce and birch, according to a fact sheet from the Invasive Species Centre.
Also, the caterpillars' tiny bodies are covered in hairs, called setae, which can cause a rash "somewhat like poison ivy," in some people, though it can be treated with antihistamines and over-the-counter medication, said Dunphy.
"The setae or hairs of the insets may elicit rashes several months after the larvae are gone, the hairs being entrapped in tree bark," he said.
They also poop everywhere and their feces, known as frass, makes an audible sound as it falls like rain, covering outdoor furniture, clothes and hair.
Like all LDD moth outbreaks, this year's problem will take care of itself as fungal and viral infections reduce their population, entomologist Gard Otis told MTL Blog.
"But we don't know what next year will bring," he said. "We don't know if the virus is going to sweep through this year and kill them. Or if we're going to have another high number next year before the virus takes them down."
Some communities spray a bacterial insecticide called BTK to control the pests, which "though totally harmless to your pets, to your children, and to yourself," can harm the food chain as it kills all moth and butterfly species.
"That's the insects that provide all the food for your little baby birds," said Otis. "Most of the songbirds here are feeding their young with caterpillars. So, what are they going to feed on?"
He said a more environmentally-friendly defence involves wrapping a burlap sack around the trunk of any tree in need of protection.
"What happens is the caterpillars crawl down out of the tree and rest on the trunk in the daytime. And they like to hide so they hide in the burlap and then you just shake them off into soapy water and that kills him," said Otis.
"So, if you have a few trees that you're worried about, you could do that and cut the infestation back to the point where it's not going to seriously harm them."
As for the caterpillars' long-term effect on the trees, themselves, Otis suggested that repeated visits can cause some damage.
"You have too many gypsy moths for too many years, a few trees will die, but most of them will bounce back."
The 123-unit development, named La Rose des vents, will be a six-storey building located in the Technopôle Angus eco-district in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie.
The building will include commercial space, a social community space on the first floor for tenants and neighbourhood residents to gather, paid laundry facilities, bicycle parking, and a bulletin board area.
The Technopôle Angus eco-district is a neighbourhood in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie featuring 895,000 square feet of housing, offices, public space and green space — all "designed according to the most stringent planning and environmental standards," according to the website.
The new student housing project will be part of an "energy loop" with the other buildings in the green neighbourhood, reducing the entire neighbourhood's drinking water and energy usage.
How much will the units cost?
We’re providing a $20 million loan to @UTILE for a 123-unit building geared primarily to students. Located in the T… https://t.co/IdAvHcHoku
David Harris, media relations officer for the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), told MTL Blog that the building will hold 87 studios, 32 two-bedroom apartments and two three-bedroom units.
Thirty-seven of the building's 123 units will be rented at 78% of the median rent in the area, and affordability will be maintained for at least 20 years.