An official petition to the Quebec government is calling for the designation of Montreal's Chinatown as a heritage site in order to protect it from "an imminent danger of gentrification and real estate speculation."
Over 1,600 people have signed the petition and are supported by Mayor Valérie Plante, who wrote a letter to the Minister of Culture and Communications, Nathalie Roy, imploring the government to help preserve Chinatown.
The Montreal Gazette reported that concerns were raised after notorious real estate development firm Shiller-Lavy acquired several properties in the northern end of the neighbourhood.
Shiller-Lavy has been accused of harassing and attempting to "renovict" a 90-unit apartment building in the Plateau. The firm was also the target of protests by Mile-End community groups after Shiller-Lavy attempted to increase the rent of the beloved S.W. Welch bookstore.
The petition states that "Chinatown of Montreal faces an imminent danger of gentrification and real estate speculation, raising fears for the future of its residents, businesses, associations and services to the community, but also for the survival of a rich heritage part of which has already been destroyed by real estate projects."