Montreal's St. Denis Street Is Losing Stores As The Area Becomes A Ghost Town

Photo cred - Carol Larsen

Walking up and down the Plateau section of St. Denis street, you may have noticed more and more "ferme/closed" signs popping up. Unfortunately, the trend will likely continue. CTV spoke to a few merchants who have had to close up shop on St. Denis, who believe the street is only going to become more of a ghost town.

Aux Deux Marie café, a St. Denis staple for 20 years, is one of the many recent closures on the street, with the owners looking to move to a city-spot where rent isn't quite so high. According to the owners, after taxes are included, rent is half as much in areas like Mile End or Petit Patrie, making a move off St. Denis an incredibly profitable decision.

Parking is cited as another major obstacle to store/resto owners on St. Denis. In comparison to other areas of the city, parking on St. Denis street is sparse and quite expensive, making customers even less likely to park and grab a meal or quickly purchase an item.

Marie Plourde, Projet Montreal's Plateau borough councilor told CTV that blame should be placed not on the borough's leadership, but on the city's main administration, as they are the ones who set the tax rates for the area. To try and reinvigorate the street, borough leaders plan on setting up new street lamps and more greenery, although how that will aid in the issue of high rent and parking remains unseen.

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