In past summers, the number of people walking in and out of stores on Sainte-Catherine slowly begins to multiply around this time of year. With this in mind, I couldn't help but wonder if this busy street will soon back to the way it once was. So, I spoke with officials from the City of Montreal to find out what locals can expect when stores begin to reopen on popular streets like Sainte-Catherine.

As it stands right now, retail stores on Sainte-Catherine, along with everywhere else in Greater Montreal, that have their own outside entrances are expected to reopen as of May 25.

This is in line with the date given by the Government of Quebec's gradual reopening of retail stores in the Greater Montreal area, which has already been pushed back twice.

While nothing can be said for certain until the actual event of reopening Montreal stores begins, I asked the City of Montreal about what they anticipate to happen once such does take place.

My questions focused on Sainte-Catherine street, but the majority of the answers are fitting for any highly occupied street in Montreal.

You can read my interview with the City below.

What can Montrealers expect if stores on Sainte-Catherine start opening up again as of May 25? 

In terms of traffic, the few examples of cities around the world that have already allowed the reopening of businesses to show a relatively slow return of customers. Montrealers could experience a similar situation.

In downtown Montreal, visitors, tourists and workers represent the main sources of business traffic. However, these clienteles are currently not very present because of confinement.

Since teleworking will probably be the preferred method for the next several weeks, a large proportion of downtown workers will not be back in the short term, which will limit business traffic and allow us all to get used to our new reality.

Will the street be heavily monitored by police to ensure social distancing?

High-density commercial roads, such as rue Sainte-Catherine, avenue Mont-Royal, or rue Saint-Laurent, will require special attention to ensure that people are physically distanced from one another.

In the specific case of rue Sainte-Catherine Ouest, the pedestrian corridors in the sector under construction will be one-way to encourage distance between people.

Do you think things will simply go back to the way they were in regards to how busy Sainte-Catherine usually is? If not, what will be the main changes being made on the street?

Managing traffic inside businesses could lead to line-ups on public property (sidewalks).

Montreal is putting in place measures to increase the capacity of the public domain, including the implementation of sanitary corridors.

Will stores be forced to reopen once the government gives the ok, or will each store get to decide their own reopening date?

When the Government of Quebec authorizes businesses to open their establishments to the public, each merchant will then be able to decide when to resume its activities.

Merchants will be able to choose the best time to open their doors, following the implementation of measures to ensure the protection of their employees and customers.

No business will be forced to resume operations.

Do you have any advice for Montrealers as they start shopping in stores upon their reopening?

Montreal invites Montrealers to respect physical distancing as recommended by the Direction de la santé publique.

Several measures can be taken by consumers to limit the risks associated with shopping. Shopping online with Quebec merchants is still the best strategy.

And when they go to a store, they must make sure they do not present symptoms associated with COVID-19. At all times, customers must maintain a physical distance of two metres from other people in the stores.

It is also recommended that only one family member be designated to make purchases.


Stay tuned for more Montreal news!

Account Settings
Notifications
Favourites
Log Out