The City of Montreal is in hot water with restaurant owners along rue St-Denis in the Quartier Latin. According to TVA Nouvelles, Montreal municipal authorities are planning to standardize the look of all terrasses along St-Denis street, and eventually, all of downtown.
While nothing is set in stone, the city council is hosting a meeting on March 25th to listen to concerns and make a decision on these potential new regulations. Martin Guimond, owner of Le Saint-Bock on rue St-Denis warns that terrasses will "lose their personalities", which could negatively impact business along the bustling street.
TL;DR The City of Montreal is planning regulations that will make all terrasses in downtown Montreal look exactly the same. Business owners are worried that this will be bad for business since Montreal terrasses are so unique compared to other cities. City officials will make a decision after meetings on March 25th.
Rue St-Denis boasts one of the more impressive selections of terrasses in the summer. Should the amendment to terrasse rules go through, business owners along the street worry that tourists won't want to come anymore. Many say that people visit their establishment because their terrasse is so attractive.
Martin Guimond even says that terrasses in the Quartier Latin hold "significant cultural importance for the neighbourhood". Not only that, but new regulations could drastically affect the associated costs of opening a terrasse. With recent repairs costing upwards of $150,000, according to 98.5 FM Montreal, new regulations could cost business owners even more.
In the worst case scenario, some businesses might be forced to remove their terrasses altogether if even more regulations are put in place. The city claims that they will listen to all concerns and evaluate their decisions based on those concerns, but business owners aren't convinced.
Financial risks are at the forefront of their concerns, but the outlook of a uniformed Montreal terrasse look is quite grim, to say the least.
The terrasse is a singular experience in Montreal. Many people love them because they're so different. From wobbly tables to splintery benches, to extraordinary designs and quirky concepts, everyone has their favourite. Let's not forget the famous giant heat lamps for smokers.
Many terrasses in the city are already heavily regulated and people are concerned that even more regulations will convince bar and restaurant owners that a terrasse isn't worth the investment. That would spell doom not only for people's summer plans but also for the industry as a whole.
Let's not forget the outcry when smoking was banned on terrasses in Montreal in 2016. Though many businesses survived that, a uniform terrasse look might not work out so well. The city will decide next Monday. Let's all hope it's for the best.
If you think a uniform terrasse look is a terrible idea, be sure to pay attention to the city council meeting happening on March 25th.
Stay tuned for updates on this developing story.