Wed. Feb 28th, 2024

The deterioration of the situation in downtown Montreal is affecting another well-known business in the Village.

Another hard blow for the Village: the Le Passé Compound leaves the neighborhood

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Exasperated by the “unprecedented decadence” of the Ville-Marie district, the management of the bistro Le Passé Compé, located on Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, closes its doors.

  • Stéphane Bordeleau (View profile)Stéphane Bordeleau

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Exasperated by the “unprecedented decadence” of the Ville-Marie district, the management of the bistro on Boulevard De Maisonneuve Est, Le Passé Composé, closed its doors, taking time to relocate to a quieter and “favorable” area for its activities.

In a long message published Thursday on its Facebook account, the management of the establishment threw in the towel.

Out of concern for the safety of our employees and our customers, following numerous events (fire, theft, vandalism, presence of syringes and human excrement on our terrace every new day, use of our facilities as a makeshift camp and harassment employees and customers), we must temporarily suspend our operations and move them to another sector, writes the restaurant management.

We have lived together for more than seven years and are very willing to help in a neighborhood where poverty is at its peak, but the lack of resources and denial from the city authorities prevent merchants from finding a viable balance.

A quote from Excerpt from the message published on Facebook by the management of the bistro Le Passé Compé

The Ville-Marie district is in the grip of unprecedented decadence, which prevents us from investing in this location in order to counter the obsolescence of our premises.

In addition, the surge in the price of rent, salaries and food makes profit margins non-existent, underlines the management of the restaurant which must completely close its doors in order to be able to move elsewhere.

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The compulsory investment to temporarily continue to operate in our current premises could compromise the investment necessary for our new installations, we explain.

The departure of this popular bistro from the Village is just another episode in the exodus of merchants from the neighborhood once renowned for its welcome and nightlife.

A phenomenon illustrated in particular by the closure in June 2023 of the Archambault store, at the corner of Sainte-Catherine Est and Berri streets, which had been established on the street since 1930. Over the years, this sector of the city of Montreal has become a laboratory for urban diversity, and is no longer able to generate sufficient traffic, the company's management said at the time.

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The head office of the Archambault stores at the corner of Berri and Sainte-Catherine Est streets has opened its doors in 1930. It is now closed.

Several restaurateurs in the sector said they were seriously considering closing their terraces last summer due to the increase in insecurity in the neighborhood. Known for the traffic on its terraces, Sainte-Catherine Street, pedestrianized throughout the summer, attracted fewer customers last summer because it became a convergence point for the homeless, drug addicts and people in crisis.

As empty storefronts multiply, all eyes are on the municipal administration, which is accused of not doing enough to secure the neighborhood.< /p>

In June, Mayor Valérie Plante presented a Collective Intervention Strategy for the Village, made up of a series of measures to secure the neighborhood's streets and parks and protect its residential and tourist vocation. But the problem, which affects many cities across the country, is complex and the results are still awaited.

The neighborhood is in bad shape… We say so since the start of the pandemic. It's a neighborhood that lives at night, so when everything stopped overnight, it hurt that neighborhood, explained on the microphone of the show Tout un matinGabrielle Rondy, general director of the Village Commercial Development Corporation (SDC).

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Last summer, the rate of vacant commercial premises throughout Rue Sainte -Catherine's was 18.2%, a high. On Sainte-Catherine Est, it was more than 21.5%.

People have been saying for years that the Village needs help. […] There are significant cohabitation problems, there are a lot of community organizations in the sector, there are a lot of marginalized people.

A quote from Gabrielle Rondy, general director of the Commercial Development Corporation du Village

The main difficulty, explains Ms. Rondy, is the fluidity of the situation insofar as we are dealing with human beings who move over the hours and days. They're going to be in a park, in a business entrance, in another entrance, in another neighborhood the next day.

Traders find it difficult, customers too. We see, the City is making an effort, but is it enough? We need to do more and the Quebec government needs to do more. […] We must protect the sector. The Village is important.

To improve the situation, Gabrielle Rondy believes that more resources are needed directly deployed on the ground, such as the brigade EMMIS, whose speakers were only two last summer to cover the entire Village and the Latin Quarter.

According to Ms. Rondy, we need more mixed police brigades incorporating social workers, more nurses, more street workers, etc.

En regarding the closure of the Le Passé Compé bistro, Ms. Rondy said she was surprised to learn of its move. She also specifies that, even if the business is not located in the area served by her SDC, her organization always remains open to requests for help and information from businesses in the neighborhood, whether or not they are members of the SDC.

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