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  • Writer's pictureEva Tomlin

18 Notices Shut Down Two Restaurants and Four Terraces During Grand Prix

Mayor Plante emphasized that addressing safety issues is a priority, but expressed regret over how inspectors handled their visits on Thursday and Friday. "We must never compromise on safety," she said. "That being said, I'm very concerned about how it was conducted. Tomorrow morning, there will be an administrative review."

She refrained from blaming anyone and mentioned a "communication problem." "It's not black and white," she stated. "I want to handle this properly because we've managed to do it in the past. For now, it seems like there was a significant communication issue, and that's extremely damaging."

When asked if she would apologize to merchants, the mayor was cautious. "I'm sorry it led to chaos on Peel Street, but at the same time, if there are safety issues, we can't overlook them," she affirmed. "No citizen or visitor would say, 'Well, the important thing is to party.' Yes, we need to celebrate, but safely."

Restaurant owner Alain Creton lamented the "lack of communication" between the City and the Fire Department, which forced the closure of his terrace during the Grand Prix weekend, affecting many of his neighbors on Peel Street in Montreal.

Creton expressed that the worst part was not losing Grand Prix-related revenue, but being caught off guard in front of his customers. "Worse than losing money is losing face over something so stupid, ridiculous," he said, nearly in tears. "The Grand Prix is supposed to be about emotion, kindness, fraternity."

He recounted the confusion among his customers when numerous safety inspectors appeared on Friday. "Many clients were asking, 'What's happening, Mr. Creton?' That's when they told us we were in violation."

He explained that following a request from the City, he moved his terrace closer to the restaurant. "We didn't mean to do wrong," he said. "Initially, we set up our terrace legally according to the fire department, but then City officials told us we were too close to the road and needed to move them back. Moving them back suddenly put us in violation of fire regulations. There's real confusion and a glaring lack of communication."

Creton suggested that if the parking spots in front of his business had been removed to allow truck traffic, the situation wouldn't have occurred. "We initially proposed a simple solution: prohibit parking in front of the Cours Mont-Royal. There’s a large open parking lot just down the street. It would have been very simple for everyone."

During the Fire Department's Operation Sentinel on Thursday and Friday, 18 infraction notices were issued, totaling $23,600 in fines, with two restaurants and four terraces closed.

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