Terrace shutdown fiasco: Mayor Plante meets with Peel Street restaurant owners

By News Staff

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante met with Peel Street business owners late Tuesday afternoon to go over last week’s chaotic terrace shutdowns and propose her solutions to avoid something like this in the future.

Earlier in the day, Plante told reporters that she would be presenting those solution to merchants directly – before revealing any of the details publicly.

“It was terrible to see, and I can only imagine for those who were on the terraces and the restaurant owners,” Plante said at an unrelated press conference Tuesday.

BACKGROUND: Packed Peel Street terrace shut down on busy Grand Prix weekend

The fallout is continuing from the decision by civilian employees of the Service de securite incendie de Montreal’s (SIM) – not firefighters – to close down terraces on Peel Street, some packed with customers, on Friday before the Canadian Grand Prix, which is historically one of the most profitable weekends for restaurateurs in Montreal.

The SIM officials said the terraces were not up to code because they were 58 centimetres too close to the establishments and a potential fire risk as the terraces had tents.

One of those terraces belonged to Ferreira Café. Groupe Ferreira director of operations Sandra Ferreira shared her account of the shutdown on social media; the more than seven-minute long, tear-filled video went viral with millions of views.

Sandra Ferreira, Groupe Ferreira director of operations
Sandra Ferreira, director of operations for Groupe Ferreira, on Peel Street, June 10, 2024. (Swidda Rassy, CityNews)

Plante said what happened was “cavalier.”

“That’s not the way we work in Montreal,” the mayor added.

Two SIM employees were suspended on Monday pending an internal administrative investigation.

Plante said she held a first meeting with restaurant owners on Monday.

“We were also working to ensure that the terraces on Peel will come back, in what form and that, above all, they will make it through the summer,” Plante said.

“Because there is no question that the chaos that happened Friday night ever happens again.”

Plante called the dossier a priority for her and the Ville-Marie borough, adding she’s heard from furious Montrealers and is listening.

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