Montreal to hold public consultations on empty storefronts

Montreal to hold public consultations on empty storefronts

The City of Montreal is reaching out to residents and business owners to help determine what can be done about a growing number of empty storefronts on commercial arteries.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced on Monday the city’s committee on economic, urban and housing development will hold public consultations on the issue next year.

“It will lead to a series of recommendations and innovative solutions that will allow us to revitalize this vital sector of the Montreal economy,” she said in a statement.

The Projet Montréal administration believes up to 15 per cent of storefronts on the city’s main streets are empty. Plante pointed to arteries such as St-Laurent Boulevard, Ste-Catherine Street and St-Denis Street as examples of where businesses are struggling.

Business owners in Montreal are facing several challenges including high rents and the rising popularity of online stores, according to the city.

Starting in September, the committee will conduct a study on empty storefronts and analyze the best solutions to address the issue. In December, it will present its findings and then public consultations will then be held in January 2020.

“Commercial arteries play a fundamental role in the vitality of neighborhoods and in the economic development of the city. They are at the heart of the concerns of our administration,” said Plante.

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— With files from Global News’ Brittany Henriques