UPDATE: Another Bishop Street merchant expressing despair over construction, neglect
A Bishop Street bar owner says the sidewalk in front of his business is a total mess, and not just because of the construction work being done.
Allain Veillette owns Kenoh Bar, which has been hidden behind a major construction site for over a year.
He says the city has totally neglected him and his neighbours.
“I understand the work needs to be done,” he said in an interview with CJAD 800 News. “What bothers me is when there is garbage lying around.”
He says garbage piles up at the entrance to the dead end section of the sidewalk, created by worksite fencing that runs along the edge of the street.
“They always leave rubbish on the street,” said Louis Bennet, who works at a hostel just a few doors down from Kenoh Bar. “Sometimes the bags will break and that’s why it all just kind of spreads out everywhere.”
Veillette says often garbage trucks will just pass by without noticing the piles of trash, further blocking access to pedestrians and creating a breeding ground for rodents.
“It’s littered in garbage, there are rats that come out at night,” he said. “There are crackheads and dealers that are here every day. They’re screaming, and obviously tripping.”
He says he has had to personally clean up used syringes, broken crack pipes, and human feces from the sidewalk his terrace sits on.
“There are families that come here and a lot of time they are afraid to be here,” he said. “It sucks.”
Five of the seven businesses on along the strip of Bishop that is blocked by the worksite have since closed down.
Mesa 14 was a Mexican restaurant and bar that closed up shop and moved to a new neighbourhood after the construction started. Now, the entrance to that shop is occupied by a number of homeless people, who openly drink and use drugs in the middle of the day, according to Veillette.
“A lot of dodgy people use this place now because it’s out of the way, out of sight,” Bennet said.
A city spokesperson told CJAD 800 that the most efficient way to alert them to such situations is to contact 311 or use the Montréal-Services aux citoyens app to report things such as dirty conditions, graffiti, potholes or defective lamp posts.