Tale of two streets as Ste-Catherine, Mount-Royal go pedestrian-only on weekends

Both Mount Royal Ave. and a downtown portion of Ste. Catherine St. have been closed to car traffic on weekends, but the two roads are experiencing the change in very different way.

On Sunday, Mount-Royal teemed with foot traffic. Aksel Paulus, manager of shoe store Neon, said business has been good.

“The business for my shop is very nice for the moment, because the streets are closed to cars,” he said.

But over on Ste. Catherine St., another shoe store isn't as fortunate.

“There's no more clients,” said Brown's employee Nora Sharo. “There's no more clientele. No more tourists, no more parking, that's for sure.”

The city has announced discounted parking on one thousand parking spots in the area to entice them to shop downtown. But with no summer festivals, few tourists and only about a quarter of the downtown core's workers back at the office, the economic prospects look grim.

Back on Mount-Royal, which relies less on tourists and has more residents to patronize the businesses, bar and restaurant terrasses are filling up.  

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