COVID restrictions turn Old Montreal into a violent district



Montreal — Old Montreal’s restaurant, Le Senatur, owner Huad Philari, has replaced young people who are violent and sometimes harass women on behalf of families with children visiting the historic center. It was replaced.

The iconic district of Montreal has been struggling without many tourists since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, making the area dangerous, especially at night, for residents, business owners and workers. It states. They say they hope Montreal will resume from COVID-19 restrictions and the turmoil will end when tourists return.

In a recent interview about violence in the area, Philari, who has run his restaurant for over 25 years, said, “It has created a terrifying climate.” “Now I’m closing my staff. Sometimes (at night) I lock the door so that no one can open it. “

Last September, several people, including a Montreal police officer, were injured in a gun battle in the area. In April, a mob was upset by a COVID-19 stay-at-home order, igniting a garbage fire in the neighborhood, breaking store windows, and fighting police. Most recently, an 18-year-old woman was shot in the foot and a 19-year-old man was stabbed in the upper body at an outdoor party last weekend celebrating the end of a stay-at-home order that began in January.

Due to the recent riots, the federal agency that owns the Old Port of Montreal has imposed a curfew on the land between the railroad tracks adjacent to the Old Port of Montreal and the St. Lawrence River. Old Port spokeswoman Jean-Philippe Rochette said the company wants to ensure respect for health orders.

“There have been a lot of surprises in the last 14 months,” Rochette said of a fierce outdoor party in the area. “Usually it’s a tourism and family-friendly sector and we’ll keep it.”

Resident Veronique Pascal has lived in the area for the past four years, parties and noisy noises have always been part of the area’s life, but the health crisis exacerbates the problem.

“Old-fashioned Montreal is usually fashionable,” she said in a recent interview. “We’re telling ourselves that we’re protected by this luxury, but the pandemic has changed everything. . “

Carolyn Pinto Cerale, who has lived in Old Montreal for the past 15 years, does not call this neighborhood luxurious. She says constant street parties have kept residents away since the bar closed last October.

“Modified cars, fights, crazy driving, trash everywhere, and many people use the front door as a toilet … they have to warn their kids to avoid pee pools. Is a little disappointing, “she said.

On May 28, the Quebec government lifted the stay-at-home order and reopened restaurant patios throughout the state. Since then, videos of large street parties and violence in Old Montreal have been posted on social media.

For 28-year-old Nelsy Raoul, the sudden liberation explains the city’s mayhem.

In a recent interview, Raul, who works at the restaurant Contoire 400, said, “If you take people for a long time and return everything at the same time, this will happen.” She understands the need to celebrate, but violence. I’m blaming you.

Raoul says it’s the first time he’s been worried about the area since he started working at the restaurant four years ago. “We are all much more worried than before. We have witnessed some fights and we avoid going home alone,” she said.

For Celle, she said, the curfew of the old port, which will be implemented until further notice, only pushes the problem into the residential area and cannot ensure the safety of the people.

“When I go for a walk, a group of drunken youths make rude comments, so I don’t think talking to them will react peacefully,” Cellere said.

The increase in the number of clubs and restaurants along Rue de la Commune, Old Montreal’s main street, over the last few years has helped attract troublemakers, she said.

“Since the stay-at-home order was lifted, all of these people have come here to celebrate, but they have no place to do it,” Cellere said.

The Montreal restaurant will be fully reopened on Monday and the bar patio will be reopened on June 11th, but indoor private gatherings are still banned.

Pascal said he believes that if people have a place to go, fewer people will choose to party on the streets of Old Montreal.

“People are trapped, so it will be an adjustment,” she said.

Virginia Ann

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