Dorval residents, business owners meet to brainstorm better look for commercial streets

Citizens brought up issues like empty storefronts and lack of coherence in the design of its streets, namely Dorval Avenue and Lakeshore Drive.

Citizens decry empty storefronts, lack of coherence of design on Dorval Ave. and Lakeshore Dr.

Dorval residents Esther Szeben and Jean-François Leroux attended a public consultation on the revitalization of the city's commercial streets on Saturday. (CBC)

Dorval residents and business owners met today to brainstorm a better look for the city's commercial streets — and for some, the current state of the arteries leaves a lot to be desired.

Citizens brought up issues such as empty storefronts and a lack of coherence in the design of its streets, namely Dorval Avenue and Lakeshore Drive.

"I absolutely think there's some truth to the visual aesthetics of [Dorval Avenue] in terms of building facades and consistency," said Dorval city councillor Chris Von Roretz.

Some ideas that came up during the meeting, which was organized by the City of Dorval and business association Dorval Main Streets, included putting a fountain at Dorval Circle and creating easier accessibility to different parts of Dorval.

"[Dorval Avenue] definitely needs an upgrade," said Mike Nizzola, a Dorval resident who attended the meeting.

"We need more better shops, diversified shops."

For some residents, the key was to approach the two streets in different ways — Lakeshore Drive, the quaint village artery, would serve the population of small businesses and niche products, said Esther Szeben.

"Then you have Dorval's main street, which is a little bit more commercial," she said, adding that she believes it should be approached with an "urban" attitude.

'An international city with an international airport'

The Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport in Dorval brings a high number of workers and travelers to Dorval every day, which some residents see as an opportunity to attract more people to the city's businesses.

"There's lots of space there," said Nizzola of Dorval Circle. "Make it look like an international city with an international airport."

For Pierre Soucy, co-owner of Dorval Avenue shop Robert Richer Jewelers, tapping into that airport traffic has long been a dream.

He added that he's aware upgraded avenues could lead to a bigger tax bill.

"It's always an equation of [what] you know in [relation to] what you can get out of it," Soucy said.

Von Roretz said that one way to get more travelers onto Dorval's main streets is by marketing the arteries to people staying in hotels on the Côte de Liesse Expressway.

Residents and business owners of Dorval met today to brainstorm a better look for its commercial streets — and for some, the current state of the arteries leaves a lot to be desired. (CBC)

"How can we work with those hotels who do contribute in some of these consultations to bring their clients into the village?" he said.

Von Roretz also said he believes the city's administration is willing to invest in beautifying certain parts of Dorval.

Another public meeting is set for Monday from 6 to 9 p.m. at the Sarto-Desnoyers Community Centre (Salon D).

With files from Simon Nakonechny