Montreal

Is Monkland Village falling into disrepair? Some business owners think so

As the summer shopping season gets into full swing, some restaurant owners say the borough of Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce has been neglecting the street — failing to keep it attractive to potential customers.

CDN—NDG officials say plans to upgrade the commercial strip are already underway

Monkland resident and owner of Hopkins Restaurant Nicolina Servello says more needs to be done to improve the street. (Simon Nakonechny/CBC)

Some Monkland Village business owners say that garbage, weeds and other signs of neglect are hurting the area.

"Monkland has gone from a beautiful, vivacious commerce street to a filthy embarrassment," said Nicolina Servello​​​​​​, owner of Hopkins Restaurant.

"I'm ashamed of its decline."

The business owners want the city to step up its cleaning and beautification efforts, but Côte-Des-Neiges—Notre-Dame-De-Grâce Mayor Sue Montgomery says that's exactly what officials are already doing.

These complaints come as the borough is spending $115,000 to upgrade the street. Part of that investment includes 18 new tree beds to be added between Girouard and Hingston avenues.

Still, business owners accuse the borough of abandoning the commercial artery in recent years.

"In the last three years the decline of Monkland [Avenue] has just been unbelievable," Servello said, citing the lack of greenery as the main problem.

Monkland Avenue sidewalk cutouts appear neglected this season and it's a problem that dates back a few years, some restaurant owners say. ( Kristy Snell/CBC)

Servello, who also lives in the area, said the borough has failed to maintain cutouts in the sidewalk where normally flowers and other greenery are planted. 

"It saddens me," she said.

Some sidewalk cutouts meant for trees are completely empty aside from a mix of unwanted urban undergrowth. 

The street, she said, is still dirty with autumn leaves and winter gravel.

Pizza 900 co-owner Paul Soucie agrees. He wishes the borough would step up and do the basics.

"They don't pick up," he said. "They don't clean. The garbage there is never emptied."

However, Montgomery has been meeting with business owners in the area and she said those corner flower beds that seem untended are actually going to be excavated to make room for new trees. 

"We're doing what we can with flowers and trees," Montgomery said. "We've listened to the residents and business owners about having extra trees, so we're doing that."

Crews have already begun breaking out sidewalk cutouts on Monkland Avenue this week in an effort to add more trees to the street as part of a $115K upgrade. (CBC)

A borough spokesperson said there are two planters on Monkland, located at Benny and Draper avenues, and borough workers are scheduled to check up on the situation and do any necessary maintenance.

While the planned 18 trees aren't going to be planted until the fall, work on the tree beds began this week.

With files from Simon Nakonechny

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