St-Michel residents still in dark, without water after water main break

About 800 homes and businesses in the Montreal neighbourhood of St-Michel have no electricity and no running water this evening after a water main burst early Friday morning at the corner of Pie-IX Boulevard and Villeray Street.

City issues boil water advisory to large area of St-Michel and St-Léonard


  • Power expected to be restored Saturday
  • Intersection of Pie-IX and Villeray will be closed until Monday
  • Boil water advisory in effect in St-Michel, St-Leonard neighbourhoods
  • Water main break fixed

About 800 homes and businesses in the Montreal neighbourhood of St-Michel will have no electricity and no running water until Saturday morning due to a water main break early Friday at the corner of Pie-IX Boulevard and Villeray Street.

The borough is asking people without power to stay home Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. so that a master electrician can verify the electrical boxes in every building.

"It's just to check if everything is OK. Once that's done, tomorrow Hydro-Québec will put on the electricity. But we have to make sure that every house is visited by the master electrician. It's very important," borough mayor Anie Samson told CBC during an interview Friday evening.

Boil water advisory

The break of the 48-inch pipe caused streets and basements to quickly flood, forcing homes to be evacuated and several schools to close for the day.

It also prompted a boil water advisory, which continues to affect 75,000 people, including people who live in:

  • St-Léonard : the area bordered by the Highway 40, Des Grandes-Prairies Boulevard, Provencher Boulevard and Pascal-Gagnon Street.
  • Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension: the area bordered by Crémazie, Rosemont, Pie-IX and Saint-Michel boulevards.

People are being asked to boil their tap water for at least one minute before consuming it, or use bottled water instead. The advisory is in effect until further notice.

Several streets were blocked to traffic:

  • The closed-off area is bordered by Pie-IX Boulevard, 17th Avenue, Jarry Street and Jean-Talon Street.

Borough officials advised commuters to avoid the area and said the intersection of Pie-IX Boulevard and Villeray Street will remain closed at least until Monday while crews work to repair the water main.

Water flowed for hours

Montreal police received a call shortly before 5 a.m. about water flooding on the corner of Pie-IX Boulevard and Villeray Street.

Resident Adnan Ghieh said his son woke him up early this morning to tell him water was seeping into their basement. 

"I tried to put up wood to block the water from coming in, but I couldn't stop it," he said. "It's up to our knees."

Ghieh said both his sons' rooms are in the basement, and he's hopeful either his insurance or the city will cover the damage. 

Adnan Ghieh says the water in his basement is "up to our knees." (Jay Turnbull/CBC)

"We have a TV, a computer, clothes, everything is in the basement," he said.

Electricity was cut off in the area,

Close to 9 a.m., water was still flowing from a 48-inch pipe. Workers said four valves need to be shut off to end the flow of water. 

Léonard-De Vinci School with the Commission Scolaire de Montréal was closed for the day. An adult education centre in the neighbourhood was also closed.

Firefighters shut off water to the pipe around 10 a.m.

No injuries were reported.

Water-bottle distribution

The borough is distributing water bottles. Residents affected by the water main break can go to 3699 Crémazie East on Friday evening from 6 p.m. to 10 p.m. They must provide a proof of address.

Since an evacuation order was issued, city officials took over a nearby community centre, Patro Le Prevost, to provide shelter for people who were forced from their homes.

The centre at 7355 Christophe-Colomb Ave., between Everett and Jean-Talon, is now an emergency shelter.

All activities at the centre are cancelled until further notice.

People can call  514 273-8535, extension 0 for information.


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