Montreal abandons plan to makeover Place Jacques-Cartier by next year

A $5-million plan to revamp one of Montreal’s busiest tourist areas has been shelved.

City will still try to refurbish popular tourist destination, but not in time for the 375th anniversary

The upgrades to Place Jacques-Cartier are intended to make the square more pedestrian friendly. Restaurant terrasses would be erected in a centralized location instead of outside individual restaurants.

A plan to revamp one of Montreal's busiest tourist areas has been shelved, Radio-Canada has learned.

In January, the city unveiled plans to overhaul Place Jacques-Cartier in Old Montreal in time for next year's 375th anniversary celebrations.

The project would have included new, standardized terrasses installed in a central location instead of outside individual restaurants.

The plan was to improve access to businesses on the street and a create space to hold winter activities.

But restaurant owners said the plan raises safety and hygiene issues with waiters having to walk further to bring customers their food and were concerned about losing business, since in some cases the new patio would be smaller than their existing ones.

Only one business placed a bid for the contract to carry out the work, and its proposal was well above the city's $5-million estimate, so the city cancelled the call for tenders.

The city still intends to renovate the area, but only after the festivities planned for the anniversary.