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Vandals Run Rampant on Saint-Henri Merchants

Businesses consider video cameras and security guards.

The scene outside Campanelli last November
The scene outside Campanelli last November

Did anti-gentrification anger motivate the most recent spates of vandalism in Saint-Henri? Ask the man in the $85,000 gold-plated BMW and diamonds in his mouth: "If you sell anything other than 25-cent hot dogs in Saint-Henri, you're not always welcome," Corey Shapiro told Le Journal de Montréal. Shapiro is the conspicuous frontman for Notorious Barbershop, Vintage Frames and Juicyyy Lab, a new juice and salad bar with ads that look like pornography. All three reside on Notre-Dame Ouest in Saint-Henri.

Gold toothpicks to get the food out the diamonds...obviously. #VintageFrames

A photo posted by Corey Shapiro (@vintageframes) on

Another perpetual victim, Tony Campanelli, told Eater last November that he sets aside $3,000 yearly to fix vandalism damage. "They want to blame me for the gentrification of the neighbourhood," the owner of Campanelli café and shop declared to Le Journal. "It's not my fault if condos are popping up everwhere and rents increase." The merchant has set up cameras to dissuade "anti-capitalist" defacers. Campanelli may also band with others to hire a private security patrol to discourage vandals from tagging buildings, breaking windows and leaving excrement in front of businesses.

Sud-Ouest borough mayor Benoit Dorais denounced the acts but refused to classify the vandalism as pervasive. The politician reminded the newspaper that more than 50% of Saint-Henri residents live below the poverty line: "So yes, there are people who find the arrival of wealthier people difficult to handle."


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