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The Plateau Wants to Protect and Preserve Numerous Restaurants’ Historic Signs

The borough wants to make sure the retro signage for establishments like Schwartz’s and St-Viateur Bagel will survive into the future

The bright orange sign of Schwartz’s on St-Laurent
Outside Schwartz’s on St-Laurent

The Plateau-Mont-Royal borough is set to protect numerous historic signs from restaurants and other businesses on its territory.

Via Le Devoir, the borough council voted Monday to temporarily protect the signs of nearly 70 businesses. At present, the signs cannot be removed or taken down — another bylaw is in the works to determine which signs will be protected long term, and to put forward specific regulations for how signs should be preserved.

The protected signs include those on various iconic establishment, such as smoked meat hub Schwartz’s, steakhouse Moishes, Café Olimpico, and both Fairmount and St-Viateur bagel stores. But the protection also encompasses a range of historic businesses from Royal Sous-Marin on Bernard through to dive bar Les Verres Sterilisés on Rachel Street. (See the full list of bars, cafés and restaurants whose signs are protected below.)

The preservation project is the brain child of borough councillor Marie Plourde, who scoured the borough herself to devise a list of signs that could be protected. The Plateau-Mont-Royal’s urbanism department then took that list and selected 69 signs deemed worthy of protection. Speaking to Le Devoir, Plourde said that the signs have landmark or historic value, and generally contribute to the urban landscape of the borough.

The project is set to whittle down its list of protected signs in coming months — the borough will consult citizens and historic societies, and will eventually choose a smaller number of signs that will be given protections roughly equivalent to provincial-level heritage status. That means even if a building changes ownership or a business closes, its sign will remain and building owners will be responsible for maintaining it.

Plourde’s plan appears to have been spurred by the saga of the iconic Archambault sign on Berri Street. Its parent company, Quebecor, removed the massive sign in late 2018, drawing some outrage, although it was returned a few months ago. The Plateau was also prompted to act swiftly due to the fact that jewelry store J. Omer Roy is set to close at the end of 2019, and until now, its signage could simply be taken down by the building owner.

It’s unclear whether building owners will be solely responsible for maintaining heritage-listed signs, or whether the Plateau is planning to help — Eater has reached out to Plourde for comment and clarification.

Restaurant and bar signs nominated for protection

Note that not all signs listed below will necessarily be granted long-term protections; for other protected signs, see Le Devoir’s map.

  • Mont-Royal Hot-Dog (Mont-Royal E)
  • Le Fameux (Mont-Royal/St-Denis)
  • Rapido (Mont Royal/St-Denis, closed)
  • L’Express (St-Denis)
  • Quai des Brumes (St-Denis)
  • La Rockette (St-Denis)
  • Café Campus (Prince-Arthur E)
  • Pâtisserie Notre-Dame de Rosaire (Rachel E, business moved to St-Hubert Street)
  • Les Verres Sterilisés (Rachel E)
  • Bar Le Pastel (Rachel E)
  • Plage Montenegro (St-Laurent, closed)
  • La Vieille Europe (St-Laurent)
  • Jano Grillades (St-Laurent)
  • Schwartz’s (St-Laurent)
  • Moishes (St-Laurent)
  • Délli-Cité (St-Laurent, closed, now bar Le Majestique)
  • Balattou (St-Laurent)
  • Le Belmont (St-Laurent)
  • Marché Raphael & Frères (Villeneuve, now Café St-Louis)
  • Chez Gauthier (du Parc, closed)
  • Dairy Queen (du Parc)
  • Les Chocolats Andrée (du Parc, closed)
  • Wilensky (Fairmount)
  • Fairmount Bagel (Fairmount)
  • Café Olimpico (St-Viateur)
  • Club Social (St-Viateur)
  • St-Viateur Bagel (both bakeries, St-Viateur)
  • Rôtisserie Serrano (St-Viateur)
  • Nouveau Palais (Bernard)
  • Royal Sous-Marin (Bernard)

Wilensky's Light Lunch

34 ave. Fairmount Ouest, Montréal, QC H2T 2M1 514-271-0247

Club Social

180 rue Saint-Viateur Ouest, Montréal, QC H2T 2L3 514-495-0114 Visit Website

St-Viateur Bagel

263 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2V 1Y1 (514) 276-8044 Visit Website

Fairmount Bagel

74 Avenue Fairmount Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2M2 (514) 272-0667 Visit Website

Le Majestique Montreal

4105 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1Y7 (514) 439-1850 Visit Website


3961 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1Y4 (514) 845-3509 Visit Website

Café Olimpico

124 Rue Saint Viateur Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2L1 (514) 495-0746 Visit Website


3927 Rue Saint-Denis, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 2M4 (514) 845-5333 Visit Website

Rapido du Plateau

4494 rue Saint-Denis, Montreal, Quebec H2J 2K8 (514) 284 2188

Chocolats Andrée

5328 Du Parc Ave, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2V 4G7 (514) 279-5923 Visit Website

Aux Verres Stérilisés Inc

800 Rue Rachel Est, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2J 2H6 (514) 523-0091

Schwartz's Deli

3895 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 842-4813

Nouveau Palais

281 Rue Bernard Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2V 1T5 (514) 273-1180 Visit Website


3883 Boulevard St-Laurent, Montreal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 849-0646

Serrano Bar-B-Q

161 Rue Saint- Viateur Ouest, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2T 2L4 (514) 271-3728

La Vieille Europe

3855 Boulevard Saint-Laurent, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2W 1X9 (514) 842-5773 Visit Website

Fameux Viande Fumée Et Charcuterie

4500 Rue Saint-Denis, Le Plateau-Mont-Royal, QC H2J 2L3 (514) 845-8732 Visit Website