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)