The City of Montreal’s economic development department has just published the update of its field survey on commercial occupancy, which provides a portrait of street commerce over the past year. Summary in ten data.

Vacancy rate for commercial premises across the entire island of Montreal in 2023. It has been around 13% since 2021. The data was collected between May and August 2023 across the entire territory, and the survey made it possible to list 28,256 commercial premises with commercial signs visible from the street. The premises are located on the ground floor or in the basement. There were 3,781 vacant premises.

In the city center, the situation continued to deteriorate for merchants, as 20% of the 4,272 premises were vacant, or 853. In two years, a net 133 more premises became available. The vacancy rate increased from 17.7% in 2021 to 20% in 2023. This is the sector of the island where the commercial reality is the most negative. Note that the survey does not include underground shopping malls in the city center or fast food areas in office towers.

Surprisingly, the number of restaurants increased by 68 establishments in one year in the Montreal metropolitan area, despite all the pitfalls (labor, inflation, unfulfilled reservations, etc.). There are now 4,057 on the island. That’s more than grocery stores, convenience stores and coffee shops combined. “The increase in the number of restaurants is a bit strange,” says Jean-François Grenier, senior director at Altus Analytical Solutions, a division of the Altus Group. It is possible that this addition is the work of small restaurants like Poke Bowl whose investments necessary for this type of business are low. “At 1250 René Lévesque, there were about a dozen fast-food restaurants before the pandemic,” he recalls. There are only two left. »

This is the number of restaurants in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, up 8 in one year. This is more than the 309 restaurants in Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, the 277 establishments in Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension and the 154 addresses in the Sud-Ouest borough.

You probably know parents waiting for a place in daycare. Against all expectations, 12 of these services closed their doors in 2023 on the island. These are undoubtedly private, unsubsidized establishments offering places at $50 or more per day. Despite the tax credit refundable by advance payments, the net price difference between the subsidized network and the unsubsidized network exceeds $8 per day for a couple of two professionals earning $135,000 per year with a child in the service guard. There are 803 childcare services in the metropolitan area.

Number of grocery stores on the island of Montreal, up 52 in one year, or 3.25%. There are also 1,252 convenience stores, down 15 in 12 months. Fewer convenience stores than grocery stores, who would have thought?

Number of food markets per 1000 inhabitants in Plateau-Mont-Royal, the highest ratio on the island. It is followed by Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, at 1.42, and Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, at 1.33. Downtown has a rate above 1, contrary to perceptions of a “food desert.” This is also the case for Westmount and the South-West. Across the island of Montreal, there are 0.81 grocery stores per 1000 inhabitants or 1 grocery store per 1235 inhabitants. The lowest rates are observed in eccentric neighborhoods or in linked cities. The exception being Verdun with a ratio of 0.47 per 1000 inhabitants, or 1 grocery store per 2127 inhabitants on average.

This is the commercial density observed in the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough. This ratio is obtained by dividing the number of commercial premises by 1000 inhabitants. With nearly 3,000 premises, the Plateau has the second largest commercial concentration on the island, after the city center at 41.5. Despite the abundance of business locations, the vacancy rate is slightly above the regional average at 14.9%, down 2.4 percentage points in two years.

Lowest vacancy rate of all boroughs and related cities with a significant commercial presence. It is in Pointe-Claire that we find it. The city has 5 shopping centers, including Fairview Pointe-Claire, and 556 stores in total. There are 45 vacant premises there. The district of LaSalle, which is home to Carrefour Angrignon, is doing almost as well with a vacancy rate of 8.3% among its 831 various businesses.

At the other end of the spectrum, it is the city of Montreal East which displays the highest proportion of vacant stores, with 10 empty premises out of the 54 business places recorded on its territory. More significant is the situation in the South-West district, where 221 premises are abandoned among the 1244 businesses for a vacancy rate of 17.8%.