Confusion over terrasse bylaw leads to emotional night on Peel Street during F1 | Local News

Montreal restaurant owners on Peel Street found themselves in a state of confusion and frustration as they were forced to close their terrasses on the first night of the Montreal Grand Prix due to violations of the terrasse bylaw. The issue revolved around the tent tops being too close to the buildings, posing a fire hazard, according to fire prevention officers. Despite claims of miscommunication and misunderstandings, several restaurant owners received fines for non-compliance.

Ferreira Cafe owner Sandra Ferreira expressed her embarrassment and disappointment in a video posted on Instagram after being fined for failing to take down the tent covering her patio. She emphasized the lack of clarity and communication from authorities, stating that she had the proper permits for the terrasse. The emotional evening resulted in a $1,326 ticket for Ferreira, leaving her bewildered about the situation.

According to Guy Lapointe, a division chief with the Montreal fire department, restaurant owners were previously informed about the non-compliance of their tent tops with the bylaw regulations. Despite efforts to work with the owners to find solutions, the terrasses were shut down as a last resort due to safety concerns. The confusion stemmed from differing interpretations of the permissions granted to the establishments over the Grand Prix weekend.

The Downtown Business Development Corporation (SDC) allegedly communicated to bar and restaurant owners on Peel Street that they had special permission to maintain their terrasse tents during the Grand Prix weekend, leading to further confusion. The handling of the situation by the fire safety service raised concerns over the economic impact on businesses downtown, particularly during a busy event like the Grand Prix.

Moving forward, Montreal’s fire safety service will continue to monitor compliance with regulations during the Grand Prix weekend to ensure public safety. Despite the setbacks, restaurant owners like Sandra Ferreira remain hopeful for a resolution that allows them to make the most of the festivities while adhering to the necessary safety measures.

The conflicting interpretations of permissions, coupled with strict regulations and safety concerns, have highlighted the challenges faced by businesses during high-profile events like the Montreal Grand Prix. As authorities work towards resolving the misunderstandings, restaurant owners and patrons alike hope for a smoother and more enjoyable experience in the days to come.