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SLCW: "Je fais mes courses à pied"

Posted by Laura / May 24, 2007

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Photo of a big hole on Saint Laurent at Marianne, by me

On Tuesday, our very own Mont Royal Avenue became the first street in Quebec to announce a sustainable development plan. How does a street do that?

First it has to have its own development society-- kind of like a merchants association. The Sustainable Development Plan itself tells the tale: in the 70s, families (oh, those families!) were moving out of the Plateau in droves, and were replaced with young professionals with few or no children (horror!) and diminished buying power. In addition to the hardship of becoming the main street of a hip neighborhood, Avenue Mont Royal was hit with the city-wide economic recession, the advent of chain stores, and ever-increasing commercial vacancies. It was also raining. A small but hardy group of Mont Royal entrepeneurs started meeting in 1984, and their efforts led to commercial revitalization. Before long, the Avenue's success was famous throughout Quebec and the rest of the world. The sun shone again.

The Society has as its principle that commercial activities must integrate with residential and community life. This initiative is a perfect example of how to encourage that. It calls to reward local shopping, for business-residence harmony, historic preservation, and greater security on the street. Who can argue with that? Reusable shopping bags, more bike parking, and even bicycles for community use (launching June 14!) are some of the benefits you can expect to experience yourself in the short-term.

Personally, I already do my shopping on foot on Avenue Mont Royal and find it to be quite pleasant. A free shopping bag is always fine by me, however. Anyone else care to speak up about how this might affect them? I assume the main targets are people who usually get in the car to go to Costco instead of hitting the Intermarché down the block.

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