The owner of a bar in the Gay Village is defying the city’s strict rules on terraces. It’s all in the name of accessibility.
Bar Renard on Ste-Catherine Street has been told their terrace is too high up, and that the ramp is too steep.
The city initially told them they would have to rebuild it lower. The bar refused.
They say the current design allows the bar to be accessible to people in wheelchairs.
Their general manager says they built the terrace in open defiance of city rules on purpose.
“Here we decided not to do it on purpose, because we want to change those rules. We want to, by this statement, to start a new debate about that,” Charles-Etienne Begin told Global News.
The terrace is being applauded by disabled rights activist Linda Gauthier.
“They wanted also to make the inside and the washroom accessible to people in wheelchair, so they had to do it a little higher,” said Gauthier, the president of RAPLIQ.
The city tells Global News they’ve informed the owner they will not force the bar to lower the terrace for this year, even though it’s too high and they say the ramp is too steep.
They will ask the bar to remove the lights and plants that hang above, because they’re too close to second floor windows.
But Renard says they won’t do that. They want to continue to fight to have terrace laws changed.
They’ve planned a 5 à 7 on Monday, in support of RAPLIQ. They also have an online petition that has over 600 supporters.