June 20, 2018 2:22 pm
Updated: June 20, 2018 2:42 pm

Jean Talon Market merchants speak out against plans for public square

WATCH ABOVE: Some merchants at the Jean Talon market are not happy about new plans to build a public square. Global's Phil Carpenter reports.

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Some merchants at the Jean Talon Market are not happy at all about new plans for the area.

“Well, they’re taking away 10 parking spots basically, OK, to put a park or some leisure thing,” fumes Joe Romito at Marche Tania.

The borough wants to build a public square on the west side of the market next to Casgrain Avenue. It’ll be just beside the SAQ and the Premiere Moisson. One merchant muses that they want it to be just like Place Shamrock, a pedestrian-only area right across from the market at Casgrain and Shamrock avenues.

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But the merchants say getting rid of 10 parking spots when there are only around 50 doesn’t make sense.

“I know everybody wants to make good decisions for us,” says Giancarlo Bono who works at Chez Michel which specializes in vegetables and flowers, “but at one point, you’re gonna have to ask us what’s good or not for the market.”

READ MORE: Citizen group launches public consultation on future of Jean-Talon market

There will still be just over 20 parking spots on the south side, but with fewer spaces, it will be harder for clients to find parking in an already crowded space, the business owners point out, and if the customers park far away and buy a lot of items, they have no way to bring their shopping back to their car.

It’ll also be harder for delivery trucks.

There is an underground parking lot but business owners say it’s not good for some clients.

“If they buy a lot of merchandise,” Romito explains, “boxes or whatever they buy, they can’t even bring it down because there’s no elevator.”

He says there are better locations for the square nearby like a vacant lot directly across the street and beside Place Shamrock.

“It’s been open, empty, for five years,” fumes Romito.

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The merchants say that they’ve lost so much parking over the years already, they think it’s only a matter of time before they lose it all.

Construction for the square is supposed to begin next month but business owners hope speaking out about their concerns will put a stop to the project.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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