Some business owners in NDG are angry with the city after hey say their water was cut off Tuesday morning with no advanced warning, crippling their stores.
“This morning, my husband came in to clean the soft-serve machine, and then realized there’s no water,” said Sandrine Campeau-Simeone, who recently opened Sandrini Confections near the corner of Sherbrooke and Wilson.
She recently quit her office job to follow her dream and open the store that sells gelato and other sweets. On Monday her dream was on hold.
“Today there’s no water, so there’s no gelato, no cakes, and no slush,” she told Global News.
Campeau-Simeone said the city cut off the water without notice, and she claimed it’s the third time in three weeks she was forced to close because the city cut her water.
“Because I’m newly established, there’s also a question of consistency. If you’re open, closed, open, closed it just causes frustration,” she said.
Quebec regulations state food establishments cannot be open without running water.
“The basic fundamental of washing your hands, you can’t do, right?” said Campeau-Simeone. “I got no notice. Nothing.”
The flower shop next door was also blindsided.
“This is a florist we need a lot of water for the plants. If you tell us yesterday we can prepare that, but now what can I do?” said Cleo Wong of Iris Florist.
There is construction on Wilson nearby, and last week residents in the area were given notice that their water would be cut. The businesses say they received no such warning.
“There can only be so many bumps in the road, and then eventually maybe it’s not so viable. I just want the city to be aware I care about these things,” Campeau-Simeone said.
Notre-Boeuf-de-Grace and Double Pizza across the street also had their water cut without notice.
“I’m frustrated,” said Campeau-Simeone. “I feel like the right hand’s not speaking to the left hand. There’s a breakdown somewhere in the communication, the planning.”
Annalisa Harris, chief of staff for NDG-Cote-des-Neiges borough mayor Sue Montgomery, said the outages had to do with work on Madison Avenue to replace lead water service connections.
“City workers estimated that merchants on Sherbrooke West would be able to maintain tap water. Unfortunately, that was not the case. Water service was disrupted on Sherbrooke West today,” she wrote in an email to Global News. She didn’t explain why the businesses were not notified.
After repeated calls to the borough, Campeau-Simeone was told the water would return Tuesday evening. She hopes next time, she doesn’t find out by opening the faucet.