Anyone in Montreal will tell you Pride Week is the Village’s Grand Prix.
Thousands of people from every corner flock to the area to party, bar hop and, of course, attend the parade.
It’s when the village shines.
But, the pandemic has cast a different light on the area. Lingering sanitary restrictions and a lack of tourists haven’t been kind.
“We do a lot of money with the Americans so you know, we’re optimistic but we still need more ease on the restrictions,” says Salem Nefzaoui, the owner of Mon Osti de Resto on Ste. Catherine St. East.
Like many other bar and restaurant owners in the area, Nefzaoui is hoping to see an ease of sanitary restrictions for pride week.
“We’ve been closed for over a year, the restaurant and bars are kind of suffering,” said Nefzaoui.
Pride Week kicks off on August 9, the same day Americans will be allowed to cross the border into Canada for non-essential travel.
“I’m happy that they are asking the government to let us open.”
Currently, bars are at 50 per cent capacity and alcohol can only be served until midnight, which some say needs to change, especially leading up to the Pride Parade on August 15.
“It’s the most important thing for the village on a yearly basis. The most important. Tourists coming from everywhere,” adds Sergakis.
The Health Ministry did not respond to Global’s request for comment but several health experts say with the threat of the Delta variant of the COVID-19 virus, people will need to be patient when it comes to a full easing of sanitary measures.