The Main is back and ready to party

After fourteen brutal months of non-stop construction, the closure of several prominent businesses and some eerily quiet days on a street normally known as the Main, St. Laurent Boulevard is back: work is now officially finished on the renovations between Sherbrooke St. and Mount Royal Ave. New water mains have been installed, fire-optic cables laid and sidewalks widened, all in the name of modernizing Montreal’s most iconic street.

To celebrate the symbolic re-opening of the street, St. Laurent merchants will be hosting a party this Saturday, December 8th. In the afternoon, artists will be invited to decorate the street’s trees as part of a fundraiser for Le Chaînon. Some shops will offer a 5 à 7 to customers and many will be open until 11pm. Afterwards, DJs will take over a number of St. Laurent bars for an event sponsored by Laïka and Meg Montréal. More details can be seen at the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent’s website.

As an added bonus, parking along St. Laurent will be free for the next several months as the city waits until the spring to reinstall parking meters. (I have to ask, though, if parking is going to be free, why can’t the 55 St. Laurent bus be free, too?)

There’s more going on next week, too. On Tuesday, December 11th, the Friends of St. Laurent will host a series of presentations from students at Université de Montréal’s faculty of urban planning on the history of St. Laurent between Rachel and Mount Royal. It will be led by architecture professor and Mile End historian Susan Bronson. The event will take place from 5pm to 7pm at Le Divan Orange, 4234 Saint-Laurent (near Rachel). If you want to attend, RSVP before Monday by calling Alfonso Esparza at 514 286 0334 or emailing


  1. Yeah, free 55 bus and some way for winter cyclists to park their bicycles… Alas with this bloody snow, I doubt I’m cycling there and back (I live near Jean-Talon market).

    Parking and driving should be discouraged there – that is a street crying out for a tram line.

  2. The idea of free parking on the street is totally bizzare. I’m sure that the merchants will protest when the city returns in the spring to install the parking meters.

    The merchants think that the free parking will encourage people to come to their stores. The reality will be that people (or even employees / owners) will park all day so that these ‘imagined’ customers will have nowhere to park.

    Imagine if restaurants offered free food – the demand would increase and there would be shortages. This is exactly what happens with ‘free’ parking.

    Anybody who thinks that ‘free’ parking or mandatory on-site parking (like everywhere in suburbia) is a good thing should read Donald Shoup’s book “The high cost of free parking” for a wake-up call of how we are destroying our cities one parking lot at a time.

  3. Is the work really officially over? It sounds like another stalling tactic from the city. There has been several times the city announced the work would be over since this whole project started 14 months ago. They say they are coming back ing the spring to install parking meters, trees, benches, lamp posts, advertising light boxes, garbage cans, and to repave the whole street, not to mention all the repairs that will need to be done because of the poor workmanship that occurred during this project. It sounds like to me, they are far from being finished. So how can they declare the work is officially done. I for one am not going back to St Laurent blvd “EX-MAIN” just to be kicked off again in the spring. After 14 months+ , I have, as many others have, already adopted other neighbourhoods as the “NEW MAIN”. I have one thing to say to the city, “Too little, Too late!”

  4. I believe the street has already been repaved, which leaves only the street furniture to be installed in the spring. That’s a fairly normal course of activity for any street, since a large part of Montreal’s street furniture (bike racks, garbage cans, etc.) is removed for the winter anyway.

    I think it’s safe to say that, even if there are a few details left to tend to, there won’t be any major disruptions from now on.

  5. Je pense être en très bonne position pour décrire un peu plus, (étant un marchand qui a oppéré une entreprise pendant plus de 14 ans sur la merveilleuse St-Laurent et les sublimes travaux qui ont été opérés par la ville de Montréal ).
    Je suis désolé , mais le Boulevard sera repavé au printemps 2008 .(Il suffit juste de s’informer à M. Forcillo .) Pour sûre qu’il vous dira que ça ne sera pas très long ! Mais ils auront lieu quand même .
    Un grand merci pour l’information sur la remise des fournitures (poubelles,stationnements pour vélos etc.)
    Par contre,est-ce que (etc) , inclus les arbres,les lampadaires,et quelques autres petites babiolles ?….Il suffit juste encore une fois; de s’informer à M.Forcillo, et il vous dira encore une fois ,que ça ne sera pas très long.

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