Monday, September 30, 2013

? Montreal Landmark Disappears Overnight ( what ? it wasn't even there when I left Montreal)

Wow ,Place Ville Marie,  The O'gilvies Flour (later Five Roses Farine ) sign , Ben's Deli, The Montreal Forum, the Milk Can on the Rooftop,  etc  etc ..these were Montreal Landmarks.........but alas! I must be getting old-(er) this Montreal Gazettte article about the Euro Deli Disappearing 'overnight' after 31 years seams odd to was never there till years after many of us left.
However it is history for our newer (non-boomer) generations & they too now see what it's like to lose what they consider a landmark........perhaps we just take comfort in things we think should never disappear......(like the Elmhurst/Sealtest 3D, 2 head Cow that's a landmark) -lol

             Here is the Gazette article : on the disappearance of a Montreal 'landmark'

MONTREAL — After 31 years in business, St-Laurent Blvd. landmark Euro Deli closed suddenly last week.
Disappointed regulars walked by every few minutes Tuesday afternoon, peering through the window into the darkened, empty restaurant.
“I went there often. Everybody went there often. They were always packed, they had amazing food and I’m going to miss their tortellini a whole lot,” said Glenn Castanheira, manager of the Société de développement du boulevard Saint-Laurent.
“Many of us have beautiful memories of Euro Deli,” he said.
“It was a place you could go and run into people you know. It’s been an institution on the Main for decades, and it’s a real loss,” said Alex Norris, city councillor for the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough.
Both Norris and Castanheira said they thought the restaurant had been doing well, and seemed to have steady business.
“We have absolutely no idea what caused the closing of the restaurant,” Castanheira said.
Euro Deli owner Vincent Scanzano was not available to comment on Tuesday.
In the empty restaurant on Tuesday afternoon, building owner Aleksander Jevremovic sat at the table where seven years before, he had signed the building’s ownership papers.
Listening to a leaking tap and watching disappointed regulars tug on the locked doors, he said business has been tough in the neighbourhood.
“Everything is closed, everything’s for rent,” said Jevremovic.
“Everything has changed. We have less money, and everything is more expensive.”
Businesses on the street are still recovering after over two years of construction chaos that started in 2007 and dragged on for months as the street was dug up, paved over and dug up again.
When city crews packed up the last orange cones, the boulevard had wider sidewalks, improved plumbing, fresh asphalt and new granite benches.
Customers scared off by many months of impossible parking, loud noise and redirected bus routes are just starting to come back.
“The harm was done, but we’re getting over it. In general, this year has been very good. Things are coming up, finally. Consumers are changing their habits,” Castanheira said.
But after surviving the street excavation, merchants say they’re being buried under tax hikes.
“The city doesn’t do anything to help. They shouldn’t have raised the taxes so much,” Jevremovic said.
Since he bought the three-storey building in 2006, he said, his property taxes have more than doubled, from $18,000 to $41,000 per year.
“If you raise my taxes by $2,000 a month, do you think I’ll have $2,000 less in my pocket? No. I’m going to have to ask for $1,000 extra from my tenants on this side and that side,” he said.
As his taxes have continued to increase, Jevremovic said he hasn’t seen any significant improvements in the city’s services on the street.
“They’ve done nothing for the street. Normally when you pay more you should get something for that,” he said.
The Euro Deli isn’t alone, Castanheira said.
“Many, many, many of those buildings have seen their taxes double. We have some tenants here who are paying tens of thousands of dollars in taxes,” he said.

“(Business) is the same, but costs are up,” said Hassan Nassereddine, who is part-owner of a pizza restaurant on St-Laurent Blvd., a few doors down from the Euro Deli.
“Property tax, business tax, (goods and services tax), tax for employees, and the cost of food is up. $9.75 for a kilo of cheese — it just went up the other day,” he said.
The introduction of pay parking above Prince Arthur St., and what he called overzealous ticketing of his customers were also scaring away business.
“I had a guy come in the other day — he bought two slices and it cost him 60 bucks. I heated the slices up, two, three minutes, and he got a $52 ticket,” Nassereddine said.
“Look down the street — for rent, for rent, for rent,” he said.
“Half of Prince Arthur closed,” said Charlie, who owns a shish taouk place on St-Laurent Blvd.
Jevremovic is out next month’s rent—$5,000, including the $1,000 per month business tax—and said the restaurant was short last month as well.
“Life is hard. I’m not going to chase after them for (the missing rent),” he said.
He’s not worried about the other tenants—offices for the Aveda salon next door, and two apartments—but Jevremovic said he’s not sure about the empty ground floor.
He’ll either look for a new tenant, or try to open his own business, the landlord said.
If Jevremovic does rent the space, he’ll likely try to lease to a franchise, which he can be sure won’t disappear on the first of the month.
“I don’t think an independent can make it,” he said.
Most businesses on St-Laurent Blvd. are still family-owned, and losing one is painful, Castanheira said.
“Small, independent businesses are one of the luxuries we have on St-Laurent.
“It’s not like a Tim Horton’s closing. There’s a family there, there’s a house, a pension fund,” Castanheira said.
“It’s a tough business. Some people make it, some people don’t. Maybe they didn’t realize how much people appreciated them.”

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