Struggling Bishop Street merchants take Montreal, STM to court over 3-year construction project

Bishop Street restos lose first round in legal fight with STM, City

Business owners trapped in a construction zone on Bishop Street in downtown Montreal are taking action against the city and Montreal's public transit authority, the STM, for infrastructure work that's expected to continue for another three years.

Five merchants filed an application in Quebec Superior Court this week, claiming that the work has led to a decline in the number of customers and a steep loss in revenue.

The construction blitz, which started in October 2016, is expected to last at least until the spring of 2020 as the STM builds a mechanical ventilation station to serve the nearby Guy-Concordia Metro station.

Because of the construction, parking has been eliminated and the sidewalk on the east side of Bishop Street is partly closed. Business owners claim if the situation remains as is, they will be forced into bankruptcy.

Merchants are asking for financial compensation of $2,500 per month since the start of construction for each business affected by the work.

They also want the city and the STM to bring in new measures to help struggling businesses, including:

- free advertising in the Guy-Concordia Metro station.

- the creation of a path so customers have better access to the street.

- a ban on excessive noise from the construction site during peak business hours.