St. Jacques Street in NDG has a reputation, and not a good one. It’s lined mostly with used car dealerships, auto repair shops, seedy motels and deteriorating parking lots. The neighbourhood around it is known more for being on the “wrong side of the tracks” than anything else.
The borough, as part of its master plan, is trying to change all that. It’s proposing a by-law (PDF) that would disallow the creation of new gas stations, auto parts shops and car dealerships on St. Jacques between Madison and the Decarie expressway. Instead, it wants to see more other kinds of commerce (restaurants, grocery stores and the like) on the south side and more residential development on the north side.
While some major franchises are located in this area (such as this Midas shop and an Ultramar gas station), the vast majority are Mom & Pop shops with fading signs and improvised setups.
The draft by-law, which will see public consultation next month, would not force these businesses to close. But it would prohibit new ones from forming in their places if they do.