With a few weeks to go before the start of the school year, merchants in the Quebec region are divided. While some are happy about the traffic in the summer season, others are realizing that the sales figures are declining.
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Admittedly, the answers vary greatly depending on the area of activity and the location of the company.
The several hundred thousand visitors to the Mosaïcultures not only caused traffic jams near the Parc du Bois-de-Coulonge, but the visitors also strolled around the area, especially on the famous Rue Maguire in Sillery.
Maguire Business Development Corporation Managing Director Bruno Salvail says it’s a pleasure to have an event of this magnitude nearby.
“We took Mosaïcultures every year. There is life west of Cartier Avenue,” he says.
“We had a few more tourists, we had more English speakers than usual […] it was really good, more passers-by,” says Kimiko Lamothe-Pouliot, co-owner of the Montego.
In Quebec’s Old Port, restaurant owners on pedestrianized Rue Saint-Paul are positive for July and early August.
Bistro St-Malo manager Yan Gilbert-Potvin explains that the customers are there. Various activities like the Grands Feux Loto Québec attract many people.
“The business is doing well. We’re lucky to have a Rue Saint-Paul that was renovated last year, so it’s fantastic,” he said.
He adds that local traders will also benefit from cruise lines in the coming weeks.
A few steps further, speech is different for Saint-Paul Art Gallery co-owners Carole Pépin and Pierre Bédard, who never found the sales rhythm of 2019 before the pandemic.
Photo Louis Deschenes
Carole Pépin and Pierre Bédard, co-owners of the Saint-Paul Art Gallery on Saint-Paul Street in Quebec City, are disappointed with the traffic at their store since the beginning of the summer.
“We need outside customers for our kind of business,” they say.
They are optimistic, however, as Europeans and Asians traditionally travel in late summer and early fall.
The retailers surveyed agree on one point: the unpredictable weather was an obstacle for customers.
Such is the case with the 737 near L’Ancienne-Lorette airport. The owner, Dany Gagnon, is happy with his second season. Last year, however, he didn’t have to cancel a single show at the location, which went live in mid-July. This year it’s the exact opposite.
“In 2022 we must have almost ten evenings that have been canceled or shortened due to the weather. […] Sometimes thunderstorms in the early evening emptied the site,” he regrets.