Park Extension expected to see surge in business when school starts up again come the fall

With the Université de Montréal campus, the Vanier College Continuing Education campus and the plethora of schools in the area, business should boom after trying times during Covid-19 – business owners are hopeful

Local businesses are doing quite well despite a drop in sales and overall production. They have definitely suffered quite a bit and their overall earnings have taken more than a gradual dip, but they are moving right along.

But some feel that business should in fact pick up when school gets around to opening up again in the fall, especially the newly built college campuses on Beaumont. We spoke to some local businessmen and got an inside look at what should be expected if all goes as they expect.

Vanier College campus

Vanier College’s main campus is nestled quite safely in Ville St. Laurent. It has schooled residents of the entire city and abroad since 1970. The school expanded and they opened a campus in Park Extension finding a home on Beaumont Avenue. It opened in 2019 and as we then reported, City Councilwoman Mary Deros was there for the inauguration ceremony. She stated then that “ … The Université de Montréal is a French institution that will be providing higher education … For our local people, Vanier College will help them advance … We have a lot of new immigrants who speak better English than French and it will be easier for them … But Vanier will also be giving English and French-language courses, which is what they need to be able to get jobs, to integrate. I’m very excited about all this …”

Of course all of this was before the dawn of Covid-19 and to say that the school suffered, as all institutions did, would be a grave understatement.

Université de Montréal campus

And just down the road from the Vanier campus lies one of Montreal’s highly respected universities. Considered the first building on the MIL campus, the many departments held therein include: the Faculty of Arts and Science: chemistry, geography, and even the biological sciences.

It has been stated on the university website that they plan to open two new wings in the years to come. Intended departments to be housed include: computer sciences, mathematics and statistics and operations research.

The demographic of students that attend the school primarily range from early twenties and onward, so it’s safe to assume that restaurants can be flooded as school commences in the fall.

Other schools

There are other schools that children and teens attend outside of the Park Extension borrow, but St. Raphael School and a plethora of others are right at the center of Park-Ex, and students from there may definitely be good for churning up some business for local vendors as mentioned earlier. For students attending schools outside of Park Ex, they too may be good for some business before and after school hours as well.

What local businesses have to say

And it isn’t just restaurants, of course, that are expected to see a surge in business. We spoke to Ali Tokgoz, owner of Gold Scissor on St. Roch Street, and he said that he too is expecting to see business rise, and at least by 20%, which for him is quite positive. “There are a lot of students in the area; Park Ex has changed a lot in the last few years,” he says.

They (as a barber shop) offer up-to-date styles that a younger clientele would be into, “so a lot of students come.” He sounded quite hopeful. We reported on them in recent weeks and although they aren’t suffering as much as other businesses, a surge would definitely do them some good.

High hopes

In the end, it remains to be seen exactly how business will do once school starts up again, but the projection looks quite positive thus far. It could go either of two ways: 1) children are told by parents not to attend local restaurants and corner stores for their food and snacks out of fear of contracting the Covid-19 virus, or 2) they are encouraged to trust and order from the many restaurants in the area, and purchase services and goods, supporting local business. It’s a tossup really, and one that will be interesting to see how it turns out.