Voices are raised for La Tulipe

The owners of theaters sympathize with the managers of the legendary La Tulipe, who fear they will be forced to go out of business because of the accumulation of noise complaints. A reality, moreover, widespread in industry, in large part due to the construction of condominiums in formerly industrial sectors.

Around the bar Le Ritz, in Mile-Ex, office buildings and warehouses have gradually given way in recent years to condominium buildings. This has brought wealthier, older and above all more resistant people to the neighborhood to be disturbed in the middle of the night by the din that emanates from the bar when shows or events are organized there.

“When we bought, before the pandemic, we put a lot of money into soundproofing, but even then, it complains. It is really frustrating! The level of soundproofing it would take is completely stupid: you shouldn’t even hear a sound when you’re in the street, which is almost impossible. It would cost tens of thousands of dollars, ”protests Olivier Corbeil, co-owner of the Ritz.

Also a shareholder of Fairmount, in the Mile-End, Olivier Corbeil is appealing to the City of Montreal for help to help theaters become more soundproof. Otherwise, other venues could have to go out of business because of the hefty fines, as was the case in 2018 with the Divan orange. Already, at Fairmount, we no longer allow ourselves certain types of shows, considered too noisy for the neighborhood.

“With all the money that governments have spent since the start of the pandemic, it would be a shame to lose everything for a couple of people who complain about noise,” laments Olivier Corbeil.

A minority making noise

“A couple of people complaining about noise” is often enough to give a concert hall a hard time. At the Quai des brumes, a favorite spot for emerging artists for more than 30 years, a tenant with sensitive ears in the adjacent building was a major source of hassle a few years ago: the police were regularly called to the scene.

The owner of the place, Jules Gauliard-Martineau, understands that new sound technologies make it possible to project sound much more than before, and that this can in the long run end up being somewhat harmful to good neighbors. But he does not understand how someone can go and live next to an establishment which has been established on the street for several years, thinking that there will find the same tranquility as in the countryside at 10 p.m. in the evening.

“If it’s zoned commercial and you don’t want to be disturbed, it’s not for you,” candidly launches Jules Gauliard-Martineau, who finally had to pay out of pocket to encourage said tenant to move.

The closure of places like the Quai des brumes or La Tulipe would be a disaster for the cultural community, especially for emerging artists, claims producer Patrice Caron.

“The City really speaks two sides of the mouth. But you have to be consistent. We cannot on the one hand say that we care about culture, and on the other hand authorize the construction of condos almost everywhere. We have to make choices and be ready to protect our performance venues, ”he says.

The arrondissement at the defense

In the case of La Tulipe, the municipal administration recognizes its error. The neighboring room should never have changed from commercial to residential zoning. However, the person who lives there would have complained several times about the din during the shows, which would have led to the visit of the police no later than last Saturday, during the Dumas concert.

“The permit was granted to him by the borough in error. I was alerted last summer to the fact that there was a conflict between the new owner occupying the neighboring building of La Tulipe. […] We have taken steps with the owner of the current building and we are in dispute. We’re going to court next week, ”said the mayor of the Plateau-Mont-Royal borough, Luc Rabouin, during a press scrum on Wednesday.

While remaining cautious since the case is before the courts, Mr. Rabouin reiterated his commitment to ensuring the sustainability of La Tulipe in his borough: “For us, it is an important cultural institution. We recognize its value and we want to ensure that it stays in the Plateau. “

The record company La Tribu, which owns the famous hall on rue Papineau, launched a call for help on social networks on Tuesday, indicating that it was collapsing under the weight of fines and legal proceedings because of this quarrel of neighbors.

La Tulipe, known for having been Gilles Latulippe’s Variety Theater at one time, has been a performance hall since 1913. The place is classified as a heritage site and cannot have any other function.

At Le Lion d’Or, we are following this affair with attention, especially since we have had similar problems in the past. “Without the support of the City, I think that the rotation of the rooms will become more and more important, and we risk losing cultural strongholds of our city”, indicated by email Sara Castonguay, the general manager of the cabaret.

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