MONTREAL — The merchants association on Montreal’s St-Laurent Boulevard says it has been the victim of a Christmas tree-stealing “Grinch.”
Tasha Morizio, the executive director of the association, said her group placed trees in stands along the famous street known for smoked meat, shopping and bars as part of an effort to lift spirits after a tough year for merchants.
“It’s been an exceptionally hard year for businesses, especially businesses located on commercial arteries. So we wanted to add a little bit of magic and joy to the Christmas season,” she said in an interview Thursday.
Two trees were stolen within 48 hours, she said. So the merchant’s association began bolting them down. But then thieves started breaking the boxes the trees were in, and one was sawed down.
She said eight of the 26 trees set up by the association have been stolen over the last two weeks.
The street is no stranger to vandalism, Morizio said, as buildings along it are regularly graffitied and blooms are often plucked from its flower boxes, particularly by people trying to be romantic around bar closing time. But she says nothing like this has happened before.
The association doesn’t plan to replace the trees, Morizio said. The group is funded by its members and she doesn’t think it would be fair for businesses struggling with a difficult year to pay for the trees twice.
Instead, the association plans to post signs where the trees had been, saying the trees were stolen and encouraging people to watch out for the Grinch.
But while Morizio said she’s trying to see the humour in the situation, the thefts aren’t a joke.
“We’ve made a police report,” she said. “We are taking the situation very seriously.”
Source: Jacob Serebrin, The Canadian Press