Rats set up shop next to Montreal grocery store. Residents are fed up – Montreal

Rats have emerged as a big problem for people in the Villeray Parc-Extension neighbourhood.

“I got jumped by two rats right there like two months ago,” said resident Romane St-Pierre as he walked around place du Parc, near the Maxi grocery store.

“They jumped on my leg and then they ran, lucky I had pants on. But every time I come from the gym I see rats all the time, it’s f—ing disgusting. Sorry for my language.”

People blame the lack of cleanliness in the area near Parc metro station for the rats. Pigeons have also taken a hold of the square, feeding on food scraps.

Borough councillor Mary Deros says she is frustrated with the state of things.

“Disgusting, unacceptable that in 2024 we live in this type of environment,” Deros said.

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Open garbage cans invite curious critters to scavenge, Deros says.

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While the city installed panels informing people they shouldn’t feed the animals, Deros says it doesn’t work.

“As soon as somebody puts some kind or bread or food for them, you see this wave, like a tsunami of pigeons to eat and what they don’t eat, the rats come and finish for them,” Deros explained.

People say the problem is widespread in the borough: it’s not uncommon to see piles of garbage in front of homes or in alleyways.

That’s why some residents are taking matters into their own hands and have been organizing clean-up operations.

“I feel it is very dirty,” said Satokh Jawsi. Jawsi moved to the borough a year ago and he volunteers to clean up the area.

The Bureau d’information de Parc-Extension (BIPE), a non-profit working in the neighbourhood, also organizes clean-up brigades.

Each time, they say, they pick a minimum of 300 pounds of garbage. They also organize workshops to inform people about best practices, because newcomers don’t usually know the rules.

“That’s part of the problem as well, educating the new immigrants coming in on the correct policies for this area in particular,” said Anastasia Georgiou, a member of BIPE.

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The borough says they’ve taken several measures, including hiring a rat exterminator, and are following the problem closely.

But they told Global News in an email that people feeding the animals remains a problem.

Meanwhile, people who walk by the rats’ nests are left to fend for themselves and wishing the city could kick the furry problem out of town.

“I’m not afraid because I do Muay Thai,” said St-Pierre.

&copy 2024 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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