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Portes ouvertes sur Saint-Denis Contest

PME MTL Centre-Ville is launching the fifth edition of the “Portes ouvertes sur Saint-Denis” (open house on Saint-Denis) entrepreneurial contest. The objective of the contest is to contribute to the revitalization of the section of the thoroughfare located between rue Gilford and rue Roy by encouraging the opening of new retain businesses and diversification of the retail offer among existing businesses.

The “Portes ouvertes sur Saint-Denis” contest is intended for entrepreneurs who stand apart by offering distinctive and innovative products and services. They must meet the needs of the area for Montréalers and tourists alike. In addition, the projects must be well suited to the style, liveliness and welcoming nature of the thoroughfare, which are foundational characteristics for the image of rue Saint-Denis.

Application period

June 9 to September 30, 2022

Important dates

  • June 9, 2022: Contest launch and beginning of application period
  • September 7, 2022: Information session in French
  • September 30, 2022: End of the period for submitting applications
  • November, 2022: Nominations Evaluation Committee and Announcement of Winners

Awarding of grants

Grants will be awarded within a period of 30 days after September 30, 2022.

Multiple grants available

A number of grants will be made available through the contest, ranging from $5,000 to $25,000, for a total of $100,000.

PME MTL Centre-Ville, SDC rue Saint-Denis and the Borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal are offering support services to all applicants who submit an application, and winners will also receive technical support.

 *PME MTL Centre-Ville reserves the right to not award the total amount of available grants if the business projects that are submitted do not meet all of the eligibility criteria for the contest.

Rue Saint-Denis

Located in the heart of the Plateau Mont-Royal district, rue Saint-Denis is renowned for its unique architecture and unsurpassed accessibility (numerous métro and bus lines, a bidirectional bike path and two vehicle traffic lanes). The thoroughfare delivers a unique shopping experience thanks to its independent and original merchants. A popular destination for enjoying the lifestyle and francophone culture of Montréal, merchants have access to a pool of 104,000 residents and 100,000 visitors on an annual basis (workers, tourists, students, etc.). It’s a unique venue for meeting and people watching, where walking and entertainment are among the main activities.

Click here for the list of vacant premises.

Eligibility conditions

  • Canadian citizen or permanent resident
  • Legally constituted as a corporation (company), cooperative or not-for-profit organization (NPO)
  • Invest a minimum of $25,000; the grant cannot exceed 25% of the value of the project
  • Guarantee an investment equivalent to 20% of the financial package for the project ; the cash down cannot be less than $5,000
  • Submit an application for a premises located within the contest boundaries, namely between rue Roy and rue Gilford
  • Demonstrate the financial feasibility of the project
  • Plan to create at least one full-time job or equivalent within the first year of operation of the project
  • Offer regular business hours for the type of project planned
  • Submit all required documents by September 30, 2022 at the latest
  • Consent to meet with the jury and take part in contest activities, as applicable

Eligible projects

  • Opening of a new retail business with a street front window
  • Diversification of the retail offer of an existing business (addition of products and/or services, etc.)

Non-eligible projects

  • Projects belonging to a chain or banner (5 or more existing establishments) or operating under a franchise or licence or belonging to a Crown corporation
  • Projects located in a premises with no street front window
  • Projects involving business activities that significantly increase competition with the same type of establishment within the primary area of the thoroughfare
  • Projects involving business activities that are primarily erotic, political or religious in nature
  • Projects that do not comply with applicable municipal, provincial or federal regulations

Evaluation of applications

The selection of the winners will be determined by a jury comprising SDC rue Saint-Denis, PME MTL Centre-Ville, an economic development representative from the Borough of Plateau-Mont-Royal and a representative of the rue Saint-Denis business community.

The jury will evaluate all projects that meet eligibility conditions. The evaluation criteria for the projects and their respective weighting factors are shown below:

Conditions for awarding grants

After the contest winners are announced, an agreement will be signed between those responsible for the winning projects and PME MTL Centre-Ville. In order to receive the grant, and prior to receiving any payment, the entrepreneur must do the following :

In the case of a rental, hold a commercial lease with a minimum remaining term of 2 years for a space or a building located on rue Saint-Denis between rue Roy and rue Gilford, and plan to open the retail business or execute the retail diversification project, as applicable, within 6 months after confirmation of the grant.

  • Hold a certificate of occupancy as required by the Borough, along with all other permits required to operate the business.
  • Sign an agreement with PME MTL Centre-Ville stipulating that, if the business ceases its activities or moves them outside of the territory of PME MTL Centre-Ville within a period of 24 months after signing the agreement, the grant must be repaid, prorated to the number of months remaining in the 24-month period.
  • Be in good standing with tax authorities, notably with respect to payments for DAS, GST and QST
  • Provide proof of the investment by the business of at least 20% of the value of the project

Submitting an application

Please note that we are no longer accepting applications.


PME MTL Centre-Ville
Sara Da Cruz
Conseillère - Entrepreneuriat commercial
514 879-0555 #255


630, rue Sherbrooke Ouest

Bureau 700

Montréal, Québec, H3A 1E4

514 879-0555
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