05/27/2015 06:41 EDT | Updated 05/27/2016 05:59 EDT

Côte-des-Neiges Road proposal would standardize signage

Could changing the look of commercial signs be a way to lure more customers to Cote-des-Neiges Road?

 The mayor of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, Russell Copeman, thinks so. 

Copeman has put forward a proposal to eliminate material and fabric signs, as well as signs on posts and pedestals, over a five-year period on the borough's main thoroughfare. 

At the moment, businesses use everything from full window coverings to fabric and flashing neon to attract customers.

The borough is holding public consultations tonight on a plan it hopes will help revitalize the area.

But many business owners are wary of the idea, with some saying it would stamp out the area's uniqueness.

Aram Ohannisyan, who owns Bijouterie Pot-Pourri, said the current mix of signage gives the road a feel you don't find elsewhere in the city.

"It's more European," he said.

Changing signage can also be costly — thousands of dollars, potentially, depending on the size of the storefront.

Councillor Lionel Perez said he has reservations about the proposal.

"I haven't seen the data that indicates that will really increase the commercial activity," Perez said.

The changes could potentially coincide with road repairs and sidewalk widening happening this summer.

Copeman said there's still time to adjust the plan if businesses aren't happy.