Montreal car tempo – legal or not legal?

Montreal car tempo

With the winter season at our doorsteps, the subject of driveway car shelters is once again creating a debate on whether they are an ugly blot on our streets or a basic necessity. Popularly known as a ‘Tempo’, the poly tarp covered, temporary structures are now popping up all over the Montreal Island – with some people who love them and others who hate them.

For those without garages, a tempo could be a great stress saver, especially for the elderly and people with mobility issues – never mind all the shovelling, slippery ice can be a danger with life-threatening consequences. Even with a garage, not everyone can afford a snow removal service. Having to get up early to shovel the driveway in the cold can be a daunting task. Nonetheless, some still see the shelters as major eyesores and would rather have them banned altogether. It is true, tempos are not aesthetically pleasing and some people claim having them on their street brings down the value of their homes. Other cite the dangers of when cars pull out from the shelters and the potential accidents they could cause – if the driver does not properly check if another car or a person, could be crossing their path. All good points.

In the Greater Montreal area, there are boroughs and municipalities where tempos are permitted, but there are other areas, especially in the West Island, where they are prohibited – including the municipalities of Beaconsfield, Dollard des Ormeaux, Pointe Claire, Kirkland and Baie D’urfee. However, they are allowed in the borough of Pierrefonds-Roxboro and the municipalities of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue and Dorval. In the city, the municipality of Cote St. Luc and the boroughs of Saint-Laurent and Ville-Marie do not permit them.

Rationale for the bans also include crime prevention and personal safety. The concern is visibility, as someone can easily hide inside one and surprise a person passing by. But there has been a solution to that for years – tempos that come with clear windows. Another concern is the weight of snow or ice that can accumulate on top of them. If not well maintained, it could cause the structures to cave in, injuring or trapping someone underneath. One way or another, winter is here to stay – and with it comes snow, ice, freezing rain and pellets. In fact, our winters are predicted to get even more challenging. What is your opinion on the tempo? Are the shelters an eyesore or a necessity? send it to:

By: Bonnie Wurst –

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