By Horse Journals Media

The clip-clop of hooves on the streets of Old Montreal will soon be echoes of the past. The City of Montreal is moving to ban horse-drawn carriages as of 2020.

On June 14, 2018, City Coun. Craig Sauve said he is introducing a regulation to take the carriages off the streets amid concern over the welfare of the animals. The new regulation would take effect as of December 31, 2019, prohibiting horse-drawn carriages anywhere on Montreal’s territory.

For centuries, the carriages have been carrying tourists and passengers through the city’s streets, but in recent years the practice has drawn the attention of animal rights activists who have long promoted a ban on the industry. 

A report states that Luc Desparios, who operates a stable near downtown and owns 22 horses, accused the administration of taking away 50 jobs and robbing the city of a historic profession. He strongly denies his horses have been mistreated and states that despite following all the city’s regulations, the city is bowing to the pressure of the animal activists and special interest groups who have worked to shut down the horse-drawn carriage industry. Desparios and fellow carriage operators will meet to discuss fighting the ban.

In 2016, former mayor Denis Coderre attempted to impose a moratorium on horse-drawn carriages but it was blocked by a court injunction. For background on this story, read Horse-Drawn Carriages Return to Montreal Streets.

Photo: A horse-drawn carriage on Place d’Armes in front of Notre-Dame Basilica in Montreal. Photo: Shutterstock/Prosiaczeq

- With files from



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