Of ice cream and tombstones: Landmarks are razed, however their story is not over


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For years, it was one among Montreal’s traditional quirks: the ice-cream parlour subsequent to the tombstone store.

L. Berson & Fils Monuments moved in 2015, after 93 years in the identical spot on the coronary heart of St-Laurent Blvd., aka the Primary, abandoning solely its historic signal, a fenced-in lot the place the unmarked stones was piled up, and an empty constructing.

Issues stayed that means till the tip of August, when Ripples ice-cream retailer proprietor Richard Bernett served his final scoop in his enterprise’s unique location, and moved to non permanent quarters throughout the road to a storefront under Moishes.

Then got here the heavy equipment, and razed all of it to the bottom.

“I used to be crying,” mentioned Brandee Berson, whose great-grandfather Louis Berson opened the monuments store in 1922, after arriving in Canada from Russia in 1905.

Mendy Berson in 1997. He died in 2002.
Mendy Berson in 1997. He died in 2002. Photograph by Peter Martin /Montreal Gazette file photograph

“It’s emotional for me. I grew up there. I modified my youngsters’s diapers there. For all intents and functions, my father died there.”