Mayor Denis Coderre took to Twitter Tuesday calling the spikes installed in front of Archambault unacceptable.
Coderre said the spikes — designed to keep homeless people from sleeping or panhandling in front of the building — would be removed by the end of the day, even if he had to do it himself.
A picture of two employees removing the spikes at the corner of Sainte-Catherine and Berri was retweeted by Coderre at around noon.
Via twitter Coderre said it was not Archambault or the City of Montreal who installed the spikes.
Martin Tremblay, the president of public affairs for Quebecor, who owns Archambault, said the spikes had been there for a year or two and installed by the owner of the building, Pierre Varadi. He said Quebecor and Mayor Coderre put pressure on him to get them removed.
Tremblay said Quebecor is a tenant of the building and is not happy to be involved because it supports the homeless and prints the Itineraire magazine for free.
Calls to Varadi's office by CJAD have not been returned.
Coderre said all spikes in the area, including those in front of the McDonald's next to the Archambault, have been removed.
He said the spikes were an affront to human dignity.
"What kind of city do you want to have?" he asked. "The minute I heard about it I blew a gasket because it's totally unacceptable. This is not how you treat a human being."
He also mentioned safety concerns, wondering what would happen if a child riding a bike fell onto the spikes.
Coderre has made the homeless a priority since taking office last year, calling for a multi-pronged approach that involves mental health, housing and employment.
He says a census of Montreal's homeless population will begin in September.