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  • Kate 19:39 on 2015/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Last week I set out to explore the map of ruelles vertes in the Plateau from les Urbanités, but set out late and stopped at 11. This weekend I finished the route. More photos have been added. My earlier post.

    Alleys in this part of the neighbourhood are mostly a little narrower. The view of the very green alley with people putting up flags was from a neighbourhood gathering in an alley running south of the Fusiliers du Mont-Royal headquarters on Pine, and the final picture shows an alley not on the route, which has seriously been taken over by greenery – only a narrow footpath allowed passage between masses of white snakeroot and those plants with long leaves and tiny yellow flowers, whose name I don’t know.

    • Janet 22:21 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      Nice photos. Loved that cat-shaped hole in the fence.

    • JaneyB 22:29 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      Well, I know what I’ll be doing at some point during the hot week ahead…What a charming hidden life in these ruelles. Good for the neighbours for making this subtle verdant world.

  • Kate 18:28 on 2015/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Philippe Couillard has announced that the train link to Washington – Amtrak’s Vermonter, passing through Philadelphia and Baltimore as well – may return to Montreal, if passenger border clearance is set up at Central Station. This would also benefit people taking the Adirondack to New York.

    • yossarian 18:09 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I am reminded of the song “slow train.” Passenger rail in North America really needs to spend the 100 billion to up it’s game into the modern high-speed-rail context. It’s cheaper than a war and better for the economy.

    • EmilyG 18:29 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I enjoy taking the Adirondack train to New York.

    • Tim S. 19:52 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I suspect that border clearance at Central Station would just shift the 2-hour delay to Central Station, rather than to Rouses Point. Door-to-door, the total journey would probably take the same amount of time. What keeps the train slow is the twisty single-track along Lake Champlain. Beautiful ride, though.

    • Viviane 20:08 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I believe passenger trains often have to stop to give priority to freight trains. New tracks and new high-speed trains would change things, for sure.

    • Mathieu 21:11 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      It often takes two hours to go through immigration on the Adirondack these days. It rarely takes that long to go through preclearance at the airport and that’s including the baggage check that doesn’t take place on a train. People with Nexus also go through in less than 15 minutes. So, yes, for most people that preclearance will remove at least an hour.

  • Kate 11:12 on 2015/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    After dropping their Saturday match 2-1 against Toronto FC – Didier Drogba was sitting out – the Impact fired head coach Frank Klopas. Assistant coach Mauro Biello steps in temporarily.

    Some sites are calling the match a 401 Derby. A derby is usually a match played by teams in roughly the same place – Manchester City playing United, or the Islanders playing the Rangers. Not two cities 540 km apart.

    • Josh 14:07 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      No hockey fans who weren’t raised on soccer would call the Islanders and the Rangers a “derby” – that’s just not a term that hockey, baseball, basketball or American/Canadian football fans use.

      North American soccer has to stretch the term because the business model, and the way the sport has evolved here, is quite different from how it is in Europe.

  • Kate 00:17 on 2015/08/30 Permalink | Reply  

    For their history capsule, the Journal looks at a September 1945 WWII victory parade in Chinatown.

  • Kate 19:07 on 2015/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has had community gardens for forty years. There are 97 gardens in 18 boroughs. The Metro version of this story says the initiative came after les ravages du week-end rouge, which I had to look up.

    CBC reports this from the angle of there not being enough gardens to go around.

    • JaneyB 23:37 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Wow. I could not even imagine a connection between the city’s community gardens and that infamous strike. People might enjoy this episode from the great Rad-Can series ‘Tout le monde en parlait’ (the history series, not the talk show): The volatility of the time really jumps off the screen.

    • Michael Black 00:29 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I think urban gardening was a trend at the time. There was the whole back to the land thing, and “ecology” was a big thing. 1975 is the year of the founding of Le Monde a Bicyclette, I remember when Simone had to rush off to an early meeting. There was the whole fuss over La Cite too. It was a time when “community” was being talked about. So it probably would have happened anyway, though perhaps in a different form, and maybe not municipally sanctioned.


    • LJ 08:41 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      Agree that it was a trend. Around the same time (1975) my grandfather started a community garden at the Cummings Center on Westbury Avenue in Cote des Neiges. A brief mention of that fact is on their history page.

    • Kate 11:17 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      I wonder about wartime. I know that people here had to at least practice putting up blackout curtains during World War II, for example, even though no enemy bombers got as far as Canada. (U-boats did, though!) Wasn’t there also some amount of food rationing here, which would’ve encouraged urban people to grow some of their own food? The British still have allotments, their word for community gardens of the Montreal type.

      In Little Italy and northward into Villeray and Ahuntsic, where a lot of Italians and Portuguese settled after WWII was over, it seems to have been a given that if you had a yard you’d grow vegetables, maybe put up a pergola for grapevines. But I don’t think this was ever done communally in town.

    • Alex L 13:09 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

    • Kate 14:07 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      Excellent find, Alex L.

      The tl;dr: Community gardens were popular during the Depression and again as “victory gardens” during WWII, but almost vanished during the prosperous 1950s and 60s. And then came back again, as Michael Black points out, during the days of the Montreal Citizens’ Movement. And we still have them.

      On thinking about it, Jean Drapeau’s view of Montreal was that as a city of the future it shouldn’t have any traces of agriculture left in it – no chicken coops, no bits of stray farmland. It’s not surprising the people working against him were all for that kind of thing.

  • Kate 12:06 on 2015/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI followed a perfume designer around, looking to define the scent of Montreal. Last year Le Devoir followed a different perfume expert around – I posted about it at the time. Like wine‑tasting or food criticism, this is clearly an area with a lot of adjectives but a massive arena for subjective judgement.

    • Zeke 19:39 on 2015/08/29 Permalink


      Actually, just the adjectives that have been historically used are subjective. For the most part it is 100% organic chemistry. But talking about Esters, Terpines, Pyrazines and Thiols doesn’t quite cut it in a daily newspaper.

    • Kevin 22:35 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Bah. The scent of Montreal the last few weeks has been of manure :p

    • Kate 17:35 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      How about a little eau de Guy-Concordia?

  • Kate 15:13 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV reports that Denis Coderre has promised to create a park and a lake in a St-Michel quarry. Doesn’t say whether this is the Complexe environnemental park, once known as the Miron Quarry, where a park transformation was initially promised years ago, or the Francon quarry some distance east of there. Both are huge gouges in the earth.

    Update: Radio-Canada has video including the proposed park layout.

    Weird that journalists are reporting this as if it’s new. As yossarian mentions in a comment to this thread, the park conversion idea is not new. It was always expected to take a long time, and big ideas were floated – there’s a sort of natural amphitheatre carved into the rock at one point, and I recall the idea of having a venue there was suggested. Has no one any memory of this but us?

    • Anto 16:21 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Le communiqué de presse semble confirmer qu’il s’agit du Complexe environnemental St-Michel.

    • Kate 16:31 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Merci Anto

    • yossarian 16:44 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      More accurately he re-announced the 2004 press release for this park. I hold a glimmer of hope that the NW corner will have some magnificent vertical ice climbing and there will be actual, genuine mountain bike trails that won’t get kiboshed for 30 years as Les Amis de la montagne have done with any notion of legal public trails on Mont Royal.

    • EmilyG 22:26 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Anyone know if the park is open now? Can people walk around in it now?

    • Kate 22:33 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      EmilyG, there’s a route around the perimeter that’s used by cyclists, runners and walkers, and I believe also by cross-country skiers in winter. A fence blocks people from getting down into the middle parts.

      The part of the path running close by the new soccer centre has been displaced, but I haven’t been over for awhile to see whether it’s back to normal.

      It’s about 5 km to do a circuit of the perimeter.

      If you go by public transit, take the 193 bus east and get off at the first stop after it ducks under the Met. If you walk north on the street that’s d’Iberville up till Jarry (the continuation is named after someone else) you can access the path where it crosses that street, just west of the Cirque du Soleil buildings.

    • EmilyG 22:43 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Thanks for the information.

    • Zeke 09:24 on 2015/08/29 Permalink


      Coderre is showing his ignorance of Montreal history by stating that the Miron quarry park “would be comparable to New York’s Central Park,” when Mount Royal was designed by Frederick Law Olmsted.

    • Ian 09:51 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      More comparable to Jarry Park, also built on a former quarry on contaminated land. Also worth noting, “Central” Park is so named because it is is central. You know, like the mountain.

    • EmilyG 09:57 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Yes, I was thinking, Montreal already has quite a few cool parks. Although I think this new one will also be cool.

    • Kate 17:44 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Villeray Park on Christophe-Colomb was apparently also originally a quarry, and there may be others like this.

    • Blork 18:21 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      It seems like a nice plan, but any comparisons with Central Park are just silly. Central Park can be reached from almost anywhere in Manhattan by going in a straight line. It has nine subway stations that let out right onto the park, plus about a dozen more that are within a few blocks. It is surrounded by more than a million residents who are within three blocks walking distance. It is such a presence in the city that you can barely go from uptown to downtown without having to deke around it.

      Coderre and company can put in all the same lakes, bicycle paths, bridges and swans as you find in Central Park, but it will never be as “central” to the city’s identity as Central Park is to New York. Not even close. It will always be that park waaaay over there, that most people never go to and some people go to occasionally.

      We already have a “central park” analog, and that’s Mont-Royal Park (which everyone knows was even designed by the same person as Central Park; Frederick Law Olmstead). It’s central, well serviced by public transit and roads, and you can barely get from one side of the city to the other without having to deke around it.

      It’s like that tiny bit of platform down at the old port being called “Montreal’s High Line.” Clearly, no one who has been to the High Line will make that comparison and expect to be thought of as sane. It’s like holding up a loose cobblestone on rue St-Paul and declaring it to be Montreal’s Mount Rushmore.

      So yeah, build the park. Make it great. But don’t compare it to Central Park.

  • Kate 10:59 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot in a bar in NDG very early Friday. His leg injury is not life-threatening. The QMI account suggests he was an employee, not a patron of the establishment. Notes in the QMI piece and in a similar account by CBC suggest this bar may be attracting the wrong kind of attention.

    • dwgs 12:02 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      That place has long been known as a coke bar full of scummy people. It’s a shame too, because they have one of the last straight up bar licenses that was granted and it’s not a bad room.

  • Kate 10:54 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is launching a study of conditions downtown for nebulous reasons concerning “vision”.

  • Kate 10:45 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Stéfanie Trudeau, aka Matricule 728, has just published a book telling her side of the two stories that gained her notoriety in 2012 – forcefully arresting mild-mannered Plateau bohemians (or, in her words, “rats… gratteux de guitares… ostie de carrés rouges là….des mangeux de marde…. ostie de trou de cul”) and gratuitously pepper-spraying some people who had done nothing to provoke it during a demonstration. Her ghost writer used to work for Allô Police. Trudeau, like Édith Piaf, ne regrette rien.

    An idea Garnotte also spotted for a cartoon.

    • Dave M 11:42 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Are those words an excerpt from her book?

    • Kate 11:58 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Excerpted from the Radio-Canada story. I doubt you’ll find them in the book.

    • MtlWeb39 14:49 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Still being paid while she’s off…..for now.

  • Kate 10:41 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre, quoted as openly wishing to depose Serge Losique from the festival he created, was photographed with him on the red carpet of the FFM’s opening gala Thursday night. The opening film, Muhammad: The Messenger of God, was greeted with a protest by Iranian expats who say it’s propaganda.

  • Kate 09:37 on 2015/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    A Hamilton writer finds a lot of atmosphere in Montreal.

    • Ian 09:39 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      I moved from Hamilton to Montreal. Best decision I ever made.

    • Blork 09:59 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Wow, that’s a starry-eyed, rose-coloured-glasses view. Maybe I’m a cynic, or maybe I’m just not sentimental, but I couldn’t help but counter-point at almost every soft-focus image evoked. For example:

      “It is summer in Montreal; all the windows and doors on the second floor apartment I’m staying at are flung wide open, all day, all night, no mesh.”
      …this is the same neighbourhood that has the highest number of break-ins in the city and was all over the news last week when a guy crawled into an open window at night and sexually assaulted the resident. Police said that crimes like that are a lot higher in summer because so many people leave their windows open at night.

      “Looking down from the balcony’s winding staircase and onto the streets below, people ride bikes, no helmets.”
      …no helmets has also been in the news a lot lately, with all those deaths and serious injuries that have happened to cyclists not wearing helmets.

      “The streets welcome you wholeheartedly. They — like the people — are on fire.”
      …and in deluge (broken water mains), and grounded (sinkholes). Our streets have got all the elements!

      “There’s a thirst for the things money just can’t buy”
      …yes, because everybody’s broke due to a lousy economy and skyrocketing rents/mortgages.

      On and on…

    • ant6n 10:04 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Maybe you should move to Hamilton

      (with ;-) from a fellow cranky person)

    • Blork 10:10 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      No thanks. :-) I’m not saying Montreal’s a bad place, or that it doesn’t evoke soft-focus living in newcomers. It’s just amusing to see it in print. (And as I think about it, it’s not so far off of a warm and fuzzy piece I had in the Gazette about 20 years ago…)

    • Ian 10:11 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      See the nice thing about Montreal compared to Hamilton is that it doesn’t smell like sulfur in the morning and there are far fewer random stabbings. Hamilton really excels at random stabbings.

    • rue david 10:37 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      the hammer. i was there randomly about 10 years ago and can vouch for the fact that someone from the hammer would probably be astonished that a place like montreal existed in the same country.

    • JaneyB 10:51 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Oh, how can anyone hate a city with institutions called the ‘Terryberry Library’? Hamilton’s farmer’s market is great and I think they may have the best central library in the country – maybe double the size of the Grande Bibliothèque. Stelco donations? The west entry into Hamilton is superb tho the East is like a vision of hell. Maybe that’s changed since the Chinese bought and shuttered Stelco. There are some crazy fantastic things about Montreal but there’s a lot of really gritty, really shitty places to go along with the adorable whimsical side. I mean we have several refineries on the island as well as pianos in the streets!

    • Ian 11:18 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Hamilton’s Farmer’s Market used to be great. They recently renovated, and now it’s mostly hipster coffee joints. They also took out the ramp so it’s no longer accessible by wheelchair, and my older relatives complain bitterly about having to use the many stairs. The library really is quite good, but you exaggerate its size. I spent a lot of time hiding out in there, I know it well :) West of the Chedoke expressway is Westdale, basically a small university community with McMaster University as its hub. It is quaint and charming. The vast majority of Hamilton lies east of the Chedoke, however. FWIW it was US Steel that shuttered Stelco, even though they promised the federal government that they would not cut jobs when they were allowed to buy Stelco in 2007. In any case it’s not the factories that make Hamilton so awful, it’s a) the lack of jobs and b)a huge influx of people with addiction problems – Hamilton is the dumping ground for Toronto’s addicts, in my old downtown neighbourhood several housing complexes were built to house them. People literally screw on the front lawn in the middle of the day. It was rough in the 80s but now crackheads will strip the wiring out of houses while they are up for sale. I’m really not making up the random stabbings thing, either.

      Put it this way – Hamilton is a 45 minute drive from Toronto, and you can still buy a 2-storey home for under 200k, the average price for a detached home in Toronto is over a million. So even though Toronto’s enormous commuter population knows Hamilton is just 45 minutes away, they just don’t want to live there.

    • Kevin 12:16 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Why the heck have so many of you been to Hamilton?

    • JaneyB 13:28 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Well, at the time I was trying to move back to Toronto from Wpg and a friend had a little shack 30 min south of Hamilton near Caledonia so I stayed there for 6mo and was often in the Hammer. Southern Ont is really gorgeous: rolling hills, incredibly green, great for cycling. Coming from the Peg, the addict-stabby underculture element of the city did not seem noteworthy LOL. I found Hamiltonians very approachable and friendly, unlike a certain city nearby. There is a bit of an art scene there too; the main art gallery was given a superb collection. Also, I have been told that some of the older Italian workers can be heard singing along to the opera up in the second balcony. @Ian – so bad about the Farmer’s market renos (and the crackhead activities…).

    • Ian 13:37 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Yeah, The Hamilton Art Gallery has a surprisingly good collection. There’s a big art crawl on James street once a month, too, so it’s not like at least some of the locals aren’t making an effort. Still, not even remotely comparable to the art scene here.

    • Jack 13:47 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Wow Blork Longueuil is a tough town, I thought it was just the haircuts.

    • Blork 14:19 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Huh? I didn’t say anything about Longueuil.

    • yossarian 16:57 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      +1 for Hamilton : easy to drive through on way to Shaw Festival/Niagara Falls.
      -1 : My really not sweet at all Aunt lives there.

    • ant6n 17:25 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      next April 1st: switch mtlweblog to cover Hamilton, with new banner etc.

    • Kate 10:52 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      ant6n, I did do Drummondville a couple of April Fools ago…

  • Kate 21:58 on 2015/08/27 Permalink | Reply  

    The old Children’s Hospital building will soon be put up for sale. Demolition is a possibility.

    • JaneyB 00:35 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      We will very soon need hospital-like facilities just like this old building for the aging boomers. I guess the idea is to park the oldsters in junky motel like facilities next to highways and railways and keep the prime land for dare I say it…lofts. In all likelihood, there is no real plan at all though.

    • Kate 10:11 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      There is no real plan because every government pushes the responsibility off onto the next government.

      Where I went to high school, the government had just caught up to the existence of the baby boom demographic surge, years too late, and built an extension onto an existing school to house the extra students. By the time it was completed – late – that extra space was already becoming redundant. They’re bound to do something similar about the old boomers – ignore the situation till they can’t any more, waffle for years, then finally build facilities when the demographics are tailing off.

    • rue david 11:57 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      i’m very worried about demolition of this place, a montreal icon. instead of worrying about the maison alcan, the opposition and phyllis lambert should be raising hell about this one. in this case, she’s someone who could actually make a huge difference and get it saved.

    • Uatu 14:50 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Muhc really wants to unload it quick so it can get sorely needed cash to fight Lavalin in court… Should make into a community resource centre with a school, clinic etc, but likely they will demolish it since no one wants to live in a loft that was once in a place associated with sickness and death… Montreal should adopt the NYC law that says that devs have to devote a certain amount of space to lower income housing in the same bldng. although that also has the stigma of a separate entrance known as the “poor door”…

    • rue david 17:41 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      montreal doesn’t need a law like that. we just need more housing in “hot areas” (griffintown, bell center, faubourg des recollets, cabot square) to keep the pressures off the rents in the established neighborhoods. you can definitely find a place to live in montreal for 550/month and almost everyone, whether by employment, loans, parents or social assistance, has access to that amount of money. the trick is to make sure that number doesn’t increase by ensuring that we have neighborhoods to absorb the demand coming from downsizing boomers, new households, people fed up with the commute, foreigners etc. requiring developers to build affordable units just ups the cost for the other units in that building.

  • Kate 20:27 on 2015/08/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Park Avenue is closed between Fairmount and St-Viateur to repair a sinkhole. Should open later Thursday evening. Report from TVA with video.

    • Ian 09:12 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Traffic throughout Mile-End is nuts right now. Laurier is partially closed for construction, as are Saint-Joseph, Henri-Julien, & Clark. Saint-Denis & Saint-Laurent both have construction going on. Even the metro isn’t immune, the Laurier exit at laurier metro is still closed. Every single bus stop at Laurier metro has route change signs up. Of course, with all the closed roads and constricted roads the traffic load is much higher than normal on every open street. Walking home from the metro yesterday I saw cars bumper to bumper on all the side streets between Saint-Denis and Saint-Laurent.

    • Kate 11:23 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Wow. Thanks for the description. Glad I don’t have to circulate around there at the moment.

    • rue david 23:56 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      my niece is starting school (another mcgillian, natch) and her parents are taking her around right now, buying stuff at ungava and the rest of it. to hear them complain is pretty funny, like just blown away by hard it is to get around. have to chuckle.

    • Ian 10:12 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      …and now there’s a street fair on Mont-Royal… It just gets better every day :D

  • Kate 20:02 on 2015/08/27 Permalink | Reply  

    On Medium, some thoughts about getting by without a car in Montreal.

    • CE 20:29 on 2015/08/27 Permalink

      He’s not really “getting by without a car” so much as he’s just trading having his own car for using cars that are either shared, rented, or owned and driven by someone else. Hundreds of thousands of people are currently going without a car in Montreal everyday and also aren’t (or are rarely) using cars at all. Sorry to be so negative but I’m not sure why he thinks his “experiment” is worth even writing about.

    • Michael Black 21:19 on 2015/08/27 Permalink

      That’s true, I haven’t been in a car for at least five years, and it was a single one-way trip that year. There is level of “hardship”, but it becomes invisible. The option isn’t there, so all decisions revolve around other things.

      In his case, there is “well it’s simpler by car” and then wham, he’s going by car, just not his.

      The one thing that perhaps does change by not owning is the really local trips. If you’ve got the car, it becomes so easy to go around the block, even if it means three blocks because of one-way streets. If the car isn’t there, then maybe someone will walk the block. I suppose it cuts back on some driving, but it doesn’t eliminate it.

      There also seems to be a bit about status. Showing up on a bus won’t do, so you need that taxi. I never even consider taxis.


    • CE 21:47 on 2015/08/27 Permalink

      I don’t know how many nights I’ve spent waiting in -15 (or worse) weather waiting for a night bus on a 40 minute schedule while taxis slow to a crawl and tap on the horn wanting me to get in. Because I didn’t have the money, it just wasn’t an option to take a cab. Now I live in a city where taxis are practically free and I take them more often but often still walk or take the bus (if they’re still running) instead of hailing a cab. I just haven’t broken the habit, which isn’t really a bad thing.

    • jeather 23:01 on 2015/08/27 Permalink

      He was spending a complete fortune on his car, which was both a very expensive car and leased.

    • Viviane 23:04 on 2015/08/27 Permalink

      Shrug. I’ve been carlness and transit-passless in the Plateau since 2004. Feet and velocipede work just fine, even in winter. Bus and metro only for exceptional distances and weather. I can’t believe I’ve managed to survive this hardship for so long.

    • Kevin 07:56 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Two kilometres. The guy was driving 2 km each way.
      What’s the point?

    • EmilyG 08:57 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Notably, the article doesn’t seem to mention where the author lives (unless I missed something.)

      I myself live in the West Island and still walk or take public transit almost everywhere even though I do have a car. I never drive downtown.

    • Ian 09:23 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Even if I did have a car I wouldn’t drive to work, parking downtown would be more than $300/m.

      Not sure why this guy has such a hate-on for Communauto, though. Granted they don’t have an app and their booking system is a UI/UX case study in failure, but Auto-mobile is just as easy as Car2Go to use. I t would be nice if they expanded their Auto-mobile fleet a little more quickly but it’s a nice alternative to Car2gO as car2Go is only nominally less expensive than a cab.

      All that aside, a 20 minute walk to work? Seriously? Hey lazybones, I just figured out how to save you 6k a year. For 6k you could go on some sweet vacations, have a retirement fund, buy new shoes every season and still have money left over.

    • Blork 10:41 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      Ian, you answered your own question as to why he has a hate on for Communauto: “Granted they don’t have an app and their booking system is a UI/UX case study in failure.”

      That’s enough, especially when there are alternatives. Last winter I checked into both Communauto and Car2Go, just so I’d have an alternative in my back pocket to taking the bus or Metro. I was signed up and ready to go on Car2Go in a matter of minutes. Communauto just boggled my mind (and were way too expensive considering how little I planned to use it). I just closed the browser and didn’t even try to sign up.

    • Blork 10:57 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      It does seem silly to drive 2 km to work, but it depends on what 2 km (he doesn’t say where he lives or works, so we can’t really comment).

      Years ago I lived on the Plateau (Hotel de Ville, near Duluth) and worked in the Cité Multimedia — but that was before it had that name and all the infrastructure it has now. Walking to work took 45-50 minutes. Public transit took anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour (usually about 40 minutes) and involved a minimum of 15 minutes of “outside time,” which was not welcome in inclement weather. Driving took about 12 minutes door-to-door and gave me total flexibility with regard to coming and going times, stopping at the gym on the way home, etc.

      I wouldn’t do it now because everything is more complicated and more expensive, but my point is that I know from experience that distance alone is not a good indicator of what the best method of transportation should be.

      …and by the way, owning a car for me back then was cheap. I paid $500 for it (it lasted three years), and I spent maybe $30 a month in gas. Insurance was maybe $400 a year, and I probably spent about $700-800 a year on repairs. Street parking was free and reasonably abundant, and parking at work cost me $25 a month. Which is why I always roll my eyes when these articles claim that it costs a minimum of $10,000 a year (or whatever) to operate a car. Maybe for some people, but there’s a lot of variability.

      (Final note: with very few exceptions, it is utterly insane to drive to work if you work downtown. I do not consider Cité Multimedia to be “downtown,” especially not as it was 20 years ago.)

    • John B 11:50 on 2015/08/28 Permalink

      I’ve been carless since late 2012, having owned a car for 5 years at that point. There was a lot I liked about having a car. We definitely saw family in, and just outside of, the suburbs much more often when we had a car, and we went to things like the Bromont Chocolate Festival, or Mt. Tremblant park. The author’s trips to see his family in the suburbs, and his sailing habit, show a glaring hole in our transit system – regional transit, especially for any purpose other than a 9-5, M-F job. I actually looked for somewhere to sharpen my sailing skills this summer, and there’s nothing reasonably reachable by transit.

      Getting around the city is easy on transit, even with a child. Carrying something heavy is not. I have a Car2Go membership, but rarely use it. I’ve looked into CommunAuto but their pricing, (for classic CommunAuto), is so confusing I have no clue what it’ll end up costing me.

      I miss the freedom of a car – yes, I said freedom. Being able to get out of the city was great. Also, the incremental cost of nearly any non-downtown trip is lower in a car than when paying with tickets on the metro, (yeah, I know that it’s cheaper to not have a car – but when the fixed costs are already paid, a couple of dollars of gas and *maybe* a bit of parking is much cheaper than $5.30 per person, round trip). Since I don’t have a car I don’t see as much of the city as I used to. If I had a transit pass this would change, but since I don’t commute regularly the $82/month seems like a pretty big expense that I can do without.

    • rue david 00:05 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      i dumped my car in 2006 basically because some lorry driver rammed into me on laurier. what’s weird is that since i’ve been without car, i almost never visit the rest of quebec. that’s the thing i miss most. my brother moved to ottawa, so i take the train there. if i want to hit tremblant or saint sauveur, i rent a car or go with whoever. but like actually visiting three rivers or the townships? never. i have a very longtime friend who bought a house in pincourt of all places, and i’ve yet to visit it (he bought in 2010). i don’t regret it because i hate driving and the bother of a car but, yeah, sometimes i wish i could zip down to burlington like i did when i had a car.

    • Kate 10:54 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      As readers will know, I don’t drive. Did used to putter around occasionally with a friend who drove – the only times I’ve gotten off-island to places like Salaberry de Valleyfield. One day we drove to Mystic because we liked the name. We weren’t looking for anything in particular. I miss that sometimes, but it was probably mostly just a waste of gas, in the long run.

    • Viviane 13:13 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Not having a car doesn’t mean you can’t get off island. It is quite possible to go to Mont-Saint-Hilaire, Oka Park, etc. without one.

    • Kate 13:52 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      You can get to those places by train, but the schedules are intended for commuting to standard day job work, not much else. And once you get off the train, getting around is not so easy on foot.

    • CE 14:46 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      This is one thing I don’t miss about North America at all. I can, at any time of day, jump on a bus (maybe two for smaller places) to just about any town or city surrounding Bogotá without even having to look at a schedule. In 2 hours, I could be in a charming small town which is easily walkable and usually has at least a couple attractions. This is something that is pretty much impossible in North America.

    • Daisy 18:23 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      I’ve never had a car or even a driver’s licence. I don’t view myself as particularly deprived, and even if I were I believe the state of our planet justifies some personal sacrifice.

      Viviane – How do you get to Oka Park without a car? There is a half marathon there every November that I am interested in. The directions on the Sepaq website only refer to getting there by highway.

    • CE 18:40 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Not sure about public transportation but it’s a pretty nice bike ride. Takes about two hours from the city so if you set out early, you can have a full day at the park.

    • Daisy 18:46 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Thanks but I couldn’t run a decent half marathon after a two hour bike ride!

    • Viviane 20:17 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      Daisy – I bring my bike on the train to Deux-Montagnes. There’s a bike path from the station that goes straight to the park and on to the beach.

    • Viviane 22:30 on 2015/08/29 Permalink

      See here for maps and details (in French):

    • CE 16:48 on 2015/08/30 Permalink

      Ah, I must have read too fast and didn’t see the part about the half marathon. That would be an impressive feat though!l

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