Recent Updates Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:43 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m seeing a fair bit of social media grumbling around the story about the chief financial officer at Concordia, hired specifically to help the university face funding cuts, getting a $235,000 golden handshake on quitting after three months in the job. Here was Sonia Trudel’s glowing hiring notice from last June.

  • Kate 23:37 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Frank Zampino and the seven people co-accused with him in the Contrecœur affair have pleaded not guilty to fraud and corruption charges on Wednesday.

  • Kate 23:01 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Two men were arrested Tuesday night and charged with first-degree murder on Wednesday in the killing of a young man last August. The alleged victim was apparently shot dead by mistake in a drive‑by shooting reported like this at the time.

  • Kate 21:07 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The city is to have a big think about how it taxes businesses with particular concern for storefronts and small businesses.

    • Douglas 21:10 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Lower the business taxes for retail stores, it doesn’t help the city to tax these mom and pop businesses that are living hand to mouth with the state of retail in Montreal.

    • Ephraim 21:28 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      The increase in taxes on commercial property in Montreal is exorbitant. It’s gone up incredibly.

  • Kate 20:58 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga lays out the new $4.2-million plans for Dorchester Square. I had thought the square was done with revision for awhile, but apparently not.

    Other items on money the city will spend: $100 million on a new bridge to Île Bizard; $168 million on redoing water infrastructure.

  • Kate 13:07 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Hot on the heels of discussion of the blue line comes St-Laurent borough mayor Alan DeSousa asking for an orange line extension north of Côte-Vertu.

    • carswell 13:31 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Interline and intersystem connectivity doesn’t seem to count for much in public transit decision-making in our fair city and yet it should. It makes the overall network more efficient and saves countless hours of travel time, thereby increasing ridership.

      There’s a strong case to be made for extending the blue line eastward to the Pie-IX “rapid” transit corridor, less so beyond. Ditto for extending the orange line up to Bois-Franc station on the Deux-Montagnes train line. Despite all the attendant issues, serious thought needs to be given to connecting Édouard-Montpetit metro station to the Mount Royal tunnel and to connecting the Champlain Bridge line and the Deux Montagnes line. And if the Train de l’ouest and/or Trudeau airport trains ever happen, a blue line extension to Montreal West station should be envisioned.

    • Robert J 13:39 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      While I agree that connectivity is an issue in Montreal, I think the bigger issue is that projects are being built based on electoral and development potential, rather than social indicators such as population density, poverty levels, and car ownership levels (mobility). If access to rapid transit to those who need it most is the #1 priority, than the blue line east will provide more of this than any other project. If performance is the priority, then Mont-Royal tunnel improvements and other extensions become more interesting.

    • jeather 14:28 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      It’s time to build the metro out further WEST through poor, underserved NDG.

    • CE 14:53 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      NDG already has two stations, it’s a part of town already well-served. The density isn’t high enough to justify building a metro deeper into the neighbourhood.

    • Blork 15:01 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I thought the Metro was supposed to be for everyone, including people who now drive but might not if they had better public transit options.

    • carswell 15:15 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      What Blork said. Also, the two stations are so peripheral to the subborough as to be remote for anyone located west of, say, Grand. They’ve also done little to alleviate the multiyear mess that the Glen/Décarie/Turcott/etc. (re)construction has created (and that affects public transit users as much as drivers). What’s more, we know that metro construction brings with it increased density. And see intersystem connectivity above.

    • jeather 15:21 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      NDG is dense, and there are no metros west of Decarie, which is one block from its eastern edge; it’s essentially unserved by the metro. I don’t think it’s significantly less dense than the proposed eastward blue line extension (which goes no further east than the green line but is further north).

    • Faiz Imam 16:12 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I agree on the need for more interconnection, though it needs to be paired with fixing the ticketing system as well. There’s less of an advantage when you have to pay full price for multiple tickets.

      Though also, the Champlain bridge LRT is going to be different tech than AMT rail. it’s small guage and will almost certainly be incompatible with Heavy rail.

      Due to some particular curve and space requriements, I think that’s the right choice.

      And there is plenty of definition in NDG. In particular there is mainly potential to extend the blue line towards Concordia’s loyola campus and further into Lasalle/Lachine. Particularly to relive the congestion on Sherbrooke.

    • Kate 20:53 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      My concern is that this has happened before. Discussions of blue line extension have been followed before by demands for an orange line extension. Laval used to chime in here with a demand to close the orange line into a loop and then Longueuil would follow with its own demands to extend the yellow line. We haven’t heard those choruses yet, but just wait.

      Fact is, the STM is already overextended: station upgrades and elevator conversions, shortages of buses and mechanics, bringing the Azur trains into service. Adding a blue line extension might be possible with federal money, but not adding stations on two or more lines at once. Asking for too much can drive the whole affair into stasis.

    • Bert 21:22 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      The STM is only overextended because it does not charge enough for its services. For a monthly pass, major transit systems charge 2X 20-22 days of daily tickets. In Montreal it is on the order of 12 days.

      Take all that money and plow it directly back in to the transit system. But we know how much our governments hate putting money in to anything other than “general coffers”.

    • Kate 23:27 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Bert, the provincial government has to start taking public transit seriously. We know from earlier reports that they put aside money and brag that it’s for public transit, and then some of it gets used for other purposes, because they’ve admitted as much. And I don’t think average incomes are high enough here for people to pay Toronto levels for the monthly pass.

  • Kate 13:06 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    We haven’t had much report of a flu season yet, but with news that both children’s hospitals are swamped by flu cases maybe it’s beginning. Parents are being advised not to bring their kids in for colds, flu or gastro.

  • Kate 11:36 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Following Wednesday morning’s taxi protest, Denis Coderre has asked for the suspension of UberX while a parliamentary commission studies the taxi issue.

    • carswell 14:39 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Surprise, surprise.

      While Mayor Man-of-the-People likes to paint himself as the defender of working-stiff taxi drivers, you’ve got to wonder whether it isn’t really Mayor Hobnobber-with-the-Elites who’s defending the interests of the taxi medallion and company owners.

    • kbayquoi 16:42 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I am all for competition, but I am not understanding how Uber gets away with what they are doing. No proper licences for drivers, no proper Insurance, no medallions, etc. etc. Where is the loophole that they have, that allows them to operate in cities across the country and world without it being stopped. Again, not for or against Uber, just not understanding how they get away with it, and why the law is not jumping all over them.

    • Blork 16:48 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      One of the things that offends me most about all this is the goddamn medallion system. I can see charging $1000 for such a thing, but the $200,000+ price of those things is criminal. It has nothing to do with regulation of the industry and everything to do with cash grabs.

      …that that’s a different topic (or is it?).

    • Bert 18:31 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I don’t think that it is the city charging $200K for a medallion, but rather that the city limits the number of medallions and that the $200K price is the “market” rate for medallion holders that are selling theirs.

      There was a Planet Money podcast on this a while back, though I understand that the MTL and YUL taxi bureaus might operate differently

      I agree with kbayquoi and echo what has already been said before. If Uber, why not Uber for any other regulated service?

  • Kate 11:26 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette has one of its more typically brilliant pieces here on how West Island drivers hate traffic lights and what a terrible, terrible nuisance it is to be driving on St-Jean or St-Charles and have to occasionally come to a stop – although traffic lights are much more widely spaced out there than they are in town.

    Who EVER told drivers that they should never have to stop for pedestrians or other drivers? It was that attitude – Moshe Safdie calls it “the will of the car” – that got us into this highway-strangled mess in the first place!

    No wonder suburbanites don’t like driving in town, too. It must be Luc Ferrandez’s fault that every few blocks they have to STOP DRIVING FOR THIRTY SECONDS.

    Sorry. Rant over.

    • jeather 11:40 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      What they are complaining about is that the traffic lights aren’t coordinated to flow with traffic during rush hour, which is actually a reasonable complaint. It might not be fixable given other constraints (eg, letting pedestrians through, current technology), but it isn’t “how dare there be traffic lights at all?”

    • Kate 11:44 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I don’t see any magical way you can promise a driver s/he will never have to use the brake pedal if you’ve got transverse streets. Sooner or later a driver has to stop for somebody else unless you create more highways.

    • Blork 11:54 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      “Sooner or later” is fine. It’s the non-stop stopping that kills.

      As someone who uses all forms of transportation (feet, public transit, bicycle, car), I can understand the frustration that the article is talking about. When you’re driving in a straight line on a boulevard, it can be highly annoying to have to stop at every light, or even every second light, especially when there is no apparent reason to. It’s not like the roads described are in a grid of boulevards with a lot of crossing traffic; the cross streets are small and often times there are no pedestrians or cars crossing. You stop because there’s a red light, not because someone needs to cross. Again and again and again, turning a three minute ride into a ten minute ride.

      Again, the frustration is in the apparent pointlessness of it. All that expended energy and wasted gas for nothing (stop-and-go uses way more fuel than straight driving.)

      For example, there’s a boulevard near my place that runs about two km from chez moi to the highway. Sometimes I get all green lights and it’s a nice smooth ride that takes a couple of minutes. Other days — for no apparent reason — I catch every single red light, and it takes eight or nine minutes. That can be really annoying if you’re running late and when you stop at the red light there’s nothing there but you and the crickets, then you go 100 metres and have to do it again, and again, and again.

      I also have the same frustration when I’m a pedestrian. A couple of days ago I walked along Ste-Catherine from Bishop to Bobby Bourassa, at lunch time, running a bit late (I was meeting someone). Dang it but I hit every goddamn red light along the way, which made me even later. Yes, cars and other pedestrians need to cross, etc., but that doesn’t make it any less frustrating when I managed to do that same walk a few days earlier and only caught a couple of reds.

    • jeather 12:22 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Things happen and you need to use the brake, but streets where lights are coordinated are still more pleasant (and can very effectively keep speed down).

      I’ve never managed to hit green lights when walking on Ste-Catherine, it always seems to be against the walking flow, though pedestrians go in both directions so it would be harder to do there.

    • Kate 13:09 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Hey, a rhythm is nice. But we live in a city. Sometimes we have to break our walking pace or our driving momentum to let others pass.

    • Kevin 13:17 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Yes, but stopping when there is nobody else around, or when the critical mass is opposite the flow dictated by lights, the frustration is palpable.

      And if you think that’s bad, trying being on two wheels on a light triggered by in-pavement sensors. You end up having to run a red because you don’t exist. :)

    • Nathan 13:22 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      This summer I was coming to an intersection in Plateau and saw that there was a driver something like 30 or 40 feet from the intersection. I crossed with my friend and I could see that the driver, who might have had to tap his breaks to slow down slightly, throw his hands up in disgust.

      He then went on to lecture me that there was no stop sign, so he didn’t have to stop there etc. Which is pretty false. I was at an intersection, I could safely cross and wasn’t leaping under his tires.

      But for some reason he thinks that no stop sign means a promise that he can go through that intersection at any speed without having to consider anything, without having to watch out for cars pedestrians or bicycles who, guess what, can have the right of way.

      Every driver who I’ve ever heard talk about cyclists just seem like they can’t deal with it. They talk a long line as if being on a bicycle is illegal and even say they should bike on the side walk. They think they don’t have to deal with it.

      Too bad that, guess what, they do have to deal with cyclists and pedestrians. Unless of course they kill one. That holds a fine that’s less than a parking infraction.

    • jeather 14:33 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Right, synchronized lights won’t be a panacea, but “the lights on this heavy traffic are out of sync during rush hour” is a reasonable argument, unlike the “how can we ever have to stop” framing. There’s also a difference between traffic on St-Jean and Ste-Catherine and what you should expect.

    • Ephraim 17:07 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      @Kate – Electronic lights actually do wonders to not only make traffic move, but also ensure time for pedestrians et al. The thing is that Montreal has the largest collection of mechanical traffic lights in North America. Apparently from what I have read, we actually bought other city’s used mechanical lights, just to avoid upgrading to the electronic lights.

      Among the things that these adjustable lights can do… return to sync after a blackout. Move traffic along. Change lights only when a car is waiting in the other direction or a pedestrian is waiting to cross. And some can adjust the amount of time based on pedestrian speed. Heck, some can be activated by the fire department and ambulances to speed their movement (though that might not be a good idea to give Montreal cops, they already disregard traffic laws too much.)

    • Tim S. 22:59 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Having moved from Westmount to NDG, I’m struck by how much more considerate drivers are in NDG (considerate by Montreal standards, anyways). I suspect that there a few reasons for this, but one of them must be that Westmount, by over regulating with traffic lights and stop signs, actually makes drivers more impatient, frazzled and aggressive. A smoother and more predicable traffic flow makes drivers more willing to give pedestrians a break. That’s my theory, at least. I suppose it’s also possible that Westmounters, and people who work there, are just jerks with absurdly overpowered cars.

  • Kate 11:01 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s a sad JdeM story about a woman living in a building in Villeray which the landlord has given up on and is basically hoping to demolish. I realized looking at the photos – it faces that Starbucks near Jean-Talon metro, which was a bone of contention last year – that I go past there quite often but that the building is so weirdly nondescript that I’d never noticed it.

    • Ian 12:44 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Wow, $410 a month? It’s like a time machine! I’m kind of surprised she doesn’t have the Régie involved but I have seen on many occasions that unless you have the money for a lawyer the Régie is as useful as lips on a chicken.

    • Ephraim 17:02 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      And if she gets the regie involved…. will she be able to afford the rent once he has done the repairs and renovations? Not likely. Because he has a right to recoup those repairs and can apply to have her rent increased way above the norm. Sure she will get the repairs at the regie, but in the end, those bills have to be paid and a good percentage will go into the rent over a number of years.

  • Kate 10:42 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    The cost to the city is growing for managing food trucks, although it strikes me that if they hadn’t created such rigid rules about where the trucks could go, requiring complicated schedules now costing $120,000 to sort out, they wouldn’t have this bill to pay.

    • Robert J 13:46 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Food truck policy should be designed for the following reasons 1) to allow new immigrants to start small businesses with very little initial cost. 2) to provide very cheap, convenient street food across the city for busy, low income residents who don’t always have time to cook. 3) to animate public space.

      In Montreal, the policies are designed to 1) image-craft for the city. 2) encourage tourism. 3) not disturb the established (bloated) restaurant industry in the least.

    • mare 14:51 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      The high cost might be because they have to vet every food truck by eating the whole menu.

  • Kate 00:03 on 2016/02/10 Permalink | Reply  

    Ville-Marie has given the nod to a rather expensive renovation job in Chinatown’s arches. Item also mentions a pagoda. We have a pagoda?

    • carswell 00:07 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Could they mean this?

      If so, the pagoda should be in quotes.

    • Kate 00:14 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      I can’t think what else it could mean.

      There is at least one pagoda in town, but it’s not in Chinatown:

    • carswell 00:25 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      The one in the botanical gardens?

      The Canadian Encyclopedia article on Montreal’s Chinatown says “In the late 1980s … a new red and gold pagoda temple was also built at Dr. Sun Yat-Sen Park,” which is the “park” shown in the above-mentioned Google Street View shot.

    • Kate 00:31 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      (I added my Google link after carswell’s question.)

    • carswell 00:43 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Huh. Who (aside from you) knew? Cambodian, it appears.

      By the way, I just discovered that, except for a short bit in front of the Palais des congrès, Google Street View doesn’t cover La Gauchetière between St-Dominique and Jeanne-Mance. WTF?

    • Kate 01:19 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Pedestrian street.

    • carswell 02:48 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Yeahbut they’ve street-viewed things like hiking trails in Hawaii and even the interior of Pâtisserie Harmonie on La Gauchetère.

    • Ephraim 09:34 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      @carswell – That is Vietnamese…. It says “Chùa” over the door, which is Vietnamese for pagoda. The Khmer (Cambodian) would be វត្ត. The look of most Cambodian pagodas resembles those of Thailand, usually gold with high steeples to a point. Those of Vietnam resemble more tall hats with wide brims.

    • CE 10:00 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      What about these?

    • Kate 10:34 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      CE, I thought of those too, but they must belong to the hotel, and not be public property.

      The pagoda I showed is in Côte-des-Neiges. On one side of the tracks there’s a Vietnamese Buddhist temple with that pagoda behind it, and on the other, on rue de Nancy, there’s a another Buddhist temple, Cambodian, with no sort of pagoda:

    • carswell 13:36 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      Ah, ha. Kate’s street view was taken from De Nancy Street because that affords the clearest view of the towering pagoda, which is at the very back of a large complex that fronts on De Courtai Street.

    • Ephraim 16:58 on 2016/02/10 Permalink

      @Kate – Now that one is Khmer, though I would have expected to see some multiheaded snakes at the entry.

  • Kate 22:14 on 2016/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    A building owner and his super have been ordered to pay $13,000 to a tenant who has since changed addresses, after repeated abusive gestures and remarks.

    • Douglas 23:15 on 2016/02/09 Permalink

      What owner would spray paint on his own elevator “I hate Muslims”, take actual dog poop and smear it in their own building? It doesn’t make much sense and I really doubt the owner did this himself. There’s a lot of information between owner and tenant we probably don’t know about.

  • Kate 22:10 on 2016/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    A report says little has changed in the way police approach the homeless, despite promises made by the city. The group, RAPSIM (Réseau d’aide aux personnes seules et itinérantes de Montréal) is also concerned that plans for the 375th will involve increased pressure on the homeless.

  • Kate 21:59 on 2016/02/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Final details for this year’s Nuit blanche have been unveiled and include 200 different activities.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help
shift + esc