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  • Kate 00:10 on 2017/01/17 Permalink | Reply  

    Following Saturday’s extended metro downtime, the STM is promising to be more forthcoming with information during incidents lasting longer than five minutes.

    CBC has a summary of what’s known about the Saturday breakdown, although how the contact shoe got so mangled is not yet clear.

    • rue david 01:33 on 2017/01/17 Permalink

      Dangerous thing for STM is that a huge supermajority of voters in the old city limits use the system, so that without the broad perception of a decline in metro service would make coderre’s reelection chances hinge on carrying the same vote, absent the vote-split. PM’s charismatic female leader (like Joly) plus just holding the PM votes = first female mayor, and a great progressive urbanist one at that.

      All of which is to say that you have to imagine the full wrath of the mayor’s office coming down on the STM every time one of these delays

    • rue david 02:15 on 2017/01/17 Permalink

      Bah, bungled that with auto-correct. Point is that bad metro performance makes coderre’s reelection dicier, so he’ll be horsewhipping the STM leadership every time this happens.

  • Kate 21:12 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Over the weekend some social media noise filtered out from the story that two councillors wanted the city to apply for the 2025 universal exposition, but Denis Coderre has shot it down.

    • Clément 21:39 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Surprising, 2025 is a municipal election year. I guess he’s not planning on staying on that long!

    • mare 00:31 on 2017/01/17 Permalink

      He’s saving money to be able to tack on an S, and buy the Expos.

  • Kate 21:07 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Ottawa and Quebec are promising to pour $400 million into “affordable” housing here over the next two years. I wonder how many actual units this will provide, once it all cooks down.

  • Kate 12:52 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Some thoughts on all-you-can-eat poutine.

  • Kate 12:18 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    BBC has an admiring piece about Serge Godin, CEO of CGI.

  • Kate 12:03 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has pulled its Azur trains out of service, having found the problem that caused Saturday’s damage on the orange line. But its Twitter feed says the problem is not exclusive to the Azur.

    Update: Radio-Canada says the STM has noticed unusual wear on contact shoes on the orange line. It may not be an Azur issue at all.

    • EmilyG 16:24 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Kind of a bummer.
      Though I think I can find something good in all of this: yes, it was bad that the orange line was out of service for half a day, the shuttle-bus system wasn’t perfect, and a whole lot of people were inconvenienced, and I’m not saying these were trivial things, but – at least I haven’t heard any reports of anyone getting hurt in this story.

    • ant6n 17:11 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      I feel people are very harsh on the STM for this. They are new trains, it’s hard to know exactly whether incompetence was at play. Although it is slightly ironic given the back-story of how the bidding process was stopped by the Liberal government and just handed Bombardier/Alstom the contract to build the trains, despite protestations by the Spanish builder CAF, which were asking for a lawful bidding process.

      The reason for excluding CAF: “There’s no way that (Montrealers) should be the STM’s guinea pigs, with all the risks that it entails, including the maintenance of these cars for the next 40 years”.

    • Kate 17:20 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      ant6n, I agree with you. Lots of kvetching in the media and social media today, but it’s clear with new rolling stock that there’s bound to be some adjustments. Now the Gazette is complaining the STM didn’t explain the problem quickly enough, ignoring that it takes time to analyze and diagnose an engineering problem.

      I had seen somewhere that the STM had recently finished replacing all those concrete bars where the tires run, and wonder if it was something to do with one of those, but I can’t find a link to that story now. An STM person was quoted today as saying the problem was a matter of millimetres.

  • Kate 11:59 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    The CCA has a grim exhibit on Canada’s environmental shortcomings till April.

  • Kate 10:21 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    The working poor are a burden on community services, Canadians are getting into debt because of stagnating incomes, the two richest Canadians have as much wealth as the poorest 30%, and the world’s eight richest people have as much wealth as its poorest 50%.

    • Nicolas 14:00 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Those stats are so crazy that it’s difficult to picture them. Here’s a graphic showing how crazy the situation is in the US:

      Like Robert Kioyasaki said in one of his book, Canada and the U.S will soon be like Africa. Either super rich or super poor with almost no middle class.

    • Brenda 16:43 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      There are lots of Canadian mining companies exploiting resources in Africa, so they’ll know what to do back home once the working class here has been stripped of all its dignity. Fracking and pipelines on every lawn.

  • Kate 01:38 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    As part of its ongoing series about sports in Montreal history, Le Devoir looks at the fluctuating popularity of cycling, particularly organized cycling, in the city.

  • Kate 00:49 on 2017/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Option Transport Durable has a fifteen-point critique of plans for the REM.

    • Faiz Imam 01:11 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Some legitimate critiques, and many variables that may or may not work out in the long term, but I have one real beef.

      Montrealers have this fetish with Trams that run with street traffic, even though such vehicles serve totally different uses than various rail.

      Sure, you could build a massive amount of trams for $5 billion, but its comparing apples to oranges. Trams don’t have the performance (speed) or capacity of rail, and are designed with close stops for local transit at medium speeds. This is regional rail that goes at high speeds with far stop spaces and relatively high capacity(not high enough but….)

      I largely disagree with the article, but it’s the same debates we’ve had for months now. No need to rehash it.

      Edit: just saw the author of the site, on of the guys thinks trams are the solution to every transit problem under the sun. No surprise this is his take.

    • rue david 02:12 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      7 and 8 are straight up incorrect, based on outdated info. Otherwise, some okay critiques and some super dumb ones (for instance, the idea that servicing the suburbs with rail encourages sprawl). People should at this point try to focus on stuff that the company might actually.change, not these sorts of things, imo.

    • Ephraim 08:48 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Fiaz – Trams of yore and today are different, in fact, they are often called light rail today. The new systems can handle a lot more people, can run low floor for accessibility. This isn’t the street car, these are often 5 cars long. Now, this isn’t medium or high capacity, but it’s a very cost effective solution. But not the solution for the REM.

    • Brenda 11:19 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      I find it amazing that, with growing income inequality and disappearing jobs, this project seeks to eliminate well-paying jobs by building unsightly infrastructure in the parts of suburbia that haven’t been ruined by ugly development yet. A train that takes you to your car.

    • ant6n 12:07 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      @Rue David
      Trains to the suburbs don’t always encourage sprawl, but this one likely will. Their focus in the west island is serving highways and parking, instead of neighborhoods and transit corridors. Bus connections will be meh, only poor people and students will put up with them.

    • Faiz Imam 23:16 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      I’m of 2 minds about the design of the suburban stations. First of all its true that many of that are giant park and rides that will increase sprawl and congestion, but many others(most of the DM line) are currently limited in space and will keep parking static, and will have to make up the demand with transit.

      The big stations are not well designed in terms of walkabilty and local access, but are perfectly designed for large scale development over the next decade which i think is very positive and essential to offer sustainable housing choices for thousands of people.

      But more importantly, having regularly attended suburban public consultations, I really don’t think a more dense urbanized plan would have been politically viable. Suburbanites detest density, and they need to toe a line between car focused transit and sustainable suburban intensification. I feel like they’ve created a “skeleton” that, in 20 years can be filled out in a way we can be happy with.

      Though, the folks fighting the good fight to keep the western end of the island wild and undeveloped are going to have an even worse fight on their hands. there’ll be a lot of developers supposedly claiming to want to build TOD’s near kirkland and St anne. There’s already been one proposal that is nothing of the sort.

    • ant6n 00:10 on 2017/01/17 Permalink

      …Repeating the same thing over and over doesn’t make it true.

      Apparently suburbanites are so stupid that they detest some mid rises andwalk ability, building of actual communities; but will embrace hostile condo skyscrapers along highways.

    • Faiz Imam 00:40 on 2017/01/17 Permalink

      ” suburbanites are so stupid that they detest some mid rises and walkability, building of actual communities; but will embrace hostile condo skyscrapers along highways.”

      Yes. I’n my experience this is an absolutely true statement.

      It’s changing, and much of the shortsighted thinking is being changed due to the hard work of citizens, politicians, planners and activists, but it remains true for many people.

      The Brossard waterfront is all skyscrapers next to highways with zero pedestrian access, and the people there like it that way. But multiple pushes to replace dead stripmalls along arterians with midrise or mixed use has been defeated by citizen groups fearing “congestion on our streets”

      It’s maddening.

  • Kate 16:59 on 2017/01/15 Permalink | Reply  

    An east-end used car business belonging to an alleged Mafia member was put to the torch overnight, for the second time in a month.

  • Kate 16:54 on 2017/01/15 Permalink | Reply  

    The National Post runs an admonitory piece about union leader Chantal Racette.

  • Kate 12:21 on 2017/01/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Gilles Proulx talks about the coming of TV to Montreal in 1952 which came to “marquer profondément la ville, mais pas pour le mieux.” Apparently it undermined Parisian-style cabarets, which Proulx claims were a big deal here before that fateful date, despite creeping anglicization (he managed to get that in, at least).

    The Centre d’Histoire piece looks at establishments on the lower Main more than a century ago, including the Midway cinema which has evolved into today’s Club Soda.

    Gabriel Deschambault recently looked back at a religious procession called la Fête-Dieu that used to be a very big deal in the Plateau but ended in 1963. It seems the idea was to bless the streets of the parish by carrying a host around it in a monstrance (ostensoir), stopping at various points for singing and prayers. As Deschambault says about the Catholic church of the era, “Elle était omniprésente et exerçait un pouvoir qui est aujourd’hui inimaginable.” But Deschambault doesn’t mention the annual procession held by Santa Cruz church, which is pretty similar. I’ve seen this (and have photos somewhere) – does anyone know if the event is still held?

    Last year the Journal looked at a Fête-Dieu in Griffintown.

    • Jack 12:41 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      To visualise what these processions looked like in the 1960s, check out this work by Gilles Carle

    • Michael Black 15:35 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      Drapeau was elected in 1954, and didn’t he then start crusading about some of the “wilder” things in the city? So that may have shut things down as tv was rising up.


    • Nick D 22:21 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      I believe the Fête-Dieu is the vernacular French name for the Catholic feast of Corpus Christi.

    • Kate 00:52 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Nick D, I believe you’re right. The Portuguese procession was in springtime, and Wikipedia says Corpus Christi is in June this year. I had assumed wrongly it might be another event, Christ the King, but that’s in November, not the best time to hold a religious parade.

    • Dhomas 04:24 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      @Kate: the Portuguese procession you’re referring to is most likely Senhor Santo Cristo. It happens 5 Sundays after Easter Sunday (May 21st this year). The last time I went was in 2014, but I’m sure it’s still going. It is different from both Corpus Christi and Christ the King. There’s a Wikipedia entry about here: There is some more local information about it here: and here: There are also several videos on YouTube of the annual procession.

    • Kate 11:29 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Dhomas, thank you. I hadn’t realized the Milagres thing was separate from the standard Catholic calendar.

    • dwgs 12:46 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Is the Portuguese procession the one where they go around giving out meat? I was always envious of that one.

  • Kate 02:13 on 2017/01/15 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe’s Everett-Green has a nice look at Matt Soar’s sign project at Concordia – also from CTV – while Richard Burnett shows us some examples from Jean-François Nadeau’s new photo book Montrealers. (Published by Simon & Schuster in English though, so if you’re irked by that recent news of that publisher’s book contract with a certain alt-right figure, maybe indulge yourself with the French version from Éditions de l’Homme, Les Montréalais.)

  • Kate 17:54 on 2017/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Orange line is down between Côte-Vertu and LG and I’m caught up in it, lucky me. Send the dogs with brandy barrels.

    Aha. I’m not the only person to notice that there’s a train from LuLa at 17:30 that stops at Vendome. STM owes me a train ticket now.

    Update: Radio-Canada says that part of the line is down for the rest of the day.

    New update: STM says the section between Plamondon and Côte-Vertu is down because a problem with an Azur tire caused some damage to the surface the tires ride on. An update is promised for Sunday morning. Bus service has been bridging the gap and presumably will go on doing so if necessary.

    On the metro Saturday there may have been some other issue, because the announced stations were all wrong. It was bizarre to have the metro stop at Laurier to hear “Côte-Vertu, Veuillez quitter le train.”

    Sunday morning, it’s back to normal, but the STM says that it’s not sure yet exactly what happened.

    • rue david 21:18 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      falling apart at the seams.

    • EmilyG 21:23 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      I had to take a shuttle bus to get home. Wasn’t all that much trouble. I hope you got home okay.

    • EmilyG 22:05 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      That is to say, I took a bus to Snowdon and took the blue line from there.

    • EmilyG 22:08 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      Now Twitter is saying the line is only down between Plamondon and Cote-Vertu.

    • Phil C. 22:30 on 2017/01/14 Permalink

      If only the metro was built with more crossovers, we’d be able to isolate a small section when something happens and not cripple the whole service

    • Kate 01:31 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      Thanks EmilyG. I was visiting friends and they were kind enough to drive me home.

      rue david, it was an Azur train malfunction. Bound to be some bugs in new trains as they settle in.

    • EmilyG 09:43 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      I’ve heard the train announce the wrong stops before. Sometimes it gets fixed quickly, sometimes not (and you have to pay close attention to where you are.)

    • js 20:46 on 2017/01/15 Permalink

      I never understood how the service is sometimes down on a particular line but only in one direction. Where do all the trains go?

    • Kate 00:58 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      js, here and there in the system there are spurs where trains can go, and I think some have turnarounds in them. Also there are garages (they’re building a new one at Côte-Vertu). When you have long lines like the green and orange lines you’ve got to think ahead about measures in case one section has a problem.

    • Danny 12:27 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Late to the discussion but here is a track map that shows every pocket track, switch and garage in the system.

    • Kate 15:39 on 2017/01/16 Permalink

      Danny, thank you.

    • js 00:07 on 2017/01/17 Permalink


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