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  • Kate 11:11 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    This piece continues the thread from earlier comments about the manpower used to direct traffic around the St-Denis roadwork site: Montreal pays almost three times what Vancouver does for traffic direction around construction areas. Our cops get an overtime of $60/hour for the task, whereas Vancouver employs non-police agents that get $22. And this doesn’t even address how many people are regarded as necessary on any given site.

    • Ephraim 12:01 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      And I bet the non-police agents do a better job of it.

  • Kate 11:01 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse now says that the city has lost $13 million on the cancelled police and fire games, but has some hope of collecting a few million back. The city has a bad record of losing money on big sports fandangos: it has lost millions on swim meets and on the Outgames, besides that little event in 1976 that we don’t like to talk about.

  • Kate 10:55 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman hit by a truck Tuesday morning has died. As is typical in these incidents with large vehicles, the truck was making a turn when the woman got caught under it. Odds are the driver never even saw her.

  • Kate 10:48 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A fire in a Rosemont apartment building Tuesday morning was caused by another cigarette put out in another potted plant. We’ve seen several of those lately. That dried-out potting moss stuff is absolute tinder.

  • Kate 10:31 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Uber is now asking for special permits distinct from taxi permits, I guess because they’re so special.

    • Ephraim 10:32 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      The government should just issue more taxi permits until the price is under a certain point. It should have NEVER been allowed to increase in that way. Or switch them to annual renewal.

  • Kate 10:28 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The cost of restoring the Mordecai Richler gazebo has doubled and now stands at $724,000. Alex Norris says it’s been mismanaged by the city, whereas Réal Ménard says it’s a heritage structure and we have to do our best to look after that kind of thing.

    • Ephraim 10:32 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Is this built of imported cedar from Lebanon or something? How could it have ever gotten to this point?

    • Kevin 11:51 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Lead paint covering rusted steel. And mould
      They should have just given up the ‘restoration’ when the price tag hit six figures. At this point we’re approaching homeopathic levels of original structure.

  • Kate 10:18 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Security videos of a 2013 robbery in a Park Ex jewellery store submitted in court are described as being of a rare level of violence. Two men tried to hold up the store, and among other things one worker made use of nitric acid, which jewellers use to test gold, leaving one of the bandits scarred for life.

    • Bill Binns 11:53 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Good for the store owner. The businesses of St Henri should keep a jar of nitric acid behind the counter.

  • Kate 10:12 on 2016/05/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Road work is affecting more than half the city’s bus routes one way or another.

  • Kate 23:51 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette talked to the owner of Épicerie-Comptoir 3734 which it calls a “high-end grocer and specialty food counter” and the CTV talked to the woman who was the lone employee in the store Saturday night when an anti-gentrification group came in, stole food and left graffiti and other evidence of their views. Of mainstream media only the CBC has been even-handed on the story, considering both sides of gentrification while the Gazette, of course, condemns anyone who even speaks out against it. That paper, which has only ever lauded rising rents and higher costs of living, couldn’t be expected to do anything else.

    • Douglas 02:29 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Individuals that damage and destroy someone else’s property via criminal behavior don’t deserve support or deserve to have their voice heard. They need to be stopped.

      If they want support, they should do what FRAPU did which is peaceful protest. I may not agree with everything FRAPU does, but if enough people join that cause, then you have to respect the will of the people, not go out and become criminals.

    • Alison Cummins 02:44 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Right, because FRAPRU has been hugely effective in effecting change.

      If I really want to make a statement I’ll break a law. When you risk your freedom for a cause, people take you seriously. (When you risk your life or set yourself on fire, you can spark a revolution.)

      I’m not sure vandalizing a grocery store is something I’d personally risk my freedom for, but the principle is there.

    • JS 08:16 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      By the time stores like this open the process of gentrification is well underway, and chasing away one tenant won’t stop it. Maybe the protestors should mobilize anti-gentrification elements such as muggers, streetwalkers, aggressive beggars, iv drug users, artless vandals, homeless people, etc to “take back the streets” of their neighbourhood

    • dwgs 11:37 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      If “Artless Vandals” has never been used as a band name that’s a damned shame.

    • Bill Binns 11:51 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      “anti-gentrification group” Seriously? I wonder if that is how you would describe 30 masked that forced their way into your workplace when you were alone and proceed to vandalize and rob the place.

      Fuck these people and their cause. Nobody deserves to be put through what that woman was put through at work. Giving an inch to the whole “robbery as political statement” argument is stupid and dangerous. It’s only a matter of time before these thugs turn their attention from businesses to the hated residents who are doing all the nasty gentrifying.

      I’m pissed off. I want to see the cops kicking down doors in the middle of night. It’s bullshit that we don’t have a single arrest yet. I’m sure the cops know damn well who did this.

    • Kevin 11:53 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      There’s a special place for people who describe opening a store as an act of violence, but don’t think intimidating a woman or destroying property is violent.

      I’m not sure if it’s a jail cell or a padded cell, but it’s special :)

  • Kate 23:34 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The suspect in the north end sex change clinic arson has been arrested in British Columbia.

  • Kate 23:19 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Outremont is going ahead with its controversial bylaw banning new places of worship on two main streets.

    I wrote about this in a comment on the weekend and am going to bring a bit of it forward here. There was a piece on the situation by the Toronto Star’s Allan Woods on Friday in which Outremont mayor Marie Cinq-Mars is quoted: “When you have an empty parking lot followed by a daycare, then two houses, a store and then a place of worship, it doesn’t make for a very appealing commercial artery.”

    She’s dead wrong on this. Consider some of the liveliest streets in this city. St-Viateur has the over-the-top presence of St. Michael’s. Does it damage the street? No. Some of the streets with the best summer fairs have big old Montreal neighbourhood churches interspersed with commercial-residential blocks, and they serve to break up the pattern and open the sky in a pleasing way: Wellington and Masson, for example.

    Real living commercial arteries are more than merely malls with a sidewalk. They have other aspects of human life interspersed with business, as they ought to have.

    I am not saying anyone should build on the scale of Montreal’s old Catholic churches any more, but nobody wants to. No Hasidic group wants to put up another St. Michael’s. And we need more community buildings. There are ways this could be made to work for everyone, but it would take more thought and imagination than Outremont is willing to put into it.

    • JS 08:09 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      I live near there and can’t see what the problem is. The congregants aren’t clogging up streets driving to the synagogues, or hanging out in large mobs blocking sidewalks and traffic. It’s just a bunch of people coming and going. Maybe the anti-synagogue people don’t like hearing the praying and singing during the summer when the windows are open.

    • jeather 09:48 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      The problem is anti-semitism, JS, with a dash of xenophobia. (Or perhaps xenophobia with a dash of anti-semitism.)

    • Mathieu 10:21 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Oh come on, it’s not because people want zoning laws that they’re xenophobic. Our streets need diversity to be lively. Too many churches, mosques, schools, CPE, etc. would bring the same kind of reaction. There are many “community centres” (i.e. illegal synagogues that are built as community centres to circumvent the zoning laws) in commercial spots already and, when you put that next to the synagogues that occupy nearly all of a street block, you end up with a whole neighbourhood that’s effectively a big synagogue. A residential zoning right in the middle of a commercial street would do the same thing (kill the street liveliness) and there are exemples of this in Montreal. It’s a question of zoning.

      We should also be concerned about the fact that large parts of commercial (and residential) street in Outremont are jewish-only shops and de facto synagogues. It affects how lively and inclusive our commercial streets are. And since the Jewish population in Outremont is getting bigger fast, and as they tend to worship in small groups in small buildings unlike Christians and their big churches, there will be more and more synagogues in Outremont. It’s the least to make it clear that there needs to be a maximum number of these synagogues on commercial streets and decide where they should go.

    • JS 10:30 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      Mathieu – do they harass outsiders? Get all up in their face? Create a no-go atmosphere for non-Hassids? Do you spend any time in the area? Who cares if they use houses as synagogues, or business offices, or daycares? For anyone not directly involved in their community, all you see is people coming and going. Jeez Louise, mohawked and spiky-haired punk rockers had an easier time in redneck towns than long-standing inobtrusive citizens do in their own neighborhood.

    • Kate 10:46 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      I do have a counterpoint to make. Some of the frontages used as synagogues do look dead as businesses. The buildings may even belong to the people using them as places of worship, but are not zoned that way so are being used on the sly. This has gone on for years in some locations, and it isn’t great for the urban texture. But some compromise needs to be made so that these locations can stop looking like boarded-up abandoned buildings, which I can see is not good for neighbouring businesses, and start looking at least like active parts of the city.

      As things stand, a ban would only work if someone wanted to do a new synagogue with official permits and planning, but that’s never going to work. The tendency of the Hasidic community has often been to fly under the radar, with an understanding that it’s easier to get forgiveness (or grudging tolerance) than permission. For years, much longer than I’ve been doing this blog, there have been stories about synagogues and schools carrying on unofficially: sometimes the complaints have been about overcrowding and fire hazards, more often recently about school curricula.

      If the city or boroughs need to be more tolerant, Hasidic groups need to recognize that they are a part of the city and its flavour, even if they don’t care to participate in the vast majority of its activities. Banning their synagogues is the wrong approach, and is likely to spawn even more of those papered-over dead zone frontages. Launching something like a working group in which people can sit down and talk about how to better accommodate everyone’s needs would be a place to start, but not with the mood Outremont is in, and the attitudes of some of its residents.

    • SteveQ 11:11 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      @ Kate. I agree totally with your point. It’s a balance beetwen the right of this growing community to have more places of worship and for commercial streets to be appealing for walkers especially with nice front front/windows. For me, that is the only issue at this point and it should be relatively easy to reach a agreement.

      Per example, the synogogues could have prayers with hebrew letters on the front, it would be ”artsy/exotic” for the people and I assume it would respect the hassidim way of life. Just a little effort like that would do it, at least for me.

      No need to start calling people xenophobic, anti this and anti that, it’s getting tiresome!

    • jeather 11:32 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      The existence of zoning laws isn’t xenophobic, but the way they are making the laws is. It could be done reasonably, but a loud enough contingent of people don’t want that so it never will be.

      I don’t know what a Jewish-only shop is; I assume it’s a shop that non-Jews don’t want to shop in for some reason — clothing they don’t like, or uninterested in kosher food?

    • Kate 11:39 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      jeather, I’m pretty sure there are functionally Jewish-only businesses around e.g. St-Viateur and Durocher: shops selling religious books and objects, clothing, food or other products. I worked around there for a year and noticed them, as well as noticing that the recycling bins outside some houses had interesting packaging for a whole parallel world of kosher products that must come from Lipa or even smaller stores in the area. I don’t know whether the kosher products are more expensive, but non-Jews would have no reason to buy them, especially if they’re more expensive as a specialty item.

  • Kate 14:28 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Ste-Anne veterans’ hospital has passed from federal control to Quebec’s, and has become a CHSLD. Already some civilians are living there and that number will grow as veterans die off.

    • Alison Cummins 14:55 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      I worked on that project in 1997. At that point they had been working on the dossier for six years already and the province and the feds were preparing for their first meeting.

  • Kate 14:23 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The demolition of a bridge will mean closure of part of St-Jacques over next weekend and lots of further adjustment of traffic around the area where the 720 and 20 cross over, details in the article.

  • Kate 14:19 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    STM fares are going to go up on July 1, a monthly pass to $83 from $82. No mention is made of a change in single tickets, confirmed by Le Devoir.

    • ant6n 14:24 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      It seems there was a fare freeze from November to July, and they didn’t have new fares in January like usually:

    • Kate 14:31 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      Right. As CTV says, fares had not gone up for 18 months. I blogged it.

    • EmilyG 15:13 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      I don’t mind paying a bit more, as long as they don’t cut any more service.

    • EmilyG 15:14 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      And lower-priced passes for lower-income people would be nice, as has been discussed before, though I don’t know if that’d come to Montreal.

    • Michael Black 12:01 on 2016/05/31 Permalink

      The focus is generally on converting drivers to public transport. It is a different case for people who have no car. $6.50 can be a lot, just to get somewhere. They have done better adding things like weekend passes and unlimited after 6pm weekdays and day passes, but you have to be a good planner to make effective use of them.

      Making better use of off-peak time might be good, sometimes when you have little money you do have more flexibility.


  • Kate 10:29 on 2016/05/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro looks at a map put up by the city to discover where people find trouble spots in Lafontaine Park. One resident complains about gay cruising and several others about cyclists. No warnings yet about greedy squirrels.

    • Ian 12:48 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      Hasn’t Parc Lafontaine been cruisy like, forever?

    • Kate 13:24 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      I’ve heard references to it for years.

    • carswell 13:56 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      Here’s a reference: one of Michel Tremblay’s early 1970s plays (Hosanna? La Duchesse de Langeais?) opens with a drag queen putting on makeup in preparation for his show at, IIRC, Chez Cléopatre. Suddenly his boyfriend, Cuirette, bursts into the dressing room, pissed off as hell because he’d just gone to Parc Lafontaine to cruise only to discover that the city had installed lighting along the formerly dark paths.

    • carswell 14:08 on 2016/05/30 Permalink

      It’s Hosanna and I mixed up certain details (hey, it’s been three or four decades since I saw it): “The story takes place in Montreal, Quebec and centres on the relationship between Hosanna, a drag queen dressed as Elizabeth Taylor’s Cleopatra, and Cuirette, an aging ‘stud’ and homosexual biker. This play takes place in Hosanna’s apartment, ‘somewhere in the Plaza Saint-Hubert,’ after she and Cuirette have returned from a Halloween party.”

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