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  • Kate 07:59 on 2017/06/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Media are now focusing on people unhappy about the new supervised injection sites.

    • Bill Binns 12:02 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Hmm, imagine that. People living in social housing across the street are leading the way in opposing this. Not rich “neoliberal” gentrifiers but good old, salt of the earth workin’ folks. Won’t somebody think of the narrative?!

    • rue david 13:17 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      the narrative is that safe injection sites save lives and reduce the costs and refuse inflicted upon the community and society. focusing on the people that don’t like them without making clear the government’s reasoning and the data behind it does speak to a certain attitude.

    • Viviane 14:11 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      There’s going to be an adjustment period, for sure. Not all drug users are immediately comfortable using these sites. From a CBC article about a proposed injection site in Ottawa:

      “But Noftall said there will be a period of adjustment for users. The first time he went in to use the drug injection site in Vancouver, he was so nervous he ran out, he said.

      ‘It’s going to take addicts time to get comfortable,’ he said. ‘It took me three attempts to get myself familiar with the staff and trust the nurses.'”

    • Ephraim 14:57 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      My experience with CACTUS, the last thing they want is for you to call the cops. They want to handle it swiftly themselves. If the man had contacted them immediately, they would have been outside immediately to help the person and explain the use of the injection site and keep them from injecting around the neighbourhood.

      That’s the point… that they don’t. It will take a bit of time until they can trust that it’s a safe space inside, rather than think they can do it on the street in the area. In fact, they may need to prove that outside ISN’T a safe space and require people to come in. But you can’t really station a policeman outside, that will scare people off.

      I’m sure that CACTUS will quickly contact the residents and hand out a phone number to reach out when they see something. They want it as clean as possible.

  • Kate 01:16 on 2017/06/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Parade organizers have explained and apologized for the now notorious float. A Le Devoir op-ed writer has some relevant remarks, agreeing with me it was up to the directors to foresee a problem with the effect made by the float.

  • Kate 00:49 on 2017/06/27 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec and Ottawa both made big promises Monday to put millions into preserving the St. Lawrence. Curious this comes at the same time as Ottawa is proposing to open parts of soi‑disant protected areas in the “marine protected area” where the river meets the sea to oil and gas exploration.

  • Kate 08:12 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    A big office building project is planned for Mile Ex and involves the demolition of a building on Waverly that served as headquarters for the Quebec Liberal party for a time. Before that it had been head office of a hardware chain, but I can’t remember which one. Anyway, even Dinu Bumbaru says the thing has no architectural or heritage value.

    On Twitter, Sasha Dyck points out that this was one of the last remaining sites that could’ve been developed for social housing by the borough (ViSaMiPex in this case) but wasn’t, and now it’s sold off into private hands.

    • Jack 09:25 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Any reader expertise on the subject of traffic and parking in this area. I’ve seen an enourmous amount of development in an area served by a two lane street ( Gary Carter ) and (Jean Talon) and wondered about the car infrastructure.

    • SMD 09:55 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Already in 2013 a traffic analysis gave grades of C, D, E and F to many of the Jean-Talon intersections between Park and St-Laurent, and predicted a worsening of the overall grades with the hundreds of new condo units that were proposed at the time (and have since been built). Zero planning in that sector, just bylaw and zoning dispensations left and right.

    • Dhomas 09:58 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      If anyone is curious, that site used to be a “Brico Centre”, back in the 80s and maybe early 90s. As far as I know, it’s sat unused since Reno-Depot bought the company and shut down that location. There’s a stub about it on their history page:

    • DavidH 10:39 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      I’m guessing everyone assumes the UdM’s plan at 1000 Beaumont and around will lead to the streets being opened up on the western side of the neighbourhood and easing flow. Problem is, everything else is being built now and those new passages need to go under or over the CP’s track. Those will take a long time to be built.

    • ant6n 10:58 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Re traffic, there’s the blue line in the area, which is always awkward.

      There’s also Gare Parc, which doesn’t have a direct connection downtown. This of course brings me back to warning about privatizing the Mount Royal tunnel — there’d been plans for a long time to connect the St-Jerome line serving Gare Parc directly to Gare Centrale. The rail lines in the area have a lot of space, and there isn’t that much freight — it would be technically possible to have a dedicated surface connection going downtown via the tunnel.

    • SMD 11:21 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      1000 Beaumont is just a pedestrian-bike walkway (supposed to be finalized by the construction holiday, according to this video). It won’t open up any streets nor ease flow, unfortunately. Even the very hypothetical extension of de l’Épée street south across the tracks would only be for walkers and bikers.

      One easy step that would help encourage non-car transit to the area would be to link De Castelnau and Ogilvy streets, as proposed by everybody but blocked by the CP and dithered on by the city for years.

  • Kate 08:08 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Terms of the deal struck between the police brotherhood and the city are still under wraps and will be revealed to its members only after the summer holidays.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    The safe injection sites that opened last week say the experiment is a success so far.

  • Kate 01:02 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Next few days will be très achalandé for your blogger, so apologies in advance if things get a little slow here or if I mess up a link from the phone. All will be well eventually.

  • Kate 00:56 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    This isn’t the first time, and won’t be the last, that Quebec has set aside millions to preserve religious buildings 🎥. Christ Church Cathedral’s bell tower will be fixed up, plus a long list of other items in churches around town.

    • jeather 14:42 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      All I want is for these buildings, when sold, to have to repay the government for the repairs they are unwilling to pay for. Fine, you don’t need to pay property tax; fine, you make the taxpayers pay for upkeep too. But when you finally do want to make a profit, you owe us.

    • ant6n 00:36 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      It seems that public should get equity in return for the money they spend on these buildings.

    • Kate 01:20 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      And not just the heritage money that’s been spent in recent years, but something to offset the huge cut in taxes the buildings have always had. I find it deeply unjust that the church in various forms can simply sell off huge convents and churches as if they’re ordinary real estate. They’ve all been propped up by tax benefits for years, including from nonbelievers and members of other religions.

      This isn’t in conflict with my resistance to the city’s recent move to tax churches. I’m not saying tax churches, I’m saying regard church buildings as a repository of common wealth, not as private property.

    • Dhomas 07:15 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      @Kate: I would add community contribution to your list. Churches have received most of their funding from the community of believers putting money in the collection plate, paying to get married at the church, as well as contributions for all the other sacraments. The church buildings should belong to the community just as much if not more than to the Church itself. It always pisses me off to see a community group turfed from a church building when it gets sold (or for any other reason).

    • Chris 07:52 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Dhomas, those examples seem weaker, since they are all voluntary. No one is forced to put money in a collection plate, get married, or take sacraments. If theists choose to give their money to their church, that’s their business.

    • Kate 08:54 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Chris, that’s easy to say now, but until about 1963 the overwhelming majority of Quebec residents were Catholic and participating in Catholic efforts was seen as civically important. We can’t just brush this off as ha-ha silly sky god. It’s almost impossible to overstate the Catholic church’s role in Quebec not so long ago.

    • Ian 09:39 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Also let’s not forget that if you didn’t tithe and send your kids to Catholic school you would get severely reprimanded by your priest. It was not optional when my Dad was a kid, that’s for sure.

  • Kate 00:39 on 2017/06/26 Permalink | Reply  

    Police have released a brief video of the car they think was involved in a hit-and-run early Saturday that badly injured a man on the Main. Given the distance and quality of the video, it’s a reach.

  • Kate 11:54 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    Local media are pleased that homeboy Lance Stroll made the podium at the Azerbaijan Grand Prix.

  • Kate 11:53 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    The Queen Elizabeth Hotel is reopening soon after year-long renovations.

    • ant6n 11:58 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Money for the Caisse!

      (I wish they’d taken down the Western wing of the hotel in order to open up the axis Gare-Centrale – McGill Avenue – The Mountain, allowing Gare Centrale to be rebuilt one day as the gate to the city and the mountain)

    • Kate 12:12 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Dang, ant6n. I’ve never seen it that way, and now I do. It’s a hell of an idea.

    • rue david 17:06 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      i don’t really understand what you’re proposing, anton, demolish the western side of hotel? how would that open up any axis?

    • Blork 17:23 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Me too. Not sure what that would do. (And by “McGill Avenue” I assume you mean McGill-College Ave.)

      Once McGill-College hits Rene-Levesque it ends. Even if it were extended, it’s right in the middle of the block between Mansfield and Robert-Bourassa, so that would be an awkward intersection.

      At the other end, McGill-College ends at the Roddick Gates. Not sure what you’d propose to do there… Pedestrians can pass through the McGill campus, but even then you have to exit to McTavish or University to make it all the way to the mountain.

      But getting back to the south end, are you proposing some kind of pedestrian path from the station? Is that worth knocking down a hotel for, given the awkward intersection it would make at Rene-Levesque? How many pedestrians do you image have an interest in walking from the station to the mountain?

      I’m not being belligerent, I’m sincerely interested in what you mean.

    • rue david 18:09 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      yeah, he must mean punching a hole in the queen elizabeth like you describe to “extend” mcgill college down to some new opening for the central station. the trick, you mention, blork, is demand. there are already connections to the station from all the important surrounding buildings, and PVM square at the head of mcgill college is dead even on a nice day.

      on a related note, i’ve always hated what they did to mcgill college, that is, how it was widened. they took down a row of buildings to put in this rarely-used show street for street deadening high rise. the street no longer lines up with the roddick gates, so it just looks off, and the malls the corner of mcgill college and saint cath is the deadest of all saint catherine cross streets in all of downtown (with the possible exception of clark). maybe it could be fixed by a full pedestrianization of the street east of the current median and turning the entire western side into buildings again.

      maybe something like that could get you some foot traffic between mcgill, those buildings along mcgill college and saint catherine. which, possibly might lead to more people walking down mcgill college to that PVM square, which might lead to more demand for a direct overland connection to the train station.

    • ant6n 18:44 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      Actually I mean the Eastern wing of the hotel (the part that’s along Rene-Levesque). I’m talking about opening up the axis of Avenue McGill, which extends with the rail vaiduct South of Gare Centrale.

      Most big rail stations in the world are large open glass buildings, many the center of an important visual axis through the city. Gare Centrale could be on the axis connecting the mountain and the beginning of the Lachine canal, via “McGill College Av.”. (I’d say the street itself should be turned into a park)

    • Mathieu 10:43 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Demolishing the parking structure on de la Gauchetière would also do a lot to make this area nicer. Or at least they could do something to make the entrance to the train station more appealing.

    • Robert H 12:37 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Le Reine Elizabeth m’a toujours semblait comme un grand dortoir moche, froid, et impersonnel. Le bâtiment a vraiment besoin d’une rénovation de fond en comble. Peut-être, Ivanhoe Cambridge s’inspirait d’example du Ritz-Carlton qui se restauré avec succès esthétiquement (à mon avis).

      Rue David, je suis tout à fait d’accord que c’était une erreur d’élargir L’Avenue McGill College. On voulait la refaire comme Park Avenue ou Le Champs Elysées de Montréal, mais ce qui s’est produit est un canyon plat des tours à bureaux sans vie, trop court d’être un vrai boulevard–plutôt un tronçon peu distingué. Je croyais que j’étais la seule personne ennuyée que L’avenue McGill College ne s’aligne plus aux Portes Roddick de l’université. Et je suis d’accord aussi que le côté est de la médiane devrait remplacer par nouveaux immeubles.

    • rue david 23:36 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      Robert : je ne suis pas du tout d’accord que l’hôtel Queen Elizabeth ait cet air froid ou impersonnel. Au contraire, je le trouve sobre, élégant et digne de son status de ‘grand hôtel’
      Montréalais. Reste à voir si le réaménagement améliorera ce qu’on n’aime pas chez eux (les plafonds trops bas, par exemple) – mais on leur laisse quand même l’opportunité de nous révéler les résultats, non?

      Anton : a priori, on te rappelle gentillement que la rue (Peter) McGill et l’avenue McGill College ne sont pas liées, ni en esprit, ni par l’utilisation courante. Bon et ensuite, on est d’accord qu’un mégaprojet pour établir un gare central style européen serait cool (bon, à part la proposition de démolir le Queen Elizabeth), mais si on s’interesse pour de vrai à un tel réaménagement de la station centrale, il serait beaucoup plus réaliste de cibler les entrées rue de la Gauchetière, comme propose Mathieu.

    • ant6n 09:42 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Wait so you’re saying that McGill college doesn’t matter because it’s not an important traffic Street (even though I was talking about opening up a visual axis to the train station, not a car traffic axis, and also having the northern end of the rail station in Rene Levesque), and then you propose one should open up Gare Centrale to gauchetiere? That Street is like an alley.

    • rue david 13:39 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      i’m not proposing anything. it should be obvious enough that demolishing the queen elizabeth hotel to create a visual down mcgill college to the train station isn’t a good idea at all. but if they ever do a renovation of that station, fixing the hellscape that is gauchetière would be where to do it.

    • ant6n 13:47 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      I’d agree it’s not realistic. That’s why I put the original idea in parenthesis, as a sort of idle dream.

      But it’s definitely not ‘obvious’ that it’s a bad idea. If you think it’s a bad idea, maybe explain your opinion.

  • Kate 10:45 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    Odile Tremblay writes with feeling about the uncertain future of the Imperial cinema and the World Film Festival ⌧, both teetering on the brink of Serge Losique’s debt to two private lenders.

  • Kate 10:36 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    Globe & Mail writer Konrad Yakabuski does not like the plan for a Leonard Cohen mural ⌧ to loom over Crescent Street. At all.

    • Ian 16:38 on 2017/06/25 Permalink

      The dignity of Crescent Street? C’mon. it’s been tourist bro-zone ground zero for over 20 years. Also, a giant multi-storey slab of concrete is more attractive? Really though, let’s be frank – Leonard Cohen is the one person from Montreal most tourists will know. It makes sense to create a tourist attraction of his image in what is a fairly ugly area that tourists frequent. Maybe the fratboys from upstate NY will be inspired to stagger back to their hotel rooms singing Leonard Cohen songs instead of whatever godawful summer hits the frat boys are listening to. And really, let’s not mythologize the purity of St. Lenny too much – he was, after all, a commercial artist. I am sure he would approve of Montreal branding itself with its artists, even popular ones. It could have been worse, at least it’s not Céline Dion.

      tl;dr: haters gonna hate.

    • Bill Binns 11:15 on 2017/06/26 Permalink

      I think it’s funny that the fact that these types of honors would often be despised by the person they are supposedly honoring is never much of a consideration.

      I remember Kate saying something here along the lines of “Camillien Houde said there would be an automotive road over Mount Royal over his dead body. He died, they built the road and named it after him”. Mordecai Richler’s zillion dollar gazebo comes to mind as well.

  • Kate 10:32 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    Gilles Proulx looks at the foundation of the Grey Nuns. Radio-Canada outlines the history of St‑Jean‑Baptiste day as the national holiday and the Journal examines the evolution of the fleurdelysé.

  • Kate 10:10 on 2017/06/25 Permalink | Reply  

    The light and fireworks show that opened the bridge illuminations is to be reprised Sunday night – and the police brotherhood will now have no reason to crash the party. TVA link plays a video of parts of the initial show.

    • ant6n 10:26 on 2017/06/27 Permalink

      Makes you wonder how much the city is paying extra to make sure the negotiations were wrapped up before hand. The threat to crash his party is quite some leverage over Coderre.

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