Updates from November, 2010 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:27 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Australian writer came here in the summer to cover the city in 24 hours. It’s pretty much the standard stuff, although I do wish the tourism folks wouldn’t flog Schwartz’s (on “Boulevard Saint Lauren”) as being “in the Jewish district” because, as noted earlier, that area hasn’t been a particularly Jewish neighbourhood in decades.

    Also, the handout photo of Maisonneuve in Place d’Armes – he’s been off his plinth for more than a year now.

    Another piece in a Milwaukee paper checks out Bixi and prints one of those terribly misleading, well-meaning errors: “It costs $5 to keep a bike for 24 hours.” No, it does not. It costs $5 to have access to the Bixi system for 24 hours, but if you kept the same bike the whole time, you’d be charged $279.50!

    Meanwhile, Now, in Toronto, is very worried about helmets not being handed out with Bixi bikes. Would you wear a random helmet a dozen other people had worn that day? No, and neither would I.

    • Carlos 00:38 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Did you mention the horrible article in Le Figaro Madame from this summer? There were about a dozen important factual mistakes (the Musée d’art contemporain is in Old Montreal? Where is Ile Sainte-Anne?). Here it is: http://madame.lefigaro.fr/loisirs-et-voyages/enquetes/942-montreal-une-ile-trois-ilots

    • ant6n 07:17 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Well, Schwartz’s is still awesome even though it’s very touristy and been declining a bit in recent years.

      Requiring bike helmets is a bad idea; it really didn’t help the Melbourne system, because bike sharing relies on flexibility, easy hop on hop off. Toronto should rather look into providing more safe infrastructure for bicyclists. That said, having some helmet stores in downtown probably won’t hurt; bixi regulars might use them. Or Helmet vending machines, like Melbourne is trying out.

    • Kate 07:49 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      ant6n: Schwartz’s is fine, but the area around it, which was a Jewish enclave back when Mordecai Richler was a boy – and which has left traces like the Bagg Street Shul, Moishe’s, Berson’s Monuments and the synagogue on Duluth that’s been an apartment building for decades – is no longer a Jewish neighbourhood.

      carlos: ooh, good find. I didn’t see that Figaro piece, thanks for the link!

    • AJ 09:06 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Wow, that Figaro piece is chockablock with basic errors. Santropol is “right across” from Saint-Denis friperies? Maybe if you fold the city in half so they touch. Harricana, down on the boundary of Saint-Henri and Little Burgundy, is in Mile-End? Outremont is an anglo neighborhood? La Montee (formerly “…de lait”) was never in Mile-End to begin with, and it’s on Bishop Street downtown now. They get most of Villeray right, at least. And they actually sent someone here to do the report, too!

    • dwgs 11:52 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      It’s my understanding that Schwarz’s has been owned by Greeks for decades now.
      Not that I don’t love me some Schwarz’s once in a while, just saying.

    • Kate 12:57 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Sure. Schwartz’s makes no claim to being kosher. I remember a visitor wondering whether it would be OK if she asked for a glass of milk with her sandwich, and just laughing.

    • carswell 13:24 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      AJ, whether or not you agree that La Montée de Lait’s original location (371 Villeneuve East corner of Grand Pré) is in Mile End, there’s pretty much no denying that it’s current location is (the former Bouchonné space at 5171 Saint-Laurent between Laurier and Fairmount). La Montée on Bishop closed last spring, and more’s the pity.

    • AJ 14:52 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Carswell, thanks for the update. Haven’t been back there since before they moved, I guess I missed that. I would call their original location more northeastern Plateau (what’s the cutoff? I traditionally think St-Joseph and St-Laurent as marking the southeastern corner.)

    • carswell 16:24 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      AJ: So as not to look the idiot on my first Montreal City Weblog post, I searched for a map or description of Mile End’s boundaries. Found nothing in the Wikipedia article, on the Plateau Borough website, etc. Did find a description of the Mile End riding, which said its boundaries extend as far east as Chirstophe Colomb. I’d place the district’s eastern frontier well west of that, though maybe not as far as St-Laurent. Isn’t Mont-Royal Blvd. the traditional southern border?

    • Kate 18:43 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Hi Carswell. Anecdotally, and without thinking about it too much, I’d automatically peg Mile End as being defined roughly by the CP tracks on the north, the Outremont boundary on the west (i.e. a block and a half half a block west of Park) and Mont-Royal on the south. The eastern boundary is a little soft because I tend to feel Mile End includes at least some part of the old needle trade district, maybe the area north of Maguire and west of Henri-Julien, but not most of the rest of the stuff east of the Main. I can’t really substantiate these boundaries with any map or document – it’s more a change of vibe from the rest of the Plateau than a legal definition.

    • C_Erb 21:16 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Kate: Those are exactly the borders I go by.

      It seems everyone can agree on about St-Joseph/Laurier and north to the tracks as being part of Mile End and I find anyone who lives in that section will dispute Mont-Royal being the southern border. Anyone who lives south of St-Joseph will often call the street just south of them the southern border. Mile Enders tend to try to keep Mile End as small as they can, so long as they’re inside of it.

    • SMD 00:42 on 2010/12/02 Permalink

      Small correction: Mile End’s western border is right down the middle of Hutchison, so half a block west of Park.

    • Kate 07:59 on 2010/12/02 Permalink

      Oh good point, SMD. Somehow my memory had displaced the border onto Durocher but you’re quite right.

    • Justin 02:20 on 2011/01/16 Permalink

      Mile End in 1815 was the intersection of Saint-Laurent and (what is now) Mont-Royal.

      In the 1840s, a chapel of Saint-Enfant-Jésus was built (near (today’s) Saint-Dominique and Laurier); its parish, detached from the parish of Montreal in 1867, was Saint-Enfant-Jésus-du-Mile-End and initially covered a wide swathe of north-central Montreal. Mile End post office was established near the church by the 1860s.

      In 1876, the Mile End stop on the Quebec, Montreal, Ottawa & Occidental Railway (bought by CPR in 1882) was created at what is now Bernard & Saint-Dominique.

      The classic borders of Mile End (village of Saint-Louis-du-Mile-End, 1878-1895; town of Saint-Louis, 1895-1909; Laurier Ward, 1910-1921) are Mont-Royal Avenue on the south, the Outremont border on the west (generally along Hutchison), Henri-Julien (or the lane just east of it) on the east. The northern boundary was approximately at rue de Castelnau, just south of Jarry Park.

      Obviously, nothing north of the CP tracks has been considered to be Mile End for quite some decades now. When the electoral district of Mile End was resuscitated in the late 70s or early 80s, it used the boundaries of the former town, south of the railway. Redistribution in 2001 added a small strip east to Saint-Denis, and in 2005 the larger chunk east to Laurier Park.

  • Kate 22:10 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are now blaming the string of arson attacks on small businesses on an ongoing squabble between Mafia factions – and the thread that ties them together is aspects of illegal activity known or suspected at those addresses.

    • Ian 10:01 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Well, duh. I think I just rolled my eyes so hard they got stuck. To paraphrase Chief Wiggum of the Simpsons, “That’s some fine police work, boys”.

  • Kate 20:54 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Just after the funeral of her husband, Pat Burns’ widow found her car had been robbed and hockey memorabilia and personal effects stolen.

    • Marc 22:57 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      People can be really heartless and disgusting.

  • Kate 20:43 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Today is the last day of the Bixi season, with promises to reopen next May, although – looking back through my blog entries – they reopened mid-April last time. Mind you, we had a very early spring this year, not necessarily a given.

    • Chris 10:06 on 2010/12/01 Permalink

      Most of Montreal’s bike paths are only open from April 1 to November 15. Strange that Bixi stays open after their closing, but doesn’t return until weeks after they open. I wish that both opened earlier!

  • Kate 20:04 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Archives de Montréal has put up a Flickr set of the 1970 Grey Cup parade.

  • Kate 08:11 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city budget is managing a general increase of 5% in everything, including transit fare hikes and increases in property taxes. A standard monthly bus pass costs $70 now and will likely cost more than $72 next year. (The Gazette notes that the pass was $48.50 back in 2002 when the first Tremblay administration came in.)

    Later note: the specifics are that the pass will cost $72.75 and a single ticket jumps from $2.75 to $3. Fagstein has a detailed breakdown and tweeted a link to the new AMT fares for 2011.

    • Tux 10:53 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      Can someone politically/economically savvy tell me why transit fares have to be hiked every single year? If the STM doesn’t have enough money can’t they cut costs instead of increasing prices? Getting rid of their huge and largely worthless advertising campaigns (Montrealers know about the STM, we don’t need print or video ads telling us how awesome it is) might be a good start. Maybe get rid of the inspecteurs since they probably cost more in salary than they generate in tickets and they intimidate people anyway? Investigate ways of producing their own biofuel?

    • Kate 11:30 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      The STM does need a communications department to tell us about changes in services, things like that. Whether they needed their own font and all the stuff patting us on the back for being good environmental citizens seems less well founded. As for the inspectors, Quebec in general is weighed down with cadres who have graduated from the ranks and expect a cushier life, but who don’t produce much but bumf. Try to get rid of them, though…

    • Paul 12:30 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      I recall that one of Tremblay’s original campaign promises was that he’d extend the STM student discount to cover all students – regardless of age (i.e. high school – PhD. level). As far as I know there’s still an age limit on STM passes though. So much for that plank. This guy and transit.

    • Kate 22:11 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      Le Devoir notes that this is the first STM budget in awhile that should have no deficit.

  • Kate 08:07 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Working on the train de l’Est, the commuter line going out to Mascouche, Construction Louisbourg hacked down hundreds of trees in the Pointe-aux-Prairies nature park without so much as a by-your-leave.

    Construction Louisbourg belongs to Tony Accurso – not that it’s massively relevant to this story, just a footnote. Literally.

  • Kate 08:02 on 2010/11/30 Permalink | Reply  

    You know what? I think the best thing I’ve heard about Canada in years is that our courts frustrate the paranoid urges of the security forces by sticking to ideas like human rights. Long may they do so.

  • Kate 17:02 on 2010/11/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Many sports notables and other dignitaries were at the Pat Burns funeral this afternoon: La Presse illustrates it with a photo of Martin Brodeur, who spoke warmly of the man, the National Post has a photo of Gary Bettman, and the Gazette three members of the current Canadiens team.

    The Canadiens are having their annual blood drive today at Windsor Station.

  • Kate 12:49 on 2010/11/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A certain drama was added to the Alouettes’ victory when it was almost immediately announced that quarterback Anthony Calvillo has to have a thyroid operation and still doesn’t know whether it’s cancer. Props to him for playing out the season with this worry hanging over him.

    The Grey Cup parade will be on Wednesday at lunchtime, moving from Crescent east along St. Kit’s to the Quartier des Spectacles: here’s a view from last year.

  • Kate 12:45 on 2010/11/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Many are expected to attend Pat Burns’ funeral this afternoon at Marie-Reine-du-Monde.

  • Kate 23:26 on 2010/11/28 Permalink | Reply  

    WikiLeaks has swamped the news this weekend, and Canada’s pre-cringing at what the U.S. may say about us is pretty trivial compared to news like Arab states wanting the U.S. to attack Iran.

    Could wish the construction industry in Quebec were interesting enough for someone to whisper a few of our secrets in Julian Assange’s ear.

  • Kate 23:14 on 2010/11/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s an easy one for Monday morning: find the mistake in this piece on the construction of a “Montreal Super Hospital.”

    • Ian 07:24 on 2010/11/29 Permalink

      word #2? Or that they’re claiming construction is only starting now, when working directly next to the Glen Yards I can assure you they’ve been driving pilings for ages? CLANG… CLANG… CLANG all day…

    • Matt 09:30 on 2010/11/29 Permalink

      The graphic: completely wrong site and I believe even wrong project. (I know the Rosemont site was a possibility for the CHUM, but I don’t remember it ever being cosndiered for the MUHC)

    • Ian 10:17 on 2010/11/29 Permalink

      Oh, ouch! Clearly my powers of observation are lacking this morning. :D

    • Kate 10:33 on 2010/11/29 Permalink

      Matt got it. Yes, there was some talk about constructing the CHUM (never the MUHC) in that location near Rosemont metro where the bus garage is. I’m not clear about all the politics but I recall there was some concern about the railway line nearby that might occasionally carry toxic freight.

  • Kate 23:06 on 2010/11/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Here is the study, in PDF format, from the city’s chamber of commerce, talking about the benefits of public transit to the city’s economy, mentioned in a blog post earlier this weekend.

  • Kate 23:01 on 2010/11/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Pauline Marois wants to reboot Montreal.

    • Steve Quilliam 16:48 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      It’s always the ones that aren’t in power that have good intentions.

    • Kate 19:29 on 2010/11/30 Permalink

      It occurred to me that a fair number of Montrealers might enjoy booting Pauline, too.

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