Updates from March, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:34 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A nice Sarah Gilbert piece on a Mile End photographer looks back on a neighbourhood character.

  • Kate 20:49 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A look at the city’s plans for the west end of Ste-Catherine by Spacing’s Devin Alfaro is a good read, especially his critique of the Tremblay administration’s talk about inclusiveness but walk about upscale development: “building a dynamic, vibrant neighbourhood requires low-income and middle-class residents, not just expensive condos that serve as pieds-à-terre for the wealthy.”

    A similar move by the Tremblay admin is their decision to let the Centre 7400 be turned into condos, which will deprive dozens of community groups of their office and meeting space. Also, the developer has given the city a lousy $400,000 to buy them off the requirement of including “affordable” living spaces in the project. (They must’ve had a good laugh about that.) Some previous discussion about this project here and here.

  • Kate 19:42 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Seen this tweeted a few places today: the Mayor of London and Arnold Schwarzenegger on a couple of the London-branded Bixis.

  • Kate 18:29 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal is closing its books for 2010 with a surplus of $192 million.

    • Singlestar 22:18 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      192 000 000 sounds like a lot but the City spends about 22 million a day on all its services. This means that they finish the year about 8 days cash out of 365, or about 2%…

  • Kate 18:24 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Finding the mayor strangely silent in the scramble for federal campaign promises, Richard Bergeron spoke up and asked for a fast train on the Windsor-Quebec corridor and a tram to the south shore.

  • Kate 18:20 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Because of a Pinboard posting, I’ve just become aware of ant6n’s frequent service transit map, a very handy item that prints to 8.5×11 and can easily be folded and carried around. Now if only the key bus lines really did come reliably every 10 minutes…

  • Kate 18:11 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    The Seaway is open again after a maritime mishap in which a big cargo ship got stuck at an angle just off Île Notre-Dame. Good photo in La Presse.

  • Kate 18:05 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    There were 37 deaths on roads on the Island of Montreal in 2010, plus 18 pedestrians, many of them elderly, and four cyclists. The numbers of injured have notably increased.

    • Jack 19:29 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      The number of injured will continue to rise as working class neighborhoods like Villeray, St.Michel, Rosemont etc. are used as landing strips by our suburban brothers and sisters. Take a look at Christophe-Colomb, Papineau, Delorimier, St Denis all urban highways that cut across my neighborhood. The speed limits are rarely enforced, people burn yellows and reds at high speeds. I saw one of the cyclists right after she was killed at the corner of St Denis and Jean Talon, heartbreaking. These people are never killed in TMR or Hampstead and I know why.

    • craig 01:04 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      Even though the number of cyclists has grown rapidly in Montreal (a 40% increase since 2008), serious accidents involving bikes have decreased (from 40 in 2009 to 26 last year).

      The number of fatal accidents has remained stable since 2005 (an average of four 4 a year).

      So the introduction of bixis in 2009 didn’t result in more serious accidents and deaths, as some had predicted.

      Here in Ottawa we’re only getting 100 bixis this year. We were supposed to get 500 but the City of Ottawa decided not to spend the $500,000 it had allocated in last year’s budget for bike-shares. One excuse was that bixis might not be safe.

      I wish some of our car-loving politicians would head down the highway to Montreal, rent a bixi and try out Montreal’s network of bike paths. They’d see how far behind Ottawa is.

    • Stefan 09:07 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      if the politicians tried to cycle then something like that might happen:

      the mayor of los angeles got cut off by a car while cycling in the bike path, broke his arm and just signed off on ~2000km of new bike lanes … coincidence? :-)

    • Stefan 09:20 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      In the second article the blame is again given foremost on the weakest traffic participant, the pedestrians. this is exactly the mentality ‘free road for free drivers’ which is transported also in the ads and responsible for all these deaths. drivers should have to take their responsability! it’s such a contradiction in our society that we’re so afraid of little bacteria but give almost no thought to the instant death probability in traffic.

      personally i think speed should be limited to 30km/h in the city, UNLESS a road is enclosed by walls making it impossible for a vehicle to endanger pedestrians or cyclists on bike lanes, i.e. a highway. to seriously enforce that anyone caught trespassing the speed limit should result in seizure of vehicle + license for a significant period, e.g. a month, in which the person should have to undergo training in alternative transport modes and deliver proof of that.

      result: overall time to drive will not increase anything but marginally, but top speed will be in line with cyclists which makes the whole environment much more safe. could that be worth 59 lives PER YEAR?

    • Stefan 09:27 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      to put the number of people killed on montreal’s streets in perspective:

      it is about 10 times as high as in comparable european cities.
      it is also as high as the number of murders in montreal – but how does the amount of police ressources in prevention compare? not to mention that traffic deaths are easily preventable if one wants to make it a priority: causes are well researched and solutions well analyzed …

  • Kate 17:55 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a teasingly short report on mixed responses to the lavish expense of the Quartier des Spectacles and the future of actual creative culture in the city.

  • Kate 17:53 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Police ended up using tear gas today to disperse a student demo against tuition increases that was taking place around the Loto-Quebec building on Sherbrooke Street, and there were three arrests; the Gazette reports it briefly in terms of an obstacle to traffic.

  • Kate 07:58 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    One of those interminable listings of city livability has pushed Montreal down to 123rd place of 180 while Quebec City is 25th. Maybe Montreal just isn’t spoiled enough.

    • mdblog 10:59 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      I’m not surprised. No one in Quebec City gives a damn about Montreal. As far as they’re concerned Montreal is where “les immigrants” who spoil sovereignty referendums come from. Montreal would be much better off if it could form it’s own province within Canada and I’m sure a CLEAR majority of my fellow citizens would agree.

    • Kate 11:47 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      I think these comparison lists are pernicious because many cities are not comparable and because the view is taken from some imaginary white middle class angle. Quebec City’s still overwhelmingly white francophone and if someone of a visible minority whose French wasn’t perfect went to live there, I’m sure their experience would not be superior to living in Montreal.

    • Stefan 13:08 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      it it always useful to look critically at which criteria have been used/weighted. in that particular case, the article mentioned that is limited to objectively measurable ones – so for example a certain not-very-well-qualifiable ‘experience’ of living in montreal is not considered, which is nevertheless a reason for many people to come here -> big contradiction.

      i think these comparisons could greatly benefit from personalization: answer a few questions to position your priorities and get a more appropriate ranking by applying some basic statistical math. but then that’s not news in the sense of ‘mass media’ …

    • William 14:30 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      The vast majority of these rankings are actually compiled for the benefit of multinational corporations so they can index “hardship” payments to their expat executives. Needless to say, the relevance of these rankings is fairly trivial for anyone who doesn’t fit this category.

    • qatzelok 14:45 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      Also, because of different cultural values, international city comparisons (Quebec/English Canada, for example) are meaningless. English Canadians value different things in their communities, which ought to be obvious to anyone who’s visited them.

    • Kate 09:19 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      qatzelok, can you expand on this theory? I’m curious.

  • Kate 07:54 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    SDA is still trying to buy out the Café Cléopâtre.

  • Kate 07:53 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    A group from Harlem is to advise Park Ex how to keep its head when a new university campus moves in next door. The area’s councillor has faith in the Régie du logement’s rent guidelines, which is kind of sweet, as everyone sees them broken all the time all over town. She also has high hopes of getting modest jobs in the new campus for her residents.

    • Shawn 10:33 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      … impacts renters/owners in Petit Patrie and that district west of the main in Little Italy, too. I’ll bet it’ll also put pressure on the remaining industrial spots on Bates Road, especially that little oil depot.

    • Kate 11:49 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      There are landlords in Park Ex who are just waiting for their moment to turf out all the poor immigrants, tear down the slums in which they’ve been living, and build shiny new profitable condos on their land. Don’t think it won’t happen. A few years ago I had a rich man in an expensive car once slow down and forbid me to take photos on his Park Ex street – I wasn’t trespassing, just doing sidewalk shots in a casual way. (He didn’t live there, but clearly he owned some of the buildings I was looking at; it seemed equally clear he took me either for a journalist or an inspector.)

      Guys like that don’t respect individuals any more than sharks do. Going up against them naively gets you eaten.

    • qatzelok 14:05 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      A lot of the harm could probably be avoided by building inexpensive university residences as part of the program. The addition of a new demographic group might help make Park Ex even more interesting as long as the rent situation is mitigated.

    • Chris 21:49 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      Hope you took the photos anyway!

    • Kate 09:18 on 2011/04/01 Permalink

      Yes, I did. I think though that the only reason he didn’t get out of the car and threaten me physically was that he had family members with him, and he might not have wanted his wife or kids to see him attack a woman.

  • Kate 07:50 on 2011/03/31 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro looks at 162 construction projects around town, adding up to an investment of more than $13 billion in the city’s fabric.

    • Grego 10:09 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      I hope some of that money is going to finish the unfinished eyesore that is the Îlot Voyageur. Every time I walk near there, which is often, I can’t believe this city has let that thing sit like that for so many years. What is happening with it? Does anyone know?

    • Kate 11:52 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      In November it was announced Quebec was buying the project outright but that apparently doesn’t mean they have an immediate plan to complete it.

    • Rich 19:26 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      … about 162 of which involve public money. Let’s burn another bil or two on international-scale horn-tootin’ while we’re at it.

  • Kate 12:50 on 2011/03/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Not sure what to say: the CBC has an entire section on the royal wedding looking at it from every possible angle.

    • Alex 22:00 on 2011/03/30 Permalink

      I’d say that it’s time we get rid of autocratic symbolism?

    • Rich 23:32 on 2011/03/30 Permalink

      The CBC’s been broadcasting Coronation Street since dinosaurs roamed the earth, indicating there’s still a Britophile element to Canadian society. Funny that I’ve never met even one of ’em though.

    • Kevin 07:21 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      The term is ‘anglophile.’
      And most of us who are proud to be in a constitutional monarchy are pretty quiet about it.
      We also realize that the Head of State — be it a President, a King or a Queen — is just a symbol that in the best governments does not have a lot of power over day-to-day functions of the state.

    • Marc 07:52 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      Re. Coronation Street: Some family friends of ours from England were over here this past summer and when my mother (who likes C. S.) asked how far behind we are here with the episodes and the reply didn’t really stun me. She (friend) said; “Wow, you actually watch that show? Are you telling me there are people who STILL watch the show??”

    • walkerp 08:41 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      Coming from the west coast, I can tell you that there are a lot more anglophiles out there than here. Probably has to do with immigration patterns. A lot of my friends’ parents had British accents of one kind or another. Most of my family over there still takes tea around 4:00. When my dad was a kid the biggest deal was when the Queen came to Victoria. I know several royal watchers of my own generation who got into it as teenagers (while also being punk rockers or whatever).
      And considering they are politically neutered, why get rid of the symbolism they bring to the table? They represent a rich history, full of lessons both positive and negative.

    • Kate 11:44 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      BBC World Service’s excellent documentary archive podcast has a recent piece with arguments against monarchy from a Swedish perspective; next week they promise the counter-argument, not sure from who. An interesting point made by one of the Swedish republicans is that royalty has power specifically because they’re outside defined political power, but they use the power of influence.

    • KC 20:26 on 2011/03/31 Permalink

      The British Crown is a pillar of Western Civilization. Canada is privileged by her intimate association with it. Elizabeth II has performed at the highest level. We must hope that her heirs live up to her example.

    • darla bhoncharan 01:42 on 2011/04/29 Permalink

      I wish u both the best in life love each other and don’t let media stand in your way

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