Updates from September, 2011 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 08:26 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Tributes to ecology pioneer Pierre Dansereau, who died this week a few days shy of his 100th birthday, speak of a man who ran an ecosystems lab at UQÀM till recently and published nearly 600 papers. He worked alongside Brother Marie-Victorin at the Botanical Garden and taught all over the place. Sadly, comments to Le Devoir’s obit recollect a darker side to the man’s history. Wikipedia bio.

    • Jack 09:43 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      When looking at Quebec intellectual history one has to be really careful about painting with too broad a brush, as this anti-nazi rally in 1933 indicates.”Raoul Dandurand (sénateur libéral) et Fernand Rinfret (maire de Montréal) s’étaient associés à une protestation tenue par une assemblée de la communauté juive à l’aréna Mont-Royal le 6 avril 1933. Le but de cet assemblée qui a suscité l’ire et le fiel de Dansereau: protester contre les persécutions nazies en Allemagne!” Just some perspective, because people like Jean Claude Harvey and others were militant anti-nazis and had many allies in the political class. Later in life Dansereau and others recognized their stupidity.

    • qatzelok 09:19 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      The comment to which you refer recollect a darker side to History-in-general, and not to Pierre Dansereau in particular.

  • Kate 08:13 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    There were reports this week that many more city fonctionnaires get six-figure salaries now than even two years ago, but the mayor says it’s OK because they deserve it.

  • Kate 08:06 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A bus driver popped out of her vehicle briefly Thursday afternoon on the slope of Mountain Street by the Bell Centre, whereupon the bus came adrift and rolled down the hill, running into another bus, a Canada Post truck and some parked vehicles. Nobody was hurt.

    • Ian 08:08 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      This city is more like Grand theft Auto every day. Did someone apply a negative friction cheat code?

  • Kate 08:04 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    This morning’s must-read: Michèle Ouimet rides with Jacques Duchesneau on the highway from Quebec City to Montreal, where he talks about his history – including some of the threats he’s received as head of the anticollusion squad.

  • Kate 07:46 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Somebody is going around painting the Plateau’s fire hydrants gold. The borough is not amused. (The item mentions a colour code that indicates the water pressure in a hydrant, anyone know what it is?)

    • Ian 08:07 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I believe those indicate the NFPA codes. It’s the colour on the cap that matters.

      BLUE 1500 GPM or more Very good flows
      GREEN 1000-1499 GPM Good for residential areas
      ORANGE 500-999 GPM Marginally adequate
      RED Below 500 GPM Inadequate

      When there’s more than one colour on a hydrant it means it used at different pressures.

    • Ian 08:09 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      More info here for Canadian standards –
      “Colour-coding hydrants is not a solution. All it does is warn the fire department that sufficient water flow may not be available.” Municipalities that practice the colour-coding system follow the U.S. National Fire Protection Association’s standards. The bonnet and nozzle caps of hydrants are painted a specific colour to indicate water flow as follows:
      Blue – flow greater than 95 litres/second
      Green – flow of 63 to 95 L/s
      Orange – flow of 31 to 63 L/s
      Red – flow less than 31 L/s


    • Jason67 08:13 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I just noticed the “pimped up” fire hydrant on my street this week… It actually looks good… ;-)

    • paul 08:18 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I noticed those too and assumed they were approved by the City. They looked great!

    • Kate 08:18 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      The photo looked great, but it’s clearly unwise once you know the colour code has a meaning. I remember a couple of years ago one of the West Island suburbs wanted to “decorate” hydrants and tried to fight their fire department’s refusal to allow it – now I understand better why the firefighters didn’t want it done.

      Thanks for the fireplug research, Ian!

    • Ian 08:26 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Given our problems with water infrastructure at the best of times, it’s actually a pretty dangerous idea to paint hydrants.

    • Michel 09:33 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I walked past one on St-Gregoire last week. I actually thought it was done by the city, but the paint job is really well done. There’s no paint on the grass, no drips, etc. I know nothing about spray painting (honest injun!), but it seems whoever did this took their time.

    • Ephraim 15:20 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I wonder if they is just part of broken windows theory and the graffiti we see around us all the time, now. How can you ask people to respect the city’s property when they don’t respect other people’s property.

    • Snowpea 09:56 on 2011/10/01 Permalink

      I wonder if the gold paint is more than vandalism, but a political comment on our fair city…

    • Ian 22:50 on 2011/10/01 Permalink

      @Ephraim – apples and oranges. You may as well conflate hydrant painting with people doing illegal u-turns – there are certainly more instances of bad driving than graffiti… but maybe you’re onto something, maybe it’s bad driving that causes graffiti. But what shall we make of the most egregious of crimes, making poutine with a non-chicken-based sauce? I bet that’s where graffiti REALLY comes from…Keep working on your theory.

  • Kate 07:43 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA has a nicely lurid feature on finding a new Mafia godfather for the city, complete with a list of qualities needed for the job. Same story slightly reorganized on the Journal de Montréal site; I especially like how they link to jpeg images of their own sidebars instead of coding the content into html.

  • Kate 07:33 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The SQ have suspended their searches in the Mille-Îles river for evidence connected with Julie Surprenant’s disappearance 12 years ago.

  • Kate 07:30 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Richard Bergeron wants to see the CMM’s development plan, currently in discussion, to be re-centered on Montreal, particularly in the development of better public transit.

  • Kate 07:27 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor of RDP-PAT says she’s in a bind: the law obliges her to make contracts with whoever submits the lowest bid, but that business will often be a construction firm controlled by someone connected with the Mafia, and she knows it and can’t do a thing about it.

  • Kate 07:01 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A Radio-Canada inquiry has shown that Mario Hamel, shot in June by police in an incident on lower Saint-Denis, had a history of psychiatric disorders but also had a stressful existence as a small-time drug dealer. This was the incident that also took the life of Patrick Limoges, who happened to be cycling past on his way to work.

  • Kate 06:41 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has closed the pedestrian overpass over Côte-Vertu Côte-de-Liesse at 32nd Avenue, saying it can no longer bear the weight of its users – but that it’s not going to fall on passing motorists. Walkers have to undertake a considerable hike to reach the next crossing of the highway so some are still illegally using the walkway.

    • Marc 07:08 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Cote de Liesse, actually.

    • Kate 07:23 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      You are right. The 520 is Côte de Liesse.

    • Rebecca 07:27 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Hi. Tiny correction: The pedestrian overpass in question is over Cote de Liesse between 32nd avenue east and 23rd avenue east. Here’s a link to the google map: http://g.co/maps/23h28

    • Chris 08:08 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Let’s see if they fix it as fast they have patched up the Mercier and Turcot (at least enough to be open). Since it doesn’t affect motorists, only mere pedestrians, I imagine it will take years.

    • Bill Binns 09:02 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      So this concrete structure over a busy highway is in such poor condition that it can no longer safely support a few hundred pounds of pedestrians but there is no risk to it simply collapsing? I’m not a structural engineer but something doesn’t seem right with that. A 60kph gust of wind likely puts more load on that bridge than it ever gets from the weight of pedestrians.

      Any engineers here?

    • Kate 09:03 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Someone also pointed out on CBC Daybreak that a foot of snow will also weigh more than one or two pedestrians.

      On thinking about it, though, it might not be specifically a question of the whole thing collapsing. I’ve been on a few of these overpasses and if this is like one I used recently (might have been that exact one) the concrete steps leading up to the steel stairs were in very poor shape, crumbling in places, verging on the unsafe – but this bad concrete was not over the highway.

  • Kate 06:30 on 2011/09/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The four major phone and cell providers in the city have joined a consortium to negotiate with the STM to put cell phone service into the metro. I wonder if they could find a way to give us wi-fi in addition to the 3G service.

    • William Raillant-Clark 06:44 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      Gee, about time.

    • James 07:36 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      hmm *grumbles something that makes me sound old*

    • Alex 08:22 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      The consortium has no incentive to offer wifi since they make bucketloads of money through 3G data plans. I doubt the STM would provide it of its own volition. Actually, the contract between the STM and the consortium probably even bars the transit authority from installing its own free wifi network, since that would compete with the telcos’ 3G networks.

    • Kate 08:55 on 2011/09/30 Permalink


  • Kate 16:49 on 2011/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Join me in a head clutch, folks: the unfinished Îlot Voyageur building is in need of renovation.

    • AJ 19:08 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      Well, I think that’s what happens when you let concrete freeze and thaw unprotected for years. They should have at least sealed it up and installed space heaters.

    • Charles 19:17 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      That thing is ugly… even finished, it would only be a little better (see http://www.mtlurb.com/forums/showthread.php/56-Ilot-Voyageur-16-%C3%A9tages-390M). The whole Berri – Sherbrooke section nearby is sad, especially that Hydro-Quebec bunker! Does anyone know what that new building next to the Ilot on the corner of Ontario is for? I think it’s metro related but I’m not sure.
      Anyway, if they have to tear down the Ilot, I think most people would be relieved.

    • Chris E 14:40 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      It’s the new Metro control centre, the old one was on the other side of the street. I think they’re keeping it as a backup.

  • Kate 16:48 on 2011/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    This weekend the 15th annual Journées de la culture land in town, with open houses and other cultural events to check in on. Even the Plattsburgh paper gets excited.

    • Doobious 17:25 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      Has anyone seen printed JdelaC booklets around town yet? I’m finding their website a bit on the unusable side.

    • Singlestar 20:25 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      The J de C booklets were in the Gazette and La Presse about 10 days ago.

    • Doobious 20:27 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      Thanks. I must’ve missed that. If anyone knows where I can pick one up I’d appreciate hearing it.

    • Grego 22:50 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      They were handing the booklets at Métro Mont-Royal yesterday evening when I was there. There is a tourist info kiosque there where they might have more…

    • Doobious 22:58 on 2011/09/29 Permalink

      Thank you. I’ll try the big one at Dorchester Square tomorrow. This is going to be a fun weekend. Kate might appreciate the printing museum at the Lovell building in Old Montreal.

    • Kate 07:49 on 2011/09/30 Permalink

      I might at that, but within the last 2 years I worked in a business that was still doing jobbing letterpress so I’ve seen it up close (not done it myself).

  • Kate 16:37 on 2011/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Zeke has been prowling around collecting video of the city’s fountains. Some are well known and some interestingly obscure. Also Urbanphoto today has a quick look at how rue Dante in Little Italy has been given the air of a Mediterranean garden this summer; Neath has some views of alleys in Verdun.

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