Updates from June, 2012 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 17:19 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a story today about the Plateau’s blue-collar workers writing an irate letter to borough mayor Luc Ferrandez. It’s a slightly odd story – first, nothing says it’s an open letter, and it dates back to June 6, so who sent it to the media now, and why?

    Also, I would not at all be surprised to discover partisan shenanigans behind this affair.

  • Kate 17:12 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Several hundred people dressed in black marched in a funeral for democracy on Saturday afternoon.

    • Art 16:06 on 2012/07/01 Permalink

      To be fair to the writer, she was writing about the square she knew during her childhood. And the reference to horses was meant, I think, to make the point that wildlife was scarce thereabouts.

    • Kate 08:49 on 2012/07/02 Permalink

      I think this comment was meant for the post below this one. I can’t move it, but that’s the context.

  • Kate 16:58 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Slightly annoying piece about Carré Saint-Louis: it’s a long time since it had the sort of louche vibe the writer implies. And police horses aren’t wildlife.

    • david m 18:49 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      yeah, i lived for a decade around the corner from the square, like i don’t know how old this writer is (definitely pre-prince arthur pedestrianization), but square saint-louis has been really nice for a really long time. that said, even if she was weirdly hyperbolic about it, she’s bang on about its special role in the hood. that place probably has more first kisses, shared bottles, read book chapters, meditative stares and various other interludes than any other block in the city.

  • Kate 16:56 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    More on the city’s plan to add 300,000 new trees over the next ten years with some stats on how existing trees are distributed by borough.

  • Kate 16:52 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Rivière-des-Prairies councillor Maria Calderone has thrown in the towel on political life, which will mean a byelection in that district. La Presse says it’s considered a fief of Union Montreal but goes on to say every other councillor there is with Vision, which doesn’t quite make sense.

  • Kate 16:49 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Work on the Ste-Catherine Street sinkhole has been completed before the estimated date.

  • Kate 13:09 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has a page on moving house more greenly with information about recycling useful stuff you no longer need, dumping large items you no longer want, and links to pages about moving your pets and avoiding bedbugs.

  • Kate 12:00 on 2012/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Timothy Leary archives have put up a new transcript of a conversation among John Lennon, Yoko Ono, Leary and his wife in Montreal in May 1969.

    I’ve mentioned before that I’ve never really seen the point of the bed-in, but that event still gets this city a disproportionate amount of PR.

    • qatzelok 09:44 on 2012/07/02 Permalink

      Other than interesting hair and clothes, and working polyphonic harmony to death, what was so great about the Beatles? Weren’t they just the biggest boy’s band in history because they came out just when the boomers were peaking.

    • Kate 11:07 on 2012/07/02 Permalink

      I’ll let Adam Gopnik explain.

    • Kevin 07:25 on 2012/07/04 Permalink

      Trust @qatzelok to not recognize anglo culture :)

  • Kate 21:28 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    CTV summarizes various highway closures expected over the long weekend.

  • Kate 21:26 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    On Forget The Box, blogger Maria Amore notes that Ontario voided all rental leases prohibiting pets in 1991, and links to a petition from the SPCA to pressure Quebec to do the same.

    • Chris 22:10 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      Sure, let’s give landlords another reason to convert their property to condos.

    • steph 00:01 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      I’ve heard that la Regie du Logement won’t actually evict people with small pets who defying a lease that says ‘no pets’. It’ll likely still put you in sour standing with your landlord.

    • qatzelok 10:42 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      Property value is more important than animal life? Is this true of larger animals as well?

    • Chris 13:13 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      qatzelok, right or wrong, to many people, the answer is ‘yes’. So many rental units are going away already, and few are being built. The more control taken away from landlords the more chance they won’t rent. I know I wouldn’t rent out my place with the risk of piss and shit everywhere.

    • Adam 14:23 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      Good grief, if you have a pet then don’t sign a lease in a building that doesn’t allow pets. Is this really so complicated? Many people don’t want to live around animals because of allergies or noise. There are landlords that want to cater to them. What is the problem? What right does anyone have to tell them that they can’t do that?

    • Ephraim 14:50 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      Likely this will happen hand-in-hand with landlords getting deposits. It’s likely the biggest reason that landlords are afraid, the damages.

      If the Regie doesn’t evict people in violation of their lease, you are more likely to get a landlord who will want to take possession and stop renting, which is exactly the problem we are seeing. There are two sides to every sword.

  • Kate 21:05 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Some of the folks from Spacing are repeating (and, I think, expanding) an exploit from last summer: walk the region starts them Saturday morning in Kahnawake, thence through segments of the south shore, the islands of Montreal and Laval and fetching up eventually in Lachenaie. Radio-Canada will be following them on this map. 75 km, three days’ hike.

    No, I’m not involved. Saturday I’m doing my last OpenFile shift of the summer, so I can’t embark on the first day; I’m pondering joining them for some of Sunday if I can figure out a public transit way of connecting up with them (and getting home). Anyway, Joël Thibert and Alanah Heffez will be tweeting the walk, so you can follow them even if I decide it would be less strenuous to sit on a terrasse and watch the Euro 2012 final Sunday instead…

  • Kate 14:01 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Midnight Poutine has some amusing notes on picking strawberries around Montreal.

  • Kate 13:23 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Around Moving Day there are always grouchy landlord stories in the media, and this year it’s landlords wanting security deposits against a longstanding view in Quebec that what you owe your landlord is the current rent and nothing more. This too will pass.

    • Robert J 16:59 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      Security deposits are a bad scene. Landlords can always find a reason to keep them (this is done systematically by many landlords in countries that have security deposits).

    • ant6n 17:18 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      I thought they can ask for the last rent?

    • Jack 18:04 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      Damned Landlords!

    • steph 00:25 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      IANAL: Since landlords are not allowed to hold onto a security or last months rent, don’t hesitate to sign the lease, hand over the funds, and then use those funds as an advance on your next months rent. They’ll be SOL if they try to bring you to the Regie for non payment. It’ll likely still put you in sour standing with your landlord, but you’re dealing with a crook anyways. Or sign the lease and cancel the check. A contract clause that is against the law (regardless of agreement by both parties) can’t be enforced by a court.

    • David Tighe 03:45 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      I must say I dislike intensely the tone of some of these letters. ” landlords are crooks” (!). In my opinion it must be hell to be a landlord in Montréal. If I left for a long period of time I think I would rather leave my apartment empty rather then rent it to somebody who refuses to pay rent and then won’t leave when I return. Or be reimbursed for repairs over such a long period that I would be dead before the last payment. Do renters realise how much it costs to maintain a building nowadays?

    • Jack 11:28 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      Thanks David, I always say to my tenants I was a tenant for twenty years and know the difference between a crap landlord and a decent one, I’ll try to be a decent one. After that it is just a laboratory of the human condition.Super nice people who understand others and can see things from other perspectives.Others who tell you that you are responsible for cleaning their bathrooms and are a prick for raising the rent $5.I think one thing that has struck me after ten years is my increasing capacity to say no.
      Seventy percent of Montreal landlords are like me, resident-proprio and I think in ten years if the housing bubble continues you will see less and less of these species and more conversions and that will have a dramatic impact on the city.

    • Adam 14:33 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      I would never be a landlord in this city. The consensus seems to be that anyone who’s renting out property for rent is barely human and deserves to be severely punished for committing such a grave offence. Seriously, agreeing to pay a deposit and then claiming it’s your second month of rent? What kind of a person does that? My landlord asked for a year of post-dated cheques, before I’d signed the lease on a place that people were lining up to move into. I said no, but offered to do six months. I still got the place and she didn’t even wait for those cheques before I signed the lease anyway. She also asked for a key deposit. I said no. That’s the way responsible adults do it. People with no morals or scruples make an agreement and then back out of it because they can get away with it. They should be ashamed of themselves.

      And before anyone says something ridiculous like “some people have no choice”, I invite you to walk around the city and try and count the number of signs that say “à louer.” There are literally more rental options in this city than you can count. If you don’t like what’s being offered, look elsewhere.

    • Robert J 16:55 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      All I’m saying is leaving a deposit puts the tenant at risk. In France, they keep your “deposit” until after you pay your last month’s rent then give it back if they feel the apartment is in good condition. They often bill you for minor repairs that needed to be done regardless of the tenant.

    • Kate 10:14 on 2012/07/01 Permalink

      ant6n, landlords can’t legally demand the last rent, although I understand it often happens, especially in areas where foreign students who don’t know the official rules are renting places, or where there’s a lot of competition for space and people are willing to bribe their way into a place they like.

      I realize it isn’t easy for landlords, but if anything they should fight the rising tide of dubiously legal condo conversions, because that trend coaxes away the people with solid credit and regular income, leaving people with less economic stability to be rental tenants. And you wouldn’t want people renting from you who aren’t solid with the bank.

      Jack, I’m sure you’re a good landlord, and the time may come when I’ll be asking if you have any vacancies coming up.

    • rad 05:44 on 2012/07/24 Permalink

      i knew a landlord a few yrs ago and i asked him 1 night in a bar if he gives back the security deposit his tenants payed and he said NEVER!

    • Dave 12:18 on 2015/02/04 Permalink

      Is it the owner or the care taker who has to sign registered mail sent to tenants saying the tenant must move out

  • Kate 13:21 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Against all kinds of solid advice that asbestos is dangerous stuff, the Quebec government has just given a $58M loan to the owners of the Jeffrey Mine to restart the mine and extract asbestos for export.

  • Kate 13:15 on 2012/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Kristian has an important blog piece this week on the proposed giant development along Ste-Catherine between Crescent and Mountain. Bottom line is that people seem apathetic about it – maybe because a lot of people party around there but few people live there – and nobody signed the city register to begin the public consultation process. People may not realize how much this is going to change the vibe around a major piece of western downtown.

    • david m 17:01 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      over the next five years, insane change is coming to that area.
      1) above saint-cath, the ogilvy block that christian mentioned will be redeveloped, including 50% of the east side of crescent street there, with replacement commercial space;
      2) below saint-cath, the parking lots and mad hatter site will be redeveloped – bringing in a few dozen residents and ground floor commercial to extend the streetwall on the west side of crescent all the way to brutopia;
      3) also below saint cath, the entirety of the surface parking on the east side of drummond street north of réné-lévesque will give way to two largish residential projects over ground-level commercial, extending the drummond street commercial area further south;
      4) on the north side of réné-lévesque between montagne and drummond, a huge two-tower residential project will rise over 40 stories (with grade-level commercial);
      5) across the street, on the south side of réné-lévesque between montagne and drummond, a slightly shorter two-tower residential project will rise over street-level commercial;
      6) behind that project, on the same block, the north side of canadians ave between montagne and drummond will see a large hotel and residential complex rise;
      7) across from that, on the site of the current habs centennial square, a very tall residential tower will rise;
      8) oh, and almost forgot the surface parking at bishop between réné-lévesque and saint-cath, where the commercial streetwall will extend south under mid-rise residential developments.

      would be nice if people got involved in some mitigation (especially on the crescent street treatment in the ogilvy project), but as a general rule, montrealers are extremely hostile to development, so pro-development types like myself sort of don’t mind that they’d keep to themselves.

    • Kate 21:14 on 2012/06/29 Permalink

      I have wondered this and ask again: who in Montreal can afford these elite condos who hasn’t already bought one?

      Someone once told me a lot of them are bought by people who don’t live here, as pieds-à-terre for occasional visits, or to rent out for revenue or for whatever reason you buy real estate in cities where you don’t live. But it’s not great for a city having a lot of residential space bought up on spec and lying fallow.

    • Robert H 13:57 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      Je ne comprends pas pourquoi si peu des gens ne s’interessent davantage à tous ces grands changements qui viendront a ce coin du Centre-ville. Comme tu l’as dit, Kate, c’est probablement parce qu’il n’y a relativement assez des personnes qui y vivrent. Je me demande aussi qui va acheter tous ces nouveaux condominiums (et d’où vient l’argent?). Tout de même, je crois que ces projets seront une amélioration pour un endroit criblé des stationnements aux mauvaises herbes et les murs aveugles marqués avec le graffiti. Bien que je me hâte de voir les travaux démarrer, c’est important que le citoyen qui veut être entendu n’attend jusqu’à les alentours d’où se croisent les rues Sainte Catherine, de la Montagne, et Crescent deviennent pendant les prochaines années Le Quartier des Grues.

    • david m 19:35 on 2012/06/30 Permalink

      tout à travers l’amérique du nord on témoigne la repopulation du centre-ville, sa bonification et son agrandissement au dépens de la banlieue. et même si chez nous autres ça a pris un peu plus de temps (disons une décennie de plus), la tendence est actuellement en plein essor, comme démontre l’explosion actuelle de projets immobiliers. c’est-à-dire que où il y a dix ans un professionel typique (ou un couple) dans sa trentaine chercherait à acheter sur le plateau, en hochelaga, dans saint-henri ou bien plus loin dans les villes fusionnées à montréal, aujourd’hui ils cherchent aussi à vivre tout prèt de où ils bossent, où ils passent leurs temps libre. le mépris envers des condos ne cesse à diminué.

      et il y a, bien sur, des investisseurs qui cherchent à tirer profit là-dedans, mais eux ils ne forment qu’un petit pourcentage des actifs – face aux prix des unités agées, les primes d’acheter au neuf dissuadent ceux qui pense à court terme.

    • Doobious 16:07 on 2012/07/03 Permalink

      I read somewhere that fully half of the units in the Le Seville complex have been bought by Chinese, either as investments or student residences. Extrapolate at your own risk.

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