Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 11:25 on 2013/01/01 Permalink | Reply  

    All is quiet on New Year’s Day… and I still don’t have a sidewalk.

    Happy new year to all my readers!

    • GC 11:41 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      And to you. I was really glad to discover this blog in 2012.

    • Jack 12:13 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Happy New Year Kate.

    • Marc 12:38 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Happy new year.

    • Ian 13:15 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      HNY2013! I guess you truly can say “mon chemin ce n’est pas un chemin, c’est la neige”

    • walkerp 14:36 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Bonne année!

    • denpanosekai 15:37 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Is there any way you could get us a direct link to the mobile version of this site?

    • Taylor C. Noakes 16:37 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Happy New Year gang – and Kate, keep up the excellent work!

    • Janet 18:19 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      All the best to you too, Kate! Thanks for making this past year so much richer for us all.

    • kimblue 19:13 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Thank you Kate. And happy New Year!

    • Mel 20:38 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Did anyone just see 6 red lights following each other, flying over Montreal. I’m in the West Island and saw them clearly from my back deck at 20:15 tonight. Really weird !

    • dwgs 20:49 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Happy New Year to all and a big thank you to Kate for providing such a great local forum.

    • Doobish 00:24 on 2013/01/02 Permalink

      All the best, to all of you. With much Montreal love from the Doobster.

    • Hervé 16:23 on 2013/01/02 Permalink

      Bonne année Kate!

    • Kate 12:58 on 2013/01/03 Permalink

      Thanks all – merci tout le monde !

  • Kate 11:20 on 2013/01/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Peggy Curran looks back at another era of cleaning up city corruption with Pax Plante and Jean Drapeau’s first administration in 1954. It’s a brief sketch and leaves me wondering why, when Drapeau won the mayoralty back from Sarto Fournier in 1960, he didn’t bring Plante back. Plante died in Mexico in 1976.

    (We don’t have men named Pacifique or Sarto any more. Has anyone studied how personal nomenclature has changed in Quebec over the last century or so?)

  • Kate 11:10 on 2013/01/01 Permalink | Reply  

    Taylor Noakes writes about the oldest buildings in Montreal, underlining the point that we don’t actually have much from before the 19th century.

    He also makes a plea for turning Old Montreal into a more viable neighbourhood for people to live. Of course plenty of well-off people do live there now, presumably driving out to get groceries and other basic things elsewhere. The real challenge now is to make a neighbourhood where people can do their necessary errands on foot, but that’s not going to be a priority in a place where, if you can afford to live there, you’ll almost certainly have a car and not need to shop nearby.

    • david m 12:47 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      two things would do it. 1) a requirement for a large surface full service grocery on this lot whenever it’s built out (could be sooner that you think): https://maps.google.com/maps?q=montreal+maps&ie=UTF8&ll=45.502939,-73.557383&spn=0.001472,0.004342&oe=utf-8&hnear=Montreal,+Communaut%C3%A9-Urbaine-de-Montr%C3%A9al,+Quebec,+Canada&gl=us&t=h&z=19&layer=c&cbll=45.502862,-73.557491&panoid=JzIwfLQ6Pg3T4eDJvTj-xw&cbp=12,343.7,,0,4.93
      2) that tramway being built to connect to the city in a rational way (i.e. to a metro station or to the downtown)

      and that’s it, presto, everything else will take care of itself.

    • Kate 13:14 on 2013/01/01 Permalink


      I live in Villeray, as I’ve mentioned, and have friends in other parts of central Montreal.

      Most of us rarely set foot in a “large surface full service grocery” at all, and we like it that way. The other day I shopped in my neighbourhood: a pet supply store for cat food, three different small grocery stores (one Greek-owned, one Lebanese, one Portuguese) for fruit, veg and general supplies, the neighbourhood butcher shop, maybe eggs from the Chinese dep. Sometimes it’s Jean-Talon market for a whole range of things. I tend to buy minimally toxic unscented cleaning supplies at Merci Vrac, Lavazza coffee at Capitol. There’s a Pharmaprix not far from here but about the only thing I find it’s good for is deals on 12 rolls of toilet paper occasionally. Sometimes I shop for food in Chinatown (G&D downstairs in the Plaza Swatow is good) or at the Asian stores on Saint-Denis near Jean-Talon. Sometimes it’s the Milano for Italian goodies.

      On the rare occasion I go to a big grocery store (and the ones nearest here are apparently fairly small versions of the type: the Loblaws in Park Ex, the IGA at Jarry and Christophe-Colomb, the Provigo up by Crémazie) I find it difficult and time-consuming to locate the things I want in the masses of junk food and row after row of things like brightly coloured drinks and boxes of cereal. Whereas if I walk into Tsikinis or Fruiterie Forcier I can grab the fruit and veg I want, maybe one or two things from the coolers, and be out on the street again within seven minutes.

      Not sure where I’m going with this, and I realize I’m lucky to be able to shop this way. But even if I were wealthy I would not be tempted by Old Montreal even though it’s got some fantastic corners, because the mechanics of simply living there would be too onerous.

    • GC 14:46 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      I live in the Plateau and I’ve started shopping in a similar way since I moved here. Fruit at the fruit store, bagels at the bagel place, other bread at the bakery, etc. I might not have time to do that if I had children, but I really like it.

      The really wealthy who live in Old Montreal might not do the shopping for their own food, so they probably care less about a nearby supermarket. That wouldn’t apply to everyone who lives here, of course.

    • denpanosekai 15:23 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      I visited the Silhouette condos for the heck of it (on de la commune) and the rep there assured me that Dev McGill were going to have a big-name grocery as part of their M9 project. Of course that is closer to Griffintown than Old Montreal proper, but it’s something. Don’t forget the IGA at Desjardins Complex.

      I personally love the tremendous variety offered in Shaughnessy Village and find it hard to move away due to this very reason.

    • Frabjous2001 16:49 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      There’s am IGA in the south east corner of Complexe Desjardins.

    • Blork 17:22 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      There’s already a big IGA at the south-east corner of Complexe Desjardins, which is on the edge of Old Montreal. That’s less than a ten minute walk from de la Commune. For Old Montrealers anywhere near Champs du Mars, that’s totally do-able on foot.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 19:20 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      Yeah I don’t think there’s a one-stop-shop solution here.

      We want small businesses in Old Montreal, so that residents have a variety of options but also a degree of specialization as well.

      The big problem with these big-box shops is that their workforce doesn’t have any relation with the neighbourhood. Vieux-Montréal needs people who own shops they walk to, if not live over. We need small businesses which will invest money in their properties/businesses over the long-haul.

      And a lot of this could be controlled by municipal regulations, like in other cities which have set measures to protect small businesses on ‘Main Street’.

      I’d like nothing more than to see that god-awful Tim Horton’s on Notre-Dame converted into an independently owned and operated diner or café. Same story for the McDonald’s on the Main, or the Couche-Tards, Starbucks etc.

      We should simply have a no-chain policy and facilitate the means by which shop-owners can actually live in the area – it would be thoroughly revolutionary.

    • Doobish 00:45 on 2013/01/02 Permalink

      Keep on dreaming, Taylor.

      With the price of real-estate in Old Montreal the way it is, I can`t see how anyone but the deepest-pocketed big chain stores could possibly successfully make a go of it there.

      If I lived in Old Montreal (a boy can dream, right) I`d be plenty happy if a stupid dry cleaner or a day care or a grade school opened up shop in my neighbourhood. As things stand, I don`t think the 20,000 sq ft name-brand grocery store or pharmacy outlet is going to show up anytime soon.

      It`s a bit like Whistler down there.

    • C_Erb 16:03 on 2013/01/02 Permalink

      I live in Parc-Ex and have only ever stepped foot in the big Loblaws by the metro station to return bottles of beer bought outside the neighbourhood that the local deps won’t take (Parc-Ex has a terrible beer selection). I much prefer the little Greek and Indian grocery stores and bakeries on St-Roch and Ogilvy and the little eastern European deli on Querbes at Jean-Talon. If there’s anything I can’t get at those places, I’ll stop at PA on Parc on my way up from downtown.

      My roommate was working on a film project for school and needed shots of raw vegetables. I asked him why he got them at Loblaws and he said needed big, fake looking things and they had what he needed there. It was true too. Compared to the veggies and fruits that I get locally, the Loblaws stuff hardly looked real, almost like a cartoon version of food.

    • Kevin 08:20 on 2013/01/03 Permalink

      Tourists who want to go to Old Montreal are the kind of tourists who *like* chain stores and restaurants.
      You may want an ‘authentic experience’. They want to know they’re getting exactly what they want and without a sense of being ripped off.

    • Mathieu 11:33 on 2013/01/03 Permalink

      There a place for big chains like Starbucks and McDonald’s in every corner or our city. They bring people in; people that might see what’s around and come back to the little independant shop they saw on their way. We just have to make sur that they look less like the Tim’s on Notre-Dame.

      On a side note, I’d like to put forward that shopping in multiple independant stores for food is not “natural” nor appealing for many. If you grew up anywhere else than in central Montreal, these shops don’t exist. You’re then accustomed to IGA/Metro/etc. and their standardized products and policies. You don’t think of going elsewhere or don’t like to. And you’ll look for those stores when buying a property.

    • C_Erb 12:08 on 2013/01/03 Permalink

      I grew up in a small town that had one big Sobeys (equivalent to IGA) and a SuperValu (equivalent to a big Provigo) and a small Co-op grocery (that was frequented only by the elderly who don’t like having to walk through all the aisles at the box stores) and was more than happy to leave them behind to shop at smaller, more specialized grocery stores, bakeries, fruiteries, delis, butcher shops, etc. which require a few stops at different shops. Just because someone may be used to a certain way of doing things (out of necessity) doesn’t mean that they want or prefer it.

    • Mathieu 10:31 on 2013/01/04 Permalink

      I didn’t say that people liked it so much as they’re used to it. Which means that, for instance, they’ll type “IGA” in google maps to find a grocery store and likely go there at first when they move in. Especially if there’s no other food store around and they have to walk/bike/bus a km to shop for grocery!

  • Kate 10:42 on 2013/01/01 Permalink | Reply  

    The SPVM’s anti-gang Eclipse squad, created in 2008 with the help of a large federal grant, is threatened with dissolution now that the feds are ending the money. Odd thing for the anti-crime Tories to do, isn’t it?

    • Ian 13:16 on 2013/01/01 Permalink

      A huge Conservative funder is a company that builds prisons – not that surprising at all, really.

  • Kate 10:17 on 2013/01/01 Permalink | Reply  

    A description of the new year festivities at the Old Port Monday night.

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