Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:51 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Interesting preview about a talk and presentation about the social implications of the Turcot project, Thursday at the CCA.

  • Kate 23:40 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM is offering free dance classes on Sunday afternoons at Place-des-Arts metro.

    • Robert J 12:25 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      What are the turnouts like at those sorts of things?

    • William 16:42 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Must be end of marketing budget time again.

    • Kate 20:11 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Robert J, I don’t believe there have been “those sorts of things” before. I know there’ve been a few dance things at Berri-UQÀM but I think lessons at Place-des-Arts is new.

      William, I think you may be onto something.

  • Kate 23:38 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Richard Henry Bain, only suspect in the election night shooting at the Metropolis, called up TVA’s Claude Poirier on Wednesday from the Pinel Institute to claim that he’s innocent. No mention is made of Bain’s earlier escapade in which he phoned CJAD.

  • admin 23:26 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Arthur T. Porter is receiving cancer treatment in the Bahamas. Call me a cynic, but although I would wish no cancer patient anything but well, I could also imagine ways in which a wily medical man could fake up such a story as a smokescreen.

  • Kate 19:55 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Opéra de Montréal tenor Marc Hervieux was refusing to rehearse or sing because the opera company was using beautiful thin models on their posters instead of images of the real singers. The company has backed down.

    So now on the Opera website you have






    I wonder whether the female ones will be replaced now also by real pictures of the singers.

    CBC has a piece from before this was settled with another image of Hervieux and of the model used for Die Fledermaus.

    I actually don’t have a problem with the models. The Opera used very stylized head shot pictures for years and nobody thought it was evil. It’s just manufacturing a mood, and that’s what marketing does.

    • jeather 22:37 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      The article seems to say the others will be changed, too. I’m with Hervieux on this — you’re going to the opera, not to a photo shoot.

    • Mathieu 22:54 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      If the goal is to bring a younger crowd, their marketing strategy was good and they messed it up bad. I would have never thought of going to the opera if it weren’t for their marketing. I don’t know any opera singer by name and couldn’t recognize more than two if I were to see them.

      It makes a formal institution look young and accessible. That picture with Hervieux doesn’t catch my attention a bit. It looks like some poster for those McGill’s student concerts accessible to all. That guy looks to me like some unknown italian singer I wouldn’t pay
      around $100 to see/hear.

    • Kate 23:00 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      That’s it. You’re not supposed to go to the opera just to hear a recital – there’s supposed to be some glamour and spectacle involved.

    • Mark 01:38 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      It’s just kind of weird that they go for glamorous yet also use shots of single people. If they’re trying to appeal to a younger crowd by, say, imitating movie posters, it’s pretty disingenuous–the latter tend to actually feature the actors in the movie. One would think that it’s possible to do eye-catching adverts for the opera featuring the cast, even if they aren’t as alluring as those skinny models are supposed to be.

      Let’s face it–going to the opera isn’t much like any other type of modern theatre (in the loose sense). Setting up expectations through edgy adverts is doomed to failure. Really, I’m kind of surprised operas still exist in this day and age. Based on personal experience, I’d say at least half of any audience is 50+. One wonders how many will be going to the opera in another 50 years, unless for some reason getting older happens to stimulate interest in opera.

    • Mark 01:39 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I should add that I think Die Fledermaus’s new poster is no better than the old. They aren’t even trying to be interesting now.

    • Kate 02:09 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Mark, the problem is a perennial one with shows. I’m a graphic designer so I can speak from experience. You’re making a show poster often months before the production opens. What you normally want is good cast photos, at least some good shots of the two or three most important characters, in full costume and makeup, lit properly on the actual sets. And that’s exactly what you’re not going to get. Unless a show’s been around for awhile (like some of the Cirque du Soleil shows) and there’s been time to develop the look and document it, there is no way you can get the images you want in time. It’s all still being put together. So you have to come up with something else, and in the case of the Opéra they clearly hired an agency or studio who hired, in turn, models, stylists, photographers and designers to create certain visuals.

      Also, if you now go back to these folks and say “Never mind, now we just want a very plain photo of this man in a tuxedo” they’re likely to shrug and not turn out their most stellar work. Human nature.

    • jeather 12:17 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Presumably when the poster is being made they know who the singers will be, though, and they could use them in the photos. (I’m not blaming the designers for the boring tux photo, though I was not particularly fond of the old visuals.) It will be interesting to see what happens next season — if they continue to use the actual singers in the ads, anyhow.

      But really: I don’t think there’s a need to use models to advertise opera. Use the singers, or do something without people, or whatever, but “Here’s an ad for a show! Surprise! The face that is the main focus of this ad is a model and will not appear!” doesn’t really make sense to me.

    • Mark 13:05 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Oh sure, I understand that the marketing process runs in parallel to set and costume design and such. I just think it’s strange that Opera Montreal, at least, seems to always feature photos of a single person as if they were the star. As I say, I think there are a lot of ways of making eye-catching adverts without implying that they’re showing the stars. It’s just a weird design decision to me.

    • david m 13:39 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      i recently read this book review/article on the evolution of opera, pretty interesting stuff.

  • Kate 11:32 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga talks to a New York man who is, bizarrely, a fan of Montreal’s highway network although, as typical of the Gazette, he writes paragraphs about Steve Anderson’s website without deigning to link to it. Riga – he’s usually better than this – also fails to question Anderson’s assumption that we need more highway links from Laval, including proposed links envisioned to cross Île Bizard and damage or destroy its unique wetlands.

    • Chris 12:59 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Not to mention that Mr Anderson’s website is, umm, horrible (visually anyway).

    • Clément 13:03 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      A Wall St stock analyst? What’s next? An interview with an African coffee grower on the state on Montreal hardware stores?
      Mr. Riga, if you talk to one of your colleague at the Copenhagen Post, tell them a self-employed consultant from Montreal claims to be an expert on traditional Danish foods. Just give me a call.

    • Philip 14:00 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      So if you aren’t employed in the public transit industry, you aren’t allowed to be a public transit enthusiast?

      Talk about a lot of unjust judgement in those two comments. Even though I’ll agree the website isn’t visually perfect, even five minutes of browsing enough to see there is a massive wealth of roadway history, more than I’m able to find anywhere else on the web. This guy has done a lot of research and I consider it only flattering that someone would take interest in Montreal’s interesting roadways. Even if his primary employment is a Wall Street analyst, this doesn’t preclude his right to a different passion/interest on the side. And being a web-designer isn’t a prerequisite for presenting research and information.

      And it’s not like he’s a politician making claims about road necessities and telling anyone in Montreal how to live. Some people are pro-road, others aren’t. This isn’t a puff piece, this is just a slow-news-day article about a New Yorker who thinks our roads are unique.

      Sorry for that long-winded rant. I’m not pro-highway but that doesn’t excuse instant dismissal of this guy, his website or Riga’s article.

    • Clément 14:10 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      @Philip: My comment wasn’t about the person being interviewed. There’s nothing wrong with being a fan of anything, and I suppose Steve Anderson is probably a nice highway geek.
      My comment was about Andy Riga, who is supposed to be a journalist. I have an issue with a journalist using an enthusiastic fan (but not an expert in any way) as a single source for an article. It seems lazy.
      Andy Riga is the “Gazette Transportation Reporter”, not a media reporter.

    • William 14:25 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      The city regularly invites citizens who know nothing about these kinds of issues to assist in the policy process through consultations, so I don’t get where the rant about his qualifications is coming from. I think the article was nice – from my perspective, it was just a feel-good story about someone’s quirky interest, not a serious piece regarding what should be done about Montreal’s infastructure.

    • Josh 17:31 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Clément, to be fair to reporters, these days there are so few people at many media organizations, and those who are still there are expected to produce so much content…

    • Doobish 19:50 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      The Gazoo has gone so far downhill it’s not funny. Used to be I could spend a couple of hours perusing it on a Saturday morning, and now, entire sections don’t have a single article worth reading. Crap. Thank God for the Globe and Mail.

    • Chris 13:25 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Doobish, when was that? In the 90s?

  • Kate 10:38 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    The Plateau’s Projet council is floating the idea of “velorues” which would go beyond mere bike paths and create several bike autoroutes in the borough. Not everyone is thrilled.

    • Stefan 10:57 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      This will definitely trigger biting reflex in certain groups (in the sense that reflexes pre-empt thinking). But it is something that i imagine street residents would lobby for (no more passing traffic) and with that positive dynamic it could become a self-runner.

      To take it to the limit, there is no reason why densely populated areas should remain permeable for passive transport. A few trees each, planted in the centers of some carefully selected intersections to block them entirely, would go a long way to the optimal maze (that sub-urbs actually are).
      Like suburbs, that ensures that everybody can reach their house and deliveries can take place but demotivates thoroughfaring in private motor vehicles.
      The question is one of when not if that will happen …

    • SN86 11:06 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I wonder if the city has a whole has considered rush-hour only bike lanes. That way you can temporarily put a bike lane on a busy street like Pins or St. Laurent, both of which see spikes of bicycle traffic end of the day.

    • paul 11:14 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      They work great in Vancouver for cyclists, residents and vehicles. Would be nice to see them here (think Marie-Anne)

    • Jack 12:37 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      «Si on enlève Boyer et de Mentana, qui sont parmi les derniers vestiges des rues qui permettent de traverser le Plateau, on va encore compliquer la circulation automobile dans le Plateau Mont-Royal», dénonce Martin Lavigne, propriétaire du magasin de sport Ekkip et porte-parole de l’Association des commerçants et des résidants du Plateau Mont-Royal. How do I become a member of this group? I heard Mr. Lavigne lives in St. Jean sur Richelieu and is pissed primarily about his commute and parking place. Does anyone have more info about this group that has invested more in fighting traffic calming than any other?

    • qatzelok 14:42 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      The one person against the idea in the article – Martin Lavigne – owns a sports store. I guess out of shape people buy more sports equipment than healthy people.

    • Chris 14:56 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      @qatzelok: hehe. But seriously, Mr Lavigne seems perennially against whatever Projet does/proposes. I have seen him rant during question period at council meetings.

    • C_Erb 15:51 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      I’m curious as to how Martin Lavigne thinks that loudly criticizing a pretty popular mayor and administration would be in any way good for his business. I’m not saying he doesn’t have the right to say what he’s saying or to start the group but it just doesn’t seem like good business sense (I know that if I were looking to buy sports equipment, I would now avoid sport Ekkip).

    • paul 16:03 on 2013/01/09 Permalink

      Good question, their facebook page seems to be an anti-Ferrandez platform rather than a merchants association: https://www.facebook.com/acrpmr

      If he thinks that his voice is more representative of the residents, then he should run. If he thinks that owning a business in the Plateau gives his voice more legitimacy than its residents, let the residents validate this opinion with their wallets.

    • cheese 06:46 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      I love this plan, where to I voice my support for it so that lame “merchant associations” (who think that cars driving through the neighborhood that they do business in is good for their business) don’t get their way over the actual residents? The ‘burbs are designed with tonnes of cul-de-sacs and other maze like features to reduce car traffic but when suburbanites drive into town they expect to be able to take any road unimpeded, what’s the deal?

      That Lavigne and his group sound brutal. I will be boycotting his shop from now on. I have purchased things from there in the past thinking it was better than buying from a chain like Sports Experts but there are plenty of other stores not run by jerks.

    • William 08:17 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      @C_Erb: Luc Ferrandez is a “popular mayor”? I’d say divisive and controversial, and you certainly hear more complaints about him than anyone else (bar the former mayor Tremblay.) I used to like him but now I see that he has a lot of disrespect for the people who disagree with him, and fact of the matter is sometimes he is plain wrong, like all of us. That’s why life in a democracy is about consensus and compromise.

    • John 14:04 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      As a resident, living on Mentana, I am becomming increasingly frustrated with M Ferrandez’s confounding of the streets in the neighborhood. Although I don’t often use my car (maybe once per week, sometimes less) the traffic calming measures have decreased not increased my quality of life. Even though I live there I am unable to pass through the Plateau except on Papineau and St-Denis – this is awkward and frustrating

      Moreover there is clearly something going on with the businesses on the Plateau. I cannot say that this is the direct result of the traffic calming but the number of “a louer” signs on Mont-Royal and St-Denis is alarming. The Plateau has among my non-downtown friends and relatives a reputation as a “do not enter” zone that certainly cannot be helping things.

      I for one will not vote for Ferrandez or PM in future elections.

    • qatzelok 15:29 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      Since Laurier Ave. has become a bike thoroughfare, I have been to the shops on Fairmount and upper St-Laurent many times. But there’s still work to be done. All those beautiful and narrow north-south streets are mainly filled with parked cars with no space for trees. And though these skinny streets would be perfect for cycle routes, the parked cars make it awkward to bike. Car drivers will often threaten cyclists to get the hell out of “their way.”

    • Jack 20:28 on 2013/01/10 Permalink

      @ John you use your car once a week and your quality of life is diminished by the fact that you can’t go in a straight line somewhere in the Plateau in your car……once a week. Are you kidding?

    • John 11:06 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      @Jack: I’m not kidding. There are of course other issues. The impact on local businesses is certainly part of it as well. I know that there are multiple factors (economic downturn, endless road repairs throughout the city) that also impact on the viability of the Plateau’s commercial streets. However there has been a noticable increase in the number of businesses closing up and vacant storefronts, especially on St Denis. I agree with the merchants that the traffic calming measures, increased parking rates and importantly the press that they have generated have led to shoppers from other parts of the city not comming to the Plateau.

      I suppose that I also see no need for traffic calming. When I moved to the neighbourhood I expected that there would be car traffic. It’s not a village, the Plateau is a downtown, mixed purpose area. I fail to see what possible good is being done.

    • Kate 14:43 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      John, I spoke to someone a couple months ago who was working in a St-Denis store holding a closing sale. It was a housewares shop that had been there a couple of decades and has, I think, only one other branch. She said things are changing along there because commercial rents have reached a level where the only businesses that can keep going are ones with deep pockets, and in fact if you look around there today, at least from Pine to Mont-Royal, there are far more international chain outlets than there used to be.

      It can’t be blamed on Projet Montréal if Plateau’s commercial landlords are pricing their storefronts so high that people are closing up shop or moving elsewhere.

    • John 14:51 on 2013/01/11 Permalink

      @Kate – oh I agree that there are multiple factors involved, but the traffic policies of the Plateau are not helping. Definitely high rents are part of the problem too (are higher taxes an issue as well? I honestly do not know much re: commerical rent and taxes as I am in no way a business-type).

    • Sheeba 14:36 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      For anyone hear that believes that Ferrandez rerouting of the streets have not had a harsh economic impact on the Plateau Merchants your living in la la land.

      I URGE you to walk into several AS MANY stores and speak to the store owners,I can tell you WITHOUT ANY DOUBT that 95% of the merchants will give you an ear full while foaming at the mouth. Martin is just repeating what all other Merchants are actually going through and your punishing him for that ?

      If a certain percentage of your revenue comes from people who drive cars and then 1 day you Radically ALL OF A SUDDEN decide that you want no more cars to come into the Plateau what do you think is going to happen ? Go speak to the owners on Rachel street and ask them if the removal of parking spots that has been replaced by a planter box has effected their business ? Ask them if there were any consultations before Ferrandez decided to remove all the parking spots ? Nobody disagrees that the changes being made are nice but rest assured their is a segment of the population paying a hefty price.

      There have been published letters from both the local Fire department and Police department both stating that the street changes made by Ferrandez have reduced their emergency vehicle response time.You need to elect a person who thinks things through not a radical amateur disrespectful idealist.

    • Sheeba 14:55 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

    • Kate 14:56 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      Who are you, Sheeba? What personal stake do you have in this issue? Because you’re presenting one side of a story only, you know.

    • Sheeba 14:57 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      What is the other side ?

    • Kate 15:13 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      The other side queries the notion that allowing car traffic unrestricted access to a neighbourhood is a universal benefit.

      Incidentally, if you can’t even imagine an opposing side to your view, perhaps you should work on that.

    • Sheeba 15:47 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      I find it funny that you opt to live in a Urbain densely populated neighborhood (Right beside downtown)

      And then complain about cars and noise. You have the PRIVILEGE to walk to a pharmacy,a cafe, a grocery store etc..But you don’t want anybody else in your neighborhood ?(Selfish aren’t we ?) The Plateau streets have been they way they have been for decades until Ferrandez came in and ABRUPTLY starting redirecting them. What does Ferrandez propose to do about the NEGATIVE economic impact to the local merchants that were caused by him and his brilliant traffic causing measures?


    • Kate 18:05 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      Sheeba, I don’t know who you are or what your purpose here is, but you’ve shifted to a shrill attack on me, which is neither sensible, nor well-founded.

      Most suburbs are designed to slow traffic, make things quieter and more livable for their residents. Why should people be allowed to drive fast and park everywhere freely in the Plateau? Luc Ferrandez and his team are bringing sound policies about safety and livability to a busy borough. Long may they reign.

    • Sheeba 20:36 on 2013/01/12 Permalink

      Kate, I’m not attacking anyone here but the Dictator Ferrandez. The only reason I chose to write something was because several here were naming a certain merchants name, and voicing how they will boycott his store. WHY ? because he disagrees with the way the Dictator Ferrandez has moved forward. Which is without thought, and without taking into consideration what those decisions have done to local Plateau merchants . Those merchants are real human beings too, they have families to feed,mortgages to pay, work extra long hours, water their plants and ride bicycles too !

      Cheering on the Dictator Ferrandez is just as bad as the greedy self serving merchant who disrespects his residential neighbors.

      Bike vs car, Merchant vs resident, parking vs trees ..Divide and Conquer..The Dictator plays us all !

      As to your questions. Why should people be allowed to drive fast and park everywhere freely in the Plateau?

      Who ever said people should be allowed to drive fast or park freely in the Plateau… nor anywhere else !. By all means place a photo radar on every residential street .

      As to your statement……Most suburbs are designed to slow traffic, make things quieter and more livable for their residents.

      Yes Agreed ,hence the word SUBURBS ,there’s a reason most families move there and not downtown.

      Ferrandez is an idealist, wants a suburban lifestyle in the middle of the city and he’s not willing to share it with any outsiders !

      Project Montreal has nice ideas but miserably executed them. As long as the changes implemented satisfies 51% of the population all is well right ? And so the Dictator is content and keeps showing everyone else his middle finger !

    • Jack 11:23 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      @Sheeba I hope that felt good….but when you empty your pan like that , it tends mostly to stick to you. Please continue to refer to Ferrandez as the Dictator, because it is…hilarious.

    • John 13:55 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      @ Kate – I think that comparing the Plateau to a suburb is stretching things. Suburbs do not have major commerical arteries in close proximity to residential space as the Plateau does. This really is an urban-mixed use zone where everyone has to learn to get along. You comment on livability, but from my point of view I find the Plateau in some ways less livable than it was before (as I have stated elsewhere). In particular the decline of the commercial aspect is concerning, especially because I generally do not drive and prefer to walk/cycle most of the time and so having a large selection of shops nearby is a big deal.

      @Sheeba – please stop ranting. Ferrandez may be misguided, but he is no dictator (he was democratically elected for starters).

  • Kate 10:14 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec is back to talking with paramedics, while there are rumbles of labour difficulties at the airport.

  • Kate 10:13 on 2013/01/09 Permalink | Reply  

    We’ll be hearing about Luka Magnotta again as his case goes back to court for a preliminary hearing. Same CP story in French.

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