Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:29 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Climate change means either outdoor hockey and skating will die off, or we’ll have to have more artificial outdoor rinks.

    • Faiz Imam 23:00 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      My glorious backyard rink is melting away… Its the most horrible feeling. I was so proud of it.

      The heatwave should end soon, and the blessed cold will return!

      But the municipal rinks won’t be back for some time yet. They are built on grass and gravel, melt away and have to be re-watered.

      I hope the Canadiens build one of their artificial rinks on the south shore, it would be so great.

  • Kate 22:27 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    24h, of all things, has a report on illegal subletting, in which tenants somehow get away with subletting their place at a much higher rate to newcomers who don’t know better.

    Kristian looks at a different problem – vacancies. He’s suggesting the city could appoint a vacancy czar with powers to act on landlords who hold commercial or residential spaces unoccupied for indefinite periods, adding a negative vibe to the surrounding neighbourhood.

    • Ephraim 07:14 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      The subletting thing is actually legal, if I remember correctly.

      As for the city appointing a “czar” well, it’s simply easier to tax. There is a law that allows a landlord to request the tax back on vacant space, if you change the law to allow only a certain period of time with vacant space before the tax kicks back in. The same with renovations, you give x number of time, after that you need to prove that it’s still uninhabitable. And for some residential space over commercial space, add the incentive of taxing at the residential rate if occupied but the commercial rate if unoccupied. But this is just another symptom of a badly run, too large to manage city. Like perpetual scaffolding on the sidewalks, parking spaces that aren’t optimized and holes that aren’t fixed for months.

    • Bill Binns 08:33 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Given the current condo conversion craze, I wouldn’t be surprised if an empty apartment building is worth more and is faster to sell than one full of paying renters. This is the opposite of how things work in most places but it’s a symptom of leases that can only be ended by the renter.

    • Robert J 11:29 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Ha! Of course I’ve subleased places for a small profit. When I’m out of town for a while or on vacation, I’ll put up an ad on craigslist and find a short-term subletter. The flexibility of these arrangements generally makes them mutually beneficial (it’s hard to find temporary accommodation below hotel prices). I would never use any kind of contract and wouldn’t want to deal with a government agency around any of this.

    • Ephraim 11:44 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      There is also the known loophole in the lease law that the rental board has admitted is legal, but they also called it immoral. Basically you rent to a friend for a new rate. They then sublet it to someone and they can then take over the lease. Since your friend was the last renter, only he has a right to see the previous lease. The new tenant has a right only to see your friend lease, which is already at the new amount.

    • mare 13:53 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      According to the standard rental contracts (other contracts are not allowed in Quebec) the new tenant has the right to know the lowest rent during the last year. Even if there were 12 tenants during the last year and the rent skyrocketed they can still go to the Rental board and have their rent adjusted based on that lowest rent. Even if they signed the lease although they have to do it within a month.

      So if you have a friend sublet the apartment it has to be longer than 12 months.

      One of our tenants is currently subletting her $400 apartment for $1000. That guy is paying a lot for the use of her furniture, but there’s nothing I can do to prevent it.

    • erydan 14:03 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      It is legal to sublet. It is illegal to sublet at a higher rent than you are paying the landlord.

    • Chris 16:47 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      It’s a wonder anyone wants to be a landlord, with the deck so stacked against them. Oh wait, hardly anyone wants to be a landlord!

    • Bill Binns 18:41 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      @Chris – I said the same thing last month and got shouted down by Kate. The fact that landlords are converting, selling or simply leaving their properties vacant is a strong indication that being a landlord in Montreal is not an attractive business proposition.

    • Kate 21:36 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Bill Binns, please note that I have no louder a volume than anyone else here.

  • Kate 12:40 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    François Cardinal suggests police should try applying existing parking laws to make neighbourhoods safer, before embarking on more expensive traffic-calming methods.

    • Ian 13:43 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      Enforce the laws consistently and regularly, in Montreal, the land of twice a year jaywalking tickets? Unlikely.

    • Susana Machado 14:55 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      I second the painting of the street. The hydrant cross from my place regularly has less than two meters in front of it. Much less 5 on either side….

    • Chris 15:18 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      There are simply too many laws and too few police officers to enforce everything all the time (and would you really want to live in a society that had that many cops?).

      It’s amusing that M. Cardinal thinks enforcing CSR 386 would be “peu coûteuse”. Hiring enough cops would be very expensive.

      The cops, by necessity, should concentrate on the most important violations. They should, and do, also operate according to public complaints. I’ve called in many parking violations, and they do come and ticket. 514-280-2222.

      More disturbing is that the City / Stationnement Montreal have paid-parking meters installed in locations that are illegal according to CSR 386. Ha! Been meaning to follow up on that…

      Anyway, this is why physical changes (curb extensions, road narrowing, etc.) is necessary: because the laws are ignored and unenforceable. Physical constraints force correct motorist behaviour!

    • Kate 15:21 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      Maybe it shouldn’t be cops doing this, but the green onions? I’m assuming the green onions are not in the police brotherhood, and would not cost as much to hire.

    • Chris 15:26 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

    • Ian 15:26 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      The last couple of summers there has heavy road construction in my neighbourhood, to the extent that the police had to conduct traffic. 2 police officers at the intersection of Laurier and Parc, and again at Saint-Joseph and Parc – one to change the traffic signals manually, and the other to direct traffic. I saw people jaywalking, bikes on the sidewalk, and cars blocking the intersection after the light changed, Not one ticket issued, I asked one cop why they weren’t ticketing and he told me, surprise surprise, that they were there to direct traffic, nothing more.

    • Ephraim 19:58 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      Unenforceable laws aren’t laws they are simply random taxes. I don’t think I have ever seen a policeman actually get out of his car to give someone a ticket for double parking. And other times they announce the crack down subject of the week or day. That’s expecting us to be Pavlov’s dog, beat us down for a few day and hope it sticks, because the other 51 weeks a year, you ignore it. We have all learnt not to do it that week, that’s all.

    • Stefan 03:28 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      chris is right about only physical constraints working properly. it has been proven times again and again, and has only a one-time cost.

    • Robert J 11:32 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I’d like to see reserved bus lanes and bus stops prioritized. Cars parked in reserved lanes have made me late more times than I can count. Also cars taking up way to much space making right turns at corners with bus stops.

    • Michel 11:40 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Along the same vein as Robert J, I just never understood why they don’t tow the cars parked in the reserved lanes. Can you imagine the money this would bring in?
      Head down St-Denis during morning rush hour, and most bottlenecks occur because of illegally parked cars. It gets terrifying on a bike.

    • jeather 12:34 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Given how little they charge when they tow a car during snow clearing, I can’t imagine they currently charge enough to make towing all the cars parked in the reserved lanes worthwhile financially. They need to increase the fines on both of those a lot, then start towing.

    • Chris 19:47 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      jeather, and interestingly, the fines collected for that goes to the central city, but the cost to tow them is incurred by the borough.

    • jeather 23:25 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Chris, really? That actually explains a lot.

  • Kate 11:55 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The OCPM is planning several sessions of public consultation on the future of Old Montreal – defining its personality, how to make it both a livable neighbourhood and tourist attraction and what the city should do first, pretty much.

  • Kate 11:13 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadiens start a short training camp Sunday, preparing for their first game against Toronto next Saturday. Young Alex Galchenyuk is the golden boy of the moment, while Scott Gomez is being put out to pasture.

  • Kate 11:07 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette has a visual history of snow removal with some interesting old photos.

  • Kate 10:37 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    The new Champlain bridge will be a monster, with six lanes for traffic, plus public transit lanes, a bike lane and a sidewalk.

    • Blork 14:21 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      That’s great news about the bike lane, particularly if it’s kept separate from the pedestrian sidewalk. Speaking of, that would be a pretty long and lonely walk, and once you arrive (at either end) you’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere.

    • Chris 15:23 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      They better plan to build the cyclist/ped lanes wide enough to snow clear them, unlike Cartier.

    • Steph 20:58 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      What’s the toll going to be for the bike lane?

    • qatzelok 22:43 on 2013/01/13 Permalink

      “What’s the toll going to be for the bike lane?”
      The Ministere des Transports will pay cyclists $120 for each ton of carbon saved.

    • Michel 11:44 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Twenty-five years ago, when I first moved to Montreal, I had hitchhiked from Sherbrooke to here. The woman who drove me dropped me off at the foot of the Champlain, because that’s where I thought the sidewalk was.
      Walked across the bridge, terrified as all get-out. Everytime a truck drove past, I’d get buffetted by the pressure. Was nearly on the other side when a cop car showed up. Explained what happened, pretended to be totally ignorant, showed them my NB university card, so they drove me to Concordia, where I was signing up for classes. They had a laugh at my expense.
      /cool story, bro

    • Ephraim 11:45 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Are these lanes going to be built with the same suicide prevention grates that they have the JC?

    • qatzelok 20:06 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      @ Blork: “once you arrive (at either end) you’re pretty much in the middle of nowhere.”
      Actually, there is a riverside bike path on both sides of this bridge, and both go east all the way to the Jacques Cartier (with a few non-linear but protected diversions on the Mtl side)

    • Blork 23:59 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Quatzelok, I meant if you’re walking.

  • Kate 10:26 on 2013/01/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Swooning New York Times profile of Montreal conductor Yannick Nézet-Séguin. (Try logging in with mtlweblog/mtlweblog if you hit a paywall.)

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