Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:42 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    A sequel to yesterday’s piece on dodgy subletting, some anecdotes of tenants profiting from wildcat sublets of various kinds.

     
    • Ian 22:31 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      1300 for a 6.5? Give me that guy’s number! I have been seeing 6.5 apts. going for up to 2200 in Outremont these days. 1800 is nothing. While I deplore this tenant-on-tenant predation, it’s kind of unsurprising in a rental climate where mile-end/outremont area rents have doubled in the last 6 or so years. There’s an overall weltanschauung of predation going on.

  • Kate 21:12 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The Canadiens are offering free admission to some practice sessions and some free junk food to fans.

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

      “Un hot dog et un sac de chips.” Is it just me, or is that an expression we used to use, similar to “that and a dime will buy you a coffee”?
      In other words, it’s an empty gesture. It’s about as cheap as cheap can be. Perhaps it’s just my upbringing, when my folks would get us to eat our veggies buy saying that the poor folk were only having “un hot dog et un sac de chips” for supper. Maybe it’s just me.
      I’ve been a fervent fan since the late ’60s (get off my lawn!), but never enough to buy any merchandise or go to a game, but this move just seems so insulting to the diehards. “Hey kids, look! 50% off this China-made hockey shirt! Step right up!”
      Reminds me of weddings in India, where the beggars line up outside the walls of compounds where the wealthy partygoers are, waiting for scraps to be thrown over the wall.

    • Robert J 12:42 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      They should play a season game in Olympic stadium, pay for a special skating rink to be install and seating to be added and let 80000 people see it for free.

    • Kate 14:43 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      They should win the Cup back!

    • C_Erb 21:59 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      They should let me play for them!

  • Kate 21:07 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Via Reddit, a small item on the 20 forts on the island of Montreal in 1744. It’s pity the map reproduction is not big enough (even after you click on it).

     
  • Kate 21:00 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Rosemont/La Petite Patrie (dare I call it #rosepatrie?) has declared war on noise.

    Further reports on this Tuesday morning by Radio-Canada and the Journal. The device shown in the Journal might revolutionize sound issues – people have told me it has been known to take months for the city to deal with noise issues because it has had so little equipment for this purpose. An affordable hand-held device should speed things up.

     
    • Stefan 04:14 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      haha, with the new limits they would have to close the roads to ALL motorized traffic.

    • qatzelok 07:30 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Modern gadgets have upped the noise level to a kind of sonic hell in many areas of the city. And it gets worse with every technological “innovation.” Car locking mechanisms that beep the horn or make an obnoxious industrial sound are a great example of this. Pollution is pollution. We lived without this noise, and there are many more that could be eliminated by removing the prevalence of cars from our city. Maybe those locking mechanisms ought to be illegal?

    • Stefan 08:20 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      I have noticed that such signal noises (car locking beep, horns, truck backing up) are much louder (usually defaulting to manufacturer’s maximum level) than here in Austria, while less effort is done to dampen other noises such as air condition, computer ventilators and so on. This may be due to a higher overall noise level, completing a vicious circle. Anyway, that and poor (also sonic) isolation of building walls had annoyed the hell out of me, during my time living in Montreal.

    • Ant6n 08:28 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Yeah, also everybody needs those window-mounted AC units that just make so much noise. You don’t see those in central Europe. How do you even sleep with these things running right next to you?

    • Ian 08:54 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Ironically the thing I like about AC is that it creates enough white noise to drown out the traffic noise, and I sleep better.

    • Philippe 08:58 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      @Stefan: Are you saying that computer fans are quieter in Austria than here?

    • Ant6n 10:33 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      I don’t get this notion of ‘white noise’; for me it’s just noise that’s constant, always there, never letting up for even a second.

    • Kate 10:46 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Yes, and with no or very little variation. A steadily falling rain is a kind of white noise, or the sound of a small river rushing over stones. It’s not always an unpleasant thing, and it can have the utility of masking other more unpleasant noises.

    • C_Erb 11:10 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      I heard a story once about the white noise caused by Niagara Falls. A long time ago, a bunch of spring ice jammed up the river so much that the falls stopped. the silence was so deafening that it woke up everyone living around the falls.

    • Stefan 11:55 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      @philippe: yes, i have not found the link mentioning it though … it was to the effect that less effort goes into making the fans quiet in north america, because it makes less difference in a noisy environment (and again, some cents scraped off the production cost).
      @ant6n: ironically, how you’ll manage to sleep when the neighbor gets an air-condition is to get one as well, so you can close the windows … for the 2,3 weeks of heat-wave

    • Kevin 12:20 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      This is a frequent topic on motorcycle forums with several cities passing laws specifically targeting riders. There is a saying that straight pipes save lives, which I always find to be a complete and utter BS excuse for one’s own lack of skill, but people use it to justify being aural terrorists. Anyone who rides a motorbike that shakes people awake or drives a car with a fart can attached deserves to be punished.

      If a car beeps or honks when someone uses the remote lock, the owner is a lazy SOB who hasn’t bothered to read the manual. Feel free to leave a note on the person’s car telling them to be considerate and to learn how their car works!

      That said, A/C is an essential in many older buildings with pre-WWII insulation (i.e. none). Any rooms with south or west-facing walls can be unbearable throughout the summer, and the only solution is extensive work not just on the inside, but sometimes to remove and redo the facade and membranes as well.

    • Ant6n 12:33 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      I guess I find heat more bearable than noise.

  • Kate 13:16 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Layoffs are coming at the Cirque du Soleil.

     
  • Kate 10:20 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    A Maisonneuve piece on gentrification and signs notes that the Nouveau Palais sign on Bernard has been spared for the moment.

     
    • Ian 10:42 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I ownder if the Jewish bakery sign they reference in the last paragraph was actually the sign for Simcha’s – http://www.flickr.com/photos/antontrax/323209985/in/gallery-mtlweblog-72157623042022851/

    • William 10:46 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Nice to read a piece that is free of the hysteria that usually surrounds this subject.

    • dwgs 10:48 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      It was a good piece but kinda strange that they have Noveau Palais located on St. Viateur.

    • Ian 11:25 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      They appear to have corrected that, and there’s an erratum notice at the bottom.

    • Robert J 11:40 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I hate that law about the size/brightness of signs. Today’s signs are visually a mess (small, backlit signs with poor, low-contrast choice of colours and ugly gradients, or pretentious medieval-looking wooden signs) and much less appealing than the old neons.

    • Alex 15:00 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Isn’t it odd that the Plateau borough would have an issue with the size, colour and lighting of the Nouveau Palais sign but authorize a big box chain like Dormez-vous to install their suburban-sized monstrosity at the corner of Saint-Laurent and Rachel…

    • William 15:08 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Not really. The Plateau is full of stupid half measures that penalize the little guy. You need a permit to replace a broken window. Yet the borough is tearing up Square Saint Louis with no heritage landscape design plan. And look at the monstrous additions they allowed to be added to the heritage building at the corner of St-Hubert and Cherrier. That’s just two examples off the bat.

    • Chris 16:43 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      If you read the article, you’ll see the sign law was from 2006, Union/Fotopulos administration, not Projet. Actually, is it a city or borough regulation?

    • C_Erb 00:45 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      I seem to remember reading that they could keep their sign so long as they continued serving “repas typiquement Québécois” which doesn’t really describe their new menu (e.g. they replaced poutine with something they call “cheesyfries” which is a tiny box of undercooked and overpriced fries with some sort of watery cream sauce drizzled over them). I was always threatening to whoever would listen to take it to the borough (with the intention of blackmailing them into bringing back poutine so they wouldn’t risk losing their sign) because I was so mad to lose the only late-night poutine on the way to my house. I guess I never did it because it seemed too petty to bother with. I’m still mad and haven’t eaten there since.

    • Kate 22:05 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      For Robert J – Saint-Hubert Street back in the day:

      sthubert2

  • Kate 10:08 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The case of Pierre Lacerte vs. three Hasidic men is before superior court Monday. Rappelons que, as they say: Lacerte lives opposite a small synagogue in eastern Outremont and keeps an obsessive record of parking irregularities by members of the synagogue, complaining about them to the borough and posting about them on his blog. They are counter-complaining about harassment, Lacerte is counter-counter-complaining that it’s a SLAPP lawsuit meant to intimidate him out of his freedom of expression. Nobody has found a way to stop this standoff from escalating into the courts.

    A group connected with Lacerte managed to block the synagogue’s request to extend its building into its own back yard in 2011, a story deftly summarized here in the Globe and Mail and here in the McGill Daily. Lacerte’s blog is called Accommodements Outremont, but you’ll have to google for it yourself. I’m not giving him any links from here.

    Later: CTV also has a report about the case but seems to be missing one small crucial word. “Writer Pierre Lacerte has spent a decade obsessing his Outremont neighbor, Michael Rosenberg, a wealthy real-estate mogul who lives on his street. Lacerte runs a blog in which he posts photos of Rosenberg…” – I think they mean obsessing about. Don’t read the comments unless you want a quick lesson in antisemitic attitudes.

     
    • Ephraim 11:58 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Wow… this man has quite an axe to grind. Makes you wonder how much hatred there is to devote so much time to writing up all this stuff.

  • Kate 09:53 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    ViSaMiPex councillor Elsie Lefebvre has been made opposition leader at city hall by Louise Harel in a move that confuses even me.

    Anie Samson, borough mayor, left Vision Montreal last month. She remains borough mayor but stops being leader of the opposition, a role now held by Lefebvre. But why is Harel not leader of the opposition herself?

     
    • William 10:19 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      “Elise Lefebvre, Borough Councillor for the Villeray district…”

    • Kate 10:23 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Her name really is Elsie. When I moved to Villeray she was our MNA, but she lost the following election and turned to municipal politics.

    • William 10:25 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Oops that was a faute de frappe, not a correction ;) I was intending to comment on your ugly abbreviation again :D

    • William 10:41 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      And even then, that’s not right. She is City Councillor for the Villeray District, which is coincidentally in the eponymous borough.

    • Jack 14:26 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      Too bad I thought Projet would be able to convince her to change allegiance, obviously her PQ family ties are too important.

    • Fagstein 03:26 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      The term “leader” in French (at least in Canada) doesn’t translate so directly in this context. Lefebvre is the Opposition House Leader, a job that involves organizing legislative activities. It’s a distinct role from the Leader of the Opposition (chef de l’opposition), which is what Harel is.

      (Though one could argue that this setup is a reason why Montreal’s municipal council is far too big)

    • Kate 10:36 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarification, Fagstein. I’m not a radical reduce-the-council wacko but I wonder why we need all these parliamentary positions at the city level.

  • Kate 00:04 on 2013/01/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has added some kind of mystery box to some of its metro trains in an experiment to cut down on service interruptions by “forcing a supplementary reflection” before the emergency brake can be pulled. Do you get a message saying “Pull this in fun and you’ll be fined $500″? The article doesn’t say.

     
    • denpanosekai 08:11 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I’ve seen them — nothing special. Just a plastic box.

    • Bill Binns 08:35 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      How about a camera next to the handle? Let them have there “supplementary reflection” while they spend a year or so in prison.

    • Tux 10:57 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I don’t think I’ve ever been on a train where the emergency stop got pulled. Anyway if it’s misused (you’re only supposed to use it if forward motion of the train will result in injury for someone) it’s because we don’t have a proper panic button type of system to summon security to a particular car.

    • SN86 16:34 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      The box is similar to ones found at fire alarms and escalator stop buttons.

      All the times I’ve been in a train where it’s been pulled, it was always done by a group of high school kids, after school. They’re also the group responsible for some of the door issues: holding, pulling them open, and messing with the gears.

    • Kate 21:23 on 2013/01/14 Permalink

      I can see it as a thing some high school kids might dare each other to do. One day I happened to be on the orange line when our train reached Place Saint-Henri just after that big high school let out. I’ve never been on so crowded a metro train, bodies wedged in solid like some kind of giggling teenage meatloaf. Then somebody pulled the brakes.

      But a year in prison for that?

    • Ant6n 08:31 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      A year in prison doesn’t make sense for pulling the brakes, it’s just US American Justice Hunger Nonsense talking.

    • Bill Binns 12:09 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      Needlessly delaying and possibly endangering hundreds of people (thousands if it shuts the whole line down)? Pulling fire alarms without reason is a serious crime in many places. Pulling the emergency brake on a train is orders of magnitude more dangerous.

      There are many people here who wring their hands about all the evil cars being used in the city. This kind of nonsense happening on public transport just makes it a less viable option. How many times to you have to be late for work or get stuck on a sweltering parked train trying to get home before you go back to your car?

    • Ant6n 18:44 on 2013/01/15 Permalink

      To answer your question: irrelevant. Whether you switch to a car or not has no bearing on the punishment for some High School kid pulling the break on the metro. Is this some sort of weird attempt to blackmail society into having your sense of justice?

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