Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:47 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    A Quartier Latin group has presented a $50M scheme to revive the Îlot Voyageur and create 624 student rooms.

    • Ephraim 20:10 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      So basically they are asking for a FREE $9.3 million dollars and then they are somehow they are going to get a mortgage for $37.3 million dollars for a co-op. So who’s going to guarantee the $37.3 million dollars? And please… why do they think they deserve $9.3 million dollars? What interest does the public have in this?

    • Kate 20:14 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Well, it would be a general benefit if the building could stop looking like a bomb site. And I don’t think it would hurt the Quartier Latin to have several hundred students living in it.

    • No\Deli 20:37 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Can you ‘revive’ something that’s never truly vive‘d?

    • Kate 22:21 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Well, resuscitate the construction of the project, if you prefer.

    • Ephraim 22:52 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      I’m sure that someone can have a viable use for the project that doesn’t involve the government having to hand over $9.3 million dollars of tax-payer money and I assume guarantee a mortgage of $37.3 million dollars. If it was a really viable project… private enterprise could do it and not expect the tax-payers to hand over $9.3 million dollars.

      The neighbourhood would also be well served by an office building in the area, where people would come in and spend money in the neighbourhood, especially considering that it’s right on top of the Berri-UQAM metro station.

      The government was supposed to be looking at proposals. Frankly, any proposal that is viable and doesn’t involve tax payer money would be a better choice than handing over $9.3 million dollars and a guarantee to a mortgage.

      Is there a discussion of a needs test that I didn’t see? Are we talking about a real charity? A group that is severely disadvantaged? Nope, this is a co-op, not a charity.

    • SMD 23:05 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Taxpayers have already sunk hundreds of millions into that site through the failed UQÀM adventure. I’d rather the building have a para-public use (through co-op student housing) than be handed over to a private enterprise.

    • Bill Binns 23:35 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      It should be converted into the Museum of Goverment Waste and Mismanagement.

    • No\Deli 23:44 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      ^That’s already my nickname for Montreal.

      [I wasn’t actually nit-picking, Kate – just being foolish]

    • Kate 00:47 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Why should some public money not go toward creating student residences, considering how close the building is both to UQÀM and to the CÉGEP du Vieux-Montréal? Student housing was the original intent of the building, after all.

      I looked back through earlier postings. Back in December 2011, there was a news story about how the building was to be turned into a new health campus, and in April 2012 another story said several buyers were competing to buy parts of the building. I’m assuming these plans must have fallen through.

    • Matthew 12:40 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Why not? Because until this province deals with its healthcare issues, its high school drop out rates, its infrastructures issues and its debt, there’s no money to spend on reviving white elephants.

    • david m 14:01 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      realistically, there’s almost nothing else that this building can be. we’re talking about new construction with 8-foot ceiling heights in montreal. for various reasons related to rent controls, we have no market for large newly-constructed residential buildings among the deep-pocketed institutional investors active in other cities. and the low ceiling height makes these units down market, making the return on investment very low if they moved to condo (low rents, high turnover, rent controls limiting damage fees, etc.). this was built as student housing and, unless converted to a massive homeless shelter, student housing it’ll be, it’s just a matter of process and mechanics at this point.

      this is quite apart from the benefits of having these students supporting commerce and the broader social fabric in the area, and also not further bidding up flats in the plateau or elsewhere. 600+ students on this site is good.

    • jeather 15:06 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      I wonder if this might be a better location for a residential home for seniors than the Royal Vic.

    • Kate 00:56 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      jeather, that’s got things going for it – it’s not at the top of a hill, for starters. But I have a feeling there’s a notion they want young, lively people in that space.

      What if you set it up so you had half seniors’ residence, half students’ residence, and the students could work off part of their rent by working part time to look after the old folks? Probably too elaborate.

    • jeather 08:29 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Too noisy, I’d think. I also don’t imagine they’ll use it as a residential home. I also think it would be an okay place for low-income housing. But I’m sure whatever happens to it, it will cost far too much and won’t have any social good attached to it. (I don’t think a student residence is a particular good. It’s not a bad thing, either, it’s just neutral.)

    • Kevin 11:31 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      I have a sneaky suspicion that the plumbing doesn’t allow for a senior’s residence. Dunno about you, but I think seniors aren’t going to walk down the hall to go pee or use a communal shower.

  • Kate 18:45 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Even dons need a break from Montreal’s winters. Vito Rizzuto was spotted boarding a plane for the Dominican Republic early on Wednesday.

  • Kate 18:43 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Archives de Montréal has put up a photo set of the 1966 Stanley Cup parade.

    • denpanosekai 19:27 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Man oh man, I love Montreal in the 60s. Fantastic.

    • Bill Binns 22:18 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      These are great, especially the shots of the crowd. Some nice partial views of the old Forum too. I guess I can see why so many people hate what it has become.

    • Kate 22:26 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Yep. The original Forum never had a claim to being one of the city’s top architectural treasures, but it was not objectionable and it seems to have been surprisingly low-profile for a site of such cultural importance.

    • DCMontreal 11:23 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Thanks for the link to the photos. I actually found myself in one of them. Was a six year old fan!

    • Kate 11:28 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      That’s too cool. I’ve looked for my parents and other older relatives in old street photos, but not yet spotted any.

    • DCMontreal 11:39 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      When I come across photos of EXPO 67 I always look in the background but no luck so far!

    • montrealfilmguy 14:27 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      For one of the most cosmic of coincidences,everyone should google Alex and Donna Voutsinas.

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

      Yes, that’s quite a story, but I’m willing to bet it’s not mathematically all that unlikely to happen in photos taken in places like Disneyworld where a lot of people gather. Noticing it and realizing it, though, is pretty far out there.

  • Kate 18:42 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Preparations are under way for the Faubourg Contrecœur court case in which Frank Zampino and Paolo Catania are scheduled to appear, among others.

  • Kate 18:40 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    Idle No More are blockading tracks near Kingston and causing delays between Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal.

  • Kate 18:39 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a machete killing in Saint-Michel Wednesday, the third homicide of the year.

    • Doobish 19:34 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      What a charming way to start to the new year. Not.

  • Kate 18:32 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    As presaged last week, the Cirque du Soleil is going to lay off 400 workers worldwide.

    • Doobish 19:41 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Share your Guy stories here, kids. Pounds of coke, prosties galore, that’s what I’ve been hearing about his parties over the years.

      So, is he Evil incarnate, or is he the prototypical successful Quebec artsy businessman worthy of honour? Yer opinions?

    • dwgs 21:23 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      I know a guy who attended one of those parties. Didn’t see him for three days afterwards and when I did see him all he could do was shake his head and smile.

    • david m 14:09 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      my friend works on his private jet from time to time, the guy is definitely part of the international jet set, ferrying around random movie stars, politicians, local billionaire offspring pals, along with the generic beautifuls you might expect. my friend likes him because he tips very well and he’ll order up insane food and wine spreads in europe or asia or brasil or whatever and consume barely any of it, basically meaning that all the support and service crew eats well when he rolls in.

    • DCMontreal 15:31 on 2013/01/26 Permalink

      A layoff indeed, but not on life support as the CBC suggested.

  • Kate 10:45 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    There was a tunnel evacuation Wednesday morning on the green line after a train lost power between Lasalle and Charlevoix stations.

    • Tux 11:08 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Ever since I was a kid I always wanted that to happen to me… never has, also no in-tunnel picture on the article! :sadface:

    • Hub 11:15 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      The question: why did the train lost power and how is the STM working on preventing these… Since the rolling stock is aging, despite not looking that old.

    • Blork 13:10 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      It happened to me a few years ago on the yellow line. Had to walk about 400 metres through the tunnel to get to the Jean-Drapeau station. A few dark pictures on Flickr, starting with this one (and the three “older->” ones): http://www.flickr.com/photos/blork/3988653703/in/photostream/

    • Ant6n 13:14 on 2013/01/16 Permalink


    • Doobish 19:54 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Has anybody else noticed that the STM has pretty much given up on keeping the interiors of the buses and the metro trains clean lately? It’s been two days in a row now that I’ve laid bare hand on a metro/bus pole and wound up regretting it.

      Fuck you, you dirty ignorant useless maintenance toads. I’m donning my mechanic’s gloves the very second I enter your bus or train from here on in.

    • Kate 20:16 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Actually – not really. I take buses and metros almost daily, and except for bus floors being a bit sloppy during the recent sequence of heavy snow followed by rain, I haven’t found it worse than usual.

    • Bert 21:31 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Doobish, why are you taking it on the maintenance crew? How about a little rage or the people who actually don’t know how to clean up after themselves. Next time you see someone leave a paper, or a bottle or can or whatever, hand it back to them and say “You were forgetting this.”

    • Kate 01:14 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Bert, I have done things like that – it’s tempting, but it can get a bad response. In a couple of instances I suspect if I hadn’t been a woman I might have been punched. People don’t like being called out and shamed.

    • Robert J 13:23 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      I really hate when people passive/aggressively criticize people for their transit habits. Mind your own business. People in Montreal are so pretentious about their perceived sense of politeness. Sometimes I feel like I’m in a big village full of old ladies gossiping and eavesdropping.

      We are pestered and policed enough by the authorities. I think city dwellers have the right to be left alone by their neighbours at least.

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

      I’m one of those that litter in the metro occasionally. I don’t like doing it because I love the metro, but I find it less painful than submitting to the stupidity of carrying my garbage around the system. To each his own, I guess.

      One time I left a paper on the bus, and got chewed out for littering by some holier than though type. It’s called recycling, you ignorant cow.

    • Kate 01:13 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      There’s a big difference between throwing an empty soda can (worse, a half empty one) on a bus floor, and leaving a perfectly readable newspaper on a seat for someone else’s perusal.

      Please don’t chuck papers around in the metro, though. I know it’s irritating that they moved the garbage cans away from the platforms, but one of the things I took away from my nocturnal metro trip in late 2011 was the huge effort the maintenance people make every day to remove paper that’s blown into the tunnels and blocked up drains and vents.

    • Doobish 18:31 on 2013/01/18 Permalink

      Bert: No, all rage should correctly be directed at the lazy-ass unionized pricks at the STM that can’t be bothered to do their jobs properly.

      It happened to me again on the metro today after work: I absent-mindedly put my hand on the pole beside the door, and instantly got the distinct feeling that somebody had just spit in my palm. This, just 5 minutes after dodging a 20-foot long strip of packed down snow that has turned into ice just outside the very busy southern entrance to du College metro.

      It’s been what now, 10 days since the big dump? And still, nobody can be bothered to salt away the danger. It’s not simple negligence, these particular situations. It’s criminal negligence those ignorant STM fucktards are getting away with. Your tax dollars are paying criminals to do crimes against you.

      And Kate: The papers in the tunnels are the doing of the STM themselves. If they hadn’t made their deal with the purveyors of the free low-brow crap ad-ridden McPaper, their tunnels would be a hell of a lot cleaner. If I threw each and every one of my pilfered Globes and Mails off the end of the station platforms, it would not make one iota of a difference to the cleanliness of the tunnels.

  • Kate 10:43 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    François Cardinal tries to calm the waters about Mayor Applebaum, pointing out that the man has been found guilty by association in the minds of many but that there’s been no foundation for any formal accusation.

  • Kate 10:39 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    The czar of Jean-Drapeau park has sacked most of his staff with an eye toward turning the park into a massive tourist draw by 2017.

    • David Tighe 13:29 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Does this mean that they will fill it up with recreational junk and charge 20$ admission?

    • William 14:35 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Someone’s a negative nancy! :)

    • Robert J 15:46 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      I think that park is vastly under-used. There are activities piece-meal all over but very little coherence. It’s hard to navigate around it and to get from one part of the park to the other. It has great potential, but suffers from being on an island (I always think twice before going there). They should think about some kind of télérifique directly from the Old Port or a more distinctive (and free) shuttle bus service around the islands.

      There is also the beautiful art deco pavilion under the Jacques-Cartier bridge that has never really been used (except for storage for the bridge corporation– what a waste). It has two huge ballrooms designed originally designed for concerts and events (and rumoured to be intended for a casino). Something glamorous should go in there that would draw people out to the islands. Maybe an indoor year-round version of the Piknik phenomena?

    • Jack 20:53 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      I agree with Robert, how many other cities have this kind of potential attraction.A beautiful island connected by metro , great vistas. These folks should do better.

    • Kate 01:16 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      I don’t actually see a problem with the park, and I tend to share David Tighe’s concern it could be filled up with junk and made expensive. Look how much it costs to see the damn ice village.

    • William 09:39 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      The problem with the park is that it’s boring and a wasted opportunity. I don’t believe in “better the devil you know” when it comes to public administration, and I also don’t believe in condemning people before you know anything about them.

    • qatzelok 10:25 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Like David and Kate, I also don’t think this quiet out-of-the-way park needs to become more Disneyland-ish. La Ronde is already there for cheap thrills. If there is one thing I would change about the island parks, it’s the predominance of parking lots along the waterfront. Talk about a waste.

    • Ant6n 10:54 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      La Ronde, cheap?

    • Doobish 19:37 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      It is cheap actually, if you do it season’s pass style. A season’s worth of fun can be had for the price of about 2 visits. The family deals are great too.

      I’d like to see that Casino burned to the ground. The marketing message is all glitzy smiles and jet set shiny happy fun, but the reality is the place exists to suck the welfare money back from the poor. Check out the attire on the neighbourhood bus riders if you doubt me.

    • qatzelok 21:09 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Welfare money? That would be so glamorous. It’s mostly senior’s pensions that are being “invested” there.

  • Kate 02:11 on 2013/01/16 Permalink | Reply  

    A sticker some NDG businesses put up to show they were participating in a local-shopping initiative has resulted in an OQLF complaint and a warning that displaying the sticker “puts businesses at risk” according to a spokesman at the Office.

    The English message is the same point size as the French one. I don’t know what could have gotten into the CDN-NDG CDEC to make such an egregious error.

    • dwgs 07:03 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      What kind of nasty petty loser reports something like that?

    • dwgs 07:04 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Referring to the OQLF snitch, not you Kate. Not sure if that was clear :-).

    • Marc 07:06 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      OQLF = Your tax dollars at work…

    • jeather 07:58 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      The building where I work got an anonymous complaint because painted on some old door is the word “receiving”, so faded you can barely read it, and there’s also an old sign saying “rue street” or something, where rue and street are the same size.

      I’ve seen those NDG stickers around for over a year, I think.

    • John B 09:41 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      The NDG stickers have been up since at least 2010, maybe even 2009.

    • Steve Quilliam 10:15 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      Yes the OQLF is going to far. This is pure ”zealotism”. Enough is enough with harassing businesses in Montreal. Leave the city alone for god sake. It needs to breathe a little after all the bad news of the past years.

      Who’s in charge of the OQLF in Quebec ?

    • Michel 11:27 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      This is the same department that tried to bring a suit against the Montreal Mirror back in 1996. When Peter Scowen (the editor) called them up to point out their idiocy, i.e. that newspapers were “exempt” from the law, he was informed that the Mirror “n’était pas un journal, mais un hebdomadaire.” Scowen then let loose a series of expletives and insults, mostly centered around questioning how most of those folks were conceived and how they were mentally able to breathe.
      Consequently, the Office made a complaint to the journalism board of ethics. The sign stayed up and Scowen wasn’t sanctionned, except it was decided that he hadn’t been “nice enough” to the OQLF workers and had hurt their feelings.
      /Heady times.

    • Kevin 12:43 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      We will see more ridiculous complaints like this in the next decade, as baby booming francophones retire. With no hobbies, no grandkids, and lacking the intellectual capacity to do anything worthwhile, those who pine for separation and linguistic segregation will spend their days scouring their neighbourhood and the internet for any and all alleged infractions of the language laws.

      PS you just know the person who made this complaint is still spitting nails because the word “Austrian” was permitted. Y’know, instead of calling the store Boutique de ski Autriche.

    • qatzelok 15:21 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      This is so petty. Who cares about local culture. This is about businesses and money!!

    • Robert J 15:52 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      @qatzelok anglophone culture has been exceptionally “local” to Montreal for 250 years. This is about culture, and the subsistence of small, local businesses in a linguistic context where French openly seeks to subjugate, repress and replace English.

    • Kate 18:23 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      qatzelok, you have the arrogance of the independently wealthy. Commercial activity is not a force imposed on us by aliens. It’s an aspect of what human beings do. Yes, on a grand scale it can get away with bad things, especially at a time when it’s become an article of faith that commerce must always come first, but it also supports the human race, feeds us, clothes us and moves us around.

      That’s why I felt a cold chill when I read of the OQLF guy saying that someone who simply put up a sticker supporting local shopping could “lose their business.” Do you not know anyone who has built a small business from the ground up, working tirelessly, adding something to a community that would otherwise not be there, creating jobs, offering services or convenience? Do you know how much damage can be done if such businesses must live under threat, and can you imagine the petty-minded cruelty of a government fonctionnaire who would casually threaten such enterprises with a flick of his ideological whip?

      Some people will be cruel merely because they can. Let’s not foster an atmosphere where they can.

    • dwgs 20:34 on 2013/01/16 Permalink

      What Kate said. qatzelok, I would have thought that you of all people would be more sympathetic to small local businesses. I’ve lived in the neighbourhood for over 13 years and have come to know many of these shopkeepers as I try to shop locally. These people are a big part of the local culture. And they’re not all those English that you despise. The local businesses I frequent are run by French, Iranian, Korean, Franco Quebecois, Jamaican, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, and Chinese Canadians. And probably a few others as well.
      What drives me crazy is that this complaint was made by one individual but I’ll bet that if 100 local French speaking Quebecois de souche were to protest the action (and believe it or not there is a large Franco population in NDG) it would have no effect whatsoever.

    • qatzelok 10:31 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      @ Kate: “qatzelok, you have the arrogance of the independently wealthy.”
      What kind of arrogance leads anglos to think they can force English down 7 million francophones throats? Is it because they were so successful in repressing francophones in the past? Do shoe salesmen from Cote St Luc really expect everyone else to change? And is it really “arrogant” to question the anglophone arrogance of ‘British-Montrealer’ capitalism? Or are you guys just “protecting the hand that feeds you kibbles?”

    • qatzelok 10:33 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      @ dwgs: ” And they’re not all those English that you despise. The local businesses I frequent are run by French, Iranian, Korean, Franco Quebecois, Jamaican, Italian, Greek, Lebanese, and Chinese Canadians”
      And they’re all forced to speak English bythe local anglos who refuse to become franco-normal.

    • Kevin 10:39 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Have you ever been to Monkland village? 75% of the stores that had those stickers up are owned by francophones, with francophone employees.
      My favourite bakery on the strip, which employs about a dozen people, hired its first anglophone last summer. There are several stores that have nobody who can speak English.
      Your notion that people are forced to speak English is not based in reality.

    • Kate 10:41 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      Also qatzelok: they are not “forced” to speak English. They WANT to speak English, or French, or whatever language will make it easier to do business and sell to their clientele. People adapt to be able to live and thrive.

      “Do shoe salesmen from Cote St Luc really expect everyone else to change?” Ha ha, good example. People who spoke Yiddish and Polish, Russian, German, Ukrainian back home moved to the new world and now their kids speak English and French and one of them is mayor. Of course they expect people to change! You HAVE to change. The world does not stand still. This is not 1642 or 1760 or 1837. This is now.

      As for “franco-normal” – 100% French at all times might be normal in Joliette, but Montreal is not a 100% French city. It’s bigger than that. 100% French may be an ideal for some but Montreal’s history belies that myth.

      Also, as an afterthought – if you can’t distinguish predatory capitalists from people owning and operating local small businesses, I don’t think anything anyone says here can help you.

    • dwgs 11:46 on 2013/01/17 Permalink

      I’m one of those local anglos and I speak French with the francophones, Lebanese, and the Chinese family whose French is better than their English. With those whose mother tongue is English, well we speak English to one another, wrong though that may be. In my experience the vast majority of NDG anglos are at least functional in French and many are fluent. You need to get out of that self righteous bubble of yours and see how the real world works, you might be surprised.

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