Updates from January, 2013 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:54 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Joël Thibert of Walk the region is the guest blogger Monday on Quel Avenir, with interesting thoughts on seeing beyond political borders to grasp the scale of greater Montreal’s regional needs.

     
  • Kate 20:35 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Banque Nationale wants to sue Arthur Porter to get some mortgage money due on his $800K penthouse condo.

     
  • Kate 20:34 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A ruling on whether Richard Henry Bain is fit to stand trial was expected Monday, but has been delayed again till next week to give the defence time to read notes from the court psychiatrist.

     
  • Kate 20:30 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A committee is pressing for the extension of the blue line to Anjou. They’re right in saying that quarter of town needs better transit, but there should be a second committee to press for its westward extension too – out to Montreal West train station, maybe.

     
    • jeather 20:51 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Like the westward expansion — which ideally would go much farther west, in time — will ever happen. There will be a metro all the way to Quebec City first.

    • Matt 22:09 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      With the Laval extension (I still think it was a waste of time and money—what can I say, I hate Laval) plugging up the orange line over the past few years, I wonder what taking the metro from Jean-Talon to Berri at rush hour is going to be like with an additional 140 000 passengers projected to take the blue line extension…

    • Ephraim 22:13 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Maybe there should be a committee that is unbiased that should look at the data and actually use that information to form an unbiased opinion and present actual DATA to back their opinions on how adding metro stations in any direction would benefit the system. For example, will a station in Cartierville be a better choice than one in Anjou? Why? What numbers do you have to prove that? How should the buses be reconfigured at that point.

    • Kate 22:24 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      It’s an interesting question, given that conveyances like metros have a limit based on safe headings between trains, how do bigger busier cities like Tokyo and London manage with the demand that must be put on their subway systems at busy times?

    • Marc 22:34 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      If money were no object, the vision I always had for Metro expansions, either as underground or surface (whichever is more feasable) would be blue line to Anjou; a few more stops on the yellow line in Longueuil; and green line with stops in Lachine & Dorval ending at YUL. Pigs will fly before most of that happens, though.

    • Blork 23:59 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Cities like London and Tokyo (and Paris, New York, etc.) have subway systems that are laid out in a web or a grid with many intersections. So the ridership is spread out and diffused theoughout the system. Montreal’s system, on the other hand, just feeds everyone towards the center (4 or 5 downtown stations on the green and orange lines). So adding more stations doesn’t diffuse the ridership, it just pushes more and more people into an already crowded system.

      What Montreal really needs is two things: new LINES, and lines that run on rails instead of tires, so they can pop up and run above ground as they reach the outer extremities of their lines and the stations are farther apart (and staying underground is unnecessary).

      Unfortunately neither of those things are going to happen, ever.

    • Faiz Imam 00:52 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      @Ephraim: of course they’ve done the studies. I did a preliminary version in my transportation planning class at Concordia.

      Its a no-brainer that the blue line east is the highest priority in Montreal. The potential ridership is very high, both directly and in terms of people in (relatively) transport deprived areas such as Montreal Nord, st-Leonard and RDP achieving greater accessibility. The station near Pie-IX should be very busy.

      @Blork is absolutely right. We badly need redundant lines of transportation in this city.

      What does NY do when the lexington line reached capacity? they spent(and are spending) $Billions building a parallel line 3 blocks east.

      The topography nor budget of Montreal make any sense for that to happen, because we really don’t have the space for more lines through much of downtown, but what we CAN do is build that damn streetcar line on Parc.

      The whole idea is to reduce the burden on the Orange line and it will accomplish it by providing an alternate means for many users along the plateau, mile-end, rosemont, villray, etc to reach downtown.

      On the other hand expanding the metro west is somewhat more questionable. There is some merit in extending the blue line south west from Snowdon to Montreal West, it would completely change the accessibility of layola campus for example.

      But after that its a dead end. When people say “west” they usually mean west-island, and that means crossing the wasteland between cote-st luc and Dorval. this is completely cost prohibitive for the current metro system. Not only is it a massive cost, it’s not at all what the metro is designed for.

      Different transit systems make sense for different scales: bus, BRT, LRT, metro, heavy rail. they all optimize a different mix of max speed, station interval, capacity and cost. The solution is what has been proposed(surprise surprise, they actually know what they are talking about): the train de l’ouest.

      It will make taking the train reliable and useful at all hours of the day, and uses existing infrastructure. It can integrate with the airport as well as all existing stations.

    • Philip 01:30 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      “Unfortunately neither of those things are going to happen, ever.” How pessimistic!

      I always dream of a Montreal with a big genuine, bona-fide, electrified six-car monorail buzzing through the downtown core.

      Starts at Viger Square, giving us an excuse to raze it. Let it travel up Berri to the Berri-UQAM metro station.

      From there, it would take de Maissoneuve through the Jeanne-Mance co-op, because that part of the street is more or less useless. It would turn down St-Urbain (not much going on there) and glide into the Complexe Desjardins.

      It makes its way up Balmoral and makes a left quietly along President Kennedy, a street no one really needs that badly.

      It reaches McGill College, south, through the PVM plaza (it’ll look cool, I swear). Then it reaches Rene-Levesque, goes east to University. Down University for a bit, then onto de la Gauchetiere.

      Travel all the way to Peel, make its way back up to Rene-Levesque, and move westward from there.

      Before getting to Atwater, climbs up Lambert-Closse and swoops around Cabot Square.

      Now down Atwater, and makes its way down to the market (let the engineers figure out how to get it above the highway). It rolls gracefully over the canal until arriving near the 15/20, at the new transit-hub that connects the light rail from the new Pont Champlain (the lightrail that also happens to extend to Vendome/MUHC, Montreal-West and the airport.)

      My monorail hits Vieux-Montreal, Berri-UQAM & the BAnQ, Place des Arts, McGill, Bonaventure, Gare Centrale, the Bell Center, le 1000, Place du Canada & Dorchester Square, the rest of the business district, part of Concordia, the Cabot Square bus hub, Lionel-Groulx (and its new express bus hub), the Atwater Market, and my imagined YUL-to-Brossard lightrail. Alleviates traffic in the metro (esp. between McGill/BerriUQAM).

      You don’t honestly see my monorail ever happening?!

    • Ian 06:10 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      @Faiz – “but what we CAN do is build that damn streetcar line on Parc.” Considering the city just spent 2 years of roadwork on Parc and has already ruined business on Saint-Laurent too, let’s give the west of the Main a break and ruin Saint-Denis this time just to spread it out.

      Serious question though, seeing how much ridership the 435 and 80 get,
      a) how would you divert that during the 5 years construction (anyone who thinks it wold take less is dreaming in technicolour given it took 2 years just to replace the water mains from bernard to mont-royal) and
      b) how would having a streetcar line carry more people than the already existing high frequency bus lines do?

      I recognize that the orange line is seriously overburdened (I take it every day) but I really don’t understand how building a streetcar line would mean anything other than years of bad traffic, cost overruns, and hundreds of closed up businesses.

      Here’s a crazy idea: make Saint-Urbain 2-way like Parc with a reserved bus and taxi lane and run another high frequency service along it like the 80/435. It would mess things up a lot less than building a freaking street car. I know commuters insist they need a fast entry to downtown via Saint-Urbain but this is more important. Also, we should also impose carpooling laws – Maybe 1 in 10 of the hundreds of SUVs and minivans I see roaring down Saint-Urbain each morning as I wait for the 51have more than one person in them. We could nearly halve the amount of traffic on the road by just insisting on double occupancy.

      I know suburbanites would get super mad about either of those plans but they strike me as a lot more realistic than another mega-project ruining Parc for years to come at no benefit to the residents or business owners of the neighbourhood – that doesn’t even accomodate more riders.

    • Bert 08:40 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      Kate, there is little that can be done with the existing infrastructure and equipment.

      The STM has no extra trains during rush hour, there is nothing hiding somewhere in some garage to pull out.

      The trains can not run any faster than what they currently do. Even if the Azur trains can, if they are on the same line as an MR63 or MR73, they will be limited by the slowest train.

      The STM will not allow a train to leave a station if another station has not departed the next station. Allowing this would effectively increase average speed. This is done to avoid a situation where a train has to stop in tunnel and possibly evacuate. Evacuating a train that is already in station is simple. “Hey, get off the train”. Or more likely, “Aye, débarque du train.”

      I believe the main problem areas / segments are: Montmorency (Henri-Bourrassa?) to Bonaventure and Honoré-Beaugrand to Guy. (both of those possibly to Lionel-Groulx).

      Along with an eastern extension to Anjou, the blue line (or some other form of very rapid transit) needs to be extended from about Édouard Montptit (or Université de Montréal, or Outremont (they are all debatable)) directly to downtown. Park one or two stops some place between Guy/Place-Des-Arts/Lucien L’Allier/Square-Victoria. This would be sort of a T setup, or a new short-line red-line. I think not having transfers would be best, in order to reduce impact to students, but I could go either way.

      I think that stations Place-Ville-Marie and Rememberance (around the Cenotaph) might have a nice ring to it. (Why am I having déjà vu?)

      The downtown bound orange line is already overcrowded well before Jean-Talon. Adding more capacity to the blue line, only to have it dump on to the orange at Jean-Talon is not a good idea. This will keep people on the blue line and get them directly downtown. this should also pull some people off the green line, since there will be two choices.

      Remember that the blue line is already running under capacity. Trains are only 6 cars long, while they could be running 9. Yes, Saint-Michel has a room on the platform but it can be removed. The platform is fully 9 cars long. This means the blue line is effectively running at 66% of what it could. Further to that the line’s main users are students, who really use it 8-9 months of the year?

      The metro to Laval has greatly increased ridership from there, causing most of the overcrowding on the orange line. To pull some of those people off the eastern orange line the western orange line should be extended in to Laval, up to somewhere around Carrefour Laval. Make heavy use of existing parking infrastructure at the numerous shopping malls.

    • jeather 09:58 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      It is true that if all the trains ran in both directions during the day the metro wouldn’t need to be extended west past Montreal West (though it really should go through NDG but see above), but that won’t happen either because no one could possibly want to go in any direction other than towards downtown in the morning and away in the evening.

    • Chris 10:07 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      As if the prissies in Mo West would allow a metro station in their city! How uncouth.

    • Ant6n 10:21 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      Regarding not having more space in downtown to build more subway lines — we may not, but we do have an unused subway line in downtown, which simply doesn’t have enough stations, and trains — the Mount Royal Tunnel. Build a station on Edouard Montpetit and along McGill, run a train every couple of minutes, and there you have your subway access from the Blue Line to downtown.
      And continuing the idea from the thread below, extend that line onto the Champlain bridge corridor, and suddenly there’s a myriad of fast transit connections that open up all across the metropolitan region.

    • Mathieu 10:41 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      Yes, yes, yes! That connection from the Blue line to the Deux-Montagne tunnel is cruciel in my opinion. They could also connect the St-Jérôme line to that tunnel to achieve frequent service under the mountain while not having to run empty train to Deux-Montagne.

      However, the costs associated to build the station at Edouard-Montpetit and McGill have been evaluated at $350M each, IIRC. Add to that the costs of upgrading the tunnel to the norms and it is nearly cheaper to build a new subway line from scratch!

    • steph 11:29 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      Wouldn’t completing the Laval loop (joining Montmorency to Cote-Vertu) allow some of the crowding laval traffic to travel to downtown via the west branch of the Orange line?

    • Ant6n 12:44 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      @Mathieu
      Fagstein ran an article about those Tunnel stations back in 2007, and they were ‘guestimated’ at $300 million for both of them. But the plan could be scaled down to make it cheaper:

      the plan called for 260m long stations. If trains run frequent, 210m platforms should be quite enough (the metro is ‘only’ 150m). This implies fewer people per train, and thus fewer people that need to be evacuated in an emergency. Thus cheaper infrastructure.

      the plan called for three tracks at the McGill station, inspired by the Henri-Bourassa metro station, in order to terminate the Mt St Hilaire line there, or something. That doesn’t make sense – just build a simple two track station, through-route the trains, and keep the stop in gare centrale to distribute the passenger load across downtown and reduce the dwell time at McGill.

    • Ephraim 14:00 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      Each time they build a new metro station they seem to forget to reconfigure buses, build more parking around the station and PLAN. If these plans do exist, they are rather badly written. Ask anyone in Laval what parking near the metro is like.

    • Ant6n 14:37 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      @Ephraim
      Huh? Montmorency is like one giant parking lot, with a bus terminus in the center. It’s exactly the opposite of what you say. It’s not transit oriented devlopment, but rather, stupid, expensive (you want a parking lot for 30K cars?), sprawl inducing car-centric development:

      View Larger Map

    • Churchy McGee 15:01 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      If they want to make the Blue Line truly useful, they’ll have to finally connect UdeM station with the Mount Royal Tunnel.

      It would be expensive as well as complicated, but if done correctly, the Blue Line would be able to funnel commuters directly into the downtown without overloading the Orange Line.

      Of course, additional connections between the Blue and Green Lines would help accomplish the same thing – such as an LRT or BRT on Pie-IX, Papineau, d’Iberville and Saint-Michel Boulevard.

    • Ephraim 15:18 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      @Ant6n – And still it isn’t enough. I’ve been by there and seen people parking all over the place illegally to just find a place to leave their car. In fact, the sat image shows exactly what I mean, with people parked all around the empty lots near the metro station in different directions. http://goo.gl/maps/TXLt4

    • Ant6n 18:29 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      Metro stations are not for driving to, it doesn’t make sense to demand parking. This is true especially for the blue line extension, which most people will reach by bus.

    • Doobish 20:39 on 2013/01/23 Permalink

      I just want to say that Philip is obviously an outstanding human being. A person with thoughts that sublime should be put in charge of the world. Or Montreal, at least.

  • Kate 20:25 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Martin Dumont has admitted to the Charbonneau commission, in a video testimony, that his tale of a take of $850,000 in cash by Union Montreal was made up.

     
    • Marc 23:09 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      It was on the word of this liar that Tremblay resigned. I believe he also bragged about how truthful he was on TLMEP? Not that I was a huge fan of Tremblay’s but we have a serious problem here. It seems the whole presumption of innocence until proven guilt is on life support.

    • Kate 02:02 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      It’s worrying. What would his motive have been, though? I’m not seeing any theories.

      The comments to the CTV version of the story aren’t inspiring, but someone does float the idea that Dumont could have received threats in between the two testimonies.

      Not much has been said about the risks being taken by people giving testimony, but I have no doubt they’re nonzero.

    • david m 13:58 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      i wonder if it isn’t more likely that he was telling the truth and that the retraction is where we’re getting into the falsehood.

    • Ephraim 14:02 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      It’s a bit odd all-in-all. What motive did he have for telling the truth or telling a lie? That’s what we really need to know.

  • Kate 20:17 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Grim story, a teenage boy was shot dead, apparently by his own brother, in Dorval Monday afternoon.

     
  • Kate 14:28 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Quick note from my own observation: be careful on foot today. Sidewalk conditions vary but many are unevenly iced up, mixing dry patches and treacherous icy patches.

     
    • Patrick 15:10 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Yep. Went out last night and noticed that less used sidewalks got cleared easily while the ones with heavy usage (ex. St-Laurent) were icy because people stomped the snow to ice. :-/

    • denpanosekai 16:20 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Cote-des-neiges between Pine and Sherbrooke is disgusting, but what else is new.

  • Kate 10:43 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    There will have to be public transit options on the new bridge to replace the Champlain. This article juggles the possibilities: a light rail line (ideal, but expensive) versus various formats of reserved bus lanes.

     
    • denpanosekai 11:13 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      LRT would be HUGE for PSC and Griffintown.

    • David Tighe 11:47 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      The new bridge offers a heaven-sent opportunity to put an LRT in place, especially with the routing proposed. They would be out of their minds to refuse it given that it could provide service until the end of the century. I assume also that it would actually take up less space than two permanent bus lanes and permit some construction savings.

    • Robert J 12:27 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Yeah if they go with the bus lane option I’d say we’ve gained nothing from the new bridge.

    • qatzelok 12:54 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      One very misleading thing about comparing prices for LRT versus bus lanes or car lanes, is that the price estimate INCLUDES THE VEHICLES. Imagine if the price of new highways also included the cost of the thousands of cars that are required to use them. It would reveal which transit options are truly inexpensive.

    • Ant6n 13:22 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Has anybody ever proposed running the LRT as heavy rail directly into gare centrale?
      That could save on the construction costs downtown, because most of the right of way and the station already exists. And if the line was through-routed with the Deux-Montagnes line, it would also be more operationally efficient (i.e. neither line would need to store trains in gare centrale, and one would only need two tracks at Gare Centrale).
      Plus, if they ever build a station at Edouard Montpetit, you could get direct access from the South shore to North of the Mountain, for example to UdeM.

    • Robert J 16:45 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      @Ant6n I think it’s more important to put stations in Pte St Charles and Griffintown. There are a lot of people fairly far from the metro who could use a better transit link.

    • Ant6n 17:30 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      The existing rail ROW goes through Pte St Charles and along Griffintown. It would be possible to have a stop at Bridge/Wellington and Wellington/Peel (~100m away from the Wellington/Peel corridor).
      But then you’d get a proper heavy rail link, rather than trying to squeeze 50K people from the South Shore through a streetcar line going through the South West. A heavy rail line would have much more regional utility.

    • qatzelok 17:39 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      @ Ant6n: “A heavy rail line would have much more regional utility.”

      Yes, and thus much less urban utility. We need to stop appeasing suburban sprawl.

    • Ant6n 18:44 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Regional in this context is not meant as regional vs urban, but regional vs local. Look at the regional rail options that exist in Europe (RER, S-Bahn, overground…), they all have a lot of (if not mostly) urban utility.
      Through-routing is a big way in which way this is realized, providing transit connections all across the urban region, and not just from a suburb to only downtown. Exclusive suburb-to-downtown connections is something that is part of the flawed North American commuter rail model, and that’s what appeases urban sprawl.
      Adding more stations in the city is another way to have more urban utility – and this can be done as well using the grade separated ROW, as I’ve pointed out.

    • Kate 21:05 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Ant6n’s right. The train system in the Netherlands is amazing. Of course some of this comes because the countries are smaller, but I got from Schiphol to Assen last Christmas by taking a Berlin-bound train part of the way.

    • Stefan 04:36 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      here is a good argument for through rail stations (as ant6n suggested), because then you can pass the city quickly, independent of congestion. i hear it is a nightmare currently to get from north to south shore and so on.

      map of regional train network vienna (covers 3 other provinces and 3 other countries) in 1h range (similar to montreal metropolitan region)

  • Kate 10:35 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    More metro stations are getting electronic screens that will flash ads in our faces as we wait for trains. How will this feel in stations with low ceilings like Guy-Concordia or Jarry? I believe till now they’ve only been mounted in stations where they can be placed above eye level, as at Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQÀM.

    In any case Andy Riga simply parrots here the line that we’ll benefit because “passengers will know when the next subway is about to arrive.” Fact is, a train is going to show up within ten minutes of your arrival on the platform unless there’s a stoppage, and if there’s a stoppage it gets announced. The screens simply make sure there’s no minute in the day when we’re not being bombarded by a sales shill.

     
    • denpanosekai 11:02 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Well… Guy-Concordia has had these ad screens for maybe two years? Except they’ve all been offline since last summer because vandals have been throwing rocks at them. Even those at Lionel-Groulx are offline half the time.

    • Daisy 11:11 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I like knowing exactly how long I’ll have to wait. As soon as I’ve checked, I go back to my book, so I never watch the ads. I wish there was one at my “home” station.

    • David Tighe 11:49 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I also like to know when the train will arrive but I would like even more to know when the next bus will be. What we do know is that we will have this ten years after every other major city.

    • carswell 11:50 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      You’re right about the increasing bombardment by advertisements (was shocked to see lampposts outfitted with ad panels the other day in, IIRC, the Cité du multimédia) but I find knowing when the next train will arrive to be useful. It lets me decide whether I have enough time to pop into the in-station store, reload my OPUS card, withdraw cash from the ATM, make a quick phone call, etc. And sometimes it’s helpful in determining which route will be faster to take.

      Also, having the time prominently displayed in metro stations is a boon we’ve been deprived of for at least a decade, ever since they removed the clocks on the platforms. Not everyone wears a watch or carries a cellphone, you know.

    • Frédéric 12:41 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      There could also be some side effects on temperature inside stations with the proliferation of all these heat-generating screens and back-illuminated ad panels. Heat is already quite bad at Guy-Concordia.

    • Bill Binns 12:50 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I think being subjected to a few ads is a fair trade for knowing when the next train is coming. I would be against them if they were audible. I actually like the posters and whatnot that are in the Metro. I have sometimes first learned about events I wanted to see from them. Even the huge Apple murals at the McGill station beat the hell out of gray concrete and dirty tile.

    • Blork 13:43 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I agree with Bill in that it’s nice to know when the next train is coming, and most of the time I see news flashes and weather reports on those things, not ads. And of course, they are silent, so it’s very easy to ignore them. If they were audible that would be an entirely different thing, as you can’t turn your ears away from sound. But you can easily choose to not look at a screen.

    • Kate 14:25 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Blork: it’s very easy to ignore them

      Actually, moving screens are hard to ignore if they’re within view. It’s not sound but motion that grabs the attention. Next time there’s a gathering at La Cabane watch how people’s eyes are drawn to the TV screens. It’s an ancient ingrained neural thing that’s very hard to countermand.

    • Blork 14:54 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I agree that moving images do draw the eye. But I would counter-argue that a Metro platform is already alive with moving image (people, trains, etc.). Also, a lit-up screen in a dark bar is definitely going to draw more eyes than a screen in a room that’s already lit. Maybe I don’t notice them because most of the time I’m either looking at people or reading a book (head down; don’t see them).

      And again, while they might be mildly annoying, you *can* look at your book or magazine and not even know the screens are there. But you can’t get away from audio.

    • SN86 16:54 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      The panels at Guy were removed to paint the ceiling. The damage on the screens is not from rocks but they appear to be from magnets but I could be wrong. Anyway, it appears they will be mounted higher to prevent any more damage.

    • Matt 16:55 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      How much revenue is generated and how much of it goes to the STM I wonder. I don’t mind them if they help wipe up some of the deficit the STM has been running for a number of years now.

      As for the time and whatnot, wouldn’t it be easier to have a dedicated display for train times? Like, at the entrance, show me when trains are expected to depart from either platform that way I know how quickly I should go down the stairs.

    • Faiz Imam 18:02 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      The screens also have announcements and news, which I apreciate

    • Philip 20:25 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      I prefer screens with the occasional ad (mixed in with weather, news, local facts, etc) than poster ads. I absolutely hate the way Station McGill gets sold out to Telus or Air Canada and becomes covered in stickers. It’s hideous. And those Apple ads at the Atwater station. Or the giant ads in Berri-UQAM. If they want advertising dollars, I’m OK with some little TV screens. Its the obnoxious stickers that make me crazy. Like we’ve sold out the city.

    • Tux 11:45 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      I wish they’d restrict themselves to print ads. I keep thinking that the next logical step for them is to start putting screens on buses and metro cars. If they do that it will increase my commuter rage by a significant percentage. When does it end? Everywhere you go on transit, if you look around you see ads, you can’t even escape by going outside, since as soon as you step out the door some idiot in a hideous green coat is getting in your way shoving a newspaper in your face. (I seriously wish they would get rid of the newspaper guys outside Cote Vertu in the morning… the pedestrian congestion there gets really bad because of them.

  • Kate 10:16 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Wax museums have a kind of 19th-century feel, but a new one will be opening here mid-April upstairs in the Eaton Centre. It’s a branch of Paris’s Musée Grévin. The Grévin was started in 1882 and the equally famous London wax museum, Madame Tussaud’s, opened in 1884. Apparently their fascination has not worn off, and Montrealers will soon be able to goggle at likenesses of Céline Dion and René Angélil. Propos Montréal has a history of prior wax museums in this city.

     
  • Kate 09:41 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    The Charbonneau commission resumes hearings Monday and it seems we already know we’ll be hearing from a secretary who says she got sick of counting cash for Mr. 3%.

     
  • Kate 09:36 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A UQÀM management prof has published an open letter in Le Devoir complaining that Air Canada’s Toronto-centric routes are damaging to Montreal.

     
    • David Tighe 10:35 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      This letter is quite important in that it treats a major hindrance to the development of Montreal. Travellers from almost anywhere in the world other than Europe are obliged to transit by Toronto to get here. This can certainly be a deterrent. Air Canada offers no links to Asia and many other important countries out of Montreal. It also hinders the members of the big Star Alliance group (26 airlines I think) from offering direct flights to Asia from Montreal. Furthermore, the Federal Government has blocked attempts from other airlines to offer flights in order to protect Air Canada. What should Quebec do? Is it totally powerless to act to promote its own development?

    • Stefan 11:04 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Personally I find it very annoying that transat had shut down its direct connection montreal-vienna 2 years ago (and possibly other connections to europe?), because we have family in both cities. that connection was mainly of touristic interest, benefitting both cities. it was always mostly full, so i have a hard time to believe that it was cancelled for economic reasons.

      @david: to you have a source for your statement “federal gov. has blocked attempts from other airlines…”?

    • David Tighe 11:40 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      @Stefan
      I can’t trace a source but I seem to remember that Etihad were refused a slot in Montréal some time ago because of Air Canada opposition.

      Could also add that Air Canada have added some interesting European destinations out of Toronto recently but none from Montreal.

    • Marco 12:06 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      It could also be because Pearson has more than double the capacity of our airport.

    • Ephraim 13:30 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      So how much of this is caused by the other two factors… the two airport syndrome that we lived with for so many years and the political climate that moved head offices from Montreal. You see many airlines fly specific routes because major corporations need to move people from A to B. For example, AA used to fly direct (not non-stop) from Montreal to San Jose. It wasn’t because we needed a flight to San Jose, but a major corporation did. Any time you see a flight that isn’t to/from a hub, there is usually a traffic pattern associated with it. Where you see flights, means there are flyers. I can see what AC might object to flights to another hub, since it’s simply a way of poaching. But flights between non-hubs?

    • thomas 14:39 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Mirabel was a fantastic airport, which would have been ideal as such a hub — which indeed it was originally intended. However, the Quebec provincial government refused to provided the planned rail and highways access to Mirabel as part of their squabbles with the federal government. So the airport eventually atrophied and died. Why are people surprised that companies then gravitated to jurisdictions that can get their act together?

    • Jonathan 19:23 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      This article is a bit whiny to me. One of the reasons why there is a larger focus on Toronto is because it is the largest city and is the centre of business. This article and the this kind of discussion only distracts people from the real question: why is Montreal lagging economically, and how can we bring it back to a world-class city worth connections to Asia Pacific and South America?

    • Robert H 22:04 on 2013/01/21 Permalink

      Of course, Jonathan we should discuss how to improve the economic health and influence of the city, but Monsieur Archambault’s point is that the demand for direct, international connections from and to Trudeau is there, but not recognized. Why?

    • David Tighe 09:36 on 2013/01/22 Permalink

      The question is really whether Air Canada is justified in channelling Eastern Canada traffic through a Toronto hub, not whether Montréal could generate sufficent demand. Of course they get economies of scale but at the expense of a diminished service quality for the population from Ottawa on eastwards. There are very good reasons why a city the size of Montréal could justify at least basic service to many destinations.
      The pious hope expressed by someone that AC would provide service if demand justifies it (or allow a foreign airline to provide it) is just that, pious. It is probably cheaper to fill up its Mtl-To flights at marginal cost than to start up and operate a new link. And forget about the hassle for passengers.

  • Kate 09:21 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Everyone is posting this missing teenager story this morning. It’s especially pressing because Sabrina Beaubien said something about killing herself as she left the house – and, of course, the temperatures.

     
  • Kate 09:13 on 2013/01/21 Permalink | Reply  

    François Cardinal talked to Montrealers with various different urban agendas and made a list of 12 things Michael Applebaum could tackle to leave his mark on a necessarily short mayoralty.

     
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