Updates from April, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:48 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Yet more decrepit water mains will be repaired between now and 2018. Expect cones.

  • Kate 16:24 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    The surroundings of UQÀM are to be spiffed up and more public spaces and greenery added – but not for this year. Video plays.

  • Kate 11:40 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Various flourishes are planned this summer to attract people back to St-Denis Street with greenery and free urban furniture described as elements of the plan. But “espaces animés” is a phrase that makes me raise a pained anglo eyebrow.

    • Viviane 14:03 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      espaces animés = lively spaces?

    • Kate 16:06 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Doesn’t “animé” imply something being done by somebody?

    • Clément 16:16 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Si quelque chose est animé, je m’attends à ce qu’il y ait de l’animation, qui est habituellement faite par un animateur.

      So yes, you’d probably expect someone to be there. “Animé” implies movement or action.

      Unless there’s going to be unattended spinning devices…

    • David S 17:29 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Kate: not really. “Animé” only means that there is movement/activity or the impression of movement such as in “dessin animé”.

    • Viviane 23:11 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      I’m with David S. I believe it’s “animé” as in “full of activity”. There could be hosted events, but not necessarily. Any place with a lot of coming and going is “animé”.

    • Ian 09:23 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      It’s a bit confusing in that “animateur” can mean “animator” in the English sense or something more along the lines of an activity leader (like a camp counsellor, resort activity organizer, or event host) so it’s pretty safe to assume “espaces animés” have nothing to do with cartoons and more to do with annoying touristy crap.

    • Patrick 12:14 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      “Lively” might be a good translation.

  • Kate 11:00 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    In a few Montreal schools, nine out of ten students are allophones, although this figure is a headline shocker and in most the rate is not nearly that high.

    Article doesn’t mention the trend that many francophone families send their kids to well subsidized private schools, taking their kids out of the pool of people who’d be assuring the francization of those immigrant kids by osmosis.

    • Mathieu 14:27 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      I don’t think you’re right on that private school comment.

      While private schools tend to draw richer kids, these schools aren’t only for the heirs white yacht club members. The private school I went to on the south shore had (and still has) a large proportion of children of immigrants that had French as their thrid or fourth language. Parent-teacher meetings often took place with the children present as the parents didn’t speak any French. My experience is simialr to what I hear my friends saying about other private schools they went too in the area.

      Private school often doesn’t cost that much and immigrants often put education very high on their list of priorities. When you think of it, paying 2k$ per year for school isn’t that much for anyone willing to make sacrifices to get their children ahead.

    • rue david 14:57 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Yeah, so imagine who can’t even afford 2k/year.

    • dwgs 15:37 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      2k per year?!? To the best of my knowledge you won’t find anything below roughly 5k in the French sector and 10 – 15k minimum in the English sector. Add to that the cost of uniforms, ipads, extracurricular activities, trips, etc.

    • mb 16:28 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Most Montreal private secondary schools oscillate around 4K. And the students are of very, very diverse backgrounds.

    • Tim 17:09 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      The private school system in Montreal/Quebec really surprised me when I moved here. In the rest of Canada, students attending private school typically are from wealthy families and they attend private school from K-12.

      Many of my coworkers budget to send their kids to private schools starting around grade 7 or 8 as a bridge to CÉGEP. The sentiment seems to be that while primary and elementary schools are good, the middle school/high school system is not. I have no personal opinion on this, but this is what I hear.

      So it ends up that the larger expense is actually private school for high school, not university.

      I’m curious to get people’s opinion on this.

    • Mathieu 10:10 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      People send their children to private schools only for high school as there are no subsidies to private elementary school. They’re willing to pay a few thousand per year, but not 10k-15k for totally private school (at least, fewer people are willing to pay that).

    • JaneyB 10:48 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      @Tim – In Manitoba, private schools students are of mixed economic backgrounds. I think there is some kind of rule of 30% of kids have to need scholarships. Schools stress their academic eliteness only. I went through both systems and there was the full class range. All religious schools there are always private (incl Catholic) and until the 70s, received no public money at all. I was surprised when I moved to Ontario and…none of that applies. Quebec seems like Ontario but with language and tax credits added to the mess. It amazes me that this kind of inequality is allowed in Canada but I realize now, that’s very Eastern Canada.

    • Ian 12:11 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      I don’t know about you all, but 4k per kid would be a lot of money in my family, we have a rough time making ends meet just paying $500/year per kid plus bus passes, garderie (since we both have to work), books, school supplies, etc.. and we’re certainly not blowing the money on other “priorities” like cars or vacations or fur coats or whatever the priority-shamers in this thread seem to be implying.

      That said, I do find it funny that Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois is fighting hard to end subsidized private school since he had the good fortune to go to one. “Shut the gate! But only once I’m through!”

  • Kate 10:44 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    The PLQ has chosen a candidate for the Gouin byelection who’s younger than Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois and, going one better, black. The PQ has declined to run anyone in the riding, which people are almost taking as a given, although I’m not sure whether the implication is that the PQ is condescending to Québec solidaire, or to GND himself, or still trying to blandish QS or GND into assimilating into their nationalistic fabulousness.

    There’s still no date for the byelection.

    • Jack 19:17 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      After taking this pounding he will be handed a safe seat like NDG.

  • Kate 10:35 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    There is no realistic way to keep the old Champlain bridge even in minimal service. La Presse’s Bruno Bisson gets the whys and wherefores out of chief engineer François Demers.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 15:32 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Chief engineer of the company responsible for building/justifying the new bridge.

      Pity the city has no means to verify whether this is completely accurate: if I understand correctly it costs between 4 and 7 million dollars per year just to inspect the bridge to make sure it can be used, but will cost $400 to demolish.

      The cost of demolishing the old bridge could conceivably pay – at least – for annual inspections for another century.

      Although how they came up with this 4-7 million per annum just to inspect the bridge figure is beyond me.

    • Blork 16:10 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      That does seem like a lot just for “inspection and monitoring.” But (if I’m reading that right) it does NOT include the cost of actual maintenance and repairs.

      It’s like if you had an old car and you paid a garage $100 every three months to inspect it. That doesn’t mean it only costs $400 a year to keep the car going.

      That said, my BS detector also spotted this:

      Si on aménageait un parc linéaire sur le pont et qu’on y étendait 30 centimètres de terre, par exemple, pour faire pousser des fleurs, du gazon, planter des arbres, cela solliciterait davantage les structures. (Note : Une couche de terre de 30 centimètres d’épaisseur sur un pont de 3,5 kilomètres de longueur et de 24 mètres de largeur ajouterait une charge morte d’environ 35 000 tonnes sur le pont.)

      That assumes that the plant-growing part of a linear park on the bridge deck would run the full length and width of the deck (3.5km x 24 metres). But any realistic plan for such a thing would probably only be a few metres wide, with pedestrian and bicycle paths making up the rest of it. So maybe 1km x 4 metres.

      But that’s all moot if the whole thing is as bad as they say it is. I wish I had a clearer sense of *where* the problems are. I know it’s concrete and rebar degradation from salting, but where is that degradation? Is it the beams? The piers?

      If the piers are still in good shape then maybe they should leave them there as a monument, and maybe someday an inexpensive platform and deck can be added for bicycles and the mythical linear park. (Yes, I’m dreaming…)

    • Kate 16:10 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Taylor C. Noakes, keep it for what? I’m no engineer, but I’ve been reading for years about how choices were made when the old Champlain was built that made it prone to water infiltration, difficult to maintain and repair, and pretty much guaranteeing a shorter useful life than it could’ve had. I don’t think this is just smoke and mirrors.

    • Kate 16:12 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Blork, I don’t think it’s the piers. It’s how the deck was conceived and is held together. I’ve read about this but can’t remember more than that it was done in such a way that it was both vulnerable to infiltration and difficult or impossible to repair. But it saved money at the time.

    • Kevin 17:48 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Everything that involves concrete is rotting from the inside out. That means the deck and the support pillars.

      Individual sections of the deck cannot be replaced because the deck *is* the bridge. Unlike other bridges which have a support structure that holds up a deck, each section of the Champlain is a single piece from side to side.

    • ant6n 09:17 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      I thought the issue is largely related to road salt.

      One thing, the bridge is actually two bridges: the pre-fab concrete decks that all belong together to form the section across the St-Laurent river, and the section going over the St-Laurent seaway. If I remember correctly, that second section was repaired/replaced relatively recently, and apparently it uses a steel support structure.

      I also remember that when they talked about building the LRT to the South-Shore using the ice bridge, one of the issues was that they still had to build a bridge across the St-Laurent seayway, and that was expensive.

      So I wonder whether they can’t at least keep the “expensive” new section that goes across the seaway, and maybe even connect that to the ice bridge, or maybe later put in a new river section.

  • Kate 09:56 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Ominous news for local media in Quebec: Transcontinental is putting its Quebec newspapers up for sale. This means 93 community papers/websites, including Metro, are looking for a buyer.

    As a blogger I’ve found Metro’s website surprisingly useful, grouping as it does not only the free transit paper – which has had some excellent writers over the years – but also many of Montreal’s local borough and neighbourhood papers, under the “Local” tab, which occasionally turn up an interesting story overlooked by the bigger media.

    I hope this doesn’t turn into local news carnage, but it’s a risk.

  • Kate 09:52 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    Prince Arthur is to experiment with the city’s big idea of putting all the resto terrasses in the middle, a notion the article says was roundly rejected on Place Jacques-Cartier. But what the restaurateurs want is more parking, although I know the urban geography around there quite well and it’s not obvious where any extra parking could go.

    The layout of Place J-C is different, of course, but I’m not sure why somebody thinks Prince Arthur will be more attractive to passersby when they’re constrained to walk inside narrower spaces between the central terrasse and the restaurant doors, into and out of which waiters will be rushing with food and dishes (if the plan succeeds).

    A large part of the pleasure of pedestrian streets is that the walker can live large, take the middle of the street and enlarge their own walking style. Having to scrunch in between a wall and a terrasse isn’t going to appeal.

    • Daniel 12:07 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Your last paragraph sums it up perfectly, Kate. Gone is the pleasure of walking right down the middle of P-A, bleak as it was at times. Numerous slabs (which I suppose are benches) now line the middle of the street. I definitely felt scrunched.

    • Blork 12:48 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      I’m generally not prone to hyperbole, but this idea is so stupid it makes me worry about the future of humanity. What kind of irrational thinking supports this? Sure, there may be some places where locating terraces in the middle might work, and even be (ahem) “disruptive” in a positive way. But this isn’t one of them. The only thing this will disrupt is people’s desire to walk down that street. So hey, let’s revitalize this pedestrian street by making it less accessible to pedestrians!

    • Blork 12:49 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      …which is to say, less appealing to pedestrians.

    • Kevin 15:34 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Whoever is proposing this has gone to France and learned all the wrong lessons.
      You can have a pedestrian street. You can have large terrasses.
      But you can’t have waiters criss-crossing through pedestrians.

    • David S 17:41 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Kate, I could not agree more. I pass by P-A almost daily and I really dislike being crunched against the storefronts, especially during winter when it’s next to impossible for the snow to be removed from the middle.

    • Fab Pine 19:35 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Prince Arthur mall was the only east-west link between the Prince Arthur bike path and the Cherrier section of the Brebeuf bike path. Now, there’s no link at all. But the merchants probably hated the sight of bikes since they crave parking.

    • Ian 09:27 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      Also, you’re not supposed to be biking on Prince Arthur. It’s a pedestrian mall. Walk your bike, it’s literally a five minute walk.

    • K 10:01 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      You are allowed to bike on it between certain (non rush-hour) times.

    • Ephraim 11:01 on 2017/04/19 Permalink

      You are allowed to bike in the early morning. Of course the signs are so convoluted that no one realizes that and bikes all the time. It’s 7AM to 11AM. The signs “permit” walking a bike after that, but we don’t have a biking forbidden sign, so they play stupid… unless a cop is around… or one of the residents with a cane, stopping them. (Since the end of Prince Arthur is right near a centre for readaptation.)

  • Kate 09:40 on 2017/04/18 Permalink | Reply  

    A man died overnight in Montreal North after a police chase when his own vehicle the vehicle in which he had been a passenger ran over him. It’s being investigated by the BEI and this report will be a doozy. TVA’s account has raw video and a map.

    • Blork 09:49 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      It was the truck’s passenger, not the driver, that got run over by the truck.

      But even then, how TF does that happen?

    • Kate 10:01 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      I think the vehicle can be called “your own vehicle” when you were riding in it … ?

    • Blork 10:19 on 2017/04/18 Permalink

      Hmm. To me, that implies the driver’s own vehicle.

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