Updates from May, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:45 on 2017/05/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Bishop Street merchants have been promised some sort of compensation to offset the damage to their businesses caused by the STM excavations on the block north of Ste-Catherine.

    If this is going to happen, what about the huge pile of gravel that blocked access to businesses on Notre-Dame west of Atwater last week, not to mention all the other businesses that have faced difficulties or closed outright because of road construction that has put obstacles between them and their clientele in recent years? (TVA link plays video report.)

    • Bill Binns 11:23 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      I’m sort of in favor of compensating businesses in some way when construction affects them as obviously and directly as in the Bishop street case. However, as you point out it could easily turn into a can of worms with businesses in the Plateau claiming injury from Turcot construction, bridge closings etc. Perhaps it would be a better idea to pour that money into the construction itself to get it completed faster.

      Nobody will ever convince me that 4 years is a reasonable amount of time to build a ventilation building. Something is very, very wrong with that project or with construction in Montreal in general.

    • jeather 12:41 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      The Notre Dame thing — they tore it up last summer, too — is going to last months, going block by block.

    • Kate 12:47 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I haven’t got chapter and verse for you, but digging in that spot for a Guy metro ventilation system has got to be supremely complicated, working around the metro tunnel, all the buried wires and cables, plus all the Concordia sub-basement stuff and other building basements in the area. I bet the engineering diagrams are diabolical. The time frame might be slightly exaggerated but I don’t think it’s ridiculous.

    • Bill Binns 13:47 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      It took four years to build Place Ville Marie. It took 4 years to build the entire original Metro system. It took four years to build the St Lawrence Seaway. It took a couple of years to build each of the new Concordia buildings that are in the same area with all the same complexities you mentioned.

      I wonder if the effects on the neighborhood and nearby businesses were even the smallest concern during the planning process.

    • rue david 17:19 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      For once, bill binns is correct and speaking perfect sense. It’s outrageous that these projects take the time they do. I’m a staunch supporter of internal engineering departments over consultanta (I was a consultant for a few years at a giant firm and know that it’s more cost effective for cities to do it all internally). But whether it’s consultants or internal, when money isn’t an issue, they’ll always over do it. 4 years! It’s nuts. Even the most hardcore ineffective American cities like NYC and SF would balk at that timeline.

      And it’s still not clear to me why this is even necessary.

    • rue david 17:22 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      Again: 4 years! I have a niece in college right now and her experience of the city is basically this construction zone. And then I thought about it, and when I was in undergrad it was the exact same. 10+ years ago! This isn’t normal.

    • jeather 19:45 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      For long timelines and cost overruns for construction, have you heard of: Boston?

    • steph 21:48 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      They’ll ask for 100,000$, but get 80$.

    • Mathieu 11:14 on 2017/05/08 Permalink

      I took about that, 4 years, to build the ventilation shaft neat Amherst in the Village, but it took less than one year to build the one on Viger and Bleury. The second one is on an empty lot though, so it might explain the faster schedule, but I also don’t understand the 4 years in this case.

    • Blork 20:29 on 2017/05/08 Permalink

      This ridiculous schedule is probably as it is for the same reason it takes them six months to repair an escalator on the Metro. Instead of repairing one, then repairing the next, then the next, they open all repair projects at once and then apply resources to each one when those resources are available. It probably makes sense to the Wizard of Gantt Charts charts because he isn’t affect by any of this, and he only sees that the Gantt Chart has no down time on it, so for him it’s working well.

      It’s like painting three rooms in a house, each a different colour, and you do it by taking one swipe in one room, then you pack up, move to another room and take a swipe there, then pack up and move to the third room where you take a swipe there, then you go back to the first room and start over. Oh, look how busy you are! This method really works!

      You see this evidenced all over town, where there seems to be 1000 work projects on the go at any given time, but I guarantee you there is not 1000 work crews. More like 20, and they spend their days going from site to site, hammering a nail here, digging a hole there, etc., instead of finishing a project and moving on to the next one.

      It’s the only explanation for why a goddamn ventilation shaft takes as long to build as the entire Metro system did.

    • Bill Binns 12:09 on 2017/05/09 Permalink

      @Blork – Yes, that exactly. Aside from the long schedules, there is tons of hidden costs in that method as well since so much equipment is rented. From heavy equipment down to the hated orange barrels, everything has a daily cost for sitting there idle. Of course, once somebody plunks a piece of rented equipment down on a worksite, “work has begun” and the city can’t simply get frustrated and give the project to someone else.

  • Kate 11:11 on 2017/05/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette’s Marian Scott talks to Dimitri Roussopoulos about the history of Milton Park and how that one housing co-op succeeded in place, but failed to spawn similar movements elsewhere in town.

  • Kate 10:52 on 2017/05/06 Permalink | Reply  

    French citizens here are lining up under the gloomy sky to vote in the second round of their election.

    The Economist has a brief look at the phenomenon of French people emigrating to Quebec. Yesterday at Jean-Talon market, I was served by young Frenchmen in two different places, and two days ago a horde of young French people boarded my metro train and filled it with a torrent of rapid, animated, somewhat shrill conversation for about eight stops.

    Le Devoir has an entire dossier this weekend on the French election.

    CBC calls the French here “expats” – not immigrants or migrants. I’m seeing a lot of discussion here and there about the implications of calling people immigrants vs. expats. I tend to assume an immigrant expects to stay in their new country, whereas an expat may be spending time there but plans to eventually move on or go home, but I know there are other overtones to the terminology.

    • JaneyB 15:57 on 2017/05/06 Permalink

      Next time, they should use the Palais des congrès. That’s a serious turnout!

    • Jonathan 02:46 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      That expat-immigrant conundrum is always there. I find it more helpful to differentiate based on low-skilled/high-skilled. You could have both global north and global south citizens entering the country under both categories and it makes the most sense for economic planning purposes.

    • Kate 10:27 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      So the idea is that expats have the upper hand, and are bringing wealth and/or desirable skills to a new place, while immigrants are in a more supplicatory position and can only offer simple labour?

    • Ian 10:34 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      Generally an “expat” is white. Remnants of colonialism.

    • Bill Binns 12:21 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      I have not used the term myself very often but I understand “Expat” as somebody who has been placed in a certain country by their job or has been recruited into a country by a company. Expats may not give a damn about the culture of the country they are living in and may be trying to live as much like they did at home as possible. They may be counting the days until they can go back to their home countries.

      I spent a couple of months in Panama City in the early 2000’s. There was a group of Americans that hung around the (then) only Starbucks in the city and basically passed hours complaining about life in Panama City. They all wore suits, all the time even in the blazing sun on Saturday mornings. It was very important to them not to be confused with tourists or locals. Those are the guys I think of when I hear the term “expat”. I have never considered myself to be an expat because my move to Canada had nothing to do with my job.

    • ottokajetan 21:16 on 2017/05/07 Permalink

      @Ian the colonialism part is probably right but not the white, though the two go together. My parents are immigrants from Austria and would never have called themselves expats. And we don’t call the huge populations of Greek, Italian, Portuguese immigrants expats either.

      With the French the reason why the term expat sticks might be because France has never had a tradition of mass emigration. If anything it was a country people generally went to, not left. So the type of person we have in mind of an immigrant, generally from a more humbler background with manual labour as their main skill, doesn’t square with the typical French that comes to Montreal, which in my experience is, skilled, educated, and from a middle class family. And often they only come for a few years on an American adventure. But the ones who stay and settle I’d definitely consider immigrants, regardless of what their colonial hang ups might be.

    • JaneyB 09:22 on 2017/05/08 Permalink

      I think ‘expat’ is just something people in the group called themselves. Mostly it’s for temporary postings abroad. I think everyone here just calls the more permanent French in Montreal plain old ‘immigrants’ (or something more colourful…)

  • Kate 10:51 on 2017/05/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Two men were shot early Saturday in the Evo building on Sherbrooke Street during a fashion show. There were four arrests. Raw video from TVA.

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