Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:05 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A woman pedestrian was killed Friday afternoon in a mishap with a truck.

  • Kate 16:39 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The redesign of Vauquelin Square was unveiled Friday and it’s interactive. Who was Vauquelin, I hear you ask?

  • Kate 16:02 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    In the New York Times, Ian Austen looks back at Expo 67 and a bit at how things looked 50 years ago versus now. Some interesting photos, too.

    Condé Nast Traveller discovers that Montreal is older than Canada although the opening deck states that 375 – 150 = 125 and the lede confuses how Newfoundland joined Confederation in 1949 with the way Nunavut did (NU was already part of Canada, but split off from the Northwest Territories in 1999). Also: “the Expo 67 Olympic Stadium”?

  • Kate 12:48 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    Mathias Marchal notes a loophole in the law that allows landlords to convert residential zoning to commercial, turf out their tenants, and rent more profitably on Airbnb.

    • ste.ph 13:50 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      It feels like we keep repeating the same thing: 99% of AirBnB are illegal, no permits, no insurance, no tax declaration. When are governments going to act?

    • Kate 14:31 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      They don’t really want to. In their heart of hearts, neoliberals worship no higher god than profit. So even if profit is being made in unfair ways, they’ll rarely act against it – tenants turfed out, ridiculous prices charged for parking at hospitals, public land co-opted for private ventures, taxi drivers losing their livelihood because of Uber – if it makes somebody a profit they’ll be weak with love and admiration. On a grander scale this explains the unwillingness to act against tax havens, even though their existence is strangling the earth.

      As we’ve seen. As we’ll go on seeing.

    • Ephraim 15:29 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      The inspections have moved from the Ministry of Tourism to the Ministry of Revenue, so there is that. But honestly, they need to require any company paying a Canadian revenue over $100 per year to start to issue a Releve1/T4A. As soon as that happens, we will see things really change. But at $2500 to $5000 per day in fines… RQ getting a form that you haven’t registered is going to ADD UP quickly.

      There are many ways that landlords can get around their tenants. This is a small subset, that have to be on commercial streets. Plus of course they will have to pay commercial property tax on that apartment.

      Some of the stories that I have heard over the years are pretty wild… like real estate agents renting places that they had listed because the owner wasn’t in town. And in Montreal… the porn industry regularly uses AirBnB for porn shoots.

    • Tim 16:08 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      The landlord in question has changed from residential to commercial so it seems that they want to operate AirBnB above board as a commercial entity. So they are following the rules.

      The tenant that was displaced received $8k in compensation. Her rent has increased by $150 a month and let’s assume moving expenses of $2k. Let’s also assume that the lump sum is taxed and that she only nets $5k. The old landlord is basically covering her rent increase for a little more than 1.5 years.

      As a tenant, you are always at a risk of being displaced. At least in Montreal there are a lot of built in protections to help you out when you do have to move.

  • Kate 11:48 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    With Moving Day upon us, of course animal shelters are seeing a spike in pet abandonments.

    • Robert H 12:31 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      Reportage annuel et dépriment: il y a apparemment encore trop des gens pour qui les animaux de compagnie sont un type d’accessoire domestique comme une lampe, un poster, ou un objet-d’art au rabais–quelquechose on s’en débarrasser le moment ou I’ll n’amuse plus, ou on veut le remplacer par un nouveau jouet. Je sais que je l’ai déjà dit mais je ne peux pas m’êmpecher de remarquer une telle cruauté. Le problème n’est pas les bêtes. Le problème, comme d’habitude, c’est les humains.

    • Kate 12:34 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      Tu as raison, Robert H.

  • Kate 10:41 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    A bar owner in the Village was told to demolish his terrasse because it was a few inches too high, but he said this is because it allows patrons in wheelchairs to access the bathrooms inside. (Curiously, this story cites inches, not cm.) However, the owner has been given an exception now for this reason.

    Someone at the borough may have realized that, following stories every year about the inaccessibility of terrasses to the disabled, if it had forced a man to demolish a terrasse he had specifically intended to be accessible it would have looked regressive, blindly bureaucratic and, in a word, stupid.

    Update: Seems it’s not settled at all. The bar is holding a protest Monday against the borough’s demand to lower its terrasse, even though this will make the establishment less accessible.

    • Chris 11:45 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Canada is way less metric than we pretend. I got a latte in my reusable cup yesterday, and she asked me how big the cup was, so I said 350 mL, but all her prices are in ounces and she had no idea how much it was. :(

    • Kate 12:16 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      As I recall, a Liberal government started the process of metrication, which wasn’t universally popular, but before it was completed the Mulroney Tories got in and halted it, so we ended up with a typically Canadian compromise or, depending how you see it, an incompatible mess.

      I buy food comfortably in kilos and think of liquid amounts in litres and millilitres, temperatures in Celsius, distances in kilometers. But I’m still 5’2″ tall and can’t readily give it in centimetres. Centimetres seem so tiny for measuring human height.

      (I’m a bit of an outlier, though, because I also use picas and points when working, which are neither metric nor imperial.)

      Could the inches in this story come from the wording of city or borough bylaws that have not yet been rendered into metric?

    • Blork 14:52 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      I’m the same way. I buy food in grams and kilos, and travel distance in metres and kilometres, and measure most liquids in litres, but my height is in feet/inches and my weight is in pounds.

      And my reusable coffee cup is in ounces. (I.e., I have a 10 ounce cup and the paper cup at the cafe is 8oz so I get a free two ounces when I use it.) I really have to think to convert that to millilitres.

    • Chris 16:32 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Of course you have to think to convert it; there are literally dozens of different “ounces”. I have no idea which is typically used here in Montreal coffee shops.

      I’m surprised you both cite food as metric. For fresh food at least, most stores I go to either show only in $/pound or if they have metric, it’s usually in a small secondary font. Here’s a random provigo flyer I googled:


      broccoli $2.99/lb. Metric price in illegibly small font, even when zoomed.

    • Kate 16:48 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Chris, the only ounces we normally reckon with are weight ounces and fluid ounces. Yes, if you look it up you’ll find more obscure things like troy ounces, but unless you’re dealing in precious metals those won’t matter to you.

    • Blork 16:58 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Grocery stores use pounds because they are smaller units and thus the unit PRICE is smaller. That $2.99 per pound is $6.59 per kilo. While the price is the same for a lump of broccoli no matter which unit of measure you use, the stores correctly assume that many people are stupid and will balk at paying “$6.59” for broccoli but won’t even blink at paying “$2.99” for it.

    • Ephraim 17:16 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      I actually remeasure some recipes to move them to metric weight. First of all, in baking, it’s more precise. But second, it’s just easier than pulling out all those cups, etc. And besides 1 litre is 1 kilo of water.

    • DeWolf 17:22 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Is it just me or is it a relatively new thing that drinks at cafés and bars are measured in ounces? When I was younger I just remember vague size descriptions (small, large), but now you get an 8oz coffee or a 16oz beer. I distinctly remember having to learn at a relatively recent date how big those were because we never really use ounces when I grew up in the 80s/90s – a can was always 355ml, a bottle of coke 500ml, etc.

    • DeWolf 17:26 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      As an aside, Canada is not unique in its metric/imperial hybrid. Hong Kong is a mix too – speed limits are in kph, people measure their weight in kg, but when you buy groceries the fruits, veg and meat are often sold by pound (or even catty, which is an old-school Chinese measurement equal to 600g).

      Interestingly, Australia is fully (one might say devoutly) metric.

    • Kevin 22:48 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      In NYC bottles of soft drinks are in metric, with 1.5 L being the most popular size.
      I have no clue when it comes to any imperial measurement -half if ’em are made up anyway and just a name, not an actual quantity, as you discover when building with wood

    • Dhomas 02:13 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      @Kevin: I was pretty surprised myself when buying “2 by 4″ and receiving wood that was 1.5″ by 3.5” (or 38 x 89mm). It’s actually quite annoying that many of the units in construction are still in imperial, though I think that might be due in part to Canada’s close trade ties with the US. Much of our raw materials is destined for the US, and many of our tools are from American companies, so I assume they “standardized” in imperial. One great Canadian innovation, though, is the Roberson screw; I curse every time I get anything with prepackaged flathead screws.

    • Blork 14:34 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      2x4s (and 2×2, and 4x4s, etc.) haven’t matched their size designations in years, but that’s not a Canadian thing. The standards were made smaller by the labels stayed the same. There’s actually a lawsuit over this in the US right now. Builders say “Duh! Everybody knows a 2×4 is actually 1.5×3.5” but the suit is based on increase in self-done home renos and the fact that regular people don’t necessarily know that.

      (Video plays)

    • Kate 11:46 on 2017/07/02 Permalink

      Blork: “lump” of broccoli?

  • Kate 09:52 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    The CAQ is criticizing the underfunding of the MUHC, a bit of political opportunism as I’m sure they fundamentally believe medicine should be profit-based.

  • Kate 00:10 on 2017/06/30 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA seems notably antsy here about how some homeless people are sheltering in Champ-de-Mars metro near city hall. Accueil Bonneau has provided a porta-potty for their use; social workers and nurses have visited; there they are. Text and video.

  • Kate 23:00 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Kent Nagano plans to leave the MSO in 2020. TVA link plays video.

    • Matt G 23:40 on 2017/06/29 Permalink


      He’s done great things for the MSO. Plus, he’s a really well-respected figure in his world. I named my cat after him.

    • EmilyG 08:36 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      I’ll be sad to see him go. He’s so well-liked here.

    • carswell 16:43 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Nagano has been, on the whole, good for the OSM, but 16 years is a long enough run for any conductor. I view his decision to leave as acknowledging that. And given the conservatism and predictability of the OSM’s programming in recent years, I can’t say I’m sorry to see him go. There’s not a single concert in the 2017-2018 season that I and friends I attend concerts with are interested in. It hasn’t always been the case, even under Nagano’s reign, but these days orchestras in places like Pittsburgh, Miami (New Word Symphony) and Seattle, let alone Los Angeles, are far more wide-ranging and adventurous.

      The OSM is a world-class ensemble and now has a beautiful hall to play in. We deserve more than yet another Beethoven symphony cycle. Last season’s Sibelius sesquicentennial went by virtually uncelebrated. About the only Stravinsky played these days are chestnuts. Ditto more contemporary — and popular! — composers like John Adams. Performances of works by “safe” 20th century composers like Lutoslawski and Ligeti are rare birds. Nagano worked with Messiaen but the only work of his we hear these days is the Turangalîla Symphony (which, if I’m not mistaken, has now been programmed three times in the new hall). Montrealers can only read about — not experience — contemporary works like John Luther Adams’ Pulitzer Prize-winning Become Ocean. Etcetera.

      Here’s hoping Nagano’s replacement is more energetic and daring, more of an explorer. Having had “choeur” seats (the bleachers behind the stage, which afford a close-up view of the musicians and a face-forward view of the conductor) at a couple of stupendous concerts conducted by Vasily Petrenko, I’ve got to wonder whether he’s on the short list. He appears to have a strong connection the musicians, is popular with audiences and, if I’m not mistaken, has been invited back every season since his first appearance here (is that true for any other foreign conductor?).

    • ant6n 17:29 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      He moved from Berlin to Montreal the same year I did. I used to see him a lot back in Berlin because I was able to get cheap concert tickets via my high school; classical music is much less affordable here in Montreal.

    • EmilyG 21:44 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      When I was in university, I could get inexpensive tickets to many OSM shows. I don’t know if that’s the case any longer. I usually got them on the same day as the concert (it helped that it was near McGill and I could go down to the Place des Arts box office in a break between classes to get tickets for that night’s show.)

    • EmilyG 21:46 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      carswell, I agree it would be nice to have more adventurous programming.

    • js 09:48 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      I got to see him conduct something by Pierre Boulez a few years ago. Unusually for classical music shows, he tried to head off the bewildered hostility of the audience beforehand with an odd explanation of the music as having something to do with Roy Orbison’s slurred pronunciation of the chorus of the song “Pretty Woman.” Nobody was convinced.

      Another time at the MSO during the past few years I saw a performance of Ligeti’s Poem Symphonique for 100 Metronomes and the seething enmity among the lumpen bourgeoisie in the hall was palpable. It quickly became evident that a Rite of Spring-style riot was in the offing should they dared to have presented a longer version, like the 20-minute one I have. That night also featured a lengthy boring introduction. Typical sentiment summed up by a comment overheard by my then-gf in the ladies’ room during intermission: “I didn’t like the talking and I didn’t like the tick-tocking.” Steve Reich’s Clapping Music was also on the program that night, and it went over about as well as you would imagine.

    • js 09:59 on 2017/07/01 Permalink

      Interestingly, his commitment to modern music is prominently featured on his bio page at the MSO site: http://kentnagano.com/osm

  • Kate 21:01 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    An arrest has been made in the 2014 shooting death of Steven Célestin in a bar on Park Avenue. Daniel Renaud goes into some detail about the background of the incident, the blue and red gangs and the revenge killing of another young man a couple of months later.

  • Kate 19:17 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The woman who chased an alleged thief in her car and rode him down on his bike will not be charged.

    • steph 22:00 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      It’s curious how she won’t be charged because the victim didn’t want to press charges. Two wrongs don’t make a right, and it’s not usually up to civilians if criminal charges are laid.

    • Kate 23:19 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      I agree. It seems odd to me too.

    • Raymond Lutz 13:57 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      If she had a gun, she simply would have shot him… Much safer for EVERYBODY than chasing him around in a SUV! Guns make us safer. And anyone saw the latest NRA ad? Guns will protect us from Anarcopanda!

    • Kevin 22:54 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Summer is when a bunch of know-nothings write articles and start believing everything police say, and interpreting it via what they’ve seen on American television.
      The victim may have refused to make a statement, and so police may not wish to recommend charges, but it is almost always up to the DPCP to lay charges

  • Kate 19:11 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Some roads will be closed for Canada Day festivities. Also possibly useful lists of what’s open and closed in general, events planned to celebrate the day, more traffic notes.

  • Kate 09:39 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The previously classy Chateau apartment building on Sherbrooke will be wrapped in a six‑storey advertising banner for Jaguar in order to help pay for repairs to the building’s masonry.

    (But see update below.)

    • Taylor C. Noakes 12:57 on 2017/06/29 Permalink


    • Ian 16:08 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      Jeez, and people call graffiti an eyesore.

    • Tim 19:34 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      Good on the board of directors for coming up with a clever plan. Construction work in the multiple millions of dollars split across 126 units would make for a very large assessment. The advertising is only up until the end of September. So long as it’s legal, what’s the big deal?

      With the number of older buildings in need of repairs in this town, expect to see this more often.

    • SteveQ 00:00 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Great idea. I love it, as long as the advertising is ”classy” and ”decent”. Many ugly buildings should be covered with similar advertising all year long !

    • ste.ph 14:02 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

    • Kate 14:36 on 2017/06/30 Permalink

      Thank you for the update, ste.ph.

  • Kate 09:37 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Two women fighting after bar-closing time downtown crashed through a second-storey window and landed on the ground. Injuries were minor, charges may be pending.

    • Blork 09:43 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      This is one of those stories that should provide an “OMG!” reaction, but for some reason I find it kind of hilarious. (It would be different if the injuries were not minor.) There’s something about fighting people crashing through a window that just seems so “Wild West.” In this case, it’s particularly weird because I just ate at that A&W on Tuesday, and I sat at the window next to the one these women went through.

      (Confession: I don’t eat fast food burgers but for some reason I make an exception for A&W.)

    • Viviane 11:07 on 2017/06/29 Permalink

      Seems like a typical scene from an action movie. Perhaps we’re becoming desensitized to the idea that it can happen for real.

  • Kate 09:29 on 2017/06/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Open Door centre, displaced from St. Stephen’s Anglican because the church is being sold off, may move to a different church in Little Burgundy. While the headline emphasizes that some residents are concerned about the blow to their property values the article also quotes another neighbour who’s fine with it, so the presentation is unnecessarily negative.

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