Updates from June, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:33 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    With the Grand Prix this weekend, some hotels will be looking out for signs of sexual exploitation. Others disagree this is the most beneficial approach.

    • Bill Binns 11:12 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Perhaps you should add this to your list of predictable annual news events. Stay tuned for reports of a half-assed protest against the Grand Prix on either environmental or sexism issues. Noise complaints from St Whoever on the South Shore. Complaints about the fighter jet flyover alarming refugees. To cap it all off, some doubts will be expressed as to whether the Grand Prix will return next year followed by a story a couple of weeks later about how the mayor did some tough negotiating and “saved” it.

  • Kate 18:24 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse says the housing market is booming.

    • rue david 21:23 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Higher rents prices are good for landowners, and bad for renters and the economy as a whole. But news like this is promising for the many projects in/nearing pre-sale near the bell center, in griffintown, the faubourg des récollets, the postal lands, saint jacques and all the other formerly brownfield/parking lot zones where construction is now happening. Build it all!

  • Kate 18:13 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec has finally ceded the Blue Bonnets land to the city, which has big ideas for it.

    • Vazken 11:00 on 2017/06/07 Permalink


  • Kate 18:03 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Michael Applebaum walked out of prison Tuesday after serving one sixth of his sentence, even though he apparently has only partially copped to the responsibility for the actions he’s proven to have done.

  • Kate 12:37 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A site called avenues.ca has some nice photos and featurettes on parks in Montreal.

  • Kate 09:58 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    People affected by the recent flooding are suffering mental and physical consequences. Basically this is the same CP item in English and French.

    (“As much as 67 per cent of Montreal residents who were victims of the disaster reported suffering from mental health problems as a result”? Somebody give me an editing job. Please.)

    • Fab Pine 10:22 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      I’m wondering if these same residents previously enjoyed healthier and happier lives because of their exclusive views of the waterfront.

    • Bill Binns 11:04 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Is there anyone left in Canada who can suffer some sort of personal setback without entering years of treatment for PTSD?

      My wife’s team is always missing 1-3 people who are experiencing that great Canadian rite of passage, the “burnout”. The way this works is, when you are all out of vacation but would like to have more vacation, you go to one of those walk-in clinics, pay $80.00 and the doctor gives you a note to show to your boss who will then be obliged to give you more vacation. In the US we just call this “going crazy and not showing up for work” and the free vacation is usually permanent.

    • Kate 12:26 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Bill Binns, don’t blame Canada. I read Ask Metafilter and was struck recently by this item, fairly typical of the sort of question they ponder. A youngish teenager encounters a slightly shocking event, and everyone says: therapy for both mother and kid. This advice is characteristic: “You’re going to have trauma symptoms – anxiety, sleep disruption, flashback/intrusive thoughts, a need to retell the story over and over maybe dozens of times – and you should treat them with the help of your physician/pediatrician and therapists.”

      Note that the kid in the story was not attacked, injured or threatened – she just heard about a threat made by someone she knew. Yet multiple therapists and medical support are recommended.

      There are a few Canadians on Ask, but the vast majority are American.

      I sometimes wonder why so many middle class Americans have been led to think of themselves and their families as so emotionally fragile, perennially on the brink of mental illness. A quo bono?

      But it is one of the themes of our time.

    • Bill Binns 15:08 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      @Kate – Yeah, I guess it exists in the US too but as far as I can tell, it’s nowhere near as established in the workplace as it is here. You simply don’t hear about people in the US announcing that they are mentally incapable of doing their jobs and expecting to slip back into their jobs in 2 weeks like nothing happened.

      I think at one time a discussion was needed so that people with serious depression and other debilitating issues would seek help. However, like so many other subjects, once the momentum got going, nobody knew when to stop. Mental health issues (often self diagnosed) have gone from being deeply shameful to being a point of pride for many people.

    • Kate 16:40 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Bill Binns, a friend of mine, a doctor in the US, tells me Americans take vastly more antidepressants per capita than Canadians do. For what it’s worth.

      And if Ask Metafilter is anything to go by, at least above a certain social level, things like breaks for burnout are not unheard of there either. Going by things I read, it seems to me like there are more stringent laws protecting workers in the U.S. in these areas than in Canada. Again, above a certain social level.

    • Viviane 17:49 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      When it comes to depression in the U.S., the main problem is presenteeism, which is even more costly than absenteeism.

      “To the best of our knowledge, this is the first study to examine the impact of depression on workplace productivity across a diverse set of countries, in terms of both culture and GDP. Mean annual per person costs for absenteeism were lowest in South Korea at $181 and highest in Japan ($2674). Mean presenteeism costs per person were highest in the USA ($5524) and Brazil ($5788). Costs associated with presenteeism tended to be 5–10 times higher than those associated with absenteeism.”

    • dwgs 09:33 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      My belief is that because we in the Western world have gone so long without a major cataclysm (global war or pandemic), coupled with medical advancements that have cut infant mortality rates to never before seen levels and increased life expectancy likewise we have become soft. I’m not saying that’s necessarily a bad thing, certainly better than the alternative.

    • Mark Côté 10:35 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Massive social changes also seem to cause depression and anxiety. We’ve left behind old institutions (e.g. the church) that had mass participation (no pun intended) and haven’t effectively replaced them. I recall reading about a discovery of some writing between ancient Egyptian kingdoms, which involved a lot of social change, and it was surprisingly similar to contemporary introspective and anxious writings.

    • Kate 11:30 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      dwgs, Mark Côté, you both bring up interesting points.

      I’ve been studying my family history and the toughness of the generations before mine are really something. Here’s an example: Mary Ann O’Donnell, 1862-1938. Not a relative: she married my great-grandfather’s brother, Joseph Francis Ryan, in 1887. They had eleven kids, that I know of, and lived on lower Mountain Street, called McCord Street in those days. Joseph worked in the railroad ironworks in Griffintown – all the Ryans were blacksmiths and ironworkers. Their first and only son, William, was born in 1888 and died at age seven.

      Mary Ann’s brother John Edward (1868-1924), also a smith, got married in 1903, but after five children in quick succession, his wife died. Censuses show that the widowed John Edward moved in with his sister and her growing brood, so that Mary Ann would’ve been looking after not only her own husband and many daughters, but also her brother and his three surviving children (two died as young kids, as did Mary Ann’s first two). The men would’ve come home hungry and filthy doing a job like that, and she would’ve cooked and cleaned for all of them.

      Mary Ann lived to be 76. She wouldn’t’ve taken pills or had therapy. She was probably religious, though, as all the Ryans and their connections were.

    • Tim S. 12:05 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      I suspect a lot more people resorted to alcohol in earlier times, as well.

    • Kate 12:12 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Maybe, but I can’t bring myself to blame them if they did. Those folks did hard physical labour, there was no socialized medicine, and the booze would’ve deadened the pain from both acute and chronic injuries.

    • Kevin 15:05 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      I think you’d like the 2017 take on Anne of Green Gables.

    • Tim S. 22:22 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      Oh, it wasn’t a judgment, just a point about over-romanticizing the past. The substances have changed (in the US at least), but the needs are pretty much the same.

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

    The Journal tells us that a hundred people every year jump down into the metro rails presumably for non-suicidal purposes – to recover a dropped object, maybe, or (as I’ve seen young guys do) just to show off. Key thing to know is that you can shut the current from any platform, and should do this, if someone is down there, regardless of the reason.

  • Kate 09:49 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Financial Post visits the subterranean vault where the Bank of Montreal keeps items from as early as 1817. Although the item’s wrong about “Bank of Montreal’s head office” because its head office has been in Toronto for decades.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 12:39 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      I’m fairly certain both BMO and RBC are legally still headquartered in Montreal.

    • ste.ph 13:16 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

    • Ephraim 13:37 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      BMO and RBC are both legally required to have their head office in Montreal. The other two companies in that situation are Bell Canada and CN Rail. Their charters specify Montreal and would need an act of parliament to move their head offices. (Operational head office of BMO and RBC are in Toronto and you can thank RL and JP for that, they feared instability.)

      The current head office of BMO on St-James street is the second location of the head office. And if you have never been, it is amazingly beautiful and there is a nice little museum as well. The building is 170 years old. Not sure where the original building was.

    • Kate 13:44 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Interesting, ste.ph – however, the Wikipedia article goes on: “The chairman, President and some senior division executives work in the Toronto offices.”

    • Bill Binns 14:56 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      “Headquarters” is open to interpretation. It doesn’t always mean that’s where most of the employees are or that’s where all the big decisions are made. My wife works at the headquarters of a big institution headquartered in Montreal but the company’s power center is clearly in Toronto. She had to do a Skype interview with someone in Toronto to get the job in the first place. Most of the company brass are known to spend a great deal of time in Toronto but people from Toronto rarely travel to Montreal. This sets up a weird glass ceiling for unilingual Francophones who cannot communicate with the folks in Toronto.

    • Ian 15:04 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Agreed, in my last office job I worked at the head office in Montreal – all the executives worked out of Toronto. It’s super common.

  • Kate 09:45 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Maison St-Gabriel has opened a new garden called Jardin des origines featuring only native plants and reviving what a settler’s garden would’ve been like 375 years ago.

    • dwgs 09:37 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      I really do like this idea but… Eight. Hundred. Thousand. Dollars??!!??

  • Kate 01:23 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Sherbrooke Street has become an open-air exhibit with displays that will remain in place till the end of October.

  • Kate 00:40 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Owners of taxi companies say new drivers should not have to memorize the map of the city, since they can rely on GPS.

    • ProposMontreal 07:25 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      With road closures, festivals and local street fair, they need to know a bit more than what the GPS is telling them. My boss doesn’t want to pay for Uber, so I need to use cab regularly so I’ve changed the way I use cabs.

      1. I ask the driver if he knows the place a need to go.
      2. I ask if his card machine works.
      3. And when I have the time, I check to see if the car is clean. If it’s not, I tell him I’ll wait for the next one because of it.
      Once i’m happy with these answers, then I hop in the car. They usually ask me why I asked so much questions, I then explain that I shop around for clothing, I pick restaurants that I like and I make wise decision on my every day purchase, Why shouldn’t I do the same with my taxi? They usually acknowledge
      This industry need to evolve, needs a serious hand, not reduce to the most common denominator. Drivers? Learn the map, it will serves you good in customer service.

    • Daisy 10:06 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      I think they should know the city far better than they currently do, not less. I do not want them to rely solely on GPS, because you can’t always go the way the GPS is telling you. Sometimes taxi drivers ask ME what exit they should take. How should I know, I don’t even drive. I’m paying THEM for this service and I want them to be knowledgeable.

    • Mathieu 10:52 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      I agree with you Daisy and to add to the point, they’re on the road all day long so they should know about major road closure (at leat downtown). Besides, don’t they have reports from the dispatcher or through their screen?

    • Tim S. 11:58 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Wasn’t there just a story about someone who was killed by a driver distracted by his GPS?

    • Kate 12:13 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Tim S., if someone’s holding up their phone with one hand and using its GPS function, it’s a little different from the dedicated mini-screen a cabbie has.

      I see the point being made by the cab companies – there’s no reason a cabbie needs to know the name of every street – but there’s a lot he does need to know about the city and its changing map. Plus, there are a lot of street names duplicated on this island, and he’s got to know when to ask “Which Metcalfe/Victoria/Clark/1er Avenue are we talking about?”

    • ste.ph 12:36 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      GPS routes aren’t always the fastest, and it ticks me off to see a taxi driver just following the GPS instead of taking the shorter route.

    • Joey 12:56 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Tim S., it was the woman who was killed on Park Ave. crossing at the monument. The driver was distracted by his GPS and missed the red light, IIRC.

      In my experience, Google Maps, Waze and Apple Maps have improved drastically in recent years at (a) being aware of current road closures, although that’s extremely hard to do in Montreal these days and (b) accurately predicting the time different routes to a single destination will take.

    • Ephraim 13:40 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Got into a taxi in Tel Aviv and the driver didn’t even know where the city’s market was. Every single taxi we got into had Waze. No one knew how to get anywhere.

    • Bill Binns 15:17 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      @Ephraim – Yes, sadly this is the norm everywhere I have traveled. Unless you are going to the airport or a well known hotel or landmark, the driver will want a full address with postal code to type into the GPS. London is the exception where I believe drivers still need to pass a very difficult test on the London streetmap as well as being a fully fluent English speaker. You certainly pay for that professionalism though. The most expensive taxi ride of my life was from Central London to Heathrow back in 2010. $260 US.

    • Blork 16:05 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      It’s bad enough that taxi drivers have to plunk down several hundred thousand dollars just to get the medallion that they need to run a taxi; now you want them to spend a couple of years driving around Montreal memorizing streets before they can even use their medallion?

      Show me an Uber driver who doesn’t use GPS.

      @Daisy: “Sometimes taxi drivers ask ME what exit they should take.”

      Here’s the driver’s conundrum: if he asks you which exit to take he gets accused of not knowing where he’s going. If he doesn’t ask you which exit to take he gets accused of gouging you by taking the longer route. (And besides, do you really not know how to get home just because you don’t drive?)

      @Mathieu: “they’re on the road all day long so they should know about major road closure (at leat downtown).”

      Fair enough, if the driver is on the downtown beat. But AFAIK most drives have a territory where they do most of their driving. You can’t expect a driver who covers Pointe-Claire or Montreal North (etc.) to know every downtown road closure, especially these days when we have “pop up” road closures all over the place.

      @Tim S.: “Wasn’t there just a story about someone who was killed by a driver distracted by his GPS?”

      Distraction from the GPS played only a small role. That was a freak accident caused by a number of weird factors coming together, primarily (1) driver did not know the road, (2) GPS showed no intersection (because there is none) so he was not expecting there to be a red light, (3) lights are small and sometimes practically invisible, depending on position of sun, etc. (4) There was a bus at the crosswalk blocking the pedestrian’s view of traffic and traffic’s view of the pedestrian. So saying he was “distracted by the GPS” ignores just how weird and complicated that accident was.

      I wrote about it at length in a comment last week: http://w5.montreal.com/mtlweblog/?p=71257#comment-725874

    • js 18:03 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      In my experience taxi drivers know their way around the city so I don’t have to back-seat drive. Uber drivers, otoh, don’t know anything, so it’s a good thing they want you to sit up front because you have to tell them where to go every step of the way.

    • Daisy 18:29 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      Blork — No, I do not know how to get home by highway. I know how to get home by metro, bus, bike, or on foot. Taking a taxi home is a rare occurrence (twice in the last year, only because I had purchases I could not carry) and why would I memorize exit numbers?

    • jeather 18:42 on 2017/06/06 Permalink

      I do think taxi drivers should have knowledge of the city — major planned route closures, major traffic patterns, where the various areas are. I don’t think having to use GPS to find a specific small road in CSL is an issue as long as they can get to CSL well.

      Uber drivers use GPS, but then, they cost less. Taxis could offer “driver actually knows the city” as a plus, but they can’t guarantee it. (I’ve had some drivers who did, some who didn’t.) If a restricted number of medallions is important, they should offer something above “anyone who wants to can drive”. (I won’t use Uber, though.)

    • DeWolf 10:11 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      I’ve been using Google Maps to navigate whenever I rent/borrow a car lately, and it is pretty up to date in terms of traffic and road blockages. In many cases it will recalculate a route and send me on a detour around a closure or traffic jam that (supposedly) saves me quite a bit of time.

      Plus it can be entertaining: awhile back, the maps voice suddenly started speaking French with a heavy English accent – it was in English mode, but it was reading French directions. “Allay in dee-rection nord-west vers roo Fairmount.” I switched to French and everything was okay.

    • Mark Côté 13:27 on 2017/06/07 Permalink

      @DeWolf: I used to think Google Maps did a very good job with road closures, but the last couple times I used it it made some huge mistakes, like not knowing that the 720 east access from Decarie was closed. It was like all the recent detours and road work finally overwhelmed Maps, and it threw in the towel altogether.

  • Kate 00:37 on 2017/06/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The covering up of the Ville-Marie behind city hall has begun and is supposed to be completed by November. Some more photos and detail in Metro.

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