Updates from July, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:37 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Excellent Linda Gyulai piece looks at the numbers for the Fleuve-Montagne project but also at how city hall fails at tracking project costs and outcomes. Is this done from carelessness or because civil servants are hiding information from elected officials? Nobody knows.

    • Jack 05:39 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      That is great reporting, so many questions?

  • Kate 20:00 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Gilles Proulx looks back to the “exile” of farm animals from Montreal, which – because it happened in 1755 – he can’t even blame on the blokes. But surely this must have been part of a trend taking place all over European-style cities around the same time?

  • Kate 19:15 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    An anti pitbull law demonstration was held Saturday in Old Montreal.

    I would like to hear something about the rest of the law, and not just pitbulls. The fines levied for other parts of the new animal law are ridiculous and punitive, but all I hear is pitbulls, pitbulls, pitbulls. We don’t need pitbulls in the city. We do need other pets, and we need justice.

    • Ian Rogers 21:11 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I’m not a dog person but I do think the law is unreasonable in that it’s breed specific in a way that leaves interpretation of breed pretty wide. Staffies act different from pits, for instance, and in any case there are many far more dangerous dogs bred specifically as guard dogs the legislation doesn’t cover. Realistically any dog law should be by weight, not breed. What really gets my goat though is that the law centralizes the licensing authority so it’s clearly a cash grab from the boroughs – my borough never had a law requiring cats to be registered, for instance, and even if they did the money would have gone to the borough, not the Expos fund.

    • Charles 23:52 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Golden Retrievers or Bernese Mountain Dogs are huge, but am I not worried that they’ll freak out and maul someone or someone’s face. Whereas even a small-ish/slim Doberman could easily make me anxious. So I am not convinced by the “weight” classification alone.

      Are there statistics about dog-related injuries/maulings? Must be. There’s no way Shih-Tzus and Daschunds, for example, are just as well represented in those numbers. Intuitively, I am not at all offended by the targeting of “pitbull-like” dogs … but then again I didn’t read the text of the law so maybe it is indeed poorly written.

    • Mark Côté 01:53 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Of course we don’t “need” pit bulls. We don’t need any dogs, nor companion animals in general.

      Justice is exactly what anti-BSL people are after, justice that punishes irresponsible owners and recognizes that breeds aren’t anywhere near as important. Anti-BSL advocates have, time and time again, proposed alternate measures to curb dog attacks, but they all fall on deaf ears because a ban is easier, on paper at least—except in places like Calgary, and now in Châteauguay, where they finally recognized that BSL is ineffective.

      (“It’s hard to apply,” [Châteauguay Mayor Nathalie Simon] said. “We’ve faced that for 30 years — when it comes to banning a dog, it’s more often a loss than a win [when challenged in court].”)

      5 out of the 6 deaths from dog attacks in Quebec in the last 30 years were from huskies or malamutes, labradors are more likely to bite than any other dog, and in the couple studies done about bite strengths German Shepherds have come out on top. Pit-bull type dogs are definitely dangerous, but so are many other breeds. We can either attempt to ban all large dogs outright, or start passing and enforcing effective prevention and mitigation legislation.

    • Ephraim 20:34 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Nothing breed specific needed at all. Just hold the owners entirely accountable for the actions of their pets, including the liability thereof. And that can be a hell of a lot of liability.

      Maybe require the purchase of liability insurance or buy a global policy for those who have pet licences. Likely a minor cost on a city-wide scale… but if you don’t licence your pet, you risk the liability… and that could mean losing your house and everything you have because your pet mauls someone and they can’t work.

      Let the insurance company deal with specifics… it’s not the city, the city doesn’t have to make the law at all. They can drop the entire blame on the insurance company (or companies) or the group at Lloyd’s.

    • Chris 23:18 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Interest suggestion Ephraim. I suspect if put to a vote though, society would prefer breed specific rules.

    • Bill Binns 09:08 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      It has been very quiet for the last couple of months. I have not heard of a single person being ticketed anywhere. I see dogs being walked off leash in La Fontaine park every day without exception and have been wondering if the mayor’s dog enforcement squad has been disbanded. I spend two hours a day in the La Fontaine dog park and after seeing the cops there a couple of times a week early in the year, have not seen them once since the beginning of March or so.

      The non-Pitbull parts of the law I am familiar with are that dogs over 50lbs must wear a harness and playing with balls or other toys is not allowed in city dog parks. I don’t have a problem with either of these.

      Also… I have heard from several different people at the dog park that local vets are providing Pit Bull owners with paperwork stating their dogs are not Pit Bulls. Not surprising since the majority of the city’s vets seems to be against the BSL stuff. The law was written broadly enough that these sorts of loopholes were inevitable.

      @Ephraim – As far as I know, dog owners are entirely accountable for the actions of their pets. Why wouldn’t they be? I like the insurance suggestion though. If the city was on the ball they would include this insurance with the dog license fee.

  • Kate 19:10 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Destroyed in a fierce fire in April 2015, the Panagitsa Church has been rebuilt in the same place in Park Ex in a similar form but with modern improvements.

  • Kate 11:38 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA is alleging that traffic czar Pierre Lacasse was sacked because of an accusation of sexual harassment.

    • Ian Rogers 21:15 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      In these kinds of situations if there’s a formal accusation there’s usually a long record of inappropriate behaviour that wasn’t followed up on along with a string of informal or possibly formal warnings. I would be surprised if this wasn’t jut the nail in the coffin.

      Most HR depts will refuse to share these details for reasons of confidentiality.

    • Kate 21:45 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Lacasse must’ve been busy, since he only held the position – created for him – for two months. Unless accusations followed him from previous contracts.

  • Kate 11:27 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    A man on foot was knocked down in a Côte-des-Neiges parking lot Friday night, and seriously injured.

  • Kate 09:21 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    With Radio-Canada leaving its tower and Molson’s planning to abandon its 200-year waterfront brewery, Le Devoir considers how these major changes in Centre-Sud may offer opportunities to this part of town. More condo buildings are the thing the city wants and will get. Jeanne Corriveau talks to an urban development professor who counsels the city to be more cautious and not re-create another Griffintown – another sterile dormitory zone – but the city is no more likely to intervene in private development here than they did in the Griff.

    • SteveQ 09:29 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Griffintown a sterile and dormitory zone ? There’s probably a business opening every week in the area. Plus, the area allowed thousands of young people to be able to live near downtown and without it most of these young people would still be on the South shore or in Laval.

    • CE 10:21 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Griffintown hasn’t transformed into the nicest or most interesting neighbourhood but I think it turned out a lot better than it would have had Devimco gone ahead and developed the entire site with their mall-with-towers project they had planned.

    • Roman 10:28 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I think griffintown was just not given enough time. It all literally just happened and some projects are still in progress. Don’t be so cynical. I lived there and I think the progress was visible and the trend is definitely upward. Griffintown is going to be a great area in 5 years. It already is pretty good imo.

    • Martin 11:36 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Griffintown is hardly a sterile dormitory zone. In fact, it is turning to be one of the most vibrant and urban neighborhood near downtown. It is much better than the Solano community build east of Old Montreal, where there is no services. With the demolition of the Bonaventure expressway, the coming of a REM station at the Peel bassin, Griffintown has a bright future ahead. Also, the fact that the neighborhood kept its old street grid, with some very narrow streets and some curves gives it an “immersive charm” that’s completely different of what a sterile place look like in my mind. Also, it is very near the ETS, so it’s a place with a lot of students.

    • ant6n 14:20 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I think some transit would’ve been great for Griffintown — alas the REM won’t bring that (Peel bassin=too far away).

      It’s a similar problem around the Molson brewery. Just like for Griffintown there are opportunities for transit corridors, but I fear they will also be squandered.

    • Bill Binns 14:40 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I would have agreed with your description of Griffintown a year or two ago but it has improved a great deal. I find myself meeting friends and going to dinner down there far more often than the Plateau these days. Accessibility by car is a big part of that. Although I don’t have a car, all of my friends do and nobody wants to drive into the Plateau anymore. That goes double on weekends. I like the idea that the people who moved into Griffintown are making their own neighborhood as they want it rather than accepting one “off the rack” from the city.

    • ant6n 15:26 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      ‘I like the idea that the people who moved into Griffintown are making their own neighborhood as they want it rather than accepting one “off the rack” from the city.’

      That’s a typical North American attitude against urban planning, and that’s why most of ‘planning’ during the last 70 years has been garbage.

    • Lucas 15:57 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      The idea that Griffintown is a sterile dormitory zone is not supported by the facts on the ground. Griffintown is now the centre of the most interesting part of the city, the line of neighbourhoods running from Old Montreal through to St Henri.

    • Kate 19:02 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I walked through Griffintown last year and came to the conclusion I came to. I will explore it again soon on foot.

    • Ian Rogers 21:02 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I knew a lot of art students living in lofts in Griffintown and Old Montreal in the 90s, shortly after the refection of the old port. It was pretty desolate for residential types back then but has actually improved a lot, to the point that it is actually a pretty cool neighbourhood. My youngest daughter is in kindergarten and she has several friends who live in that area, and it’s great when we visit. If the neighbourhood can even support families with young children, it’s legit. Not like any art students can afford to live there now, though.

    • Kate 21:47 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      OK OK OK I will have another look.

    • ant6n 10:37 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      But aren’t garderies private, meaning they can sort of pop up anywhere without much city intervention? What about when the kids want to go to school?

    • Ian 11:04 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      I said kindergarten, not garderie ;)

    • Kate 11:39 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Is there a new public school in the Griff?

    • Ian 16:09 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      No, but there’s lots of kids from in and around there at FACE.

    • ant6n 18:11 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Is there a difference? To me it’s the German and French version of the same word.

      (FACE is pretty far from Griffintown)

    • Viviane 18:36 on 2017/07/16 Permalink


      kindergarten = maternelle
      daycare = garderie

    • Ian 21:55 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      @ant6n FACE is walking distance from city hall – and FWIW I live farther than the kids in ville-marie or griffintown. There are also lots of kids from the point, verdun, and all the way to homa.

      I do believe it’s one of the few public schools serving downtown as a whole and has both CSDM and EMSB which is why in recent years they have given preference to kids within the official school zone as the area is underserved.

      And yes, like Kate said. Kindergarten/maternelle is the first grade in primary school before grade 1. For obscure reasons, in English we use the German word. Pré-maternelle and pre-K are also the same thing. FACE also offers that, not all schools in Montreal do.

    • Margaret 09:08 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      Maison de l’architecture du Quebec, along with a couple of landscape architects, animated a really interesting walk last Friday night in the Le Bassin a Gravier (the old Canada Post sorting station) and along the canal to Promenade Smith. There are some wonderful areas in Griffintown being reserved for public use with an eye to future and varied uses. The basin park in particular, north and south sides of rue Basin, are really a delight http://kollectif.net/serie-voisin-larchitecte-cet-inconnu-jamais-plus-visite-participative-bassin-a-gravier-civiliti-de-promenade-smith-nippaysage/

    • ant6n 09:19 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      That kids from Griffintown are at FACE, doesn’t prove that Griffintown is adequately served by schools. That school is a bit special, and not really within walking distance.

      The closest areas of Griffintown are 2km from FACE, the bassins are 3km away. I remember when I was in primary school I had to walk 800m to school and it always felt like quite a schlepp. 3km is probably like an hour-long walk for a 2nd-grader.

    • Phil C. 11:26 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      If I’m not mistaken, there actually is one school (albeit private) under construction in Griffintown .It’s called école la nouvelle vague, and according to the mtlurb forums, it’s been stagnant for a while now. I’m not sure what happened there.

      My personal opinion on Griffintown is that the feeling of deadness comes from two things. One is that many of the Griffintown condos make poor street fronts. They’re often slightly set back from the street, or have large concrete pillars and grey prefab walls on their podiums. Compared to the visual chaos of our plex neighborhoods, (with power lines, stairs, balconies and a variation of bricks and colors), these buildings seem totally unnatural, and give the area a sterile vibe. Perhaps if we give the area 20 years it might develop this patina and feel more “human”. Time will tell.
      The second issue is a lack of decent two and three bedroom condos! Having a more diverse housing stock is one of the best arguments for the city to intervene in future projects. You can’t have families if there is literally no where large enough for them to live.

    • Phil C. 11:48 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      @Bill Binns imo, a vibrant neighborhood should be able to sustain it’s commerce by locals primarily. Obviously it’s a plus if your friends can drive there, but I wouldn’t call that area alive simply based on that. It would be like comparing centropolis in Laval to côté des neiges. It can’t really be said that centropolis is easier to get to by car, therefore it’s better urban planning.

  • Kate 08:35 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    I know I have several regular readers who will rejoice to hear that the Coderre regime has been much more severe on city workers than previous administrations, dealing out punishments and firings with a heavy hand.

    • SteveQ 09:22 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Severe ? I’d say he is just a little less permissive than previous ones.

    • Bill Binns 14:47 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Somebody mentioned here recently that the token few firefighters who were fired after the violent takeover of city hall have all been hired back. Not sure if it’s true but it’s not hard to believe. When deciding whether the mayor is too hard or too soft, I don’t need to look any further than that incident. The police and fire departments should have been decimated. If the mayor doesn’t have the power to do that, he should hsve been in Quebec city demanding the Premiere do it.

    • Kevin 15:10 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      The firefighters who were fired have indeed been rehired, effectively treated as if they received a three-year suspension without pay.
      The criminal charges againts them were dropped.

    • Kate 18:29 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Bill Binns, you would ruin lives for relatively trivial offenses. Why “decimate” trained and experienced police and firefighters, maybe putting them on the dole indefinitely when they still have plenty of useful years left to devote to their work? Cutting off the city’s nose to spite its face is not a smart choice.

    • Ephraim 19:49 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      So Kate, what are you going to do with the 6 sets of cops who showed up in their squad cars to arrest a man for dancing next to his car while black? You worried about ruining their lives? Or do you want people to stop being stopped, arrested and harassed simply because of their colour? Because a slap on the hand has never fixed our police force… it’s getting more and more rotten and none of the leaders seem to be able to “fix” it.

    • Kate 21:00 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Ephraim, I was responding specifically to Bill Binns’ remarks on the incursions at city hall, not about police delinquence generally.

    • Ian Rogers 21:21 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Cops I think should be measured with a different ruler than firefighters… firefighters are straight-up heroes for what they do every single time they are called out to an emergency, and the emergency is always the same basic deal – there’s a fire, save people, contain the fire, and put it out. There is a ton of fearlessness and quick judgement involved with that, so it’s a pretty different situation than cops whose jobs require nuance, public relations, adaptability and the whole emergency response on top of it. Basically being a cop is way more complicated, I think. If they abuse their power it reflects poorly on their ability to perform their duties. A firefighter being a bit more “incendiary” (pardon the pun) is more forgiveable in that sense.

    • Kate 08:43 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Sensible points, Ian.

    • ant6n 08:55 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      Isn’t a “three-year suspension without pay” (as noted by Kevin), like, ‘enough’ to appease the law-and-order types here. It seems there are people who are never content with whatever punishment is doled out, so maybe it’s better to just ignore them.

    • Bill Binns 09:20 on 2017/07/17 Permalink

      @Kate – I do not see what happened at City hall as trivial. For me, this was miles and miles over the line. Who does City Hall call when it is under attack by cops and firefighters? This was another one of those missed opportunities for a watershed moment. Everything should have been completely different 24 hours after that incident.

      The fact that a token few people were fired and almost immediately hired back is the worst kind of union pandering. Wonder why I despise unions so much? It’s exactly this type of thing.

      Have you noticed that the folks here tend to be quick to pile on to the cops for anything at all UNLESS it has some connection to their union?

  • Kate 08:32 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Eighty percent of the city’s road structures were in good shape as of 2016, according to a report published Friday. The rest need work but are still functional; only two are not, one being the Wellington Tunnel, which isn’t used any more anyway, and a thing described here as the access to Île Lapresse.

    La Presse tells the story from a slightly different angle, listing the structures in the worst shape. I think Metro had a blip because the island described here as having a bridge in terrible shape is Île Lapierre – not Île Lapresse! It’s in the Back River, off RDP.

    One category of thing not mentioned here, it seems to me, is footbridges, which have deteriorated generally in this city over the last decade or two. I mean, who walks anywhere?

    • Ephraim 08:42 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      Did they mean Île Lapierre? coordinates are 45.6351439,-73.6141368,845

      It’s a lovely island, let’s knock out the bridge and leave it lovely and green.

    • PO 00:17 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      Curious to know how many footbridges there are in Montreal. Most I can think of are in the surrounding towns.

    • Kate 08:57 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      There are at least two footbridges across the Lachine Canal, which are in OK shape. I was thinking more about the ones over highways. I used one over Côte-de-Liesse that was in roughish shape a couple of years ago – maybe this one, later condemned and apparently never replaced – and there are others over highways in the western part of the city. The one that used to cross the tracks behind the tennis stadium was condemned and taken down a few years ago.

      Pedestrian infrastructure is not high in government priorities. We were promised a footbridge over the Turcot that may never even get built.

    • Blork 20:53 on 2017/07/16 Permalink

      The first question is “how many are there” but the real question is “how many should there be,” for which the answer is “a lot more.”

      The reality is that we have a lot of autoroutes and wide boulevards, and it’s not always easy to cross them. Côte-de-Liesse is a perfect example. There are many other places where footbridges would be very useful. Unfortunately I think that ship might have sailed, however, as I don’t think you can build a footbridge now unless it’s wheelchair accessible, which greatly adds to the cost, and therefore takes them off of the table.

      (No disrespect to people in wheelchair; I get it. I’m just not happy about what can be seen as the tyranny of accessibility rights, which basically means that if wheelchair people can’t do something then nobody can.)

  • Kate 08:19 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    Everett-Green writes about various festivals here, but he really should have written only about the links and contrasts between the current Balade pour la Paix and 1976’s doomed Corridart, because it’s clearly what interests him most in the piece.

  • Kate 08:13 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    More on weekend traffic troubles from La Presse. Roiad construction details from CTV.

  • Kate 08:08 on 2017/07/15 Permalink | Reply  

    The underpass on Victoria that filled with a flash flood last week, trapping and nearly killing a driver, had sewers blocked up with sand, gravel and oil.

    • dwgs 12:28 on 2017/07/15 Permalink

      I’m shocked.

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