Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:49 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Back yard chickens remain popular, with an estimated 150 clucking birds to be found around the metropolis. It’s silly to talk about this as getting close to nature, though: chickens have to be some of the most intensively bred creatures, as far from their natural origins as a shih tzu.

    • EmilyG 09:31 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      Yes, I remember reading that article and also wondering why people considered backyard chickens “getting close to nature.” Maybe they mean the countryside?

    • Bill Binns 09:48 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      What are they doing with these chickens come November? In the pot? Ever seen the process of pulling the feathers off a chicken? It’s disgusting. It would make most bbq champions into instant vegetarians if they had to do it. Going out and collecting eggs and scattering feed on the ground everyday is one thing but lopping the heads off of those creatures (who you have almost certainly named) and then pulling their bodies apart with your bare hands is another thing entirely.

      Sort of related: My wife came home from walking the dog early Sunday morning crying and saying there was a duck walking around in traffic on Ontario St. She called the city and they had no idea. She called the number posted on the community garden the duck had escaped from and it went to someone that had no connection with the garden. So I found myself running around in traffic Sunday morning trying to catch a non-flying, surprisingly fast on his feet, 30lb duck. We eventually caught him and tossed him over the fence though.

    • Ian 09:54 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      I grew up on a farm, the feathers come out easier if you scald them first. Also, don’t lop the heads off. That makes them run around spewing blood everywhere. Stab them through the roof of the mouth – kills them instantly and severs the artery if you do it right.

      You can winterize a chicken coop FWIW.

    • Blork 10:14 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      OMG, the Montreal stab-fest extends to chickens!

    • CE 10:47 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      I’ve always been a little annoyed when people refer to the country as being “nature.” A field full of corn or cows or onions is about as “natural” as the corner of Peel and Ste-Catherine.

    • Kevin 15:47 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Bill Binns
      Some of the farms that provided the chick are willing to let the chickens roost with them over the winter.

      Other chickens get eaten by wildlife. I know some kids who buried the feathers and wing that remained after a fox got into their suburban henhouse…

    • Bill Binns 16:15 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Ian – Oof, I don’t think I have ever been hungry enough in my life to do that.

      When I first lived on my own, I decided that I was going to roast a whole chicken. I was so disgusted by sticking my hand in the cavity to retrieve the (whatever those paper wrapped parts inside the chicken are), that I threw the whole thing in the trash and went to McDonalds.

      If I was a better cook, I would probably be a vegetarian.

    • Ian 09:01 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Giblets, Bill. They’re for the gravy and/or stuffing :D

      Growing up on a farm makes you a bit immune to gross factor. Being extremely aware of where everything you eat comes from is just normal, I’m always amused by urban meat eaters that think the idea of dealing with butchering is horrible, or vegetarians that think spreading manure on fields is anything but a good idea (and also the main reason it’s super important to wash all your fruits and vegetables).

      That said, I don’t eat much meat, and what I do eat I get from a small butcher – I know what big meat processing looks like and how awful the meat quality is. Raw chicken flesh shouldn’t be white and oozing water, for one.

    • Bill Binns 11:19 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      @Ian – “Growing up on a farm makes you a bit immune to gross factor.”

      Ha! I had to show that to my wife. She didn’t grow up on a farm but in very rural France where her parents were trying to grow most of their own food in a very large garden. She is haunted by her family’s experiment of raising rabbits for food and watching her mother “deal with” a bunch of feral kittens found on their property. She tells stories of the dreary drudgery of digging potatoes after school, processing string beans etc like she was an abused child. She hated every minute of it and has put an end to my dreams of a rural retirement.

    • Ian 11:23 on 2017/08/10 Permalink

      Rock-picking in spring, haying in summer… and don’t even get me started on shovelling out the barn with a shovel and wheelbarrow. You know what’s worse than a barn full of manure? A barn full of manure full of maggots.

      By contrast plucking chickens was a breeze.

      I have no desire to live on a farm. Now, retiring to a winterized cottage by a lake…

  • Kate 20:40 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Haiti has sent two emissaries to Montreal either to thank the city or to express solidarity, depending who you read. One of them has said Haiti would welcome people back. Some of our media are reporting uncritically about the solidarity side, but I’d like to hear more about what kind of politics is going on here, and why so many people are unwilling to go back. Yes, there’s poverty, which we’re reminded is not enough on its own to justify flight – it was plenty enough for most white folks’ ancestors, but whatever – but there’s also been ongoing political repression and disarray in Haiti as well. I would be suspicious of any parade of happy solidarity undermining the case being made by refugees desperate to stay away.

    Le Devoir sees through the masquerade.

    The CSDM is preparing for an influx of migrant kids, an entire school’s worth, apparently. Of course its main priority is to make sure the kids learn French, as Catherine Harel Bourdon points out, since some will have spent several years in the U.S. and unfortunately picked up English.

  • Kate 20:23 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC interviews a man who’s the last permanent resident in a condo building whose other units are all Airbnb offerings now.

    • Ephraim 20:52 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      I know one country that actually put in a law on foreign buyers to prevent ghost buildings. Wonder what these people will do if the city sends them the commercial property taxes. Surprise!

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

    Although the original plan had been to extend the metro's blue line to Galeries d'Anjou, apparently this is unlikely now because reserves on necessary pieces of land in that area have been allowed to lapse. Anjou mayor Luis Miranda has given up hope of seeing the extension materialize by 2025.

    • Bill Binns 09:45 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      I would love to know how much money has been spent on the *idea* of a blue line extension so far without moving a single shovel of dirt.

    • ant6n 11:03 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      It’s not an idea, but a plan.

    • Roman 14:43 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      In the meantime China builds a new line every day. That’s how empires go down. Get overloaded with bs beurocracy.

    • Douglas 15:10 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      China does it everyday because they pay their salaried workers like 1/10.

    • Ian 18:10 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Also worth noting, China has a slightly larger population base than Montreal.

    • ant6n 18:32 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      The reason isn’t bureaucracy, but politics. Every time.

    • ant6n 18:51 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Also, shitty planning.

    • Bert 21:15 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Mirabel airport was expropriated some 20 KM wide by 3-4 high, for 40 years. Yeah, it’s just farmers. *%&&* farmers. Shopping mall owners have the clout to prevent expansion on their territory.

      Imagine dual-using expanses of parking. For exaple, the orange line could be extended north through the northern end of Centre-Laval, then Centroplis, then Carefour Laval. free parking and free customers. No one will be parking there on weekends to take the Metro and during the week no one goes to the malls. Put a food / staple anchor and there you go.

    • Bill Binns 09:22 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      I’m really torn on eminent domain seizures. I hate the idea of somebody who doesn’t want to sell their home being forced to do so but I also don’t like the speculating that is inevitable when big infrastructure projects are announced.

  • Kate 07:00 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    Rosemont-PP has put in fancy new pedestrian safety zones at some corners along Beaubien. The designs are by Roadsworth.

    • Jack 09:51 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      They are cool, my only concern is what do car drivers see?

    • Blork 11:53 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Interesting. Also interesting that it only cost $25,000. That’s borough spending for you. If the city were behind it, the same thing would have cost $3 million.

    • Bill Binns 12:49 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Where are they spending the 25k? It’s a handful of plastic bollards that attach to the pavement with 4 screws each + spray paint + stencils. Reformed vandal Mr Roadsworth must have been well compensated.

    • ste.ph 13:13 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      They should just build Bulb-outs.

    • DavidH 14:55 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      I drove by Beaubien and St-Hubert the morning they were about to do the work. There were 4 city trucks and 8 city workers there already. It was a sunday morning so some of those had to be paid in overtime to come in. We were wondering what big thing they preparing… Afterwards we learned from the borough mayor’s facebook feed it wasn’t a project done by city workers at all but by Roadsworth as a private contractor.

      All those city workers were there to put cones in front of him while he stenciled. Maybe one of them was a supervisor making sure the work complied with the plans? 25K is cheap by current city standards only because we are used to cost management being a complete joke. I would hope Roadsworth was well paid for his work but I know a big chunk of the money went elsewhere.

      The timing is terrible as well. This is an initiative for the summer time only and they waited in august to implement it. It will useless when it’s dark outside or when covered by snow. By next spring, most of the paint will have chipped away because of snow clearing and will need to be redone. We’re paying 25K for about 3-4 months of full-use. We could’ve doubled that by doing it in late April or May. The borough’s paint team are probably busy redoing all the streets at that time. But given that this is a private contractor doing the actual job, we shouldn’t need that big team on site.

      The bulb-outs cost a bit more but at least they are permanent. It’s what they did to surrounding intersections along St-Zotique and Bélanger. There must be a technical reason they didn’t put them there as well.

    • mare 16:14 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      I was under the impression that this was a preview of the plans they have for the area around metro Beaubien and the stretch towards the SAQ, which apparently have been delayed again.


    • Michael Black 19:09 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      About thirty years ago there were “bulbouts” on many corners. I’m not sure if they were everywhere, or even if that had been the plan. But it seemed pretty common to see cars parked at them, with one side of wheels on the sidewalk, never realizing the purpose or that they were the problem.

      And then they disappeared, though I don’t remember if we saw any reason. I don’t think thy even waited for “regular” upkeep, they disappeared fast enough that it sure seemed deliberate.


    • Kate 20:32 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Good contribution, mare. Thanks.

  • Kate 06:56 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s been reported before, but the search for evidence of historical aboriginal presence in various Outremont parks, with the eventual hope of finding the lost village of Hochelaga, is continuing through this month.

  • Kate 06:44 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    The Technopôle Angus is going to see further construction including fifteen new buildings, both commercial and residential. The OCPM is trying to hold out for a new school, better public transit in the area and more park space. Metro has a different sketch and a link to the OCPM report.

  • Kate 06:41 on 2017/08/08 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was stabbed on Mount Royal Monday night, and some areas of the park may still be cordoned off Tuesday morning as police search for evidence. No mention of any robbery, just a sudden and violent attack on a random person. TVA link plays raw video and/or a video report.

    Update: CBC radio news says cops found a suspect hiding in a woodsy part of the park and he’s been arrested.

    • Bill Binns 10:13 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      So, we still don’t think there is something going on this summer with the stabyness? This one is particularly concerning because it’s a random, senseless attack not happening in one of the usual places and not at “bar closing time”.

    • Kate 12:37 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Bill Binns, in the nearly 16 years that I’ve done this blog I’ve seen irregular reports of stabbings, and also occasional statistical clusters of incidents that have no meaning. There is no gang of motiveless stabbers out there. There isn’t “something going on.”

    • Bill Binns 12:56 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Well, the box cutter that is my constant companion in the US is seeing it’s first Canadian tour of duty – so that’s going on.

    • DavidH 14:59 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      We used to have more shootings and the media ignored most other acts of violence. This might just be the void getting filled. It’s an increase in media reports about stabbings. Actual crime stats will likely still end up spectacularly low for a north american city.

    • Ian 15:22 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      There’s also the feedback loop of trending news. If an outlet runs a story about stabbings that gets lots of clicks, they are more likely to run another stabbing story. Next thing you know here’s been a “spate of stabbings” but what you’re really seeing is media outlets generating views by creating a news trend.

      But yeah, as DavidH rightly points out violent crime is at its lowest rate in 45 years. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/montreal-s-murder-rate-reaches-45-year-low-see-all-the-crime-stats-1.3481127

    • Kevin 15:49 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      I suspect you’re hearing more about stabbings because there is so little other violent crime– and you’ve become attuned to news about stabbings.

      I just checked my archives from August 2006.
      Stabbing murders: 4 (half involved family, half were random)

      Stabbings by gangs where victim survived: 3
      drug deal gone wrong, victim survived: 1
      robbery/attack on security guard (he survived): 1

    • Kate 21:46 on 2017/08/08 Permalink

      Kevin’s right, Bill Binns.

      One or two stabbings a week in a city this size, mostly non-fatal? Leave your box cutter at home.

    • Bill Binns 09:26 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Kate – Maybe. I hope so. I do think that a citizen being stabbed in the chest multiple times in a city park by a stranger with no connection to drugs or other crime would be a news story in any city regardless of it’s level of crime though.

    • Ian 09:35 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @Bill in a lot of US cities they don’t even report the majority of shootings.

    • CE 10:54 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      I was in Baltimore a few years ago and was reading the local free weekly and they had a box buried in the paper with the roundup of all the murders that week. They were pretty blasé in their description of each one and the total number for the week (in a city 1/3 the size of Montreal) was about 40.

    • Bill Binns 16:51 on 2017/08/09 Permalink

      @CE – In places like Chicago, Baltimore, New Orleans etc where murders are commonplace it’s all about who was murdered and where. There are too many for them all to be on the front page but again, I’m sure some normal guy getting stabbed in the chest in the biggest park in the city with no connection to any criminal activity would be prominently noted.

      Also, Baltimore is the scariest place I have ever been in the US. Baltimore and Atlanta are the only places I have refused to return to in 20 years at my job. I have worked in all the scary parts of Chicago , New York, Miami, Oakland etc (I was in Compton a week ago) but Baltimore scared the hell out of me.

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