Updates from August, 2017 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:37 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    We lost two noted music teachers this week, Eleanor Stubley and Daisy Sweeney, sister of Oscar Peterson, who died at 97.

  • Kate 21:01 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    I thought we might find it cromulent that the German junior finance minister says too many people are speaking English in Berlin. Jens Spahn wants all immigrants to learn German. “Last week, three German MPs wrote a letter to chancellor Angela Merkel and EU officials to demand that English is used less often and German more regularly” says the article. J-F Lisée take note?

    • ant6n 21:09 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      Berlin doesn’t have a bilingual history like in Montreal; all this English is a relatively recent phenomenon. Also, I’d say many people are pretty chill about the whole language issue. I feel the struggles are largely about the large influx of people from other cultures, into a large society that used to be relatively homogeneous only 20-30 years ago.

      That said, I hope Berlin will become less popular again, then maybe people will move on to the next hip place.

      …I keep thinking, there are many reasons why Berlin is so popular, and a lot has to do with what the city has to offer, and quality of life. Montreal has had a similar potential for a long time, but doesn’t grab it. There are all these opportunities here but the leadership is sitting on their asses.

    • Kate 22:28 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      Maybe Montreal is exactly popular enough?

    • ste.ph 23:08 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I think we could afford to be a little less popular.

    • ant6n 23:21 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      It’s not about popularity, but about quality of life.

      For example, Berlin runs circles around Montreal when it comes to transit. The area that is served by rapid transit is giant compared to Montreal (460km vs 70km), for a city that has like 25% more population. This means there are a lot of areas that are well connected, and thus a lot of places where people can live well, spreading the development and housing pressure.

      There are also a lot more parks all throughout – most of which are kind of just green spaces where people can just be. There are also many more places to go swimming in natural bodies of water.

      Those are just some examples that make living in the city … better. And Montreal has a lot of potential in these respects, but our leadership is basically just interested in gimmicks.

    • Ian 16:30 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      It’s also worth noting that Berlin got bombed flat in WW2 so had the opportunity to rebuild their infrastructure from the ground up instead of accommodating a bunch of pre-existing planning… Yes, they did a good job of it, but they have a different climate, history, topography, infrastructure, etc. – we can’t just crazy glue Berlin’s solutions onto Montreal’s neighbourhoods.

      One thing Berlin does very much have in common with Montreal is that it has a very high student population, and I suspect that’s where a lot of the English is coming from. In terms of popularity, Mile End (for example) is getting super French, and I mean from France. I know quite a few French people and they consistently wax poetic about how much more opportunity there is here, and how much better the quality of life is. Not so much a problem there as another opportunity to add the flavour of another culture to the mix, although Montrealers do love to complain about the influx of the French for various reasons.

      In any case I don’t think the situations in Berlin and Montreal have any kind of clear parallel, but it would do Montrealers some good to look around now and then to get ideas from other cities and conversely to appreciate what we do have, as Montreal is a pretty good place to live by any standard. Sure it could be better, but it’s not worthy of the biggest Montreal annual festival, the Grand Complainfest, that runs from Jan. 1 to Dec. 31 every single year.

    • ant6n 22:59 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      Berlin didn’t get “bombed flat”. That’s a ridiculous statement. There are a lot of historical buildings and infrastructure. In some sense, Drapeau flattened neighborhoods better than WWII. And infrastructure didn’t get built from scratch — for example the S-Bahn (the surface rapid transit system) existed before the way and the network was actually slightly larger.

      Certainly Montreal has seen much more construction and growth after WWII than Berlin, i.e. it was more ‘built from scratch’.

      Nobody ever proposed to ‘crazy glue’ Berlin onto Montreal. But I think Montreal could learn a lot from Berlin, and some of their approaches to infastructure, green spaces, quality of life, development, … starting with this view of a polycentric city centered around a rapid transit system, which is very suited to Montreal.

      The two cities have a lot in common, not just basic properties like approximate size and population; but also a weird history, being split between two worlds, being surrounded by rivers, and each a certain joie-de-vivre, a ‘poor but sexy’ status, within their respective countries. I view having a large student population as a result of some deeper similarities.

      I like to say the European city that’s most similar to Montreal is Berlin, and the city that’s most similar to Berlin in North America is Montreal.

    • Jack 07:31 on 2017/08/16 Permalink

      @ant6n I spent a month in Berlin last summer and your sense of this place is spot on. I also understand that the influx of tourists-short term residents in areas like Kreuzberg and Neukoln can be destabilising for long term residents.I used to think what the reaction would be in Verdun and Ville Emard if 25% of their population rapidly became international artists,writers, rich kids and gap year scenesters.Some people would be pissed.

  • Kate 20:53 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Three people were hurt near the Orange Julep on Monday when a vehicle was propelled onto a sidewalk after a collision.

    Quoting Peter McQueen from Facebook: “This is a terrible, but typical accident where pedestrians mix with heavy, fast traffic: pedestrians are even at risk on the sidewalk when a truck smashes into a car which can bounce off onto the sidewalk! And what is the Copeman-Rotrand administration thinking of doing at the very busy intersection of Decarie and Queen Mary near the Snowdon metro: ‘the borough is also considering making the priority light for pedestrians crossing Decarie shorter in order to improve traffic flow.’ ”

    McQueen’s citing a borough fonctionnaire quoted in this Gazette piece.

    • rue david 00:19 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      McQueen has always had his finger on the pulse of the city and then cranked it a bit more progressive, so this is heartening to see. Like maybe he’s getting an earful. But overall, the city seems to be running on two different tracks, with key “swing” areas like Ahuntsic and Parc Ex. It’s a shame that the PQ appended all the suburbs to Montreal and made the pre-amalgamation Montrealers a permanent electoral minority against the Coderriste autoburbs.

    • anon 07:23 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      i was at the montreal general when the injured persons were brought in, very heartbreaking to listen to the loved ones on the phone :( we live near Decarie QM and it’s a crazy corner, we never wait near the edge of the road. not safe at all.

  • Kate 20:49 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Another thing Denis Coderre announced Monday was the intention to consult with the OCPM over the future of Jean-Drapeau park. Repeated several times in this item are versions of the phrase “les actions de développement du parc Jean-Drapeau.”

    It’s a park. It’s green space. It’s not empty real estate to be developed, filled with toys that will earn Denis Coderre strokes from the wealthy. This city desperately needs some aimless green space that hasn’t been filled with aménagements – just trees and a few paths. Not amphitheatres for Evenko and high-tech graveyards for Guy Laliberté.

    • ant6n 20:52 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      Are you going to write a memoir?

    • Kate 20:56 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      One of these days. But I mean in the English sense of a recollection of times past.

      ant6n, I think you mean: am I going to send in a text about my opinions? I don’t know. My written French is OK but far from perfect.

    • Viviane 21:04 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I think ant6n is talking about a brief (“mémoire” in French), to be presented before the OCPM. Sounds like a good idea.

    • ant6n 21:11 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      yes a brief. At consultations you can submit briefs and make presentation, either or both. You can do it in English and French.

      (Last weekend I even submitted something to the Quebec City Consultation office on their mobility plan, in English. I’ll hope I’ll get away with that one ;-)

    • Kate 21:28 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I don’t know. I’ve never done that, and I don’t have time to do any depth research on the subject.

    • ant6n 22:10 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      Lots of people just basically write a letter at these consultations.

    • ste.ph 23:07 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I went for a walk this last weekend through Ile Sainte-Hélène (from the Concord bridge to Jaques Cartier) and was disappointed that most of the paths were closed. I just ended upwalking along MacDonald the whole way across.

    • Kevin 09:02 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      Who needs research? We live in the age of mindless comments from people who don’t understand anything. /s

      In all seriousness, anything you submit would be better thought out than at least half of the briefs people present to any government committee.

    • ant6n 10:22 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      It’s true. It’s not like journalism cares much about research and facts either anymore. What matters is sound-bytes and spinning opinions.

  • Kate 20:44 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    A few months ago the city announced it would be sacking 46 security people and contracting instead with a private firm. Something changed its mind.

    Update: But it wasn’t so simple. Those 46 people will be found work elsewhere. A private security firm is indeed going to be looking after certain city properties.

  • Kate 19:34 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Reader Salvatore Barrera sends evidence that Azur trains are now running with passengers on the green line.

    Daily Hive reports that Azurs are only carrying passengers on the green line for a couple of weeks as a test, for the moment.

    • Blork 10:13 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      I rode one yesterday from Berri-UQAM to Guy-Concordia!

    • Dhomas 18:23 on 2017/08/15 Permalink

      I’m currently IN an Azur train at Berri going towards Honoré-Beaugrand. I was quite surprised to see it!

  • Kate 19:29 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre announced plans for downtown Monday, including five new schools and more public transit to make it more attractive to families, but without giving many concrete details. CBC’s account is quite critical, while CTV only summons up a cheering section from the Chamber of Commerce. The public transit Coderre mentions seems mostly to be the REM, and he made another grab to get control of the Old Port from the feds.

    Valérie Plante’s response to this was a resounding bof, saying Coderre had already proposed an action plan and Monday’s exercise offers nothing new.

    Couple of thoughts: will families that can afford to live downtown be sending their kids to public school?

    And is one of the aims of Monday’s exercise to strengthen the mayor’s claim on Ville-Marie? Let’s not forget, the city mayor has exceptional control over that borough, legacy of a spat Gérald Tremblay had with Benoit Labonté years ago. Residents of Ville-Marie don’t have as much democratic input into their municipal management as the rest of us do. That shouldn’t be allowed to continue.

    • Tim S. 21:00 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      “Will families that can afford to live downtown be sending their kids to public school?”

      Yes. The area between Guy and Atwater is teeming with kids, and I suspect their entire family income is going into their 4.5 (5.5 if they’re lucky).

    • Ian 22:02 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      There are lots of kids all through the west end of the Plateau & Milton Park areas. I know families with kids all along Sherbrooke from Atwater to whatever-counts-as-the-end-of-downtown heading east, lot of kids around the Parc Lafontaine area all the way to Sainte Catherine including all those low income projects in the old Red Light District.

      Also worth noting around the old children’s is mostly an immigrant population so all those kids would have to go to a CSDM school, and there is no space left in any of the schools ringing downtown. Even FACE is full to the rafters for primary school on the CSDM side.

  • Kate 09:44 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The body of Eleanor Stubley has been found by police somewhere in Sud-Ouest borough, and they say it wasn’t criminal. EmilyG, I’m sorry to be the bearer of bad news.

    • EmilyG 11:17 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I hate to say this, and don’t know how to say this, but considering the details mentioned in the article when she went missing (had been gone for a while, hadn’t brought medications,) I didn’t imagine this could end well.
      Such a sad thing to happen.

  • Kate 06:41 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    A demonstration downtown Sunday night was held in solidarity with the victims of white supremacists in Charlottesville, Virginia.

  • Kate 06:39 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The CBC got Roberto Rocha to do some maps based on the new language statistics.

  • Kate 06:21 on 2017/08/14 Permalink | Reply  

    The city of Varennes on the south shore is considering making Île Sainte-Thérèse into a park.

    • js 21:35 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      I’ve always wondered about the houses that are there (and the other islands in the Mtl archipelago).

    • Kate 21:45 on 2017/08/14 Permalink

      Some or all of the owners of the Ste-Thérèse cottages claim they were granted land, or at least permission, by the religious order that owned and controlled the island till 1975. It’s in court.

      In Montreal’s Île-de-la-Visitation park there’s a short street with half a dozen houses on it. I think they’re all-season houses, not summer cottages, but they must have been grandfathered in at some point, and I assume (and hope) that nobody’s allowed to build anything else there. They don’t detract from the park much, except that the residents seem to be allowed to drive over a bridge that nobody else can bring a motorized vehicle over.

compose new post
next post/next comment
previous post/previous comment
show/hide comments
go to top
go to login
show/hide help
shift + esc