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  • Kate 11:43 on 2015/05/24 Permalink | Reply  

    The Children’s Hospital moved all 66 long-term patients to the Glen on Sunday morning without incident, and the Tupper Street location is now closed.

     
    • Uatu 14:37 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      Maybe FRAPRU should occupy the now empty building. It would make their point, but also unfortunately probably get their heads cracked, too…

    • faiz Imam 11:41 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      The Childrens site is a spectacular location. Near metro, surrounded by parks on 3 sides, with access to every conceivable amenity within walking distance.

      I assume it will be demolished and converted to condo towers, which is the correct option. But FRAPU among others really need to stress that it be largely, if not totally affordable housing.

      In better times this would be a perfect candidate for a social housing project, but at i’m at least hoping they have a focus on larger family units.

      Hell, we really should go the vancouver route and have a elementary school on site. There are none at all in the core, despite the massive increase in population.

  • Kate 08:28 on 2015/05/24 Permalink | Reply  

    IMG_6199

    FRAPRU held a protest Saturday at the Palais des congrès, where an event featuring Denis Lebel, federal infrastructure minister, was taking place. Around 18:00 I saw the group installed briefly alongside the Grande Bibliothèque and took a picture. I gather police moved them along shortly afterwards.

    Later, a general non-FRAPRU demonstration took place downtown in which 30 participants were ticketed. TVA link autoplays video.

     
    • steph 09:50 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      By bringing tents to protests and staying put I guess there’s no basis to fine people for not submitting an itinerary anymore.

  • Kate 23:39 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    One of the men co-accused with Michael Applebaum in charges of fraud has pleaded guilty: previously head of the permits division in CDN-NDG, Jean-Yves Bisson admitted to taking bribes from real estate promoters.

     
  • Kate 22:46 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Not sure who wrote this Maclean’s piece on Ste-Catherine Street and the car. Seems to be unsigned. But I have to say, having been downtown Saturday afternoon, that if anyone thinks that street is moribund they’ve got to get down there and walk around on a sunny afternoon because it is nothing of the kind. The infrastructure may need work but the street itself is in no need of resuscitation.

     
    • Blork 10:53 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      I agree. I work on Ste-Catherine (near Concordia) four or five days a week, and I get out & about most days for a walk. It is most def not moribund.

    • faiz Imam 12:51 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      The piece mostly reads like a person who only travels by car being releived that their space is not being taken in as extreme a manner as they feared.

      The part about “unfortunately” reducing the speed limit to 30kmh is the most illustrative part.

    • Charles 12:59 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      upvote @faiz Imam

    • Noah 18:44 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      The 30 km/h comment was unnecessary in one aspect and correct in another: it’s basically a 30 zone by default. Not saying that’s good, bad or otherwise.

    • C_Erb 08:17 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      I just don’t understand how having to go 30 km/h on a busy commercial artery in the middle of downtown (which has a very wide and moving traffic sewer just to the south of it) should be considered a “punishment” for car drivers.

    • Slava 10:51 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      So Maclean is saying something like “it’s dead now, so let’s put more cars through and make them go as fast as possible – that’s sure to liven it, it’ll be as lively as a highway!”

      I have a question for everyone who seriously believes more parking and more cars will help things: Just how lively are the malls that are crumbling all over North America right now? All those big-box stores with their gigantic parking lots? Want to hang out there? If so, great! Go and enjoy your ample suburban parking facilities and leave us carless city folk alone.

    • Blork 11:32 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      Actually, Slava, the article doesn’t say anything like that. You should read the article before you blurt out knee-jerk reactions like that.

      The article is generally very positive on the proposed changes, including the removal of raised curbs (as has been done around the Quartier des Spectacles) to allow for flexibility according to season and events (as in, you can vary the number of car and parking lanes depending on what’s going on). The article sums up as follows:

      “If Montreal can pull this off on time and on budget, a civic government that has long been synonymous with corruption, bad governance and shoddy roadwork will win plaudits for its innovative and intelligent approach to competing urban interests. With its flexible roadbed, the city has given Saint Catherine Street the ability to change and evolve as needs and seasons change.”

      I sort of agree with the complaint about the 30 kph speed limit. That’s certainly a reasonable speed limit when there is a lot of activity, but that’s not always the case. At 9:30 AM, for example, there’s usually not a lot of traffic on the street. Or at 9:00PM on a Tuesday on the western end of the street. Imposing 30 kph (which is a crawl) is just silly.

    • Slava 14:16 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      @Blork. I read the article. I completely disagree with this line of reasoning, for instance: “That said, unfortunately, the new plan reduces the speed limit to 30 km/h as a sop to car critics… It’s a false note in an otherwise sound plan.” I don’t think this is at all “unfortunate” or a “false note”.

      Let me ask you: How’s allowing for higher speeds on St-Catherine going to help revitalize it? Which store, restaurant, or café is going to benefit if drivers are allowed to zoom past it at 40kmh? Also, is the street going to be any safer?

    • Slava 14:27 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      @Blork Thought of one more thing: you only need to look 2 short blocks south, on the Blvd René-Lévesque, to see what happens when more cars are allowed and they can go faster. René-Lévesque is almost devoid of any street life and the handful of cafés and restaurants that are able to operate there seem to be struggling (at least west of Crescent) – despite the fact that it is crossed by thousands of people daily. Pedestrians try to get away from this wind-swept car paradise as fast as possible.

    • Blork 15:25 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      @Slava, I complained because you reduced the entire article down to one overblown platitude about “as fast as possible.” For one thing, nobody’s talking about “higher speeds.” The current speed limit is 50, and nobody’s saying it should be higher. It’s only a question of whether or not lower makes any difference, and I think it doesn’t — except for when the lanes are reduced and there are a lot of pedestrians around, such as around the Quartier des Spectacles, where 30 is reasonable. But it’s not like that all the time nor on the whole stretch of the street. 50 is not an unreasonable speed between Guy and Crescent, for example, if traffic conditions allow it.

      Also, some people think that Ste-Catherine street shouldn’t be turned into a pedestrian zone full of terraces. You seem to think it should be, and that’s fine. It’s your opinion. But don’t put false words (“as fast as possible!”) into the mouths of people who have a different opinion.

      BTW, there is no point in comparing René-Levesque and Ste-Catherine. They are two very different kinds of streets with two different purposes, and they always have been. No single person on this blue planet is saying that Ste-Catherine should be like René-Levesque, which has never really had a “street life.”

      You can’t expect every street to be full of cafés and storefront activities. Cities don’t work like that. If you ask me, Ste-Catherine would work best as primarily a retail street (as it is now) with cafés and restaurants occupying the side streets (which is pretty much what we have now).

    • C_Erb 16:06 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      @Blork: René-Levesque hasn’t “always been” the nightmare it is now. It used to be much narrower with lots of smaller buildings and stores with a lot more streetlife (there are many historical photos around the internet that show this). When it was widened and turned into what is more-or-less a downtown highway, all of that streetlife and fine-grained urbanism withered away. It would be nice if there were a second large downtown commercial street as an alternative to Ste-Catherine but that was all destroyed long ago.

      (I guess you can argue that boulevard “René-Levesque” has “always been” this way since it was called Dorchester before it was widened but that’s not much of an argument).

    • Blork 16:21 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      If you want to revitalize Ste-Catherine, then drawing people away from it and towards other streets isn’t really the way to do it. As it is, we have lots of life on the cross streets, and even de Maisonneuve is fairly lively.

    • carswell 17:36 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      One of the great things about a 30-km speed limit, assuming it were enforced, would be that, while leaving the street open to vehicles that needed to visit a given block (delivery trucks, taxis, private cars picking up goods or passengers), it would effectively encourage through traffic to take other routes. Combine that with traffic lights along the street being synchronized to give a green wave to vehicles travelling at, say, 28 km/hr and you’d have less traffic and less pollution from idling vehicles, a state of affairs that fits nicely with the goal of making the street more pedestrian friendly.

      Having different speed limits for different seasons, days or times of day is dumb for three reasons. First, it would be confusing to drivers, in particular the occasional visitors who constitute a significant portion of downtown traffic, and would lead to complicated signage and the related visual pollution. Second, it wouldn’t fit well with the idea of a regularly changing streetscape, with narrowing and widening traffic lanes, disappearing and reappearing parking spaces, possible sidewalk terraces and pedestrians who pay even less attention than usual to crosswalks and traffic lights; in such a setting, slower is arguably better and unarguably safer. Third, it would encourage non-compliance with the 30 km/hr limit when that was in effect; from an overall traffic-calming standpoint, it would be best for drivers to psychologically associate that stretch of Ste-Catherine with always slow.

      Also, at this point, we don’t know what effect the redo will have on streetlife, especially once people are used to the idea of some businesses being open 24/7.

      Lastly, as someone who faces a 20 km/hr limit on the Lachine Canal bike path, I find characterizing a 30 km/hr limit as “crawling” quite amusing. Lead-footed drivers should consider themselves lucky their anti-social polluting machines aren’t being banned from the street. Instead, they whine.

    • Slava 22:14 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      FWIW: Just looking through my miscellaneous notes I stumbled upon a quote that I believe is somewhat relevant here. It comes from the book “Happy City” by Charles Montgomery (available pretty much everywhere): “No amount of triangulation can account for the corrupting influence that high-velocity transport has on the psychology of public space”.

    • Zeke 04:43 on 2015/05/26 Permalink

  • Kate 11:44 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Big journalistic scandal this week: it’s been shown that François Bugingo made it all up – all the international news he reported for a list of Quebec media that includes La Presse, Radio-Canada, Le Devoir, the Journal de Montréal and others. I’ve only once cited him on this blog because his remit was exclusively world news – it was an open letter he wrote to Pauline Marois about the charter of values. His name is trending locally on Twitter just now for those who’d like to dig into this more – and #bugingofacts is also trending.

    Update: Bugingo says he’s stunned by the allegations.

     
  • Kate 11:00 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre wants to name a park after the Ville-de-Québec, and not just any park, but the Marie-Victorin park near the botanical gardens. Frère Marie-Victorin established the gardens and wrote the massive Flore laurentienne 80 years ago which is still a cornerstone of botanical knowledge in Quebec. Borough mayor François Croteau is not pleased about this recent unilateral announcement. Coderre wants a home for a piece of art his chum Régis Labeaume is wishing on us for the 375th, a piece which is still unknown, although cartoonist Ygreck has an idea.

     
    • Clément 14:56 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      That worries me a lot. Régis Labeaume has nothing but contempt for any form of public art. When our tax dollars were being spent to build an empty hockey arena for Quebecor, he made of point of saying that the building would be only functional and that no money was going to be wasted on trivial things like architectural design. I’m afraid Ygreck might be right; or it’s going to be some ugly stainless steel hockey stick.

      Furthermore, I don’t get how easily we are willing to erase our past. As Kate said, Marie Victorin was the founder of the botanical gardens, the third most important one in the world. And here is Hardy, erasing his memory in exchange for some pacotille from Laurel.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal has an interesting interview with Barry Christensen, one of the two Urgences-Santé paramedics permanently assigned to Berri-UQÀM metro station.

     
  • Kate 09:02 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec wants to sell the Saint-Sulpice building yet still protect its heritage value. One thing I can tell you from watching the progress of such sales from this blog: once you sell a property you cannot control what the new owner does with it. The Sulpicians wanted the old Marianopolis building to preserve an educational purpose: it’s now condos. When the nuns sold the convent at 1420 Mont-Royal to the UdeM it was with the intention it too would maintain an educational purpose. Condos. You can’t have your cake and eat it too.

    Other critics of the sale have spoken up, including Lise Bissonnette, the writers’ union, and of course the PQ’s culture critic, although this is one of those situations where you want to ask what the PQ would be able to do differently. The building has sat empty throughout both Liberal and PQ administrations and the lauding of its heritage value has never been anything but lip service.

    La Presse enumerates how no government department wanted the building so, after making efforts to find a suitable public use for it, Hélène David reluctantly put it up for sale. Seems everyone thinks somebody else ought to do something worthy with it, but nobody wants the expense and trouble themselves.

     
  • Kate 08:47 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal tackles the report about Quebecers having fewer friends and less trust in others with two survey questions of their own (“Oui, Non, Other”).

     
    • No\Deli 14:07 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      After reading Gravenor’s bummer of a synopsis, combined with Statscan’s analysis of Quebec as the least charitable, least volunteer-oriented province in Canada, combined with the continually depressed literacy rates in Quebec… it all paints quite a pretty picture.

    • JaneyB 15:33 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      It’s definitely striking and depressing. I recall also that QC has one of the highest suicide rates in the world. I notice from the Statscan report that both QC and NB have the lowest rates of participation in monthly group activities; same with generalized trust. The study notes that ‘Civic engagement is considered a central factor in developing generalized trust’ and since QC is low on civic engagement, the trust levels are likewise. Why is civic engagement so low here?
      Given that most Francophones born before the Pill (eg 50+) here have about 8 siblings, I wonder why this sense of isolation? I really want to hear some analysis of it in the French-language media here – or reflections from the Franco readers here…. It should be all over the media and parsed with the kind of attention that is normally given to ‘the state of education in Quebec’. Maybe we’ll hear something more this week…

    • No\Deli 17:23 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Typically, I find these sorts of self-reporting surveys vague, messy, prone to overinterpretation. And they are. It’s the nature of social sciences. But all of this analysis taken together – and from a presumably neutral source (correct me if I’m wrong) like Statistics Canada – it’s more than can simply be waved away.

      At the risk of becoming poster child for confirmation bias, this latest study seems to corroborate my own personal real-life ‘findings’ about Quebec – as a foreigner. And it’s exactly the issue that finally spoiled my commitment to the place (not just lackluster opening hours at the local shoppes or identity politics run amok).

      I, too, would love to see further discussion on the topic; I’m woefully underqualified.
      There are some clever and insightful readers here.

    • Clément 10:26 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      I may try an explanation for at least some of the elements.

      Quebecers are also distinct from the ROC in that they are less religious. Organized religions create a lot of “community” opportunities, which may explain why fewer Quebecers report having attended community events.
      I guess it may also have to do with what one defines as a community or social event. A charity bake organized by the local church is usually defined as one, but what about porchfest? What about going out to a pub to socialize? What about a pick-up game of basketball in a park?

      As far as charity, I know one explanation we often hear has to do with the amount of taxes we pay and the (fact? perception?) that social protection (the so-called “filet de sécurité”) is better here in Québec than elsewhere. So people assume that they are already doing their share by paying taxes for socialized services. It’s probably an assumption I make myself occasionally.

      Religion has also been a traditional means of charity giving. Again, people here are less religious and probably less likely to give to an organized religion.
      Which brings another problem. I’m quite sure StatsCan assumes that giving money to a church is the same as making any other charitable donation (they probably get their data from the CRA, which assumes that). I completely disagree with that: If I give $100 to an organized religious versus giving the same $100 to “Le club des petits déjeuner”, a much smaller percentage of that $100 going to a church will actually serve a charitable purpose. StatsCan assumes that $100 to help pay for the preacher’s Mercedes is the same as $100 to feed children in HoMa.

      As far a the number of friends and trust, I have no explanation to offer.

    • Slava 11:27 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      @Clément The French (who are even more heavily taxed than us) often give the same explanation for why their fellow citizens are not likely to help each other – they assume (consciously or not) that the “solidarité” thing is something provided by the government, and they’ve already put their fair share into that pot.

      It extends beyond financial matters. It’s hard to say how real this is, but the perception (actively promulgated through the newspapers) is that if something happens to you in Paris (e.g. a violent attack on the street), no one will come to your help. The state successfully inserted itself as a mediation instrument between citizens in all kinds of matters and citizens disconnected from each other, “outsourcing” their compassion to the state.

    • Clément 12:06 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      @Slava, in line with what you’ve said, I’d be curious to see charity statistics correlated with income tax rate. I.e. do Scandinavians (supposedly the most taxed citizens in the world) give less to charity and do Monégasques give a lot?

      I tried googling it, but it’s too nice a day outside to research it further!

    • Slava 23:39 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      @Clément I’ll try to remember where I read all this stuff, but since your question is rather specific, here’s a quote from a report titled “Pourquoi donne t-on ? Les politiques fiscales d’incitation à donner”:

      “- Aux Etats-Unis, les aides fiscales aux dons ont été créés en 1917. En 2008, dons des particuliers (source fiscale) : 1,2% du PIB

      En France, les incitations fiscales existent depuis 1954. En 2008, dons des particuliers (source fiscale) : 0,1% du PIB”

    • Raymond 08:16 on 2015/05/25 Permalink

      Je me demande à quel point les stats concernant les dons seraient modifiées si on retirait les montants contribués aux institutions politiques comme le Fraser Institute, déguisés en organisme de charité… some ref here https://jeanneemard.wordpress.com/2010/12/10/les-quebecois-et-la-charite/

  • Kate 08:36 on 2015/05/23 Permalink | Reply  

    The promised campsite is set to open in July on the îles de Boucherville, the closest provincial park to the city. The site is on the wilder Île Grosbois and will be accessible only by foot, bike or boat.

     
    • faiz Imam 13:02 on 2015/05/24 Permalink

      Those type of sites are pretty cool. You can park at the normal isle boucherville parking area, after which its a 3km path to the campsites.

      They provide you with these giant wheelbarrows to carry all your gear. You don’t want to be doing it too often, but its not too inconvenient.

  • Kate 20:23 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Prediction: before a week is out some Quebec politician will make reference to the fact that the Netherlands has instituted a partial ban on face veils.

     
  • Kate 18:56 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Stacey Snider, who was at the wheel in the 2012 crash that caused the death of an STM bus driver and her own mother, walked free Friday after a judge ruled evidence of her drink-impaired driving was improperly gathered by police, who overheard a nurse at the hospital saying Snider had three times the alcohol limit in her blood.

    None of the articles say whether Snider is back on the road. Presumably so, if the single charge of impaired driving has been thrown out.

     
    • H. John 19:16 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m really looking forward to reading this judgment.

      It’s important to note that the crash did indeed cause two deaths, but the police never came to a conclusion about who, or what, caused the crash.

      Snider was not charged with causing a death, but solely with impaired driving.

    • Kate 19:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Given the seriousness of the outcome it’s disturbing that police couldn’t determine the progression of events, but this item from the incident says it was at Lindsay and 55th in Dorval, a particularly bleak industrial landscape where it’s not surprising if few or even no witnesses saw the crash from outside.

      I may have edited in the detail about the single charge Snider had to face while you were adding your clarification, H. John.

    • John B 08:19 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      It’s surprising that taking the blood alcohol content of all drivers isn’t standard procedure in all accidents causing death, or something along those lines.

    • Kate 09:21 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      John B., the La Presse account notes that police accompanied Ms. Snider to hospital on the assumption she was simply the victim of an accident. It was only because they overheard a nurse commenting on her blood alcohol level that they asked for a warrant to get that information, but the order in which this happened apparently transgressed her right to privacy. I suppose Snider’s condition on the scene was so alarming that they didn’t do a breathalyzer right then. Two people had died and some bus passengers were badly injured too – it might not have been a priority at the time.

      I find it odd that, while knowing Snider was driving drunk the court has to pretend they don’t know it, but so it goes.

    • Blork 12:15 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      This is one of those ugly cases where immediate justice has to fail for the sake of greater justice. The greater justice in this case is the fact that the police have to respect certain rules about personal privacy in the course of their investigations. If they did NOT have to respect those rules, it tears a huge hole in our (the citizens) right to due process and protection from unwarranted imposition of authority.

      The immediate case disgusts me, but on some level I’m glad to see the higher order of justice maintained.

    • John B 12:41 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Blork’s right here: If evidence was admitted in court, no matter how it was obtained, that opens to door to all kinds of big brother-ness, and not just from the government, everyone could spy on everyone, and sell what they find, and it would all be permitted in court.

      My point was that it would make sense to draw the blood of everyone who might be a driver involved in a fatal accident and have it tested for alcohol. If it happened automatically then it wouldn’t be an invasion of privacy, it would just be procedure.

    • jeather 17:19 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      But is there something here similar to inevitable discovery, in that they would definitely have found out that she was drunk anyhow so it doesn’t matter that they overheard it? Or would they not have done a blood test at all, otherwise?

  • Kate 16:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    News about 24/7 for some things is all very well but I’m irked at the moment to discover that the Grande bibliothèque closes at 18:00 on Fridays (at least it’s open till 22:00 three nights a week), the CCA bookstore also closes at 18:00 Fridays, and the closest really useful city library, the Marc-Favreau, closes at 19:00. Where are you supposed to go for a book fix on a Friday night and why are these hours so skimpy?

     
    • Yossarian 16:15 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Headline: The Grande Bibliotheque is a super success beyond expectations!

      Couillard government: “We will fix that.”

    • Kate 16:35 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Yep. I remember when they closed Mondays – they were originally partly open Mondays, with access to the ground floor periodicals department, but not any more. I don’t remember when they started closing early Fridays. I don’t think they originally did.

    • Daisy 17:16 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      This also irks me, as I normally stop by the BAnQ after work, and I work till 5:30 so it can be hard to get there in time on a Friday when I want to pick up my books so as not to have to make a special trip there on the weekend.

    • Frédéric Latour 17:34 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Ground floor at Grande Bibliothèque actually closes at 10, Tuesday to Sunday.

    • Kate 18:13 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Which is fine, but not if you want to consult some books.

    • Frédéric 09:26 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      They have quite a few books in the “Actualité et nouveautés” section. In fact, I think most of the new books are first displayed there. They also have several books currently selected by librarians. https://www.banq.qc.ca/collections/collection_universelle/actualites_nouveautes/index.html?language_id=1

    • Kate 11:15 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Frédéric, that’s useful general information – thank you. But in this case I specifically need to go look at some physical books on a particular topic.

    • Daisy 21:47 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Yeah same here. I don’t go just to browse and find something good to read. I go with a list of titles and their call numbers.

  • Kate 14:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    I’ve been updating my montreal.com list of street fairs – Mont-Royal and Masson are having fairs next weekend, but a lot of others sync theirs up with Grand Prix weekend over June 4-7. Notable by its absence this year is the granddaddy of all the city’s commercial street fairs, and that seems to me like a news story: the Mural Festival will be held around the Main this summer but no Main Madness fairs will be held. I wonder whether this has to do with the departure of Glenn Castanheira at the helm of the commercial group, or if there’s some other story.

     
    • Michael Black 15:44 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      If St. Lawrence Blvd is June 4 to 14, then they simply never shut down.

      Traditionally, there was a sale in May or June (it’s shifted over the years, weather has factored in, though the date has long been stabilized). Then the restaurants wanted to have terraces during Grand Prix, so they added that. But that has varied, sometimes the full length, sometimes just to Pine. But they set up, struck, and then set up the next week. This just means don’t open up the street for a few days.

      The name has never mattered, it’s varied over the years, it’s not about “madness” or murals, but the street shut down so the merchants can set up outside. There have been years when there was more music or activity than others, it never was the draw.

      Now if the question isn’t about naming but that there’s nothing in August, I don’t know. I’ve seen no date for August. But that too has varied. In the old days, there was a sale in May or June, one in July and one in August. The July one was dropped when Sunday shopping came along, or as the restaurants rose. I even recall Tuesday through Saturday, then Wednesday through Sunday with Sunday Shopping, but the street reopened at night, and had to reopen promptly at 5pm on Sundays (that was the case on 1997 or 98). Memory says the restaurants became powerful enough at some point to cause a truncated sale, Thursday through Sunday, but the street stays closed throughout.

      But I also remember a year when the August sale was over Labor Day Weekend, so
      if August is missing, maybe it’s in September since Labor Day is “late” this year.

      The street was never closed for murals, it was closed for the street sale, the murals were an add on. Until that came along a few years back “Main Madness” had been the title in June (at least after the title first appeared).

      Michael

    • Doobious 17:47 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I emailed the SDBSL asking about the reason for the change but got no response.

      Good list, Kate. The city’s tourism web site has a handy summer festival guide too. Time to populate the calendar with the fun stuff!

    • Kate 18:59 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’ve got a festivals list but I started making the street fairs list too, because often I simply wanted to know for myself. I sometimes pop over to see what they’re like; last summer I found the Fleury Street one rather sparse, but the Masson one is pretty good. Whoever’s running the Monkland Village site is very ambitious and the street fair is almost an afterthought now to other productions they’re doing. Not sure I’d be thrilled about that if I were a member of that commercial group.

      If anybody knows when the Roumeliotes festival’s on in Park Ex, or when the San Marziale fest is on around St-Viateur, please let me know. I can’t find them online.

    • Doobious 19:58 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Great work. You’ve even got the Organ Fest, one of my faves. Bookmarked x2.

      Don’t forget the Quartier en Mouvement. Last year’s edition was a bit weird with the move to the St. James Church lawn. Hopefully this year will have it back on Pierce Street where it belongs.

    • Emily G. 20:46 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      The festivals list is great! I hadn’t seen it before. It seems to be missing NDG’s Porchfest held earlier this month, but most festivals are on there.

    • Kate 21:23 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Thanks, Emily. I’ve been updating it for a few years. It’s amazing how some festivals don’t put their upcoming dates up till the last minute, or don’t make it clear whether the content on their site is this year’s or last’s, but I manage to get it done.

    • C_Erb 08:54 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Parc-Ex has three different Greek street festivals per summer on St-Roch. I know one is during Orthodox Easter but the others I’m not so sure. The biggest one happens in late August. I remember it happening when I went to look at my apartment. I’m sure if you contact any of the Hellenic groups, they could let you know.

    • Kate 09:07 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      The Roumeliotes have a mid-June street bash on St-Roch with roasted meats that’s always worth looking in at. I’ve just done a google plus a google translate: it’s on June 12, 13 and 14 this year!

  • Kate 12:33 on 2015/05/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Sorry to write such a blunt headline (“Alouettes sign gay player”) but this seems to be the import of many of the items about the team signing Michael Sam. Yahoo Sports underlines that Sam couldn’t get an offer from the NFL and there’s been a debate on /r/montreal whether this is because Sam wasn’t up to their standard or whether the American league simply didn’t want an openly gay player on one of their teams.

    First to joke about the Gay Cup has to go get coffee for everybody.

     
    • Bill Binns 16:00 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m not much of a sports fan but I was under the impression that every single player in Canadian football is playing canadian football because they “couldn’t get an offer from the NFL”. No?

    • Yossarian 16:18 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      I’m not much of a sports fan either but I was under the impression that every single player in football is playing football because they crave some sort of societal-approved means of having direct physical contact with other men. I say this having had several football team members as close friends and roommates in cegep and university. Fine men all of them.

    • Josh 17:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Yossarian’s kidding aside, yes Bill, you have it about right.

    • Uatu 18:53 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      He can play. He was an All American defensive end and drafted by St. Louis. Any other player would’ve been playing, but the fact that he was openly gay made players uncomfortable. The Daily Show made great fun of this pointing out that the NFL has problems with gay players but not the ones that are wife beaters, dog killers, murderers, child beaters etc.

    • Noah 19:55 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      No, Bill Binns, that’s not accurate. They are very different leagues, requiring some different skill sets. It’s true in the sense that any CFL player would happily cash in on an NFL contract, but not in the sense that’s it’s a sub-league or farm league to the NFL like the AHL is to the NHL. Lots of NFL and big time NCAA players come to the CFL and fail because it’s a very hard league to play in. Sam is a terrific signing for the Als because he’s a prototypical CFL rush end (for those of you who don’t know football, it’s the dude on defence who is at the end of the defensive line who spends most of the game trying to take down the quarterback.)… The reason he’s so typical CFL is that the Canadian field is bigger and the teams line up a yard apart, so it’s more of a speed game at the line of scrimmage. Smaller guys succeed because they’re generally faster.

      That he’s openly gay is a different story, and a great one at that. By getting drafted after coming out, he set a great example for for future gay athletes that they can get a shot based on their talent and not have to hide their sexuality. He didn’t make the NFL because he doesn’t have the right body type and skill set for his position, not because of his sexual orientation.

    • Kate 20:03 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Noah, I only partly follow what you’re on about. If Sam “doesn’t have the right body type and skill set for his position” why are the Alouettes hiring him?

      I think it’s possible that it wasn’t so much the NFL flat-out didn’t want a gay player on the basis of individual discomfort from other players, as that they didn’t welcome the extra attention this piece of information tends to get from the media.

    • Ephraim 20:14 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      Welcome to the Montreal and the Montreal Alouettes, Michael Sam and . And welcome to Vito Cammisano as well. I don’t think anyone around here really cares about anything except success and that they should be happy and enjoy their lives.

    • jeather 23:10 on 2015/05/22 Permalink

      He doesn’t have the right body type for his position in the NFL, but the CFL game is different and has different requirements.

    • Kate 08:17 on 2015/05/23 Permalink

      Oh. OK, thanks. I admit I find Canadian and American football identically incomprehensible, a lot of overprotected men who overemphasize their big shoulders and tiny bums then run around colliding with each other and falling down like toys knocked over on a tabletop. I am unable to take it seriously.

    • Noah 10:10 on 2015/05/26 Permalink

      Yes, jeather explained it well. You’d think they’re the same game, but they’re not. They’re mostly the same. CFL is much faster and “tweeners” like Sam do well. I know scouts and, while it’s entirely possible *some* people have issues with him being openly gay, he’s not in the NFL because he can’t play there yet, that’s the bottom line.

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