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  • Kate 12:55 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Jean-Claude Marsan compares Concordia’s revival of the Grey Nuns convent with the Université de Montréal’s feckless treatment of the Couvent Jésus-Marie at 1420 Mont-Royal. Interesting, but I do quibble with the “modèle anglo-saxon” business. Hwaet!

    • Robert J 13:01 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I don’t think it’s a stretch to say that Concordia is a slightly more community-oriented institution. I was at UdeM for several years and found the culture there very closed off, unaware of Montreal’s context.

    • rue david 13:07 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      that’s a great call to arms and an important reminder that it might not be too late for the mont-royal building.

      incidentally, marsan is a god. i have every one of his books pertaining to montreal, and consider his greatest contribution – ‘montreal in evolution’ – to be essential reading for everyone who makes a pretense at informed opinion on development in the city. him and paul-andré linteau are these civic treasures, scholars of place the like of which we’ll probably not see again in this age of instant information.

    • Robert J 13:13 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      That was a textbook for my History of Montreal class. I just remembered!

  • Kate 11:45 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Speaking of Flickr, an American academic has put millions of copyright-free historic images on the site, with automated clips from text near the pictures to help identify them. Here’s a 1910 photo of the Chateau de Ramezay for example, from a book produced by the Grand Trunk Railway, and an 1899 view over Place d’Armes from a CPR book, showing a peek at the grandiose post office building demolished in the 1950s, and from the same book, Dominion Square showing the Windsor Hotel on the left, and the rather good YMCA building that was later replaced by the Sun Life building on the right. And here’s a view of the school building that is now FACE. Another view of the Windsor Hotel across the square.

    Lots more, but I have to work on something else here for awhile…

  • Kate 11:08 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Another Flickr set of views of Mirabel Airport shows the empty hotel and the really quite nice terminal building we’re chucking away.

    • Mathieu 11:42 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      At least, much of the equipment (counters, luggage handling, etc.) will be going to Haïtï to help them modernize their airport(s).

    • Kate 11:52 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I didn’t know that. At least that’s something. Thanks!

    • No\Deli 14:45 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I’ve always said – that’s the one thing Haiti really lacks: modern counter tops.

    • Kate 16:40 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I had an evil laugh at that, No\Deli, but even so, it’s better some bits of Mirabel get repurposed rather than all of it plowed into a landfill.

  • Kate 11:03 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Mercier will be half closed all weekend. I’ll add any further long weekend traffic news bits to this entry.

    The Jacques-Cartier bike path (and presumably the pedestrian path, which are one and the same) is being closed for a couple of weeks in September for some work, unfortunately overlapping with closure of the Champlain ice bridge, also for work.

    Andy Riga has a summary of all the road seizures for the long weekend although he also adds a coda.

    • Daisy 18:02 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      At least the ice bridge is only closing on weekends, so people can still use it to get to work during the week. And on the weekends they’ll have a shuttle.

  • Kate 11:01 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM continues to give raises to its managers as services get cut. I’m feeling particularly mad about this, as I often rely on the 55 bus, which has now gone down to only twice an hour after 17:00. This is ridiculous: the Main is still important, and if I were the owner of a restaurant or bar along there I’d be livid, because this chokes off the possible visitors to the whole length of the street.

    Clarification: Weirdly, there are fewer southbound runs of the 55 bus than the other way. It’s the southbound runs that have been reduced in number. (How do they do that?) The Planibus PDF.

    • Blork 11:09 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I recently walked from Sherbrooke and Bishop all the way to St-Laurent, then up St-Laurent to Schwartz’s. This was around 8:00 PM. Not once did I see a 24 on Sherbrooke, nor a 55 on the Main. It’s discouraging.

    • Steve Quilliam 11:34 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I just heard an interview with STM new Tsar which he says he agreed to give the raise because he’s new and did not know what has been done or not but he’ll more prepared next year to judge if they deserve another raise or not.

      This guy should be fired or resign right away because he is definitively incompetatent and not capable of dealing with big machines. All he could have done when entering the job os freeze all spendings and take the time to learn how the STM works !

    • EmilyG 18:26 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      They cut service on the 207 bus too, which I often use, especially late at night.

    • ant6n 18:48 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      The 55 is a 10-minute-bus-light, it runs every ten minutes downtown-bound ’til 2pm, and every ten minutes outbound after 2pm. The ‘reverse’ directions are pretty bad, especially on the 55, which can get pretty full in the afternoon southbound.
      They must be doing a lot of deadheading.

    • Doobious 18:53 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      30-minute service on St. Laurent Blvd? That’s West Island quality of service. Granted, the schedule shows more like 3 buses per hour (supposedly) in the evenings.

      BTW, I noticed the Guy St. metro entrance is open today. You no longer have to go through the EV Building.

  • Kate 10:47 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Some artists decorated an abandoned building this week, but it’s not accessible to the public.

    Metro also looks back at the 1964 sculpture symposium that left several familiar works on Mount Royal. There are commented tours on the pieces, noted at the bottom. (My favourite by far of that vintage was a sort of metal helicopter you could climb up inside, but it fell down long ago.)

    • Lisa Sproull 11:43 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Some great photos in Journal Metro’s gallery! I was lucky enough to have a sneak peek at the site on Wednesday and shared a few snaps and comments from organizer TurtleCaps with Cult MTL readers here:

      More photos to come on later today!

      Just to clarify your post above, the building is not actually abandoned. Several tenants presently live there, which is why the exact location is being kept secret as it’s inaccessible without going through somebody’s living space.

    • Kate 12:02 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Thanks for the clarification and the link!

  • Kate 10:40 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The bus station has been evacuated after some noxious substance was set loose there. Police say it was pepper spray.

    Update: A few people were hospitalized and others treated at the scene, and the bus station reopened for business in the afterrnoon. I don’t think anyone’s been caught yet.

    Ironic, how if a random person pepper-sprays you they’ll bring you to hospital and be nice, but if the cops do it themselves, too fucking bad for you – cope.

  • Kate 10:15 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Gazette looks at Arthur Porter’s life in a Panamanian prison, complete with lawyer sorrowfully talking about how poor Porter hasn’t got any money and hasn’t defrauded the MUHC. Porter also claims to recovered from beatings in jail despite having stage 4 lung cancer.

  • Kate 09:46 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Meta observations here. Over the summer, Radio-Canada has tinkered with the page showing the local news. I see what they’re doing and why, but I’m not crazy about how it’s now a feed of news mixed with tweets and photo submissions from listeners, with much more prominence given to images than text. Instead of text, sometimes the news will simply be an audio file, which I suppose saves time and effort of transcribing it, but is less useful for a format like this blog.

    It used to be easy to find the bare bones news bulletin stuff on Radio-Canada, but on “Ici” I have to sift the feed carefully not to miss the news among the other stuff. I do see that in some ways this is a creative response to deep budget cuts, though.

    Now CTV’s feed is pushing the photos really big and making the headlines into mere captions, too. And the Gazette is gradually posting more audio files as time goes on – this one Andy Riga talking about STM honchos giving themselves raises as services are cut.

    Final kvetch: half the news tagged “Montreal” on Google’s news feed on the English language side now comes from MTL Blog, including important headlines like “10 Embarrassing Truths Montreal Girls Don’t Want To Admit About Themselves” and “10 Ways To Not Hit On A Montreal Girl.” At least the French language Google news is still news and not clickbait.

    • Doobious 10:15 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I have my local Google News feed set to “montreal, qc” and I’ve yet to see a MTL Blog article. You might want to try that.

    • Kate 10:18 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Doobious, that search gets me a lot of pop music headlines from Exclaim!

      My search is simply “montreal -gazette” because I look at the Gazette with a different tab, and want to see what other media are saying about the city.

    • Doobious 10:37 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Here’s my URL, if that’s any help. It displays as “Montreal, Quebec” in the left sidebar. No Exclaim articles, but plenty from the Gazoo.

    • EmilyG 11:15 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Let’s not forget MTL Blog’s “10 Types of Drunk Girls” or whatever nonsense that was. I recently unfollowed a Montreal news source on Twitter because they kept posting MTL Blog articles.

    • Kevin 11:31 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      The big photos are the result of more people using cell phones to browse the web. And to be fair, CTV has rarely posted more than the headline on the front page, although they do look more like captions now.

    • mare 12:47 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      montreal in Google might help sift out the link bait

    • Kate 16:27 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Thanks mare.

  • Kate 00:13 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Plateau mayor Luc Ferrandez says he supports Luis Miranda’s moves to demerge Anjou, but says it simply is not possible to consider detaching the Plateau from Montreal because it’s the heart of the city.

    • Dave M 06:55 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      But that’s exactly why it *could* demerge. Montréal would lose out, the Plateau would do fine.

    • Michel 07:02 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Gawd, Ferrandez sounds like the little shit in the schoolyard who’s always boasting that he could beat you up, if he wanted, but he just doesn’t, at this particular moment. But boy, you watch out, because he totally could.
      Fucking poseur.
      Hold a referendum, you empty suit, and let’s see how valid this threat is.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 08:20 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Yeah then watch him complain about the demerged suburbs being tax havens for local elites…

      One Island, One City was the right way to go, but poorly executed. Communities like Anjou exist as a result of Montreal, they should pay their dues.

    • Steph 09:01 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I don’t think One Island, One City is the best idea, but we should have a level of government for the metropolitan region that all the cities pay into (including Laval & Longueuil). There’s no reason why our taxes can’t be itemized where each portion goes to the appropriate level of government that manages those services.

    • Kevin 09:03 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      That’s the idea behind the Agglomeration Council, which is also run ineptly.

    • rue david 12:04 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      once again, ferrandez is right on. go anjou! go ville saint laurent!

    • Robert J 13:09 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I think it’s appropriate for low density areas with suburban land use to demerge. One administration should not attempt to meet the unreasonable desires of people living in these wasteful places. We could also delegate transit funding from the province based on income levels, car ownership, and population density, axing funding to areas that don’t meet these criteria.

  • Kate 00:12 on 2014/08/29 Permalink | Reply  

    I suspect the city is pretending that the value of short-term car rental services is not yet proven because Denis Coderre is in with the taxi drivers. I know of many people who use Communauto rather than struggle with buying, parking, insuring and repairing their own car. It’s a brilliant solution if you live in one of Montreal’s many residential spots on a narrow street with no separate parking space – I’d belong to it myself, if I could drive.

    • Ephraim 06:22 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      By the sheer number of Car2Go, I would say that it’s a success. And if they had some larger vehicles, I’d switch too, but I need to cart some large goods weekly and a smart is too small.

    • Dave M 06:44 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Car2Go and Auto-mobile both have no yearly membership, and Auto-mobile cars are Prius Cs.. there’s no reason you can’t sign up for both.

    • Bill Binns 07:06 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I joined Car2Go after they put 5 cars a couple of doors down from my building. It can be convenient for certain types of trips like dropping my wife off at work when it’s raining. It can get pricey fairly quickly. I have been surprised by how much I can fit in that little Smart car. A weeks groceries fits no problem.

      What is the deal with Coderre and the taxi drivers? What a strange niche for the mayor to pander to. How many of taxi drivers can even vote?

    • Kevin 09:17 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      After almost a year of using both Car2Go and Automobile as needed I have very few complaints.

      Car2Go has more cars available, which is to expected since it’s owned and operated by Daimler Benz, but the Leafs and Priuses that Automobile runs are smoother, better cars.
      (Although my kids *love* being in the front seat of a Smart car.)

      It’s easier, cheaper, faster for me to grab a car, drive cross-town and abandon it than to take a cab, and since I don’t have to worry about a parking permit there are many times it’s easier than using my wife’s car.

      I suspect Coderre likes taxi drivers because they are a cash cow for the central city: annual inspections, tests, permit renewals…

      Whereas the only money coming in from car-sharing services is for parking permits, and I believe all that money goes directly to boroughs.

    • MathP 09:22 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      There are 10k taxi drivers in Montreal. I’d say their wives & relatives are likely to vote the same way too, so that gives him about 15 000 easy votes.

    • Beeg 10:16 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Last week I took a Car2Go from Mile End to Assomption and Sherbrooke. According to various taxi fare estimate websites, a cab would’ve cost $22 plus tip. With Car2Go it was $8.75 (a little less coming back). And that’s a *long* trip in a Car2Go – nearly 20 minutes.

      These one-way car-sharing services are revolutionary for non-drivers. I can think of literally dozens of trips that I’ve taken using Car2Go or Auto-Mobile that would have been serious headaches or too expensive by public transit, Bixi or cab. Why the city doesn’t at least welcome them as part of the “cocktail du transport” is beyond me, but leave it to Denis Coderre not to give a reason. Wasn’t his decision to refuse their expansion to Ville-Marie one of his first acts of business? Ah yes, here it is:

    • Kate 10:20 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I always thought Coderre’s link with the cabbies came from his having represented a Montreal North constituency for so long as an MP. A sizable segment of the city’s cabbies are Haitians and live in that part of town. I’ve even seen claims Coderre speaks Kréyol.

      But there may be more to it, viz. the permit fees and so on.

    • Mathieu 10:43 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      I can’t see how removing Car2Go would make me take taxis: they’re just too expensive. I like the fact that I can take a Car2Go from St-Henri to Masson for less than $10 and I sometimes do it to save me 20 minutes of metro/bus if I’m late. I wouldn’t pay $30 for that however (the cost of a taxi ride). Taxis still have a use for intra-downtown trips and when you can’t drive (drunk, going to the hospital, etc.).

      I can see how allowing Car2Go to settle downtown could be problematic as there isn’t much on-street parking. But there is no reason to deprive people East of St-Denis of it (why is the area around Frontenac in Ville-Marie anyway?).

    • Kevin 11:37 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Car2Go gets around that downtown/Old Montreal restriction by making deals with private lots.

    • Beeg 13:42 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      @Kevin, except Car2Go lost a big chunk of its downtown spaces a few months ago (on Metcalfe/de Maisonneuve) due to construction.

      @Mathieu, my understanding is that Car2Go has worked out deals with other cities (D.C. comes to mind) where it covers the cost of parking meters so that its members don’t have to feed the meter. So Car2Go in Ville-Marie would only work if the company reimbursed the city for not the parking meter revenue foregone by its members parking downtown. Presumably Bixi has some kind of similar arrangement (or at least its acknowledged that the city is foregoing parking revenue)? Interestingly, it seems that Car2Go sticks with a price of $0.38/minute across all its cities, regardless of the actual city-specific cost of permits and parking fees.

  • Kate 22:55 on 2014/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    With the rentrée comes a new push for sovereignty, even before the PQ’s new leader is named.

    • Noah 07:55 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      The louder the yell, the less people will hear. This is great news.

    • Jack 09:04 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      The PQ is at 19% with the 18-24 cohort in the most recent Leger poll. The only thing that could resuscitate the PQ is PKP.

    • Noah 10:57 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      PKP would be the DREAM leader to take over the PQ… for federalists! The PQ will eat itself alive with a union-buster running it.

    • Jack 14:02 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Don’t underestimate PKP’s ability to shape consensus in the Quebec media environment. Radio Canada’s quasi progressive sov. influence is dying before our eyes. TVA,LCN,Journals,Hebdo’s all have an “identitare” nationalist conservative spin and they have a lot to do with setting agenda’s.I think PKP at the helm of the PQ could be damaging for everyone,ask an Italian.

    • Ephraim 16:46 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      If PKP uses his muscle in the media environment, he should be required to divest.

  • Kate 22:52 on 2014/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The surge in fatal drug overdoses which worried public health authorities earlier this summer has tapered off to a more usual level, one or two overdose deaths a month being considered normal in a city this size.

  • Kate 22:47 on 2014/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Judge Guy Cournoyer heard final pre-trial motions before the trial of Luca Rocco Magnotta begins on September 8. The father of Magnotta’s alleged victim Jun Lin has asked that some exhibits be kept out of the public eye forever, but the judge has deferred making a decision on this. The trial is expected to take between six and eight weeks and will be held with a bilingual jury. (French and English, I suppose – not English and Mandarin?)

    Many stories on Magnotta are commenting on how much weight he’s put on.

    • Marc R 22:50 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      can understand where mr. lin is coming from- i didn’t look up the footage in the first place, and would much prefer to not see stills of it on the front page of the jourrrnal de mourrreal. if there’s a compelling public interest to releasing the footage, by all means release it (though i cant imagine why there would be), but otherwise please leave it buried

    • Dave M 06:52 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      God damnit.. I got a letter in the mail a couple weeks ago about being chosen for jury selection based on being English and was told to report to the courthouse for Sept 8. :(

    • Bill Binns 07:12 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      An eight week trial two years after the crime. What could they possibly talk about after the prosecution says “Here is the videotape of the accused commiting the crime”?

    • Marc R 09:21 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Bill; no-one doubts his guilt, the question is whether he was crazy or not when he did it (fleeing to Europe could be considered evidence of either position). That said, if Magnotta gets away with it, the backlash will make the Guy Turcotte backlash look like a fart in the wind.

    • Alison Cummins 23:42 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Weight gain could be due to forced inactivity in prison, but it could also be caused by antipsychotic medication.

  • Kate 14:25 on 2014/08/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Swimming pools seem to be a topic these days. There was a brouhaha this week at an Outremont wading pool when a mother got in a fight with officials over whether her three-year-old daughter had to wear a swimsuit top. Officials said their rule was two-year-olds and over had to cover up. In the scrum, the kid got pushed over and injured.

    • Joe 15:14 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      Sounds like mom went a little overboard. Even though the mayor doesn’t believe this law is on the books, mom could have just covered up her child and spoken to someone at city hall without the child being present. Pick your battles, especially in front of your kids.

    • ant6n 15:23 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      another stupid rule…

    • Blork 15:31 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      It is a stupid rule. But it’s even stupider to get in a fight over it.

    • ant6n 15:35 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      You mean for the officials who started it, right?

    • Blork 16:24 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      Do we know that these “officials” started it? According to the article, the “officials” (20- and 21-year-old lifeguards) are considered to be “victims” by the cops. That implies the mom is the one who was aggressive.

    • ant6n 18:06 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      The altercation probably started with the “officials” insisting to enforce a stupid rule.

    • Kate 19:06 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      I called them “officials” only because it seems kind of overkill to call attendants at a wading pool “lifeguards” but maybe that’s more accurate. I presume the lifeguards or attendants or whatever must have approached this woman and told her to put the girl’s top on. Which doesn’t mean they started the scrap, but it does mean they opened pourparlers.

    • Ephraim 21:25 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      Really, this is what you need to fight with poor 20 and 21 year-old kids who are just doing their (likely low paying) jobs? It’s like yelling at a teller in a bank, as if they make any of the decision at all…. you direct yourself to someone who is at least making decisions (and enough money to care about their job.)

    • Kate 22:24 on 2014/08/28 Permalink

      Well, TVA describes the woman and her daughter as violemment expulsées d’une pataugeoire par une sauveteuse. (Usual video warning applies.)

      They also quote borough mayor Marie Cinq-Mars saying there’s no written rule about the age when a little girl has to start wearing a bathing suit top.

    • Ephraim 06:24 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      To be honest, if men can go topless…. we are all about the equality in Quebec, aren’t we?

    • Alison Cummins 07:03 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      There’s no (constitutionally valid) law about girls or women of any age needing to cover their upper bodies.

      There might be a pool rule though.

    • Ian 07:45 on 2014/08/29 Permalink

      Depends on the neighbourhood, too. I’ve noticed that in Mile-End since the influx of Europeans that there are a lot more small kids not just “going topless” but stripping down to underwear or even completely nude in the neighbourhood water parks. Europeans have always been more liberal in this regard, and nobody seemed concerned. Granted, this would probably be different in a supervised pool.

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