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  • Kate 19:56 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Ottawa is pondering putting tolls on all the federal bridges from Montreal to the mainland. Although I’ve often heard people say they don’t like driving on the Victoria for various reasons, its popularity could soar.

    In other bridge news, the temporary Nuns’ Island bridge is to begin to open next weeksooner than expected. It will serve until Champlain II is inaugurated.

    • Faiz Imam 20:38 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      We seriously need to have a rational conversation about this before it spirals out of control.

      What we need is a comprehensive congestion and variable pricing scheme throughout the CMM. Having piecemeal charges somewhat arbitrarily based on geography is a losing strategy in the long run.

    • MathP 20:41 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Didn’t know Victoria wasn’t popular.

      The Victoria Bridge afternoon traffic already backs up to Peel on Wellington, McGill on de la Commune and past Saint-Antoine on De la Montagne. (And it’s probably just as bad west of Bridge in PSC)

      Can’t wait too see what it will look like if it becomes the only free-of-charge bridge.

    • Kate 20:47 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      MathP, some people don’t like the approach to the Victoria, which is apparently very compressed and difficult, and some don’t like the way the surface texture of the bridge interacts with their wheels, and some don’t like how the bridge feels when it’s raining or snowing or windy, and so on. According to Wikipedia, the Montreal-side approach is so low and constricted that most trucks can’t use it – but that may be on purpose, as many modern buses are apparently too heavy to use it as well.

    • Dave M 21:18 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      The Victoria is, by far, my favourite bridge in Montreal. It’s the only one that I’m sure won’t fall into the river as I’m crossing it.

    • carswell 21:38 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      @Dave M Yes to the Victoria (my favourite too) but from a Montreal-bridge-is-falling-down standpoint, the Jacques Cartier is also a pretty safe bet. The engineer who designed it and oversaw its construction, Philip Louis Pratley, had worked on the second iteration of the Quebec Bridge (the first collapsed) and, with that infamous example in mind, if anything over-engineered the Jacques Cartier, though not to the same extent as the Quebec Bridge (v. 2). Or so civil engineers of my acquaintance have told me.

    • rue david 00:15 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      I’d never vote harper, but this is a great idea and I hope it’s legislated before Trudeau (or mulcair!) come in

    • Ephraim 06:48 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      We could alleviate so much congestion in the city with a rush-hour only toll. Enough that people think twice about bringing in their car and consider public transit. And we can use that money to subsidize public transit. All in all it might very well be a win-win. And charging only during rush hours might possibly mean that it may be less objectionable to the casual driver and retail businesses and most objectionable to those who shouldn’t be bringing in their car to the city anyway.

      In parts of Scandinavia the charge is based on how many cars pass at any time, with the price increasing when there are more cars. The less cars, the cheaper the toll.

    • Bert 07:01 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      About the aproach to the southbound Victoria, yes it does indeed seem tight, but I have seen an RTL bus navigate it successfully. I also remember when the east side lane was actually run bi-directionally at rush hours. Now THAT was fun! I too think that the Vic is the best built and maintained bridge in the GMA.

      As long as busses are also subject to this congestion tax, and that the cost is completely and directly paid for by an increase in fares / passes I am all for it.

      User pay… Every user pays.

    • Kate 07:33 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      Please don’t write GMA. We don’t call the city the GMA.

    • Chris 07:47 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      Too similar to GTA? :)

      Ephraim, that would be nice. Dynamic pricing should also be applied to parking. Alas, hell will freeze over first, I fear.

    • Blork 08:17 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      I like the Victoria Bridge, and I’m confident that trains won’t fall into the river, but bear in mind that when you’re driving on the bridge you’re driving on “wings” that were added much later. They’re like the bike paths on the Jacques-Cartier; they’re add-ons that stick out to the sides, not part of the main bridge structure that’s so solid. (That said, I have no reason to believe it isn’t safe and secure.)

    • Dave M 08:34 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      @Chris, I remember seeing something about a pilot project for dynamic parking pricing in Montreal (or maybe it was just the Plateau?) somewhere around 6 months to a year ago, but my Google-fu is failing me and I can’t find any reference to it now. Maybe I’m imagining it, but I’m almost certain is was a thing that was going to be tried somewhere on the island.

    • jeather 09:15 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      Tolls in the right directions during rush hour only would be fine. Tolls on all bridges at all times is — well, I guess it’s interesting to know that both the provincial and the federal governments hate Montreal?

  • Kate 19:47 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The remnant of Union Montreal is fighting the dissolution ordered for it last year by the DGEQ. The party, which has no leader – and it’s not clear from this piece who’s speaking for it – wants to continue to exist and to hang onto its remaining cash for legal defense purposes.

  • Kate 19:32 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Jean-Talon East in St-Léonard is to be greened up to the tune of $3 million for the mystical year 2017.

    • MathP 21:45 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Will this all be torn up when and if they extend the blue line? Or maybe this is an indication that we shouldn’t expect that anytime soon…

    • Mathieu 22:37 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Construction for the Blue Line can’t have started by then, we’re not far enough in the process. Besides, this wouldn’t be built by cut-and-cover, so except for stations, there wouldn’t be so much damage.

  • Kate 19:31 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    An experimental policy of allowing 15 minutes of free parking on one side of St-Hubert seems to have increased business for shops along the plaza. The other side has conventional metered parking. (Question: what does the Journal mean by the right and left side of St-Hubert?)

    • mare 19:50 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      For people that drive a car that’s obvious. St. Hubert is a one-way street for most of its length, and from a car perspective left and right is a very real thing. I guess Kate doesn’t drive.

    • carswell 19:52 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Since that part of St-Hubert is one-way toward the north, right would be the east side and left the west.

    • Kate 19:58 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Thank you both. I was wondering if it had something to do with riverbanks.

      I don’t think I’ve ever made a secret of the fact I don’t drive.

  • Kate 19:29 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Just in passing, I wonder how Canada can support the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong just days after signing the FIPA agreement with Beijing?

    • Chris 20:00 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      You imply a contradiction where none exists.

    • Kate 20:02 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Can you amplify?

    • Chris 20:16 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Can you? Foreign investment deals are orthogonal to democracy. What relation do you see?

      Anyway, how is Canada “supporting” the pro-democracy protesters in Hong Kong? Other than some words, not at all. Sending special forces? equipment? sanctions? No, nothing. Just spoken lies for domestic consumption. In private, they likely say very different things to Chinese officials.

    • Kate 20:51 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Well. China doesn’t like, for example, anything said in favour of the Dalai Lama, although Tibet isn’t exactly a dangerous opponent to China except in the realm of public relations, which is where I would’ve thought this Hong Kong issue also exists, at least from our perspective. Granted the Chinese know a good business deal when they see it, but they’ve proven to be touchy about the PR stuff in the past too.

  • Kate 19:19 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A long-term study finds that stresses connected with the 1998 ice storm affected those in utero here at the time. Given that a few days without electricity and a bit of uncertainty can do measurable damage, imagine what warfare, famine, plagues and exile are doing to the millions they afflict.

    • Nathaniel 20:48 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Sounds reasonable. As to what war and famine, etc. might do to those born during those events, you might want to look at Tim Spector’s book Identically Different, which is about the role epigenetics plays in our lives:

  • Kate 09:07 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    The transport ministry is considering diverting the Saint-Pierre collector, one of the city’s major sewer pipes – three meters in diameter – as part of the Turcot work. Saint-Jacques would be closed for a solid two years.

    • dwgs 11:12 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Do they just make it up as they go along?

    • dwgs 11:14 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      They pushed to finish Decarie Ave. so they could reopen it, what, a month and a half ago? Everything is paved and ready to go but now they’re using the passage under the tracks for parking construction equipment.

    • Steph 00:48 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      this is how a 1B$ project turns into a 2B$ project.

  • Kate 08:58 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Journalists waiting for the Magnotta trial to open have been keeping their laptops busy with thoughts about the nasty things the jurors will see and know about and the emotions likely to be evoked in what the Gazette describes as one of the smallest courtrooms at the Palais de Justice. Two larger rooms are being equipped with video links. The Gazette also separately lists the genders and occupations of the jury members and shows people waiting for the court to open proceedings at 9:30 a.m.

    Follow Twitter hashtag Magnotta for progress of the trial.

  • Kate 08:48 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Excellent piece on the rise and fall of Arthur Porter in the National Post, particularly focusing on Porter’s elevation to head of the Security Intelligence Review Committee. I had also missed this Aaron Derfel piece about Porter’s wheeling-and-dealing in his Panama prison. Why does Porter still have access his (our?) money?

  • Kate 08:41 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro compared neighbourhoods according to 11 criteria and the western Plateau turned up #1. This area wasn’t deemed to include the Mile End, which rated separately as #5 (and with an interesting selection of photos, some of which I’d definitely place in the Plateau and not in the Mile End, especially the last two).

    #40 of 40 neighbourhoods scrutinized: Anjou.

    • Ian 09:13 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Anyone who rates Little Burgundy higher than Mile-End is delusional. I’ve lived in both.

    • Kate 09:44 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Little Burgundy rates #24 on their list while the Mile End rates #5.

      Time for another coffee, Ian?

    • Noah 09:44 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      To echo Ian, anyone who rates CDN over NDG is ultra-delusional.

    • Kate 10:01 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      “ultra-delusional” is just silly. CDN is #12, NDG is #15. We don’t know their rationale for all these ratings, but that’s not a huge difference and some of it may be a matter of taste.

    • Ian 10:08 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Ah, I was reading right to left. I guess taking note of those large bolded numbers might have helped my reading comprehension :)

    • Ian 10:09 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      That said, Anyone who rates Saint-Henri higher than Mile-End is delusional. I’ve lived in both. I realize Saint-Henri is gentrifying, but come on.

    • cheese 10:45 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Yeah some of the pics in the Mile-End article are more straight-up Plateau looking but the only one I can definitely say is not within its borders is the last one. The other side of the street is the border of Mile-End but that is the Plateau side.

      Could be worse, I recall an article about Mile-End that had just one pic and it was of a building on Marrie-Anne, which is not in Mile-End at all. I agree that the real Mile-End vibe is north of Laurier and to the West a bit of the actual border at Henri-Julien.

      Regardless there are some great places to live in this town, and though it’s getting expensive, compared to other cites we have some decent options.

    • Ephraim 11:58 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      So, what street are they using to divide the Plateau in two? Can we divide the Plateau in four and have Plateau Sud too, if we are making up new neighbourhoods.

    • Noah 13:40 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      This whole thing is an exercise in silliness, Kate. I’ll take my license here and stand by my “ultra-delusional” comment… (I refuse to use emoticons, but I suppose a winky face would go well here).

    • cheese 13:46 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      @Ephraim: they are not just dividing the Plateau randomly, they are using the borough electoral districts. Mile-End is delineated as it states in the article, and the “Jeanne-Mance” is the western portion which is not Mile-End, while “DeLorimier” is the whole eastern half. The border is Christophe-Colomb and the West edge of Lafontaine park.

      I agree that the Plateau is way over represented in this survey/list. Even Milton-Park is legally part of the Plateau now IIRC (formerly Ville-Marie).

    • Ephraim 14:54 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      @Cheese – Thanks. I’m in Jeanne Mance and honestly this division is silly. Why didn’t they split up Ahuntsic into New Bordeaux, Ahuntsic and Cartierville too, just to have more ways to degrade Anjou.

      Each neighbourhood has it’s good and bad and how you judge it is always controversial. For example in my part of the Plateau, cyclists are as much invaders as cars are, we are more pedestrian and public transport. But that doesn’t make us a different neighbourhood than “DeLorimier” which is much less pedestrian. It has to do with our proximity to downtown and to metro stations.

    • Ian 15:22 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Back to Kate’s original post though, the last 2 pics are definitely Mile-End – they are on Villeneuve & Henri-Julien (I actually thought Mile-End ended at Saint-Laurent, TIL) and Gilford & Henri-Julien respectively. Amusingly the same orange van is parked on the corner of Gilford in the Google street view shot.

    • Kate 19:22 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      Ian, I’m not sure I agree. Mile End’s boundary pretty much is the Main up to about Maguire, where the border turns east to encompass the needletrade district around Casgrain and de Gaspé. I don’t know whether that’s written anywhere, but it’s to do with the vibe. I would never describe Gilford & Henri-Julien as being in the Mile End.

      I posted about this back in 2010 and C_Erb agreed with me.

    • rue david 00:24 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      gilford and henri-julien is Jeanne mance plateau, no question. also, CDN is indeed better than ndg- look at the boundaries and it’s not even very close.

    • Ian 08:06 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      I don’t disagree, Kate, I’m just going by the definition given in the article. Personally I was under the impression that Mile-End was “officially” bounded by Saint Laurent on the east, Hutchison on the west (both sides above Saint-Joseph, only the east side south of Saint-Joseph), Mont-Royal on the south, and the CP tracks on the north. I do disagree with rue david, though, as both of these locations are too far north to be called Jeanne-Mance – Jeanne-Mance is south of Mont-Royal. I’d call them both east Plateau.

    • cheese 11:51 on 2014/09/30 Permalink

      Sorry for the double post earlier, it looked like my first post had disappeared. On the topic of the eastern border of Mile-End, it is indeed Henri-Julien for the electoral district and for garbage collection times and all those things. So that last picture of the Westphalia on the east side of Henri-Julien is not in Mile-End though the other side of the street is.

      What I and most others would consider as feeling like the *real* Mile-End is of course only the north western region of the actual borough definition. If you are in the Plateau and you get the bac-sacs for recycling the map is on there and it shows the Plateau divisions clearly.

      Why the article decided the Plateau needed to be split in three while other large neighborhoods were left intact is probably just bias on the part of the authors and this way everyone can discuss Mile-End separately.

  • Kate 08:33 on 2014/09/29 Permalink | Reply  

    A road rage incident in which one driver apparently used his vehicle to charge another who’d stepped out of his car and was walking toward him has ended with charges of aggravated assault for one and serious head injuries for another.

    I’d be curious to know how soon the aggressor is allowed to drive again.

    Update: If you look at that CTV link now, you’ll see that the driver is now described as having been released without being charged, although both men may face charges later.

    Get in your car and mow down another man? No big deal, here’s your car keys, go about your business.

    • Matt G 15:43 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      2000 Canadians will die in car-related “incidents” this year. Astounding.

      But this incident paints vehicles as near-perfect murder weapons. It’s a good thing the aggressor drove into the victim as opposed to having gone through the trouble of stepping out of his car and straight-up stabbing him.

  • Kate 12:40 on 2014/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The marathon has been run and won in 2 hours and 22 minutes on a day surely nobody expected would reach 25° when it was scheduled for September 28.

    • Daisy 15:34 on 2014/09/28 Permalink

      After a few weeks of cool weather I was no longer acclimatized to running in the heat. I would have rather run tomorrow in the wind and rain!

    • yossarian 16:39 on 2014/09/28 Permalink

      My best time was in the rain. Something about my survival instinct kicking in I think.

    • Daisy 17:51 on 2014/09/28 Permalink

      Rain makes me feel like a badass who can handle anything!

  • Kate 12:20 on 2014/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    The Magnotta trial is set to begin Monday. Fourteen jurors are sitting in, but only twelve will decide his fate, the other two acting as alternates in case one of the twelve becomes unable to serve.

  • Kate 12:13 on 2014/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    An explosion has destroyed a building in Rosemont-PP at noon Sunday and the building is now on fire. Radio-Canada shows it as it appears on Streetview – a small, nondescript building, apparently a rooming house, with no businesses at street level.

    Later reports blame the explosion on a propane tank stored indoors.

    Even later: two men were badly injured in the ensuing fire, several others suffering various burns.

    • Ian 13:46 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      In related news the first firefighter on the scene was Stéphane Ouellette, an off-duty firefighter who had just finished his shift working for the Laval fire department – pretty heroic stuff.

      While I knew a lot of Montreal’s firefighters live in Laval I am pretty surprised to hear of a Laval firefighter living in Montreal :)

    • Kate 14:40 on 2014/09/29 Permalink

      That man deserves a bravery award.

  • Kate 01:07 on 2014/09/28 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada interviews one of the city’s rare women cabbies – video clip, no text version.

    CTV talks to taxi people about Uber and Hailo.

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