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  • Kate 09:59 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Almost a third of downtown businesses are serving customers first in English, or so says 24h after checking a sample of 15 shops. (I can’t find the story on 24h’s own site.) Impératif Français is not happy, even though the crisis area seems to be centered around Concordia and it’s not entirely illogical for businesses near a big anglo university to cater to their most numerous clientele.

    • Noah 12:31 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      And in other manufactured news from people who have nothing better to do with their lives…

    • Jack 16:44 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      PKP and TVA aggregate these stories with a smile.

  • Kate 09:54 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Surprise surprise, traffic will be difficult this weekend with lane and ramp closures galore. (TVA link plays video.) Specific closures of Sherbrooke Street near the Olympic park are also noted.

    • carswell 13:09 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Also, roads on and east, west and north of the mountain — including Park Ave. between Mont-Royal and Pine Ave. — will be closed during much of Sunday for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal. Service on the 11, 51 and 129 bus lines will be cancelled outright from early morning to early evening and several other lines will be diverted (the 80 onto St. Urbain and St. Lawrence between Laurier/St. Joseph and Pine Ave. from 5 a.m. to midnight). In previous years, this has created a huge traffic tie-up in area. Here’s a summary of the bus line changes.

      In Côte-des-Neiges, this comes on top of the huge disruption — including bus reroutings — caused by the effective closing of Édouard-Montpetit between Vincent-D’Indy and Côte-des-Neiges for replacement of the water main that started in May and is slated to end in December of 2015 (it appears the street may be reopened for the winter). I’m fortunate in that I live near a blue line station but CDNers who don’t are going to be terribly inconvenienced for most of the day. And why are people who rely on the 51 to travel between, say, Snowdon metro and Montreal West — nowhere near the race circuit — made to suffer?

      Like the recent Alouettes game showed, the city’s pandering to Big Sports comes at a real cost to its citizens. Funny how we’re never given a chance to vote on these trade-offs, on whether events like the Grand Prix Cycliste should be held in the middle of our city, our parks, our neighbourhoods.

    • Kate 00:03 on 2014/09/15 Permalink

    • Beeg 09:11 on 2014/09/15 Permalink

      One hopes that over the course of the next five years the race organizers could invest in a quality drone to shoot the thing instead of the helicopter that was buzzing over Jeanne-Mance Park and surroundings all day Sunday.

    • carswell 19:52 on 2014/09/15 Permalink

      The helicopter(s) were horrible, passing at regular intervals before and during the race. Even with the windows closed, you couldn’t listen undistractedly to music.

      Though all the signage and the STM notices said the bus disruptions would be on Sunday, they actually started on Saturday. I took a meals-on-wheels dinner to a friend’s flat in the McGill ghetto on Saturday evening. Getting to and from there is normally a straightforward affair, involving the 129 between the stop in front of the HEC and the stop at the corner of Park and Milton. On Saturday, in the pouring rain, the 129 was detoured onto Laurier, Park and St-Urbain. And St-Urbain was a nightmare: not only was there extra traffic but construction had narrowed the street to a lane and a half between Mont-Royal and Duluth, reducing traffic to a crawl. What’s more, the bus wouldn’t let me off at St-Urbain and Milton, only St-Urbain and Sherbrooke. I and the meal were quite soggy by the time I arrived at my friend’s.

      The trip back was even worse. The signs at the Milton/Park and Sherbrooke/Park stops said service was disrupted but didn’t state clearly where to go instead. In view of the changes announced for the 14th, I assumed the closest 129 stop would be at Sherbrooke/St-Laurent but when I got there, the bus stop sign mentioned only the St-Laurent buses. I waited until ten minutes past the 129′s scheduled arrival time, decided the bus wasn’t coming and hailed a taxi, which cost me $17 for the trip home. Don’t know what the elderly guy on crutches waiting at the Sherbrooke/Park stop shortly before 1 a.m. did. He was distraught when I pointed to the cancelled service sign and didn’t look like he’d necessarily have taxi fare.

  • Kate 00:53 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre wants to make himself top security dog at city hall, a change because until now it’s been the job of the council chairman, currently Frantz Benjamin. More in Saturday’s La Presse: Projet Montréal doesn’t like the idea of more power being centralized in partisan hands. The idea now is that the chairman, whose position is somewhat like Speaker of the House and regarded as non-partisan, is the right person for the job.

  • Kate 00:51 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Transport minister Robert Poëti recently let slip that the Turcot rebuild will cost $6 billion. Officially it’s supposed to be capped at “only” $3.7B but that number was set some time ago.

    • Faiz Imam 03:02 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      ugh, such a waste of money to a overdesigned project auto-centric project…

      I mean, by the time it’s done gas will probably cost $2/L. I really am skeptical the traffic volume projections they’ve presumed to justify having as big a structure as they have to actually come to pass.

      They really should have included more priority bus lanes and planned the Train to L’ouest from the start.

      But i’m preaching to the choir

    • Kevin 08:21 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      We’re talking going from the 280,000 that use it now will go to 300,000.

      Do you suspect that Montreal’s population is going to suddenly crash?

    • Kate 09:36 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      I don’t know what Faiz Imam’s view is, but I’m looking at all those condo towers going up in the downtown core – including Griffintown – and wondering whether this surge in residential units will mean some people working downtown are living closer to work so can avoid commuting westward or off-island daily.

      Kevin, have you seen any basic numbers of how many households have been added to Ville-Marie and the Sud-Ouest by the condo boom? There’s no way to know what proportion will house working people, but I’m curious now.

    • Kevin 13:37 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      I think there are 3 or 4 thousand units under construction right now… or perhaps unfinished is a better word since the construction workers I talk to say lots of projects were put on hold in August and are expected to resume in October (I haven’t checked, so that’s just gossip).

      Something like 8 or 9 thousand condo starts per year in Montreal since 2010. Don’t know which neighbourhoods though Ville-Marie and Southwest are doing better sales-wise than easterly neighbourhoods.

      Although sales are slow. Prices demanded are too high and the market is saturated.

    • Robert J 17:23 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Whether the regional pop will increase or not is irrelevant. Increasing or even maintaining freeway capacity encourages people to continue to live in less central areas and is costly for society. We should be encouraging pop increase in central areas by proportionally increasing infrastructure investment in these areas.

    • ant6n 09:24 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      also, population != drivers. Just build some transit already.
      With the 3B cost overruns of the Turcot we could’ve built the Train de l’Ouest, upgraded DM to transit standards, and built the Champlain bridge corridor rail.

    • Ian 09:33 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      The condo market is slipping because there’s already lots of units available to meet the demand for couples or families with one kid. It also makes people warier of the condo-as-investment idea as it’s getting much harder to sell a condo what with all the new development going on. The “booming” condo market aside, the only way to encourage families to stay on the island is to insist that all new developments include 6 1/2 units as well. Until they start building more condo units that are bigger than one or at most two bedrooms, they won’t keep people from leaving the island once they have families, and developers won’t do it under their own steam as smaller units are easier to sell. New rules need to be in place.

    • rue david 11:59 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      yay, let’s dump 7 billion bucks into building another mirabel for all these cars to drive around from the booming south shore and west island.

    • rue david 12:02 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      sorry, 6 billion. also, these are decisions that should be prosecuted by a special investigator. like, we can’t even maintain the roads we have now. can we imagine what 1 billion on this interchange and 5 billion on rail would do for the city/region?

  • Kate 00:49 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Five boroughs will be holding microchipping sessions for pet animals soon. It will either be free or cost $25 depending where you go.

  • Kate 00:47 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Old Montreal is fêting 50 years of protected heritage status that was accorded to it in 1964. Not long before, urbanist Blanche Lemco van Ginkel had managed to convince the city not to raze the area to run a highway along the waterfront.

    • Alex L 17:30 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Love your “fêting”.

    • Kate 19:19 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      It’s standard English. Borrowed from French, yes, but not by me.

    • Ian 09:39 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      Much like “detour” though for obscure reasons I mostly see signs that say “itinéraire facultatif” these days.

      We’re very lucky van Ginkel was on the scene. Old Montreal could have ended up like Goose Village.

  • Kate 00:37 on 2014/09/13 Permalink | Reply  

    Having ruffled the boroughs with talk of funding changes, city hall now promises increases in money for capital-works programs for infrastructure construction and repairs.

  • Kate 18:45 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    This Gazette item on the bed & breakfast business in town feels oddly incomplete, as if an editor severed it after an arbitrary number of words.

    • Ephraim 19:00 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      It is very incomplete, especially since the whole industry in Montreal is related to one man who passed away maybe a year ago. The numbers continue to dwindle but some of the causes aren’t simply AirBnB but also the city of Montreal property taxes and the difficulty in getting legal permits.

  • Kate 18:42 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The latest lawyer meant to represent Richard Bain has thrown in the towel, meaning Bain’s trial for the election-night shooting in 2012 has been delayed again.

  • Kate 17:49 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Denis Coderre says he isn’t satisfied with claims from Enbridge over the safety of the reversal of the 9B pipeline. Not only the city of Montreal but the entire metropolitan community are unsatisfied with Enbridge’s incomplete compliance with conditions set by the National Energy Board.

    • Faiz Imam 03:04 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Amazing, kudos to the Mayor again for holding his ground.

      Do we know what these 2 concerns are? I didn’t see them listed. I imagine it’s a question of when not if, but depending on the nature of the requirement it might take a while to deal with.

    • Cat 03:11 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Smokescreen. Pretend to oppose at first, then cite minor improvements and come out in favour. Bet ya.

    • Kate 09:20 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Cat: you are probably right.

    • Noah 12:33 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Yes Kate/Cat: Curse that evil Coderre. I bet this is just an end-around to name the whole pipeline after Robert Bourassa.

    • Kate 13:58 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      I’d put money on having it pan out like Cat said. So much of what we see in public life is a dog and pony show meant to manufacture our consent.

    • rue david 12:04 on 2014/09/14 Permalink

      more feed tossed to the chickens by coderre.

  • Kate 17:44 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The firm that belonged to Nicolo Milioto, aka Monsieur Trottoir, noted for his CEIC testimony as far as the New York Times, has been given the nod by the AMF to resume bidding for public contracts.

  • Kate 17:42 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The new cancer centre at the MUHC superhospital will be called Cedars Cancer Centre, evoking a name already in use at the Vic and possibly in other parts of the MUHC. This came along with a multi-million-dollar donation from the Cedars foundation. The new centre is expected to open in June 2015.

  • Kate 11:53 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    The justice ministry is saving a few bucks by cutting down the hours of the information kiosk at the Palais de justice.

    Somewhere in the back of our minds we thought the PLQ might be more considerate of Montreal than the PQ was. I’m beginning to wonder.

    • Ian 13:02 on 2014/09/12 Permalink

      I suspect the PQ holds Montreal in contempt whereas the PLQ simply takes Montreal for granted.

    • Noah 15:28 on 2014/09/12 Permalink

      @Ian: +1,000

    • Robert J 17:26 on 2014/09/13 Permalink

      Let’s make Montreal a city state and then find a way to hold the province and the feds hostage for transfer payments. Canada is governed by rednecks at both levels of government.

  • Kate 11:06 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec is rethinking its financial involvement in Montreal’s 375th anniversary activities in 2017.

  • Kate 10:36 on 2014/09/12 Permalink | Reply  

    Not surprisingly, the fire department is contesting the claim they’re holding a labour-related slowdown. But this article reveals why it’s bullshit from city hall: Denis Coderre is also forced to say that people are not at risk. Coderre doesn’t want to be responsible for a panic, but by saying this he reveals his hand.

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