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  • Kate 16:27 on 2014/07/22 Permalink | Reply  

    IMG_3067

    While walking on the mountain Tuesday I cut through Notre-Dame-des-Neiges for awhile. The bit of forest inside that cemetery is a very cool spot for a hot day, and I didn’t see another human being in there, so this probably counts as one of those insider tips for urban places nobody knows about.

    The photo above is something I saw in section M which puzzles me. Not being a journalist myself I’m not going to inquire, but I’m wondering if it’s a story. About one in ten of the markers in that area had this sign taped on them. The singled-out markers were not noticeably decrepit. The sign says the cemetery is repossessing the plot and removing the marker, but I don’t think it’s the markers that are the problem.

    This is not, I think, one of the areas of temporary graves. The markers were all pretty solid stone affairs, not the home-made bricolaged ones you’ll see on the temporary field, made of wood and wire and bits of railing.

    As I understand it, NDN has a very interesting take on the ownership of graves. The owner of a plot is deemed to be the person who first bought it. My family plot belongs to my great-great-grandfather, for example, and nobody can be buried there who isn’t descended from him, or married to someone who is. I know this is so because I happen to have inherited a second plot in NDN, and wanted to give it away to a friend’s family, but was not allowed to do so because they aren’t related to me.

    I can’t see, given this, how or why NDN would be repossessing plots in which families have buried people and put their names on markers. Nobody asks me for ongoing payments on our family plot; it’s possible that we got one in an older section where we’re grandfathered, but I didn’t think it was usual in North America to have to keep up payments. If we want to bury someone else in the plot we have to pay, but otherwise it just sits around.

    Anyone have any guesses what’s up here in section M?

     
    • Ephraim 16:43 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

    • John 17:10 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Kate, the law and regulations are here:

      http://www.notredamedesneigescemetery.ca/en/cemetery/regulations.aspx

      Art. 1 of the law, passed in 1902, says,

      1. The grant of a lot in the cemetery does not confer the ownership of the soil, but merely the right of using it as a burial place.

    • Kate 17:48 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      John: thank you. I know it isn’t like buying a piece of normal land, but I always understood that once you had bought the plot and used it, it was for you and your family to be used indefinitely.

      I guess I was reckoning without the greed of the Sulpicians, who wouldn’t let me give that second plot to a friend who needed to bury his father, but are likely to repossess it themselves so it can be sold a second time.

      Ephraim: that’s interesting, it’s exactly what I saw today.

    • John 17:59 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Don’t blame the Sulpicians; at Common Law, historically, no lease could be longer than 99 years. It has since changed. In Quebec, the 99-year lease remains a norm in Civil Law where it is often used with the emphyteusis lease (you have ownership of the land for 99 years, you’re expected to build on it, and at the end of the 99 years the land and building returns to the original owner/lessor). I believe that I was told, by the Bishop at the time, that the building behind Christ Church Cathedral was negotiated under those terms, and at the end of 99 years it becomes the property of the Diocese.

    • John 18:07 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      On the Christ Church lease, Kristian Gravenor wrote about it here (and mentions a few other building using the same type of lease):

      http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/2014/03/crafty-downtown-anglicans-and-how-they.html

    • John 18:19 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Kate, when I looked at UK web sites, I found this was the norm:

      “When you buy a grave, you are buying an exclusive right of burial grant, not the land itself. The deed shows for how many years you can decide who can be buried in that grave. You will need to show the grant if you want another burial in the grave at some point. All grave rights are sold for a fixed period of time. An average lease is usually a 75-100 year period, and during that time, the grassed areas will be maintained by the city council’s grounds maintenance team. After the initial lease period has expired, the grave owner may be offered a further lease period for an appropriate fee.”

    • Blork 20:23 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      AFAIK a lot of the big and famous European graveyards (like Pére Lachaise in Paris) work like that; you buy the plot for a period of time, after which you get moved. Unless you pay a LOT or are super famous, in which case you can stay there indefinitely.

    • Kate 21:44 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      I recall one of my Dutch friends telling me it works like that in the NL too, not just in famous graveyards but generally.

    • John B 22:59 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      There was a news story about this years ago:

      http://www.canada.com/story.html?id=4086609c-b88f-4bf6-84fb-c1330014f9d6&__federated=1

      The crux of the story is “Quebec’s Civil Code considers burial plots to be “sacred goods” that can neither be bought nor sold, only leased.” so when your lease is up, you might get evicted, (my terminology).

    • Kate 23:12 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      John B, that’s a good explainer, and thanks also to John for his legal view. I guess I’d better not tell NDN where I am or they might come after me. My great-great-grandfather bought our family plot significantly longer than 99 years ago, and it’s in a much nicer location than anyone in more recent generations would’ve sprung for.

    • John B 23:19 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      You might want to go by the plot once in a while though, just in case they saran-wrap notices to the monuments.

    • Blork 08:33 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      Interesting to note that the sign says it will be removed on June 30, and you took the photo on July 22. The monument is still there.

    • Doobious 15:18 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      This seems as good a place as any to drop this off. Hah!

    • Kate 18:03 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      Such a classic, Doobious.

  • Kate 15:30 on 2014/07/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Yes, we are under a heat warning Tuesday afternoon. I had the afternoon unexpectedly free, so went up Mount Royal for a breeze. The view from the eastern lookout was very hazy – you couldn’t see a horizon – although the air quality page is saying only moderate risk.

    Again with the seven pools and nine places to beat the heat.

    There was definitely a breeze on the mountain, so tips suggesting going inside air conditioned places seem rather sad, unless you’ve got a health problem that makes the heat specifically dangerous for you. Being outside under a few trees is nicer.

     
    • j2 15:58 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Agreed! And acclimatization to AC just makes the heat feel worse! The Old Port tends to feel a couple of degrees cooler and be breezy. Possibly a good time to hit the beach there, or at least the shade of some trees.

    • Josh 16:13 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      I think Gawker had it best a little while back: http://gawker.com/5920245/air-conditioning-makes-you-weak

    • Gilles 16:38 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Vrai ! Même à l’ombre des grands arbres rue St-Hubert, la chaleur était plus supportable que sur les rues commerciales… Et il faisait encore frais (25°) pour lire dans ma bibliothèque non climatisée. Je suis monté lundi sur la montagne. Il faisait moins chaud qu’aujourd’hui mais il y a toujours de l’ombre sur le chemin Olmstead.

    • Blork 20:27 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      I was around Parc Jeanne-Mance today, and also in Old Montreal and St-Henri, and while it was a stinker, it wasn’t nearly as bad as I was expecting it to be. Caught a few nice breezes, and for the most part felt heat but not oppressive heat.

      Maybe it’s because I just read this 1998 New Yorker piece about the heat in New York before air conditioning: http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/1998/06/22/before-air-conditioning

    • Joe 14:10 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      It wasn’t as bad as some of the sticky days we had the last few summers but God forbid we feel comfortable sleeping overnight. I used to be in an apt on the top floor of a house and during sticky days I would wake up and would have a hard time opening my eyes as they were literally glued shut due to the heat.

      That Gawker piece is FOS, productivity would drop considerable if it weren’t for A/C.

  • Kate 14:57 on 2014/07/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Six hectares isn’t a lot, but we’ll take what we can get – a kilometer of protected waterfront facing the Lake of Two Mountains which will give a boost to the northern map turtle‘s chances in our area.

     
  • Kate 07:10 on 2014/07/22 Permalink | Reply  

    Not sure where Global’s photo was taken that illustrates this piece on the heat warning in effect for Montreal but it’s nowhere near me. There’s not much other local news Tuesday morning. Stay cool, folks.

     
    • Ian 07:33 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Looks more like around Ste-Agathe :)

      It’s on days like today I am thankful I work in an air-conditioned office. It’s really one of the very few good things about working in an office, besides getting paid.

    • Ephraim 07:43 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      It’s an image they bought from Getty. It’s not even in Canada, it’s in Macedonia…. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lake_Ohrid

    • Dave M 08:28 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      What image are you guys talking about? All I see are three videos and a photo of Montreal (not sure where, but clearly somewhere downtown because of the parking meters) in the winter in that story.

    • Steph 08:32 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      They’ve changed the content, but originally there was this picture: http://imgur.com/yNx6QyP . they totally read mtlweblog.

    • Dave M 08:54 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Oh, I see that picture in the popup that appears if I hover over “Local” now.

      Yeah, as Ephraim says, the hover tip for the image there says “Three girls jump in the Ohrid Lake in O”.. so it’s in Ohrid Lake, which is in some region that starts with O.

    • Ephraim 09:00 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Kate, sometimes the easiest way to get information on a picture is to copy the picture’s URL http://i.imgur.com/yNx6QyP.jpg and the go to images.google.ca and click on the camera icon and do a search by image. Which will also show you where else the images is being used, like http://globalnews.ca/news/1399076/24-things-every-child-should-do-before-the-age-of-12/ and even the Washington Post http://www.washingtonpost.com/2012/07/12/gJQAETzKgW_photo.html

    • Kate 15:11 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Thanks Ephraim.

    • Chris 21:32 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Steph, they may not so much read this blog as pay attention to where their traffic is coming from, it could be lots of people got to their page from here, and then went backwards to here.

    • Kate 23:09 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Chris, I have evidence a fair number of journos do read this blog although I’d stop short of saying it was must-reading for many of them. I have 5000+ followers of the RSS -> Twitter feed alone, with numerous journalists among the number, for example.

    • Mr.Chinaski 07:14 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      Or since everybody should use Chrome, just right click on an image!

  • Kate 21:33 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Richard Bergeron pulls out all the stops in this plea to save five CSDM schools condemned because of mold. Une ville, c’est plus que les gens qui l’habitent à un instant précis de son histoire. C’est aussi tous ceux qui l’ont habitée depuis sa fondation et tous ceux qui l’habiteront dans le futur.

    Update: The Gazette has an English version of the same text Tuesday.

     
    • Paul 00:19 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      My high school, my elementary school gone, wiped off the map by language laws. What impassioned plea does R. Bergeron have to offer?

    • Kate 07:08 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Are the buildings gone, or just turned to other uses? No school I ever went to still exists either, although the high school is now a French-language establishment.

    • yossarian 07:26 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      My high school had 1400 people in 1977, and 200 in 2014. Demography is the main closer of public schools.

    • Ian 07:34 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Personally I am amazed that the EMSB has to close schools because of low enrollment while the CSDM is scrambling for space. FACE is run by both boards jointly, I don’t see why they couldn’t share other spaces.

    • Ephraim 07:47 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Who’s going to pay the expensive cost of toxic mold removal? And the risk to life and health? I don’t see M. Bergeron coming up with a monetary solution other than throwing government money that way.. you know, the money from OUR pockets.

      Better solution, put the school boards that didn’t do the proper maintenance on their buildings into receivership so that they don’t do this to even more buildings.

    • Kate 08:37 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Who’s going to pay the expensive cost of new schools? Either way, money has to be spent.

    • Ephraim 08:56 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Kate, when it’s cheaper to build than fix… it’s still extra money. And to be honest, school property is very poorly managed. Some locations are worth a lot of money and no longer needed. And often schools were built with very bad insulation and bad energy efficiency. For example, many newer schools are large enough to do use geothermal heating and can be insulated better, meaning that if they need to be used in the winter they are cost efficient and in the summer, the same is true. I worked in a school that was open in the summer and it was unbearably hot, the cinder block holds in the sun’s heat and the cold.

      People move, population changes. Maybe the buildings should actually be owned and managed by the provincial government so that if we need to move them from board to board we can. And a central management company can insure maintenance is done. And the government can sell them when they are no longer needed.

    • Alison Cummins 09:52 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Old school buildings are not necessarily well-adapted to modern pedagogy. For the kids’ sake it might be better to have them in new schools if the new schools are better designed. Us old farts who don’t have to teach or try to learn in the old schools might sigh over the lost patrimoine, but I’m not sure I want to make the kids pay the price for my nostalgia.

      Of course if the new schools aren’t going to be any better or more appropriately designed, then of course we start thinking about patrimoine. But patrimoine shouldn’t take precedence over pedagogy.

    • Jack 12:16 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      It is an interesting memory hole.In my hood Villeray, within 200 meters are Centre Lajeunesse and Centre Jean-Marie Gauvreau, formerly Holy-Names Elementary and Centennial High School. The only way you would have any clue of the former vocations of these cultural institutions, is the Boy-Girls entrances at Centre Lajeunesse, unlike the Fire Station on Shamrock, they are to big to be sandblasted or covered up.
      When I here Montreal is in the process of “anglicisation” I think of those two buildings.

    • Paul 14:27 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      It’s without question that education is by far the most important function of a school. That being said however, their institutional importance is vital to the life of the community they serve should not be discounted. The presence of a school building is also iconic to the tradition of a school and considering it as a multi-purpose building puts it in league with a fast food outlet.

  • Kate 20:55 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    More SPVM cops should be equipped with tasers, says the coroner’s report on the death of Farshad Mohammadi, the homeless man shot dead by police at Bonaventure in January 2012. The coroner also recommends better training in dealing with the mentally ill.

    The Gazette has a map of police shootings since 2000.

     
    • Dave M 07:40 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Would the tasers be instead of, or in addition to, the guns that they carry? If it’s in addition to, all I see happening as a result if that police taserings replace police beatings (and the police escalate it even more quickly) because, hey, tasers, while in situations where they would have shot a someone before, they’d still shoot someone.

    • Alison Cummins 07:51 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Dave M — bingo.

    • Ephraim 07:52 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Great, give the police another lethal weapon. What’s the death toll with tasers so far? Amnesty has a whole section about it. And let’s not forget http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/montreal-family-wants-public-inquiry-after-coroner-says-taser-use-avoidable-1.734475

    • Bill Binns 10:31 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Tasers are potentially life saving if used properly but cops tend to go nuts with the things. Tasers are great if they are used instead of guns in situations where a gun may have been used. However, cops tend to use them instead of grabbing someone by the arm and restraining them.

      Tasers should come with all of the same rules and regulations that guns do. Meaning they are only used in life threatening situations and every single use involves an investigation. Wrongful use should lead to a cop losing his job or potentially being prosecuted.

    • Dave M 16:01 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Are you implying that rules and regulations like that are in effect for cops with guns in Montreal, Bill?

    • Kate 01:16 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      I don’t know what the written rules say, but I’ve gathered from news stories that there are guidelines about use of firearms for police. If an SPVM cop fires a gun there’s automatically an investigation. If someone is shot by an SPVM cop, the SQ investigates.

      The problem here has always been that a certain cop solidarity seemingly comes into play at these moments of crisis, which is why there’s been an unmet demand for so long for a civilian committee to be involved.

    • Mark Côté 18:45 on 2014/07/23 Permalink

      Full bridging-the-two-solitudes name it is!

  • Kate 20:52 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Is someone from a suburban mall consortium in charge of roadwork scheduling at city hall? Now St-Denis between Duluth and Marie-Anne is facing a sewer excavation dig in 2015.

     
    • yossarian 07:24 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      worth noting is that St-Denis is also a provincial highway. Not that the quality of the road surface reflects this status.

    • Ephraim 07:55 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Yossarian – So is Sherbrooke street. An important one at that. Chemin du Roy, almost 1400km long. (132 is actually the longest in Quebec at over 1600km long.)

  • Kate 19:39 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A superior court judge ruled on Monday that there won’t be a publication ban on evidence presented at the Luka Magnotta trial. Magnotta’s lawyer had requested the ban in an effort to get his client a fair trial.

    It’s going to be impossible to find twelve people fit to serve on a jury who haven’t heard about Magnotta and convicted him of murder already.

     
    • mare 22:31 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Why are these trials jury trials? Why not multiple judges? I never understood jury trials, but especially with widely published cases like this nobody will get a fair trial.

      Can’t you choose in. Quebec if you want jury or professionals?

    • Kevin 06:36 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      The accused has the choice of jury or judge, and if the facts are not in your favour, the jury still might be.

    • John 06:39 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Section 11(f) of the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms provides that

      11. Any person charged with an offence has the right …

      (f) except in the case of an offence under military law tried before a military tribunal, to the benefit of trial by jury where the maximum punishment for the offence is imprisonment for five years or a more severe punishment;

    • Kate 08:38 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Cheers John. I’m glad to see the chapter and verse on right to trial by one’s peers. Roll on Magna Carta.

    • Michel 11:21 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      I was called for jury duty once, when there were a bunch of Hells Angels on trial. I think the prerequisite isn’t that you’ve heard about the accused/story, but that you haven’t yet formed an opinion.

  • Kate 19:18 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Ottawa has picked three engineering consortiums to enter bids to build the Champlain II: Groupe Signature sur le Saint-Laurent, Alliance Saint-Laurent and the Partenariat Nouveau Pont Saint-Laurent.

    Catch is, SNC-Lavalin is a major player in the Groupe Signature, Dessau is part of the Partenariat, and a company that used to be known as Genivar is involved in the Alliance. And all three have been, as you might say, in the news.

     
    • martin 06:57 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      It is not surprising that the same 5-10 names keep coming up. There are very few companies with the pool of skilled people to accomplish a project this large… and what is the alternative? Hand projects to international firms like AECOM, OHL or Betchtel. Try googling these names + “corruption” The optics do not get much better.

      As a bonus these companies fly in their own managers so the salaries and expertise leave the country on completion of the project.

  • Kate 07:10 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Plans to do something “fun” with Esplanade Clark, a lot at the corner of Clark and Ste-Catherine, are in abeyance and the lot is still lying fallow after plans were held up over ideas to put underground parking beneath it, a plan that is hung up in its turn.

     
    • Doobious 11:26 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      This is the first year in a while that the QdS site hasn’t been significantly upgraded.

    • david m 15:43 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      if they government had gone ahead with the angus group project this land could have been very valuable to a developer. like, the last thing that area needs is more park space. with the clsc finally going up by the laiterie, we’ve pretty much run out of organizations that could conceivably take over a space like that (aside from maybe the the cirque de soleil) so it’d have to go up as either offices or residential – the former being unlikely with angus and the spectrum site and the rest of the balmoral island and everything else (900 maisonneuve, altoria, cadillac fairview’s plans, etc). so residential? except that the city doesn’t want residential in that space and would anyway have to rezone it to capture value for the land, again a pretty dicey move. so, no park (good move), no parking (great move), no organization hq, no office, no residential. there it sits.

    • Kate 21:54 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      The article says the lot is supposed to contain a refrigerated skating rink.

    • yossarian 07:23 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Yes to more refrigerated outdoor rinks. Montreal needs a few more refrigerated outdoor rinks. The one at Beaver lake is too far from anything.

      I think the upper pond at Parc Lafontaine should have a refrigerated rink. Montreal 375!!!

    • Janet 10:26 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      Don’t forget the one in the Old Port.

  • Kate 07:07 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    Tuesday morning a group of people will go for a dip in the river off Jacques Cartier pier. The point is to remind folks we’re surrounded by water but most of us don’t do much with it.

     
    • Noah 08:34 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Beautiful as Montreal is, the way we interact with the river that gives our island life is beyond sad. The whole design of the city core was to stay away from the river. Seems that recent governments at all levels have been trying to get us closer to the water, which I applaud. (and I don’t even really like the water myself…)

    • Blork 08:58 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      When I lived in the city I rarely thought about the river. The iconic landscape, so to speak, was all about the mountain. Since I moved to the south shore, however, I see and think about the river a lot more, and not because of bridge traffic (which very rarely affects me).

      I see the river just about every day, and when I’m riding the Yellow line I’m very aware that I’m not just in a subterranean tunnel but a subaquatic one. Bicycling along the riverside (south shore) is beautiful and occasionally awesome, such as when going around the St-Lambert locks, or when riding next to a lake boat that’s chugging along the waterway (sometimes spitting distance from the bike path).

      Cycling over the Jacques Cartier bridge, or the Concorde bridge, cycling around the islands, etc. All of this has replaced walking up and down the mountain and hanging out in Mont-Royal or Jeanne-Mance park. I recommend you city-bound people give it a try sometime.

      If you fear being assimilated by the 450 Borg you can always stay in the 514 zone by cycling around René-Levesque park and along the bike path that runs along the shoreline in Lasalle (it’s quite beautiful). Or if you know someone with a place on Dorval Island that’s a great place to go and get a sense of the river, or Lac Saint Louis to be more precise. Or take the shuttle ferry from the old port to Ile-Ste-Helene and then take the Metro back.

    • Daisy 11:45 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Make the Piste des Berges (Verdun, Lasalle) your regular spot for bike rides, running, dog walking, etc. and you will find yourself enjoying the river a LOT… and recognizing that we’re on an island.

      It practically makes me cry tears of rage when I go to St-Lambert on the South Shore and realize that the people there, who could have enjoyed the same thing, are cut off from the river by an ugly, noisy highway. Seaway Park my a$$. More like Highway Park.

    • Blork 12:01 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Daisy, you might want to save your tears of outrage for something else. While a 3km stretch of the bike path is “cut off” from the river along St-Lambert, the rest of the riverside cycling over there is spectacular. You can go from Ave. Victoria (St-Lambert) all the way to Boucherville (and beyond) along the water.

      In the other direction, starting from the St-Lambert locks you can go for more than 13 km along that thin spit (I forget what it’s called) all the way to Ste-Catherine, during which the water is just metres away on both sides.

      Or if you’re a bit more ambitious you can go overland to the Chambly basin and then bike along the Richelieu river.

    • Paul 13:03 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Blork, you are absolutely right about the southshore bikepath network with its beautiful vistas and tranquility. I live downtown a few minutes walk from Beaver Lake, but since about 2004, the paths around the river is where I’ve been going to get away. I refer to that ‘thin spit’ as the seaway outerbank.

    • Doobious 13:08 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Seaway dike or berm, blork. Take your pick.

      Are you sure you’re not overselling the riverside path? How pleasant can it be with 6 lanes of highway at your side for most of its length? Which cut you off from neighbourhood conveniences, except at a small handful of spots?

    • Paul 13:47 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Doobious- If you want neighbourhood conveniences go to your corner store. If however you want recreational cycling then the seaway outerbank or the trail around Chambly Basin is where you want to be. To add perspective- think of these places as the polar opposite of the De Maisonneuve bikepath with its stressed-out commuters booting it home to NDG.

    • Daisy 14:05 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      I am quite familiar with that seaway dike as that is how I often get to St-Lambert from Montreal (via the ice bridge). I am also familiar with waiting 40 minutes to cross at the locks.

      I have rarely had occasion to go further than St-Lambert but from what I remember that riverside path is still along a noisy highway. And as Doobius says, access is limited.

      And I really don’t think people should have to be road warriors capable of cycling kilometre after kilometre in order to enjoy the river. Compare to Verdun, where pretty much everybody lives within a 10 minute walk of the river and can easily go for a leisurely evening stroll or just sit on a bench looking out at the water. Then when in St-Lambert there you are stuck in Seaway Park listening to the highway noise while the river is just right there yet you cannot walk there. It’s not really a consolation to know I could bike to Boucherville. I don’t work in Boucherville.

    • Tim S. 16:27 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      I’m generally an anti-car person, but I figure it has to be acknowledged that people use highways too. The 132 along the South Shore and the Bonaventure on the Island both actually have really beautiful views. Many times as a student commuting into town from the South Shore I was able to watch the sun rise over the St Lawrence from the bus travelling along the Bonaventure. So I guess my point is, riverside parks are nice, but do drivers and passengers not also deserve to have some beauty in their daily routine? There’s some utilitarian calculation to be made about the number of people enjoying the view from inside vehicles compared to the number who would enjoy the river from a peaceful park.

      As far as riverside spaces in St Lambert, there’s a very nice park that stretches from the St Lambert sailing club, near Simard, to just past the Champlain bridge. It’s probably about 3km from downtown St Lambert. It’s not as big as the ones from Verdun to the West Island, but it’s nice all the same. Enjoy before the bridge construction/demolition starts.

      By the way, I couldn’t find it myself, but apparently there’s a website that lists the times ships go through the Locks, so it’s possible to time one’s trip accordingly.

    • Kevin 06:40 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      +1 for Blork.
      I gotta say, as a lad growing up in the West Island I was much closer to the water than I am now living in the city.
      The only body of water I’m likely to encounter now is when I seek out the Lachine Canal, which leaves a lot to be desired.
      As a West island brat it was almost impossible to avoid being near the water.

  • Kate 07:04 on 2014/07/21 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist is in critical condition after a driver burned a red on Decarie Blvd. on Sunday night; a man was found dead in a Dorval apartment and police think it’s suspicious; a shooting in St-Laurent means attempted murder charges.

     
  • Kate 21:01 on 2014/07/20 Permalink | Reply  

    The impending move of the L’Écume des jours bookshop from St-Viateur to Villeray is being blamed on Ubisoft, on gentrification, and on the popularity of English-language books. Metro’s Judith Lussier puts the story in a bigger frame, asking who owns Mile End and gently pointing out that the area has been multicultural for a very long time. Oddly, nobody blames online shopping or e-books for L’Écume’s drop in sales.

     
    • jeather 22:17 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      The first article says that it has as much to do with ebooks as with gentrification. The second article seems to say that they can’t compete with Drawn And Quarterly, which sells in both languages.

      I have no idea where they get the idea that 2% of book sales are electronic. That number sounds nothing like any number I see elsewhere. And the booksellers’ association has no idea how many books are sold in English because they don’t have statistics; I see part of the problem here.

      As noted, Ubisoft’s move into Mile End preceded the bookshop.

    • Steph 22:50 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      Why is D+Q blamed for competition and not the nearby Renaud-Bray?

    • Stephen 23:29 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      First link:

      “les librairies indépendantes vivent des heures difficiles en raison de la popularité grandissante du livre numérique

      [...]

      L’Écume des jours avait souffert d’une baisse de fréquentation qui avait autant à voir avec les mutations du milieu du livre (vers le numérique, notamment)”

    • Jacob 23:32 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      Ironic that the quote about only 2% of book sales being e-books appears in the online-only, tablet optimized La Press+

    • Matt 06:33 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      That second story really is an odd one. Seems like a typical language panic story about how the English culture is destroying the French culture, based entirely on anecdotal evidence with no facts whatsoever.

      Anyone know what’s moving into the space vacated by this book store and the barber shop mentioned in the first article? They say that a sandwich shop will take over half of the book store space, but I didn’t catch anything else.

    • Ephraim 10:58 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      It couldn’t just be the wrong product in the wrong place at the wrong time. Nope.

      One of the article talks about the last francophone bookstore in Toronto…. but bookstores are a much more difficult business than they used to be. You need to distinguish your product by service, immediacy and price. I ordered by Christophe Adam book about 6 months earlier and with a discount from France. France has now outlawed book discounting… because we know that no one could possible order it from Germany, Italy, Austria or the UK for the discount….

    • jeather 12:02 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Germany, Italy and Austria actually have book price laws. (The UK does not, nor does Switzerland.)

      The PQ had intended to make one here, I suppose it’s gone with the new government?

    • Ephraim 15:06 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      @jeather – If they do, it doesn’t seem to apply to the books that I look up in French on Amazon. Yeah, I can just imagine how enforcable it is going to be in Quebec with Amazon and Indigo.

    • jeather 15:16 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      Amazon is quite good at geolocation, and I don’t know exactly how the fixed book pricing works in Germany or Italy or Austria, but they definitely have something.

    • Mr.Chinaski 19:06 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      “Why is D+Q blamed for competition and not the nearby Renaud-Bray?”

      Renaud-Bray still sells books other than cook books? ;)

  • Kate 19:22 on 2014/07/20 Permalink | Reply  

    Someone posted an old postcard photo of the St. Lawrence Seaway Observatorium, Montreal, Quebec to Flickr today. Anyone know where this is, or was?

     
    • Ephraim 19:36 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      I went here on a school trip, I assume it’s the locks building, next to the Victoria bridge. https://goo.gl/maps/XOTMr

    • Kate 20:05 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      They don’t look like the same building.

    • John B 20:33 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

    • Kate 20:41 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      So that’s the side that faces away from the highway. I had no idea. Thanks!

    • Bill Binns 00:22 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      The “Montreal Observatorium” would be a fantastic name for the new observation deck on PVM that is supposed to open next year.

    • Doobious 11:36 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      I like the Architecture Postcards set that card belongs to. The Lakeshore General even has a shot.

      Does anyone know if the Observatorium is still running? And is there anything worthy in there besides the viewing deck? It always struck me as odd that the Seaway never got a proper interpretation centre.

    • John B 13:30 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      @Doobious: I took a look and couldn’t find anything online. The St. Lawrence Seaway corporation lists that address as it’s Quebec address, (it’s got 2 others in Ontario, I believe), and nothing on their website suggests that it might be open to the public.

      The best bet is to call, or go & ask. Maybe Blork will do it on one of his bike rides he was talking about above.

    • Tim S. 16:31 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      There used to be quite a good observation deck at the St-Lambert locks, with a good display about the Seaway inside. It’s a round building, not the one in the postcard. I think it was closed post 9/11, which is a shame, but last time I checked I think you could still access the outside deck and just watch.

    • cheese 09:53 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      +1 to Bill. The original looks rather awesome too, might have to bike over and check it out.

      The first photo in the set really reminds me of that old hotel at Guy and Rene-Levesque: https://www.flickr.com/photos/94207108@N02/14516678327/in/photostream/

  • Kate 17:00 on 2014/07/20 Permalink | Reply  

    A tanker truck accident has caused a huge plume of smoke and highway closures toward Repentigny. One person is dead and there are an unknown number of injured.

    There is seriously no safe way to move this stuff around.

     
    • Carl 20:11 on 2014/07/20 Permalink

      Crazy video of the crash here: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?v=671769652897827

      Gaz says there were only 2 vehicles involved.

    • Kevin 08:09 on 2014/07/21 Permalink

      “There is seriously no safe way to move this stuff around.”

      Somewhere between 8 and 9,000 tanker trucks-worth of oil are used *every day* in Canada.

    • ProposMontréal 19:17 on 2014/07/22 Permalink

      I know it’s an old news by now. But we discovered yesterday that the man that died in the accident was the father of a co-worker. We are a small company, about 20 employees and everyone is very close. It’s really strange to read the comments on some news sites (TVA-Redneck mostly) talking shit about the driver.

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