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  • Kate 23:26 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The weekend’s history capsule looks at Rockhead’s Paradise.

    • Blork 10:34 on 2016/02/08 Permalink

      I frequently find myself on rue Rufus Rockhead, and I always think I’d like to move there just for the awesome street name.

  • Kate 23:18 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A brand new library and cultural centre opened Saturday in NDG.

    • Patrick 19:21 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      I’d like to know what the “difficulties” were that delayed the building for so long. And is it a sign of the times that there’s more stuff about the 3-D printer than about the books? Still, I’m glad to hear the place is open!

    • Michael Black 00:03 on 2016/02/08 Permalink

      I’m not sure. I recall some fussing over location, and maybe about funding. Then they had to decide on a design, which perhaps included whether this would just be a library, or something more. But then I think the building started late, and maybe took longer than usual.

      This sounds “normal” but I remember reading snippets along the way, without paying a lot of attention. It just seemed to take a long time.

      I was really surprised in November to see a notice that the old Benny Library (I gather the new library will become The Benny Library) was closing. I hadn’t realized it was that close.

      3D printers are “cool” at the moment, in some circles libraries are something from the past and should be changed into something else. I can see the point of widening what a library might entail, but books are books, if you don’t have them you likely don’t need a 3D printer. And the books will reveal the hype, 3D printers generally just print plastic, which is limited. Their magic ability still lies in the future.

      But probably the 3D printer cost little compared to the cost of the building, or the cost of not that many books.


    • Kate 10:41 on 2016/02/08 Permalink

      Michael Black, I don’t think I ever posted much about the development of this project, but I recall some disquiet about whether the new centre would take away funding or users from the other NDG library east of there in the old fire station on Côte-St-Antoine. I don’t know how this was resolved. At the same time there was the question of rehousing the Fraser Hickson collection, which must be growing more and more outdated and moldy in storage someplace. I don’t think that’s been talked about recently.

      This new centre has a theatre space, which more or less puts paid to any plan for the Empress, doesn’t it? NDG-CDN has both the Empress and the Snowdon Theatre, but has built a new facility instead.

  • Kate 21:54 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A Pegida demonstration in Villeray Saturday afternoon was confronted by anti-racist protesters and separated by a police cordon until everyone dispersed.

  • Kate 21:51 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal is shifting over to LED street lighting and some think it’s not so good for us or for other species living in the city.

  • Kate 17:20 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    A body was found Saturday afternoon in a park in Ahuntsic near the Back River. Brings to mind that we haven’t had homicide #1 yet this year, although it’s not clear yet whether this death is suspicious.

    (Oddly, later, although Google still finds that story, it goes to a 404 on the Journal and also on TVA.)

  • Kate 17:11 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal sent a journalist to work for Uber and found that he earned $4.60 an hour after factoring in his expenses.

    • Dhomas 18:28 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Most drivers that I’ve spoken to use Uber to supplement their income, not as their main source of employment.

    • Nathan 18:43 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      That’s still a terrible “supplement”, you might as well just take that time to prepare lunches so you don’t eat out

    • Uatu 11:02 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Not really worth the wear and tear on the engine and tires, IMHO.

    • Alison Cummins 22:45 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Other employers need to pay you more than $4.60/hr even if you aren’t working full time. Don’t see why Über should be different.

      In a COMPLETELY UNRELATED observation, women used to be explicitly paid less than men for the same work because men needed the income to support a family while women were just working for pin money.

    • jeather 23:45 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      I think that if you are an actual independent contractor or otherwise self-employed, you can legally charge less than minimum wage for your work. (I am not arguing that Uber drivers necessarily fit this model.)

  • Kate 14:28 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Possibly useful Eater map of what it calls the essential Montreal pizzas includes longtime neighbourhood standbys and newer more trendy addresses.

    • Robert J 14:50 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Montreal has much great food, but pizza isn’t part of this. The best pizza in Montreal is, in my opinion, actually in Plattsburgh, NY. Pizza here comes in about 3 styles.

      1) diner pizza or 3$ slices with thick, tasteless crust and awful pepperoni inserted under (!) a too-thick layer of tasteless, low-quality mozzarella

      2)semi-gourmet restaurant pizza with thin, tasteless crust (they might as well use pita bread), and ingredients that don’t really add anything to pizza like broccoli

      3)Italian-style pizza like Napoletana that’s really quite good but sold at “gourmet” prices.

      Go to some backwater town in NY state and get pizza that has amazing crust, sauce and cheese and that is sold by the slice for a buck or two.

      We just don’t get pizza here. It’s street food, not gourmet restaurant food. And you have to make it good.

    • MB 15:48 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I second your opinion Robert. So many disappointing slices in Montreal, while little old Plattsburgh has at least two truly great pizzerias. Totally unexpected.

    • Kate 16:24 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Cities have the pizza that sells. Because Montreal pizza is not American pizza doesn’t mean it’s bad. It’s what we grow up with here.

      I’m not a huge pizza fan, but I’m quite happy with the Kurdish pizza place near me if I fancy a pie. The best pizza is the one closest to your place when you’re hungry. Everything else is just talk.

    • Ian 16:51 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I’m pretty much equidistant from Pizza Saint-Viateur and Terrasse Lafayette, both of which make pretty decent pizza by my reckoning. I’ve not been to Plattsburgh but I have eaten at many classic places in NYC and frankly while that kind of slice is good as well, I am clearly not enough of a connoisseur to appreciate NY style pizza so much that I can’t tolerate Montreal’s. Pizza Pizza and other big chains make a doughy, gross pizza and the idea of spending 25 bucks on a pizza for one at some fancy wood oven-table-service place strikes me as a waste of money, but there are lots of perfectly decent options between those two ends of the spectrum.

    • MB 18:08 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Kate, I don’t think it’s about Canadian vs. American, you can find all kinds of styles on either side of the border. From what I’ve heard, Whitehorse has really good pizza. I have thought that Toronto (potato-covered abominations aside), Ottawa, Halifax, even Fredericton have overall decent pies. Good pizza of course exists in Montreal, but otherwise the “pizza vernacular” is pretty awful to mediocre despite the local populace being accustomed to it. Just because something sells does not itself become a good barometer to use when looking at relative quality (wouldn’t the same go for coffee, bagels, cured meats, croissants, beer, music, architecture, etc.?).

      I really, really love pizza. I still ate plenty of bad pizza during the half of my life I lived in Montreal, without complaint, and the best pizza I’ve ever had anywhere, ever, was decidedly cheap and unpretentious—but, I’ll put it this way: I will go pretty far out of my way on a travel itinerary if it is to visit a locally renowned pizzeria. So, I could not disagree with you more that the best pizza is the one closest to your place when you’re hungry. The best is the one made at an inconspicuous pizzeria in a strip mall in Crest Hill, Illinois… :-)

      Point taken though, maybe you have to be particularly fond of pizza in order to disagree with you.

    • Blork 18:50 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Robert J, I think your list of three styles is too limited. You haven’t mentioned the new wave of Neopolitan style pizzas, such as you find at Brigade, Bottega, Pizzeria 900, Gema, etc. Some of the pies coming from those places are excellent, but they can be significantly more expensive than the mom & pop pizzas. But you get what you pay for.

      From my experience, the biggest mistake people make when they get a pizza (at least in terms of the pricier Neopolitan style ones) is piling too much stuff on it. Thin-crust pizzas are meant to be lightly dressed. The emphasis is on the crust, the sauce (if there is sauce — some “white” pizzas come dressed only with olive oil), and the cheese. Other ingredients are meant to be like condiments, like the pickles on a hamburger. If you pile on the artichokes, salamis, olives, peppers, etc. etc. you end up with a pile of soggy food on a soggy crust, and that is not a good pizza.

      This is especially important in a place like Prato, on the Main. They make very thin crust pizzas in a coal-fired oven, and when you get a really simple one (e.g., Margherita) it can be quite beautiful. But at least half the ones on the menu include too much stuff and they bog down the pies and make them not very good.

    • Dhomas 18:51 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      There is one pizzeria on that list that makes really amazing pizza: FCO Pizza. I am not exaggerating when I say that that it is some of the best pizza I’ve had outside of Italy. Almost everything in the place is actually imported directly from Italy: the ovens, the flour, and even the employees! It’s relatively well priced, given the area of town it’s in. Their gelato is really good, too.

      DiMenna also makes a decent pie, too.

    • Blork 19:08 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      One other thing; if I can make a comparison with coffee, I see three distinct “waves” of pizza in Montreal. The first wave was the basic mom & pop places that we see all over the place. Those are the basic thick-crusted “all dressed” pizzas you can get anywhere, with varying degrees of quality.

      Then there was the second wave of fancier pizzas that showed up in the 90s, in franchise operations like La Pizzaiolle and Pizzédélic. These places were 100% driven by marketing people and business plans, not by cooks and chefs. They saw the huge profit margins that pizza provides, and thought they could differentiate themselves by offering unique and interesting toppings instead of focusing on the basics of what makes a good pizza. The fairly recent F+F fits into this category too. I’ve never had a pizza from any of those places that was anything other than ordinary. Often they’ve been just plain bad, because they were poorly conceived even if the execution was OK. (“Poorly conceived” usually means “too much stuff and poorly matched.”)

      In recent years the Neopolitian pizza craze hit the US big time and has fanned out. This is equivalent to third-wave coffee in that it’s very much about understanding the craft of pizza and executing it with respect to quality in both ingredients and execution. The result is a more expensive pizza, but most of the time a much higher quality and usually tastier one.

      For example, the people at Gema are clearly enthusiastic about what they do and they set out to create really good product. Compare that with your corner pizza joint who is just happy that he can sell a pizza for $14 that only cost him two dollars to make, har har har.

      As I said in an earlier comment, the key is to go to a place that’s enthusiastic about their product, and to get a pizza that is focused on simplicity, not piled up with stuff.

    • Kevin 20:48 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      @Robert J
      I have never understood people who enjoy pepperoni on top of the cheese. It just gets oily.
      That said, my pizza is pretty damn good. Having a hotter than blazes oven helps.

    • Matt G 21:12 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      One thing’s for sure, readers of this blog are passionate about their pizza.

    • Blork 22:18 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I rarely get (or put) pepperoni on a pizza, even though I like it. Most restaurants put way, way too much on. When there’s just a bit, it’s nice to have it on top of the cheese because it gives it a nice curl and crust around the edges. (That’s just my opinion; under the cheese is OK too.)

      And like Kevin, these days I just make my own. In fact, that’s what I’m doing for dinner tomorrow. A hot oven is great; mine goes to 550 F and I wish it went hotter.

      Do a Google search on “blork pizza” (without the quotation marks) for a visual sample of some of the results. :-) (Not all of the pies shown are blork-made, obv.)

    • Joe Bin 23:57 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      The top 10 on the list is an accurate reflection of the best places in town. Robert J, sorry dude, you don’t know what you’re saying.

    • Sprocket 16:18 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      @Dhomas FCO Pizza sounds really good. It is cool that FCO is the airport code for Rome.

    • Robert J 17:38 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Not to belabour the point. Folks have mentioned a number of places where good pizza exists in Montreal. I just think that, despite there being some good pizza (or pizza-like flatbreads) in the city, Montrealers generally don’t “get” pizza, and the city has a kind of lame approach to it overall.

      I would say that, having travelled a fair bit in Italy, I don’t find that that’s where the best pizza is (good focaccia is far easier to find in Italy than good pizza, depending on the region of course). I far prefer New York pizza, of which there is an infinite variety (there really isn’t a “New York style” pizza- just a consistent level of quality).

      On the other hand, I would say that most American cities don’t “get” fries (same is true in much of Europe). Frozen fries are rare in Montreal the way lousy pizza is rare in New York. Different places care to different degrees about certain foods.

  • Kate 12:06 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    People in Dorval have fewer cavities than the rest of us because their water is fluoridated. Montreal water never has been – it was a bugbear of Jean Drapeau’s that has never been overturned.

    • Kevin 20:50 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      If I’m not mistaken, Pointe Claire supplies water to most of the West Island.

    • Kate 22:32 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Maybe, but if the study’s any good it must have determined that Dorval specifically has an opportunity to add fluoride before the water’s distributed.

    • Max 02:42 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Kevin: The Pointe-Claire plant supplies Kirkland, Beaconsfield, Baie d’Urfe and Dollard-des-Ormeaux. The Pierrefonds plant supplies the rest (Roxboro, Senneville and Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue). Ste-Anne’s ran its own little plant until a few years ago but it was impractical to keep it going.

    • Kate 15:17 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      So Max, does Dorval have its own specific water source?

    • Max 15:47 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Dorval does indeed have its own water treatment plant. Located at 55 avenue Lilas, it’s the building that looks totally out of place in this aerial view.

    • Raymond Lutz 18:27 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Mais pourquoi l’état devrait forcer les gens à ingérer un additif via leur eau potable alors que l’hygiène dentaire est une responsabilité _individuelle_ ? C’est quoi la prochaine étape? Nous coller un casque de vélo sur la tête?


    • Kate 20:06 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Oh boy. I think you’re kidding, Raymond, but in this case I’d say that it’s been well demonstrated that fluoridation has benefits but doesn’t hurt anybody, and while dental work is not directly socialized, bad teeth have a detrimental effect on our general health, so that arguably it’s a social issue to improve people’s teeth.

      Max: Bing? Really?

  • Kate 11:48 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    The age of Cecilia Laurent, now a resident of Laval after a lifetime in Haiti, is not under investigation by the Guinness record book people, despite earlier claims from her family. Relatives say she’s 120, which would make her the current world record holder, but there may be no reliable documentary proof of her age.

  • Kate 11:05 on 2016/02/06 Permalink | Reply  

    Concrete has been removed from several overpasses so it doesn’t fall on passing vehicles. The crumbling is being blamed on this winter’s temperature variations, which have also bred a new crop of potholes.

    • Nathan 11:19 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      My greatest love is how the city blames the poor infrastructure on the bad weather. I feel like no one alive in Montreal has lived in a Montreal was alive at a time where there wasn’t endemic corruption on road works. So they think it’s just the natural order. But of course, take a drive to Ontario and see what immediately happens to the road at the border…

    • Bill Binns 12:46 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      @nathan – That’s no joke. A blind person could easily pinpoint the exact moment the car he is riding in passes into Ontario. Ontario also has a distinct lack of bridges and overpasses held together with chicken wire and two by fours. Must be those super mild winters Ontario is subject to.

    • 14:10 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Did the engineers not foresee “winter’s temperature variations”? or is this a new phenomenon? /s

    • Robert J 14:53 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      To be fair guys, I’ve been reading 20s and 30s Montreal Star articles for a research contract and there are a fair amount of articles about the condition of roads and sidewalks. I do think that the winter conditions exacerbate the problem. Southern European cities have as much or more corruption as Montreal but they can just leave things for decades with hardly any consequences.

    • JaneyB 20:10 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      @Robert J – Not buyin’ it. Those same winter conditions exist on the other side of the border with Ontario and yes, the pavement difference is immediately noticeable. I don’t think that’s why those articles were around in the 20s and 30s; it’s because the corruption has been going on that long. I guess Southern Europe cities just focus their criminality on other sectors. Even right after the findings of the Charbonneau commission, people here will almost automatically blame the ‘cycle gel-degel’ for the road conditions. Quebeckers just want to believe because the corruption could not be more brazen.

  • Kate 21:44 on 2016/02/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe & Mail’s Robert Everett-Green ponders Silo No. 5 and what might be done with it after years of fruitless debate. An idea about turning it into a massive data farm has been bandied about, a use to which it could be turned without radically changing its form.

    • Bill Binns 12:51 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I don’t get the historic value in this thing. That prime piece of waterfront property would make a great park. *There may even be enough room for a baseball stadium*

      It’s an old silo. It’s covered in graffiti. It’s an eyesore. We don’t need it anymore. It’s never going to be useful as anything other than a silo. Blow it up, cart it away, do something useful with the land (and I don’t mean condos).

    • Ian 15:56 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Well, whether you find it historically valuable or not isn’t really relevant as clearly a lot of other people do. Industrial architecture is important to Montreal’s heritage.

      The main problem is that’s on federal land, and the feds aren’t willing to give it up to Montreal even though they have been asked many times. It’s also been designated a heritage site by the federal government. As recently as 2008 (if I remember correctly) Musée d’art contemporain wanted to work with the feds to restore the silo and make part of it into an art museum – the feds expressed some interest but finally they decided against it. I’ve read in several places that it would cost as much to tear it down as it would to restore it as a functional building. I think it should be converted into some kind of functional space – I’ve been inside several times, it’s still in surprisingly good shape for a building that has stood empty for as long as it has.

      A data farm is an interesting idea but I’d far rather see it turned into some kind of mixed use public space so that people can hang out on the charming little island and appreciate some of the truly stellar views you get of the city from Windmill Point & from atop the silo. Maybe we would have fewer arguments about the relevance of the site simply by doing something to incorporate the space into the public imagination.

    • Taylor C. Noakes 16:46 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      How about using it as place where large quantities of grain could be stored for prolonged periods of time, and then transferred onto ships, railcars and/or trucks for processing?

      In all seriousness the decision this silo was obsolete was about as short-sighted as deciding to put the Bell Centre on top of railway tracks. People – but especially politicians – are very quick to declare things obsolete and useless and are all too often dead wrong. The silo was closed as part of the broader shift of port activities to the east, but as we all know, the Bickerdyke Basin behind the silo is still in use, as are a number of smaller grain silos to the west along the Lachine Canal.

      Simply put, there’s nothing I’d like to see more than actual port activity in the Old Port.

    • Kate 17:17 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Taylor C. Noakes: that’s not going to happen. The Old Port dates from the time before automated shipping, and there’s no way it’s going to be converted to handle container ships. The small amount of shipping that comes in via the old basins now must be specialty stuff. Aside from that there’s the odd cruise ship, but – as we’ve discussed on the blog – the bigger cruise ships can’t get this far up the river because of bridges in the way.

      Ian: An observation deck on top of a massive data farm sounds excellent. Data farms produce heat, so maybe there’s something that could be done with a combo of data and actual farming in that huge building.

    • rue david 17:35 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      @taylor on a different topic: in your research, did you ever come across the fate of that old yellow/brown brick building that used to be at the bassin de l’horloge in the old port? i think it was a canada post building or some sort of customs house, maybe a cpr building. it sat right at what now are called the rue port de montreal and the rue quai de l’horloge. it was dismantled back in 2001 (i want to say) and i remember reading that it was being stored to be reconstructed. does any of this ring a bell? i’d link to a photo but not knowing the name i haven’t been able to track any down.

    • Kate 17:45 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      The old harbour police building, rue david. Yeah, I doubt it will be rebuilt. It was knocked the hell down in 2002:

      Old harbour police station

    • Blork 18:19 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Silo #5 is an eyesore at the moment, but as others have inferred it’s the last remaining vestige of the area’s role in shipping during the 19th- and 20th centuries. That is a hugely important role in the city’s history, so it’s nice to keep a visual reminder. It’s not like we need a park there — the entire stretch from the silo to the clock tower is already a large and beautiful park. We definitely don’t need condos there.

      It would be nice to clean it up and find some functional use for it (data farm, or whatever). I remember the Silophone from a decade ago, which was mind-blowing, although I don’t know if that could be sustained permanently.

    • rue david 18:19 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      there it is! damn, would have been awesome to have had that there as a restaurant with a terrasse and the rest. i wonder though if it was stored and if so, where and what will happen to it. montreal has a spotty record. concordia’s library building reattached (i think pretty shabbily) that old hotel facade and, of course, the convention center has those old facades attached. but i remember chatting with the proprietor of the librairie henri-julien and he rattled off a number of buildings that were lost despite being deconstructed to be with a promise to be reconstructed again (including, according to him, the windsor hotel)

    • Kate 18:24 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      rue david, as I recall, the building shown above had some serious cracks in it. The land it was built on was fill – remember, in old photos the river came right up to de la Commune – and may not have been stable. I suspect it had been shifting for some time before it was demolished.

      The building whose façade is tacked onto the Concordia library was the Royal George, not a hotel but an apartment building.

      The Windsor Hotel burned in a serious fire in the late 1950s. A piece was saved and stands north of the CIBC building on Peel, but I don’t know how much of the rest of the building could’ve been saved after the remains were demolished.

      blork, I think there’s still mention of the Silophone on some structure in the Old Port. It was done in Realaudio so I doubt it could be resurrected now without work. I recall tuning in once and somebody had recorded a woman having a very noisy orgasm and was playing it over and over and over…

    • Taylor C. Noakes 19:18 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      @Kate – I’m not convinced. The silo was in use up until 1994, and grain wouldn’t be transported by containers. Bulk carrier traffic on the Saint Lawrence has been increasing for the last decade, and the extant elevators/silos all roughly work the same way Silo No. 5 did up until 20 years ago. As to passenger ships, the last estimate was somewhere north of 55,000 annually if memory serves. Not spectacular but far more than I would have assumed. I had a weird job roughly a decade ago working for a company that handled pier logistics for cruise ships, at the time about two dozen berthed each summer. These were generally much smaller than the latest ocean liners and the cruise ships operating on Caribbean tours out of Miami, but still larger than most people realize. They all typically did a Montreal-Boston or Montreal-New York route and were popular amongst gambling-addicted seniors.

      @Blork – I’d argue returning it to being a functioning grain silo/elevator complex would be both the best in terms of architectural preservation as well as offering something better to look at… though I personally find it very attractive as it is right now.

      @both – silophone still works, used it two weeks ago. It was neat.

      At the very end of Windmill Point is what looks to be the remains of a park. It’s technically off limits but surprisingly easy to get to. There’s a weird postmodern sculpture there, as well as pieces of industrial equipment strewn about and other visual cues that give the impression at some point in the last 20 years the space was open to the public. Not only does the spot provide a fantastic perspective on the Old Port, it’s also at the base of the silo and thus gives a fantastic perspective on the enormity of the structure.

      I’d love to know why it’s been closed off.

    • Kate 11:19 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      Taylor C. Noakes, the boring answer to a lot of questions like that turns out to be insurance. The land belongs to the feds, and they don’t want the hassle of people going there, getting hurt or falling in the water, and costing them money.

    • Ian 15:33 on 2016/02/07 Permalink

      That sculpture used to be in the business district but got moved when OACI got built.

  • Kate 14:42 on 2016/02/05 Permalink | Reply  

    A single Azur train will be serving passengers as of Sunday, with some VIPs marking the occasion at 10:00 at Henri-Bourassa. TVA notes that the Azur is just about two years late.

    Taylor Noakes has some thoughts on the new trains and on metro extension generally. To counter some of his remarks I’d add that the blue line stations don’t need much modification for a full-length train. All the stations are full length, with a temporary barrier indicating the extent of the shorter trains being used on that line. Removing two barriers per station is something that could be done in a weekend if necessary.

    • Benoit 16:02 on 2016/02/05 Permalink

      What I find funny (and a bit strange) is that instead of going back to Henri-Bourassa by métro, the VIPs will have a shuttle waiting for them at Berri, according to the media invite.

      It will take them more time to get back to H-B than if they just took the métro in the opposite direction, but I guess they don’t want to mingle with the populace…—azur-accueille-ses-premiers-clients-567805131.html

    • Bill Binns 14:03 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I saw one come through Charlevoix station a few weeks ago. Probably an illusion but it seemed smaller (narrower) than the old trains. I also expected them to be quieter than the previous trains but it seemed about the same.

    • Kate 16:28 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I’ve seen an Azur at de Castelnau on two occasions and snapped a few photos. The all-one-piece design, with no breaks between cars or car units, the use of silver instead of white, and a darker blue, I think help account for why it seems sleeker and narrower. By comparison the old trains are boxy-looking. (Azur can’t be smaller. One short segment of the orange line tunnel needed work so that the new train could pass through a tight fit, where MR-73 trains pass all the time.)

      I knew to get the phone camera up even before I saw them because they do sound different, a finer and more technical sound than the familiar roar of the older trains. Not sure if I could say whether it was quieter, but it was definitely different.

  • Kate 13:44 on 2016/02/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Spotted this on Facebook: a map of every city.

    • Ian 10:58 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Since we’re an island, not a river city, arrange that map in concentric circles and it’s pretty spot-on ;)

    • Robert J 14:58 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Lol dude actually just made a map of London, England. But yeah, generally pretty true. I would say that there are certain typologies of cities where these spaces would be distributed differently.

    • Blork 18:09 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      Ian, those bodies of water surrounding the island aren’t exactly oceans. Montreal is a river city; the fact that the south shore municipalities have separate civic administrations doesn’t change the fact that for the most part, many off-islanders are essentially Montrealers.

      …in the same way that Brooklynites are essentially New Yorkers, North Vancouverites are essentially Vacouverites, and people who live in Vancouver, Washington, are essentially Portlandians. And Heck, you could even argue that people who live in Central Gatineau are essentially from Ottawa (or as I like to call them, “Ottawonks”).

      I’m basing this on the fact that you can easily commute — or even walk — from the city on one side of the river to the city on the other. The smaller cities are necessarily absorbed into the larger ones in terms of culture, employment, recreation, etc.

      So while our “two sides of the river” situation isn’t as tight as in places like Paris or London, we are most definitely a river city, and that map fits in many respects. For example, #18 “Area with that huge shopping center that you hate but that’s where the closest Apple Store is” is totally Brossard for any west-enders who don’t like to go downtown. #15, “Area with that really beautiful park but no cool bars or pubs or even life” is Longueuil (Parc Michel Chartrand is beautiful!) or LaSalle if we’re talking on-Island. The only thing missing from #16, “The area that describes north of the river types as hipsters” is “and complains about loud music.” Etc. etc.

    • Kate 18:32 on 2016/02/06 Permalink

      I was struck by “3. the area tourists love but locals hate” (Old Montreal/Old Port) and “10. Ethnic neighbourhood where white people go for the best food” (Park Ex), but there were other parallels too. Thank goodness our Apple store is on Ste-Catherine.

    • Ian 10:15 on 2016/02/08 Permalink

      @Blork slow your roll! My point was that in Montreal the zones are laid out in concentric bands, not strata. Most cities that build up on either bank of a river or on single shore of a very large body of water tend to have the layer-cake approach to neighbourhoods, Montreal’s are more like a target or less ominously, a rose window ;)

      “Brooklynites are essentially New Yorkers” Haha, try convincing a Manhattanite that the Bridge & Tunnel crowd are “real” New Yorkers!

  • Kate 09:33 on 2016/02/05 Permalink | Reply  

    The potential bill for the extension of the blue line has doubled to $3 billion. Another more concrete STM project, the new metro garage at Côte-Vertu – something the public will never see – is also seeing its price tag go up.

  • Kate 09:25 on 2016/02/05 Permalink | Reply  

    Andy Riga asks if we can save the Falaise St-Jacques after years of damage and dumping.

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