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  • Kate 22:06 on 2024-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

    A car theft gang was busted Wednesday in Montreal and environs, and a proposal for an anti‑car‑theft squad for the Port of Montreal was put forward by the RCMP.

     
    • Kate 14:35 on 2024-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

      The entire metro system was down for an hour Wednesday at midday but it’s back in operation as I post. It’s being blamed on a communications problem.

       
      • Kate 14:33 on 2024-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

        Quebec has passed Bill 31, outlawing lease transfers. CBC examines the other provisions in the law.

        I’ve been a tenant all my life, and I have to admit, since discussions began about this bill, I never realized lease transfers were even allowed. It never arose for me, but I would’ve assumed the landlord could veto a new tenant not chosen by themselves. And now that’s the law.

         
        • jeather 15:04 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          The “a tenant is assumed to refuse an eviction unless they say they accept it” is a good change, the compensation is . . . partially good but probably not enough money, and tht you can sue if the landlord lied about evicting you is good. So is punitive damages for the lease, though I cannot imagine how you can prove that without an actual registry.

        • rob 16:20 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          Tennants need to start organizing – as a tenant, if you move, PLEASE let the new tenant know what your rent was. Rent increases follow the same rules regardless of renewal or new lease. The rent on a new lease can only be increased by the same amount as a renewal. A new tenant can request that the rent be fixed by the TAL and not the arbitrary “market value” the landlord wants to charge.

          The last bit of Article 1978.2. is also nice: “A lessor who is given notice of the lessee’s intention to assign the lease may refuse to consent to it for a reason other than a serious reason referred to in the first paragraph of article 1871. In such a case, the lease is resiliated on the date of assignment indicated in the notice sent by the lessee.”
          With that said, after a refusal, a tenant would not be responsible for the rest of the lease.

        • JaneyB 16:21 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          Citizens seem to be creating just such a rental registry. Website here: https://rentalregistry.ca/en/qc

        • DisgruntledGoat 18:15 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          Call me cynical but anything that depends on individuals opting in will never make a material impact.

        • Ian 19:05 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          …and as per usual if you can’t afford a lawyer, good luck.

        • Kate 19:25 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          I haven’t always known who was moving into a place after I was leaving. Maybe we need to start a tradition where we leave info about the apartment rent somewhere like, maybe, taped inside the toilet tank lid, you know? A thing most apartments will have, but landlords won’t be looking at.

        • jeather 19:46 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          I’ve seen it recommended that you mail them a copy of the lease.

        • Kate 21:58 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

          Not a bad idea, but once you’ve been in a place a few years with annual rent increases, the original lease doesn’t prove anything.

      • Kate 10:27 on 2024-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

        Shots were fired Tuesday night at a house in St‑Léonard.

        I haven’t been blogging all the minor arson and victimless shooting stories – there’s often little news except that they happened – but I’ve created layers for them on my incident map and will add items as they occur.

        You can select the various layers and see where they happened, and each incident is linked to at least one supporting news story.

         
        • Kate 10:05 on 2024-02-21 Permalink | Reply  

          Laval’s mayor is pressing Quebec on a plan for extending the western orange line further into his city. Mayor Plante and Alan DeSousa are also on board.

          Laval just recouped $60 million from the efforts of what Yves Boisvert calls the génération Charbonneau.

           
          • Kate 18:39 on 2024-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

            The École nationale du meuble et de l’ébénisterie, which operates in Montreal as a branch of the CEGEP de Victoriaville, is set to close by 2027. Will the government step in to find a way to keep the school open? Making furniture by hand is not something that artificial intelligence will be doing by 2027.

             
            • Ian 18:54 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              Cabinet making is the term in English, but it goes way beyond cabinets. It’s any detailed carpentry beyond structural construction, so basically anything wood that involves finishing, particularly in new home construction and manufacturing. I see “nous embauchons” signs for ébénisterie all over VSL. It’s a very in-demand trade.

            • DeWolf 19:29 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              My wife did the EMSB ébénisterie program. (The French term is a lot nicer, given that “cabinet making” in English sounds pretty limiting.) One of the potential routes for graduates was to work in aviation making custom wood components for private jets – which is apparently a very lucrative trade and not one you normally think about. Turns out rich people love wood.

            • Dominic 19:49 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              Friend of mine did that in the early 2000s, is now a master woodworker. Pulls in way over six figures, huge house in the ex-urbs, fancy car. I guess woodworking has a high demand and low supply.

            • dwgs 20:37 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              I also did the EMSB program. Most cabinetmakers (not a term that I have a problem with, nobody works with ebene anymore :-)) aren’t employed in new home construction, it’s usually finish carpenters or multi skill guys who do the finish work. Cabinetmakers in general make less money than the guys who do framing for new construction, which I’ve always found ironic since the the skillset is way more broad and deep. Most of us don’t make way over six figures but if you’re good and can work fast you’ll do all right although it’s one of the first trades to be hit hard in an economic downturn. Strange you say that AI won’t affect us because I think one of the reasons we’re paid less is that CNC routers can do a lot of what we do cheaper and faster and it’s been that way for a long time. When I had my own business and someone asked me for a quote for a custom bookcase / armoire / whatever I would always ask about budget and had they checked what was on the market. Inevitably the reply was “Yes but we want something special”. So you put in the time to do a quote and when they see the price they’re shocked and say “But I can buy one from Ikea for $100!!” That’s because Ikea can crank out Billy bookcases for less than it would cost me for rough materials, never mind my time.
              A lot of graduates go to work for Bombardier doing custom work on private jets. It’s a good living and the work is high end but it’s not traditional woodworking, lots of veneer on ultralight honeycomb aluminum panels because having a lot of heavy solid wood isn’t a good thing in an airplane.
              In short, it’s a great, interesting craft but don’t get into it if you want to get rich.

            • Kate 20:51 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              DeWolf – That’s why the TVA piece mentions Bombardier. I was wondering. But it makes sense.

              She must have studied at the Rosemount High School building? I taught briefly in their graphic design program, and one evening the cabinetmaking class started a fire and the alarm went off, and we ended up spending most of the class time outside. At least it wasn’t winter…

              dwgs: I didn’t know about the involvement of CNC routers in this trade. But then, I’m the guilty owner of several Billys.

            • dwgs 21:12 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

              Yes, the EMSB program is at Rosemount Technology Centre. It’s a great program that costs very little. I find it hard to believe they’re thinking of closing L’Ecole du Meuble, there was always high demand for the one at RTC and i had the impression that the work was higher end on the French side. BTW, I would bet that most graduates of these schools end up working in large cabinet shops contributing skilled labour to the economy, if you want to make a living doing high end work it’s like being an artist, you need wealthy clients who appreciate your craft.

            • CE 20:47 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

              I once went to the École nationale du meuble et de l’ébénisterie open house and it was a fun experience. The students make interesting items and even have a little show and sale of their final projects. It will be a shame if it shuts down. I worked next to an old man who ran a furniture repair/restoration workshop and he said he made good money (most of his customers were from Westmount) but couldn’t find an apprentice to take over the shop. I love working with wood so why I didn’t drop everything and start working with him is a great mystery to me!

          • Kate 18:33 on 2024-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

            Fire broke out in a homeless camp in eastern Ville‑Marie late Tuesday morning. Luckily no one was hurt, but an unknown number of people lost their shelters.

             
            • Kate 17:29 on 2024-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

              Bill Brownstein writes a snotty piece about reality show The Bachelor and its view of Montreal. I don’t watch reality TV myself but if I’d been sent to cover this story I wouldn’t have wasted column‑inches trumpeting how much I hate the show I’m forced to write about. Or maybe he just needed to hit a word count?

               
              • Blork 19:05 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Those “Bachelor” shows are awful yet strangely addictive. There are so many spinoffs and variations that their huge fan base are referred to as “Bachelor Nation” or something like that. But to your point, anything that is so awful yet so popular always triggers a knee-jerk reaction among certain people to be sure to declare themselves “above” it. I will admit that I find this almost as tiresome as the things being denounced.

              • GC 20:02 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                I don’t watch it, but I highly doubt they romanticized Montreal any more than they do ANY other city where they shoot an episode. And, of course they lived the good life and booked hotel rooms that the average person never will. Isn’t that kind of the point…to present a fantasy life?

              • dwgs 20:39 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                What do I dislike more, reality TV or bitter old white male Gazoo columnists? I honestly can’t say.

            • Kate 10:59 on 2024-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

              McGill University is abolishing the position of live-in dormitory floor fellows – they’re unionized – and replacing them with a bureaucratic fixture called “residence life facilitators” who will not actually live in the dorms with the purpose of helping young people out on their own for the first time – and, especially appealing to the university, they’re not unionized.

              This decision seems notably unwise given all the news about young people struggling with their mental health in an era of social media.

               
              • P 16:40 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                They flew too close to the sun. This was inevitable and I even warned someone that this was the eventual outcome when they pushed to unionize.

                Free rent, free transit passes, almost unlimited free food and a host of other perks, but they just had to unionize and poke the bear over nonsensical issues.

                If I cared, I’d go rub it in some faces.

              • Kate 17:16 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                McGill attempts to break unions on principle. They’re willing to do damage to get the upper hand on their employees.

              • P 17:51 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Which is what I was saying to the floor fellows at the time. They had a system where they were provided an amazing deal in exchange for a dozen or so hours of their week acting as floor fellows.

                They decided (“collectively”, with emphasis on the quotation marks) that in addition to thousands of dollars worth of benefits for a part time job, untaxed (as far as I could tell) perks and exceptionally flexible schedules, they wanted wages. And that they wanted to get involved in collective bargaining and to continue to pick fights with the people paying their rent.

                And my point to them was that the McGill administration is exactly the kind of cold and cunning group that will just eliminate the program altogether once they get the chance.

                Well, they got the chance. And now a fantastic and beneficial program for new students is gone.

              • Ian 19:01 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Union busting is illegal even in Quebec, and organizing for collective bargaining rights is protected by law.

                Solidarity with other workers is the hallmark of a decent person. Why are you siding with the bad guys, P? Are you a former floor fellow that was scared to mobilize?

                The floor fellows didn’t “bring this on themselves”. They do provide an essential front-line socail service. I refer you to every other time McGill has engaged in union busting and deceitful labour practices, from their faculty all the way down to the support staff. Even though I am an alumnus I think McGill really represents some of the worst tendencies of universities in this regard.

              • Blork 19:13 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                While I do not like McGill’s union busting, I think “P” makes some good points. I don’t think unionizing is needed for what amounts to a part-time job that by definition only lasts a few years. This isn’t a career job. Nobody’s raising a family on a “floor fellow” job. Nobody plans to be a “floor fellow” for more than a couple of years. There’s no need for the protections provided by unionizing.

                Clearly, the unionizing effort there was based on youthful idealism over practical realities, and had I been around and involved when this was going on I would have been on the same side as “P.” I would even (almost) go as far as saying that unionizing a job like that sort of makes a mockery of “real” jobs that should be unionized.

              • Nicholas 19:16 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                CBC Corrections, Feb 19, 2024 2:40 PM ET: “An earlier version of this story said that the facilitator jobs would not be unionized, based on the comments made by the union president. In fact, the position is covered by the same union but under a different collective agreement. The story has been updated.” The CBC story is from Saturday, updated Sunday; it originally had the line: “‘The residence life facilitators that they’ve said are going to replace us are not unionized,’ said Hutt, adding that this means it will be easier for the school to negotiate on their terms with workers.”. The CTV story, from today, was last updated at 2:03 p.m. EST, and does not say one way or another whether they will be unionized, nor does an archive updated four minutes after the first publication.

              • Ian 19:29 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                I disagree, respectfully.

                If some workers in a university setting are unionized, they all should be. By definition, many jobs in a univeristy are not permanent – especially since tenure is increasingly elusive.

                This indicates more need for protection, not less.

                Even janitors are unionized, as well they should be.

              • bob 20:10 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                $14.25 an hour when minimum wage is $15.25 an hour. Some union.

              • dwgs 20:42 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                As a McGill employee I can say that both P and Kate are absolutely correct.

              • Blork 22:03 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Hmm. Well… I’m not married to my opinion on this. And I am admittedly old-school when it comes to unions, meaning that where I grew up they protected miners and steelworkers and so on from having their families ruined by “the company.” Even here and now, it makes sense that teachers and nurses and other career people be unionized for all sorts of reasons.

                But I don’t see the point in unionizing jobs that are by definition transitory and part time, especially in cases like this where the “floor fellow” is probably going to be an engineer making a six figure salary in a few years. What exactly is the union protecting for someone in such a short-term job that has zero chance of being long-term?

                Do the complications and overhead of a union justify the protection for a job that doesn’t really need protection?

                Ian, I hear what you’re saying, but any academic job at a university is a job on a career track, and you can’t really compare that with a short-term job like “floor fellow” that is in no way on a career track. (You could argue that working at a food kiosk or mopping floors isn’t a “career track” either, but those jobs are at least potentially long-term and the employees rely on them for their living. Not so with “floor fellow.”)
                Anyway, I’m not planting any flags on this issue, just speaking to how I feel.

              • Maxim Baru 22:20 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Please forgive me for breaking decorum, but some of these comments about unionization are totally checked out.

                Unfortunately, most people in Quebec and Canada don’t understand just how much our labour market was set up in the 1940s on the assumption that the core industries people are working in are unionized — meaning that everyone needs to be unionized to access basic rights we take for granted.

                For example, Canadians pride themselves at not having at-will employment like in the US. But in Quebec, everyone is an at-will employee for the first 2 years of any employment. Your boss doesn’t owe you a reason for firing you at all. Unless you are unionized, and owed just cause for termination.

                Or how about your right to talk to your coworkers about each others conditions of employment, like wages? Unless you are unionized, your boss can fire you for talking about it with coworkers. You boss can also fire you for your activities outside of work. Don’t believe me? Read the basic text on Canadian employment & labour law by David Doorey.

                In Europe if you don’t have a union, you’re probably covered by a sectoral agreement anyways. Or at least you can elect a works council. There’s some kind of mechanism for industrial planning that involves the general population. But in Canada we have nothing like that except for through the unions.

                All to say: everyone up and down the labour market needs to be unionized. It’s beneath the dignity of an adult not to be. People just don’t understand how inverted the labour market has become in terms of the basic rights they think they have.

                As for the floor fellows in specific, everything they get from the university in terms of in-kind payment and whatnot is definitely taxed. My understanding is that some people get virtually nothing on their pay cheques because everything has been whittled down by deductions done by the university. And even if they achieved no gains except to shift from the less advantageous set of laws governing individual contracts to the law governing collective agreements which entitles them to progressive discipline and just cause termination, it would have been worth while to unionize.

              • Blork 00:29 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

                No need to ask forgiveness, as you’re not breaking decorum. You’re just voicing your opinion, and that’s what these comments are all about. 🙂

              • Kate 10:20 on 2024-02-21 Permalink

                Thank you, Maxim Baru. You are not breaking decorum, you’ve made valuable points.

            • Kate 10:53 on 2024-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

              Heritage Montreal is officially saddened by that collapse of two buildings – or rather, two façades – on Van Horne.

              It seems a shame to lose the one on the left with the gables and spandrels and detailing around the balcony and roofline – you can see it here on Streetview – but the other building, if it ever had any charms, lost them long ago.

              CBC radio news said at 5:30 that the owner “may not have properly maintained the façades” – you think maybe?

              CBC also says the two buildings were among the oldest in Outremont.

               
              • CE 13:53 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                One thing that will likely be lost on the building to the right is the grandfathered balcony that hangs over the sidewalk. I wish the city would allow them again but I think they can’t be put on new construction.

              • Ian 19:03 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                To be fair that rule applies to streets without a front lawn/ stoop. This building clearly had a stoop. If the newconstruction goes right to the property line to maximize the interior space, that’s on the architects and the developer.

            • Kate 11:34 on 2024-02-19 Permalink | Reply  

              Across Canada, cities vary a lot in their approaches to homeless encampments, not all of them ordering evictions as happens here.

              Le Devoir asked what happened to the tiny, tiny houses comic Mike Ward offered to the city two years ago, but were rejected. Seems they were accepted by Drummondville, but haven’t been used much since.

               
              • Joey 12:18 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                We were in Oakland about five years ago – given the U.S.’s meager safety net and the warm California weather, the homelessness crisis was much more pronounced then and there than it is here, even now. Our friends were explaining to us that more and more people are buying (or receiving?) backyard sheds – the kind you would buy at Home Depot to put in your lawn to store all your gardening/pool stuff – to live in.

              • Josh 11:25 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                You can see it in a much more pronounced way up and down the west coast on account of the weather – from LA right up to Vancouver and Victoria.

            • Kate 09:31 on 2024-02-19 Permalink | Reply  

              The city’s putting out tenders to build another section of the REV along Jean‑Talon and Bélanger, but this one will only go eastward from Boyer. Cyclists will have to wait till next year for a westbound REV in that area.

               
              • DeWolf 11:53 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                You can see why the city chose to start with this particular stretch. Compared to west of Boyer, the road is a bit wider, traffic volumes lower and there aren’t as many businesses. But I worry that opening in phases like this will undermine the whole project, because it won’t be that heavily used at first, and it will give ammunition to opponents who say that a REV on Jean-Talon disrupts things without much benefit.

                One of the reasons St-Denis worked so well is that the entire stretch from Gouin to Roy opened at once. It was argue to argue with its usefulness. But a little stretch that runs from Boyer to 1st? Not that useful.

                That said, I really hope it goes well and there isn’t too much outrage whipped up by certain media outlets and politicians, because the central portion of Jean-Talon is awful even if you’re driving, let alone walking or cycling. The REV will calm things down and open up access.

              • DeWolf 11:55 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                Okay, forget what I said. I just read the article. The REV Jean-Talon will be… eastbound only? What a dumb idea.

              • Kate 12:23 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                Does say that westbound will be tackled next year.

                I wish I weren’t so cynical. I keep thinking these bike paths will be put in, only to be yanked out again by a future, more car‑oriented city hall.

              • DeWolf 12:31 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                Westbound will be on Bélanger, not Jean-Talon. Apparently, that will be case for the entire stretch from St-Dominique to St-Michel or Pie-IX.

                Which means the one-way paths on each street will be effectively used as bidirectional paths, which undermines the entire point of having one-way paths (because they’re safer).

                I’m less worried about these paths being removed by a future administration. Even the “transitory” REVs like St-Denis have many permanent structures, dedicated traffic lights as well as planters with trees and other greenery. You’d need to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars per path to dig up the street and chop down trees if you wanted to get rid of them. And on top of that, permanent paths like Pine Avenue, Peel or the new stretch of St-Antoine in St-Henri are fully integrated into the street design, so you’d have to dig up the entire street to get rid of the bike path.

              • Joey 12:45 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                @DeWolf are there other instances of the REV being split like that (est and west on different streets)? Are they treated as bidirectional?

              • Kate 13:47 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                I’m trying to see how it makes sense. Bélanger only exists till it reaches St‑Denis, then it turns into Mozart. Mozart does a little deke where it crosses St‑Laurent, goes through Mile Ex, then t‑bones into Marconi before the tracks, where it ends. It’s not a crosstown street like St‑Denis or Jean‑Talon.

              • DeWolf 14:08 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                @Joey Yes, there’s precedent. The St-Antoine/St-Jacques/Viger REV (only portions of which are complete) is split between those one-way streets. The St-Denis REV is bifurcated above de Castelnau.

                In those cases it makes more sense as the REV is running along a one-way street. The streets are fairly close together too. There’s only 60 metres between Berri and Lajeunesse, for example, and between 100-250 metres on St-Antoine/St-Jacques/Viger.

                Jean-Talon and Bélanger are both two-way commercial streets and it’s a fairly long 320-metre block between the two. It’s a strange arrangement to split the REV between the two of them. Especially when the entire Jean-Talon REV is completed from Anjou to Décarie: if you’re travelling the whole stretch, you’ll have a 600-metre detour to make halfway along.

              • Joey 15:05 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                @DeWolf but in the case of the St-Antoine/Etc REV, does anyone ever ride in the wrong direction? I’d be surprised if that were the case when the one-way REV around JT wasn’t orderly…

              • SMD 15:39 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                @Joey The north-south REV on Lajeunesse and Berri goes north on Lajeunesse and south on Berri. I have never seen anybody attempt to go against traffic. It works well.

              • DeWolf 16:21 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                @SMD I have encountered lots of cyclists riding against the flow on Lajeunesse, Berri and St-Denis. It’s fine on Lajeunesse and Berri because the path is so wide, but on St-Denis it’s dangerous.

                I just saw the technical drawings for the “REV” on Bélanger and it’s not even a protected path. It’s a painted bike lane in the dooring zone like what the Coderre administration liked to do.

                What a joke.

              • jeather 11:42 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                The St-Antoine REV west of Atwater (at least) isn’t open yet. I have seen people going the wrong way down the REV on St-Jacques (west of Atwater) and lots of cyclists going both the right and wrong way on the street on St-Antoine. I assume when it eventually does open, people will mostly go on the right paths.

              • CE 15:29 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                I really don’t understand the mockup in the La Presse story. It shows two lanes of traffic going both ways and a lane of parking on one side and the bike lane on the other. This is a four lane street with parking on both sides. Unless they’re planning to widen the sidewalks by the equivalent of a full traffic lane on both sides, it makes no sense!

                Why not do what was done on St-Denis, make the street two lanes with two lanes of parking and two lanes of bike lanes? That way, the bike lane is in one place, parking is maintained, and the street is quieter?

            • Kate 18:04 on 2024-02-18 Permalink | Reply  

              The director of the city’s snow removal department is left at a loss during one of the least snowy winters on record.

               
              • Mozai 09:25 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                According to the weather-records bot on reddit, it’s been the least snowfall in early February since 1980. https://redd.it/1ap8f85

              • Meezly 10:37 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                Wouldn’t the city save more money if they don’t have to remove snow as often?

              • Kate 11:02 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                The city will save some money, but there must be minimums guaranteed for the contractors, and the city has to keep paying its own blue‑collar workers even if they have nothing much to do. Besides, there’s storing and maintaining all the machinery.

            • Kate 18:02 on 2024-02-18 Permalink | Reply  

              A toy store owner on Queen Mary is blaming the decline in her business on the new bus lane on that street – and not on the pandemic, online shopping, inflation and the cost of living or any other factor.

               
              • Jonathan 10:14 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                What a terrible news report. To expand on what you say, Kate, there is no sense of journalistic professionalism.

              • jeather 11:36 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                Curious, too, because quite recently but more than a year before the bus lanes they moved across the street to a decidedly smaller location (due to a fire), which suggests that they weren’t exactly doing great due to the pandmic. (I actually know someone who had a conversation with the owner about the supply chain problem — shipping was slow and IIRC all their winter coats/snowsuits came in so late they had to be discounted immediately.) It’s possible the bus lanes made it worse, or didn’t allow them to bounce back as quickly as needed, of course, but that area is very weird for commercial space.

              • Blork 11:56 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                Arguably, community news reporting like this isn’t exactly hardcore “investigative” reporting. If it were, then the journalist should have checked with other businesses along the street to see if they too are seeing a drop in business between 3:30 and 6:30, and she could have asked to see the books for the past few years to see how real this drop in business really is.

                But Podunk community news (arguably) only has the role of showing what’s going on in the community, and what’s going on here is a 73-year-old closing down her business and blaming the bus lanes for a drop in sales. The reporter probably had half a day to put the whole thing together.

                And FWIW, the news report does say that the OWNER blames the bus lane, which is not the same as the news reporter saying the bus lane is at fault (which is how FOX News would probably report it), and it does get a quote from the borough mayor, who points out that other businesses are doing well and new businesses are opening along the street.

              • jeather 12:06 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                The reason new businesses are opening is that old businesses are closing (some long running businesses, some businesses that were just recently the new businesses opening). Other businesses might be doing well, of course — there are stores there that have been around forever.

              • Joey 12:22 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                I spend a lot of time in that stretch of the city during rush hour (usually in my car). Two observations:

                1. The parking ‘nightmare’ induced by the bus lanes is pure BS. Parking is available and the presence of the bus lanes hasn’t stopped anyone from stopping/waiting while their passenger runs errands.

                2. The stretch of Queen-Mary from, say, MacDonald to Ponsard is where I’ve witnessed – constantly – the worst, most selfish driving habits in Montreal – double-parking, u-turns, illegal left turns, no signalling, texting while driving – you name it, you’ll see it all in under five minutes.

                That neighbourhood is interesting from an urbanism perspective – the commercial strip is dense and built up enough (and geographically concentrated enough) to warrant pedestrian-friendly shopping. And yet the surrounding areas, especially the wealthier neighbourhoods to the immediate west, are made up of people with cars and garages who wouldn’t dream of walking 10 minutes to get bagels when you could just double-park. You could do a really interesting Master’s degree just documenting observations from that small stretch of Montreal.

              • jeather 14:23 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                I have a friend who lives around there, and I will say that parking is decidedly harder near there on weekdays. Not impossible, but there is a real difference. That said I actually see people are no longer parking in the reserved lanes during rush hour, which wasn’t true at first.

                It is 100% true that the driving habits and double parking in that area are terrible, though I haven’t noticed a huge number of illegal u-turns there. In my head they’re allowed at a divided intersection if neither left nor u turns are prohibited.

              • Joey 15:06 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                U-turns are worst between Westbury and Ponsard, where the street widens. I think 1/3 of all double-parking on Queen-Mary can be traced directly to Real Bagel, just west of Ponsard.

              • DeWolf 19:50 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                I go to that stretch of Queen-Mary every so often because I like to take the metro to Snowdon and do a long walk through NDG and Westmount before heading downtown. It’s a really interesting commercial strip but everything Joey is saying about the way drivers behave is absolutely spot on. It really dampens the mood if you’re on foot.

              • Kate 00:04 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                DeWolf, is that odd little upstairs courtyard space still operating?

              • DeWolf 14:02 on 2024-02-20 Permalink

                It’s still there, but last I checked all the retail spaces were vacant.

            • Kate 17:59 on 2024-02-18 Permalink | Reply  

              Two hundred and eighty people gave themselves a chilly ducking in the Lachine Canal on Sunday to raise money for the mentally deficient.

               
              • Blork 18:04 on 2024-02-18 Permalink

                There’s a joke laying right under the surface of that line, but I’m not going to be the one to say it.

              • Kate 18:28 on 2024-02-18 Permalink

                I too was restraining myself.

              • MarcG 18:44 on 2024-02-18 Permalink

                When I see people cold-dipping at Verdun beach I joke that they’re competing for World’s Smallest Penis. Is “chilly ducking” an expression? Also, article contains a photo of a real-life pig in a blanket.

              • Kate 19:09 on 2024-02-18 Permalink

                Is “chilly ducking” an expression?

                It is now.

              • Ian 18:14 on 2024-02-19 Permalink

                It’s like the John Cougar Mellencamp song, “ducking on a chilly dog beneath the Lachine freeze”

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