Updates from July, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:24 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    After Daisy Sweeney died in 2017, Denis Coderre promised to name a street after her. Now the city is offering instead to rename Guy Paxton park, which till now has simply been named for the nearby intersection. Family members are not happy, although the little park is more than just a dog run, as one of them claims.

    Sweeney was a piano teacher who taught both Oliver Jones and Oscar Peterson. That part of town already has an Oscar Peterson park and a Parc des Jazzmen.

  • Kate 12:50 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    New York Times has a piece on the transformation of Quebec’s churches, mostly centered on Montreal. With some excellent photos.

    • JoeNotCharles 15:46 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      “Some residents, however, refuse to attend Sunday Mass in a church where the former nave had been repurposed to store and ripen cheese.”

      Abbeys have had rooms used to store and ripen cheese for ages. Abbey cheese is kind of famous, in fact. It’s not exactly the same because here part of the church has been turned over to a secular third party, but “cheese storage” is not as incongruous as it sounds.

    • Blork 17:23 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      The issue isn’t that cheese is being stored, but that cheese is being stored in the nave (the main body of the church) and not in some dark basement corner of a side building.

    • Chris 18:31 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Nothing like these buildings will be constructed again, so it’s great that new uses are found instead of bulldozing them. Happily, fewer and fewer of us are superstitious enough to want them for their original purpose anymore. Down to 5% according to the article!

  • Kate 10:26 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s apparently a big Expos story that Vladimir Guerrero has entered the baseball Hall of Fame. Some background on his history here and here.

  • Kate 10:04 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Work has begun on renovation of the bridge at Berri and Sherbrooke.

    • Sam I 09:06 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      Any word about whether there will be any changes at the bottom of the ramp — a.k.a. the “most unsafe corner in Montreal for cyclists”?

    • Sam I 09:07 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      I should note that I’ve noticed construction currently happening there, but it doesn’t seem to be tied to what’s described in this article, and I’ve never actually seen any description of what’s going on there.

  • Kate 09:30 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has interviewed Michael Sabia of the Caisse de dépôt about the REM, and about a similar system the Caisse is building in New Zealand.

    What’s so new about the REM? It’s not the technology, it’s the financial model.

    • ant6n 03:42 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      Hopefully Auckland will get a better deal…

  • Kate 07:00 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Now that children have been bitten, I suspect there will have to be a drive to eradicate coyotes in town, if that’s possible. They may turn out to be as persistent as ragweed, though.

    • PO 12:20 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Jom Oro: I guess if you troll hard enough, someone is bound to take the bait.

    • Bill Binns 13:04 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Three kids bit? No deaths or maimings? That makes coyotes a far safer “dog” than Pitbulls and we have all been educated on how necessary it is to have Pitbulls living in the city. Maybe we just need Projet to launch a program teaching kids “coyote safety”?

    • Ian 14:29 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

    • Kate 20:59 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Ian, I agree with you, but I wonder whether the opposition may try to make Plante look bad because she hasn’t ramped up the drama.

      Anyway, Radio-Canada has a list of things to do and not to do if you have to deal with coyotes, and now there’s a report from CBC about a moose being picked up in Kirkland, tranquilized and driven to somewhere more woodsy and appropriate.

      Jom Oro: you are cruising now.

    • Kate 21:05 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Haha: I hadn’t seen this Gazette piece before writing the comment above. Of course Lionel Perez is taking against Plante’s common sense, making hay as usual.

      It’s not as if Plante says there’s nothing to be done. The city is keeping a close eye on the situation and seeking the aggressive animal; Plante is simply refusing to dramatize or make sweeping promises, for which Perez is blaming her. That’s been the pattern: Perez blames Plante for her common sense and for not playing to the media in one or two primary colours. We’ll see more of this.

    • dwgs 08:10 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      Perhaps M. Perez should don some camo fatigues and set himself up in a blind with a scoped rifle. Or rent some helicopter time, that’s how they sometimes hunt wolves. Think of the press event when he dumps the bloodied coyote carcasses on the steps of city hall.

    • Su 11:04 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      Urban sprawl is removing habitat at an exponential rate. As coyotes are displaced and starved they will become stressed and aggressive. The family disruption that ensues due to urban development leads to pups not being taught by parents how and what to hunt. They end up at garbage cans in parks.

    • thomas 11:59 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      I suspect these animals are coyote-wolf-dog hybrids (why they are less shy around humans). This hybrid has been in “development” since the 19th century and was identified in Algonquin Park about 100 years ago.

  • Kate 06:49 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A video showing the theft of a bike in the Plateau from where it was locked to a city sign pole has been shared a lot this weekend, evoking demands for more city bike racks.

    However, city facilities are not always reliable. On reddit, one scooter user reported locking his vehicle to a city rack and having the rack itself lifted. The posted photo shows the weakness of the hardware used to attach the rack to the sidewalk.

    • Bill Binns 07:33 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      How are stronger locks and racks going to solve anything when the police have decided that bike theft is all but legal here? Your enterprising bike thieves will just show up with bigger tools.

    • Kate 09:34 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      All you can do is put up more intelligent deterrents. I don’t hear about a drive for employers to encourage workers to bring their bikes inside, but it would be a good idea, likewise suggesting people not leave bikes on the street overnight.

    • Ephraim 12:19 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Whoa… who’s paying for these bike racks? How about nice safe racks with a good locking system and $1 per hour parking charge… we can get Stationnement Montreal to set it up and put them all over town and charge for the usage of the city property. Free from 9PM to 9AM, Sunday free after 6PM and before 1PM…. and the city can collect 30c on the dollar for them (tongue in cheek).

      In all seriousness, the city poles aren’t intended as a place to lock a bike. And it takes 2 locks to properly lock a bike in any case. I’ve seen cyclist damage other people’s property with their bikes by attaching them to private property as well. If there is no safe place to put your bike… don’t put it there.

      Once had a cyclist attach his bike to my wooden fence (not a very smart place to put a bike… easy to break wood). And get angry at me when he found out that I called the cops. The cops suggest that I lock his bike with a lock and wait for him to come knocking on my door… it’s my private property…. not public space.

    • Bill Binns 13:13 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Ephraim – “The cops suggest that I lock his bike with a lock and wait for him to come knocking on my door”

      I did exactly that when I returned home to find a bike locked to my porch a couple of years ago. My wife sadly made me give the guy his bike back when he threatened to call the cops. I wanted to hang the bike off my upstairs balcony for the next 10 years as a warning to the rest of the neighborhood.

      My wife was certain I was the one in the wrong but one of the many times we have had the cops in our kitchen for other matters, I brought it up. The cop was very clear. They would have told him he shouldn’t have placed his bike on our property and that he would have to negotiate with me to get his bike back.

    • ant6n 03:46 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      *roll eyes*

  • Kate 06:44 on 2018-07-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Four cars were torched overnight in a parking lot in Montreal North.

  • Kate 16:53 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m mad as hell at my bank.

    One reason I signed up with the Laurentian is that it had ATMs in every metro station, and for awhile I was moving around a lot so that was handy, and often it still is. Meantime, they closed branches all over town, including mine, but there were always the ATMs, even if you couldn’t deposit cheques in them.

    Not long ago a notice was posted on the Jarry ATM saying it was about to be removed and replaced with a generic one. I wish I’d photographed that notice, because I’m morally certain it also said the replacement machine would not add extra charges for withdrawals. So I wasn’t too concerned about the switch.

    Except, I tried to use that new ATM Sunday afternoon. It wanted $3.50 to give me my own money.

    Three fucking fifty!

    There are still Laurentian ATMs in most metro stations, but if anyone should see a similar removal notice, especially if it makes any promises about future charges, please take a picture. I want to smack some bank president around the head with it.

    • steph 17:46 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      The ATM wants 3.50 to give you your money, and then you’re bank will charge you for using an ATM that isn’t one of theirs.

    • Kevin 17:57 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      I highly recommend Tangerine.
      No fees, you can deposit cheques using a camera, and it piggybacks on the Scotiabank ATM network at no cost.

    • Ian 18:36 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Fair but there are few Scotia ATMs around town. You can also get no fee accounts with most of the banks, for that matter.

      I am with Kate, the ATM user fees are getting out of hand. I often find the rando ATMs at deps are cheaper than bank ATMs. Oddly Laurentian, Desjardins & Banque Nationale are generally the most expensive. I thought the whole point of banks chez nous was to get ripped off less.

    • Charles 19:58 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      I don’t disagree with you … but I’m nevertheless wondering why you’d ever need to take physical money out? I don’t think I’ve done that in like a decade.

    • Douglas 20:33 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      I ethically refuse to take out any money from an ATM that would charge me, its theft.

    • Max 20:49 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Charles: Many of the smaller independent businesses that make this city so intereresting operate on razor-thin margins. Every time you choose to pay with plastic you’re diverting cash from their bottom line to a bank’s. I don’t think twice about paying Provigo or Couche-Tard with Interac or a credit card, but please don’t tell me you’re fine with screwing your mom and pop outfits out of 25 or 50 cents per transaction just for the convenience of not having to stuff your wallet with a few $20s now and again? Because that’s just selfish.

    • Chris 22:58 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      The banks increase those ATM fees, then people like Charles stop using cash and switch to electronic payment, where they can track everything you buy and everywhere you shop; then when cash is gone, they can jack their rates even more since they’ll have a monopoly.

    • Kate 23:04 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Charles, I still find cash useful. I don’t shop in one big store like some people do. I sometimes shop at Jean-Talon or Atwater markets and in small shops and bakeries around the place. I don’t want to pay for things like a single baguette using my bank card. Among other things, every transaction costs me and the store extra money, as Max points out.

    • Kevin 23:44 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      In my experience that is only if you are willing to carry a balance of several thousand dollars.

      In any case, I have several ATMs near my commuting routes, so I don’t need them everywhere.

      Who uses a card at farmer’s markets? Or at a dep?

    • Bill Binns 07:30 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      I use Interac everywhere precisely because of the high ATM fees. I can have the same 20 dollar bill in my pocket for a week or more now. I used to feel weird using any sort of a card for less than $5.00 or so but now Interac is my default and I have never so much as gotten the stinkeye from a dep cashier. As far as I can tell, the only businesses that accept cards but are hostile towards them are taxi drivers.

      Interac transactions may cost businesses money but handling cash has a cost and a risk as well. Small business owners either have to pay an armored car service to pick up their cash or risk transporting it to the bank on their own. This is why grocery stores, drug stores etc will let you get “free cash back” when making even a small purchase. You are getting rid of some of their cash for them.

    • Tim 08:08 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      The last time I was faced with this situation ($3.50 charge at a Desjardins ATM 2 years ago), I went to a dep, used my bank card to buy a case of beer and asked for 20 bucks cash on the transaction.

    • Ian 09:48 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Tim I regularly do the same, as the interac fee is usually lower than an atm fee – plus you’re amortizing the service charge across 2 transactions so it’s even less expensive.

    • Mark Côté 10:34 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Bill Binns, that’s really interesting about cashback. I never thought about how there might be an incentive for stores to get rid of a bunch of 20s.

    • Alex 10:58 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      I use HSBC and I can use any ATM on the exchange network (National and Laurentian) they also give me up to $2 5 times a month for non exchange ATM fees

    • Blork 10:59 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      In theory, I like the idea of using a card for everything, but I feel weird using it for nickel and dime stuff. Also, I’m aware of the huge amount of fraud that takes place around card use (fraud on the part of the machine handlers). Also, when I’m just buying a coffee, it means the person either doesn’t get a tip or I have to stand there clicking fifty buttons just to leave a 25 cent tip.

      And then there’s all the tracking. I don’t need the bank to know everything I buy all the time. That’s getting into the realm of the tinfoil hat crew, but the tracking is real (although not necessarily nefarious) and I don’t like it.

      So when I pay cash for my small purchases I don’t feel like I’m old fashioned or not keeping with the times, etc. Quite the opposite; it makes be feel a bit rebellious (against the system) and a bit less like a lamb being lead to slaughter.

    • Blork 11:00 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      …and BTW I haven’t paid an ATM fee in at least a decade (aside from when I’m out of the country).

    • Ephraim 12:26 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Blork – You’ve paid an ATM fee outside the country? I haven’t paid one in the country or out of the country in about two decades. I paid a 25c Interac fee once for some business that decided to charge everyone for using Interac and I really didn’t have the time to argue. On the other hand, he got his 25c… but I have NEVER returned to his place of business since. That’s a very hard earned 25c.

      Incidentally, the proper cost for an Interac transaction is 7c to the merchant. Sure, some are paying more… but they shouldn’t. The banks charges businesses enormous amounts of money for deposits… it’s better for a business to pay it out then to deposit it… hence the cash back thing.

      My problem is usually change. I get a lot of it my business. I used to use it all at the Provigo self-service kiosks, but they don’t take coin anymore…. so I have to use it at Metro or hand it out all over town…. which is what I often do. Surprising how many merchants are happy when you bring in a pocket full of coins.

    • Blork 13:24 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Ephraim; now that you mentioned it, I don’t know for sure that I paid a fee when withdrawing cash outside of Canada. I just *assumed* I did.

      While I don’t agree with that merchant’s 25-cent Interac fee, the 7-cent fee doesn’t seem like much but it adds up. When you’re a small business on a thin margin, having to hand over $300 or $400 every month to the bank just to use Interac can seem like a lot. (Figure based on an average of 10 interac transactions an hour, 18 hours a day, for 30 days. Busy shops will do much more than that.)

    • mare 14:08 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @blork On top of the 7c per transaction there’s a monthly fee for using the network and your dedicated telephone line. But if you don’t take cards (our bagel store doesn’t) you might scare away customers.

      @Ephraim “You’ve paid an ATM fee outside the country? I haven’t paid one in the country or out of the country in about two decades”

      Never go to the Netherlands, if you use a foreign debit or credit card (at an ATM or shop terminal) you get charged a fee, on top of a very bad conversion rate. If you buy a train ticket, even if it’s only a couple of euros, the railway company charges you a €0.50 (about 75 cents) transaction fee. Afaik that’s illegal for credit cards but it’s not that you have much choice. Unless you buy the Dutch version of the Opus card, which is valid on all public transport in the whole country, but you can’t just buy it, you have to order it online and it has to be sent to a dutch address. Oh, and you have to buy it with a Dutch secure system for online transactions, not suitable for tourists.

    • Alex 14:09 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Blork @Ephraim Most of the time the ATM fee when abroad is mixed into the exchange rate and taken directly out of that through a less advantageous rate.

    • Ephraim 17:41 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Alex – I haven’t taken the foreign bank’s ATM exchange rate ever. I draw in local currency. And I have five free foreign transactions a month, that I hardly ever use. There is an exchange rate, but generally it’s not super horrible. Avoid airports, bus stations and train stations for foreign currency transactions. And in Montreal, there is just one place that offers great service and low fees… heck, I had a currency the bank didn’t take and they sent me right there.

      A long time ago, the worst that I have seen was Austria (when it still had it’s own currency), which at one time had a minimum exchange commission that was stupid high…. and even Amex was forced to charge it on their own traveller’s cheques. You made ONE exchange and that was that. Exchanged the cash for something else later in a smarter country, like Switzerland.

      Incidentally, the best US foreign exchange rates in Canada are often with investment accounts. Most of the banks don’t offer other currencies, though HSBC does, but since they deal in large amounts, they offer rates that are sometimes just 1% or 1.5% versus the standard bank 3.5%

      @mare – I pay $5 a month for the network access and I bought my machine, so I don’t have other charges other than the paper. It’s so cheap to do Interac. Most people don’t realize that banks charge businesses $2+ per $3K of cash deposited and $2+ per $100 in coin and 20c per cheque. But Interac at 7c is still cheaper than a cheque for a business. I take in so little cash in my business that it’s more advantageous to simply put it into my personal account and deposit it via Interac.

    • Chris 18:45 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

    • Ephraim 11:43 on 2018-07-31 Permalink

      @Chris – There was a time that the Visa/MC were working on a card that would actually hold you cash on a chip. Desjardins was testing this in Sherbrooke. They found that people didn’t want to pay for a card to hold their cash. But the interest at Visa/MC was in getting hold of the float. (There are two types of floats, one is the point of where there is duplicate money… a cheque where the deposit is in the account, but not yet withdrawn from the other account. The other type is the cash that is in circulation, if you have it on the card, they really have it in their account and they can earn interest on it… like Amex Traveller’s Cheques. And if you lose it, they get to keep it.) Essentially in Canada there is a 950 million dollar float of $1000 bills that have never been cashed and may never be cashed.

  • Kate 10:09 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal looks at the Instagram work of Greg Ogden, who’s been taking views of St‑Henri.

    • Ian 11:24 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      He’s definitely captured the quaint charm of the area’s architecture. It’s nice to see so many places near and dear to me have survived the gentrification of the neighbourhood.

  • Kate 09:28 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has done some good work on how big festivities are sustained with public money, and finds that the biggest winner by far is the Grand Prix, which gets almost as much of a public handout as the city’s seventeen top festivals combined. Paul Journet also reports that while in 2010 the GP’s economic spinoffs were estimated at $100 million, by 2015 this was halved to $48 million. The question of the city’s international profile, he admits, is hard to quantify.

    • Bill Binns 07:39 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Coderre made a lot of noise about “locking in” the Grand Prix for several years. I wonder of that is accurate or if Projet will finally have a chance to kill it off.

  • Kate 09:16 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    There’s not so much police blotter Sunday morning as a missing persons report: one man missing from eastern Ville-Marie, poor sod’s got Alzheimer’s in his fifties.

  • Kate 09:13 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC talks to a woman intent on eradicating ragweed in her part of town.

    The brief article doesn’t say anything about ragweed’s role in the ecosystem, whether it functions as a food source for useful insects or anything else – whether it would be a good idea to erase it from the city. I know it’s still the silly season but surely somebody at the botanical garden should have something to say about it.

    • Ian 11:20 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      “…ragweeds do have valued ecological functions. The seeds are an important winter food for many bird species, and ragweed plants are used as food by the larvae of a number of Lepidoptera (butterflies and moths). Other animals, such as some ungulates, also will forage on ragweed, and various birds and small mammals will use it as habitat or for nesting material. Even humans have found positive values. Native Americas have used the plant medicinally, with a tea made from the leaves used to treat swelling, vomiting, bowel cramps, and colds, and a salve used to treat skin sores.”


    • Kate 12:38 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Thanks, Ian!

    • Hamuda Turtle 13:09 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      I guess this means Ragweed won’t be banned after all!

    • Kate 19:28 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      It’s virtually impossible to “ban” ragweed. Most people don’t recognize it, but I do, and it’s everywhere this time of year. It fringes the edge of almost every unofficial green space and many official ones and grows in abundance anywhere there’s greenery.

    • Bill Binns 07:17 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      It is at this point in the summer that I start longing for the blessedly sterile long cold winter. Ten minute sneezing attacks are exhausting.

    • Ian 10:06 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      I pull up all the ragweed in my yard to make room for other flowering plants… There’s more than one kind of seeds birds will eat and more than one plants lepidopters will lay eggs on. I don’t know about you guys but ragweed tea is not on my list of home remedies regardless of traditional uses 😀

      And yeah, ragweed is pervasive as heck. I have a very small front yard that’s all flowers, roughly 150 sq. ft, and I generally pull up 2 of those big paper yard waste bags’ worth each year.

  • Kate 00:42 on 2018-07-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Gazette has an odd piece about how to heat up Montreal’s economy, but why? To whose benefit? Talk to anyone who lives in a hot-economy city and it’s a litany of complaints about the difficulties of finding affordable living space and the high cost of living generally.

    It’s the quality of life in Montreal that has set it apart. Sacrificing that for a fast buck would be crazy – unless you’re a greedy investor.

    • Kevin 09:29 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      How dare a government want its citizens to have good-paying jobs!

    • Douglas 10:35 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      More growth = more tax dollars. Its to everyone’s benefit.

    • Ian 11:32 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      As long as gentrification is kept in check, of course it’s to everyone’s benefit that the economy is booming.

      When people start getting pushed out of their own neighbourhoods because rents have doubled or even worse (and very common) the landlords decide to turf tenants in order to do a quick reno and sell the place off to speculators, not so much. When all the deps and bakeries close down and get replaced by sushi lunch counters and chain stores, not so much. When the diners become $25 artisanal hamburger joints, not so much. When people from France, Germany, and the US start buying up flats to use as a pied-a-terre for a month or two out of the year and rent them out as AirBnBs the rest of the time, not so much.

      San Francisco is an extreme example of the dangers of gentrification. So is Manhattan. We are getting a taste of it in areas like Mile End. Even Rosemont and Villeray are getting pretty gentrified. Parc-Ex is starting to move in that direction, and it’s making residents nervous.

      The problem with economies heating up is that the money is never distributed equally, tax dollars or not.

    • Kate 12:39 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Exactly, Ian. Well put!

    • Raymond Lutz 13:33 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Not only wealth inequality at current level is unstainable (some argue that it caused the 2008 credit crisis) but growth can’t occur indefinitely in a closed system. For those wanting to unwash their brain (“More growth = more tax dollars. Its to everyone’s benefit.”!), here’s a starter: How the Economy Works as It Reaches Energy Limits — An Introduction for Actuaries and Others.

    • Douglas 20:32 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      Gentrification is actually on the low side comparatively and none of the things mentioned are of concern. We aren’t turning into Vancouver.

      Wealth inequality caused the 2008 credit crisis? That’s a stretch. More wanting as a reason than actual reality. Wealth inequality in Montreal isn’t of concern.

    • Ian 21:19 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      @Douglas sounds like an “I got mine, Jack” line of argument. I know many people of many stripes feeling the pinch all across town, and even the papers are reporting on the adverse effects of gentrification. I’m not making this stuff up.

    • Tim 23:10 on 2018-07-29 Permalink

      @Ian, I don’t quite follow some of your reasoning. If somebody goes to the trouble of doing renos, they are probably selling to people that just want to move in. The speculators buy run down stuff, spruce it up and then sell it off at a profit if they’re lucky. I can’t think of a reason why a speculator would buy something already reno’ed.

    • Mark Côté 00:47 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      The Economist recently posted an article on gentrification: https://www.economist.com/united-states/2018/06/21/in-praise-of-gentrification. It surprised me.

      “‘Given the typical pattern of low-income renter mobility in New York City, a neighbourhood could go from a 30% poverty population to 12% in as few as ten years without any displacement whatsoever,’ noted Messrs Freeman and Braconi in their study. Indeed, the number of poor people living in New York’s gentrifying neighbourhoods barely budged from 1990 to 2014, according to a study by New York University’s Furman Centre.”

      I consider myself a pretty committed leftist, but I read the Economist because they have quality reporting, and they are at least very honest in their bias. The studies mentioned in that article don’t seem to come from right-wing think tanks, so I admit that it got me thinking.

    • Raymond Lutz 07:38 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Douglas, “Wealth inequality caused the 2008 credit crisis”, tiré par les cheveux? Not for this IMF economist:

      “International Monetary Fund rescue packages are usually associated with “structural adjustment”, privatisation and liberalisation. But IMF economist Michael Kumhof’s recipe for avoiding crunches is increased equality – a conclusion that has brought him worldwide attention. Kumhof considers the cause of the financial crisis in 2008 and the debt crisis in 2011 to be increased inequality, especially in the United States.” source.

    • Raymond Lutz 08:14 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Mark, maybe The Economist authors picked New York City for their favorable study because NYC has rent price regulation? Policy making and macroeconomics should be thought at a larger scale… and the broader facts are: “Many American renters are in crisis: The Pew Charitable Trusts found that the share of “rent-burdened” households—those which spent at least a third of pre-tax income on rent—rose from 19 percent in 2001 to 38 percent in 2015.” source.

    • Ian 09:57 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Tim the pied-a-terre types (and even worse the big companies running multiple AirBnB listings) do exactly that, they buy a reno’d place they can AirBnB more effectively (nice & new looking performs well on the app), since those bothersome long-term tenants have already been renovicted. Back in the old days anyone buying rental stock was looking for an investment property, at least since the rules on condo conversion were tightened.

      “in well-established central-city neighbourhoods with less
      construction, such as the Plateau-Mont Royal in Montreal, High Park in
      Toronto, and Kitsilano in Vancouver, Airbnb growth is completely outpacing
      new constructions and actually reducing net available housing stock. In several
      Toronto and Vancouver neighbourhoods, Airbnb listing growth is greater than
      200% of housing completions. More than twice as many homes may have been
      removed from these neighbourhoods by short-term rentals as have been added
      by new construction. In Montreal, where growth of Airbnb listings has been
      slower, no neighbourhoods cross this 200% threshold, but full-time, entire
      home Airbnb listing growth is still outpacing completions in several areas.
      These areas are likely to be experiencing displacement of long-term residents,
      upward pressure on rents, and a reduction in the ability of new residents to
      move into these neighbourhoods.”

      “By 2017 the Mayor of Montreal’s Plateau-Mont-Royal borough stated that complaints about
      Airbnb were the most frequent type he receives (CTV Montreal 2017). The law
      also appears ineffective from the perspective of recovering tax revenue. As of
      March 2017 in Montreal there were 42 certified listings, with 26 applications in
      progress. This is in comparison to the 6356 full time listings [as of March 2017]
      in Montreal. This means that fewer than 1% of Montreal’s full time listings are
      certified and paying the accommodation tax. Additionally, there is a low
      conviction rate for violators of this law. ”


    • Ian 10:16 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Also, regarding earlier notes about Park Ex gentrifying – Microsoft s’en va dans le Mile-Ex.

      …Microsoft is opening offices at Beaumont and Waverly. Consider the effect Ubisoft had on Mile end. This is just the beginning. My friends with their artist studios in the hood have already begun to look elsewhere, this is a traditional pattern of the gentrifying process.

      Also worth noting, Mile Ex is a developer’s term to help get rid of old associations a neighbourhood might carry and make it more palatable to the new crowd. This is Parc Ex.

    • Mark Côté 10:32 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Raymond, that may well have something to do with it, although the article doesn’t focus exclusively on New York. They also acknowledge that rents have gone up in many cities: “Rents have risen dramatically, though this can be the fault of thoughtless regulations which hinder supply more than the malevolence of gentrifiers. The net creation of jobs has outpaced additional housing in New York City by a rate of two to one. In San Francisco, perhaps the most restricted American metropolitan area, this ratio is eight to one.” I’m not sure if The Economist is in favour of rent controls, but they don’t support a laissez-faire attitude when it comes to housing.

    • Douglas 11:32 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Correlation does not equal causation. Which is basically this economist’s argument. The underlying cause of the credit crisis was toxic financial securities underwritten by lax mortgage qualification requirements.
      Trying ignore the actual direct cause of the credit crisis means there is a political agenda.

    • Tim 12:12 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      @Ian, I can definitely understand the piers à terres scenario (a French national bought a condo in my building, after it had been on the market a couple of months, to be closer to his grandkids).

      Still, with the prices in Montreal now, I can’t see anyone being able to buy a reno’ed place and expect it to be anywhere near cash flow positive in the short term. Only a large company, who can bleed money over the near term, and would be doing this (and apparently there are such scumbags). Once AirBnB reaches a saturation point, the quick bucks will disappear. Interest rate increases will also apply pressure. Hopefully the government has to apply it’s rules as well. Things could be very different in 5 years.

      Montreal has a much higher percentage or renters than the rest of Canada. While some have no choice but to rent, many others have consciously chose to rent. A renter that chooses to rent must accept the risk of things changing over time.

    • Ian 14:43 on 2018-07-30 Permalink

      Sure, caveat emptor as in all things, but the same “changes” apply to older people whose property values keep going up and their tax rates keep jumping, as in the Plateau. Great having your property worth more money if you sell, but if you do sell, everything is more expensive so you’re probably going to have to downsize, it’s not really a winning scenario if your goal was just to quietly enjoy your old age in your own home. This isn’t just Mile End, but traditional working class neighbourhoods in the SW like Saint-Henri & the Point. Even along Wellington I know quite a few older people that have been forced out. Rising housing costs don’t just affect renters by any stretch.

      In 5 years Parc Ex will be in full swing gentrification. VIlleray, Little Italy, and Rosemont are already there. Saint-Henri is definitely gentrified, and the Point & Verdun are well on their way. Mile End is past the tipping point, there’s a Lululemon across from a David’s Tea on St-Viateur. Where are the people that aren’t working for Microsoft or Ubisoft (etc) supposed to live?

      The city administration keeps saying gentrification is a problem, but is somehow mysteriously unable to do a thing about it. I can think of several things they could do right away that would slow gentrification, but it’s the tax money that makes their eyes twinkle, not preserving quality of life for the old neighbourhoods, so it is very unlikely they will ever do anything meaningful to prevent the Brooklynization of formerly affordable neighbourhoods.

  • Kate 22:38 on 2018-07-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Petitions containing 20,000 signatures to a request for an inquiry into systemic racism were delivered at city hall on Friday evening.

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