Updates from August, 2018 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:16 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro is continuing with its pieces summarizing the Quebec election situation in Montreal ridings: Verdun, Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne, Westmount–Saint-Louis, Sainte-Marie–Saint-Jacques, Bourget. These are all linked from their excellent map of Montreal ridings (best looked at in the enlarged version) as will any future ones posted.

    Most news we’re seeing now, and this will be true for several more weeks, is promises from various parties, snark among political opponents and hastily squelched scandals – the usual campaign stuff. I’m not here to do extensive reports on the Quebec election – campaign promises are not news – but anything significant affecting Montreal and its ridings I will try to cover.

    • Tim S. 12:16 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      It’s not really useful to do a riding report if all they’re going to do is use data from QC125 and its ilk, which just take provincial and regional surveys and try to guess local results based on previous elections. If they’re going to do a riding report, they ought to figure out what’s going on the riding that might make it different from everywhere else. For example, Verdun has both the leaders of the Green and NDPQ, and likely will attract a disproportionate amount of the volunteers and money those small parties have. They might not win, but they might change the game enough to throw off the expected result from QC125.

    • Kate 13:20 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      I agree, Tim S., but I suspect Metro brings out a paper on a shoestring, and may not be able to pay journalists to do so much investigation and research. What they’re doing is better than nothing, and is better than my own (incomplete) summary of the history and present state of the island ridings, so I’m linking to it.

  • Kate 20:29 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse says here that the SPVM plans to deploy fewer cops around construction sites during the rentrée and I can confirm it’s already true. Thursday afternoon at Jarry and St-Denis the traffic lights were on the blink, literally, flashing red both ways. St-Denis is being excavated all along there, but around 5 p.m. not a single worker or cop was on site, and the traffic was insane. Drivers were honking and nearly colliding, pedestrians were clustering in little groups before venturing across, cyclists were taking a deep breath and plunging in front of irritated SUV drivers.

    So I called 911 and described the scene and they said OK. I stood watching while traffic clashed for fifteen minutes, then I went to call 911 again, but stopped when I saw a cop cruiser – which squeezed through the intersection and moved away at speed. Oh I see. A second cop car did the same a few minutes later. Definite whiff of “not my call, not my job” about that.

    It took over half an hour before cops arrived to direct traffic and reset the blinkenlights. Luckily nobody got clipped.

    Reducing cops around construction? Even cadets? Save a buck, kill a pedestrian? Not a great plan.

    • Kevin 20:40 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Cops don’t actually help traffic. I had a back and forth with councillors and bureaucrats earlier this year and they said that every time police are controlling lights it creates longer than usual lineups and a flood of complaints.

    • Kate 20:53 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Creating waiting lines is what traffic lights, or cops, do. It’s not an objective good to keep traffic moving when you have pedestrians wanting to cross and other streams of traffic waiting their turn.

    • Kevin 22:28 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Longer waits for everyone, not just drivers.

    • Zeke 23:14 on 2018-08-31 Permalink


      Instead of railing against the missing $90/hour traffic cop who will only snarl up traffic even more. Perhaps it might be better served to complain about the uselessness of driver’s education here.

      If a simple four way stop cannot be negotiated by the drivers, there is a much larger problem to be dealt with.

      I’ve never owned a car and never had a driver’s license, but even I know clockwise, by who arrives at the intersection first. If there are pedestrians you miss your turn, and you get bonus points for squashing cyclists who are in the way don’t follow the rules.

    • Kate 23:34 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      I wasn’t railing, Zeke. I was merely describing a situation I saw directly.

    • jeather 08:28 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      I generally see cops changing the lights at intersections where there are long lines in both directions, so I’m fairly sure they aren’t causing it. (They are often allowing right turns on red to try to speed things through, actually.)

  • Kate 09:14 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The CSDM, Quebec’s biggest school commission, is running some very blunt ads looking for new teachers: “Disadvantaged setting, multi-ethnic environment, classroom may not have windows” sort of thing. No “grande séduction” going on here*.

    The commission is also still grappling with repairing its decrepit school buildings to provide enough space for a surge of new students.

    A generation ago, schools around town were being sold off nonchalantly for conversion to condos. Looks pretty silly now.

    *Evidently, multi-ethnic environment is a bad thing. Interesting.

    • Ephraim 10:52 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Good pensions, but no windows, disadvantaged setting… not happening. No problem with multi-ethnic…. BTDT and relative a non-issue.

    • Brettttt 11:16 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Multi ethnic in this case isn’t some political or racial slur. It refers to kids who don’t speak French at home and will need extra help with their French skills from the teachers, thus adding to the class workload.

    • jeather 13:05 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      “Second language students” covers that just fine.

    • Michael Black 13:09 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      But is this “truth in advertising” or really a campaign against the government? It sounds anytime they are campaigning for better work conditions, including better schools.


    • Ian 13:10 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      @jeather Except that they aren’t all second-language students. This isn’t a dogwhistle, let’s just take a deep breath. My kid goes to a CSDM school and she’s not the only one whose langue maternelle isn’t French, by a long shot.
      Other bonuses working for the CSDM: Until you have a permanent posting you might be assigned to work at any CSDM school on the island. Of course that’s also true of the EMSB.

    • Ephraim 13:25 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Teaching conditions in this province have been going downhill for a long time. It used to be based on the 2 best years, now it’s the 5 best years. You need to be 61, have 35 years of teaching or be at least 60 with 30 years of experience to retire with full pension… it used to be 20 years. The number of hours of “presence” in the building is essentially 6 hours per day, meaning that 30 hours in the building, even if you are only teaching 20 hours. Hourly teachers don’t really have “presence” but are only paid for actual teaching time and aren’t paid any holidays at all. Yes…. they aren’t paid for St-Jean Baptiste even!

      And I’m willing to bet that these new teachers likely don’t know their rights either and the board has an interest in not informing them. This is a tough job. It can be rewarding, especially if you know what you are doing and you reach people. But I’m sorry, no one should be in a windowless classroom. It’s too much pressure on everyone. And any teacher will tell you that you need most of Maslow’s hierarchy to be fulfilled to teach… you know, self-actualization.

    • Ian 13:32 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Well, no, the board doesn’t inform them, but the union certainly does. I’m a unionized teacher (not CSDM, not primary) but the picture is very similar for us. Lots of uncertainty and unpaid hours until you get permanence, which can take up to 10 years. 20 years gets you 40% pension. Frankly I’m grateful for any pension at all considering how things are in most sectors, but yeah, it’s not the gravy train job people seem to think. I also teach in rooms with no windows for some classes.

    • jeather 13:35 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Your kid is a second-language student, then. Multi ethinc students mean that the children come from many different backgrounds, if you want to say “btw these kids don’t speak French at home” say it, because as it turns out, especially in Montreal, many people are not pur laine white and ALSO francophones. It’s not a dog whistle because it’s way too blatant.

    • Ian 13:41 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      I see where you’re headed with that, but I like multi-ethnic as it also includes “pur laine white and ALSO francophones”. My point is that they’re not all FSL, so multi-ethnic is actually a pretty good descriptor. Granted it has a negative connotation when it’s bundled in with other obviously negative issues, but maybe a better way to look at the ad would be that it’s trying to portray some of the challenges of the working environment and is has poor logical structure rather than being ethnically malicious. Another way to look at it is that if this is a racist issue, it will help weed out the kinds of people that would think dealing with multi-ethnic kids is a problem.

    • jeather 14:02 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Multi ethnic says nothing about language except inasmuch as it uses xenophobic beliefs to do so.

    • Ephraim 17:06 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Ian, the union informed you about what to do is threatened by a student or parent? Wow. I couldn’t teach in a room with no windows. I’m not claustrophobic, but no windows? Nope. I was in voc. and some of the stuff that the union and school didn’t tell us… were incredible. And the school board was AWFUL.

    • Ian 18:32 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Times have changed I guess, the union, administration, & HR are VERY much err-on-the-side-of-caution these days. There are extremely specific procedures to follow if there is any threatening or harassing behaviour. I can’t say all the info is transparent as it’s fairly byzantine but it doesn’t feel like anyone is actively hiding information. But yeah, no windows in some classrooms, lots of attic and basement classrooms out there. One in particular I keep getting assigned I call “the bunker”.

      @jeather far be it from me to tell you what to think, and normally I’d be right there with you – but I guess I’m just reading it differently.

    • Ephraim 08:41 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      Ian, interesting…. are they telling you to take it to management or the cops? They may be being proactive. Because if you put the charge at the cops… the student has to be relocated and can never re-enter the building. Management doesn’t want teachers to know this, because at that point, the only way to reverse it, is to get the teacher to rescind…. it’s entirely out of their control… CNESST zone. Even pressuring a teacher at that point can be tricky because…. well… harassment and the CNESST is already there.

    • jeather 08:49 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      “Here are the bad things about this job: disadvantaged setting, lots of non-white people, no windows” is what it is saying, suggesting “non-white people who don’t even speak French at home”. I just don’t see any way to spin this as not a really shitty “we don’t like these kinds of kids”.

    • dwgs 11:55 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      I also read the ‘multi ethnic’ thing as a negative, it’s not the meaning per se, it’s how it is framed.

    • PO 12:17 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      I don’t read it as negative at all. The job posting is telling applicants what to be ready for. There absolutely has to be an added difficulty to teaching 20-30 children all from potentially different ethnic backgrounds. We’re talking about different languages (first or second or third), different cultural norms/etiquette/values, different economic backgrounds… and a teacher has to develop a classroom where he/she can balance these nuances with the curriculum itself.

      Some warehouse jobs are located in smaller, well-ventilated facilities. Some warehouse jobs will have workers in and out of -50C freezers the entire day. The particular environmental difficulties of a warehouse job are always listed on the job posting, because you don’t want to waste time with applicants who are going to turn down the post because they’re not cut out for it. There’s nothing inherently wrong with a job where you deal with -50C environments, but some people just don’t want to be in that environment.

  • Kate 08:58 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Weekend driving problems from TVA. And from La Presse.

  • Kate 08:24 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    An average 3.75 cyclists die on Montreal streets yearly, and Rosemont borough has the worst record.

    • Bill Binns 09:42 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      That seems really low. Maybe I am counting pedestrian deaths as well but is seems like we have well over that number this year already. If that’s the real number it seems low enough to be celebrated considering how many bikes are on the road here now.

    • Kate 00:45 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      I don’t think it’s off, Bill Binns. The public health people are not sloppy and they are very aware of traffic hazards to cyclists and pedestrians. I’ve spoken to Patrick Morency, who’s mentioned in the story, and that man has a grip on his statistics.

      3.75 people is still too many, especially when you remember it’s almost always big trucks involved in cycle fatalities, and there are things that can be changed about that situation – if there’s the political will.

  • Kate 08:20 on 2018-08-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A Journal de Montréal blogger looks at what distinguishes the opposition party at city hall, examines a couple of obvious political gradients (left-right, nationalist-federalist) and discards them, then finds in Ensemble’s recent shopping list for the Quebec election a clue in how they differ from Projet.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Tu Thanh Ha writes a detailed obituary for mobster Alan “The Weasel” Ross.

  • Kate 12:18 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city bridge corporation put in more expensive barriers on the Jacques-Cartier cycle-pedestrian path this year but there’s doubt they’re worth the more than $600K spent on them.

    • Blork 12:32 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      The photo on that article is out of date, as it shows three baffles at the chicane. There were many complaints about that (including from me!) and almost immediately they removed one baffle from each chicane. With only two baffles it solves most of the problems.

      As to why replace the big plastic slabs with these metal ones, the article does not mention the fact that the bridge authority is looking into the idea of leaving the bike path on the bridge open all year, but that would require some kind of snow removal equipment to be able to traverse the bridge path. These metal baffles can be opened very easily to enable snow removal machines (or any other maintenance machines) to pass through them.

      The previous plastic baffles, although they are called “removable” in the article, were not easily removable. In order to “remove” those you would need to drive some kind of forklift or similar loader up the path, grab a baffle, retreat all the way back off the bridge, put it down, go back for the next baffle, etc. That would take half a day just to remove the baffles to enable clearing snow.

    • Bill Binns 12:56 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Has the city ever mentioned what it will cost to keep the bridge bike path open all winter so a handful of daredevils can avoid the Yellow line?

    • Blork 13:25 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Is it even the city who pays for that? And which city, Montreal or Longueuil? Or does the bridge corporation pay for it?

      And with the way winters have been mellowing it’s not always just for daredevils. I doubt I’d do it (my bike has very skinny tires) but the best thing that’s happened to my commute in years is cycling to work (even if it’s only about once per week).

    • Kate 13:52 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Blork, you’re right. I reread the piece – it’s the bridge corporation.

    • Chris 18:09 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Bill, bikes aren’t allowed on the metro during rush hour, fireworks, concerts, festivals, etc, so it’s not a simple matter of taking your bike onto the yellow line vs biking the bridge. And every person that bikes is one less seat taken on the metro/bus. Yeah, not a lot of people bike in the winter, but it’s not as hard as people assume. Have you tried?

    • qatzelok 18:20 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      To call winter cyclists “daredevils” is extremely risk aversive. Sitting still all winter is far more dangerous than cycling across a bridge once in a while.


    • Mark Côté 21:54 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      “Baffles at the Chicane” is going to be the name of my next album.

    • Ian 13:13 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      I used to bicycle in the winter and frankly it’s not that I can’t hack the weather, it’s that I can’t rely on consistent road clearing, pack ice at the edges of the road especially – an unpredictable surface and also narrower lanes. Of course this when I was in my 30s and only had a 30 minute bike ride. Pushing 50 and riding to the tip of the West Island is not even remotely realistic. I wouldn’t relish crossing the bridge in winter winds, either.

  • Kate 10:28 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city consultation office says local residents have given the nod to the conversion of the massive convent of the Soeurs de Sainte-Anne in Lachine for the housing of seniors, with other changes such as opening the chapel to the public. A few adjustments have been made in the original plan to preserve the heritage value of the property. Good on the nuns for not selling out for immediate condo conversion.

    Update: More details on the plans in the Gazette.

  • Kate 10:06 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    St-Hubert airport has opened a new, longer runway and will be able to accept flights from planes as big as a Boeing 737. Enlarging this airport may be the answer to Dorval being so overburdened.

    I have no idea if this is related, but I don’t think so: CBC tweets that a Boeing aircraft will fly low over downtown Montreal Thursday between 11 and 11:30 as part of a Montreal police event.

    Update: the stories were related.

    • Blork 14:39 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I’m not even sure the enlargement was necessary. I’m convinced they could run a very successful short-haul service out of St-Hubert using the smaller planes like the ones that Porter uses. Porter, Air Canada, etc. could all run flights between St-Hubert and Toronto, Halifax, Quebec City, etc. That would be dozens of flights a day.

      These would not REPLACE the ones out of PET, they would only ease the burden. So instead of (for example) 40 Montreal-Toronto flights a day from PET, you could have 25 from PET and 15 from St-Hubert. Or 30 and 10, or whatever. I guarantee there are thousands of people in the Montrégie who would be over the moon with joy at the idea of not having to cross a bridge and battle the Turcotte just to catch their flight to Toronto or Quebec.

    • Kate 17:44 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      That seems logical, Blork. There’s little room for PET to expand where it is, and nobody’s going to risk another Mirabel debacle for at least another couple of generations. So hiving off a bunch of flights to St-Hubert makes sense.

      How does the REM intersect with YHU’s location?

      Incidentally, trivia time, St-Hubert is the oldest airport in the environs of Montreal.

    • Ephraim 17:57 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Yes, but like Hamilton airport, I’m sure that someone is looking to run a discount airline where the airport fee is reasonable. YUL’s fees are high. And just when they could have put them down after doing all that work, they didn’t… they just found more to spend it on. Again, another “not-for-profit” where management salaries expend to fill the gaps.

    • Blork 21:07 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Unfortunately the current REM plan does not intersect well with YHU. On the other hand, the mythical Yellow line extension would bring it to within 3.5km of YHU, so how about extending the extension? If only Montreal’s Metro could also go outside at surface level (like Toronto’s and New York’s) then it would be cheap to run the Yellow line extension right up Boul. Roland-Therrien to the airport (with a brief dip back underground to get to the terminal).

      But no. UNLESS! Why TF can’t they build essentially a trough — a big dig — that would run the Metro just below the surface? Who says it needs to be deep? As it is, Boul. Roland-Therrien was conceived from the get-go (or so says folklore, but if you look at it, it seems true) to have a tram or LRT line running the length of it, between the two sides of the boulevard.

    • ant6n 21:18 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      St Hubert airport is on the St-Hilaire line, which goes right to Gare Centrale. If the REM were set up for heavy rail compatibility, then a YUL-YHU shuttle would be at least theoretically possible. Of course the bottleneck is the Victoria bridge, although there may be ways to either use the tracks more efficiently, or maybe stick a third track along it somehow.

      @Blork: would an elevated line along Roland-Therrien even be acceptable to the Longueilites?

    • Blork 11:07 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      The St-Hilaire line is there now, but it’s currently just a commuter train so there are very few departures outside of commuter hours. I don’t know how complicated it would be to increase that, given the various challenges, such as (1) it’s on a shared track, (2) even with the increased air traffic at YHU it might be hard to justify extra trains because I have a feeling many would run empty.

      To that second point, it’s probably one of those awkward situations where people don’t use the train because there aren’t enough of them, and there aren’t enough of them because people don’t use them.

      The other problem is the train line is about 1.5km from where the proposed new terminal will probably be; unless they get smart and build a very skinny terminal at the south end of the airport, which would be near both the rail line and the larger roads. Otherwise, there will need to be some kind of shuttle between the terminal and the train station. That works well in busy airports with high volume, but in a rinky-dink secondary airport it means people have to wait around for a shuttle, and then they have to wait around for the train, and all that waiting is not great for the “user experience.”

      I’m sure there are ways to do this right. But I worry that they will instead do it cheap, and therefore badly.

      BTW, I doubt an elevated line along Roland-Therrien would be a very popular idea. Do you mean essentially an elevated tube containing regular Metro cars? As I think about it, that could be sort of amazing, and it would solve the problem of all that tunneling being so expensive. Wow. Imagine the Yellow line running all the way from St-Hubert Airport to Berri-UQAM (or even beyond Berri-UQAM). Sweet!

    • ant6n 14:26 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      When it comes to commuter rail, people keep thinking that transit users won’t take it, even if it ran more frequently, because commuter rail is infrequent. It’s an argument that doesn’t really make — if the line was more frequent (e.g. every 15 minutes all day), and if buses fed into it properly, it would get a lot of use.

      Regarding yellow line: no, I mean assuming it was on steel rails and could go outside, would people accept an elevated line. Up to about 50 years ago, a lot of elevated lines were built in cities and suburbs, I doubt people would accept those things today. I think it’s part of the reason why the REM is along the highway: the people building it were too afraid of opposition if it was built anywhere near where people actually live.

    • ant6n 14:28 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      (The reason the St-Hilaire line would see a lot more use, if connected to the REM, is that for a lot of people, even those who don’t live near the line, it would be the fastest way to get downtown, parts of the old port, McGill and UdeM. It’s usefulness is not in how well it connects to Longueil, but in how well it would connect to the city)

    • Blork 17:06 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      I agree on the St-Hillaire line. I wish all of the so-called “commuter” lines were running all day, and frequently. I’m just saying that if they only added a few new departures it wouldn’t help the airport at all. Imagine waiting 20 minutes to take a six minute shuttle to the train station and then seeing you need to wait 90 minutes for the next train. Ouch!

      Regarding the train up Roland-Therrien, if the Metro could go above ground on rails, there wouldn’t be a need to elevate it if they could find a way to deal with the intersections. (It’s not like a subway/tram can’t wait at a red light…) But the problem is that the Metro CAN’T do that. 🙁

      But I like the elevated tube idea. 🙂

    • Blork 17:07 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      …Metro can’t go above ground and run on rails I mean.

    • ant6n 18:14 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Metros shouldn’t go on street level. I mean, I guess you could convert the yellow line to a tram with a tunnel, but that would likely mean reducing train length from 150m to 80m or so. I think some transit geeks (including myself) have played with the idea, but it may create all sorts of headaches (e.g. the frequency would need to be much higher to have the same capacity, but this means multiple trains inbetween stops in the tunnel, which means there’d likely need to be more emergency exits etc). Plus, with intersections, schedule reliability is reduced.

    • Ian 19:38 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      @ant6n – “When it comes to commuter rail, people keep thinking that transit users won’t take it, even if it ran more frequently, because commuter rail is infrequent.”
      That’s a good point, but if the REM has even hourly intervals from Sainte Anne Station during the day, all day I will be astounded. Where are you getting this every 15 minutes from? As far as buses feeding into it properly, the Sainte Anne station is supposed to have a new shuttle to the part of Sainte Anne people would actually be commuting to and from, which strikes me as an epic failure of planning since the existing station is walking distance from the old town and the schools.
      It’s not so much that I think people won’t take the train because it’s infrequent despite plans to make it more frequent, it’s that I don’t think there are any realistic plans to make it anywhere approaching a frequency that makes it a viable option, especially if new bus lines are required simply to get to the new stations.
      That, of course, is only rush hour – If there is ANY non rush hour service to speak of I will be further astounded. Everyone talks about getting suburbanites out of their cars but if you can’t even get into town for a movie and a meal then get back home with reasonable convenience nobody is going to get rid of their cars even if it’s marginally more convenient to get to and from work providing you never have to work late, have an emergency where you have to go pick up your kids or drop them off somewhere, have a meeting, or a 5a7 ever.
      Even now I can drive to Sainte Anne from Mile-End faster than taking the train during the day, in the evening even faster… it would have to be an extremely frequent schedule to persuade me to rely on the train especially since evening service doesn’t currently exist!

    • Kevin 19:47 on 2018-09-02 Permalink

      The REM is supposed to have multiple trips per hour from Ste Anne’s.

  • Kate 10:00 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Odd that this is being reported on a Toronto site, a report of a bedbug spotted at a popular Montreal store. Mostly a video report.

    • Ephraim 11:30 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Great, so Village des Valeurs is telling you that they have sprayed POISON all over the store rather than do the safe heat treatment. If I had kids, I wouldn’t bring them into the store!

    • Blork 11:54 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Do you really expect VV to run all that clothing through a clothes dryer? That would take forever and would probably ruin a bunch of the clothes. Alternatively, closing the store to bake it for x-number of hours is highly disruptive and would cost them at least a day’s business and would cost the employees a day’s pay. All this because someone saw one bug in the changing room.

      I don’t think so. Spraying a bit of insecticide in the changing rooms takes a few minutes and it’s done.

      I’m speaking from the POV of the business owner, not myself. You have to manage these things realistically; most likely the one bug that was seen was a rogue that fell off the pants of someone who has them at home. One bug. When you see a bedbug in a non-residential setting like that it’s usually a rogue; they’re not like cockroaches where if you see one there are a 100 others nearby in the shadows.

    • Ephraim 12:02 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      You heat treat the store…. no chemicals, entirely safe, clears the problem entirely. You use a bedbug dog to find the source, if there is one. And yes, everything that comes into the store should go through a dryer. See https://thermaprosolutions.com/bed-bug-treatment/

    • Blork 12:21 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      All I’m saying is that one bug isn’t enough to initiate that level of intervention. It’s like if someone at your B&B says that an electrical outlet isn’t working you’re not going to call in an electrician to re-do the whole building’s wiring.

    • Bill Binns 12:50 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      The bedbug thing is slowly driving me crazy. I went to thrift stores for most of my life to buy books, camera equipment and occasionally clothing. I also wasn’t above dragging furniture home that I found along the curb. Now, just the smell of a thrift store (THE SMELL IS EXACTLY THE SAME AT EVERY THRIFT STORE IN THE WORLD AND THAT IS SUPER CREEPY) makes me itchy.

      I’m starting to understand how people go “full germaphobe”. If there was a movie theater where you got to tear the “sanitized for your protection” plastic covering off the seats before sitting down, they would be getting my business.

    • thomas 12:52 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Heating a space the size of Value Village (20000 sqft ?) at 50-60 C for a couple of hours? Yikes.

    • Blork 13:20 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I know someone who caught scabies while trying on clothes at the SallyAnn.

    • Ephraim 14:33 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Blork… hence the dogs. Other than using food grade diatomaceous earth, everything else is deadly and leaves traces of insecticide. Look up how many children and babies are sickened by these chemical treatments. It’s not for a few hours, it’s for about 30 minutes.

      Bill Binns… going on a flight soon? http://mentalfloss.com/article/551895/bed-bugs-have-found-new-home-airplanes-heres-how-spot-them

    • Bill Binns 15:12 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      @Ephraim – 30 flights a year and believe me I know. Have already seen a couple of people whip out and install a commercial seat cover over the airline seat before sitting down. On the positive side, I have discovered that I can get any hotel reservation refunded before checking in by pointing out that I saw them on the bedbug registry and I’m allergic. Has not failed yet.

      Interestingly….You cannot get a hotel employee to say the word “bedbug”. The entire industry down to the last maid has decided to call these things “pests”.

      +1 for diatomaceous earth. That stuff kept me from losing my mind in Florida. I still sprinkle it behind furniture and and on my pantry shelves out of habit.

    • Ephraim 18:00 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      @Bill Binns – The new policy at many places who are careful is that if they call in a team and the team certifies them as BB free, you get the bill for the false notification.

    • Emily Gray 18:27 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Anyone know if the Grande Bibliotheque still has bedbugs? I admit that I haven’t been back there since their previous bedbug infestation a few years ago.

    • Kate 19:48 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Bedbugs were reported again at the Grande Bibliothèque last month, Emily. I wonder if this news has been cutting into the library’s popularity. I saw a little puff video about the library on Facebook this week and one of the first comments was “have they dealt with the bedbug problem yet?”

      I have to admit that while I’ve occasionally stopped off at the library as a pleasant place to decompress, I haven’t been there lately and the bug issue is a factor.

      But it seems to be rife. My friend Mr Malcontent, who lives in Rosemont, reports that a neighbour of his who works for the nice new library by Rosemont metro says that they’ve had a bug problem there too.

    • Zeke 22:50 on 2018-08-30 Permalink


      Kate, while bedbugs are a problem, would it be possible to ask you to refrain from posting video only reports that require more than 5% of the time spent watching them is an ad?

      I did not enjoy the fact that I had to watch and listen to a 30 second advertisement in order to watch a 1 minute 49 second video that could have been synopsized as “H&M is dealing responsibly with a bedbug problem.”

      Thank you.

    • Kate 09:07 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Zeke, you do realize the same content is not always served to different users?

    • Zeke 10:09 on 2018-08-31 Permalink


      Yes, but ads are ads. And if they have a slot for a 30 second ad, it will be 30 seconds no matter what the ad is,

    • Blork 11:13 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      Online ads don’t work on a slot basis, especially for pre-rolls.

      In fact, I got a 60 second ad before that video, which is outrageous. I can tolerate a 10 or 15 second pre-roll, but 30 seconds is too much and 60 seconds is just ridiculous.

      But that’s not Kate’s fault, and it’s not up to her to monitor the advertising practices of the media outlets she links to. If you don’t want to watch the ads then don’t click the video.

      BTW, the bigger evil these days (which you see on FB a lot) are mid-roll ads, where the video stops for 30 seconds in the middle while an ad plays. My personal protest is that I almost always click away from the video once the mid-roll starts. I doubt it affects there numbers at all, but it’s a matter of principle for me.

    • Blork 11:15 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      (Elaborating) “Online ads don’t work on a slot basis, especially for pre-rolls.”

      …meaning the ad is selected according to user targeting, not a pre-defined time slot. Since the ad and the video are served 1:1 (not 1:many), there is no set time for the actual video to start; the video starts when the ad is finished, no matter how long the ad lasts.

    • js 19:52 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      I got no ads. Get ad-blockers.

    • Blork 00:43 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      Ad blockers won’t prevent pre-roll ads from playing on videos. Or if they do, they’ll prevent the video from loading at all.

    • Blork 00:47 on 2018-09-01 Permalink

      …actually, maybe not. Some do, but they can be buggy.

  • Kate 09:58 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    As I occasionally do, I’m linking this duplex conversion story for a few points: the subtly triumphant sound of the text is typical, the collapse of three living spaces into the one conversion is not mourned, and – yes – there’s the breakfast bar.

    • Bill Binns 10:28 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I like this one. Not a big fan of bare white walls though. I especially like the Japanese soaking tub under the skylight. I think we have more than enough duplexes in town to allow for a little bit of architectural experimentation.

      I’m getting pretty jealous of Rosemont’s burgeoning wave of gentrification. Don’t forget about the Southwest fancy architecture people who can’t afford the Plateau! We may have problems with heroin and stabby vagrants but we have 84% fewer mafia executions than Rosemont.

    • Jonathan 10:45 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I recently to moved to Villeray and have noticed here too there have been quite a few (sometimes monstrous) conversions of duplexes and triplexes into ‘cottages’. Just a few buildings north of mine, there was a single floor unit that is now a two-floor ‘cottage’ with a full drive-in garage facing the front.

      I’ve been wondering how they could get approval for putting in a drive-in garage right in the front like that. The previous building didn’t have one (looking at the street view of last year). I also haven’t found anything in the borough records asking for a dérogation. I don’t understand why they weren’t forced to have a garage that faces the alleyway (if one be allowed at all).

    • Blork 12:05 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      FYI, I have spent time in houses that have those breakfast bars that you dislike so much, and I can say with full confidence that they are the most social area of the house. There’s something about kitchens that just draws people to them (I know… the fridge! Drinks!), and whether its’ breakfast time and someone is wrangling up some knosh at the stove, or it’s mid-afternoon and people are gathering around for snacks, or it’s counting down to dinner and there’s meal prep going on… it’s nice to have a place to sit where you can interact with the people in the kitchen.

      Even when there is a dining table nearby, the table seems like it’s way TF over there. The key thing here is not the breakfast bar per se, it’s the island; the big block of whatever that’s in the middle of the kitchen. People are drawn to it. They gather around it as if it’s a source of gravity. It always happens when there is an island in a kitchen. Adding chairs is just a refinement.

    • Su 12:05 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      “From the beginning, the couple were clear about their needs, even if the needs themselves seemed hard to reconcile. They wanted a lofty, cozy home, conducive to both togetherness and solitude, with large windows and a strong sense of privacy. ”
      For these folks “needs” and “wants” are the same thing?

    • jeather 12:19 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I don’t have anything against a breakfast bar as part of a well-designed kitchen. But that place is so generic, it looks like all the other conversions. Why bother showcasing the 50000th version?

    • david100 17:51 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      As the cost of housing citywide is going down, the number of units in the inner neighborhoods is actually decreasing, such brilliant planning. Of course, responding by taking measures to protect housing units or increase supply is completely off the table. So it will continue until central Montreal is an unaffordable as all the other Canadian cities, and all the great things about affordable housing, the culture that it allows disappears into memory. Great work guys.

    • david100 17:53 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      And I’ll add that these brainless yuppies’ moronic conversion of three units into one will, of course, never be allowed to be reversed. When was the last time the city allowed a building to add units?

    • Tim 18:35 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Is there any way that they could get their money back on this reno? Maybe in 25 years?

    • Kate 19:51 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Tim, going by the tone of the article, getting their money back is sort of not the point. Living in the style they want to (or, as Su points out, need to) seems to be the only concern.

      I very much doubt that style of renovation lends itself to reversion to 2 separate flats.

    • Dhomas 20:47 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      If it was three units, wouldn’t it be considered a triplex (by Montreal standards)?

    • Kate 21:29 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Jeez. I missed that. It’s a two-storey building but it does say there were three flats in it, so this conversion deleted not one but two additional living spaces. Correcting my initial post.

      Dhomas, I’ve never called a two-storey building a triplex. I think of a triplex as three storeys. But I realize that isn’t exactly logical.

    • Emily Gray 21:51 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I live in the top floor of a rented duplex apartment in Villeray. A couple bought the place next door (bottom floor of the same kind of thing) and hired guys to do extremely loud renovations for much of the summer. With vibrations and everything. Made me wonder sarcastically why the couple didn’t just buy a place they actually liked in the first place.

      Getting back to the linked story: Wow, it looks like the couple got a new place because they wanted to live together but their own places weren’t suitable for that – the man’s house not being “contemporary enough” for his partner. Wow. I’m just happy when I can find an apartment that’s suitable enough for me and rent is affordable. Maybe I don’t understand how wealthy people live or something.

    • Kate 22:12 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      That crossed my mind too, Emily – that “contemporary enough” has a whole novel suggested in it.

    • Dhomas 02:59 on 2018-08-31 Permalink

      @Kate: I know some people call a 2-storey house a duplex and 3 storeys a triplex. My colleagues on the West coast, for example, would call my three-unit house a duplex, since it’s on 2 floors (they don’t consider the basement a floor). Then again, my British friend calls it a “semi-detached” because it shares a wall with the house next door, but he makes no mention of the number of units (a duplex to him is also on 2 floors, but fully attached, if I understand correctly). By Montreal standards, though, it would be a “semi-detached triplex”. I thought they called it the same thing in Toronto, so the G&M would have called it a triplex. In any case, it’s very confusing stuff, so I adapt my vernacular depending on my audience.

  • Kate 09:43 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayors and indigenous chiefs are holding a summit meeting Thursday behind closed doors at city hall.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2018-08-30 Permalink | Reply  

    More work is being done at Place Vauquelin, beside city hall, where the experiment with heated steps failed so salt was spread on them last winter that damaged the concrete surfaces. Upgrading that small square has been a bit of a joke, with the newly redone fountain having failed almost immediately last year, flooding the basement of city hall. Denis Coderre should have taken that as an omen.

    • dwgs 10:00 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Once again, this all comes down to the city’s inability to manage projects. Set realistic expectations and budgets and hire competent contractors. It’s not really that hard.

  • Kate 18:10 on 2018-08-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has tweeted a map of all its pedestrianized streets.

    • Chris 20:51 on 2018-08-29 Permalink

      At a mere 8 km, it’s surprising they’d want to call attention to this pathetic statistic.

    • Steve Q 23:53 on 2018-08-29 Permalink

      Pedestrianizing streets is something the city should seriously consider expanding. As a matter of fact, we should have a network of pedestrianized streets in the same way we have a bike path network.

    • Jack 07:37 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      I was involved in two of those projects, Place de Castelnau and Marche Jean Talon, and looking at it from that scale is depressing. All the time and effort it required to simply tell car drivers that they did not have total dominion of our entire city….https://www.theguardian.com/environment/2018/apr/26/were-doomed-mayer-hillman-on-the-climate-reality-no-one-else-will-dare-mention

    • Kevin 08:23 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Prince Arthur is dull and lifeless. There is one halfway decent block with a fountain, but the rest is forlorn.
      The short section a couple blocks north on Roy is fun, lively, and actually attracts people.

    • Kate 09:22 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      A real long pedestrian-only walking route would be great, but tricky to create. I suppose that was the original thought that led to the pointless Promenade Fleuve-Montagne, but in that case they ended up spending a lot of cash just to put signs up on a few sidewalks.

      You can go quite far in a few parts of town using back alleys only – that’s my version of it.

    • Bill Binns 10:41 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      We are going to need to define the word “pedestrian” a little better in the coming years. Is a person on a two wheeled electric scooter the size of a Vespa a pedestrian? How about somebody standing on one of those hoverboard things? How about a 4 wheel scooter with doors, a windshield, a horn and a stereo system? Wheelchair or small car?

      I see all of these devices along with (of course) bicycles in heavy use on the “pedestrianized” portion of St Cat in the Village. This is not pedestrianization of course. This is simply the removal of gas powered vehicles.

    • dewolf 12:20 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Lots of snark here. From my perspective, Montreal is heading in the right direction with a lot of seasonal pedestrian streets, which is exactly the approach it should be taking. Yes, it needs more permanent pedestrian-only streets, but for the most part, I’d say we’re doing pretty well.

      To put it from another perspective: Toronto and Vancouver don’t even have any full-time pedestrianized streets *at all*. And they certainly don’t have anything like Ste-Catherine in the Village or the Quartier des spectacles, where a major street is pedestrianized all summer.

    • Kevin 17:31 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      What happened to Granville Mall? I used to march down that all the time

    • Kate 19:52 on 2018-08-30 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I agree with you on the scooter and quasi-motorbike problem. I see people along the canal on those all the time, zooming along past both cyclists and pedestrians. I don’t think police are remotely concerned about them but they don’t cohabit well with non‑powered forms of transport.

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