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  • Kate 07:26 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The provincial election is on October 1, but that’s a Monday, so voters in any doubt about getting their statutory four clear hours to vote can go this Sunday and Monday to advance polls (the location should be indicated on your voting card), or vote at the polling offices at other times this week. All your local details are on the Elections Quebec website once you put in your postal code.

    This would have been a public service announcement if it wasn’t that I’m going on to advise Montreal residents not to vote for the CAQ even if every other party annoys you equally. The CAQ isn’t just a neutral option for change, it’s a return to the old Union Nationale mindset and is inherently hostile to the wellsprings of urban life in Montreal. I’m not supporting any specific party because options and situations vary depending on your riding and your personal politics.

    Just not the CAQ.

  • Kate 07:17 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has revealed a list of rental buildings it considers unsanitary and Metro has put them on a map.

  • Kate 07:16 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city’s budget for next year is coming, so there are pieces about how the other island municipalities want more of a say and how Valérie Plante is saying nice things about other towns, doing what she can to keep them happy. This is the kind of wave of story that makes me wonder what’s really behind it.

  • Kate 06:28 on 2018-09-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Pedestrians may be having their deadliest year since 2013.

  • Kate 19:02 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has arrived at a new deal with its drivers, but its maintenance workers are still without a contract.

  • Kate 19:00 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The Montreal Marathon adds to the driving notes for the weekend and will also be altering bus routes Sunday between Verdun and the Olympic park.

  • Kate 18:57 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has bought a parcel of land to be added to Anse-à-l’Orme park. It’s part of Angell Woods.

    • Max 20:00 on 2018-09-20 Permalink


      Enlargeable / better map here.

    • Kate 06:23 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      Thanks, Max. I couldn’t quite picture how Angell Woods could be contiguous to Anse-à-l’Orme park and the map shows it really isn’t.

      Half of Angell Woods remains in limbo, though,

  • Kate 08:09 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    A magnificent elm tree in Jarry Park, estimated at 300 years old, has been taken down after it was discovered to be hollowed out by disease and therefore unsafe.

    Update: Tree’s estimated age was adjusted down to 170 years after felling (see below).

    Another update: La Presse notes that this tree survived the epidemic that destroyed most of this city’s elms in the 1950s, but the disease caught up to it at last.

    • Chris 09:18 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      It’s funny how our society judges and reacts to “unsafe”. I bet that tree could have stood for years more. But, hey, it might fall, so cut it down immediately. But arsenic emissions? Meh, just keep it secret for a decade and do nothing about it. Seems to me the difference is that someone is making money of the latter, but not the former. 🙁

    • Frankie 09:39 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      “Son importance était telle dans le paysage local que l’arrondissement a cru bon de distribuer un avis aux résidants du secteur pour leur annoncer qu’il allait disparaître.” I am glad they did not underestimate the emotional impact of the loss of this tree. It is sad to see it go. It figures in many of our family photos from the 60s.

    • dwgs 09:42 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      I don’t know Chris, pretty doubtful that it’s the same people making the decisions in those two cases. I’d say that in one situation someone did their job in a responsible manner. The tree was in a public park where people might be drawn to it as shelter in the exact type of storm that is most likely to bring it down.

    • Bill Binns 09:48 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      I kind of feel like they are too quick to chop trees down too. How many 300 year old trees do we have? We couldn’t have had a conversation about maybe fencing it off or stabilizing it somehow? There is a huge old oak in the Percy Walters dog park up on Penfield that has a bunch of heavy iron chains and other hardware that look like they were put into the tree to stabilize it a hundred years ago. Appears to have worked.

      I don’t know jack about trees and acknowledge that the tree may have been too far to gone to save but it would be nice to hear about these things before the decision has been made and the tree is gone.

    • Kate 10:14 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill Binns, as Frankie pointed out, the borough did warn us. I follow the borough Facebook feed and they had a photo and an explanation, and as close to an apology as a bureaucracy ever gets, for having to do it.

    • Blork 11:16 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Picky point, but the article says the tree’s age estimate was revised to “about 170 years” after it was felled and they analyzed the rings.

    • Bill Binns 11:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Kate – Well, I get most of my Montreal news here and you didn’t tell us about it in advance- 🙂

      I’m not on Facebook which is sometimes a media blind spot for me. Especially for local stuff. I’m fooling around with the idea of starting a Facebook account on a clean computer that does absolutely nothing else but I’m not even sure if that will keep it’s tentacles out of the rest of my life anymore.

    • Mark Côté 11:57 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Sorry for the off-topic (ish? Facebook news does come up regularly), but Firefox’s Facebook Container is about as close as you can come to full isolation without a separate computer. https://blog.mozilla.org/firefox/facebook-container-extension/

    • Bill Binns 12:15 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Thanks Mark, that looks interesting.

    • Kate 13:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill Binns: I see a fair bit of microlocal news because of the way I have my personal stuff set up, but I try to find items of wider interest for the blog. Sometimes I miscalculate.

    • Blork 13:50 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Side note: Firefox’s “Containers” feature is the greatest browser invention since the popup blocker. I didn’t realize there was a specific Facebook container extension.

      Quick tutorial: with the Containers extension you can define several “Containers” for your different types of browsing. E.g., a “Banking” container for all your banking and financial stuff. A “Shopping” container for all your shopping, etc. The caches for the containers DO NOT MIX, so the cookies that land in your Shopping container have no awareness of the cookies in your Banking container.

      This is also useful for having multiple logins. So lets say you have two Flickr accounts. Instead of constantly logging out of one and into the other, you have one Flickr account open in one container and the other Flickr account open in the other container.

      This is similar to using a Private window for a second simultaneous login, but here’s the difference: when you close a private window, the cache (including all cookies, logins, etc.) is cleared. But Container tabs persist, meaning that if you close that second Flickr tab, and then open it again the next day, you will still be logged into that second Flickr account. (Note that you can have multiple tabs open for the same container.)

      Back to our regular programming…

    • Bill Binns 14:01 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Kate – You do an excellent job and provide me with a valuable service. Without this blog I would pretty much be stuck with the Gazette and bad machine translations of the rest of the media in the city.

      I’m not sure what the rest of the unilingual Anglos in Montreal do for the news but judging from the people I know, they just don’t know what’s going on around town much of the time.

      @Blork – Cool. Going to check it out after work. If it works on mobile devices as well, it’s going to be killer. I think I deleted my FB account in 2008 or something. I deleted it on the first day FB allowed accounts to be deleted.

    • Blork 16:34 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Bill Binns; I don’t think there are “containers” in the FF mobile app. 🙁

  • Kate 06:58 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Contrarily to some expectations, crime is not up around the locations of supervised drug injection sites.

    • Bill Binns 09:34 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Excuse me but BULL FUCKING SHIT. I called 911 four times last week. I called 911 yesterday. The number of needles on the street has absolutely exploded. I have open drug dealing in front of my house in the middle of the day.

      If I call the cops about something violent going on, they respond and usually stop by and talk to me. If I call about ANYTHING drug related, it’s “Your information has been passed on to the police” followed by crickets. There is your reduction in crime. The cops once again curating their own stats.

      The other problem is that they are only looking at crime within 50 to 350 meters of the heroin lounges. Just like the Old Brewery Mission, these places are very careful to keep their clients from hanging out in the immediate vicinity of the facility but the clients never stray far away. They shuffle an orbit around the place stealing and engaging in prostitution to come up with the money for the next hit to be enjoyed in their nice safe lounge.

      I mean really, does anyone think heroin addicts are heading back to the plant to finish their shift after shooting up? Where do the government and the police think these people are getting the money to buy the drugs being enjoyed in these facilities?

    • Ephraim 09:54 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Bill, talk to the people who run the place. They will likely give you a phone number to call when there is a problem. They will react even faster than the cops. They don’t want you calling the cops. We used to have this with Cactus. And soon the problem disappeared.

      Method 2, call the cops and ruin their statistics (and they will pressure you to stop calling).

      Method 3, if it is bad enough, call the Gazoo. They may be interested especially with the cops saying the opposite. Nothing cleans up a neighbourhood faster than the cops seeing a bad article in the press.

    • Bill Binns 10:14 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Ephraim – I have no interest in talking to Cactus. The only thing I want from them is for them to close up shop and leave.

      I have been calling the cops like crazy and not unnecessarily either. My little house is 5 meters wide and I rarely call for anything that is not happening directly in front of or directly behind my house. Interestingly, my wife and I were talking to someone at the city permitting office discussing renovation plans for the house. The woman who worked for the city kept making suggestions for our front entrance and we kept shooting them down because of security concerns. She advised us to call the cops for every single crime or suspicous person we observed and basically said the same thing you said – “eventually they will do something about it or ask us to stop calling and if they do ask us to stop, that’s a good sign”.

      The Gazoo – I know. So tempting. I have been collecting photos, security camera footage and actual needles that tell a pretty damning story but my wife absolutely does not want me or our house in the paper or on the news. She’s slowly coming around though.

      I plan on presenting myself at the local Police station soon to complain in person since it appears to be absolutely impossible to get a human to answer the phone at the non-emergency number. Last summer the cops started driving marked cars through the alley a few times a day and it had an amazing effect.

    • Ephraim 10:18 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Most of the time the non-emergency number isn’t answered anymore. That’s something that needs to be asked about. You can call 911 if they won’t answer and say that they don’t answer their phone…. not your fault.

    • Bill Binns 10:20 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Right, but 911 will only discuss the current “emergency” with you. You can not request additional patrols or anything like that. You also can’t set that up by talking to the cops in person. Everyone directs you to the number that is never answered.

    • Ephraim 10:43 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Maybe it’s time to arrange an appointment with the station chief then.

    • Douglas 20:09 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Its not about crime. Do you want kids looking at heroine junkies on the street? Nobody calls the cops on them.

      A needle junkie with blood leaking out of his arm was at the McDonalds hassling people for money. This is safe for kids?

    • CE 21:19 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Bill, you cant really call bullshit on crime not going up based on your personal experiences unless you’ve been calling more in the last little while. Also, you’re just one person. Maybe you are calling a lot more now, but all it takes is one person who used to call all the time to move away for your calls to have no effect on the cops’ stats.

  • Kate 06:36 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Commuters are fed up with unreliable service on the Deux-Montagnes line, and held a demonstration this week. Construction of the REM has been interfering with the line, reducing the departures so that available trains are, as they say, sardine class.

    In other REM news, environmentalists are distraught about damage being caused at the St‑Laurent Technoparc site.

  • Kate 06:25 on 2018-09-20 Permalink | Reply  

    A cyclist was badly hurt in Montreal North Wednesday afternoon.

    In addition, a pedestrian in her 80s who was knocked down by a vehicle this week in the same part of town has died of her injuries.

    • Ian 13:08 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      That woman was the 19th fatal collision this year, apparently, according to the Gazoo traffic accidents tag. If I’m not mistaken, that’s fewer deaths than the homicide rate.

      Lots of crazy traffic stuff all the time. Yesterday morning had an interesting one between a bunch of trucks, but nobody died, thank goodness. https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/major-crash-closes-highway-40-eastbound-in-dorval

      In other traffic news because of roadwork the bike path along Clark in the north corner of Mile End has been rerouted along St. Larry against traffic and then to Bernard. The blocked off part is too small for bikes with those Chariot-style kid carriers so there are lots of bicyclists just riding alongside into oncoming traffic with their kids in tow, which as a parent I think is kind of insane. There are bicyclists on both sides of Bernard between St. Larry and St. Urbain, every single day, with a kind of free-for-all of bicyclists taking positon regardless of the motorized traffic directions. Now remember St. Urbain is also under roadwork, too. I’m kind of astounded people don’t get run over every single day at that intersection.

      My point here is that given the amount of roadwork and rerouting of traffic, pedestrian, bicycle, or motorized, it’s actually kind of amazing how few accidents we have.

    • Ian 13:10 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      *correction – that big truck collision was back in August. My point stands 😀

    • Kate 14:56 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      It’s comparable to the homicide rate. I think we’re at 20 or 21 on that scale.

    • qatzelok 15:36 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Traffic deaths are a form of collective, societal homicide. Our poorly designed social systems kill us, and otherwise make us vulnerable and weak.

      The same flawed social systems we live under killed the First Nations, and is currently plundering the climate and other life-support features of the earth. It’s all related.

  • Kate 06:49 on 2018-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Canadian Architect has a few sketches of the new office spaces being built inside the Olympic Tower.

    • Bill Binns 08:52 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      Turning part of an old stadium miles and miles away from the downtown core into an office building is just weird. I’m not really for or against it but I have never heard of anything similar being done anywhere else. I guess, if anything, the city should be commended for finding a way to get some revenue out of the old pile but I’m really curious as to where this idea came from.

      Also super weird that the Olympic Installations Commission (or whatever it’s called) built itself a huge building on Rene Levesque when apparently, it could have simply moved into one of it’s own properties.

    • Benoit 10:01 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      Bill, the Canadian Olympic Committee is a private organization, and has nothing to do with the Régie des installations olympiques (RIO), a provincial government agency in charge of exploiting and maintaining the buildings and installations that are a legacy of the Montreal 1976 Olympics.

    • Bill Binns 10:15 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      @Benoit – Ok, I guess I’m confused. The big building on Rene Levesque east of University with the rainbow lights and the Olympic themed electronic art installation in front? This is not the organization in charge of the former Olympic buildings?

    • dwgs 10:22 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      No Bill, that’s the COC, you’re thinking of the OIB.

    • Kate 10:51 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      Bill Binns, you describe it as “miles away from the downtown core” but it’s on the green line, six stops east of Berri-UQÀM, with two metro stations serving the park and – possibly not coincidentally – a special express bus lane being built along Pie-IX at great expense that will make it easy to access from Laval soon. So it’s not exactly Pointe-aux-Trembles.

    • Blork 10:54 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      Yeah, the COC (Canadian Olympic Committee) is responsible for all aspects of Canadian involvement in the various iterations of the Olympics. Being a high ranking sports thing, there’s a lot of money involved, so the people who do this work are accustomed to cushy chairs, excellent views from their sparkling offices, and prime locations.

      The OIB (Olympic Installations Board) are responsible for the maintenance and use of the 1976 Olympics site and its installations. They are a bunch of crusty bureaucrats who do not waste money on cushy office space because that money is better used by funneling it into their pockets or their shell companies.

      Desjardins is the main tenant of the new stadium office complex. They are a bunch of technocrats who all live in the suburbs so they don’t give AF about having a downtown office.

    • dwgs 11:03 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      Wasn’t there a Denis Arcand film where some difficult bureaucracy had their offices in the Big Owe?

    • Bill Binns 11:10 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      My wife works for a big financial institution downtown. They have 4 or 5 buildings in the core but also have some properties in Laval and elsewhere in the suburbs. At least at her company, people do not want to be transferred out of the downtown core. Even the people who live in Laval don’t want to work there. The feeling is that the brass works downtown so downtown is more important and by extension, the rest of the employees that work there are more important, more likely to earn promotions etc. The downtown core is also setup to support office workers with tons of places to eat, have informal meetings etc.

      She also says the Desjardins has a really weird internal culture so who knows but it’s possible all those folks aren’t as thrilled as we assume.

    • Kevin 08:30 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      @Bill Binns
      The same weird culture exists in banking in Toronto. People who have their department moved to Mississauga are treated like lepers.

    • Kate 09:24 on 2018-09-20 Permalink

      Out of sight, out of mind. I bet when there are layoffs it’s mostly the folks in the far-flung offices, not downtown.

    • Dhomas 05:29 on 2018-09-21 Permalink

      @dwgs: L’Âge des ténèbres, by Denys Arcand, is the film you’re thinking of.

  • Kate 06:47 on 2018-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    A construction contractor has been sentenced to 18 months in prison over the death of a worker on a site in 2012 when the walls of an excavation collapsed and killed the man.

  • Kate 06:30 on 2018-09-19 Permalink | Reply  

    A bus with 30 people aboard crashed into a tree in Lasalle Tuesday evening and several people were injured. It wasn’t an STM bus but rather one operated by Exo.

  • Kate 19:04 on 2018-09-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Anne-France Goldwater wants to save the dog that attacked six people last month including four kids. Not surprisingly, the dog was meant to be euthanized, but Maître Goldwater thinks otherwise. Is she perhaps offering to adopt the creature?

    • Chris 19:40 on 2018-09-18 Permalink

      *Wild* animals are often (always?) euthanized when they attack a human, should a domesticated animal be treated differently?

    • Kate 19:47 on 2018-09-18 Permalink

      Animals that are supposedly domesticated and live with people, but have proven themselves to be outliers with uncontrollable behaviour, need to be weeded out. The same doesn’t apply to undomesticated animals out in the woods where our expectations are completely different.

      To me it’s just mad to value the existence of this dog over the safety of the humans in its vicinity. I’m kind of appalled it’s still alive.

    • Chris 20:01 on 2018-09-18 Permalink

      I tend to agree. In other words, there is a *stronger* argument to euthanize domesticated animals vs wild ones.

    • Steve Q 00:22 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      For a moment there, I thought I read that they were going to euthanize Goldwater !!!

    • Mark Côté 13:34 on 2018-09-19 Permalink

      If we want the new, non-BSL animal-control by-laws to be respected, indeed, that dog has very likely got to go. There is, I believe, an opportunity for a dog’s behaviour to be evaluated after it bites someone (there are always extenuating circumstances, like the owner being threatened or attacked), but it’s pretty hard to believe this dog would pass. I think Goldwater is sadly doing a disservice to her cause.

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