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  • Kate 08:59 on 2020-01-20 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a good piece on how things stand on the commercial street situation: both taxes and rents are too high to return to an era of smaller businesses in an eclectic mix.

    Update: The problem is not afflicting this city only. Here’s a piece from the New York Daily News on exactly the same issue there.

    • Ian 11:26 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      This is what I’ve been saying all along – PM talks and talks about fighting gentrification but in the end it’s not in their best interests to do anything about it, as the city’s main source of revenue is the exact same commercial taxes that drive gentrification.

      Look at Mile End – free terrases with rainbow benches for the artisanal ice cream shoppe, that they can handle. Hand-carved sculpture benches for the walking tours to rest at, sure. Planters in the extended sidewalks full of non-local annuals that need to be replanted every single year, of course… but gentrification? “Our hands are tied by other forces”. Always a convenient excuse, it worked with AirBnB, why not gentrification?

      This is why we have dying business serving the locals like the two deps that closed within the last 3 months on St. Viateur, yet dozens of tiny overpriced restaurants that are technically small enough to squeak in under the restaurant ban proliferating like fungus in a damp basement. Nobody in charge really cares about the neighbourhood per se, it’s all optics to maintain the vote. If that means keeping taxes high so they can afford civic beautification projects that appeal to their core demographic of white, middle class, francophone university educated, urban planning wonk yuppies, then so be it.

      As far as Projet Montreal are concerned, Lululemon, David’s Tea, QDC Burger, etc. are the new face of Mile End and if you don’t like it, move to Ville-Emard.

    • Mark Côté 11:30 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Projet got voted into a lot more places than just Mile End. The different boroughs may have different priorities but I don’t see the same demographics as having carried Projet to victory here in NDG, for example.

    • Ian 12:24 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      I guess I must have got them confused with some other party that rose to power in the Plateau, specifically Jeanne-Mance, Milton Parc & Mile End, and while they did win the civic election, they have (for instance) the (white, male, etc.) mayor of the Plateau in charge of the city’s economic plan. It’s pretty clear whose sensibilities they cater to, I think.

    • Ephraim 13:54 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Ian, there is lots of blindness.

      The Jeanne-Mance neighbourhood (especially the South) is mostly a pedestrian neighbourhood. Heck, on my street, we only see two cyclists who live on the block… and yet bike paths… because people from the de Lormier neighbourhood need to cycle through… but we have a Centre de readaptation and we can’t even get benches for them to rest on when they go out for a well needed walk. For all the lovely planters in Mile End, what we need in this part of the Plateau is more paths to walk on. And in the area of the Centre de readaptation, places where they can walk that are safe and protected cross-walks… they are struggling with canes and walkers and yet to get back to normal… they need to walk around the neighbourhood. There are at least two more old age homes in Jeanne-Mance, right off of Sherbrooke… all pedestrian. And the larger buildings tend to have more older folks as well.

      Milton Park, to the west isn’t the same either. Much more students, who are less interested in a bench on the street, they want a path that they can bike and rollerblade and drive an overpriced scooter on.

      And all the while, people have to drive through, clogging the streets with cars. But then the cars need some place to stop for 15 minutes to pick up something in the neighbourhood and we either laden the streets with parking meters that let people sit too long, or removed them and left no place to stop. Not to mention we don’t have enough delivery zones to keep deliveries from double parking and clogging the same streets.

      It’s a tough set of solutions that we need. Some thinking out of the box. Some bringing in European trained city planners… because bringing in the North American ones bring back car thinking, rather than neighbourhood thinking.

    • Mark Côté 15:53 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      I’m not arguing against what their priorities may or may not be in the Plateau/Mile End. I just don’t know that it’s a PM-wide thing. But I guess that doesn’t help anyone who doesn’t like what they’re doing in Plateau/Mile End.

    • qatzelok 19:06 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Ian: “PM talks and talks about fighting gentrification but in the end it’s not in their best interests to do anything about it, as the city’s main source of revenue is the exact same commercial taxes that drive gentrification.”

      Yes, but before going full out and blaming the current government, rememember, property in Montreal is mostly private, and there are some very powerful landlords out there that could do serious damage to any politician who tries to regulate their profit-making. Neither PM or any other political party can simply ‘take over’ all the leases and start changing things overnight. Even building massive amounts of subsidized housing affects private landlords, so it’s in THEIR interest to make sure no one does.

      As long as we remain a capitalistic society, the market will do as it pleases, and our governments will continue to ‘inspire and motivate’ because there’s not a lot more that they can do short of abolishing most capitalism and replacing it with some kind of collective or state ownership.

      This would require a revolution, and not a by-law.

    • Raymond Lutz 20:58 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      @qatzelok… hmm we need Alternative Models Of Ownership. OK, I know… Brexit killed the Labour Party.

  • Kate 08:56 on 2020-01-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The eastern green line has been down and, as I post, is only slowly starting back up.

    • jeather 09:36 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      It is unbelievably packed at 8:35, I couldn’t get in the first two trains though I am feeling good about my chances for #3.

    • jeather 10:08 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Third train lucky.

  • Kate 08:54 on 2020-01-20 Permalink | Reply  

    There were three violent but non-fatal incidents overnight – some minor stabbings and a shooting with no victims, all in the north end.

  • Kate 13:14 on 2020-01-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Snow removal will begin Sunday evening at 19:00.

  • Kate 12:44 on 2020-01-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Daily Hive claims that McGill and UQÀM figure on Canada’s “sugar babies” list, but since they confuse the Université de Montréal with UQÀM it’s doubtful these numbers have much relationship to reality.

    • Dhomas 13:01 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      I didn’t really want to click on a “Daily Hive” link (they are pretty much junk journalism), but I had no clue what a “sugar baby” was and I wanted to find out. This article did not change my opinion of the site…

    • Michael Black 13:19 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      There was a documentary on the topic a few years ago, I think it aired on CBC TV. Someone got curious, and tried it, or at least that was the presentation. Maybe her main goal was to make a movie.

      I think.I saw some figure about Montreal or specifically about McGill some time back, that reinforces the story. Don’t those “news sources” rehash legit news stories rather than create them?

    • Blork 16:16 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      For anyone who’s wondering WTF this is all about, the TL;DR is basically that there is a large industry around young (usually) women students renting themselves out to wealthy men. It’s coordinated through web sites. It’s not quite sex work because the arrangements often don’t involve sex, at least not immediately. It’s basically the old fashioned “escort” business but primarily involving students it seems.

      A couple of non-shitty articles where you can read more are this one from The Bull & Bear (“McGill’s Student-run News Magazine): http://bullandbearmcgill.com/dont-sugarcoat-it-sugar-babies-of-mcgill/

      … and this older one (2013) from the McGill Tribune: http://www.mcgilltribune.com/features/sugar-babies-at-mcgill/

    • Michael Black 19:20 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Wasn’t this all covered in “Breakfast at Tiffany’s”?

    • Blork 21:49 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Yeah. But I think what’s surprising people is the sheer numbers. It’s not just an obscure thing that a handful of people are doing. According to the article Kate linked to, more than 800 McGill students are signed up at the primary “sugaring” web site. Are they all doing it? I doubt it. But even if half are doing a bit of it, that bascially means 400 somewhat high-end escorts in the city’s escort pool are McGill students.

  • Kate 11:23 on 2020-01-19 Permalink | Reply  

    This weekend’s Centre d’histoire piece shows us one of the first women drivers in the city – in 1906.

    Radio-Canada examines the history of bring-your-own-wine restaurants, which began with a change of law in 1982, and goes over the 110-year history of Le Devoir.

    The Gazette describes a piece of hundred-year-old radio history.

  • Kate 09:49 on 2020-01-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The existence of LED lights that are cheap to buy and run has revolutionized how we light up city landmarks, but can there be too much of a good thing? Montreal has no overall policy on how much light is too much at night.

    • Joey 18:45 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Somewhat related, walking home in the snow last night I really missed the old streetlights – the snow was almost brightly illuminated, it didn’t have that warm orange colour.

    • CE 18:56 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      My street still has the old orange-tinted lights and it looks a lot nicer right now than the streets with white lights.

    • Ian 11:28 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      I do like the darker streets for sleeping but it’s also a lot harder to see potholes at night…

    • Blork 12:34 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      I have two issues with LED lights. The first is color, but that is theoretically easy to deal with as long as whomever is in charge knows to get “warm” toned LEDs instead of cool toned. But the bigger problem for me is that LED lights are extremely bright pinpoints instead of diffused sources like you get with non-LED lights. This can be really harsh on the eyes, particularly for people with sensitive eyes or bad night vision.

      It seems to me this could also be easily fixed by just placing a bit of a diffuser over the lights, but few people are complaining about it and hardly anyone thinks about lighting in terms of “quality of light” so it ain’t gonna happen.

  • Kate 09:30 on 2020-01-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Renovation of the Biodome, which has twice been extended, seems to be drawing to a close for this spring.

    • Ephraim 15:36 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Finally get our penguins back from Calgary…. any chance we can get the two from Pittsburgh back as well?

    • Kate 15:56 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Ephraim, for a moment there I thought you were making a hockey joke. But I see on the roster that the Penguins have only one player from Montreal.

    • Ephraim 18:41 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      @Kate – I guess you missed the one who played for the Rimouski Oceanic of the QMJHL… ask anyone in Rimouski, he’s adopted Quebecois.

  • Kate 18:31 on 2020-01-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Environmental protesters visited the Salon de l’auto Saturday to denounce car culture.

    • CharlesQ 14:21 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      On another note, quebeckers are buying more and more SUVs… https://ici.radio-canada.ca/nouvelle/1479030/environnement-vus-achat-ges-changements-climatiques-voitures-quebecois?depuisRecherche=true
      So much for the climate crisis. It’s one thing to buy a car, but buying the biggest one you can find, I don’t get it. I’m sure it’s for the children or something.

    • Dhomas 14:54 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      I have 3 car seat aged children. My next car will be an electric that seats 5. I already have 3 car seats that fit side by side for my current ride. I live on the island in a triplex, of which I rent the 2 units I do not occupy. Not everyone with kids is the stereotypical SUV-driving suburbanite you seem to show disdain for, @CharlesQ.

    • Kate 15:58 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Smidge defensive there, Dhomas. CharlesQ is linking to a legit story, which I only didn’t post because it wasn’t specific to Montreal. (I did put it on the EnviroMontreal twitter feed.)

    • John B 16:26 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      @Dhomas – how’d you get 3 seats side-by-side? I only have 2 and there’s maybe 8 inches between them in most cars.

      Giant carseats are probably one reason that people get SUVs. Kids are required to be in car seats or on booster seats until they’re 9 now. Many – maybe most – car seats make the seat beside them unusable, and they’re adjusted for a specific kid so it’s not super-easy to put another kid in one. The average sedan gets fairly crowded with anything more than 2 adults + the 2 kids with designated seats.

      If only we had more transit options than the metro that are easy to do with kids.

    • Dhomas 18:21 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      @John B: Look for the Diono Radian series (I use the RXT), or, if you have a little more budget the Clek series of car seats. Both fit 3 side by side in the back seat.

      @Kate: I agree that my comment was a little defensive. I often hear people complaining about families, strollers, and their perceived embracing of SUVs and the suburbs. I just want to say that we’re not all bad. 😉

    • ant6n 18:27 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      It’s true, eh. Can’t both complain about strollers on the metro and families with cars. Unless you want one parent to stay home at all times.

    • CE 19:00 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      Kids have to sit in a car seat until they’re 9?? I don’t even remember when I stopped needing a car seat. For a while I had a booster seat which I think are illegal now. There was a point in my childhood when we got a newer car that had a passenger airbag and I wasn’t allowed to sit in the front anymore until I tuned 12. I remember that seeming like a horrible punishment.

    • Dhomas 20:12 on 2020-01-19 Permalink

      @CE: Booster seats are not illegal, but the laws have definitely changed and kids need to have a car seat or booster seat until the age of 9 or 145cm:

      Newer cars also allow you to put kids in the front seat, with an appropriate car seat. You would either need to disable the airbag or it automatically disables itself when it doesn’t detect an adult’s weight. I have a friend who used to put his kid in a Car2go Smart this way, and it was perfectly legal.

    • jeather 10:30 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Yeah, I understand car safety, but this means that every single family needs to go places separately, you can’t carpool to school, etc. I have no idea how you have friends over. The externalities of more car seats, longer, are not insignificant.

    • CE 12:29 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      My partner’s sister (who lives in Alberta) has three kids and each time she gave birth, she had to show a receipt for a brand new car seat before they would let her leave the hospital with her baby. Apparently she wasn’t allowed to use the old one that her older child had grown out of. Does anyone know if this exists here?

    • jeather 13:12 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      You have to show that you have a car seat that isn’t expired and is valid in Canada, but I know two people who showed their car seats from the first baby and were fine.

    • CE 13:21 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      How many years can you have them before they expire? What if you don’t have a car and never drive, are you still required to have one?

    • jeather 13:50 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      Six years; I don’t know what happens if you say you don’t have a car.

    • Ian 14:58 on 2020-01-20 Permalink

      I didn’t have a car until after my second child was born in 2011… baby strollers have a kind of clip-in bassinette deal that can also double as an infant car seat for some models. They don’t sell just carriages anymore.

      If you are super broke and can’t afford one on your own there are community groups and I know some hospitals will even lend them out so you can at least walk you kid home or take a cab. You still don’t need a proper car seat to take a cab for emergency reasons, i.e. if you can’t afford your own car. Older children you can legally strap in on your lap.

      Hospitals do want to see you with a baby carrier of some kind before they send you on your way but they will help you out.

  • Kate 11:46 on 2020-01-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The police ethics committee has formally dismissed an officer for stealing an iphone during a protest in 2012, but it was symbolic only, as the man had quit the force six years ago.

  • Kate 11:22 on 2020-01-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Homeless shelters have been crowded in this cold snap, with even the emergency shelter at the old Royal Vic filling up.

    We’re expecting a snowstorm starting late Saturday afternoon/early evening and overnight, although with any luck nothing on the scale of the blizzard that just hit Newfoundland and is being widely reported.

  • Kate 13:42 on 2020-01-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The botanical garden’s Agave guiengola is flowering, something it only does after 20 years of existence, whereupon it dies. Not sure the Espace pour la vie is fair in describing the sight as “once in a lifetime”: most of us have hopes of seeing a few 20-year cycles before we too expire.

    • mare 16:05 on 2020-01-17 Permalink

      Time to get an Access Montreal pass.

      Dumb question: Could they just plant a few, every 5 years or so?

    • Kate 19:44 on 2020-01-17 Permalink

      I’m sure they could, but I don’t know whether they’d choose to devote that much space to one species of plant.

      It would be interesting in these times to start a “long now” greenhouse with plants that grow slowly and only flower over long periods. I was reading about bristlecone pines recently, for example. But we don’t really have a social mechanism for that kind of long-term planning.

      I wonder whether our botanical garden is making any plans to help the biome handle climate change over time. Someone should go ask them and write an article.

    • Mark Côté 23:48 on 2020-01-17 Permalink

      “once in a lifetime” could be a sort of tongue-in-cheek reference to the fact that the bloom is only once in a lifetime for the plant…

  • Kate 13:26 on 2020-01-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has been investigating the early links of the Saputo family with the Bonanno family from New York, and connections with the Rizzutos here. English version on the CBC side. Lino Saputo published a memoir last year in which he denied any links to the mob. (I bet John Parisella has a few anecdotes from ghosting that book.)

  • Kate 13:19 on 2020-01-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Céline Dion’s mother has died at 92. Besides being the mother of 13 kids, including an international star, Thérèse Dion became a media star in her own right and established a charitable foundation. Her husband Adhémar died in 2003.

  • Kate 09:10 on 2020-01-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal has a preview of downtown’s third food hall to open within a year, Le Cathcart in Place Ville-Marie.

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