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  • Kate 19:51 on 2018-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has unveiled revised plans for Plaza St-Hubert. Work should begin in August.

    • david 01:10 on 2018-03-22 Permalink


      The gap between buildings and covering = no. Haven’t we learned this lesson?

      Actually lowering the height/clearance = no.

      Poles on the street in addition to those flush with the buildings = no.

      Another renovation in the millions when there are so many other problems = no.

      This is a stupid project, imo.

    • CE 08:26 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I wonder who’s going to climb up there in the winter to shovel all the snow off.

    • Blork 08:59 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      Oh FFS. I’m not a civil engineer, and I try not to complain about every new plan that comes along, but come on! What’s the point of widening the sidewalks if a full metre of the sidewalk is taken up by the feet of the outside support poles for the awning? (Seriously; look at the pictures. Why not set up trip wires while you’re at it?

      And as CE says, what about snow (and even rain) buildup? There seems to be a slight incline, but it’s not enough to keep snow and ice from building up in the winter. And that snow and ice buildup WILL be a problem.

      And what’s with the huge gap between the awning and the storefronts?

    • Ephraim 09:22 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I would imagine that the city doesn’t legally have a right to attach to the buildings. Which of course makes me wonder who built it in the first place and how they received permission. The poles in the middle, just asking for trouble.

    • dwgs 10:19 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      So much fail. I work with Architecture students and this is the kind of thing I see all the time. My first question would be, “That’s a pretty significant expanse that’s cantilevered out from the posts, is it tied off to any other structure? No? It’s all cantilevered steel and glass, both of which are heavy? What happens with a snow load? Who will clear it of leaves in the fall and dust in the summer? What happens when it rains? Where are the drains?”

    • Clément 13:08 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I’m linking to the La Presse article, which has more details and addresses some of the concerns listed above (snow removal, structural integrity, the fact that poles aren’t in the middle, the bracing to account for the cantilever, the 2% slope for when it rains, etc, etc, etc.)

      The municipality website also has more info, schematics, renderings, etc.,142454742&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL

      As far as why the structure isn’t attached to the buildings (the so-called gap), my understanding is that the current structure isn’t attached either and it comes down to liability. You don’t want a poorly maintained building to cause the awning to fall down on pedestrians.

    • Ian 17:01 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      I thought the awnings going straight up to the buildings was the whole point in the first place so they would provide shelter and could be heated. This is a waste of time and money, just tear them out and be done with it. They make St-Hubert look like a strip mall.

    • Faiz Imam 17:14 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      David, there are specific reasons why the design was the way it is.

      The gap between buildings is also the case with the existing structure and must continue, the buildings are of many different types, some would agree to being attached while others would not. Easiest to continue the same design concept.

      “Actually lowering the height/clearance”

      “Parente told CBC that reducing the slope of the awnings will expose more of the storefronts, allowing businesses to rebuild their second and third floors.
      He said he was happy the city made changes to the plan after it was first announced last year.”

      “Poles on the street in addition to those flush with the buildings = no.”

      Owners want to be able to modify the storefronts, sometimes add balconies and such. THEY fully supported having the pillars on the street side.

      “Another renovation in the millions when there are so many other problems = no.”

      The street and the awnings need maintenance, and there is wide agreement that major work now is better than small projects over time.

  • Kate 07:48 on 2018-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Just For Laughs has been sold to American firm ICM partners.

  • Kate 05:59 on 2018-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    In the unlikely event that the Parti québécois forms the next government, they promise to cancel the REM project and put more money into buses and trains. Valérie Plante says there’s no question of abandoning the REM.

    • Ephraim 07:59 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Anyone know of someone taking bets on the PQ winning the next election? I have a fortune to wager against it.

    • Steve Q 08:25 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      If I was considering voting PQ in the next election, this just killed it !

      Enough of scrapping project and stating all over again, we are already 30 years behind in terms of transit and we need to start yesterday to begin catching up.

    • ant6n 10:39 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      That’s another point I’m kind of disappointed with Plante. The PM project always wanted improvements on the project, in particular sharing the tunnel (It’s in their program). VIA has sort of gotten themselves into the tunnel and maybe will be able to run a train an hour. The RTM is still kicked out. So against the negative to ambivalent feeling of most of her party (who also don’t like the privatization aspect), she’s basically endorsed the project, with zero improvements to it. It’s the kind of politics that does PR instead of dealing with problems; like the public is being managed instead of the projects.

    • Blork 10:52 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      “It’s the kind of politics that does PR instead of dealing with problems.” Yes, that. That’s the thing that I find really disappointing with the PM mandate so far. From my POV the whole closing of the road over the mountain is exactly that too.

    • Faiz Imam 11:25 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Planning critiques aside, the fact that the PQ made no mention of the various cancellation penalties both towards the Caisse, as well as of the many subcontractors as part of their cost breakdown is a complete farce and shows a total lack of crédibility. Cancelling a project of this scale “without cause” involves millions, maybe hundreds of millions, in penalties.

      The fact is that construction crews are already on the ground, and by the time a PQ government would get into power significant construction would have begun.

      Not even grappling with those issues shows that this is nothing more than fantasy.

    • ant6n 13:25 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Acutally, Lisee said that they should continue work on the south shore branch, because he wants to use whatever they’re building to do a tram.

    • ant6n 15:02 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      …I don’t really get what Lisee is trying to accomplish. He gave a very detailed presentation, pointing out various issues of the REM, then goes on to propose an alternative, which is basically a shopping list of trams, BRTs and commuter rail improvements. He’s drawing lines all over the map, far into suburbs and exurbs, often along highways and often such that you may have to transfer two, three times to get downtown.

      I think politicians should be doing less drawing lines on maps, and maybe encourage proper planning processes and proper funding instead.

    • Faiz Imam 17:37 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Oh, and I forgot to mention that any such modification made without the Caisse’s full consent and participation would almost certainly lead to lawsuits that would delay any transit investment for years. And Given how provincial and federal investment is tied into it, it would probably lock away that money and delay things a full decade.

      Rob Ford would be proud.

      I mean, obviously this is political convenience. He has latched on to the legitimate issues with the REM (most of which are not in any way catastrophic flaws, but instead “non optimal” design decisions) and used that as an excuse to scrap the whole thing and hand out electoral gifts to every district he wants votes in.

      I liked this political cartoon today:

      It’s throwing 20 years of transit studies at the wall and hoping some of it sticks, and it really does not look like much of it is.

    • Ali Bear 21:20 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      “Rob Ford would be proud.”

      Yes, and Enron and Arthur Porter would be proud of the “planning” that went into the REM.

    • ant6n 00:36 on 2018-03-22 Permalink

      @Faiz Imam
      You’re not being factual again. Firstly, Lisee has talked at length about the concerns regarding costs when cancelling the REM contracts. Secondly, he said that the work that’s starting is on the South Shore, and that’s fine and good, they should continue and they’ll convert it to the tram. Thirdly, what you as a Brossard resident call ‘”non optimal” design’ and keep defending with half truths and CDPQ talking points; a lot of others (those who won’t personally benefit) call full of fatal issues — especially given CDPQInfra’s flat-out refusal to address the major design flaws.

      For example sharing with VIA: as Lisee’s pointed out there are two stories here: VIA says yes they’ll share the tunnel, CDPQInfra says maybe we’ll share, once some technology is developed that doesn’t exist yet. This is not how to design a billion dollar regional infrastructure.

  • Kate 05:26 on 2018-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Statistics show that a net loss of population in the city: people are leaving Montreal for adjoining regions of Quebec. Young families in particular tend to flee the city for the 450 – not a new trend.

    • Ephraim 08:00 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      We don’t build enough family friendly housing in the city for them. They need larger apartments and buildings with inside courtyards with green space so they can play. (Okay, realistically, benches and wifi…)

    • JaneyB 08:13 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Also, you can get a place for 100K cheaper than on the island. Obviously, most young families are going to go off-island.

    • Ephraim 08:40 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      You can, but you pay for it in commuting time, gasoline, etc.

    • Bert 10:37 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Or you pay for it with constant construction with diesel fumes, bus fumes, noise pollution, light pollution. Further it’s not like the island of Montréal has a monopoly on employers. As people move outwards companies will also move with the workforce, who may (will) want jobs closer to home. I know people who have taken similar jobs at lower pay (with the penalty of starting at the bottom of the pile (vacation, etc.)) just to save the commute. A commute that I agree is tedious.

    • Faiz Imam 11:48 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      The fact that this is happening despite (or, on top of) the massive amount of construction in the city underscores how Important planning and sustainable development of the suburbs is.

      There’s a lot of good work going on in many Suburbs to make them less autodependent, increasing density, mobility and quality of life. A major element is the aging nature of the suburbs, with many older residents wanting to “age in place” which forces a major check in these places on how they can manage that.

      If you look particularly at cities that have run out of greenfields to expand into, they have no choice but to look inward and build up.

      For example many suburban boulevards are seeing strip malls replaced by large apartment complexes that actually have a decent connection to the street and transit, and not make it too unreasonable to walk to a nearby supermarket.

      Soo.. #notallsuburbs, I guess.

    • mare 14:17 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Even if there are a lot of big apartments and houses available, they’re often not affordable for young parents. They just don’t get a mortgage high enough when one parent is on maternity leave, or underemployed. Both parents having a demanding ‘career’ job while juggling kids to/from daycare/school/sport/dance/etc is very hard, often one parent settles for less stress and more free time.

      Banks might don’t give that 100k extra mortgage, so getting a cheaper house with a nasty commute is often the only solution. Also a sort of mortgage, since you’ll pay for it for many years, with interest.

      Big places to rent with a garden just cost too much, for $2000 rent (which is not unheard of in the centre of the city) you can get a pretty high mortgage, around $400,000 at the moment.

    • Blork 16:31 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      For the city center, $400,000 isn’t even a very big mortgage these days.

      It’s fascinating how we talk about this as if it’s a unique problem to Montreal. Actually it’s totally normal that it costs more to live in the city centre than to live in the periphery. That’s how it is in virtually every large city in the developed world — at least the ones with a good economy. The only odd thing about Montreal is that we went a few decades with a bad economy, and that artificially kept things affordable and created a sort of bubble of expectations that is not very tenable in a thriving economy.

      Ever since the 1940s-50s exodus to the suburbs has reversed (which I believe started in the late 80s), the perceived advantages of living in the city centre have steadily increased (not just here; I mean everywhere). It’s the success of new urbanism essentially eating itself. The more you go on about how good it is to live in the city, and the more you make city living attractive, the more people want to do it.

      The result is good old supply and demand. The supply is limited and the demand increases, therefore the cost goes up. Factor in that someone has to pay for all these city wonders (infrastructure), so taxes go up too. Result: an outflow of people with low or medium means, which sounds like demand is going down, but it’s just displacement when the people of higher means price them out of the market.

      So yeah, all these people are leaving the city, but it’s partly because there is such high demand to live in the city. That sounds like a contradiction, but it’s not.

      Commuting to work from outside of the city centre is something that people do everywhere. It’s normal. And it’s not just “sprawl.” All cities everywhere are surrounded by smaller towns and villages, and its normal that the people from those places are drawn into the city to work. And as the cost of living in the city goes up, it’s normal that some of those city dwellers will seek less expensive and less stressful living by moving out to the towns and villages.

      I’m not saying that Montreal (and other cities) don’t need good planning, or that the goddamn “market” should determine all of these things. I’m just throwing in another perspective. Not all extra-urban living is “sprawl,” and it’s actually very unusual for people in cities to live within walking distance of their jobs (and if they do, they usually pay dearly for it).

    • Ephraim 16:38 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      The mortgage thing relates more to the risk that Vancouver and Toronto faced, which consequently tightened mortgages. There are 3 bedroom condos available for under $400K in the Plateau. I’m sure that the money would go further in Park-Ex, Ahuntsic, St-Laurent, Cartierville, Ville Emard, Homa, etc….

    • Blork 16:51 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      No doubt. And those places would make some people really happy. Others would wonder why they have a $400,000 mortgage on a ramshackle old condo that hasn’t been renovated since the 80s and isn’t soundproof and has no yard when for $50,000 less they could get an entire house with a yard and a family room in the basement where the kids can make all the goddamn racket they want, and the only cost is you get to read your book or listen to podcasts for 30 or 40 more minutes every day than you do on your current commute.

      Or maybe they’re OK with the confines of a narrow condo, but they might resent the fact that for $100,000 less they could have the same condo but with all new stuff (and soundproof), but they’d have to suffer that inconvenience of more reading/podcast time every day.

  • Kate 20:49 on 2018-03-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Lafontaine Park will be more dedicated to walking, with cars and even bicycles banished outside its boundaries.

    • Blork 21:44 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      Cue the bike lobby…

    • Faiz Imam 22:16 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      cyclists want to follow the path of least resistance to get to their destination. That used to include cutting through the park.

      If the new layout has a convenient bike path, and/or inconvenient routing/landscaping though the park, then cyclists will stay out.

      anyone post images of the new park? i’ll reserve judgment till that happens, as usual they are saying all the right things.

    • DeWolf 04:13 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      From the La Presse article yesterday: “On compte déplacer la piste cyclable longeant l’avenue du Parc-La Fontaine afin que celle-ci se trouve dans la rue, qui s’en trouvera évidemment réduite en largeur.”

      It seems to me that by replacing a traffic lane with a bike path, there will actually be much more space for bikes than the current arrangement.

    • Blork 08:56 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      It’s a pretty drawn out plan, with some of the changes taking 15 years to implement.

      I understand some of the bike ban. Most of the paths through the park are literally just walking paths, and when you get some hoser on a bike charging through it can be hazardous. But it seems extreme to ban bikes from the park altogether. Calixa-Lavallée and Émile-Duployé are destined to become wide “promenades,” as if PM are envisioning scenes from 19th century French impressionists. Seems a bit precious.

    • Jack 17:47 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Bike lobby supports moving to the road and taking up car space because…..we are hosers.

  • Kate 20:22 on 2018-03-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Brief Reddit video of a large piece of the Children’s collapsing, and an Instagram video from a different angle from the Gazette’s Dave Sidaway.

  • Kate 20:17 on 2018-03-20 Permalink | Reply  

    As the city launches its multicultural roundtable, Marie-France Bazzo asks what place this polyglot city has in a largely monocultural Quebec.

  • Kate 05:56 on 2018-03-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Tuesday evening, Luc Ferrandez will unveil city plans to spiff up Lafontaine Park.

  • Kate 05:54 on 2018-03-20 Permalink | Reply  

    The new installations at the Gilles-Villeneuve track will be more expensive than originally expected, rising from an initial $48 million to as much as $76.2 million.

    • Ephraim 07:32 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      Wouldn’t it be really news if something came in under budget?

  • Kate 22:02 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Videotron and the new Grand Montréal Comédie Fest have teamed up as Just For Laughs is sold to an American company, and also as Gilbert Rozon’s fortunes continue to decline.

  • Kate 21:52 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has video of the renovations at the Olympic stadium as Desjardins prepares to move a thousand workers into the space this June.

    • Uatu 16:31 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      Pretty cool, but like the article mentions there’s nothing much going on around the area and I guess they’ll have to get used to not being in the hustle and bustle of downtown….

    • Kate 21:54 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      The video says 900 of the workers moving in have been working somewhere on l’Assomption, so they’re not going to be missing downtown!

    • Blork 08:57 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      In any other city, this would be a great opportunity for someone to set up a food truck.

    • Uatu 09:43 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      The food trucks are there, but only on weekends I think….

    • Blork 10:33 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      Weekend food trucks are useless to office workers.

      And highly restrictive food truck rules basically kill any ideas about providing food truck lunch options to those weekday office workers.

      That’s why I said “in any other city…”

    • Faiz Imam 11:55 on 2018-03-21 Permalink

      One of the other articles on this interviewed the head of RIO, and he said they absolutely plan on introducing permanent food truck installations.

  • Kate 06:07 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    The city inspector general has a report showing that a garbage removal firm may have been flim‑flamming the city for a long time, making it pay for trash picked up in other towns.

    • Blork 17:00 on 2018-03-19 Permalink

      Not possible. Garbage removal is universally acknowledged as having the highest level of professional ethics in the entire world of civil infrastructure.

    • MtlWeb39 22:51 on 2018-03-20 Permalink

      @Blork Tony Soprano’s lawyer(s)

  • Kate 06:05 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Projet may have lifted the pitbull ban, but Quebec is about to pass its own law barring several dog breeds from the province.

    • Ian 20:40 on 2018-03-19 Permalink

      Now Rottweilers? That’s kind of random.

  • Kate 06:01 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Ariel Kouakou is still missing. Boxer Adonis Stevenson has chipped in $15,000 to help the family; there’s a reward for valid tips; police divers are preparing to plunge into the Back River as the search is widened on land for the missing ten-year-old.

    Update: The reward is now up to $75,000.

  • Kate 05:55 on 2018-03-19 Permalink | Reply  

    Organizers say Sunday’s chill kept spectators away from the St Pat’s parade, where the Journal says 50,000 fewer people showed up than in recent years. Parade photos from Metro.

    • Ian 07:03 on 2018-03-19 Permalink

      It certainly doesn’t help that de Maisonneuve has a lot more wind tunnels than Ste Catherine, but it was still fun. I also wonder if the fact that there’s fewer retail places and restaurants along this year’s route played a factor – east of Peel there’s not many places for the family crowd to pop in for a warming beverage or for the younger crowd to buy beer.

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