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  • Kate 11:40 on 2024-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

    After three pepper spray incidents in the metro last week, the STM has had to admit that it’s hard to control a substance that’s legal to buy. Incidents have been gradually on the rise for a decade.

    • Kate 11:20 on 2024-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

      Item for Ian: there’s a clown festival starting this Thursday.

      • Kate 09:36 on 2024-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse has a dossier Monday on how Quebec’s emergency rooms are more overwhelmed than before Covid, despite political promises. Christian Dubé says things will improve in 2025 and I’m sure the reanimated Canadiens will win the Stanley Cup next season too.

        • Kate 08:54 on 2024-04-22 Permalink | Reply  

          A brawl on a city bus in Hochelaga on Sunday evening sent one man to hospital. That seems to be the entire police blotter for the weekend, except for a torched car.

          Update: and a second torched car item.

          • Ephraim 10:21 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            Never look for chametz in your car with a candle.. 😀 (Those who know, know. All others… sorry!)

          • Ian 11:17 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            With my kids and their snacks my car is FULL of chametz haha … I’m looking forward to the bonfire tonight but I don’t think I’ll park in it.

          • Kate 11:22 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            I was going to slide a “gut yontif” in here somewhere, but it looks like we’ve already got one.

          • Ephraim 12:14 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            @Ian – Car is safe, it’s too late after 11:42AM anyway. 😀

        • Kate 19:31 on 2024-04-21 Permalink | Reply  

          A demonstration Sunday on the eve of Earth Day condemned government inaction on environmental issues.

          This is really obvious, but I don’t see anyone talking about it: Governing is impossible, because on the one hand, you have to make decisions to save the environment and maintain a viable ecosystem, while on the other, you have to stimulate the economy and create jobs. There will always be an unresolvable tension between them. This hit me while looking at the vast, vast amount of junk you can buy cheap from sites like Temu and Aliexpress, and how moving all that stuff around the planet, then throwing it away, is killing us all.

          Update: Some thoughts on this in Le Devoir from William Shatner.

          • Chris 08:56 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            Kate, are you advocating that we live with no phone, no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be?! 🙂

            Everyone wants trinkets, and those same people vote in the governments. Until the consequences are so bad that action will be too late, I doubt it will change. 🙁

          • Kate 09:17 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            It’s going to take a violent crisis to make us act on the environmental consequences of our lifestyle, and by then it will probably be too late. The massive forest fires haven’t persuaded us to change a thing.

            My folks were old, and I heard about “the war” all the time. Did you know that people here endured some amount of food rationing, and put up blackout curtains for a time, for fear of Nazi invasion? Obviously the situation wasn’t like actually being under bombardment in Britain at the time, and some of it may have been performative or done to show solidarity, but it was done. When people need to act collectively in response to a threat, we can do it.

            We’re even forgetting what it was like during that first year of Covid, when there wasn’t a vaccine yet and most of us tacitly agreed that we needed to shut some things down, avoid gathering in groups, change our behaviour in public. Yes, some idiots complained, but most of us complied, because the threat was present and imminent. We still don’t feel that yet about the environment, and even people with kids and grandchildren are still blithely going about consuming and travelling and eating as if there’s no tomorrow. And none of our leaders is strong enough to inspire change, because they’re afraid of damage to the economy.

          • steph 10:20 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            We don’t have to end consumerism completely. The government could pass laws against engineered obsolescence. The government could pass more laws against single use products and products made of such shoddy quality that end up being single use. As a consumer – do your part and actually stop buying that useless junk.

            We managed to pass laws against pesticides and herbicides. Generally suburban lawns now look gross without these supplements. I think we’re doing fine as a society with ugly lawns.

          • Kate 11:24 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            And we really managed (via the Montreal protocol) to phase out the chemicals that were destroying the ozone layer. That’s a positive thing to have linked, however tenuously, to the city.

        • Kate 17:40 on 2024-04-21 Permalink | Reply  

          The first of what’s meant to be 200 container redeeming centres has opened in Montreal after a fair bit of fuss.

          • steph 21:42 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            quick question: Does Dollarama provide refunds on the deposits? I’ve never seen anyone returning cans there for a refund. They do charge a deposits

          • thomas 09:29 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            The lsites that provide refunds on deposits can be found here

            Dollarama is included.

          • Bert 13:01 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            I was in a SAQ when this scheme was coming in. The customer in front of me was told ” go to that supermarket over there to get your refunds.” Must be nice for supermarket owners to loose money. That same supermarket owner told me a story that happened to him during the Marco spruce beer shutdown. Unaware of the upcoming bankruptcy / closure they were flooded by returns for the snap-top bottles. Typically 1$ each. These returns were coming in from dépaneurs and the like, who knew they were never going to get their money from Marco.

            IMO, with basically everyone having access to recycling, the whole deposit thing should just be scrapped.

          • carswell 13:17 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            IMO, with basically everyone having access to recycling, the whole deposit thing should just be scrapped.

            One of the main reasons the province is pushing people toward this “solution” and the SAQ stopped advocating for a curbside recycling-only approach is that selective collection wasn’t/isn’t an optimal or even viable solution for every material that ends up in green bins, especially glass, which needs to be sorted by colour if it is to have much if any resale value, if it’s not going to end up in landfill. That proved impossible with curbside recycling.

        • Kate 08:48 on 2024-04-21 Permalink | Reply  

          CBC is producing terse videos it’s calling podcasts, recently on squatting in Montreal, the Golden Square Mile, and why apartments are rented without appliances. But you’ll have to sit through a commercial first – I got one of those tedious muscular ads for an SUV.

          • saintjacques 08:53 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            The videos are an adaptation of an actual CBC podcast; each audio episode runs roughly 18-24 minutes in length. And, in my experience, the audio feed doesn’t add in any advertisements.

          • Ephraim 08:57 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            Better rented without appliances than the German way… without a kitchen.

          • Ian 12:11 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            Or light fixtures!

          • Blork 14:25 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            When I click through to the item about appliances I get a CBC page with an audio player and no ad.

          • Kate 15:59 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I wanted to link 3 pieces and I guess I got the third one wrong. Sorry.

          • jeather 10:32 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            I have found about half the “Good Question Montreal” podcasts to get (poorly timed) ads in the middle of the episode, and half are ad-free.

        • Kate 16:02 on 2024-04-20 Permalink | Reply  

          Some say that conditions in the Village are improving, but it’s phrased tentatively in the CTV piece.

          • Ephraim 21:24 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            One of the banks told me that they have 24 hour security for their ATM in the village. That’s a heck of an expense.

          • Kate 08:07 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            They want to keep people from sleeping inside the ATM space.

          • P 08:26 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            24h ATMs like this kind of boggle my mind in 2024. For how much rely on credit/debit cards to make purchases… Combined with the fact that all of banks are slimming down their in-person services (switching to online only)… I feel there’s so little financial incentive to provide 24h access, let alone pay for security. Heck, the bank has incentive to keep your money, not disperse it.

          • Ephraim 08:58 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            The thing is, when these areas are abused, banks tend to move the ATMs outside. Which is horrible in the winter and of course less secure if you need to make a deposit.

          • Joey 20:40 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            But the marginal cost of operating ATMs 24/7 must be very small, no? The infrastructure is there, the cash deliveries are already being made, and in most cases security isn’t required. Anecdotally I’ve noticed most (almost all) indoor ATMs “feature” aggressive sound environments (eg a beeping alarm panel) after business hours to prevent littering and many are now locked on weekends.

          • Ephraim 22:12 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            Joey – They are used by businesses to deposit cash/cheques. So security it a concern for some

        • Kate 09:46 on 2024-04-20 Permalink | Reply  

          The city Greater Montreal is pondering a sharp hike in vehicle licensing fees to support public transit.

          • Ian 10:18 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            The city really needs to focus on the fact that this is a tactic in the ongoing struggle with the Ministry of Transportation, and make this about the city VS CAQ.

            As it is, it’s just going to be perceived as “the war on cars” and making citizens pay for political decisions they only have any ability to affect at municipal election time.

            Whether you think there should be a “war” on vehicles or not, one thing that the “war on cars” people tend to forget is that all goods brought into Montreal are then distributed by trucks. In that sense this will easily be spun into a war on business, Also, any company with a Montreal-based fleet of commercial vehicles is going to very quickly move the fleet address off-island, actually decreasing city revenues – and those numbers are an order of magnitude higher than private ownership.

          • DeWolf 11:13 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            But this isn’t a city initiative, Ian, it would apply to all the municipalities in Greater Montreal. So a business wanting to avoid the hike in registration fees would have to move their operations outside the metropolitan area entirely.

            Also, the quotes in the article suggest that the various mayors are taking exactly the approach you recommend:

            // « L’augmentation de la taxe sur l’immatriculation des véhicules n’est pas une option souhaitée par la Ville de Montréal ni une baisse de service de transport collectif », a indiqué l’attachée de presse Catherine Cadotte.

            « Tout dépend de la proposition de financement du ministère des Transports de la Mobilité durable attendue impatiemment par les villes, les sociétés de transport et la population », a-t-elle continué. //

            The mayor of Laval is opposed to the hike but his line is that Quebec needs to step up:

            // Dans une déclaration écrite transmise par son cabinet, le maire de Laval a repoussé la solution fiscale. « Deux choses sont importantes pour moi. D’abord, rencontrer la ministre. Le temps presse », a-t-il dit. « Ensuite, il faut trouver une solution pérenne et conjointe. Si on n’y arrive pas, on va rentrer dans le cercle vicieux de la diminution de l’offre de service. Pour moi, l’augmentation des taxes c’est vraiment la dernière des options. » //

          • Ian 11:51 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Nothing stopping anyone from moving their registration to anywhere outside greater Montreal, it’s a matter of licensing, not physical location of the fleet. There are lots of commercial vehicles in Montreal that are registered elsewhere, it’s not like they need to build a ring of parking lots north of Mirabel or whatever.

            I said “the city” in response to Kate, I did read the article, thank you.

          • Kate 13:13 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            My apologies for misstating the situation originally.

          • Ephraim 09:02 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            The city needs to think long and hard about this because there will be unintended consequences.

            Then again, in many places in Europe, only low emission vehicles are allowed and residential areas are sometimes limited to just residents, buses, taxis, ubers and delivery vehicles with 0 emissions.

          • Chris 10:25 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            “zero emissions” is a greenwashing phrase. The particulates from tires and brake pads is substantial, even from EVs.

          • Ephraim 11:54 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I assume that means that you only buy local. No phone ,no lights, no motor car, not a single luxury like Robinson Crusoe, as primitive as can be.

          • Ian 12:07 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            and not even any coconuts to build everything out of.

          • Chris 20:32 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            A non sequitur if I ever saw one.

          • Ian 21:31 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            Only to people unfamiliar with Gilligan’s Island.

          • Chris 08:44 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            Ian, I was responding to Ephraim, should have specified that. I generally ignore your trolls.

          • Ian 09:48 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            Considering that you think Ephraim’s on-point remark was a non sequitur, I’m not surprised that you think I’m trolling you. Generally, your strong point appears to be false equivalencies, not cultural literacy, so please forgive my unfair assumption.

        • Kate 08:31 on 2024-04-20 Permalink | Reply  

          CBC has some photos and video of the restoration of Eaton’s 9th floor, set to reopen next month. La Presse also has some nice photos.

          • Poutine Pundit 10:45 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Wait, what?

            The dining room will be open only for rentals and dining will take place in some previously unused hallway with low ceilings and a nice wooden floor? Isn’t 95% of the point of going there to dine in the magnificent art deco dining room rather than in a hallway? The dining room is “too large to operate as a modern restaurant”? What does that mean?

          • steph 11:29 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            it means you can’t have dinner in the dining hall. The restoration has the space repurposed. I’m also disappointed (not that I’d pay to dine there either).

          • Ian 15:15 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            So then… what is even the point?

          • Uatu 15:31 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Might as well just eat at the time out market or le Cathcart. It’s a lot better ambiance than a hallway outside of a room you’re not allowed in lol

          • Robert H 16:01 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Wow, it looks just splendid. My boomer nostalgia nerve is triggered. It’s disappointing that the great hall won’t reopen as a restaurant available to all. Though the article notes that by the 1980s (when I first came to Montreal), the glory from its heyday had pretty much faded, I distinctly recall being very impressed by its then pastel coloured elegance; it looked like a great set for an Astaire-Rogers extravaganza. I also remember my delicious salmon with hollandaise sauce. That dining hall and the huge Eaton’s department store that housed it, were the type of place that was already disappearing from cities during my childhood. Used to be that you could find its equivalent in the great commercial palaces of most self-respecting major metropolises. Now they’re all gone, except for this glittering revived remnant. I look forward to seeing it again, and I hope it’s such a success that management reconsiders its decision to restrict la grande salle special events or rentals only.

          • Robert H 16:05 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            One day, Uatu, do you suppose young people might reminisce fondly about shopping mall food halls?

          • Ian 17:10 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            You joke but I ran into some old high school friends and we started waxing nostalgic about the places at the food court in the mall we hung out at in downtown Hamilton circa 1985

        • Kate 19:24 on 2024-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

          Although a majority of its residents would like to have a mayor and fully elected council like every other borough, Ville‑Marie is not going to get it, although there’s some handwavy stuff here about improving governance.

          • Ian 20:19 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            It’s a hard choice for governments to give up these kinds of powers once they are allowed.
            Give ’em an inch … Sure it’s not democratic but PM can poiint to the fact that they inherited it. It’s going to be a long time until VM gets representatives like the other boroughs again, if ever.

          • Kate 09:16 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            I was thinking about this and wondering:
            a) what proportion of VM’s residents are able to vote and
            b) what proportion actually do get out to vote in municipal elections

            I suspect there may be more non-voting expats in the downtown core compared to the eastern side of the borough, towards Hochelaga – but I’m just guessing here.

            Also, would more people take an interest in voting in VM if they felt they had more democratic choice?

          • DeWolf 11:19 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Disappointing. There’s something seriously wrong with the way Ville-Marie is governed and if it isn’t the model of governance, than what is it? All this nonsense about downtown being a special place that needs to be directly overseen by the mayor is belied by the fact that the mayor isn’t doing a very good job at getting things done downtown.

          • bob 12:04 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I don’t think the problem is choice, but effectiveness. Voter turnout is directly related to how confident voters are that the election will have an effect on how the government operates. In the case of municipalities, turnout is low because the effect of the voting is low. It’s like ordering pizza. You have a choice of toppings, but no matter what you choose you’re still getting pizza.

            The turnout for Ville Marie in 2021 was:
            Peter McGill: 27%
            Saint-Jacques: 36%
            Sainte-Marie: 40%

            Trunout for mayor was 38%.

          • James 13:51 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            The current governance of Ville-Marie essentially ensures that the Mayor will have majority control of the borough since 2 of the 5 councillors are appointed by the Mayor of the city. The Ville-Marie Borough mayor position was abolished in 2009 following a dispute between Benoit Labonté (Borough mayor of Ville-Marie who joined the opposition party) and Gérald Tremblay (mayor of the post-merger city). Since then, the city mayor is also the borough mayor.
            Don’t see why Ville-Marie can’t have directly elected borough councillors like several other boroughs have.

        • Kate 16:44 on 2024-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

          A woman was gruesomely attacked and stabbed Friday afternoon at a lower NDG motel, and her attacker fled. Grim description here of the circumstances.

          • Ian 18:01 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            I knew it was a sex worker even before clicking the link. Those motels are notorious.
            Lousy way to go, RIP.

          • Kate 18:10 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            According to media, she’s expected to survive.

          • Ian 18:32 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            Small mercies.

          • MarcG 10:46 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            I just took a streetview stroll down St-Jacques and never realized how many of those creepy motels there were. Off topic but does anyone remember the name of the classic hot dog joint that used to be around there (memory from around 1995)? Mr. Hot Dog or something?

          • Kate 11:48 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            As I recall, Mr Hot Dog was on Sherbrooke near Loyola, although maybe there was another one on St‑Jacques? (There used to be one on St‑Hubert in Villeray too.)

          • dwgs 12:40 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Mr. Hot Dog was indeed on Sherbrooke, right where Monkland merges with it. It has been a Dagwood’s for a number of years now.

          • MarcG 13:26 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            I think that’s it, I definitely remember it being on a triangle corner like that, thanks to you both. Kids used to walk from Royal West Academy to different places on lunch or after school – sometimes, VSP, sometimes St-Jacques, sometimes Sherbrooke – I guess I got them all mixed up in this old brain.

          • Kate 16:35 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            In fact, Monsieur Hot Dog still exists on St‑Hubert, corner du Rosaire. But this one has a bar section and signs out for VLTs, which I don’t think the NDG one ever did.

          • Mark Côté 22:32 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            There was a burger/hot dog joint around there for a while, where the Centre Mobile Plus is now (aside: how those places stay in business I don’t know). Can’t remember the name now, but they had spruce beer that you had to pay a bottle deposit on.

          • Ian 12:08 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I still miss Maison du Egg Roll in St Henri.

          • MarcG 13:53 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            @Ian: Alive and well in Verdun! He must own the building, one of the last of the old school restos on the strip.

          • Ian 15:53 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            OMG! The one in St Hank was a big buffet place, this one looks smaller – but I will definitely swing by to check it out. Thank you so much!

          • MarcG 17:21 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            It’s a real dive but the food’s not bad and the owner is eccentric. If you’re lucky his 90+ y/o Mom will be hanging out at the table covered in newspapers.

          • Ian 18:37 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I do enjoy divey old Canadian Chinese food restaurants, they remind me of when I was a kid and most small towns only had a diner and a chop suey place. It wasn’t until the late 70s that pizza joints started popping up.

        • Kate 11:10 on 2024-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

          The peregrine falcons at the Université de Montréal have produced four eggs this season. Article includes a Youtube link to a live cam focused on the nest.

          (Wow, they can make a hell of a noise, sounds like a power tool! I left the video on and went to the kitchen and then got a jolt when it sounded like someone was drilling in my office.)

          • Ian 15:00 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            Oh neat! It’s pretty cool how many nesting falcons we have around town.

        • Kate 10:17 on 2024-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

          The city is proposing a tram to provide transit for the Hippodrome site.

          • jeather 11:54 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            They said it’s to the east of Namur, though it’s to the west.

          • MarcG 11:58 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            And by ‘west’ we mean south.

          • Blork 12:10 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            It looks like an interesting plan (the whole thing I mean, not just the tram). Those purpose-built “city within a city” projects that were built in various places over the 20th century have not always been successful, sometimes turning into grim ghettos or whatever. But some have worked (I can’t think of any examples offhand).

            It’s good that they are also planning community centers, recreation, schools, etc., which makes it much more of a “community” than for example Griffintown, which was just a real estate bonanza.

            I’d like to know more about the tram. On CBC Radio it sounded like it was just to deliver people to the Namur Metro, which seems limiting. These articles imply it might run quite a ways on Jean-Talon.

            On the one hand, a small tram with limited scope (just around the ‘hood and to the Metro) would be less expensive and more likely to run frequently, which is critical. But also more likely to fall into disrepair and be abandoned in a few decades. A larger system integrated into the city’s transit system (imagine a tram line from Cavendish all the way to the Jean-Talon market!) would be wonderful, but expensive and would probably only pass every 20 minutes, which makes it practically useless for the people in this new community who really just need a fast and frequent ride out of their enclave and to the Metro.

            I wonder if I will live long enough to see this thing fully built and up and running.

          • MarcG 12:26 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            Free idea: High-speed covered moving walkway running straight down the middle to the metro

          • Blork 17:38 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            @MarcG I would literally move to that neighbourhood if they had that!

          • Anton 18:00 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            Train on CP tracks between Namur and Lucien l’Allier running every 10-15 minutes, with intermediate stops at hippodrome, Cavendish, Westminster, Montreal West, Cavendish, Melrose, Vendome.

          • James 08:28 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

          • Kate 09:19 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            Thanks, James

          • qatzelok 08:46 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            I’ve reported the cover page of that Plan Directeur to the Font Police.

          • Ian 09:48 on 2024-04-21 Permalink

            Yikes, +1 qatzi
            I wonder if they designed it in Word?

          • Kate 10:10 on 2024-04-22 Permalink

            Yikes +2 on that.
            Word or Canva, Ian

        • Kate 09:42 on 2024-04-19 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse has found that Airbnbs continue to proliferate despite Quebec’s feeble attempt to rein them in. Dossier of 3 articles also looks at loopholes and party houses.

          Adding: CTV examines an Airbnb party house in Verdun.

          • DeWolf 10:30 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

            Oh hey, there’s a familiar name in the article about the party houses. What a sleazebag. Why Revenu Québec isn’t gleefully going after him is a mystery to me.

          • Robert H 15:25 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

            «On va resserrer encore plus nos contrôles parce que les stratégies utilisées sont de plus en plus pernicieuses.»

            What’s the point? Is there something the city or boroughs have not yet tried? As long as the extant regulation does not allow municipal authorities to access information from Revenu Québec that could verify the principal residence of a homeowner, the law remains toothless. Montreal’s inability to enforce its own codes means, as it does too often, that the ultimate solution lies up river with an administration that isn’t known to have the city’s best interest at heart.

            @ DeWolf: Disconcerting as well that the two complainants did not want their names in the article. Makes me wonder…

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