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  • Kate 06:45 on 2019-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal reminds us Wednesday is the vernal equinox (twice a year I get to remind journalists there’s nothing “official” about it, although they almost always use this word, whether in English or French).

    This piece also says days will get longer after the equinox, which is true, but they’ve been getting longer since the winter solstice a few days before Christmas. It’s not the equinox that’s the turning point.

    This piece also says there will be snow Wednesday night.

     
  • Kate 06:39 on 2019-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    QMI says that its paper 24 Hres has been banished by Exo. The free paper used to be distributed on its train platforms in exchange for giving Exo a free page for its PR bulletins, but, QMI says, the deal was cancelled after it published several high-profile pieces criticizing how Deux‑Montagnes train service has declined in reliability because of REM construction. The article points out that other media have been saying the same thing about the service.

     
    • Dominic 06:47 on 2019-03-18 Permalink

      Oh wow, that is petty.

    • qatzelok 11:45 on 2019-03-18 Permalink

      Nothing in the article about any too-cozy relationship between Sun Media and the REM, so I guess “conflict of interest” isn’t the reason we are to be given for this banishing of a free rag.

    • Ephraim 14:09 on 2019-03-18 Permalink

      I wonder if EXO took QMI out to the garage and beat them with a set of jumper cables until they submitted that newspapers are only allowed to print positive stories about how you aren’t doing your job right.

  • Kate 06:32 on 2019-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Work begins Monday on the Pie-IX bus rapid transit lane. It’s not expected to wrap up till 2022.

     
  • Kate 19:53 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Drivers can get valet parking downtown for $8 on weekends as part of a city effort to make downtown a more appealing shopping area.

     
  • Kate 19:46 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    While people were swigging and jigging uptown, a group held a vigil in Square Victoria for the victims, now numbered 50, of the attack in New Zealand.

     
    • j2 20:41 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      My partner was disappointed it was so poorly announced, at least in the shadow of the events. She wanted to attend with the kids. (We did make the parade, but would have gone had we known.)

    • Kate 06:42 on 2019-03-18 Permalink

      I didn’t see any notice of the vigil till it was over. There are at least two anti-xenophobia events planned next weekend, which I’ll post about soon.

  • Kate 19:44 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    The St Patrick’s parade: Photos from Le Devoir and CBC, as reports say it was crowded if chilly.

    Le Devoir reports on the plans for a new park for the Black Rock. It’s not yet clear to me whether the rock will be moved any distance, because the whole point is that it stands where bridge workers found buried bodies from the Irish fever sheds.

     
  • Kate 10:41 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Several times this week I’ve seen this tweet from the city warning of a rental shortage and directing us to a page with resources for finding places to live. Passing it along.

     
    • Ian 17:29 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Kind of weird to be thinking of rental shortages this time of year – it’s not beginning of term, it’s not July 1… I wonder, what’s the catalyst to the concern here?

    • Kate 17:31 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      I figured it’s because tenants with the classic July 1 lease will receive rental increase notices by the end of March, so it’s coming up.

    • PO 19:06 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      I don’t think it means there will actually be a shortage of apartments for rent come July, just that there’ll be a shortage of listings as some places for July for some reason get posted further down the calendar. The panicked plan-ahead types will be disheartened that they may not find a place immediately, but I’m confident that places always pop up as May, April and June come along.

    • Tim 19:14 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Are there any numbers from the city to back up this assertion? Otherwise, this is just fear mongering.

    • Kate 20:06 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Tim, depending on neighbourhood, there are chronic reports of the loss of conventional rental space to Airbnb, for starters. Here’s a piece from the end of last year about the low vacancy rate.

    • Tim 20:25 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      I can’t argue with those numbers Kate (great job). A brief Google search shows that anything under a 4% vacancy rate indicates a tight rental market, so the 1.9% reported by CBC bears this out.

  • Kate 10:28 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada has a piece about what it calls three surprising stories about architecture here: more on the Mies service station and the Eaton’s 9th floor – both of which are reasonably well known, including a piece about the station blogged recently – but the Masson house at 2250 Sherbrooke East is less well known, although the item notes reasons it’s not currently habitable and is only rented out from time to time for film shoots. Nice to see a few photos of the interior.

    Radio-Canada has also mapped out the Montreal-area buildings on the official heritage register.

     
    • Ian 10:49 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Man that Masson building is gorgeous. Makes you think of all the beautiful places that got torn down for ugly condos just because they weren’t built on contaminated ground.

  • Kate 09:43 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    A church in eastern Ville-Marie caught fire Saturday evening and 80 firefighters were called on to put it out. Saint-Eusèbe-de-Verseil church is no longer in use, and the item mentions squatters using the premises.

    Update: CTV also reports the fire but calls the church Côté Pierre Vicaire Episcopal, which has some listings although little information. So I guess the old Catholic church has been used by a different denomination.

    Alexis Hamel tells us the building was designed by Aristide Beaugrand-Champagne and opened after a long period of construction that started during WWI. Beaugrand-Champagne also designed St Michael’s on St-Viateur – a radically different building, constructed around the same time – and the lookout chalet on Mount Royal.

     
  • Kate 02:13 on 2019-03-17 Permalink | Reply  

    On my sidewalk Saturday afternoon: a procession of four machines, an ice-eater plow followed by a regular plow, then another ice-eater and another regular plow. Only managed to video the second pair, but when they were done, the sidewalk ice was gone.

     
    • walkerp 12:44 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Cool! I want to see one of those! Great video. Thanks!

    • Kate 17:34 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      The ice chewing gadget wasn’t as big as I’d expected from pictures. But it works.

      I’m wondering about later consequences, since we were told a couple of months ago that it couldn’t safely be used on thin ice or mixed surfaces. By the time these guys passed, this sidewalk was partly naked, partly iced in different thicknesses, partly puddles. Will it have damaged the concrete surface? Watch this space.

    • steph 05:42 on 2019-03-18 Permalink

      I can see the teeth pattern in my sidewalk where it passed. I’d call it damaged on my street.

  • Kate 18:29 on 2019-03-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A lurid crime tale worthy of Coolopolis is alleged to have taken place at Habitat 67, involving a scheming woman and an unsuccessful murder attempt.

     
  • Kate 17:58 on 2019-03-16 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s expected to be a little chillier than usual Sunday – but isn’t it always? – despite which 300,000 people are expected at the city’s 196th annual St Patrick’s parade, taking place over a shortened route from Fort to Metcalfe at midday.

     
    • Ian 18:27 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      I’m looking forward to it with the kids as usual but I guess with a shorter route we will need to be there earlier if we want to be anywhere near the curb. Those last few blocks have always been more family-oriented, it will be interesting having the kids down by the drunks.

    • Ian 17:23 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      That shorter route made the sidewalks INSANELY packed. I go every year and have never seen it as bad as this. I left around 2 as the crowd was starting to get pushy and fighty, and I wasn’t comfortable around it with my kids. At least I got to see the Black Watch pipes & drums.

  • Kate 09:37 on 2019-03-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Tracey Lindeman writes about the Nuns’ Island Mies van der Rohe gas station and its transformation to a community centre, for CityLab.

     
    • qatzelok 12:19 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      That Nun’s Island’s most significant architectural icon is a gas station is of symbolic importance in understanding why Nun’s Island itself is a prize-winning but failed experiment in high-end suburban forms.

  • Kate 08:42 on 2019-03-16 Permalink | Reply  

    News of Friday’s police brutality march was muted compared to reports about the much larger climate strike march, although CTV says two people were arrested in the annual clash between protesters and police and TVA noted some vandalism.

    But in turn, news of the international climate protest was largely drowned out by the horrible news from New Zealand.

    Saturday, local reaction to the Christchurch shooting was reported, as well as greater police surveillance around the city’s mosques.

     
    • Steve Q 09:07 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      It is time to ban the police brutality march. All these people want to do is destroy and create chaos. They passed in front of where I was working on Sherbrooke and you could easily see their clear intention and they were seeking for something to break. I dont know why we tolerate something like that. Its a shame !

    • Kate 09:30 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      The minor damage to property caused once a year by the police brutality march is a small price to pay to maintain freedom of speech and freedom to gather to express an opinion.

    • Hamza 11:05 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      For all intents and purposes the march is already banned, as are any other demonstrations that don’t seek prior approval from the police

      As if the entire point of this sort of demonstration isn’t to disobey the authorities.

    • Ian 18:30 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      “I dont know why we tolerate something like that. Its a shame !” Uh, because police brutality, which we should absolutely not tolerate as a society, is still a problem – to the extent that the anti police brutality marches are targeted by the police. If the cops left it alone all the tough guys would stay away, but they are itching for a fight because they know they will get one.

    • Steve Q 23:02 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      If they want to fight the police brutality they dont need to destroy the property of other citizens and they dont need to disrupt the quiet life of the people. They are not alone in this city. Other people have the right to walk peacefully on Sherbrooke street on any friday night without the fear of being caught up in a violent crash. A grand mother, a mother and her two small children decided to not take a walk on that friday night because these thugs decided to take the street as if it belonged to them. Other people had their car damaged because these trouble makers dont have any respect for anything. These bums are just looking for trouble and their main goal is to provoked the cops and be brutalised by them in front of a camera so that they can cash in an eventual law suit. Kudos to the cops for resisting the provocation of these professional provocators.

    • Kate 09:44 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      What do you want them to do, Steve Q? Write a letter to the editor?

  • Kate 08:07 on 2019-03-16 Permalink | Reply  

    There was praise for the city’s deradicalization centre when it opened in 2015, but it has gone off the rails enough that its director was “removed”, most of the management quit, and it’s being completely rebuilt from scratch.

     
    • Faiz Imam 15:15 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      I wonder what extent of their resources are focused towards white supremacist radicals as opposed to Islamic radicals. I doubt it was very much.

      But the quotes here suggest this might be part of the shift. That would be a good thing.

      I read recently that the FBI pays over 11,000 informants (presumably all people of color) to report on suspicious activity in mosques. Weras they have substantially less resources pointed to wards white supremacists. I really hope that the trends in the past few years is shifting that, but the systemic discrimination in so much law enforcement makes me pessimistic.

    • Kate 16:05 on 2019-03-16 Permalink

      At the time it was established, people were specifically afraid of young people becoming convinced that a logical outcome of their religious beliefs meant going to fight for ISIS.

      Things have changed.

    • david100 03:43 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      Obviously, the white supremists are complete morons, but de-islamicization is an important policy position meant to keep Canada from having the problems of Europe. Nobody immigrating to Canada or their kids should have a hardcore ‘destroy the West’ worldview and hide behind the new freedoms of the country that took them in. It’s a very humanitarian way of getting this point across, these paddy cake de-radicalization centers, but if it works, great

      This is an issue quite apart from how we deal with mental types who take a look at all these new Muslims and other non-whites in the streets and then seek out hate literature, and plan to kill. Those guys are functionally equivalent to the guys who kill women or coworkers. They’re just losers.

    • PO 19:25 on 2019-03-17 Permalink

      It’s a perennial argument. Some people see it as a bunch of anarchopunks that just want to break things. Some see it as legitimate protest. Some people think it’s misguided and criminal, some people see it just as business as usual. It’s a tedious argument to have, because I see both sides of the story.

      I’d pay money to broker a deal between the protestors and the cops, where in exchange for bodycams and an independent oversight board, the protestors agree not to crawl out from under their overpasses and hold the event.

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