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  • Kate 11:28 on 2022-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

    ProposMontréal has tweeted some photos of the newly reopened Viger Square. I would have wished for a little more greenery and fewer cobblestones, but I guess the arrangement will be easier to maintain.

    • Latour Roger 11:45 on 2022-06-26 Permalink

      Apparently designers and architects did not receive the memo about the necessity of greenery and trees. Hot summers and all that, you know?

  • Kate 10:14 on 2022-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

    People who live in Point St-Charles are tired of endless Airbnb parties in adjoining buildings.

    • Kate 08:42 on 2022-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Shots were fired overnight in a rather postindustrial part of Outremont, the corner of Durocher and Beaubien, near the tracks, presumed to be fired at a car, but no victims have turned up.

      • Kate 08:35 on 2022-06-26 Permalink | Reply  

        There was one homicide and three injuries after a man went berserk early Sunday on Drummond Street. Two of the injured are in critical condition and the attacker has been arrested.

        • Kate 16:25 on 2022-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

          A staffing shortage means we have fewer ambulances standing ready than we should. Stay safe, stay healthy, everybody.

          • MarcG 22:52 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

            I went to pick up my wife’s medication at Jean Coutu earlier this evening and they had suddenly changed their closing time from 9pm to 6pm, presumably because of staffing shortages. Since we needed to drive to another location to get it, I rented a Communauto and when I went to pick up the car it wasn’t in the parking lot so I called customer service and waited on hold for 20 minutes, again presumably because of a staffing shortage. There are ideas kicking around that part of the reason for the lack of people filling these roles is long covid disability. If you think the pandemic is over, buckle up.

          • dhomas 04:50 on 2022-06-26 Permalink

            After managing to avoid it for over two years, COVID has made its way into our home. My wife tested positive on the last day of classes. At least a dozen teachers at her school got COVID during the last week of school, after weeks of students dropping like flies. It seems to have gotten worse since they lifted the restrictions and mask requirements in classes (insert surprised Pikachu meme). The teachers had been “relaxing” in terms of social distancing during the last week(s) of school, too. The pandemic is definitely not as over as everyone would like it to be.

          • Kate 08:44 on 2022-06-26 Permalink

            dhomas, I hope she will recover quickly. It’s too bad she’s sick just as she gets some downtime.

            MarcG, from what I’ve been reading, I fear you’re right. As a society we were not prepared for a pandemic and we really are not prepared to accept that people may get what many brush off as a flu, and yet never get back to their previous state of health, or not for a very long time. A regular reader of this blog told me it took six weeks for him to feel OK again after testing positive, for example. Employers are not ready for this.

        • Kate 10:21 on 2022-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

          I didn’t know there was to be a parade on Ste‑Catherine on Saturday morning. Doesn’t look like much of a crowd, either.

        • Kate 08:23 on 2022-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

          A man was killed Saturday morning in a St‑Laurent home and both CTV and TVA say bluntly he was stabbed by his son. Journalists don’t usually convict, but it seems police must have said this because the same is reported by CTV. It’s the island’s 12th homicide of the year.

          • Kate 08:18 on 2022-06-25 Permalink | Reply  

            A man declared missing a few days ago was fished out of the river off Pointe‑aux‑Trembles on Friday morning. Cops don’t think a criminal act was involved.

            • Kate 19:14 on 2022-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

              Bonne Saint-Jean. François Legault has celebrated the day by emphasizing that Quebec has only one culture – his. As he’s been saying all along, new immigrants are expected to integrate and adapt to Quebec culture – the one, the only valued culture.

              I don’t quite know what to say about that. My mother’s side of the family came here in the 1840s. I don’t know which of them spoke Irish as well, but they spoke English from the time they arrived. One g‑g‑grandfather was a blacksmith from Tipperary, the other a carpenter from County Meath who got his start here working on the Beauharnois canal. They and their wives and children are buried up in Notre-Dame-des-Neiges and their descendants have scattered to the four winds, but I’m still here, four generations later – and I grew up speaking English.

              Dad came here from England when he was 11. He lived in Hochelaga and soon learned to speak French so he wouldn’t get beaten up. But there were English-language schools in Hochelaga then, defying the truism that anglos did not live east of the Main, and he went to one.

              My mother never got comfortable in French, but she did pick up some Ukrainian from her neighbours and co‑workers in the Point.

              Both my parents worked, voted, paid their taxes. They did not integrate, not in the sense Legault means, but they were part of this society.

              If I’d had kids, I would have spoken to them in English. What does that make me?

              • dhomas 19:57 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                There’s still an English school in HoMa: Edward Murphy, part of EMSB (it’s about a 5 minutes bike ride from my house).
                My parents arrived here from Italy pre Bill 101. They were both sent to English school because they didn’t know enough French to go to French school and therefore would have been a nuisance to the native francophones. They nonetheless learned French as they saw the benefit to knowing multiple languages (also, Italian being a romance language is quite similar to French), a value they passed along to their children (proud polyglot here, speaking 4 languages). My parents, like many other immigrants, helped to build this city and province, both literally and figuratively.
                I speak to my children in English. My wife speaks to them in French. My parents speak to them in Italian (they also have Italian classes at school). My mother-in-law speaks to them in Portuguese. Since we don’t exclusively speak French, though, we are part of the culture that is left out of the CAQ’s definition because it doesn’t fit their narrative.

              • steph 20:48 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                Provincial elections in October. Hopefuly enough people want to take out the trash.

              • EmilyG 22:20 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                This idea of “interculturalism” rather than multiculturalism, has been around for quite some time now in Quebec, particularly among francophones in Quebec. I think maybe it’s gotten particularly extreme lately, or at least has become more prominent or obvious.

              • EmilyG 22:22 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                I’ve even seen organizations that purport to help recent immigrants, and claim to try to integrate them into an “intercultural” society.
                It’s a problem, of course.

              • Kevin 08:33 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                ‘When I use a word,’ Humpty Dumpty said in rather a scornful tone, ‘it means just what I choose it to mean — neither more nor less.’

                ’The question is,’ said Alice, ‘whether you can make words mean so many different things.’

                ’The question is,’ said Humpty Dumpty, ‘which is to be master — that’s all.’

              • Robert H 12:58 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                @Kate, @dhomas: You are both the walking, breathing embodiments of an inconvenient fact for M. Legault and those who believe in his monoculture. What’s more, your lives are a rebuke to the CAQ platform. Your roots run as deep as any «de souche», and your claims as citizens are just as legitimate, parce que vous êtes aussi de souche. I’ll bet you didn’t realize you were subversives–embedded agents of multiculturalism. Try to be discreet.

              • EmilyG 14:17 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                Legault says that Quebec has only one culture – his.

                Indigenous peoples were here first, and their cultures should be protected.

                But Legault insists there’s no systemic racism in Quebec.

              • Uatu 21:12 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                Yeah, yeah that’s nice about the culture. I already know I’m never going to be a real Quebecois. Now what about the paramedic shortage and the shutdown of ERs because of a shortage of healthcare workers? Also I’m still waiting like everyone else for a GP. What about that? C’mon, Legault give us an answer and what you’re going to do about it!

            • Kate 09:08 on 2022-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

              Radio-Canada summarizes the odd way the Plateau got its name – from a school that originally opened where Place des Arts is now, which then moved up to its present location inside Lafontaine Park. The bus (or possibly tram) driver on Sherbrooke would call out “Plateau!” at the corner, and the name began to be used for the whole area.

              The school as an institution is now marking its 150th year.

              • DeWolf 10:56 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                If I’m not mistaken, the western part of the Plateau was never referred to as such until fairly recently. I remember coming across an old poster made by community activists trying to fight the number of arsons in St-Louis (the area around Prince Arthur, Pine, Roy, etc.) in the 1970s. These days, St-Louis is a name I almost never hear.

              • Kate 14:17 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                My father lived in what we’d now call the Plateau and Mile End at various points before he married my mother, but he never used those names. To him, the areas were defined by the parishes he attended – St Dominic’s when he lived on Fullum and Messier, and St Michael’s when he was on Waverly and Park Avenue.

              • Robert H 14:38 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                My education in local lore continues: I’ve always believed in the topographical origin of the Plateau’s name. Not that I ever bothered to ask anyone. It was that quartier at the top of the slope, along the edge of which ran Sherbrooke Street, and lay generally west and south of the CP tracks. It just made sense to me. As for the school in Parc Lafontaine, fancying myself an amateur architect, I suspected the building was a product of the 1920s or 30s with its low-key art deco flourishes. I remember disliking it being in the middle of a park and wanting to reduce what I considered its beige institutional drabness to rubble. My attitude has softened considerably, but I was also of “la croyance populaire” that it was named after the district. That just made sense to me too. Once again, I have to check my assumptions. The old, original building on its earthen platform lived up to Lucien Lapointe’s description quoted in the article and makes me regret a little Place des Arts. Not the first time I’ve learned something reading this blog. Thank you!

                P.S. Kate, your anecdote about your father referring to an area by its parish name reminds me very much of Boston where I lived many years. I became used to referencing “Saint Gregory’s” or “Saint Mark’s.” Like Montreal, Boston is a city where people agree on the centers of neighborhoods, but argue about the boundaries.

            • Kate 07:54 on 2022-06-24 Permalink | Reply  

              Quebec is putting up two million bucks into fighting gun violence in seven Montreal boroughs, meant to create recreational spaces for youth to distract them from the fun of owning a firearm.

              • Kate 08:41 on 2022-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

                The decline in oil heating and the closure of a big east‑end refinery have reduced the city’s overall output of greenhouse gases since 1990, but the transportation sector pushes in the opposite direction, with the number of vehicles on the island up 25% since 1990 even though the population only grew by 11.3%. Solid Le Devoir piece by Jeanne Corriveau.

                I still don’t know why we have to licence an unlimited number of vehicles. A second vehicle at any address ought to cost ten times as much to licence, and more than two ought to be forbidden.

                • Meezly 09:21 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  Totally agree with the 2nd license being more expensive. Two vehicle households seem to be the norm and minimum in many suburban households because it’s so hard to get around without a car. If your dream is to own that big suburban lot with two-car garage, yard, pool etc. that uses up a lot of footprint and resources, you gotta pay the price.

                • Kevin 09:45 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  I suspect the rise in the number of vehicles correlates with the rise in the number of dual-income households.

                  In 1976, more than 7 out of 10 Quebec families had a stay at home parent. In 2015, it was less than 3 in 10.

                  And while I always advocate living close to your workplace, when you’ve got 2 or 3 or 4 workers under the same roof it’s not possible.

                • Blork 09:58 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  Living close to your workplace is a nice privilege, but it’s just that; a privilege. Many people change jobs every few years, and the jobs are all over the place. You’d be a fool to pull up stakes and move house every time you change your job.

                • walkerp 10:55 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  And yet the growth is since 1990. I think there is another factor here and that is massive advertising, cheap credit and a pro-vehicle government controlled by the car lobby. How many of those second (and even third vehicles) are truly necessary?

                • Ephraim 12:03 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  @Kevin – And not to the move to the suburbs, where you need a car to do anything…. like buy a carton of milk?

                • Meezly 12:36 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  The system does make it “easy” to own multiple vehicles. Not to mention the foundation of suburban design since the beginning has been based solely on the motor vehicle. With recent trends of urban exodus, WFH, inflation, rising gas prices, etc. perhaps this will change suburban planning to become less car-centric.

                • Kevin 12:45 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  I just did some quick checking and it seems like the populations in the West Island agglo cities has been pretty flat over the past 20 years. That indicates the actual population growth is elsewhere on the island.

                  So in the confines of this analysis which is only looking at the island of Montreal, I think the changing nature of working life matters more.

                • Tim S. 13:15 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  I tend to agree with Kevin and think that if we do make a second car more expensive, we’ll just be punishing families where two people need to work. Let’s increase public transit, increase housing density near transit, and then start to punish people for their choices. If only we had governments capable of making 10-year plans that people could actually take into account in their life planning.

                  I’ve said it before, I can only afford to live in NDG because others chose to live in the suburbs. If they all move back, I’m screwed.

                • Meezly 14:08 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  How would we increase public transit when the infrastructure is quite minimal in less dense areas? Improving public transit infrastructure would be a massive undertaking that would require oodles of funding… which has to come from somewhere, not to mention the years it would take for this to come to fruition.

                  Not everyone is making conscious choices to reduce their carbon footprint and there’s a climate emergency enfolding in real time. In this context, why is making the ownership of a second car seen as “punishment”? It’s not really empathy for dual income suburban families that’s driving your argument but rather you actually don’t want the suburbanites to return to the city as they’d drive up your cost of living?

                • walkerp 14:22 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  And do these underprivileged, struggling suburbanites needs gigantic trucks with king cabs and beds they never load anything with except their daughter’s mattress when they are dropping them off at McGill?

                • Chris 20:30 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  >How would we increase public transit…

                  Probably not by making it free, as has been argued for recently. People can clearly afford to buy all these extra cars, so they can afford public transit too. It needs to be more frequent, faster, cleaner, more comfortable, etc.

                • Ephraim 21:48 on 2022-06-23 Permalink

                  I think that there is an increase in people who moved to further suburbs, like St Anne de Bellevue, which is essentially still on the island. But we are still making street parking available overnight. The city should allow overnight parking ONLY in resident zones and resident zones have one price for the first vehicle and a higher price for the second vehicle. You aren’t going to make people think twice about buying a second car unless you start to make it more dear and inconvenient. And one way is to stop allowing overnight parking without a resident permit.

                • dhomas 01:56 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                  @Ephraim After spending multiple tens of thousands of dollars on a vehicle and recurring fees for gas, the extra couple of hundred dollars for a vignette will not deter people from buying a second vehicle. We would need to make it more difficult to acquire the vehicle outright.
                  This is why I think the whole EV subsidy program is flawed and should be abolished. It costs the government, and therefore us, money. Also, car manufacturers use it to increase their prices. For example, my parents are buying a new EV, and the estimated price went up as soon as the federal rebate was changed to include higher priced cars. Capitalists gonna capitalize, I suppose.

                  Instead, we should take a page from Norway’s book. Give no subsidies for EVs. Charge a hefty tax for ICE vehicles. I’m talking a tax will make you think twice about buying a car, like 50%, so your $60k Ford F150 becomes $90k. Make the tax even higher for a second registered vehicle.

                  If the goal of the EV rebate is to encourage adoption of electric cars, I think this would be much more effective. And it has the added benefit of bringing in tax revenue, instead of costing us. The problem is that it’s political suicide for any politician that proposes it.

                • Bert 12:38 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                  Why should a pedestrian, who does not have a drivers’ license or a vehicle be covered by insurance? Because they don’t pay insurance and our system is a no-fault system. So your insurance pays for your injuries, your damages.

                  Car owners pay far above their share of taxes. Buy a new car… taxes. Buy a used car… taxes. Registration… taxes. License…. Taxes. Fuel… You wonder why any government loves vehicles…. Taxes.

                  A single person with more than one car generates no more waste than having one car, as it is quite impossible to drive multiple cars at the same time. A multi car, multi person household generates more…. Taxes.

                  On behalf of all car owners, you are all welcome.

                • JaneyB 13:19 on 2022-06-24 Permalink

                  Public transit won’t compete favourable against the car until the commute time is the same or better. If it takes 3x longer by STM, no one will prefer it. People forget that those with day jobs would like to see their kids and little kids go to bed at 7pm. If parents can only get home by 7pm by transit, they will buy a car. Additionally, the mentally ill, masturbators, beggars etc do not add to the appeal of public transit and it is clear nothing will be done about them; appeals to their rights etc will just yield fewer riders.

                • Jonathan 06:22 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                  Haha Bert. You are not paying even a third of the cost of owning and operating a car. Car infrastructure is heavily subsidized by those not driving. On behalf of tax payers, you’re welcome.

                • Kevin 11:37 on 2022-06-25 Permalink

                  It looks like Ste. Anne’s population has been hovering at 5,000 for decades.

                  Off-island is a different matter… and a different matter.

              • Kate 08:35 on 2022-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

                Chaos continues as people camp in lines at passport offices.

                • Kate 08:35 on 2022-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

                  Police have been out in Rivière-des-Prairies, even with their horses, to try to reassure residents they’re working on the problem of gunplay in the streets.

                  • Kate 08:32 on 2022-06-23 Permalink | Reply  

                    Many households are reaching the end of their lease without a new place to live and the city is stepping up its offer of help for people finding themselves in this jam.

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