Updates from May, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:39 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Although the intention has been made to do things to revitalize St-Denis Street in the Plateau, no timeline has been announced.

    Plateau borough is putting $6 million into fixing up Fairmount East with trees and a new public space. That stretch of Fairmount is pretty nondescript and can use the help.

    • Ian 10:22 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Well now we know why there’s no budget for road repair /s

      The location is strange, though – they already did massive amounts of work on the park only a block south at Laurier, just south of the school and adjacent to its quite well equipped and nicely kept playing field, not to mention the complete redoing of the park in front of Saint-Enfant-Jesus. Not to diss either of those parks, they did great job with both.

      I’m just a bit surprised this area is seen as in need when Fairmount between Saint Urbain and Parc is a dump, with not only a large high school campus but also a primary school – and is also an area that gets a lot more foot traffic than Saint Dom & Fairmount. I’m really not understanding why that area just east of Mile End (or east Mile End if you listen to real estate folks) is seen as so deserving, with 2 major city projects already completed, when there are adjacent blocks full of locals, tourists, and school kids that are in way worse shape.

    • walkerp 11:21 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      What park in front of Baby Jesus?

    • Ian 11:25 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Parc Lahaie – the old town square of Saint-Louis.

    • walkerp 12:49 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Oh you are referring to the church itself. I thought you meant the school. Got it.

      That section of Fairmount is an odd one to renovate, but I wonder if there is some zoning there and a certain density with all the newish (relatively speaking) condo complexes that they are trying to take advantage of.

    • Blork 13:28 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      When I used to live up around there you could have pretty much bought the entire housing stock on that three block stretch for $6,000,000.

      I’m speculating, but I suspect the reason for investing city money in that area is based on a few different things. The main one is that it’s a bit of a lonely stretch, and historically it has been psychologically isolated from St-Laurent even though it is RIGHT THERE. Compare that with Fairmount on the other side of St-Laurent, which gets spinoffs from being sandwiched between Parc and St-Laurent.

      But in recent times, that dark and spooky zone bounded by St-Laurent, Maguire, Henri-Julien/Drolet, and Laurier, has seen an increase in real estate activity, although no real change in street-level commercial activity, making it very much a residential zone; moreso than its counterpart, which is also residential but has much more commercial street life. So it’s less dark and spooky than it’s ever been, making it ripe for sprucing up. The other side of St-Laurent has never been dark and spooky so there’s less perceived need there for a makeover.

    • CE 15:01 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      I took a walk along this stretch earlier today and it will benefit from any work it gets. A couple things that will never make it like Fairmount West is that there’s pretty much no commercial activity, most of the buildings are pretty nondescript, and there are a couple dead zones. The school gym is a blank wall for about half a block and an apartment building on the north side of the street is set back quite a ways from the street and is again, a mostly blank wall. The empty space there could easily be built on with a new building with little to no setback and perhaps a couple commercial spaces. That would make a big difference. The students at the school and the workers in the nearby midrise buildings will definitely benefit from the work planned but it would be nice if similar work was done on other streets that are much more prominent.

  • Kate 21:08 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    A segment of St-Paul Street in Old Montreal will be pedestrianized this summer, as well as part of St-Vincent, and restaurants and cafés will be able to put out terrasses.

    • Ian 10:25 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Realistically all of Old Montreal’s east-west streets south of Notre Dame should be pedestrianized, permanently. It would do so much to improve the area. It’s kind of nuts down there in the summer with the vast hordes of tourists anyway, driving in that area should be reserved for business and cabs at most.

    • Kate 10:25 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      I concur!

    • Ian 10:37 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      That said does anyone remember when Hotel Nelson was a punk bar? There used to be a lot of pretty great dive bars down there, but it’s incredible how much that area has been improved. I’m normally fiercely against gentrification but in the 90s I had friends that had artists lofts down there and it was a very sketchy area after dark (bit lots of fun if you were into that scene) and pretty much a wasteland during the day, not much foot traffic besides homeless guys, which was just as well as the cobblestones were full of broken glass. When the folks in charge put in the park on the waterfront things began to change quickly, and I’d love to see things headed in the same direction as much as possible. The old city is a real gem.

    • Kate 14:13 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      I remember when the Hotel Nelson was a punk bar, l’Évéché.

  • Kate 21:01 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    Police are carrying out a crackdown on vehicles parked in bike lanes.

    • Blork 21:16 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

      Big thumbs-up from this corner.

      Also: any opportunity to show this photo (although it is 30 years old…):

    • Chris 10:45 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      They were parking there like that even 5-10 years ago! I think they’ve finally stopped.

    • Ian 11:31 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      I’d love to see a crackdown on business vehicles -most of the bike lane parking in my area is construction, and I know they get some permits for spots but that doesn’t mean double parking and the vast majority of them don’t have permits and never, ever get tickets. I’d also like to see a crackdown on alley parking for similar reasons. The “business driving” agreement the cops seem to have is very openly abused.

    • Tim S. 11:41 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      They also park in bus stops and on sidewalks. But that’s partly on the city for not organizing designated parking for delivery vehicles. I think Ephraim has proposed various schemes, but basically a couple of spots per block available for 15 min slots should do it. And construction crews need to learn to unload stuff quickly and then walk from a legal parking spot, like everyone else.

    • Blork 13:42 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Speaking of bike lanes, does anyone here know what’s going on with the de Maisonneuve lane around McGill College? I rode through there this morning and it was chaos. There was a bicycle detour sign at either Aylmer or City Councillors pointing north, and it was universally ignored by 100% of cyclists. At Robert-Bourassa the bike lane disappeared and again 100% of cyclists chose NOT to go north to Prez Kennedy, instead choosing to wrangle themselves in with the single lane of car traffic running from R-Bourassa to half a block past McGill-College.

      It was terrible! Partly the fault of the cyclists, but mostly the fault of not providing a viable detour. A “viable detour” is one that appears to make sense and doesn’t just send you randomly flying off in all directions.

      Cars don’t have much choice when they encounter a “detour” sign, but cyclists do. Or at least they think they do. In my experience, cyclists will only obey a detour sign if (a) the direction they want to go is utterly blocked and impassible, and (b) the detour includes a map that shows them where the detour goes.

    • Ian 18:39 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      I think everyone would like a map showing where the detour goes, really.

    • Ephraim 19:31 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      Ian, until the day that temporary “no parking” signs have to post a permit number… and that permit number is available online, there will be no respite from the problem. One day they put up no parking signs on both sides of my street for half the street. I had to wade through 3 phone calls with the city to finally get someone who could check the permit and find out that they had a permit for 3 spots on one side of the street… they figured that no one was going to check…. and they are right, it’s too difficult. Make it transparent, so any citizen can see if your no parking signs are legal and if they aren’t… where to call to get them fined or the signs seized. Being that most of the time they are renting those signs… having them seized can be costly.

    • Ian 21:16 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      When they did that on my street last fall, after finding out there were no permits, I chucked all their no parking signs into a site up the street’s dumpster.

  • Kate 20:52 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    At the conference of the Union des municipalités du Québec, spokesmen said they all want bigger transfer payments from the province.

    • Ian 10:26 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

      No surprise there, really – it would be remiss of them to not to ask for more.

  • Kate 20:33 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

    A golf club on public land on Nuns’ Island is now usable only by private members in a stunning exhibit of egregious enclosure. Also note the cushy tax deal.

    • Kate 20:26 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

      Uber drivers plan to hold a strike on Wednesday, which shows that even the gig economy is vulnerable to old-school labour tactics.

      • Mark Côté 15:30 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

        There was a really good CBC Ideas episode a little while ago, about the future of work. One suggestion in there is that the old way of organization unions around industries doesn’t work in the gig economy, where people might have two or three unrelated jobs. The challenge is to figure out how to mobilize people who work part-time across multiple industries.

    • Kate 07:06 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

      Carbonleo, developing the Royalmount project, is going to put up a website inviting citizen commentary on its plans.

      • Blork 10:34 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

        They used to call this “lip service.” Maybe there’s a better name that more accurately describes the process of fake public consultation via public commentary on a web site. No doubt it will quickly devolve into trolling and name-calling and therefore will be completely useless to everyone other than people who want to bring on the apocalypse ASAP.

      • qatzelok 12:34 on 2019-05-07 Permalink

        The two opposing teams of comments will be:
        1. Paid media agents (in favor with “improvements”) and
        2. The rest of the population (against it with good reason)

      • david100 02:00 on 2019-05-09 Permalink

        If these cretins had any ambition, they’d be building a few thousand housing units on top of a La Cite style mall. Full Blade Runner. It’s one of the few places in the city where the anti-housing fundamentalists don’t care to enforce their anti-growth philosophies. If you can’t build in transit and amenity rich Rosemont or the Plateau where everyone wants to live, at least let the peasants live next to a highway.

      • Ian 09:55 on 2019-05-09 Permalink

        Have you actually seen Acadie between Jean-Talon and the Met? There’s your high density easy-highway-access urban planning wet dream. It’s a vertical slum.

      • david100 12:02 on 2019-05-09 Permalink

        Oh yeah, give me more. Keep building until housing is cheap and plentiful. Since the consensus is that the Plateau etc are “full,” then just go absolutely bananas where you can, to vacuum up the demand that’s driving up prices. Griffintown, for instance, should be twice as dense as it is now for how many lots have been built, turn it into a Hong Kong.

    • Kate 07:03 on 2019-05-07 Permalink | Reply  

      With gentrification happening in fits and starts all over town, new average income figures mean many schools can no longer offer cheap lunches and free snacks – even if many of their students still come from poorer families with few resources. This is the second time I’ve seen this reported, but these are man-made rules and can be changed if they’re causing hardship.

      • Ian 11:23 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

        I hear what you’re saying but schools have to jump through a lot of hoops to get allocations that are largely determined at the provincial level. You haven’t seen a bureaucratic machine at work until you’ve met the Ministry of Education.

        It took me a year and a half to get my degrees recognized by them – awarded by Concordia and McGill Universities, so no interprovincial paperwork – which affected my payscale to the tune of about 135%.

        Another example, my kid has an IEP – we had to get a recommendation from the school psychologist (good thing we go to EMSB as CSDM doesn’t have this in their budget anymore and we would have had to go private to the tune of about 250 bucks unless we waited for availability via CSLC, about a year and a half waiting list) which allowed us to go to out pediatrician (again, we are lucky we have one) which allowed us to go to the Children’s and get a full assessment (9 month waiting list) and finally when we got all that done the school was given a dossier number that all owed the EMSB to allocate IEP resources from the Ministry of Education. That took about year and a half, which was a lot faster than many other parents I know whose kids have IEPs. So basically your kid is flagged as having problems in school and you have to go through 5 levels of bureaucracy over the space of years before anything can be done by the school – at which point of course the problems are even more serious. Also worth noting there is Ministry funding for primary school psychologists but not in-school guidance counsellors, where at the high school level it’s the reverse. We just got a psychoeducator through the CLSC a couple of months ago, almost 2 years after we started this process. It’s no surprise that many parents simply don’t bother and hope for the best, especially from many low-income families where they don’t have the time and school is already seen as an annoying burden.

        The big question here is what the solution could be – but it isn’t going to be determined at the school level unless we rejig the whole system. The problem is that the Ministry oversees everything because historically kids in the cities got all the funding but country kids got nothing, which is why we see such low adult literacy and high school completion rates, which feeds into all sorts of other social inequalities. The Ministry has this bureaucracy in place to help alleviate that injustice – but because it administers provincial-level rules the trickle down to individual schools is super slow and the inherent problems of bureaucracy become evident.

        Short of switching to a district tax base approach like the US or a soviet system there’s not a lot of options besides a clunky bureaucracy on an administrative level – but realistically, we have social options. If you are a well off person in an historically low income district, maybe you could organize and contribute to a school lunch program funded by some kind of school drive. It’s done for school trips, legally and within Ministry guidelines. Parents already have to pay for lunch monitors in all school boards unless they are on social assistance so there’s no additional cost or adult supervision issues.

        Effectively, it comes down to the well off parents taking their time and social capital and using that to effect positive change within the school. It’s the least they can do as gentrification penance.

      • Ian 11:36 on 2019-05-08 Permalink

        n.b. IEP = Individualized Education Program (ASD, ODD, dyslexia, developmental issues, etc. – formerly “special needs”)

      • Kate 10:51 on 2019-06-30 Permalink

        Ian, I never thanked you for writing all this out last month, so thank you!

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