Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:30 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

    The Plateau has come up with $30,000 to brush up St-Denis, the commercial bit between Sherbrooke and Gilford, with flowerpots and benches. Can’t hurt, but it’s a bit band-aidy.

    • Kate 22:02 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Excellent analytical piece in Al Jazeera on the gentrification of Park Extension.

      • Ian 23:32 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Hallelujah. I’ve been preaching this line for decades and was beginning to feel like an old man yelling at clouds.

      • J. Ryan 00:16 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        Says “hipster” too much.

      • walkerp 10:04 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        That’s a great article. I would have liked to see more specific policy suggestions for the UdeM development and it how it impacts Parc-Ex specifically, but the global argument is very clear.

      • DeWolf 12:06 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        There’s a great argument in this piece about the inherent unsustainability of growth-based capitalism, but it falls apart when it attempts to wade into cultural criticism in its critique of gentrification and urban development. It relies on too many empty buzzwords (what even is a hipster?) and straw-man arguments.

        “Urban hipsters are quick to dismiss poorer classes as having no ‘green consciousness’ (…) They also tend to turn their backs on working-class political struggles for the fairer distribution of wealth and well-being across society.”

        Seriously? Who is this mythical group of urban hipsters who buy ‘green’ products but vote right-wing? Sounds more like ordinary middle-class people to me. Instead of rightfully criticising the status quo — ie, the vast majority of us and the way we live — Vijay falls into the trap of creating some villainous other. The ‘hipster’. The ‘gentrifier’. The ‘yuppie’. All words that are so vague and so broad as to be utterly meaningless.

      • SMD 14:11 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        @walkerp: If you have the time, here’s an academic article that compiles suggestions for all three levels of government, as well as the university, to mitigate the impact of gentrification in Park Extension: https://www.homelesshub.ca/blog/homelessness-hardship-and-public-action-gentrifying-areas-case-park-extension-montreal. Seems like a good starting point.

      • qatzelok 08:21 on 2019-06-08 Permalink

        It’s a good read, but the author is incorrect in claiming that veganism (or vegetarianism) leads to more soybean and fruit/vegetable consuption. He’s forgetting that meat-animals eat far more soybeans than are required to replace themselves as a source of protein.

        Article: B +
        Veganism smear: : D –

    • Kate 08:56 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Lots in the media Thursday for the 75th anniversary of D-Day. Metro has a piece on Montreal’s part in the war effort, both from a military and an industrial point of view.

      The Journal has a summary of the massive battle in numbers, with almost as a footnote the reminder that a lot of Hitler’s forces were tied up on the eastern front while this went on. It’s easy to forget, while the west pats itself on the back, that Russia did at least half the work.

      • Tim S. 14:07 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Well, the Soviet Union did. It’s interesting to watch Russia claim the memory of the war while simultaneously bullying the ex-Soviet states that also fought and suffered.
        And the Valentine tanks that were built in the Angus shops were sent to the Soviet Union, so it’s not like they were fighting single-handed anyways.

      • Douglas 14:20 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Russia did a lot bin ww2, arguably the most. But we won’t give them a lot of credit because of all the immediate suffering they imposed on surrounding countries for decades afterwards.

      • Raymond Lutz 15:08 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        It’s nice that the Soviets are mentioned. On this french site
        you’ll see nice inforgraphics showing that USSR is the nation which most contributed to Hitler’s demise. Particularly the second one where military losses on the eastern and western fronts are illustrated independently (from 39 to 45) . They did more than half the work.

        “But we won’t give them a lot of credit because of all the immediate suffering they imposed” Cough, cough… Dresden, Hamburg, Tokyo, Hiroshima, Nagasaki… En temps de Guerre (et des décennies plus tard) la première vicitime est la vérité.

      • Douglas 16:47 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Fighting against Nazism and Imperial Japan (who started this entire WW2) is 100% morally right. Dresden, hamburg, horoshima are consequences to the pearl harbor and nazi germany. Unless you are “one of those” that believe we should have laid our guns down against Nazis and Japanese.

        You have nice historical quotes, but you misapplied them completely. Soviet Union isn’t going to get any praise and thats too bad for them. Thank Stalin.

      • Douglas 16:57 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        And 1 more word about Hiroshima and Nagasaki.

        My grandfather in his village in Asia lived through WW2 and talked about how the Japanese came and bombed all the rice fields in order to starve the populace and collapse the country they were trying to conquer. Grandfather walked over dead bodies every single day and had to eat bark off the tree in his backyard to survive.

        You want to talk to me about Hiroshima and Nagasaki and how we should reflect about how the Japanese were treated during this time? The audacity.

        Oui, la vérité est définitivement oubliée.

      • Bill Binns 17:02 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        What Douglas said.

        Let’s also not forget that The Soviet Union was fighting it’s own ally who they had recently handed Poland over to. They simply got stabbed in the back. They eventually won by throwing enough slave soldiers into the meat grinder to gum up the works. They then rewarded their heroic army by throwing any soldier who had so much as seen a German into the Gulag for a short life of forced labor.

        US soldiers came home to the G.I. Bill and fueled an economy that was able to rebuild the battlefields of Europe…but yeah, the Soviets don’t get enough credit.

      • Myles 17:41 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        I fail to see what the civilians of Hiroshima and Nagasaki had to do with all of that. They didn’t deserve to get vaporized.

      • Douglas 18:04 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        What did my people have to do with WW2? Our citizens weren’t the ones sending airplanes and troops unprovoked into neighbouring countries trying to conquer them.

        Someone had to take Japan down. Absolutely had to. The Atomic bomb was horrific but it was used to end the most horrific war ever fought.

        By the way, the US helped rebuilt Germany and Japan post WW2. Communist Russia turned their “satelites” into destitute slaves. Japan and Germany are extremely militarily close . I can assume the Germans and Japanese understand the American actions during WW2 and found it ‘understandable’. Ask any Polish person today what they think of the Soviet Union…. won’t be any love there.

      • ottokajetan 18:35 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Out of curiosity to the naysayers, how much credit should the Soviets be given then? And why can’t they be both commended and criticized?

      • Bert 18:42 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        While the USSR did give its fathers, mothers and children as cannon fodder, perhaps part of the reason they are not always considered is that they started the war on the other side of the fence?

      • qatzelok 18:51 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        I won’t disagree that the Nazis were evil, because they attempted to genocide a nation of people. The USA successfully genocided 110 nations, so if the Nazis “deserved what they got,” the same can be said about some future nuking of North America.

        Canada genocided both the Acadians, and later, the Metis. Hitler’s Germany was a student of the Scientific Racism that had been perfected in the USA, Britain and France. To much colonial success.

        We’re no better, and you should always remember that as well.

      • Douglas 18:59 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Today I learn Canada is equivalent to Nazi Germany. Canada isn’t perfect in its history but saying we are like Nazi Germany is quite idiotic.

        Nice attempt to be ‘edgy’.

      • Adam Pasha 20:10 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Speaking of Russia and WW2, everyone knows Nazis’ atrocities, but not many people know the Red Army’s atrocities in Germany and Eastern Europe during and after the war. Particularly the mass rapes that took place. Its estimated that 1-2 millions German woman were raped after the war, mostly in Soviet controlled areas.

      • Kate 21:43 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Wow, this discussion went sideways in a few directions. However, it remains true had the Nazis not been occupied on two huge fronts at the same time, D-Day might well not have been the success it was. Which was all I wanted to say.

      • Chris 22:54 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Douglas, Canada is committing genocide *today*, don’t you know? 🙂

      • Raymond Lutz 23:45 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        “The Atomic bomb was horrific but it was used to end the most horrific war ever fought.” Surely I am not alone having read the war against Japan was _already_ won when the US dropped their two atomic bombs… For those reading french, I recommend this text from an Ancien officier canadien de la Royal Air Force who actually SERVED during that war (so he probably doesn’t talk through his ass): Effrayer les soviétiques, commencer la guerre froide.

        “By the way, the US helped rebuilt Germany and Japan post WW2. Communist Russia turned their “satelites” into destitute slaves.”

        {rolling eyes} By the way, rejecting Keynes’s Bancor proposition (at Bretton Woods conference in 1944), the US made the ENTIRE WORLD its destitute slave. Again, contrary to most commentators here, I’m sourcing my claims: Keynes is innocent: the toxic spawn of Bretton Woods was no plan of his.

    • Kate 08:32 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      A study by some marketing consultancy allegedly found that many Montrealers still love their cars and don’t foresee moving to public transit anytime soon. But note that the study was commissioned by Transdev, described on Wikipedia as “French-based international private public transport operator,” which may have its own motives for phrasing a study to produce this outcome.

      • Bill Binns 13:40 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Is it really so hard to believe? The opinion of the STM by people who don’t ever use it is that it’s crime ridden, seriously overcrowded and unreliable. That opinion isn’t really all that far off either.

        How many times have we heard of the STM or the cops telling us to “hide our valuables” while using the system? Don’t have to worry about that in a car. Anybody with eyes can see the overcrowding problem for themselves or read about it on the news every other day. Plenty of elbow room in your own car. Reliability is a mixed bag on the STM and decreases sharply if you are unfortunate enough to need to use buses. Traffic is a problem in a private car but it’s also a problem with buses. Sitting in traffic in your own air conditioned car beats the hell out of standing on a sweaty motionless bus in that same traffic.

        You can compare our system to those of other cities and I’m sure it will compare favorably to some but it’s a stretch to compare it to the on demand, door to door, private, comfortable (i.e. seated) experience of driving your own car. Not to mention the fact that people often need to travel with “stuff” which is hellish or near impossible on most public transit. Try doing a Costco run on public transit.

      • Uatu 13:52 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Well if it means Transdev can convince the gov’t to spend more money to improve transit then ok. I ride Transdev buses and they’re garbage. Any cash to improve them would be greatly appreciated

      • walkerp 14:56 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        “Crime ridden”?! It is to laugh.

      • Bill Binns 15:36 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        @walkerp – Crime free but hide your cell phone?

      • walkerp 16:14 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        If people are hiding their cellphones on the metro, they sure as hell aren’t doing it around me. It looks like a frightening sci-fi movie where the exception is the person not on their phone. Do you hide your cell phone when you take the Metro?

      • Bill Binns 16:48 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        @Walkerp – I do not hide my phone. I realize that most other people do not hide their phones. The fact remains that the STM, the organization responsible for our safety in the Metro has repeatedly told us to do just that. There have also been a great deal of muggings involving phones, especially around Lionel Groulx and Beaudry over the years. These things make the news and help people who do not use public transport to form their opinions of the service.

        Anyway, what’s the sense in haranguing people to give up their cars if there is clearly very little capacity left for commuters on public transit?

      • Blork 16:50 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Every parking lot in town has a sign that says to not leave valuables in the car. That’s pretty much the same message as “hide your valuables.” (One might recall a small wave of “grab and dash” cell phone robberies a few years ago; AFAIK that’s no longer happening at any appreciable level.)

        But I get your point, Bill. I think you’re talking about people’s perceptions as opposed to any kind of reality.

      • CE 17:24 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        I think the fact that occasional cell phone robberies are making the news is proof that they happen very rarely. You’d be hard pressed to find a comparably sized US (or even European) city where cell phone robberies on public transit would be reported on TV or in the newspaper.

        I’d be more worried about my car being broken into and my phone stolen than someone mugging me and taking my phone on the metro.

      • Kate 21:45 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        I haven’t seen much in the way of random cell phone robbery reports lately, no. The fact that pretty much anyone who wants a smart phone can have one now might be a reason. They’re not rare and interesting as they were 12 to 15 years ago.

      • Bill Binns 09:10 on 2019-06-07 Permalink


        Kicked in the face for a cell phone. I was all for the open style of the Azur trains but I had forgotten one huge drawback of this type of train that allows people to travel from car to car while it’s moving. New York / Paris style beggars and muggers who can now victimize the entire train while it’s moving.

      • Kate 09:54 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        Bill Binns, while Shuyee Lee is a good reporter, I have my doubts about that story. It was posted in late January but the suspect’s in summer clothing. Not saying it never happened but there’s something off about it.

        The way you speak I think you’ve got a touch of Mean World Syndrome. I use public transit daily, and have used it at all hours throughout my life, from when I got around alone as a kid from about age 9 onward, mostly travelling as a single unaccompanied female, and doing so has never scared me for one moment. I’ve also been doing this blog for more than 17 years and have seen exceptionally few reports of bad behaviour on transit. Yes, of course isolated incidents occur: this is a big city and there’s bound to be some unruly shit, but there’s no reason an able-bodied adult man should fear taking public transit here.

        You talk about muggers. I will link any stories I find about muggers terrorizing an entire metro train. That will leave me with plenty of spare time because IT DOES NOT HAPPEN. The worst “terrorizing” I’ve seen on an Azur was when a man and woman got aboard and started yelling about Jesus. It was annoying, but it wasn’t a crime.

        Adding: remember, this is a town where it gets reported if shots are fired but nobody turns up injured.

      • Kevin 14:47 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        The assault happened in September.
        It just takes police months to deal with this kind of crime.

      • Bill Binns 17:13 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        @Kate – I did not say I’m fearful on the metro. The article is about people “loving their cars” so much that they have no plans to ever switch to public transit. You have a small chance of getting kicked in the face for your cell phone on the Metro. You have no chance of getting kicked in the face while travelling in your own car. Private car vs. Metro is really no contest except in really limited circumstances (such as mine – live across the street from a Metro station, wife works a mile away, I work from home, live next to a big grocery store). As I have said before. Make public transit better and people will gladly leave their cars at home. Instead, we try to guilt trip people into “taking one for the team” and willingly switch to an inferior mode of transit.

        I have seen tons of sketchy shit on the Metro though and I’m a casual user. As far as your observations over the years, I don’t doubt it but I think you and I observe our surroundings somewhat differently. I will respectfully remind you of your comment a while back that you had only ever seen 3 women wearing niqabs in the city in your entire life. That comment occurs to me every time I visit Jean Talon Market and see multiple women in niqabs or burqas per visit.

    • Kate 08:14 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      The Journal briefly interviews a butcher who’s doing steak aged 3 years at $1000 a kilo, for wealthy gourmets visiting the Grand Prix.

      • Raymond Lutz 15:14 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Where the plebeians will be able to see those steaks being casually eaten? I’ll bring my kids: nothing is more motivating than having high goals in your life.

      • Bill Binns 17:23 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        A smart butcher in need of some dumb customers. Good on him if he can sell it.

      • Kate 21:46 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

        Bill Binns, it’s hard to know. There’s got to be skill in doing this so the meat doesn’t simply rot. He may well be right that aged meat is a somewhat decadent taste, not for everybody.

      • Bill Binns 09:29 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        I have had the opportunity to try some of these ridiculously expensive ultra lux foods over the years. In my experience, they are always disappointing. In your head, you are doing the math and saying, “this cup of coffee/steak/piece of cake etc costs 10 times more than the typical version so it must be 10 times better”. I have never seen that math work out. So much super high end stuff from food to cars to homes is really just slightly above average for orders of magnitude more cost. When you really look at it, a brand new S Class Mercedes is only slightly better than a brand new Honda Civic. The extra hundred grand you may for the Merc buys you slightly more comfort and safety and lots more bragging rights.

        I would be willing to bet that if you interviewed the folks who hand over the cash for these steaks, you will find a lot more douchy iInstagram “influencer” types than gourmets.

        Also, I’m not sure there is a whole lot of skill in ageing beef anymore. You basically place the meat in a special refrigerator and wait. Several restaurants around town (not to Mention the Metro grocery store on Papineau) have these refrigerators on display.

      • Kate 10:36 on 2019-06-07 Permalink

        I’m not in any position to argue cars. A friend drove an old diesel Mercedes his dad had owned, and I’ve gotta say, it was more comfortable as a passenger than any other vehicle I’ve been in, although he said it was a beast to drive.

        But I know real champagne is better than cheaper fizz, and I once had a red Italian wine (the one time I was treated to dinner at Toqué) that was so far beyond anything I’d previously tasted that I do know wine reaches into the stratosphere, although also I once had a taste of a wine a chef I know bought in France for $200, for which he had high hopes, but we both agreed that while it was OK, it was nothing special – honestly, I recall thinking I couldn’t’ve picked it out of a lineup of $15-20 bottles from the SAQ in a blind tasting. So in my experience, some of this stuff is hype, but not all.

    • Kate 08:10 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      CBC interviews the city’s oldest tattoo artist, who works out of a place on Centre Street in Point St Charles. Pity they mention the work on Mr. D’Annessa’s arms, but don’t show a photo.

      • Kate 08:06 on 2019-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has an idea for the Îlot Voyageur: instead of having big transport trucks circulating in the streets, have them drop off shipments there to be picked up and brought to their eventual destinations in smaller vehicles.

        • Faiz Imam 08:50 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          And cargo bikes, that’s going to be a serious focus of the project.

          I was actually at the mobility conference happening this week and saw their announcement live. These days all the big shipping brands, (FedEx, ups, dhl) have long running and successful bike and small truck based operations in many cities.

          The single biggest challenge is having a staging area that is accessible to big trucks, but also central enough to be close to a large segment of the population. Îlot voyageur fits that profile perfectly.

          One thing some of the shipping executives were saying (during a panel on optimizing sustainable urban parcel logistics) was they could have much more deliveries evenings and weekends, maybe even overnight, now that we have vehicles that make zero noise.

          Also with more of a focus on delivering to dépanneurs and lockers around town, which is more convenient for them and often also for users.

        • Joey 09:08 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          Interesting and promising idea – hope it works out.

          @Faiz the vehicles may make zero noise but the unloading, etc., certainly won’t.

        • Spi 09:59 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          The site might work for a pilot project but it’s not scalable in that location. Berri-Uqam is already way too close to the center of town. The goal is to have fewer 18-wheelers in the core of the city. Ironically one of the best locations for this would be where the proposed Royalmount will be.

        • Kate 10:05 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          Spi, that’s a good point. Put it where the highways converge. The Îlot means the trucks have to grind to and from the bridge through non-highway streets.

          Another place that might work is the so far unused parts of Marché Central. There’s a lot of room there, the food distribution stuff seeming to have moved elsewhere in recent years, but it was already set up for logistics and transfers.

        • Kevin 10:18 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          Having unloaded my share of cargo trucks, I’m not sure this is going to work.

          1) Ilot Voyageur is small
          2) Trucks typically load up a lot of stuff at one location and then drop it off at several spots across a broad territory
          3) I could see this work as a pickup/dropoff location for people or businesses within a few blocks, but those already exist in the downtown core.

        • Blork 11:37 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          Echoing Spi; my first thought when I heard them talking about this on CBC was the location is wrong; you want something like that on the edge of downtown, not in the middle.

          OTOH, this is apparently a pilot project, and if it works, maybe they will move it to a more appropriate spot, like near Cité du Havre or near Nun’s Island.

        • DeWolf 12:51 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          I can’t see how this would work. It’s a central location with dense pedestrian and bicycle traffic, plus a constant stream of events in the Jardins Gamelin during the summer. How is that an appropriate place for a lot of heavy vehicles to converge?

        • Spi 14:06 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          The project also seems to ignore what 18-wheelers transport, for the most part, it’s pallets of products for a single client or multiple clients. Not something that can be transported easily by “zero-emission” alternatives.

        • Tim F 19:01 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          It’s an interesting pilot, but my thought was the same as blork’s: put it at the foot of the Bonaventure where it’s not in the hubbub of the city but close enough for bike couriers and the like.

        • Faiz Imam 23:32 on 2019-06-06 Permalink

          So I have more information! I spoke to some folks about this! There is a non profit called Jallon that has been doing studies on urban parcel delivery for years. They are a major part of this pilot project and they presented their research. They’ve spoken to everyone. From small indie businesses to major chains ( McDonald’s, pharma prix, metro, couche-tard) all the shippers from global ones all the way to the small companies delivering fresh bread or flowers.

          First of all this is not suppose to serve the entire city. This is the pilot project, and once they work out the kinks there is definitely a need to have more of them around the city. We could have dozens of them. This will only be for packages a few km radius of the îlot. And even then it won’t have the capacity to deal with everything.

          All the issues mentioned are key factors that are parts of the study. Obviously the goal is to have things work better, not worse.

          The key thing to note is that big rigs will not come here, it’s true those are too big, it’s more for medium trucks that currently do much of the delivery work in the middle of the city. The îlot already has a ton of bus traffic, these should not be much different. Also part of the study is to play with different off peak delivery Times to find what it less disruptive.

          These companies need to do a lot more work on the back end. A person on a cargo bike is optimal for delivering a certain size and weight of package in certain specific geographies, mini trucks have a slightly different range of packages they are good at(and also can drive further out than bikes) the shippers need to analyze their inventory and divide which packages need to go to what delivery vehicle. This idea is that work can happen at the îlot.

          Some sites like Amazon already deliver to deps, pharmacies and lockers, expanding that is a big goal. But also the idea of offering a “zéro-emission” option on the website checkout, perhaps on a longer time delay, also an order might end up being more efficient as multiple small packages rather than one large box as we usually prefer.

          The data and analytics already exists. It’s a lot about how to share that data with both users and everyone in the supply chain to find the solution that is the cheapest, fastest and least disruptive.

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