Updates from June, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:20 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Rivers can be buried, but they don’t die. The city is thinking of bringing some of them back to the light, at least partly because they would help with rain runoff at peak times.

    • denpanosekai 20:22 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

      Wherever you go in Japan there’s just tons of canalized rivers (or are they actually open-air sewers, I dunno). South Korea too. I think there’s a lot of charm to these canal-side areas.

    • Faiz Imam 01:20 on 2019-06-30 Permalink

      This has been part of a shift in thinking in environmental policy for over a decade now, but it’s very good that we are starting to see it put into actual practice.

      When it comes down to it, there are huge costs both ways. Some of these artificial channels are cracking and failing, and require renovation at huge expense. Bringing it back may or may not be more expensive, but its not by as much as one would think, on top of all its secondary benefits.

  • Kate 11:25 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Monday is moving day (another Montreal tradition that’s been widely reported): CTV has tips to avoid shady movers – although if you’re still scouting for a mover this weekend you’ve left it late – and the Journal has tips to avoid getting injured schlepping your furniture up to the third floor. The Gazette examined the phenomenon of rented storage space.

    TVA says some landlords are excluding families with kids and talks to FRAPRU, which is concerned about households that haven’t found new digs but are expected to move out of the old ones. La Presse estimates the unaccommodated households at least at 110. Finally, that last article gives the emergency city number for people without new lodgings: 514-868-4002, which is supposed to be working this weekend.

    Lots of trucks around Villeray streets Saturday. Anyone with a truck or pickup who isn’t already making a few bucks moving could scavenge a few things of value off the sidewalks this weekend.

    • Ian 16:50 on 2019-07-02 Permalink

      I was actually surprised how little good stuff there was out on the streets this time in Mile End, a couple of decent tables and a few beat up lamps but that was about it. If you are into collecting reusuable shopping bags though, I saw lots of bags of bags all over the place.

      I have also noted that this year the pre-moving yard sales have gotten weird – lots of tables set up with stuff marked anywhere between 20 and 50 bucks, even hardcover books for 5 bucks each. That’s not the point of a yard sale, folks.

  • Kate 11:15 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    People should be able to submit questions to city council in session via email, says a recommendation from a city commission, also that people should be able to apply in advance for permission to pose them a question in person.

    Not clear what the mechanism would be for receiving a response to an emailed question.

    As things stand, people have to show up on the day and apply to ask their question in person. (Of course, lots of questions do get asked of councillors and so on via email or Facebook or whatever – I’ve done it myself. This is specifically about bringing your issue to the entire council.)

    (The item used the word “citoyens” but I think it means any city residents, not necessarily people with formal citizenship, so I’ve phrased it that way. But I thought I’d mention that.)

    • Joey 12:50 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

      This makes sense – good to get as many questions and answers on the record as possible. Social media accounts are useful but it’s important for there to be documented, neutral-space debate. Presumably questions submitted by email will be dealt with more quickly than the back-and-forth that occurs à vive voix.

    • SMD 22:48 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

      The VSMPE borough council accepts questions emailed via a specific form or to a dedicated address, but only during the 30 minutes before the council session starts. This part of the system seems to work well. The problem is in the responses. The emailed questions are read after the in-person questions are asked, and are responded to live by the councillors. So in order to get your answer you have to watch the livestream or wait several days for the archived video to be posted. There is no emailed response to an emailed question.

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  • Kate 10:15 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal steak spice is one of the things that’s widely known about this city, but what is it and where did it originate? CBC investigates.

    • Kate 08:49 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

      Plaza St-Hubert, which has been under heavy reconstruction for most of a year, will be reborn as a shared street with a bike lane, wider sidewalks and cars held to 20 km/h.

      • Bill Binns 09:00 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Well that’s the end of that. I guess they can drop the “plaza” designation since a street with sidewalks, cars and a bike lane is pretty much any ordinary street in the city.

      • Kate 09:07 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Actually, I think it’s the other way around. The only thing that made that street a “plaza” rather than an ordinary shopping street was the glass awnings. Now they’re bringing back awnings in a new style, but also making the street more appealing for pedestrians. It’s going to be too late for some of the more marginal businesses – that construction site has taken a long time and made it tricky getting around there, plus there’s all the unrelated excavation around Jean-Talon metro nearby – but it’s an important experiment in how people respond when motor traffic is not the most important thing on a commercial street.

      • Bill Binns 09:40 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Woops, I was confused. I was thinking of Plaza St Albert. To my eye St Hubert is looking better than it has in previous years even with the construction. At least that’s the case with the stretch between the McDonald’s and the Lozeau photography store. There is at least some diversity in the offerings to break up the (still excessive) cookie cutter bargain basement wedding dress outlets. The northern stretch that is badly torn up now is a wreck with lots of vacant stores but I’m not familiar with what that area looked like before the construction. I never had a reason to go up there until the SQDC opened.

        The changes in the article sound good although it will all be dependent on enforcement. The idea that bicyclists will yield to pedestrians is laughable unless the cops are there doing something about it. Same for the 20kph speed limit for cars. I don’t see anything about parking either. Pedestrians may have the right to cross anywhere they like but currently there is two impenetrable walls of cars that prevent that for long stretches.

        Please enjoy this streetview photo I just found of a city construction worker with an “Omerta” tattoo on St Albert giving the finger to the Google maps car.


      • Kate 10:00 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        I think you mean Prince Arthur? You threw me there for a minute talking about Plaza St‑Albert.

      • steph 10:09 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        I’ve NEVER heard of plaza St-Albert either.

      • Kate 10:16 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Sounds like Bill has had an early start to his long weekend 🙂

      • dwgs 14:52 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Bill just got back from the SQDC up on St. Herb Alpert.

      • Kate 08:31 on 2019-06-30 Permalink

        🙂 dwgs

      • Jonathan 08:41 on 2019-07-10 Permalink

        I cycle daily, and see many cyclists yielding to pedestrians at stops. More than cyclists not yielding, I see cars not yielding, thinking that if the pedestrian is starting the cross from the opposite lane, then it gives them enough time to pass through before they reach the car driver’s lane.

    • Kate 08:24 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

      A major downtown clinic has shut up shop because half its doctors have retired and nobody else is allowed to take their place. Story shows up the bizarre PREM rule whereby young doctors can’t choose where they’re going to work, a system that’s been keeping Montreal short of family doctors for decades.

      • dwgs 14:54 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Our GP is retiring in December, she’s been looking for someone to take over her practice for a couple of years, no takers for a good well established practice in a shared space in Westmount. Go figure.

      • Michael Black 15:03 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        I was told Ishould get a GP now, so in May get my name on the list. Something like 350npeople ahead of me, I don”t know how fast the list gies down.


      • Ephraim 19:16 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        Michael, after I fired my doctor for incompetence… I finally got a doctor via a referral. The provincial list…. I waited over 3 years and never heard a word.

      • Kevin 19:23 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

        The only thing dumber than the PREM system is the idiotic Montrealphobic bureaucrats running it.

        They operate on the assumption that hospitals are only for people who live in the immediate vicinity. Live in CDN-NDG and can’t get a family doctor? It’s because the borough has 4 hospitals.

      • Kate 08:41 on 2019-06-30 Permalink

        I put myself on the list a couple of years ago on the government site and finally got a call from the local CLSC a couple of months ago. I was directed to a brand-new clinic in my neighbourhood, took the day off work (appointment in the middle of the day, no choice) and went over, only to find that they’d never heard of me.

        The building this clinic is in is so new that it’s not finished yet, although the clinic’s operating on the third floor. I was amazed that although the receptionists all had terminals, in this brand new building, when they were trying to locate me in the system they were flipping through binders of ratty-looking printouts with post-it notes and other junk stuck all over them, just like something from the 1980s.

        Anyway, they eventually got back to me – some sort of miscommunication wth the CLSC – I got at least three automated phone reminders from the government about this second appointment – and I now officially have a GP, although I have not yet seen him. The procedure now is apparently that if you’re in good health you don’t see a doctor. I’ve seen a nurse practitioner and she took my history, made some helpful suggestions, and was even able to write a prescription for the one Rx thing I needed.

        In the future it seems if you’re lucky you may never have to see a doctor at all.

    • Kate 08:22 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

      The education minister says he hopes the EMSB won’t turn to the courts over having two schools taken away, but the board hasn’t excluded the possibility.

      • Kate 02:04 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

        A woman was badly hurt on Friday evening when she was crushed under a car in Old Montreal, but the brief CBC report doesn’t explain why she was on the ground in a parking lot in the first place. La Presse says witnesses thought she might have been intoxicated.

        • Kate 02:01 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

          Some notes on what’s open and closed for the long weekend, and on weekend driving. CTV says road closures will be brutal with the old Champlain permanently closed, and no outbound bridge lanes on the new bridge till Monday.

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

            I am convinced there is some petty government functionary somewhere gleefully rubbing his/her hands together trying to come up with clever ways to maximize the pain caused by the traffic situation. After all this time waiting for the bridge they chose double holiday weekends to create this huge disruption.

          • Kate 09:11 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

            I wonder. It never sounded promising when they claimed the bridge would open just before Christmas. There was bound to be work to be done on the finishing that would be massively easier during warmer months. But they didn’t want to wait for after the construction holiday, and doing the change-over on long weekends when there wouldn’t be a classic Monday rush hour makes strategic sense.

          • JaneyB 11:16 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

            I think the double holiday openings was deliberately chosen as a way of underlining the two major funders and the whole Canada-Quebec harmonious working together idea. I thought it was fairly clever. Of course the reality of Montreal works as a kind of anti-Holy Spirit, giving a giant traffic snarling finger to the plan. Strangely perfect because annoying AF.

          • Kate 11:33 on 2019-06-29 Permalink

            Good point, JaneyB. It divvies the thing up nicely.

        • Kate 02:00 on 2019-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

          A human skeleton was discovered on waste ground around Bridge Street and the tracks, Friday evening. Police are investigating.

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