Updates from August, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:48 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Today in Montreal, it’s time for an important and long overdue re-examination of immigration policy. This debate should be held on the issues of fairness, access to public services, and protection of human rights — and not just the politics of fear and exclusion. Immigration must be a right to all, an integral part of Canada’s future, not a privilege for some. And with the federal budget in sight, this debate should not delay the implementation of the law.

    The above text was generated by an AI with the opening phrase submitted by me.

    • david100 00:05 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Just a note in passing that many of the people who want open borders (not people on this board, but definitely in the city, in Toronto, elsewhere) are some of the people most militantly opposed to allowing the construction of housing for the hundreds of thousands who come every year as it is, let along the tens of millions who would like to move to Canada if it were possible.

      Bring them all here! No one is illegal! Just as long as they won’t try to demand that we upzone our neighborhoods so that private or even government actors could build housing to accommodate them, or cut down any trees for new housing, or build out somewhere that constitutes “sprawl”!

    • Thomas H 06:52 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      I tried this by submitting the phrase “Montreal City Weblog”:

      “Montreal City Weblog: I can’t say this enough. This blog is what we can all hang our hats on to. It’s the place to find all of the city’s information for the duration of every big event. It’s great for everything from finding parking for the biggest, most complex, and/or easiest event to finding all the latest information, info, and announcements and news. Read More »

      Thank you, Kate, for always providing us information on parking for the city’s biggest, most complex and/or easiest events! 🙂

    • Kate 07:38 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Thank you, Thomas H!

    • mare 09:02 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      The comments on Montreal City Weblog are useless. The real problem is the same one with any city, even a big city: people do not pay attention to what is going on. They don’t read the papers, they don’t read the blog, they don’t bother to check in on the blogs of the various city councils. The real problem with a city is not the citizens, it’s the corruption and the incompetence.

      This AI is very smart (or trained with a great corpus), it even knows about “the corruption and the incompetence.” Or that’s just a general problem with cities.

      Don’t let the bots take over Kate, you’re doing a great job! I applaud you for getting up early to read and digest the Montreal media, and posting here before going to work.

    • Blork 10:40 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      “It’s great for everything from finding parking …” HA HA HA HA HA!!!

    • ant6n 17:02 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      Well, I for one welcome our new new robot overlords.

    • Michael Black 18:39 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      This AI thing might explain the headlines, maybe the stories, at that other blog. I can see how an Eliza style program might generate such content.


  • Kate 21:00 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The Royalmount project has been revised; construction is set to begin soon.

    • Faiz Imam 22:23 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

      ayyyy! Will you look at that.

      “Moins de stationnements et de commerces, plus de logements résidentiels et au moins une école”

      Music to my ears 🙂

      “le plan initial prévoyait 12 000 places de stationnement, ce chiffre a été considérablement revu à la baisse. Au printemps, Carbonleo misait sur un total de 9850 places, dont 3000 réservées au résidentiel.”

      So that means the problematic parking has gone from 12000 to ~7000 spots.

      Also, 5000 units being developed, and 3000 parking spots means a ratio of 0.6 spots per unit, which is pretty damn low, and far lower than many of the city’s sustainable development plans call for. 4 our of 10 units will not have dedicated parking, that’s very unusual for this type of project.

      But of course, its another megaproject, so the usual issues, such as the discussion about the brossard one last week, apply.

      But this is to a large extent what activists and environmental groups have been asking for. This project went from a mega mall to Griffintown 2.0. Still a problem, but of a very different kind. Also zero gentrification concerns, which is not something you get every day.

    • js 12:38 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

      They’ve been clearing and leveling the space all summer, which might account for the increase in sightings of marmots and rabbits on the lawns of nearby buildings along Royalmount itself. They also moved a few beehives belonging to apiary to an adjacent empty lot, which I found by snooping around on my lunch break a few weeks ago.

      Have they released proposed maps showing how people coming west along the 40 or north on Decarie will be easily able to get there, or leave?

  • Kate 12:34 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

    A section of the new Turcot is expected to open on Monday morning and more pieces will be opening this fall. Of course that doesn’t mean there won’t be road closures this weekend.

    • Kate 12:30 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

      The CSDM had asked for a year’s grace before applying the secularity law, but has already begun including it in job postings for September.

      • Kate 12:11 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        TVA is alleging that more and more groups are claiming to be nonprofit in order to avoid paying municipal property taxes.

        • Ephraim 17:39 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Change the law to registered charities with a CRA tax number. Yacht clubs tax free…. talk about privilege!

      • Kate 12:07 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        Had email this morning reminding me of several changes in STM bus routes for the rentrée, including the splitting of the long 435 express that has covered the entirety of the 80 and 165 routes at rush hour, into the 480 and 465. The expresses will only go south in the morning and northward in the evening*.

        Some of the improvements are cast in terms of lightening the load on the eastern half of the orange line, and Papineau will have a reserved bus lane for the new 445 route.

        *Montreal directions apply.

        • CE 12:42 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I’m sure the replacement for the 435 will make planning buses easier for the STM but I’m having trouble understanding the new schedule. At least they’re now north-bound and south-bound instead of west and east like they used to be. When standing on the corner at Parc looking at the transit app or posted schedule, I always had to think a bit about which direction it would take me.

        • EmilyG 18:22 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          There will be a new bus, the 445. It’ll go from my place right to downtown! I’m pretty hyped. 🙂

        • Faiz Imam 20:56 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Yeah, that new express bus might be the most important part of the changes. A lot of blue line users who fear the mess that is transferring to a packed orange line buses will prefer the bus, especially since much of the route is reserved bus lane.

          But I don’t know that area too well, are the reserved bus lanes effective? are the parts mixed with normal traffic bad enough to not make it worth it?

          The other big improvement is two more Azur trains on the orange line, though I’m not clear on what headway that translates to.

          Here is the actual itinerary of the new 445 bus btw:


        • Kate 20:59 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Emily, the 445 will run at rush hours only, but it’s a start. Radio-Canada reports weekdays 6:30 to 9:30 southbound, 15:30 to 18:30 northbound.

      • Kate 09:18 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        Some interesting street fairs this weekend: Mont-Royal’s RU starts Thursday, Wellington Street in Verdun has a classic sidewalk sale Friday to Sunday, and the 18th-century market is on around Place Royale. There will be a few more street fairs before the season ends, which you can see on my list.

        • Chris 09:20 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Great list, thanks for compiling it!

        • DeWolf 15:00 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          It’s a list I check every summer! Thanks!

      • Kate 08:07 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        It’s charmingly typical this morning that the Gazette has an earnest René Bruemmer piece on the dangers of e-scooters, while QMI reports on seeing a Lime scooter floating in the Lachine Canal.

        • Sean 09:05 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I came across this poor little guy earlier this week: https://i.imgur.com/XQU1krv.jpg

        • Kate 09:11 on 2019-08-22 Permalink


        • Chris 09:19 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          The Gazette article oddly focuses on injuries and deaths. Is their point that since some people are hurt that these things should be banned?

          Of course there are injuries! Just as there are biking, driving, and walking on icy sidewalks. So what?

          “at least 11 people have died in the U.S. since 2018”. Yeah, well, there are 100 motor vehicle deaths in U.S *every day*. And way more injuries.

          “In Atlanta, usage has been banned at night.” Imagine doing that to cars!

        • Max 09:28 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Somebody posted this to reddit this morning. It’s about the economics of another brand of scooter.


          Assuming the Lime scooters also last only a month on average and cost hundreds of dollars to replace, then this is a stupid program.

        • CE 09:28 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I saw one parked on the curb pointing out into traffic on Atwater just as it meets Dr. Penfield. I felt like I had hit peak 2019 right then.

        • Blork 09:30 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          @Chris, it depends on the ratio of usage to injury. There are like a million cars in Montreal, and a handful of injuries each day. Hundreds of thousands of bicycles, and a handful of injuries each day. A couple of hundred e-scooters and a handful of injuries each day. Obviously, the e-scooters have a vastly higher rate of injuries per usage.

        • Chris 09:58 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Blork, yes, raw count, per vehicle, and per distance travelled are all important metrics. The article didn’t give anything other than raw count, so hard to compare anything else. Not sure if there are good stats for scooters yet, but for autos there certainly are: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motor_vehicle_fatality_rate_in_U.S._by_year

          Also don’t forget that scooters aren’t *doing* the killing, they are *getting* killed. Like the article says: “In Atlanta […] there have been four fatalities since May. In the most recent case, a rider ran a red light and hit a moving oil truck. In the other incidents, users were struck by vehicles.”

          Another factor to consider: (most) people have been biking since childhood, driving since late adolescence, and using scooters since… last week! So of course no one is comfortable with how those things work, and likely falling more often, like a kid first learning to bike.

          But again: what is the Gazette’s point focusing on injuries? To me, it smells like hit piece.

        • Uatu 10:41 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Eh, the Gazette is read mostly by old, cranky seniors who can’t fathom the kids and their obsession with the scooters and the phones and the series of tubes that connects to the phones. I’m just waiting for the Bill Brownstein/Josh Freed/Dr. Joe Schwartz yawnfest columns and opinion pieces to show up on the old folks network aka CTV 6pm news, cjad, the gazzoo ;P

        • CE 12:36 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I just encountered someone riding one on Parc just below Jean-Talon. He was riding south on the sidewalk and then decided to hop down onto the street. Against traffic. This is a 6 lane stretch of street where all the north-bound cars are racing and preparing to turn. All this while wobbling and seeming unsure of himself on the scooter, obviously one of the first times he had ever been on one.

          There’s something about these things that either turns part of the riders’ brains off, or makes them feel invincible.

        • Ephraim 14:39 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I’m still waiting to see someone use one legally (on the street with a helmet) and waiting to see one parked legally. Still haven’t seen a single one that was within 100% compliance with the law. I’ve seen two on a scooter with no helmets, I’ve seen them parked all over the sidewalks and I’ve seen three people on a Jump bike.

          Has ANYONE actually seen people use these legally or park them within the legal parking zones? Or am the only one that sees them littering Sherbrooke streets sidewalks?

        • Ephraim 18:03 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Just to show what I mean, here’s a screengrab https://i.imgur.com/zvlADnV.jpg and you can see 3 scooters… with the blue being where they are supposed to legally be parked… and not one is in that zone…. and yet they release them. So who’s wrong… the rider who gets the scooter released via the app while in the wrong place, or Lime, for letting them release the scooter parked illegally?

        • Ian 18:33 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I’m with Ephraim, I see them parked wherever and people riding them as if they have all the rights and privileges of both motorists and pedestrians with none of the obligations.

          Whenever I see one parked in a stupid in-the-way place I move it behind a dumpster in the nearest alley. I encourage you all to do the same.

        • Chris 19:51 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          ‘all the rights and privileges of motorists’, eh? Like the right/privilege to park your car along the whole length of both sides of just about every street, for free usually?

          Ian, so you’re a vigilante, eh? What if I said: every time I see a car parked illegally, I deflate a tire. I encourage you all to do the same. That ok too?

          How about we disallow car parking x metres from every intersection and reallocate that space for bike, scooter, and moped parking. We’ve sorta been reclaiming that space with bixi stations, this is an extension of that idea. Compliance will likely increase when they have more than a tiny smattering of parking places.

        • Ephraim 20:57 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Chris…. it’s not about CARS, it’s about PEDESTRIANS. The deal they made with the city isn’t being respected… their app is allowing the scooters to be released illegally. The solution is pretty simple, fine Lime, or threaten to remove their licence… they will fix their app damn quickly.

          Did you read the article about how bad it is in San Diego? They have people repossessing the scooters because people are dumping them all over the place, including on private property. And San Diego has started the process to revoke Lime’s authorization for non compliance of geofencing.

        • Dan 21:09 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          We can argue about scooters vs. pedestrians, cars and parking all day long. As Max pointed out, these are dumb because they are not sustainable and are going to be piling up in garbage heaps and bodies of water in no time.

        • Faiz Imam 21:54 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Hopefully we can manage to create procedures to manage and store them to make it more financially sustainable. There’s plenty of space on the street, its just that most of it is taken up by that other vehicle everyone complains about.

          It reminds me of images from 100 years ago of beautiful European public squares jammed with cars. It took a while to figure out how to deal with them, but it got done. This is not an impossible to solve problem.

          But In the long run, I hope this trends gets people to buy their own private ebikes and escooters. They really are an excellent innovation that allows people to travel farther faster, ebikes in particular have actually been shown to replace car trips, which is huge.

        • Chris 22:49 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Dan, not sustainable relative to what? To biking? Absolutely! To cars? I doubt it (though can’t be bothered to try to see if anyone has run the numbers).

          Ephraim, I’ve been to San Diego and seen it first hand. Tried it too. Scooters everywhere. Juicers driving truckloads of them around. They were strewn around everywhere: sidewalks, private lawns, parks, beaches, bike paths, the road, everywhere. Not ideal at all. I fully agree they shouldn’t be on sidewalks. So that means they need to go on roads, which means they’ll compete for space with cars, which makes it about cars too.

        • Dan 23:19 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          No one is taking these things instead of their cars. If they’re going to go through the trouble of finding a half-dead scooter in an alley to get to work, they’re going to get a bike. They are not sustainable as in the situation you just described in San Diego. They’re garbage.

        • Ephraim 15:29 on 2019-08-23 Permalink

          Chris, no one is talking about scooters versus cars, other than wanting people to do this safely and therefore wear helmets rather than have their brains smashed all over the pavement.

          No, the problem is these all over the sidewalks. There are designated spaces to park these on the pavement. They should never be on a sidewalk. But they are getting left all over the place and Lime promised that they wouldn’t. They aren’t keeping up their end of the agreement. So, they can either fix their app or they can take their scooters elsewhere. Montreal is a city with a LOT of pedestrians, we need to care.

      • Kate 07:50 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        The city has created a new cricket field in a park in Côte-des-Neiges. It doesn’t look like cricket requires much more than a stripe of astroturf in the middle of a park, but apparently this has to be far away from other activities because of the chronic problem of a loose ball doing damage. The enthusiast interviewed in the video here says he wants to see a lot more cricket fields created. Does anyone here like cricket or understand the game?

        • MarcG 08:56 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I don’t understand it but my wife and sat and watched an amateur baseball game at the park last summer and had the joy of explaining the rules to a dude who just moved here from India – it’s surprisingly complicated. People play cricket and rugby on a park over the Atwater water supply here https://goo.gl/maps/uA4c26DvEbzC1KuR8 which is an unusual place if you’ve never been.

        • Joey 09:09 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Watching cricket in Jarry Park is fun. I think you can find the occasional game on the McGill campus. From the photo it doesn’t look like there’s much in the way of fencing or netting to protect spectators and nearby cars from errant balls. This is, of course, quite the surprise given the city’s heavy-handedness regarding the flight of softballs in Jeanne-Mance Park and Vinet Park.

        • Gerhardt 09:46 on 2019-08-22 Permalink


        • walkerp 12:14 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          It is very popular for people from the Caribbean as well. They play pick-up cricket games, which boggles my mind.

        • Faiz Imam 12:34 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Huh, first time I’ve seen a astroturf surface, it’s usually it’s dirt, clay, or that rubber stuff tennis courts are made of. Sometimes even asphalt. Looks like the “grass” is very short and hard, which is what matters.

          But yeah, it’s a very minimalist setup, and can be used for many other things if a game is not going on. Most people wont even realize it’s there.

          As someone who enjoys and understands both cricket and baseball in great detail, I agree that a lot of details are complex, but at its heart it’s a bat and ball game. You want to hit the ball and run to the base. The main thing is you can hit the ball in any direction and there is no count (ball, strikes, outs).

          Worth pointing out that there is such a thing as indoor cricket. It takes about the area of a basketball court, and has drapes on all sides to stop the ball from breaking stuff. But again, reserving court time in Montreal is no easier, so it’s still a challenge to play.

        • CE 12:38 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I often see kids playing cricket in one of the fenced in school yards in parc-Ex. I guess they’re probably playing a version of indoor cricket.

        • Faiz Imam 12:46 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          That’s more analogous to playing baseball on the street. You try to do the best you can within the available environment.

          With 7 public fields, Montreal already has more cricket access than many South Asian cities. There is so much urban development and so little park space that most kids have no choice to play on the streets. Yet it’s enough for them to grow into fans.

        • Kate 12:51 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Faiz Imam, I was guessing about astroturf. Technically it could well be something else. I am surprised South Asian cities don’t have more provision for the sport, though.

          CE, I get my eyebrows threaded in a little place next to a dollar store that sells cricket bats. It’s funny – my association with the sport is from British books where it seems to be a pastime of the privately educated, so it’s a shift of gears to thinking of it being the main sport in some places that are not so wealthy. Like, among others, Park Ex.

        • Faiz Imam 13:26 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Nah, I watched the video, that’s definitely some variant of asteoturf. Really all you want is something hard enough for a ball to bounce, but soft enough that falling and sliding won’t hurt.

          I recently spent a month in Karachi, spent a lot of time really analyzing the city, also met a urban affairs journalist who got a degree in planning from Montreal.

          And the fact is that Karachi, like most cities in the developing world are a shit show.

          Municipalities have no power, open brazen curruption is the norm, and money rules all. Any open patch of grass in any but the most powerful areas are ripe for development.

          An uncle of mine is a biologist who studied old trees in the city, studied them his whole life. At this point thetr are almost no trees on public lands in the entire city. If they have not been torn down for new developments, they’ve been torn to expand roads and build highways.

          My cousins love the idea of driving an hour away and living in the suburbs, and I honestly can’t blame them.

        • Michael Black 16:20 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          In grade six, there was a teacher from England and he definitely explained cricket, though I remember none of it. I think he even got us to play it once or twice, but the memory faded.

          It’s still.uncommon here, so it’s not mundane like Canadian sports like hockey or baseball. I can sort of find it interesting when I have zero interest in “traditional” sports.

          And I like the idea that it took hold in the “colonies”, something people enjoy as a sport rather than an attempt to be like the British. Whoever is playing, not that I watch it, it seems like their sport.


        • Nick D. 17:04 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          Cricket is much bigger in Ontario than in Quebec. Recently I was in a hotel in London (England, not Ontario) and wanted to try to see highlights from the Ashes (which is series of cricket matches between England and Australia). In all the various channels on the hotel’s TV I could not find the England-Australia games, but I did stumble across an Ontario cricket tournament. It was something called the GT20: https://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/toronto/top-names-in-cricket-swing-through-brampton-for-gt20-canada-tournament-1.5226278
          The CBC back in 2013 did a piece on how cricket was the fastest-growing sport in Canada (mostly Ontario): https://youtu.be/QAQh0QvfXUo

        • Ian 18:36 on 2019-08-22 Permalink

          I’m kind of surprised lacrosse hasn’t gotten more popular as a park sport. When I was a kid everyone had a lacrosse stick, it was as common as street hockey.

      • Kate 07:26 on 2019-08-22 Permalink | Reply  

        Firefighters had to help some people down after two of the cars flipped on La Ronde’s ferris wheel Wednesday evening. A crew had been filming on the ride and their equipment was apparently too heavy for safety.

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