Updates from October, 2019 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:43 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    Café Ferrari has been on Bishop just above Ste-Catherine for years. I recall occasionally treating myself to tortellini there when I worked the evening shift nearby, and that was a long time ago. But now the owner is planning to close after years of construction work on that block – the STM excavation finished, but a new condo development is being built next door – have cut his business down to nothing. (They had the owner on CBC radio Thursday morning, and said the resto opened in 1981.)

    • Blork 14:49 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

      I walked by at around 12:45 today and the place was packed. No doubt just a blip from the publicity today.

  • Kate 18:22 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM muscle are taking a leaf from the SPVM union playbook and wearing camo pants in a protest against new split shifts.

    In an unconnected STM-related story, a bus detour sign on St-Urbain near Sherbrooke was tinkered with by some folks often seen in that little park where Camille Laurin’s memorial is. Not sure I’d fairly call it a mauvaise blague but actually a good-natured and harmless prank.

    • Kate 08:14 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

      The mayor is worried about the persistence of lead pipes in the water system, and plans to have drinking water tested and, if necessary, lead pipes replaced by order. Le Devoir has been making a thing of it.

      Update: The city has created a map tool which tells you if the building where you live likely has lead pipes. You have to click on the location tab to see a result. (Every address I’ve tried tells me there may be lead, so filter your water.)

      • dwgs 10:07 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        They’re doing this in many areas of NDG right now.

      • Mr.Chinaski 10:41 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        dwgs this is different. In the previous way, you would wait until the city changes the main pipes on your street, then you could coordinate with them so that the works are all at the same time. This would lower the cost as the excavation team would already be there. Unfortunately only about 20% of the people did that.

        Now the new plan is that the city will do it for you, then you will have to repay the city for the next 15 years. They will force the change but only when they change the main pipe on your street.

      • Tim 11:24 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        I strongly support Plante’s initiative to force home owners to fix their pipes. 15 years for payback seems very reasonable and matches the Home Buyers Plan for RRSPs.

      • denpanosekai 11:26 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        I dodged a bullet — my house is 1950 and not a lick of lead anywhere (pipes at least). But for anyone worried you could have your water tested for about 75$ and a roundtrip to industrial Longueuil (EnvironeX). Don’t bother with off-the-shelf garbage.

      • dwgs 11:48 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Well on many blocks in NDG they are digging a 4′ x 4′ hole in every single front yard and a corresponding one in the street in front of the house and replacing the water entries. I haven’t heard anyone complaining about having to pay.

      • Mr.Chinaski 12:51 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        4′ is the public part of the lot (*servitude), here the citizens will be forced by the city to change the pipe up to the house and pay the city.

      • mare 15:35 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        We tested our water and it was within the limits, even for pregnant women and small kids.

        Nevertheless in my block in RPP, 5 owners thought this was still too much, or wanted to sell their building, and had their water pipe replaced, spread out over three years. A crew digs a big hole, puts in a new pipe, done. The repavement of the road however is done so shitty and fast (they didn’t took the time to shake the gravel bed and then wait until it settled, but asphalted the road the same day) that after a few weeks there’s a big indentation in the road, big potholes appear in the winter and when the big city trucks barrel through the street (30 km zone, no trucks allowed, but hey, the city’s yard is at the end of the next block) there’s a lot of noise and our building shakes.

        Oh, and in a few of those cases it took a few months before the trench in the sidewalk was redone, and all this time the sidewalk was inaccessible to wheelchairs.

        If all lead pipes are done at the same time as the city’s main and the repavement of the road and sidewalk it makes sense. They did that a few blocks over and it took a whole summer (and probably many millions of $). Can’t imagine that be done in the whole city.

      • Tim 16:56 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        The interactive map from the city is available at https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/advice-and-prevention/lead-in-drinking-water/

        A link about what to do if you are like me and just found out that there are lead pipes leading into your residence: https://santemontreal.qc.ca/en/public/advice-and-prevention/lead-in-drinking-water/

        Nowhere is it mentioned that a way of avoiding lead is to buy bottled water. I guess that doesn’t play well with their environmental agenda.

      • Tim 18:43 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

      • Kate 18:46 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        I don’t think that has to be seen as an agenda, Tim, with the negative connotations of that word. Nobody wants to use bottled water indefinitely for drinking and cooking – some other solution has to be found.

      • Chris 20:33 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Tim, if you switch to plastic bottles, you’re trading lead for microplastics. (That might be a good trade in fact, but not ideal.)

      • John B 21:00 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        That “What to do” page of the city’s isn’t that helpful. The sentence “The water filtration devices must be NSF-certified to reduce lead, in accordance with NSF/ANSI Standard No. 53.” is somewhat misleading. NSF/Ansi No. 53 is kind of a group of standards, so if you get something that’s NSF/ANSI 53 certified, that might be NSF/ANSI 53 for particulate matter, or chlorine, or nickel, or something else. It actually has to say NSF/ANSI 53 for Lead.

        It would be much more helpful if there were a couple of brands & models listed so I could just get one of those. Or even better if the city arranged for an at-cost purchase, similar to how Hydro-Quebec organizes deals on low-flow shower heads.

      • Chris 22:17 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Years ago I spent hours trying to find best water filter for my fridge. The popular Brita does not filter lead. I settled on ZeroWater.

      • Tim 22:21 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        The jury is out on microplastics with young children. I would take that trade right now over what has been proven with lead. There is also the strength in numbers with microplastics: everyone on the planet is going to have that problem.

        Long term, I will have to find some sort of solution (maybe reverse osmosis?), but it will be plastic bottles until that gets sorted.

        The most concerning thing is the testing methodology which was used. Running water for 5 minutes before taking a sample just makes it seem like those responsible were trying to hide this problem.

      • walkerp 09:03 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

        I don’t believe that the city map has actual empirical data. Our entry pipes were replaced in the early 90s and the map and the map says “it is likely that we have lead pipes”. More damning, they redid the entire road and all the entry pipes on Jeanne-Mance between Mont-Royal and Villeneuve this year and the map says the same thing. I think it just runs a check on the age of the building and gives the answers accordingly and has not actually incorporated the history of actual work done.

        Fortunately, one of our neighbours has been here since the 80s and has the entire history of the building so we are pretty confident ours have been replaced. You can also go into your basement and check the pipe coming into the building. That will get you half the info, as there is another pipe that connects from outside your building to the city that has to be checked as well only by digging up.

        Your best bet is to test your water yourself. As denpanosekai said “you could have your water tested for about 75$ and a roundtrip to industrial Longueuil (EnvironeX).” Thanks for that!

      • walkerp 09:25 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

        I called the city and the rep did not have a clear answer on how they get the data for the map, but he said their guiding principle was to err on the side of caution. I would recommend checking for yourself, finding out the history and doing the water test before assuming anything based on this map.

      • Raymond Lutz 10:09 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

        “The most concerning thing is the testing methodology which was used. Running water for 5 minutes before taking a sample just makes it seem like those responsible were trying to hide this problem.” Indeed…

        see for instance http://flushingflint.com

      • Kevin 10:32 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

        These limits are lower than the limit that was acceptable two months ago.

        My NDG water was tested in the summer and given the ok — but according to these new standards every pipe leading to my house is going to be ripped out and replaced.

      • MarcG 10:54 on 2019-10-24 Permalink

        I installed an under-counter water filter a few years ago, mostly for the purpose of removing chlorine to make better tasting homebrew, but it also filters metals, bacteria, etc. It cost around $250 from Doulton Canada.

    • Kate 08:04 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

      One of the Gazette’s retrospectives looks at an article about changes on the Main from 1986. The feature they mention is in an issue on Google newspaper archive (not just the front-page teaser, but a large horizontal page inside).

      • dwgs 10:10 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Nice to see Simcha there, he was a good man.

      • Kate 12:37 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Yes, he was.

      • Bill Binns 14:50 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        They were already concerned about the scourge of gentrification back then but here we are, 30+ years later and the Main is one of the few places left in town where regular working class folks can still get stabbed at bar closing time.

      • Blork 16:40 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Interesting that they refer to Duluth and (the then successful) Prince Arthur as having been ruined by gentrification. I think those people had a very different view on gentrification than we do now, or at least different by degree. While I miss the Main of the 90s, people then missed the Main of the 70s, etc. etc.

        And if I’m being truthful, my visits to the Main now are usually accompanied by me thinking “dang I wish we had more of X back in the day,” where X is usually cafes, nice (but not expensive) restaurants, etc.

    • Kate 07:59 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

      CDN-NDG borough is going to ban new hotels and motels along St‑Jacques Street. The councillor pushing the idea is shown looking very puritanical and disapproving, but the idea of that raceway along the escarpment becoming “family-friendly” is a stretch.

      • Brett 08:48 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        They want to build condos. There’s already one building under construction right in the area where the photo was taken.

      • Kate 09:17 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Then he is a hypocrite. Rows of condos are not “family-friendly” but they are profitable.

      • Mr.Chinaski 09:37 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Sergakis owns about everything there, he’s the one really deciding here.

      • Kate 13:01 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Aha, good point.

      • John B 14:34 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        So, if we don’t allow hotel and motel development like this, (and Verdun, and probably other boroughs), and we don’t wan’t AirBnB-style short-term rentals, are we all supposed to get apartments with spare bedrooms for when family visits from out of town? That doesn’t seem efficient or affordable.

      • PO 17:54 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        Back in the early 2010s, it was decided that Upper Lachine west of Decarie would be closed to car traffic permanently. There was also talk of a roundabout at Girouard.

        Does anyone have reason why they haven’t done this / isn’t in the plans?

      • PO 17:56 on 2019-10-23 Permalink

        To clarify: the underpass on Upper Lachine would be closed, not the entire street.

    • Kate 04:13 on 2019-10-23 Permalink | Reply  

      A man and two children were found dead Tuesday evening in Tétreaultville, surmised to be murders + suicide. The TVA version is rather more detailed, not to say lurid.

      Update: TVA finds out that the man had recently been hospitalized for depression and suicidal thoughts; predictably, the wife was preparing to leave him.

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