Updates from January, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:25 on 2020-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    A pedestrian was knocked down by a truck as it crossed a sidewalk in St-Laurent Friday morning. She’s in critical condition.

    Update: The woman has died.

    • Ian 15:56 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      It’s pretty nasty walking throughout most of industrial VSL, even the areas with sidewalks. I bet she was on her way to a different bus line because the bus never came at the stop she was at.

    • qatzelok 17:30 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      “The driver, a 67-year-old man, was treated for shock.”

      You killed someone with your vehicle?
      Here, take these happy pills and get right back in the saddle.

  • Kate 13:11 on 2020-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    The smog Friday is pretty bad, and there’s a warning out.

    Saturday morning the smog warning is still up on the government weather site.

    …And Sunday morning, the same.

    • Blork 14:56 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      I couldn’t see the other side of the river from the 132 in Longueuil this morning. Most of it was “sea smoke” but there was a thick layer of orange haze on top.

    • Ian 15:12 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      Man people must really have been using their fireplaces a lot, eh.

    • Chris 18:03 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      Ah, Ian, ever dependable!

      Did you bother to read the articles?

      “”In Quebec, wood heating is the main source of fine particles that contribute to smog during winter,” Environment Canada said.”

    • Ian 18:39 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      Oh my.
      I know that typing on the internet doesn’t communicate tone, but I had imagined that I was referring specifically to that line would have been obvious to even the most obtuse reader. Apparently I was mistaken.

    • JaneyB 23:01 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      Oh, that’s what it is! I kept thinking: Spring dust already or is it my eyes? Of course, the legacy of the Ice Storm.

    • Tim 01:07 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

      I call BS on Environment Canada. How many people are still using wood burning stoves when the power is not out? They need to provide a date for this data. They could be referencing data from 15 years ago.

    • Kate 09:23 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

      I agree it seems unlikely that the trend for wood stoves (or even a few places cooking bagels or pizzas with wood fires) is dominant enough in our era to cause the kind of urban smog problem we’ve had now for more than 24 hours. Something else is up, but either the authorities don’t know what it is, or don’t want to cop to it.

    • Ian 11:12 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

      Weeell see here’s the crazy thing – smog is just fog with whatever pollution happens to be around. Even if nobody lived here at all, we would still get atmospheric inversions because of a bunch of geographic factors.

      Whether it’s wood smoke or vehicle exhaust or whatever, all pollution is going to get trapped just as often and for as long, regardless. My gripe is the article blaming fireplaces for smog (legacy of the ice storm? 24 years ago?) when realistically the pollution doesn’t cause atmospheric inversions. Toronto gets nasty sooty smog that smells like fish, it’s not because there are a lot of fireplaces there.

    • Chris 22:56 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

      >My gripe is the article blaming fireplaces for smog

      But it doesn’t, not exclusively. It says: “the main emissions causing the smog come from transportation and wood-burning”. Or do you mean your gripe is that wood-burning is ascribed any portion of the blame at all?

      According to the City, wood burning *was* a close second (39%) of PM2.5 particle emissions. Hopefully that’s lower now, thanks to the new regulations. We need more time have enough data to know.

      >when realistically the pollution doesn’t cause atmospheric inversions

      Did anyone claim it did?

    • Ian 12:19 on 2020-02-02 Permalink

      Chris, I know you’re scrambling to regain credibility, but I thought we already agreed that I was referring to that one specific line at the end of the CBC article that you accused me of not reading.

    • CE 15:00 on 2020-02-02 Permalink

      Are wood burning furnaces still allowed off island?

    • Chris 15:27 on 2020-02-02 Permalink

      CE, they sure are! There are regulations about minimum standards for wood burning appliances, but Montreal is the only place mentioned by this Quebec government page with any ban.

    • Ian 17:07 on 2020-02-02 Permalink

      Even some places on-island – some of the demerged cities and towns don’t have a full wood-burning stove & fireplace ban. Pointe Claire grandfathered in old fireplaces and wood stoves, Kirkland allows wood burning stoves and fireplaces as long as they aren’t the primary heating system, Westmount has no ban at all as far I know… not all the demerged towns and cities, though – Hampstead banned wood stoves & fireplaces even before Montreal did.

  • Kate 08:53 on 2020-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    An attempt to revive the Lachine public market has collapsed after two years despite generous public grants to the private operator chosen to run it. Suppliers are out of pocket with debts unpaid by this operator, and the market has closed up again.

    • Ginger Baker 10:47 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      The article on the PME website about Brahm Aronovitch receiving a $30K grant has been disappeared from the internet

    • JaneyB 23:07 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      That’s really too bad. That’s a good location for a market. I’ve been there a bunch of times.

  • Kate 08:45 on 2020-01-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Winter testing has shown that the STM’s choice of long-distance electric bus is a good one, so they will gradually begin to operate in the system. This is a new bus, different from the one running on the 36 line, which has to be recharged at each end of the run.

    I saw this new bus during an STM open house a couple of months ago. The thing that sets this model apart is the thick ceiling, which houses the massive battery. (Although the STM will probably add graphics saying it’s all-electric.) This bus can reach 250 km without needing a recharge.

    • dwgs 11:04 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

      I’ve been seeing a lot of them in NDG / downtown the last couple of weeks.

  • Kate 22:45 on 2020-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

    A planned closure of the 40 has been delayed twice now because of weather, but this weekend it should actually happen.

    • Kate 13:23 on 2020-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The family of Pierre Coriolan, shot dead by police in a 2017 incident, want financial help so they can afford legal representation in an upcoming inquest. Their pro bono lawyer points out that since each cop has a lawyer and the police in general are also supported by lawyers provided both by the city and the police brotherhood – La Presse says there will be seven lawyers on the police side – the family is at a disadvantage from the start.

      • Kate 13:14 on 2020-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

        The building that used to house Lux, that iconic spot on the Main near Fairmount from 1984 to 1993, is for sale.

        • Ian 13:24 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I’m sure Projet Montreal will find a way to excuse when it inevitably becomes a restaurant catering to Mile End office folk, with an AirBnb hotel upstairs …despite Marie Plourde’s protestations otherwise.

          Unless Shiller-Lavy buys it in which case it will stand empty indefinitely until it gets rented by a chain store, and Projet Montreal will still be powerless to do anything about it.

          Why does PM even get quoted in these articles when it’s clear they have so little ability or interest in actually preserving what was ever nice about Mile End?

        • Michael Black 13:34 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Lux actually appears in the 1987 movie “Crazy Moon” with Keifer Sutherland and Vanessa Vaughn. They go there, but other places are very recognisable. Though, it’s the one film where I’ve noticed things, they turn onto a street that doesn’t intersect, and another street they go along becomes one way, the wrong way, and has a bus route that isn’t there in rea!ity.

        • DeWolf 13:39 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          We get that you really, really, really don’t like PM, Ian. But I do wonder what, realistically, a municipal government could do about this kind of situation. The NYT recently had a story about a beloved neighbourhood grocery store in the Marais that is closing after 35 years because all the local businesses are being priced out by luxury brands and chain stores. The neighbours are outraged, the mayor of the local arrondissement is upset too. Paris presumably has a robust arsenal of tools it could use to protect neighbourhood businesses, and yet its hands are tied. What exactly can Montreal do, especially given the infamously limited powers afforded to city governments in Canada?

        • Dhomas 14:35 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Couldn’t the city itself buy the building? It’s listed at ~$3.5 million. They recently spent over $6 million for the parc de l’ouest.

        • Kate 14:40 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          The city would need a reason, no? Admittedly, it would make a nice satellite library….

        • Dhomas 14:43 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I was just thinking it could be a library and the city rents out some space inside for a café. Would help recoup some of the costs.

        • Kate 16:21 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Ooh. I like it.

        • Ian 17:12 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Well that’s it, you see, they brought in Marie Plourde to say that she loved Lux and would go to a new resto that kept the look and feel and she even asked if the city could buy it, but they couldn’t.

          My point here, DeWolf, is there is no point having PM m make a cameo to once again whimper that their hands are tied.

          I am tired of PM getting trotted out over and over again so they can have the opportunity to say they would love to help and they agree this is a great cause but they spent all the money already, presumably on stuff like free terrasses for the walking tour rest stop at Fairmount or swampland in the west or redoing Clark Street twice because they measured it without considering firetrucks.

          Café/bookstore would be lovely, maybe we will see everyone happy if someone like Archambault moves in.

          Whatever it is, it won’t be because PM actually _did_ anything about it.

        • Spi 17:38 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I may not be as cynical as Ian, but I have to agree with the sentiment what purpose does it serve to have the borough city hall come out and say “we hope it comes back in the public domain”? If you really wanted to you’d put up the money yourself and buy it otherwise it’s just the political equivalent of virtue signaling.

          The last thing the mile end needs is another café. There’s very good coffee within 2 blocks of practically anywhere in the neighbourhood. I also question the pertinance of having an other bookstore, there’s already Renaud Bray, the Outremont outpost of Librairie du Square, Drawn & Quarterly and S.W.Welch although I suspect the laters days are numbered.

        • Ian 17:46 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          …also the Children’s D&Q, also on Bernard. I hope you’re wrong about Welch’s, I Iove that guy & it’s my favourite used English-language bookstore in town.

        • Spi 17:54 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I also love the place, but the empty storefronts to his left and the right had at some point for rent signs by Shiller Lavy, so I think it’s safe to assume they own that entire building/block and they don’t strike me as the type to give the neighbourhood bookstore a sweetheart deal to keep a minimum of the original spirit of the place.

        • Ian 19:23 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Sadly, the same thought crossed my mind. Shiller Lavy has really done a number on the St. Viateur strip, it’s a hockey player’s smile of empty storefronts.

        • Meezly 11:13 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          The Lux’s heyday was way before I moved here. What was it like as a night spot way back when?

        • Ian 11:44 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          Kind of impressive, a classic rich man’s folly tragically doomed to failure, very stylish especially for the time, and way out in the no-man’s land that was the Main north of St.Joe at the time so kind of a destination.


        • Michael Black 12:03 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          It sold magazines, kind of integrated with the eating. I maybe went there to eat something soon after Leslie Lutsky mentioned it, but only the once. However, I did go in to look over the magazines, not read, during the course of it being open when I was in the area

        • CE 12:37 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          Here’s the scene in Crazy Moon: https://youtu.be/Ip08c5Rg6So?t=1210

          I’ve never seen this movie but skipping through it, it’s a treasure trove of mid 80s street scenes!

        • Kate 13:38 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          CE, that’s a find. Thanks! (Plus, it has music by Rational Youth!)

          Meezly, it wasn’t a night spot in the classic sense. It was a 24-hour restaurant-café-sort of futuristic dépanneur with magazine racks around and various businesses upstairs too. There was a bar in back but Lux wasn’t only a bar. For awhile, my hairdresser at the time had a spot upstairs, so I had my hair cut there a few times too.

          I took these 2 photos from up one of the spiral staircases:

          At its best Lux had an ultimate urban cool, but it went downhill badly toward the end. My last visit there involved waiting half an hour to get lukewarm coffee from a waiter who was making it crystal clear that waiting tables was beneath him, and it closed not long after. I never heard the full story why it couldn’t stay open, because there was clearly a clientele ready to respond to it.

        • Meezly 14:13 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          Thanks for sharing, all! I hope the city or some non-profit can buy it and turn it into a public space, like a library or museum, maybe one about the history of the garment district. Such a beautiful space.

        • Blork 15:08 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          I lived up the street (St-Laurent and Bernard) for a couple of years (91-93) and I used to do the same as Michael Black; just go in to browse the magazines. I don’t recall ever spending a nickel (which makes me a pretty typical customer according to Gravy’s description in Coolopolis — Ian’s link).

          In my case it was because I was so poor at the time. The idea of spending $5 on a beer and fries when I had some mouldy bread and dollar-store peanut butter just up the street… unthinkable!

        • Ian 16:02 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          All this nostalgia is making me almost miss my apartment by st. joe & the main in what is now pensione popolo. The woodworker shop (where casa is now) on the first floor owned the place and it was in such bad repair… our living room window fell right out of the frame one day and the landlord just but in a sheet of styrofoam and a few sheets of heavy window plastic, all held together with duct tape and wood staples. It was a real dump back then but super cheap (3 beds 2 floors 550 bucks/month), and there was a great dive bar across the street where the chain dep is now. It was definitely not a trendy neighbourhood yet, but it was a great place to be… at the time anyhow haha

        • Janet 22:43 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          Ah nostalgia. 1986-2001, I lived in a 1,000 sq ft loft on the corner of St-Laurent & Duluth (over the American Sample dress shop, which later became a friperie). Paid $250/month heated. Became ridiculously affordable when my boyfriend moved in and we split the rent. Wind blew through the walls, and the landlord wouldn’t even make duct tape repairs.

      • Kate 13:09 on 2020-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

        The STM will be expropriating part of the land belonging to Galeries d’Anjou to build the new terminus of the blue line.

        • Jonathan 18:19 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Disappointed that they are constructing 1200 parking spaces considering how costly it is to subsidize parking. I would rather see the STM venture into an affordable housing initiative similar to what is being done on top of Rosemont metro and what is proposed at Frontenac.

        • Kate 13:40 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          Jonathan, I wondered too. I suspect the ARTM may have insisted on all that parking because it’s a terminus, but I don’t know. I’ll post if I find out.

        • Kevin 16:10 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

          I highly doubt they’re building a single parking spot. Most of what they’re expropriating is already parking.

        • Kate 18:43 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

          That’s likely. I’ve shopped there once in my life, maybe 10 years ago. At some point mall horror overwhelmed me and I exited by the closest door. Which turned out to be the far side of the mall from the bus stop. It took a long time to circle the building, dodging vehicles zooming in and around the huge parking lot.

        • CE 15:05 on 2020-02-02 Permalink

          I’ve experienced a sort of “mall horror” before. I become very anxious with all the activity and big open spaces (and I’m generally not an anxious person). I especially get it in places like Costco. It surprises me to look around and see all these people who willingly put themselves through what feels like hell to me every week or so.

      • Kate 08:43 on 2020-01-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Lane markers painted on the Turcot have worn away and Transports Quebec says it won’t repaint them till the project is completed. Some folks think this is dangerous.

        • Ian 10:11 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Lane markers have worn away on about 80% of the road surfaces in the city. They can’t be repainted in winter in any case.

        • John B 10:17 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I’m pretty sure I’ve seen studies saying roads are safer without lane markers because drivers pay more attention, but everything I’ve seen applies to surface streets, not freeways. It would be interesting to see if some accident stats could be teased out of somewhere in a year’s time, and compare pre- and post- line painting.

          The CTV article mentions the 50k/h speed limit being ignored. That speed limit is ridiculous. I get it that it’s there because the space is technically a “construction zone” but huge sections between the 15/20 interchange and Ville-St-Pierre interchange are essentially finished, yet still have a (completely unenforced) 50km/h limit. If we want people to respect speed limits they should be reasonable, (ie, highway speed in the sections where the road is done), and enforced.

        • Blork 10:51 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          “…roads are safer without lane markers because drivers pay more attention.” I can see that being true in places where driving culture is oriented towards safety and respect for others, but as been discussed here at length, Montreal driving culture is pretty much the opposite.

        • Spi 11:38 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I agree with Blork, maybe in places where speed limits are lower and there is a more fluid interaction between all forms of transit but in this city all it would lead to is the magical appearance of additional lanes like on rené-lévesque.

        • dwgs 11:48 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I’ve been driving a long time, often in lousy conditions and I’m usually pretty unflappable but I drove that section of the 20 last weekend and it was stressful. Four lanes of cars travelling from 50 to 100 km/h with nobody quite sure of where they should be, it was bedlam.

        • Ian 11:49 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          It’s especially hairy when there is a lane that must turn that is not indicated with street markings so people don’t realize their lane is about to suddenly end until they are in the intersection. There are a lot more of those than you might think in Montreal.

          Add to this that lot of Montreal only makes sense if you have actually driven that specific route before, I can’t imagine how out-of-towners cope with it. The first 3 mornings I tried to take the 40 from Acadie I ended up on the road to Laval.

          But yeah like Blork & Spi said, “studies have shown”, haha. Did you know Beaumont is 2 lanes going west from Parc plus a parking lane? That’s how people use it, despite it being only one lane plus parking. There is a cop station right at Beaumont and Querbes, I guess they don’t see enforcing local traffic laws as part of their jobs. That is of course only one specific example amongst a multitude.

          As far as the 50k speed limit, I disagree – that is a very safe speed when you’re in the spaghetti heading east, especially at night, especially as right after a series of high speed hairpin turns people start rapidly switching lanes as they come up into the downtown exits. I me man let’s be real everyone drives 20 over minimum anyhow, so I don’t think that posting should be changed to 70 or people will be flipping their cars like a bunch of dopes. I’ll be honest, regardless of its completeness the 20 always feels way less safe than the 40 to me all the way from Ste Anne to Viau.

        • Ian 12:13 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          to clarify & correct
          I mean let’s be real, everyone drives 20 km/h over the speed limit, minimum, anyhow

        • Blork 14:32 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          (Here’s me fixing the Internet one edit at a time: Ian means “everyone drives at least 20 km/h over the speed limit anyhow.)

          A further note on the lack of readable road signage: history is full of stories about cities that removed all road signage in times of war and siege in order to confuse the invading armies. I often think of this when I’m driving around Montreal and environs. The road signage tends to be SO BAD that I feel like it must be deliberate, that someone somewhere DOES NOT WANT ME TO KNOW.

          Of course that’s not the case, but there is clearly very little thought put into it. As Ian mentions, there are many streets where you don’t realize you’re in a turning lane until you reach the intersection — and are thus committed — even though you had no intention of turning. The only indications are a few faded arrows on the street that you can’t see if there’s a lot of traffic or if there is snow on the ground. Maybe a small sign right at the intersection, but you can’t see that because it’s behind a tree or is lost in a sea of visual noise, or a truck is blocking the view.

          Ditto wide intersections of primary boulevards where the only indication of what street you are crossing is one tiny white street sign that’s similarly lost in a sea of visual noise. You approach the intersection knowing you want to turn at Papineau or whatever, and there’s NO SIGN, so you slow down and start scanning the six or eight posts where a sign might be, distracted by searching for street signs instead of watching the goddamn road, and people start honking at you making it worse. By the time you see the sign (if you see it at all) it’s too late to turn. THIS HAPPENS A LOT.

        • Dhomas 14:40 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Doesn’t everyone have a GPS built into their smartphone? I haven’t looked at a street sign in ages while driving.

        • Blork 15:46 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Sure, but not everyone engages their navigation system when they’re driving in familiar territory. For example, the “Papineau” example happened to me just last weekend; I was driving back from the JT market, and I usually get to Papineau via St-Zot or Beaubien, but that day I was on Belanger, and as I approached Papineau I figure it was probably it but it would have been nice to know for sure. That’s otherwise a familiar ride so I don’t GPS it.

          Same thing has happened a bunch of times on the south shore, where I’ll be driving along Trashereau and I need to turn at some street or other. I don’t bother with the GPS because it’s familiar territory, and I still live under the illusion that the cross streets will be marked.

          So no. Loads of people drive without GPS.

        • CE 15:57 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I don’t drive a lot but when I do I never use GPS. I usually find it more confusing than helpful.

        • Ian 17:26 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Dhomas, doesn’t it seem strange to you that Montreal’s signage is so poor that a GPS is required just to get around?

        • Spi 17:50 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Montreal signage is undoubtedly terrible, and unless you’re downtown on a recently renamed stretch of road you’re unlikely to see any street signage that isn’t from the 80’s. The corner of René-Lévesque and Robert Bourassa has large and bold signage at that intersection, none of the other surrounding streets do.

          Cross into Laval and every single street (commercial and residential) sign has been replaced with large white on blue signs that are easy to read.

          Frankly, the maps application on my iPhone consistently provides more pertinent information than the road signs and paint on the road. It displays clearly the speed limit, the upcoming turning lanes (at least on the highway unsure for boulevards) and the name of approaching perpendicular roads.

        • Ian 19:28 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Boulevards too. The one I use even shows roadwork in the city which is essential when construction starts up again as streets are seemingly randomly closed off, and there’s no central authority at the city tracking those temporary closures.

        • Dhomas 20:07 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          When I know where I’m going and I’m familiar with the area, I don’t use GPS. If you have to look at individual street signs you obviously don’t know the area as well as you think. In those cases, I use GPS. Simple, no?

          Also, realtime navigation offers loads of other advantages, like traffic avoidance and known construction/road closures.

        • Spi 20:27 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          @Dhomas, sometimes it’s about putting local knowledge ahead of what your GPS might think is right. GPS’s aren’t often updated to reflect the game of musical chairs that is Montreal construction sites or temporary driving restrictions (one ways, no turning etc) and I find that it doesn’t always take into consideration no left turn on major arteries. For me at least it’s not about needing direction, I know the area well enough that I’m not lost, rather it’s about saving time and not sitting in needless traffic.

      • Kate 20:18 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Global says recyclables are piling up outside an east-end sorting centre, while Quebec promises to bridge the gap left by the French company Tiru, which is pulling its operations out of North America.

        The Gazette’s Allison Hanes summarizes the crisis while, on La Presse, Ariane Krol looks at the difficulties besetting plastic recycling in general and, by way of background, the New York Times looks into why that city can’t make a success of recycling.

        We’re going to have to face it: we produce too much waste, mostly plastic, and we’ve run out of places willing to take it in. Now what?

        • Chris 22:08 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

          Well, right now, the cost of recycling plastic is borne by the government, it’s an externality for the plastic manufactures/sellers. A ‘plastic tax’ analogous to the carbon tax could be used to pay for plastic recycling and reduce use by making it more expensive.

        • Ephraim 22:37 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

          There are plastics that are easily recyclable… but we are trying to recycle all. At one point, we should tax plastics, but those that are harder to recycle. Number 1 and 2 are easily recyclable. Maybe a tax on those that are hard to recycle will be enough to get some manufacturers to switch.

        • Spi 11:50 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Frankly, I’m baffled that a government hasn’t passed legislation so that all packaging should be easily recyclable and made of entirely recyclable material (where food safety allows). There was a time when packaging conveyed the quality of your product and served a marketing purpose that’s hardly the case anymore. Why does the box in which my pasta comes in need a plastic slit for me to see that it is indeed filled with pasta? These mixed materials packaging only complicate the act of sorting the recycling.

        • Kevin 11:59 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          Because of food price inflation, that little window lets you know if the package is half-full, even if the box is the same size as last week.

        • Dhomas 19:32 on 2020-02-01 Permalink

          All packaging has the weight written on it. It renders the window argument moot. I actually mostly shop by looking at $ per . I think there is a law that came into effect some years ago that mandated grocery stores to list the price in this way, too.

      • Kate 13:20 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

        I don’t usually do Longueuil stories, but this is a public service thing. A woman was found Monday on the ground on Marie-Victorin in that suburb with a serious head injury, but has no memory of why she was there or how she got injured. The Longueuil police are seeking witnesses. Specific details on time and place are in the linked items.

        It’s not clear from reportage whether the woman had I.D. on her or if the police know who she is. They mention a possible incident with a vehicle, or that she could have slipped and fallen, but I hope they’re also considering the possibility she fled from a building where someone had assaulted her. Or maybe someone threw her out of a vehicle?

        • Blork 18:59 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

          I approve of this MTL City Blog expansion into Longueuil. After all, Longueuil is the next Plateau.

        • Kate 20:20 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

          Blork, OK, but the one thing I don’t think I will be able to follow is Longueuil’s complicated city hall shenanigans.

        • dwgs 11:51 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I nominate Blork to head the Longueuil desk as foreign correspondent.

        • Blork 14:33 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          How’s the pay?

        • dwgs 14:36 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          We’ll give you 75% of what Kate makes.

      • Kate 13:16 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

        TVA says the Pie-IX bus lane has fallen behind schedule, with only three quarters of the expected work done by this date, and some of the remaining work not possible in wintertime.

        • qatzelok 18:41 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

          The amazingly long time that it’s taking to complete ‘a bus lane’ suggests that the entire project has been marinated in simmering UPAC sauce.

        • Ian 19:39 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

          I think that’s a pretty safe assumption for any roadwork project on the island of any scale, but I have noticed that one in particular is progressing with almost comical slowness.

      • Kate 13:14 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

        Eight households are in the street after a four-alarm fire in Pointe-aux-Trembles Tuesday evening. Nobody got hurt but the building was pretty much destroyed, as the La Presse photo shows.

        • Kate 09:06 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

          La Presse is optimistic here about the renovation of the old Banque Laurentienne building on St-Denis at Rachel, although there’s no tenant yet and the upstairs is going to be an Airbnb hotel. I didn’t realize the building had also had a fire since Mexx abandoned it in early 2015.

          • JoeNotCharles 09:54 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            If the upstairs is PLANNED to be an airbnb, that’s no different from any other hotel or bed and breakfast. The problem with airbnb comes when people rent out supposedly residential units without any oversight.

            It will be nice to get something in the Mexx building again, but there are several other large noticeable corner locations still abandoned (the old Rapido for instance) that contribute to the street looking abandoned. Hopefully getting a tenant in one of them will start a snowball effect that gets the others occupied again too.

          • Kate 11:04 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Granted. Upstairs was originally office space, as it was over all these corner banks.

            I’m wondering, though – what happens to neighbourhoods when a tipping point is reached, and a certain percentage of the people sleeping there on any given night are transient, not resident? Who actually speaks for the neighbourhood or cares about its future?

          • Blork 11:05 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Speculation here, but I suspect the “Airbnb hotel” bascially means a handful of hastily built studio apartments that will be managed by someone via Airbnb. Different from a “hotel” in that there will be no 24-hour reception, no daily maid service, none of the other things you get from a hotel. The advantage to them is that if it fails (or if Airbnb gets outlawed or whatever) they can just switch to renting them long-term without having to make any other renos or changes.

          • Ephraim 11:10 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            The only streets in the Plateau where you can get an STR permit now are St-Denis and St-Laurent. (Unless you were grandfathered in and already have your permit.) So this one can at least be legal, get it’s permits and pay the commercial property tax. This isn’t the problem…. those on residential streets that aren’t owner occupied are the problem.

            @Kate – Maybe it’s about time we passed a law requiring Revenu Quebec to actually do their job. They asked for the portfolio and NOTHING. From the court cases, I have seen that some municipalities (Quebec city in particular) actually make reservations and send in the fines. We need to make Revenu Quebec do it’s job and publish documents showing that it is doing it’s job. And maybe a journalist asking Revenu Quebec why it isn’t doing it’s job, the minister being asked why they asked for a portfolio and aren’t actually doing what they said they would do.

            There was one change as of this month, and the 3.5% that is collected by all parties is paid directly to RQ. It’s SO WEIRD… so if you book a hotel on Expedia and they collect the payment, they are required to pay RQ the 3.5%, but the hotel is requires to pay the GST/QST to the government… but if you pay the hotel, the hotel is required to pay the 3.5%. This is an accounting NIGHTMARE.

          • Ian 13:15 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Hm, It’s almost as if simply removing or gluing their stupid lockboxes is a better solution than waiting for the RQ to get off their asses.

            Yes, I know that’s illegal, but so are AirBnbs on residential streets and I’m tired of rents doubling every 5 years.

          • DeWolf 13:49 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            The Rapido corner (along with the old Boîte Noire building) is meant to become a residential development that many are speculating will be an Airbnb hotel, given it is made up of many small studio apartments. And then there’s the old Guérin textbook factory at Mont-Royal/Drolet that is becoming a Sonder, which is a self-service hotel brand that competes with Airbnb.

            To my mind it’s only natural that this area would begin attracting more hotels. Most cities in Europe and Asia have a sprinkling of hotels throughout the city – they aren’t just concentrated in the downtown area, as is the case in Montreal. People want to stay on the Plateau but at the moment there are few options other than illegal Airbnbs, a few B&Bs and a couple of icky roach motels.

            The trick is managing visitors and accommodations so it doesn’t become a nuisance, which is unfortunately something the municipal government has proven itself incapable of doing.

          • Ephraim 22:41 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Ian… https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PFMLD6SonZg might help you deal with the problem.

            DeWolf… there is a major difference between these. The STR full apartment is generally the absentee landlord, dumping the problems on the neighbourhood (they should be paying commercial tax, they should be taking care of their garbage, etc… but don’t). The B&B is owner occupied and become the vigilant soul who watches over the street because they have an interest in it. And the hotel is the commercial bringing more money to the city.

          • Ian 11:51 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

            Thanks for the tip, but glue is faster haha

          • Ephraim 13:19 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

            @Ian – Faster, but not as scary as losing the key and having to worry about someone stealing everything… and of course having to rekey an entire house… each time! And of course having to deal with an irate client who wants access when you are trying to be totally absentee.

          • Ian 17:15 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

            hmm, sounds… disruptive


        • Kate 09:01 on 2020-01-29 Permalink | Reply  

          City hall opposition has succeeded in persuading council to vote for a charter of rights for STM users, something the CBC newsreader said brightly Wednesday morning would make the users feel more like clients.

          Does anyone really think this can be more than PR, obliging the STM to devote time and man-hours to servicing a meaningless concept? The “clients” thing bugs me too, because the STM is not a business. It’s a service. I give the STM the respect to assume it’s doing its best with the resources our society allots to it, given the weather, the traffic and other conditions, so that obliging it to waste its time paying lip service to some bogus “charter of rights” is so far off what’s actually useful that I find it offensive.

          The Gazette also has a piece about making buses run on time and the possibility of penalizing the STM if it falls behind. Now I ask you, what the hell good will that do?

          • jeather 09:55 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Please, just have the next bus time work on their website correctly and update the twitter accounts in something close to real time. I don’t need penalties. I have, recently, found bus drivers (primarily 24 and 165) to be very polite both to me and to other clients; I never interact with employees on the metro. (Yes, I am a white woman and I am sure this helps.)

          • Daniel 11:05 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            “Bergeron said future funding of the STM and other operators will be tied to performance.” I’m glad I wasn’t the only one who did a double take when reading this line. I can’t even fathom the thinking behind this madness. Surely poor performance will equal less funding, which will lead to poorer performance?

          • Kate 11:43 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            No kidding, Daniel.

          • Ian 13:34 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Well to be fair it’s a bit tiresome to hear PM going on about how much everything is improving on the STM when those of use who use it know that bus schedules even in rush hour are more of a possibility than a certainty. Yes, I know Coderre messed it all up when he gutted funding, but PM has been in power a long time and it’s still not back to where it was pre-Coderre. Yes, I know there is a lot of construction and cost overruns and unpredictable factors but even the bus drivers have been saying for years that the schedules aren’t realistic, there just aren’t enough working buses and traffic is too bad.

            The thing is here, I don’t think it’s the fault of the STM unless someone’s got some insight into deep STM culture … I think this is the city admin offloading responsibility onto the front lines, which is a really unfair move.

            Crazy idea but if the goal is just to build goodwill, how about little things like letting people on the bus at the end of the line, especially if the weather is bad? The 80, 51, and 405 are practically training murderers, waiting for the bus to pull up when it’s -20, dark out, windy, and it’s just sitting there 50 feet away idling for 15 minutes…
            Don’t even get me started on the light industrial parts of town where the buses simply don’t show up for a half an hour or more even in “rush hour”, especially in winter. Having to walk to a better bus line through the snow in a part of town with no sidewalks is really the worst… and you’re still going to get home late because the stupid bus didn’t show up AGAIN. In some parts of VSL that happens nearly every single day.

          • Filp 16:32 on 2020-01-29 Permalink

            Penalizing transit agencies for traffic would result in massive padding of all bus time tables to make sure no bus is ever “off schedule”. This is not the outcome we want, but it is guaranteed to happen if they get penalized for what is beyond control

          • Ian 12:18 on 2020-01-30 Permalink

            Considering that many routes seem to arbitrarily get cancelled after a certain hour with no warning or indication I’m not sure the STM could pad the schedules enough… but you are right, that is exactly what they will do.

            The city needs a special office of scam artists whose only job is to analyze reactionary legislation and figure out how inevitably it will be taken advantage of by the unscrupulous, making things even worse in the long run. An administrative red team, if you will.

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