Updates from January, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:29 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

    A brand new 13-storey condo building has been given the green light in Old Montreal. Under the circumstances, it could be worse: it’ll be infill between two buildings that are fairly tall as well. The drawings shown are not very good, but you can see on Google Streetview that the parking lot to be built over is no great loss.

    • PO 22:38 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

      That has always seemed like a very ritzy and pricey part of town. If that’s the reality, then I have no problem with an abundance of new pricey condos going in. There’s clearly housing demand in Montreal. Better there than in neighborhoods where such a project would encourage rents to rise (i.e. gentrification, I think).

    • Kate 00:03 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      Exactly. I suspect half the flats at least will be bought to rent out as Airbnbs anyway.

    • Filp 00:14 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      I suspect a lot of the indignation over this project is from people who don’t actually know what’s there now, or what’s next to it. I’ve seen lots of commentary from people who act like it’s a skyscraper in the heart of old Montreal. Even though the buildings on McGill street are the same height! Once it’s there, it will fit in just fine, and I suspect modern contrast will be classy between the older buildings. In small doses. I’ve read anger over the loss of the parking lot! As if an open air lot in the old city is acceptable. Glad to see cooler heads prevail on this blog, seriously. Because I was getting a headache from some of the community hot takes.

    • Filp 00:22 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      Also it was mentioned on a different website that comparisons with Paris are pretty ironic in this context, because the heart of Paris has modern architecture. I’m sure Parisians would be more outraged at the presence of an open air lot.

    • Joey 08:22 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      Given the housing shortage, I wonder how much longer until the few remaining street-level parking lots in the Plateau (like, say, on Clark south of Mont-Royal) are forcibly converted into housing.

    • Blork 11:23 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      Just a side note on the “ritzy and expensive” comment. I went to a party in the building next door (to the east) back in the mid-90s. It was in a “loft,” which is to say a large studio apartment with no closed bedroom. Probably around 1000 square feet with a nice kitchen and bathroom and nice big windows. Great “bachelor pad.” The guy who owned the loft was basically a kid working as a tech support agent. He bought it on the spot when he heard the price because he couldn’t believe how cheap it was. He didn’t tell me the price but me and a couple of people did some math based on a few clues and we figured he bought it for about $50,000. My, how things have changed.

    • denpanosekai 11:26 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      Went to many punk shows in Old Montreal in the 2000s — some right on Saint-Paul too.

    • Ian 14:48 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      I remember when Hotel Nelson was a punk bar and the cobblestone streets were full of broken glass… lots of my art school pals in the 90s had loft space in old Montreal even cheaper than where I was in St-Henri but there were no grocery stores or anywhere to do your laundry or even deps so it was less desirable except for the huge spaces you could get for next to nothing. Of course this was even before they created that waterfront park out of what used to be pretty seedy run down dock areas. There were some exceptionally dismal dive bars & short stay hotels all through the area at that time.

      I remember back when the Port was shitty but I can’t say I miss it.

    • Douglas 17:40 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

      We need more housing, no matter how we get it.

      This lady talks about “Paris”, but does she realize how expensive it is to live in Paris? Paris is in need of hundreds of thousands of new apartments, but doesn’t allow the supply to go vertical.

      We can’t end up like Paris or else we will be paying 2000$ a month for a 400 square foot closet.

  • Kate 21:15 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

    The body of a woman was found in the ruins of a burned-out garage in Hochelaga Thursday morning. No homicide number yet, although it’s looking likely.

    • Kate 21:11 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

      Details here on the weekend closure of the interchange of the 40 and the 13 and some other road closures coming up.

      Update: Cancelled once again for weather reasons, as we’re likely to get snow, rain, ice or some combo thereof over the weekend.

      • Kate 21:09 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

        Both Montreal and Quebec have to work together to find a solution to the threatened closure of four recycling centres. Clearly we can no longer expect other countries to take our trash – we need to find ways, as commenters here have pointed out, to make people separate waste materials more intelligently, and recondition as much of it as we can here – and use less packaging into the bargain. It’s a big effort to make, but we need a wartime mentality here, because this has to be fixed.

        • Kate 13:31 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

          Nuit blanche this year will be on Leap Day, as the original one was. Sixteen bars have received permission to stay open till 6 a.m. for the event.

          • Kate 13:29 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

            Various groups – including Voix juives indépendantes – are making their opposition known to the Ensemble motion at city hall on Monday that Montreal affirm a definition of antisemitism that risks defining most criticism of Israel, as a political entity, as antisemitic.

            As pointed out here earlier by Raymond Lutz, this ploy’s effectiveness in causing political strife was proven in the UK when Jeremy Corbyn’s Labour party wasn’t willing to endorse the definition. It’s a tricky one. Projet will have to find a path through this one.

            • Jack 20:22 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              There is no path, just say no way. Everyone who acts and thinks in good faith see’s this for what it is. A Trojan horse to chill any criticism of Israel’s treatment of the Palestinian people. What bothers me the most is the cheapening of the term anti semitism. Anti Semitism has been a cancer, on primarily European society for two thousand years. Now because of this campaign a new generation will dismiss the term as a canard. That is dangerous.

          • Kate 09:20 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

            The city is proceeding with installing LED street lights, as came up here on the blog recently. The question what colour to use has been discussed – the Coderre administration, which started this, wanted 4000K, which is relatively cold and blue, but wavered over colours varying from 1800K to 3000K in some cases. The problem is that studies show that daylight at night confuses the hell out of our bodies and brains, and is also no good for plants and animals. Experts are contesting the decisions being made.

            • Mr.Chinaski 11:48 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              We’re falling into “Wifi causes cancer” territory here…

            • Blork 11:59 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              No we are not. Plenty of research into this, and blue light at night can be very weird and can affect people and animals. From an article at engineering.com:

              First of all, there’s nothing inherently dangerous about any light in the visible spectrum, as long as the intensity isn’t too high. (Sunlight is safe, but don’t look directly at the sun.) The issues with artificial lighting have more to do with affecting an organism’s circadian rhythms – the natural cycles that tell our bodies when to sleep. Light that leans toward the blue end of the spectrum is similar to the natural daylight that we’d see around midday. That’s the time when we’re supposed to be most productive, so our bodies react to that light by being alert. Nighttime exposure, however, can lead to sleep disorders, and therein lies the health concern. (It should be noted that the same concern exists for computer, tablet, and smartphone displays. Turn off your devices at night and get some sleep.)


            • Charles 15:07 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              Let’s put things into perspective.

              ~2400-3000K is what we’ve been used to in the past from incandescent lights in our homes and simulated in warm fluorescent bulbs. “Cool white” fluorescents are closer to ~5000K.

              ~5500K is midday sunlight, no clouds—with a cloud cover or open shade is cooler than that, up to ~6500K.

              6500K (“D65”) is our computers and mobile devices. This looks “neutral white” to most people, not even blue.

              So let’s not freak out about 4000K, which is still quite warmer than daylight. To speak about that as “blue” light is ridiculous.

              Sodium-vapor lamps from older streetlights is warmer, but it’s also not a full spectrum and is actually quite unnaturally nauseating. I’ll take 4000K LED over sodium-vapor immediately please, thanks.

            • Ian 15:47 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              I just hope they can figure out the brightness issue – on some streets like Dr. Penfield it’s quite difficult to see the road surface at night with the new lights.

            • Joey 16:52 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              As much as I miss the orange snow, I think Ian makes the crucial point here – the new streetlights diffuse light in a way that’s less effective than the old ones. The contrast of lights that seem brighter in their immediate surroundings with the darker areas not nearby (i.e., street level) makes it harder for pedestrians, cyclists and drivers to see what’s right around them – seeing around corners, sensing others in the roadway, etc., is more difficult than it used to be. Arguing about how blue the light is, while intriguing, is a distraction from this more fundamental issue: the city has gone and made public safe harder to navigate.

            • Raymond Lutz 17:04 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              @Joey. Ah! Maybe old sodium lamps don’t degrade our visual purple as much as white fucking-blue lights?

              “To speak about 4000K as “blue” light is ridiculous.” Hmm… 4000K leds DOES have 420–440 nm wavelengths https://www.ledsmagazine.com/smart-lighting-iot/white-point-tuning/article/16695938/light-pollution-depends-on-the-light-source-cct-magazine

            • JaneyB 20:39 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

              Blue light is absolutely one of the most important public health issues of our time. The evidence of elevated effects on cancer risk (eg night shift work) is strong enough that in Europe there is financial compensation for the risk. The problematic effects on wildlife are increasingly disturbing (re:hibernation, reproduction, sex ratios of offspring). Technically, even all-red light above 10 lux has effects on lab animals. Circadian research won at least one recent Nobel prize in medicine. We already know about Seasonal Affective Disorder. Bipolar disorder is strongly affected by time zone changes etc, etc. This is not a chemtrails thing at all. Living beings are exquisitely sensitive to blue light (think: sunlight). Decades from now people will look back at our recklessness around light like we think today about DDT and paraquat.

            • Dhomas 06:52 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

              Other than all the blue light issue (which is definitely important), there is also a road safety issue, as Ian mentioned. I usually don’t drive much at night, but I needed to yesterday and it was quite difficult to see the roadway under the new lights. I even double checked to see if I’d not turned on my headlights. The new lights simply don’t seem to illuminate enough.

            • EdT 19:10 on 2020-01-31 Permalink

              There will always be non technical whiners in every city and society. Only the Coderre administration like the Drapeau administration could have gone through with this project with an iron-fist which is a no-brainer decision to start with !

          • Kate 09:13 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

            Bixi rates are going up slightly for the 2020 season.

            • Kate 09:07 on 2020-01-23 Permalink | Reply  

              Recycling has become a victim of its own success. The operator of four Quebec recycling centres, three of them in the Montreal area, is threatening to close them unless more money is forthcoming from cities served. Recycling firms used to be able to send their stuff to memory holes in China and elsewhere in Asia, but now we’re facing the fact that nobody else wants to deal with it.

              • Spi 09:54 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                Saying that it’s become a victim of its own success implies that we’re great at recycling which we are not and that somehow an uptick in recycling is the reason why yards are overflowing with recycled paper products. The problem is that the sorting process used by these centers has never been good enough to meet local standards for recycled paper going into production, instead of improving their operations they’ve developed an entire business model around shipping their sub-standard recycled paper halfway across the world while periodically asking for government bailouts. Now they’re stuck with it because Asian countries won’t buy their inferior goods.

              • Michael Black 10:04 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                We use to have to tie up bundles of newsprint, and when glossy paper was added that too needed to be bundled separately. Glass, cans and plastic were also supposed to be kept separate.

                At some point those restrictions went away, making it easier for people at home but making it harder for the recycling plants.

              • walker 10:05 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                And to add the terrible sorting at the source, homes and businesses. We need a system where each household/condo/apartment/business has a specific bin for specific types of materials so they can be collected separately before they even get to the center. And their needs to be education on the state of these materials (paper with no foodstains, glass and the correct types of plastic containers rinsed, etc.) and then serious fines for places that don’t comply.

                This practice is done in many other municipalities across Canada and the U.S. They have trucks now that automatically pick up the correct bin and dump it into the correct section of the truck.

              • Ephraim 15:15 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                We may need to scale back what we put in the recycling bin and take away only what can easily be recycled. Like only taking in #1 and #2 plastics, which can easily be recycled… while almost all the others are difficult to recycle.

              • Spi 16:54 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                @walker the argument against that has always been that if you make it too complicated or laborious people will drop the habit of recycling altogether. Judging by some of the recycling habits I’ve seen I’d tend to agree with that. Many really couldn’t care less, I’ve seen leftover construction material in the compost bin. Easily recyclable materials in the trash. There is a serious lack of civic pride and responsibility among the citizens of this city, the “I pay taxes, the government will take care of it” mentality is prevalent.

              • CE 17:54 on 2020-01-23 Permalink

                I think it would be better if the people who are too lazy/apathetic to sort properly just threw everything in the garbage. That way the recycling and compost that’s collected would actually be useable. There’s a huge lack of education, a lot of people just seem to have no idea what is recyclable and compostable and what isn’t. My neighbour tried to give me a hard time about putting a pizza box in the compost instead of the recycling because it’s cardboard, despite being completely soiled with grease and cheese. The recycling I see on the street is often filled with completely unrecyclable items. A guy in my building who seems to eat exclusively fast food delivery just throws it all in the blue bag, no matter what it is. It would be better if he just didn’t try to recycle in the first place.

              • walkerp 10:34 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

                @spi, then you punish them. Landlord gets a big fine. Done.

              • Dhomas 13:40 on 2020-01-24 Permalink

                When the carrot doesn’t work, time to use the stick. I agree 100% with @walkerp.

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