Updates from January, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • 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.

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