Updates from February, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 10:05 on 2020-02-29 Permalink | Reply  

    Longueuil will be getting a tramway to be called Léeo (Lien électrique est‑ouest), linking up Panama, the yellow line and the REM along Taschereau Boulevard.

    Of course you won’t be able to transfer to the Léeo from the metro with a regular STM pass, and you won’t be able to buy STM tickets in the Léeo station either. Handing this one off to Longueuil correspondent Blork.

    • Filp 10:40 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      Hopefully léeo is just the project name, like Crossrail. Wonder how they’re going to incorporate it. Will it be on the regional metro/rem/train map?

    • qatzelok 11:47 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      So while other high-density areas still have no transit, and Pie IX gets a bus route, the parking lots and bungalows of St-Lambert will get a tramway? Maybe in 100 years, it will have a cityscape around it?

      Another example of lack of central transit planning. Imagine if our highway network had been built like this. We’d still be walking to work.

    • Kate 11:56 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      If you’d read up, qatzelok, you’ll see that part of the point of this tramway is to help densify residential construction along its route.

    • Daniel 12:16 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      It does seem to be the consistent factor in transit planning in Greater Montreal these days: Real estate opportunity. What should be done is to first build transit to where the density already exists, but that wouldn’t fill anyone’s pockets of course.

    • Kate 12:23 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      In a way that’s partly what the pink line would do: move people between Lachine and Montreal North, and all the areas in between.

      The rich should realize that even if they don’t need public transit, they need transit to enable the poor to do their bit to contribute to their wealth.

    • Michael Black 12:43 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      It’s easier to do something from the start than to retrofit. So if you have land and build a housing development now you could make them so much more energy efficient, far easier than taking old buildings and retrofitting them.

      Unless you build underground, transit is hard to fit into a developed space, and the construction will bother more people. It may not be optimum to build transit away from density, but on the other hand it will be in place as density builds. If you don’t build at the beginning, you end up with a need for street parking because old houses were built before cars were common, so have no place to park cars.

      Why isn’t the Metro more accessible? Because when it was built no thought was given to the idea, and now it’s expensivve and intrusive to add elevators.

      Nothing is absolute, other things always factor in.

    • Uatu 13:04 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      This is good news. I’ve been a South Shore resident all my life and this is exactly what taschereau needs. Not only will it limit sprawl but it’ll also decrease car use. Right now I only use my car for groceries and to visit family. I could conceivably do that with a well designed tramway and leave the car at home. Also all the folks that can’t afford condos downtown can now live off island with out really needing a car. Taschereau is full of empty lots and half dead strip malls waiting for development. I’m actually more interested in this than the REM…

    • Kate 13:22 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      all the folks that can’t afford condos downtown can now live off island without needing a car.

      Yes. This is what should be happening. This city is simply getting larger and it’s got to have proper transit to do it.

      I’m not confident it will do this right, but this is what the agglomeration council needs to be aiming at.

    • Blork 22:19 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

      I don’t work Saturdays.

    • Blork 11:24 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

      Hmmm… where to begin? (How about “longest comment ever?”)

      Overall, yes, bring it on. But don’t think this will solve or even significantly change the problem of “too many cars” overnight. After all, this is a single tram line. ONE TRAM LINE.

      It might reduce the number of cars per household, for people who live RIGHT ON the tramline, but I doubt very much there will be a significant number of car-free households because of this. After all, people do more than just go to work and back. Even if you believe the tram will magically create all this dense housing and all those modern cafés and grassy knolls, people will still need, or at least want, to go to places that are beyond the tramline.

      People who live along the tramline might no longer drive to work each day, but they will still want to go visit their grandma in St-Bruno on Sundays and drag a load of food home from Kim Phat on Saturdays. They still have to go to the Parent-Teacher night at their kids’ school that’s 3km away from the tram. They’re not going to want to carry five cans of paint from the Home Depot 800 metres across parking lots and side streets to get to the tram line, then wait 15 minutes for the tram, then lug all that paint onto a full tram where they have to stand for the 20 minute ride back to their local stop followed by another 800 metre walk to home.

      So yeah, maybe fewer cars commuting to work each day, and maybe fewer second or third cars per family for the teenagers or the spouse who works from home and only needs to go somewhere occasionally. That’s good. But not many totally car-free homes I suspect.

      The exception might be people who come to live in the area that’s being re-branded “Longueuil Centre-Ville,” which is the area immediately around the Longueuil Metro station. But that’s not directly because of the tram — the tram is part of the development plan for the area, but not why people will live there car-free. People will live there car-free because they can walk to the Metro in a couple of minutes and their condo will be slightly cheaper than a condo on the island. Hardly any of the people living there will use the tram on any regular basis, unless they come to live there for the proximity of the Metro and later end up changing jobs for one that’s along the tramline.

      I laugh at the animations showing the tram magically converting Boul. Tashereau (or as I call it, “Trashereau”) into some utopian urban oasis. Not gonna happen. Not without spending kajillions of dollars and pissing off just about everyone. You don’t just take 4km of suburban wasteland (multi-lane boulevard, malls, parking lots, Starbucks’s) and transform it into “walkable city” territory. For one thing, those hundreds of businesses might object to being wiped out and replaced by perpetual green patches and condo buildings. Also, history has shown over and over that when you build a city quickly from utopian plans instead of letting it evolve naturally you end up with a sterile and sad environment, sort of like the Dix/30 but without the retail.

      All that said, I like the idea in general, but people need to calm TF down and realize that probably only half of what’s shown in the videos will ever be built, and that the transformation will not be as dramatic as hoped. There will still be parking lots, there will still be big box stores too far apart to walk between but too close together to be served by public transit, and it will still be grim by the standards of most city dwellers (although it will be non-grim on paper, according to the new-urbanist checklists).

      Full disclosure: my contrariness on this might be seen as sour grapes because even if this thing is built it doesn’t affect me at all and I would likely never use it. I live fairly close to the CEGEP, but not close enough to walk for 20-25 minutes to take a tram to the Metro when I can already walk five minutes and take an express bus. (A Metro station would be a whole other thing; I’d gladly walk 10-12 minutes to a Metro station if it meant I didn’t have to transit to a different system at the Longueuil station; i.e., from chez moi to Berri/UQAM in one swoop? Bring it on! But if I’m going to have to change platforms anyway, I’ll stick with the bus thanks.)

      Also, I do occasionally have the need to go to some stores on Trashereau (there’s a bike shop there I like, and a MEC, etc.) but doing it by tram would probably take a minimum of 45 minutes each way and involve a lot of walking, and it isn’t great if I’m coming back with a large package, whereas I can drive it in about 15 minutes.

      The one good thing (for me) is that this whole magical Shazam show includes improved bicycle lanes, so I could bike to Trashereau a bit more quickly than I can now.

    • Kate 16:39 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

      Thank you, Blork. Time and a half!

    • qatzelok 23:27 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

      The feedback about the animated video created some misunderstanding about this new urban oasis being able to provide “low cost” urban amenities to people wanting to live in an inexpensive Griffintown.

      Thing is, the only reason that Longueuil is currently less expensive than central Montreal is because there are far fewer services in that crappy suburban zone. All you get is an electrical hookup, sewer and water, and a driveway.

      If you build a Southshore Griffintown with condos (with lawns in front of them, lol) and bike lanes and tramways… it will no longer be less expensive than the other side of the harbor. So what’s the point? To save the sprawl?

      The animation and its fabulous lawns in front of condo towers seems to suggest that the advantage of Longueuil is lawns (“Imagine Griffintown… but with lawns!”), when in reality, its only advantage was “cheap places to drive to.”

    • Kate 08:43 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      qatzelok, the population of the urban area is constantly growing. Those people have to live somewhere. Yes, I agree with you to some extent that if/when transit improves in Longueuil, it will become a more convenient and desirable place to live, and the prices won’t stay lower than town. But how else do you limit the number of cars coming onto the island every day?

    • qatzelok 10:20 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      “how else do you limit the number of cars coming onto the island every day?”

      By disinvesting in car infrastructure. Especially in the burbs.Does anyone think the new Champlain Bridge will reduce the number of cars coming onto the island?

    • Blork 11:28 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      Well, the ‘burbs will always be less expensive than the city center, as has been shown in virtually any well functioning city anywhere. It’s just a matter of supply and demand. The supply in the city center is always limited and if the city functions well the demand will always be high, thus high prices.

      Once a person opts for the ‘burbs the demand side changes a bit. There is only one city center (sort of) but there are suburbs all over. St-Lambert too expensive? Try Brossard. Or Laval. Or Oka. (Etc.)

      Longueuil has the advantage of being very close to the city center, so housing that is close to the Metro and the Jacques-Cartier Bridge are generally the more expensive ones for Longueuil, but they’re still (generally speaking) much less expensive than say the Plateau or Mile-End, and even a bit less expensive than Rosemont and so on. Go “inland” a couple of kilometres and the prices drop noticeably, although it’s inconsistent because it’s such a mix of old ramshackle bungalows, nice solid older houses, soviet-looking apartment blocks and recently build multi-unit condo buildings. By way of somewhat direct comparison, your average 900 sq ft two bedroom condo in a new building in Longueuil will probably run you $50,000 to $100,000 less than the equivalent in the city (e.g., in the $370,000 range instead of the $450-$470,000 range on the island). Mind you there are variables galore, and some of those on-island condos will run $700K and upwards depending on location and whatnot.

      BTW, there will be no divesting in car infrastructure, so we might as well not even talk about it. People and goods will always need to be moved around, whether it’s workers who don’t work out of an office (real estate agents, sales people, construction supervisors for multiple sites, etc.), or ambulances, or delivery vans or whatever. Whether it’s 2020 and it’s 90% done by gas-guzzling internal-combustion engines or 2030 and half of it is self-driving electric vehicles, or 2045 and it’s mostly autonomous vehicles that run on C02 that they extract from the atmosphere and replace with oxygen and nitrogen. Whatever way it goes, the roads and bridges are permanent.

    • Kate 13:35 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      the ‘burbs will always be less expensive than the city center

      That’s opposite to how Montreal has been in most of my lifetime. Moving to the suburbs meant buying a house, with land around it, and tax rates usually dictated by an aspirational suburban town rather than Montreal, plus owning and operating at least one vehicle and sometimes multiple vehicles simply to be able to live and work in areas far apart. Whereas living in town meant renting an apartment and moving to and fro using a bus pass which is still under $100 a month.

    • Mark Côté 13:59 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      Moving to the suburbs meant buying a house, with land around it

      That’s the “standard model” of the suburbs, especially by people who have never lived there nor have people to visit regularly, but the suburbs also include many large apartment and (increasingly) condo buildings. That is one of the reasons immigrant communities have been growing there (like Pierrefonds, for one example). The suburbs are not all scenes out of The Burbs, and not all people who move there are trying to get out of downtown.

      (I say this as someone has never lived out there but has made many trips out there for family reasons.)

    • Mark Côté 14:00 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      And, I should add, many of those apartment builds, row houses, and other smaller-footprint buildings have been there for some time.

    • Blork 17:26 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

      @Kate, I should clarify that by “the ‘burbs will always be less expensive than the city center” I meant strictly in terms of real estate prices. (And I do mean “city center” not just “the island” because there are definitely parts of the island that are less expensive than your typical ‘burb.)

      @Mark Côté, you are correct. Some suburbs are vast expanses of single-family houses with no real village sense or whatever, but many (perhaps most?) are not. Certainly the south shore suburbs have existed as towns/villages in their own right for ages (Longueuil has been around since the 1650s).

      If the island of Montreal were to vanish overnight, Longueuil, Brossard, Boucherville, St-Hubert, and St-Lambert would carry on as usual (except for a lot of unemployment). Those towns all have their village centers, markets, grocery stores, restaurants, services, clusters of apartment blocks, modern condos, etc. You could film a TV series called “NDG” entirely in Longueuil and only the hardcore NDG residents would know it wasn’t shot in the eponymous location.

  • Kate 09:58 on 2020-02-29 Permalink | Reply  

    The national lab in Winnipeg has confirmed that the woman in Montreal who returned here recently from Iran really has COVID-19. She’s quarantined at home and is not seriously ill. (The Guardian got a story from a young man living in Wuhan about what it felt like to get the illness and recover from it: although he’s only 21 and mentions no pre-existing health issues, it was not a walk in the park.)

    • Kate 09:50 on 2020-02-29 Permalink | Reply  

      The federal privacy commissioner is holding an inquiry into the RCMP’s use of facial recognition software, in the course of which it has been claimed that while the Mounties have used it, the SPVM has not.

      • Kate 08:18 on 2020-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

        Quebec’s first case of COVID-19 has been declared, and it’s here in Montreal in a woman who recently returned from Iran. The diagnosis won’t be confirmed till the national lab in Winnipeg reports on Sunday.

        Update: Public health authorities here say they’re ready for anything, including quarantining entire neighbourhoods if it looks necessary. I suppose we have laws that allow police to enforce quarantine, but they won’t likely have been used since the Spanish flu in 1918.

        • Ephraim 10:04 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

          Which of course means that their flight connected at least once, but more likely twice since we don’t have flights to Tehran. The only 1 connection flights are IST and DOH. So, a lot more people exposed.

        • Dhomas 16:27 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

          There is also a third single-connection option through Amsterdam, Schiphol. It’s operated by Iran Air, which doesn’t play nice with Google Flights (and likely other online booking sites). Montreal to Amsterdam on KLM, then Amsterdam to Tehran on Iran Air. Source: I’ve taken this exact route before.

      • Kate 08:16 on 2020-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

        A public health study shows that indigenous people living in Montreal are in poorer health and generally less prosperous than the average.

        • Kate 07:17 on 2020-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

          A pedestrian was critically injured Thursday evening after two cars collided at Villeray and St‑Michel and one car ricocheted onto the sidewalk.

          Update: The young woman has died. That’s six pedestrians killed in traffic so far this year.

          Update: I’m putting these deaths on a map, although the main thing we see from the stats so far is that 5 out of 6 of the deaths were people 55 or older, and 5 out of 6 were women. They’re distributed seemingly randomly around the island.

          • Jack 09:02 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Critically injured after getting hit by one of these vehicles is the best possible outcome.

          • Ian 14:59 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            That’s not true, I’ve been both winged and doored bicycling (winged by a minivan, doored by an SUV) and here I am to tell the tale. I get it, nobody here is down with “these vehicles” but let’s not lose all credibility by falling down the bogeyman hole.

          • Jack 16:15 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I’ll be happy to fall down the bogeyman hole.
            You get hit by a Dodge Ram Charger or an SUV at speeds over 30 km you will be critically injured. That is empirical data and has been the subject of many studies.
            “A high bonnet leading edge (BLE) in relation to the pedestrian stance as well as large bonnet and windshield angles increase the risk of a head impact on the ground…” ie those vehicles launch most adults to the point that their first point of impact is the skull.
            “Due to the disadvantageous post‐car impact pedestrian kinematics caused by the SUV and the OneBox classes, those vehicles turn out to be particularly critical. The classes Compact, Sedan and Sports Car show more favourable kinematics with respect to the secondary impact.”
            So yes I am calling out these classes of vehicles. They should not be allowed in densely populated urban areas , they are engineered to be lethal for pedestrians an increasingly large mobility class.

          • Ian 17:52 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I don’t question your quotes, though links would be nice. Still, with those quotes you didn’t actually show this “empirical data” that “proves” anything. I have been hit by an SUV yet here I am, typing even now. Do you mean a direct hit? Do you mean a specific kind of impact? Because, and let me say it again, I was hit by an SUV and I am alive. To be precise, it was travelling at about 40 on Jarvis just south of Wellesley and I was hit in the shoulder by the side mirror. AM I to tke it that I am some kind of miracle baby? If so, I will play the lotteries more often.

          • Dhomas 18:29 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            @Ian: the reference to the Bonnet Leading Edge (BLE) in Jack’s quotes would seem to indicate a reference to a direct hit, by the bonnet (the front of the car). You got hit by a side view mirror, which, though I’m sure not pleasant, is hardly the same as being “hit by a car”. If you had been hit by the bonnet of the SUV, you likely would not be here to tell the tale.

          • ian 18:32 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Semantics, the last refuge of the incorrect.

          • Dhomas 18:41 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Clarification ≠ semantics. But ok, whatever.

          • Ian 19:06 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            @Dhomas –

            According to the articles, one of the vehicles was hit & skidded into the pedestrian so the likelihood of it being a direct hit instead of a glancing blow is up in the air as the reporters did not mention that (apparently) crucial detail.

            Jack didn’t say that it was a “direct” hit, although he did give a BLE as an example of impact outcomes.

            You are insisting that getting hit by a vehicle only counts as a hit if it’s a direct BLE impact because otherwise the argument that getting hit by a minivan or SUV invariably leads to death is simply not true.

            I guess Kate will have to redo her pedestrian death count tally to accommodate this new standard of “truthiness” – were they “really” hit or just “sort of” hit? Maybe we can have two columns to compare empirical outcomes.

          • Ian 19:28 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            @Kate this may sort itself out but check the date stamps in those last few posts, they are all out of order.

          • Kate 20:56 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Ian, can you simply try reloading the page? I don’t see any problem here.

          • Ian 21:11 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            It just kicked back into sequential on the last reload. I usually only see that sequence thing when I hit the site on mobile, that’s the only reason I mentioned it. Maybe it’s just a server cache issue.

          • Dhomas 21:23 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            The point of Jack’s comment was that SUVs lead to more deaths than compacts or sedans due to the high BLE height, unless SUVs have less accidents where they hit pedestrians head on. This might be the case as SUVs might have greater visibility of their surroundings and therefore better reaction times to avoid a pedestrian. I say this as a driver of a taller vehicle myself, but I have no data to back this up.

          • Ian 22:44 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I quote, “You get hit by a Dodge Ram Charger or an SUV at speeds over 30 km you will be critically injured. That is empirical data and has been the subject of many studies.” That’s simply not true.

            let’s not equivocate here, either there was either untrue exaggeration, or there wasn’t. I’m not trying to pick apart the data, obviously a higher hood leading edge will cause more fatalities. I don’t want to get hit by a van or a pickup either for that matter.

            You can’t just say “Critically injured after getting hit by one of these vehicles is the best possible outcome.” It’s simply not true, but more importantly, it weakens reasonable arguments (of which there are many) to force governments to regulate sales of SUVs & CUVs. If we can’t argue our positions without obviously making things up, we can hardly be expected to be taken seriously.

          • Jack 17:38 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Hi Ian thanks for responding. First read this… https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0386111214000235
            Then this…
            Then this…
            Then this…
            I will stop there.
            Please read them and then think about you telling me that what I wrote was “simply not true” or “untrue exaggeration” or “obviously making things up”.
            I am not a liar and I dont make things up. Frankly your comments usually seem pretty reasoned so I am surprised by your vitriol and personal attack.
            “You get hit by a Dodge Ram Charger or an SUV at speeds over 30 km you will be critically injured. That is empirical data and has been the subject of many studies.”…is true.

          • Michael Black 18:48 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Ian’s not calling anyone a liar, and I’m sure he’s not saying this because he’s trying to promote cars.

          • Ian 19:43 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            What I am very specifically saying is that none of those articles (and yes, I read them all ) says that an impact that is not head on will kill you. You specifically said that in all cases being hit by an SUV is fatal.

            I myself have been hit by an SUV, for you to say that this does not count as a hit because it was not head on is semantics. An impact is an impact. You are exaggerating and it weakens your overall argument.

          • Jack 09:33 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

            “Semantics, the last refuge of the incorrect.”

          • Ian 10:04 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

            Hey, I’m not the one insisting that getting hit by an SUV always results in death then had to change the definition of “getting hit” and even with carte blanch to cherrypick any sources I wanted posted 4 articles that don’t support that claim.

          • Jack 15:39 on 2020-03-01 Permalink

            Ian If our problem is the definition of critical injury here is the definition, from Ontario’s Ministry of Labor.
            Section 1 of Ontario Regulation 834 under the OHSA defines “Critical Injury” as an injury of a serious nature that,
            (a) places life in jeopardy,
            (b) produces unconsciousness,
            (c) results in substantial loss of blood,
            (d) involves the fracture of a leg or arm but not a finger or toe,
            (e) involves the amputation of a leg, arm, hand or foot but not a finger or toe,
            (f) consists of burns to a major portion of the body, or
            (g) causes the loss of sight in an eye.

            Ian I’ll leave at that I was frankly surprised not by your argument but mostly your tone. If we disagree on something I honestly will never attack you personally.

          • Ian 16:18 on 2020-03-02 Permalink

            I stand by what I said, it is entirely possible to get hit by an SUV (or CUV or even a truck) and not get a critical injury. I’ve been giving my own experience as an example but I know many cyclists (pretty much everyone I know FWIW) and for the most part you simply don’t go your adult life riding a bike without at least one car accident. I only know one person who died, lots of people who did get serious injuries, but many like myself who got off with minor injuries at worst. Wearing a bike helmet has saved me from serious injury on several occasions, but that’s another debate.

            All of the articles you linked to only said that being hit by an SUV increased the likelihood of injury and or death. You maintain “You get hit by a Dodge Ram Charger or an SUV at speeds over 30 km you will be critically injured. That is empirical data and has been the subject of many studies.” – and can’t produce even one.

            This is not meant as a personal attack. I am responding to your statements and reasoning, there’s nothing personal about it at all. If you want to state things as facts that can’t be substantiated, you should expect to have your line of reasoning questioned. That’s not a personal attack, that’s just common sense.

        • Kate 07:11 on 2020-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

          The ARTM says the proposed pink line would cost between $17 and $24 billion – rather more than Valérie Plante suggested during her campaign. The mayor still insists it’s necessary.

          • Ian 17:56 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I don’t think any of us seriously thinks it would come in at less than 32 but the longer we wait the more it will cost. Something needs to be done, the orange line is so packed at Laurier in the mornings you are way better off taking a bus to a completely different stop.

          • Dhomas 18:33 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Already 5 years ago, when I lived in Rosemont, I would prefer staying on the 427 to downtown, rather than get off at Mont-Royal to take the orange line. I can only imagine it’s gotten worse since then. The orange line needs to be “désengorgé”.

          • Ian 19:09 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            It’s actually faster for me from Parc & Fairmount to Lionel-Groulx to take the 51 to the blue line and transfer than to try to take the orange line. When I worked at Square-Victoria 5 years ago it was considerably faster for me to take the 80 & walk over from Chinatown than to take the 51 to Laurier and get on the orange line.

            It’s only gotten worse, too.

          • Kate 10:52 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Ian, you take the 51 to one of the UdeM stations? But then don’t you still have to transfer to the orange line at Snowdon?

          • Ian 17:01 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Yep, it’s still faster. I know it sounds counterintuitive but google maps suggested it one morning, I figured “why not” et voila. Turns out Snowdon to LG is that much faster than Laurier to LG, at least at 6am anyhow.

          • Kate 17:38 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            I believe you. I just don’t like Snowdon station, and given a choice won’t travel via a change at that station unless it can’t be helped.

          • Ian 18:12 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            It’s kind of catacomb-y and disorienting especially when packed full of people, but first thing in the morning it’s pretty empty and not too bad, especially if you are used to it and know exactly where to go. I completely understand though, I used to avoid the blue line connections too.

        • Kate 06:58 on 2020-02-28 Permalink | Reply  

          Communauto is adding more vehicles and users will be allowed to leave Communauto cars at downtown parking meters, as Car2Go prepares to exit the city.

          • walkerp 10:53 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Oh I had missed that about Car2Go pulling out of North America. That’s too bad.

          • Ian 15:03 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I liked Car2Go and used them a lot but as a sharing fleet they’re not obligated to put on winter tires so using them this time of year is awful unless the streets are absolutely clear. There were also a lot of issues around vehicle distribution – some days there would be a dozen or more parked on my street ten for a couple of weeks they would all be parked 8 blocks away.

            That’s one thing Communauto needs to get a handle on to become truly ubiquitous, though – I used to get a Car2Go to go to where my Communauto was, and I know a lot of people were doing the same.

        • Kate 13:29 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

          The urban agglomeration may lose big to the land grab Quebec has engineered into the school board abolition law. An estimate of $653 million over ten years is floated here.

          • Ian 15:05 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I know this is kind of the implied story here, but is the reason (or a reason) we now have a school shortage that the city has been suppressing building new schools? If so, well then by heck I’m all for expropriation. It’s not like the city was ever adverse to expropriating from citizens if they were standing in the way of “progress”.

          • Dhomas 18:36 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Meanwhile, nothing is being done to alleviate the shortage of teachers. We’ll have nice, shiny new school buildings with no one to teach in them!

          • Ian 19:13 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Oh something’s being done alright, they are banning the ones with hijabs. /s

            It’s going to be a few years before enough students cycle through to meet the needs for teachers especially after everyone was told for decades not to become a teacher as there were no jobs.In the meantime, standards for teachers form other places are being conditionally lowered to meet demand. Teachers from Ontario used to not be permitted to teach in QC because of ERC and QC history but that restriction is a lot more flexible as long as they meet the French requirement.

          • Kate 19:17 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Ian, from the 1960s throughout the 80s birth rates dropped drastically in Quebec and school buildings were repurposed for other things. There’s a big old school on Marie-Anne that was turned into condos, as was D’Arcy McGee on Pine Avenue. Luke Callaghan school near St Michael’s in the Mile End became office spaces – I worked there briefly on a friend’s project a few years ago in what had been a classroom – and Baron Byng on St‑Urbain was the headquarters of Sun Youth for decades. A lot of schools became low-rent office spaces for social aid organizations of one sort of another. I’ve been to a tenants’ meeting in the old school building opposite Holy Family church in Villeray, for example, also in an ex-classroom.

            Some of these are reversible: the CSDM clawed back Baron Byng and has turfed out a lot of the organizations using others, although the ones that have been sold for condos probably can’t be taken back. But there’s also the fact that these old school buildings are not in good shape. They’ve torn down several elegant old school buildings and put up new ones in Villeray and Hochelaga and probably elsewhere. Even if they weren’t all gunged up with dust and mold, the old buildings mostly aren’t accessible in the modern sense – they’re full of stairs – and adding modern cabling, gender-free bathrooms and so forth would be difficult. Easier and cheaper to tear down and rebuild.

            None of this can be blamed on the city.

            The only news story about land for schools that I’ve been aware of since doing this blog was the Nuns’ Island one, where the school board wanted to put a school on park land, and the borough said no. I imagine we’ll see a lot more of that. Most of this city is built up now and nobody will want to put a school on postindustrial brown land.

          • Ian 19:26 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I am aware of that sordid history of neglect, but the part my ears perked up at was the idea that somehow there were a ton of schools being proposed that the city was blocking.

            My kids used to go to FACE which is looking for a new home as their current building is under renovation. There was talk of renovating another space, maybe the old hospital, but the CSDM decided they wanted to double down and use the grant money for renovations on a CSDM property. Some have speculated that’s why they took back Baron Byng, though it’s still unclear.

            That in combination with all the recent kerfuffle about English schools being taken over and redistributed to French school boards got me thinking “why is there such a dire shortage of space” and I always assumed it was because of neglect but now i seems like maybe there’s another factor, and indeed sometimes it is less expensive to simply build a new facility than to reclaim and retrofit an existing one.

            I’d love to see what is going on behind the scenes in this, or at least get a glimpse at some of the studies that led the province to think cities are somehow blocking new school construction to the point that this legislation is the solution to something.

          • Kevin 23:38 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Where families live has changed immensely. Back in the 70s-90s families moved to new developments in the West Island. Those kids have grown up and now have families off-island, so West Island schools are shrinking, while there are fewer kids in the West Island. Last I heard my old high school has half the population it did 30 years ago.

        • Kate 13:15 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

          Club 281 is going to close this year, but not till September. Sadly, its location will be the site of more condos.

          I’ve never been to 281 nor wanted to, but yeah, just what we need – more condos.

          • Ian 15:13 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I’ve been, it’s a bit cliché nowadays but it is what it is. To be fair 281 hasn’t been considered “the best” male strip club for a long, long time, but it did have cachet as a classic.

          • Filp 17:00 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I’m not sure how condos are always the villain. We want people to live in the city, but we don’t want condos? Or is this very central close to transit location not the right one? What other project would be acceptable at this location? To me, most projects today have to include housing units on top of them, it’s just logic. condos are another form of housing.

          • Meezly 17:52 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Perhaps because condos tend to come with gentrification – people of a lower or mixed socio-economic status replaced by the more affluent & homogenous. Buildings that once provided a service, or offered mixed housing, or simply had a history, getting replaced with a generic tower that can house 20x more people, yes, but at what cost? The condo that’s going to replace 281 is going to be directly across from Foufounes. Sounds more like money talking rather than thoughtful urban planning to me. Also, what will this mean for the little entertainment strip in that area? Does this spell the beginning of the end for those venues and institutions?

          • Dhomas 18:38 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            I can see it now. Foufs will close a couple of years after those condos get built because they are too loud for the neighbourhood.

          • Filp 20:10 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Maybe I struggle to see the alternative. Areas with effective public transit should be dense with housing. Aside from building only social housing, which will never happen, condos will mean people moving into an area. Where should they live instead? You can mandate that condos have a social mix of units as well as business and venues beneath, which this building certainly will given that it’s on st Catherine. It will probably mean the entertainment strip will change, but no neighborhood has ever stayed the same in history. I’m obviously not advocating for wholesale destruction of the city to build condos (which I’m sure someone will accuse me of), but new projects from here on should incorporate housing, and most of the time it will be condos.

          • Ian 20:44 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Well they already tore down the red light district to build highrise social housing just behind where Foufs is so I guess this won’t make that much difference to the area… and let’s be honest, the “entertainment district” has been getting whittled away at since it was the club district under Drapeau. The QdeS expropriations over the decades were another several nails in the coffin. Then when the entire block at Saint Larry got expropriated besides Cleopatra (bless their hearts) and when funding fell through stood as a gaping hole for years and years… really, even Foufs hasn’t been edgy since the early 90s.

            Foufs went where it is because at the time it was cheap and undesirable. Back in the day that neighbourhood was best known for the street hookers and random dealers wandering along saying ‘ash-coke-‘ash-coke all night. The first incarnation of Foufs was a large, dank room where the girls’ bathroom was a shooting gallery (the cops wouldn’t go in the girl’s bathroom – there were no female officers on that strip at the time). We were not the most tony clientele in the 80s but the city evolved around us, some of us even evolved along with it.

            FWIW the whole male stripper scene has really suffered since the internet, apps, and widening social tolerance. Much like how gay villages the world over are dying out because being gay no longer means you need to hide in a specific neighbourhood and go to specific places at specific times to meet people that don’t want to beat you up and/or toss you in jail. Male strippers for women were always a bit of a novelty act compared to strip clubs for men.

            I dunno, I get it,. sad to see things go… but St Larry and Ste Kitty is not the cool entertainment district it once was by any stretch. As far as places to live, though , it’s pretty seedy, smells like urine in the morning, and the closest grocery store is the IGA all the way over at place Desjardins. If the yuppies think that’s a great place to drop lots of money to live, well, at least they aren’t moving into my neighbourhood.

          • Filp 20:56 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            An IGA express opened in front of st-Laurent metro actually. A sign people are moving to the area certainly

          • Ian 21:14 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Ah neat, I hadn’t seen that. While you’re right, Les Habitations Jeanne-Mance started construction in 1959… this has been a very residential neighbourhood for a very long time… just poor people.

          • Meezly 12:42 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Yeah, I think most of us have mixed feelings about new development. More often than not, there is a loss of character, history and diversity. I’m all for more affordable housing, just wish urban planning is not so affected by quick profit and corruption.

          • Filp 15:05 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Ian, I obviously know about habitations Jeanne-Mance. It’s kinda hard to avoid given how much it sticks out from the normal row housing and street grid. You can imply from my comment that people moving to an area doesn’t mean there aren’t any there already. No need to twist every single comment as an attack. There are huge condo buildings being built right across from the metro station, which are adding tons of units to the area.

          • Ian 18:14 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            I didn’t mean it as an attack on you so much as an attack on the kind of urban planning that would allow for a vertical ghetto surrounded by a food desert. I am genuinely glad to see some grocery stores actually coming into that neighbourhood.

        • Kate 11:07 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

          Wanted to note, looking at a few of the cams on the city traffic cam map, right now it’s raining downtown, but snowing north of the mountain.

          La Presse also notes the weather gradient in the area, as more of the precipitation turns to snow.

          • Ian 15:11 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            Winterpocalypse was a bit overrated but I there were a lot of very slippery roads in the city today. I tried to drive some people to work & school this morning but St Urbain was a death trap, I saw 3 accidents in 5 blocks & was drifting at every intersection, so switched over to Parc & kicked everyone out to go take the bus & went home. Later in the day I had an errand to run downtown so I took the bus myself, and the 80 was sliding the last 4 feet into every stop.

            This was that sponge toffee precipitation I was talking about. It doesn’t look like much, but it’s ice all the way through and when compressed is super slippery.

        • Kate 09:14 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

          COVID-19 is all over the news, although no case has yet been diagnosed in Quebec. Media are following Quebecers who have been infected abroad and telling about schools that are cancelling planned trips.

          It can be difficult to distinguish fact from paranoia, but whatever else is said, COVID-19 is evidently very contagious, and it seems only a matter of time before it lands here. I’ve never remotely been a prepper, but it’s crossing my mind to make sure I have two weeks’ worth of supplies laid in, on the supposition that if an epidemic were to sweep through North America we could be ordered to stay home for a period of time. What do my readers think?

          • Ephraim 10:02 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            Last I read, the death rate is 5X that of the normal flu. I’m sort of fatalistic about it. Not like there is really much that I can do about it…. other than prepare my finances for this rollercoaster. I don’t understand how anyone couldn’t manage 14 days of food. Sure, nothing fancy, but most people should have a few cans of beans, some rice, frozen protein, oil, etc in the house. Sure, not a salad, but onions, carrots and some frozen veggies should make it manageable.

          • Kate 10:11 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            My place has a rather old-fashioned kitchen with minimal storage, and a fridge with a typical small freezer. I figured out to rough numbers last night that I’d be OK for a week but pretty scanty for a second, and I have to think about the cat as well. And then there are a few things, like toilet paper, that you also don’t want to run out of. All these things take up storage room if you buy more than you need for the moment (which is why I usually don’t).

          • Mr.Chinaski 11:31 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            Death rate for the flu is 0.1%, this one is around 2-3%. So it could be 30x bigger. The problem might not be just about that, it would be if everybody gets it *at the same time*. If everybody needs hospitalisation, there just won’t be enough staff/place/help for a lot of people. Then the weaker ones will die at a greater rate.

            ex: A hospital only has 20 ventilators. If a hundred people needs them, a lot more people will die because of that. So it’s not just the virus, it’s the complication that will happen if a lot of people get the flu *at the same time*. Which is why precautions must be taken.

          • John B 11:42 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            We’ve started stocking up a bit on staples, not making a specific emergency store, but trying to have more on hand than we normally do that we’ll cycle through. We’re in a similar kitchen situation, but canned & dry goods like flour & beans can go a long way.

            It’s not even a worry that we might all be ordered to stay home, but if you’re exposed, then you’re supposed to self-quarantine, and that could happen to anyone rather unexpectedly, (although depending on their job people will be more or less likely to have it happen).

          • Rebecca 11:53 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            The biggest thing for us was a run to get refills a bit earlier than necessary. The recommendation is to have 1 week of meds remaining when you refill. We’re making sure we have a buffer of at least 2 weeks now.

          • Kate 12:44 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            Wish I liked beans. Of course I’d eat them if there was nothing else…

          • Blork 12:49 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            As long as the water and electricity stays on we could probably last for three months at my place. Food would be boring and repetitive, but at least it would be there. (If there were a full-on zombie apocalypse that could probably be stretched to six months.)

            This is mostly thanks to a small freezer I have in the basement, plus an abundance of storage space so I take advantage of sales and Costco runs.

          • walkerp 13:01 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            From what I have been reading, it sounds like it’s not going to be containable and that quarantines are ultimately ineffective. We will end up with another disease like the flus we all get in the winter, just a new strain. Annoying for the healthy, perhaps deadly for those in certain immune-deficient categories.

            Try to resist the media’s tone of fear and apocalypse. This is as usual a complex situation of risk management, not a zombie breakout.

            Certain containment measures will be appropriate, but widely banning travel, closing down cities, and hoarding resources are not realistic solutions for an outbreak that lasts years. All of these measures come with risks of their own. Ultimately some pandemic responses will require opening borders, not closing them. At some point the expectation that any area will escape effects of COVID-19 must be abandoned: The disease must be seen as everyone’s problem.

          • Tee Owe 15:23 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            Agree with Walkerp about not letting ourselves get caught up in media hype here –
            As I see it, one issue is how we count. Number of deaths – certainty, you can’t get that wrong.
            Number infected – total unreliability, related to different testing methods, lack of testing , etc.
            Any underestimation of the number infected results in overestimation of the mortality rate.
            Added to which is paranoia about the unknown versus complacency about what we know. I just read some numbers from Ireland – this flu season so far, a few under 3600 infected, and 98 dead. Do the math – that’s about 2.8%. So – are we quarantining visitors from Ireland – no! Because, it’s just the flu.

          • Kate 15:54 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

            True, but everyone has already been exposed to flu, and some of us have had flu shots. COVID-19 is a new thing, so maybe one reason it’s so contagious is because nobody has any acquired immunity. Which is kind of scary.

          • dmdiem 19:15 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

          • walkerp 08:37 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            There’s no immunity to flu either.

            I found this video from Business Insider quite helpful as well, debunking a bunch of myths but also giving some good overall perspective on how we as a society should approach an outbreak like this.

          • Kate 11:07 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            No immunity at all, walkerp, even after a lifetime spent on public transit resisting every damn flu strain in circulation?

            Well that sucks.

          • Ian 21:20 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

            You can live off of just rice and lentils pretty much indefinitely. It’s not that nutritious but you won’t die from malnutrition.

          • Kate 14:03 on 2020-02-29 Permalink

            Yup. I’m going to stash some rice, along with maybe lentils and at least some onions and hot sauce and a few other odds and ends. Plus a little extra cat food. These are all things I’ll use eventually anyway – not going to buy Starfleet ration packs.

            Speaking of which, I looked on MEC a few days ago for camping food, from curiosity. At that point they had this product in omnivore format. Now they’re down to vegetarian and gluten-free versions. I bet they’re moving like hotcakes.

        • Kate 09:05 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

          Statistics Canada says black Montrealers are still economically disadvantaged, both men and women making significantly lower incomes than the average.

          (Note that the average for all men is $50,300 while for women it’s only $39,150.)

          • Kate 08:55 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

            Here’s an odd little piece on Treehugger about a Montreal duplex which shows the writer has no idea about our residential streets. He praises a duplex for its “gentle density” evidently unaware that most of the central part of this city was built up with row after row of duplexes and triplexes long ago. He also seems to think it’s a new building, although it looks to me like someone took an existing duplex, gutted it and did a number on it.

            One positive thing in this rebuild is that it was preserved as a home for two different households, whereas most of the duplex refits we see involve first and foremost opening the structure into one living space. Mind you, the owners described are close relatives, so it isn’t clear whether the building would still be suitable for entirely separate households into the future.

            And yes… there it is, the obligatory breakfast bar.

            • CE 10:18 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              “Gentle density” is one of those urban planning buzzwords that really makes my skin crawl.

            • SMD 12:40 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              Looks like it was a small shoebox that got knocked down and replaced with a new duplex: before and after.

            • Kate 13:18 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              Good detective work, SMD!

            • Hamza 13:35 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              Interior giving off some Parasite vibes

          • Kate 08:46 on 2020-02-27 Permalink | Reply  

            Over the last news cycle, François Legault claimed that there were AK-47s at the Kahnawake blockade and he’s been shouted down for making such unfounded, inflammatory remarks, including by the federal indigenous services minister.

            • Meezly 12:40 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              I know most everyone here shares similar views on this, but still, it disgusts me that we have an ignorant, emotionally immature and racist excuse of a person as a leader.


              “Legault says he is disclosing the information [about the theoretical AK-47s] because he wants the public to understand why provincial police have not yet moved in. He says he does not want to have it on his conscience that police officers were injured in an intervention.”

              Uh no. Legault is disclosing the information because he wants to reinforce the stereotype that the Mohawk people are aggressive and not capable of peaceful protest.


              “The SQ’s communications team appeared to be caught off-guard by Legault’s remarks.”

              Legault’s government files injunctions against the blockade in Kahnawake and Listuguj encampment and “leaves it up to the SQ” to execute the injunction. Yet he neglects to consult with them about disclosing potentially sensitive, if not false, information to the public. It’s obvious what his motive is, to escalate public anger against the protesters.


              “I’m old enough to remember Oka,” he told reporters Tuesday morning, just before the injunction was granted.

              Yet he clearly is not wise enough to have learned anything. His utmost concern is the Quebec economy, which is apparently losing $100 million daily to the blockades, and he is completely unaware (or indifferent) to that fact that all the economic thoroughfares cut through Kahnawake territory and that back in the 1950s, the community lost its direct access to the St. Lawrence River, when riverfront land was expropriated for the construction of the St. Lawrence Seaway.

            • Kate 13:19 on 2020-02-27 Permalink

              Thanks for all the linkage, Meezly – and your thoughts on this too.

            • Kevin 09:03 on 2020-02-28 Permalink

              Legault’s team is doubling down for Friday http://twitter.com/ewansauves/status/1233375040646852608

          Compose new post
          Next post/Next comment
          Previous post/Previous comment
          Show/Hide comments
          Go to top
          Go to login
          Show/Hide help
          shift + esc