Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:28 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

    A small storefront massage parlour in Rosemont has been ordered shut down because its erotic offerings go beyond what is allowed by its permit. The same business was photographed for a Le Devoir piece on “eradicating” such businesses, a few months ago.

    At the same time, sex shops are trying to get permission to stay open later than standard retail hours.

    • Kate 19:29 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

      Radio-Canada says Tourism Montreal fancies it can make an opportunity of COVID-19 by luring tourists here who may be afraid to travel overseas.

      The Quebec health minister gave an update Wednesday which, considering we’ve seen a single case and she’s now home again in quarantine, can’t have been too much of a stretch. Clinics are ready, protocols are in place.

      The STM is ramping up its cleaning cycle for the metro.

      I saw some tweets where people said they had thought the metro was cleaned every day. My impression was that cleaners do go through every train at the end of the day, clearing out trash and cleaning up any obvious messes, but not usually sanitizing every surface.

    • Kate 13:26 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

      TVA says merchants in Chinatown are seeing a fall in business, comparing the months of February 2019 to February 2020. After talking to several restaurant owners, the piece signs off with “La commis d’une pharmacie du Quartier chinois souligne que les ventes de masque ont augmenté.”

      • Kate 13:23 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Since the launch of Toponym’elles in 2016 a few more women’s names have been added to the city toponymy. Women are now at 7.6% of the nomenclature rather than 6% – not much of a rise, but we only have so many streets, parks and other features to be named or renamed.

        (Question: do you think they included all the “Notre Dame” names in the count?)

        • Ian 14:50 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          No, it’s just proper names.
          You can see the list here:

          So names like Notre Dame, Ste Dom, Ste Kitty, Rachel, Marianne, etc. don’t count because they aren’t after specific women. That said, it doesn’t include Jeanne-Mance or Square-Victoria, which I find odd.

        • Ephraim 15:29 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Well, Ste-Elisabeth is named after Elisabeth Moyen… shouldn’t it count? (Versus Square St-Elisabeth, which is actually named after a saint.)

        • SMD 15:58 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          The Toponym’elles list is a bank of names to be used in the future (full URL: http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/portal/page?_pageid=1560,11245605&_dad=portal&_schema=PORTAL&p_search_type=T&p_search_value=83&p_page=-1). The article doesn’t mention the determination criteria for current names, so we don’t know if the Notre-Dames and Saintes are counted. It also mentions that just over 50% of Montreal place names are currently named after men, so I suppose the rest are named after historic or geographic features.

        • Kate 16:12 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Ian, Marie-Anne Roy was a sister-in-law of Jean-Marie Cadieux, who owned a large piece of the Plateau back when, and named a bunch of streets after members of his family. The Plateau street is not named after Marianne, although given the number of French folks living in the area now, I wouldn’t be surprised if people thought so.

          Rachel was also connected to his family somehow. They were both real women.

          (Rue Napoléon is also named after a member of the Cadieux family, not the French emperor, although given the number of French folks, etc. etc.)

        • Ian 17:15 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          I know that bit about Marie-Anne Roy from you, actually! What I meant was since it’s first names maybe they aren’t counting them. I don’t know. write them a terse letter 😀

          As I recall you had mentioned that one of the Ste streets was also just named after someone, not a saint(e) at all – another north-south west plateau street, maybe?

          And was was the name of the other street that had its name changed because of all the brothels on it? Ste Dom?

        • Ephraim 18:55 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Most of the saint name streets are fakes. St-Denis is named after Denis Viger. St-Paul is after Paul deMaisonneuve or rather… Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve, if you want to go with the full long name. St-Hubert is after Hubert-Joseph Lacroix, who ceded the land (though I was always told that he was the first to build outside the walls, but maybe that’s just lore.) St-Jacques is after Jean-Jacques Olier de Verneuil

          Maybe we should consider renaming these streets after who they were named after… I mean, they are dead now.. after all.

          A lot of this goes back to François Dollier de Casson, who was asked to do the naming. Supposedly he did try to name a street after himself (or his personal patron saint, based on his name)… and was forced to add Xavier to the end of it… and hence St-Francois-Xavier in old Montreal.

        • Kate 19:33 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          They’re not fakes, Ephraim. There was just a tradition of naming things after someone’s name saint. So St Helen’s Island is named after Hélène Boullé, St-Urbain Street after Urbain Tessier dit Lavigne, and so on.

          Ian, iirc Mae West mentioned Cadieux Street in some movie, with reference to the Red Light district, so the name was changed to de Bullion, after a 17th-century marquise who donated money to the Hôtel-Dieu. This is what I remember hearing, anyway. I will have to look up the details.

        • Kate 19:58 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Oh by the way, Ian – Saint-Dominique is a guy.

        • EmilyG 00:35 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          On the list that SMD mentions, there’s at least one religious figure (Aataentsic, an Indigenous goddess, is the first name on the list.)

        • Kate 08:24 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          EmilyG, SMD, there are a fair number of women on that list who have no connection at all with Montreal. I noticed Mary Anning and Josephine Baker just at a first glance.

          We do honour the occasional non-local, but I think we should mostly honour locals with the occasional exception for someone outstanding and universally revered like Nelson Mandela. We used to do saints and kings, but modern criteria have to be different.

        • EmilyG 16:07 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          I also saw the name of a novel on that list (don’t remember which list item it was. It wasn’t a novel I heard of before.)

        • Ian 18:29 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          I admit that after 30 years of living in this neighbourhood I never realized it was St Dom not Ste Dom. I stand corrected, thank you, Kate 🙂

      • Kate 09:12 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        Boroughs may have passed laws limiting Airbnb to certain streets or zones, but nobody is enforcing these laws and many technically illegal rentals are being advertised openly on the Airbnb site. Even if the city outlawed Airbnb and its ilk completely, as suggested by FRAPRU, it seems likely things would still continue as they have been. It’s similar to how Uber arrived here, running an illegal operation but trusting to sheer demand to force its acceptance on a weak government.

        • Ephraim 09:47 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Firstly, as I have pointed out, the agency in charge of ensuring it is done legally is Revenu Quebec and they aren’t doing their job. FRAPRU and others need to push Revenu Quebec to actually do it’s job. At $2500/$5000 a day in fine, just a few big hits will scare the market, especially if they just make reservations for 4 days and send in a $10K/$20K fine. Nothing gets more attention than the bill from hell and an audit from RQ.

          There is only one way to reign in AirBnB and that is… go after it, tax wise. There are a few taxes to collect here that aren’t being collected at the moment… GST/QST, commercial property tax and ensure that the income taxes are declared and paid. And in the case of the city, send in a commercial property assessment for the whole property and let them contest it.

          There are things that they can do… they just aren’t actually doing. Which opens up an even bigger question… should Revenu Quebec not have to present an auditted report showing that they are, in fact, doing their job and ensuring that everyone in Quebec, from the rich to the poor are being served appropriately by RQ? If they have a portfolio that they are in charge of and aren’t actually taking care of, should it not be exposed?

        • Chris 09:49 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Kate, why do you suppose it’s “weak government” as opposed to duplicitous government? To me, it’s just one of many examples where they make a law but don’t actually ever touch their corporate friends.

        • Kate 10:18 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          You’re pretty much saying the same thing, Chris. The Couillard government was weak at the knees like a Regency heiress at how masterfully Uber swept in, ignored our laws and started turning a buck. Same ditto with Airbnb. Never mind the outrage of legitimate taxi companies, or the hotels and regular bnb’s, that had all doggedly obeyed the laws for years. The sheer disruptiveness made the Quebec government weak.

        • Ian 14:52 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          No point passing laws nobody’s going to enforce but yeah, this is out of the hands of the city.

          I know Couillard et al were caught off-balance by “disruptive” businesses but Legault you’d think would be more savvy, especially coming from the business world himself. Naturally this all makes me suspect the brown envelopes are duly stuffed.

        • Chris 15:04 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Kate, ok, perhaps I misunderstood your meaning of ‘weak’.

          Ian, though it wouldn’t surprise me, I don’t think brown envelopes are even needed. It’s just a mindset of: buisness knows best, can do no wrong, and should be left to do it’s thing.

      • Kate 09:05 on 2020-03-04 Permalink | Reply  

        TVA is not happy with claims that the metro and STM buses are not sanitized very often.

        Would it help anyone if they were?

        • Clément 09:18 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          I don’t know that much about public health.

          But even if they were sanitized every day, wouldn’t that only benefit the very first rider of the day?

        • Ephraim 09:49 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          There are treatments that do last, but that’s mostly anti-bacterial and not anti-viral. The best bet is to wipe down the pole or wear gloves.

        • Chris 09:52 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          Plus there’s short term vs long term considerations. Overusing anti-bacterials, anti-virals, anti-biotics, etc. is an arms race with evolution, the bugs adapt too.

        • Blork 10:32 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          While waiting for the train to start its run at Longueuil this morning and STM employee walked through carrying a rag and a bottle of Lysol. I didn’t see if she sprayed anything. Seems a bit Sisyphean.

        • EmilyG 10:56 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          It’d help people with weakened immune systems.
          Not everyone is healthy/able-bodied.

        • Kate 12:32 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          But would it, EmilyG? Clément’s point about any sanitizing only lasting for minutes is valid, as is Chris’s point about over-use of disinfectant. Also, it seems most rhinoviruses and coronaviruses are exchanged by droplets, not surfaces.

          Plus, there are bound to be people sensitive to too much disinfectant.

        • EmilyG 14:05 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          It would indeed. The general public isn’t very knowledgeable about how to protect weaker-immune-system people. Many of these people are worried, as healthy people are stockpiling sanitizer and masks.
          But yes, there are also people sensitive to disinfectant, and you can’t possibly accommodate everybody.

        • Ian 14:55 on 2020-03-04 Permalink

          I think that the regularity with which I see gum on the bus seats is proof enough that nobody ever, ever, ever bothers to clean the handrails unless they are obviously dirty – and given that I see escalators in the metros cleaned by dragging a dirty mop over them, well…

          I’m pretty sure city sidewalks are cleaner than any surface on the bus or metro.

        • MtlWeb 18:54 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          There are misconceptions regarding Covid-19 and the methods of transmission. An intensivist from Vermont has published the following (all referenced to medical literature) on Monday. It is part of a thorough and quite frankly, amazing summary based on the most recent scientific evidence; if you would like to read the references, let me know and I will post the links.

          Large droplet transmission
          COVID-19 transmission can occur via large droplet transmission, with a risk limited to ~6 feet from the patient; this is typical for respiratory viruses such as influenza; transmission via large droplet transmission can be prevented by using a standard surgical-style mask.

          Airborne transmission
          Controversial whether COVID-19 can be transmitted via an airborne (small particles which remain aloft in the air for longer periods of time) route . Airborne transmission would imply the need for N95 rather than surgical masks. Airborne precautions were used with MERS & SARS out of an abundance of caution, rather than any clear evidence that coronaviruses are transmitted via an airborne route. This practice has been carried down to COVID-19. Guidelines disagree about whether to use airborne precautions:
          The Canadian and WHO guidelines both recommend using only droplet precautions for routine care of COVID-19 patients & both recommend airborne precautions for procedures which generate aerosols as seen in a critical care area (ICU, ER, OR). Note that the CDC recommends using airborne precautions all the time when managing COVID-19 patients. Applying airborne precautions for all patients who are definitely or potentially infected with COVID-19 will likely result in rapid depletion of N95 masks. This will leave healthcare providers unprotected when they actually need these masks for those aerosol-generating procedures which are intended to manage the critically ill. In a pandemic, the Canadian and WHO guidelines may be more sensible in countries with finite resources. FYI, this resource utilization of N-95 and other PPE is a concern within our network in Montreal.

          Contact transmission (fomite-to-face)
          This mode of transmission tends to be overlooked, but it may be incredibly important. This is how it works:
          (i) Someone with coronavirus coughs, emitting large droplets containing the virus. Droplets settle on surfaces in the room, creating a thin film of coronavirus. The virus may be shed in a variety of other bodily fluids as well such as sputum, nasal secretions, stool, saliva, urine, and blood which means there are a variety of other ways that an infected person could shed the virus into the environment.
          (ii) The virus persists on fomites in the environment. Human coronaviruses can survive on surfaces for up to ~7 days. It’s unknown how long COVID-19 can survive but it might be even longer as some animal coronaviruses can survive for weeks.
          (iii) Someone else touches the contaminated the surface hours or days later, transferring the virus to their hands.
          (iv) These hands touch the oropharynx (mouth) or nasopharynx (nose) area which will result in transmission of infection.
          Any effort to limit spread of the virus MUST BLOCK contact transmission. The above chain of events can be disrupted in a variety of ways:
          (a) Regular cleaning of environmental surfaces using 70% ethanol or 0.5% sodium hypochlorite solutions.
          (b) Hand hygiene since a high concentration ethanol neutralizes the virus and is easy to perform, so this might be preferable even if hands aren’t visibly soiled.
          (c) Avoidance of TOUCHING YOUR face. This is nearly impossible, as we unconsciously touch our faces constantly. The main benefit of wearing a surgical mask could be that the mask acts as a physical barrier to prevent touching the mouth or nose.
          Any medical equipment such as a stethoscope earpiece could become contaminated with COVID-19 and potentially transfer the virus to other providers.

          Asymptomatic transmission
          This method could potentially occur in two ways.
          (1) Transmission despite a lack of symptoms seems to be possible.
          (2) An additional carrier state could occur in patients who have clinically recovered from the virus, but continue shedding the virus. A recent study found that after convalescence, patients may continue to test positive for COVID-19 for weeks even though the clinical significance of these results is unknown. Convalescing patients probably have a low viral load and relatively low risk of transmission. CDC guidelines are vague on how long patients with known COVID-19 should be isolated. There are suggestions that it may be advisable to obtain two paired culture tests with each pair collected >24 hours apart, prior to discontinuing precautions.

          R⌀ is the average number of people that an virus-infected person transmits the virus to.
          If R⌀ is 1, the epidemic will increase exponentially.
          Current estimates put Covid-19’s R⌀ at ~2.5-2.9 which is a bit higher than seasonal influenza. The R⌀ is a reflection of both the virus and also human behaviour. Interventions such as social distancing and improved hygiene will decrease R⌀. The control of spread of COVID-19 in China proves that R⌀ is a modifiable number that can be reduced by effective public health interventions. Note that the R⌀ on board the Diamond Princess cruise ship was 15 – illustrating that cramped quarters with inadequate hygiene will increase R⌀.

          Sorry about the long read but it is vital that some basics are followed by everyone as we will see the number of cases in the city ramp up over the next few weeks. Hand-washing, hand-washing and more hand-washing for everyone, not just those who are feeling unwell. We need to learn from what worked in China and what did not. Being part of our medical system x 30 years, I can assure you that our centres have been actively prepping but with air travel continuing to/from affected countries & without any self-quarantine mandated by the ministere, the virus’ ability to not trigger symptoms in carriers allows it the potential to spread.

        • Kate 21:34 on 2020-03-05 Permalink

          Thank you for all these details, MtlWeb.

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