Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:35 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Groupe Mach, which is leading the redevelopment around the Maison Radio-Canada, has given out a sketch and some details about its ideas for the commercial part of the venture.

    • mare 23:27 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

      Just what we need: more big box stores! Thankfully underground, and with 2000 parking spaces, so nobody has to walk 5 minutes from one of the two metro stations.

    • Faiz imam 07:26 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

      I also am weary of that amount of parking, but you have to consider it in the context of the amount of density on top of it.

      They say they are building 4000 residential units, 3 office towers and 60+ retail units.

      For that amount of use, 2000 spots is not too crazy.

      0.5 spots per residential units alone is pretty great. But along with the rest that parking will not go far. The metro stations will see plenty of use.

    • Kate 07:58 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

      The thing that irritates me most about this is the idea that it “revives the Faubourg à m’lasse.” This will be more glitzy unaffordable condos, rather than the down-at-heel but affordable living spaces that were razed to assuage Jean Drapeau’s slumophobia and build the Maison Radio-Canada.

      Faiz Imam, do you mean weary? Or do you mean wary?

    • Faiz imam 08:22 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

      heh. I meant wary, but both work don’t they?

    • Kevin 09:45 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

      That isn’t very much new parking.
      Molson owns several (4?) lots in the area that already have about 1,000 spots, and has been renting out space to other companies for decades.

  • Kate 21:28 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was stabbed in Montreal North on Sunday evening and a woman has been arrested. He’s said to be in critical condition.

    • Kate 21:26 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

      A march was held downtown Sunday to demonstrate for a range of issues under the heading of women’s rights. Another demo was held at the headquarters of Pornhub, the Montreal-based pornography empire, protesting its alleged creation and distribution of porn featuring under‑aged performers.

      • Kate 21:22 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

        A five-storey condo project is planned to fill in the old yard of Berson’s Monuments on the Main, and not everyone is thrilled with the height of the building compared to the others on that block.

        • david100 02:20 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          I agree – it should be at least as tall as the 10 story building on the same block that was build in the 1930s.

        • Kate 06:51 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          There is no ten-storey building on that block, david100.

          The Main is, in any case, too narrow to support the presence of the high rise buildings you champion. It should not be turned into a dark canyon.

        • Faiz imam 09:16 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          A rule of thumb for dense midrise is for the height to equal the width of the street. Not to mention keeping the same line as the surrounding buildings.

          In this case that means 3ish storeys max.

          But it looks like the top two floors are set back quite a bit, which is the right way to add additional height without “crowding” the street.

        • Blork 10:25 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          I’d normally be against this too but if you look at the illustrations the facades of the buildings are the same height and pretty much the same overall scale and dimensions as the adjoining buildings, but with an one inset level at the top that you don’t even see from the street. This sounds like typical “be against anything new”ism to me.

          Also notable in the illustrations: they gave Ripples a do-over. I doubt that’s part of the actual plan, but it looks pretty slick in the illustration. (Although I prefer the lopsided original.)

        • Blork 10:32 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          …in fact, on second look this looks like a project designed directly by the Jane Jacobs fan club. The scale matches the surroundings, it adds more density than it appears to (because of the inset top level), and it creates a small gathering space because one of the two structures is set back from the street about 20 metres, creating a nice little shaded nook where you can sit and enjoy your Ripples ice cream.

        • CE 14:23 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

          Like the complaints against the infill development on St-Paul, this kind of NIMBYism causes people and politicians to dismiss all complaints around new developments, even when warranted. If people should be complaining about anything, it’s how dismally boring these new buildings tend to be.

          Concerning height, even if the building were four or five storeys at street-level, St-Laurent has lots of other buildings that height which nobody blinks an eye at (and, IMO, make the street more interesting while adding some density).

          Here are few more examples: 1, 2, 3

        • david100000 03:08 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          The 10 story building – linked by CE if you turn around – has been there longer than any of us. What’s new is the idea that “3ish storeys max” is in any way normal.

          The “3ish storeys max” was the low cost technological solution of the era.

          The “3ish storeys max” is the slogan we should put on posters when we march against the affordable housing crisis.

        • david100000 03:18 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          And I’d just like to add that Faiz Imam’s “rule of thumb” is violated by every city in Europe, even the bombed out and reconstructed ones, none of which can be said to be anything but great.

          The ultra low rise quality of Canada is attractive to some, maybe many, particularly new arrivals. But the “3ish storeys max” planning is actually leading to *decreasing* density on the Plateau, as your “rules of thumb” keep well-needed lower cost half wood-framed housing units from being constructed in the neighborhoods, and force people people instead into competition for the existing housing stock (gentrification) or new construction.

          Brilliant plan, all hail the “3ish storeys max” city planning ethos. Just don’t call it the Montreal, because when the cost of housing goes up, the culture is the first thing to go.

        • Ian 10:58 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          There are illegal AirBnbs on every block in the Plateau and you are blaming the housing crunch on not having 10-story apartment blocks? Let’s just look at some of the residential areas in the core where there are lots of highrises… Habitations Jeanne-Mance… Parc Ex… These are vertical slums. I know we have had this conversation many times, but since you keep rolling out the same old tropes…

          As they say, to a hammer every problem looks like a nail.

        • david1000 11:04 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          We need “vertical slums”! A “vertical slum” is a place where people can live affordably!

          Habitations Jeanne Mance should have been rebuilt years ago, it was an egregious error. But not because of the height of the buildings, rather, because of the ‘tower in the park,’ every-unit-needs-a-surface-parking-space suburbanism of the place. That part of Montreal should look like Wan Chai, not Coal Harbour.

        • Ian 11:18 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          So… you want the Main to look like Acadie. Gotcha. I question your urban planning vision.

          Midrise apartment blocks I could see, but I suspect your notion of highrise apartments lining every street is not going to encourage the kind of culture you seem to think it will somehow preserve.

          Personally I suspect that if we actually enforced any of the AirBnB zoning laws a lot of the housing problems we see in the Plateau would not-so-mysteriously vanish overnight. Then we can start going after people converting duplexes into single family dwellings & rental stock condo conversions.

        • Faiz imam 13:57 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          Jeez david, I feel like I triggered you badly.

          I’m actually wrong with my “3ish storeys max”

          I just checked. St Laurent is 18m wide. That means buildings can be 5 storey-ish, not 3.

          Suffice to say, I largely agree with your points.

        • CE 14:44 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          High rises in Parc Ex? There’s only one building (Acadie and St-Roch) that could be called a high rise and three others that are mid rise. I’m looking at two of them right now out my window and those are two of the nicer buildings in the neighbourhood from what I’ve heard. Certainly most of the views must be amazing.

        • Tee Owe 14:59 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          The trick is to live in the building you don’t want to look at

        • Ian 15:38 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          @Tee Owe that’s a good trick.

          @CE I mean the Acadie strip – I guess we need a clearer definition of mid-rise vs highrise. In NYC a highrise is 75 feet or taller, so roughly 23 meters. What is your definition, or more appropriately, the definition according to Montreal zoning laws? No offense to your neighbourhood, but on that strip even “nice” buildings are not what I would like to see imposed on the urban planning template for the Main.

          To be fair, I only drive on Acadie, I haven’t been checking the exact height of those apartment buildings – but there’s a bunch of them that look like highrises to me. For the sake of argument we could also talk about the tall building zone in Ahuntsic, out by the Decarie Trench, any of the several clusters in VSL, or whatever – not exactly cultural gems. By david100000’s arguments these should be affordable paradisical urban neighbourhoods rich in cachet.

        • CE 16:48 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          Most of the buildings along Acadie are 3½ storeys tall. The only one that I think could be called a high rise (in the context of Montreal) is Le Rockview at the corner of St-Roch which is 16 storeys tall. There are some that I would call mid rise such as at Olgilvy (11 storeys), d’Anvers (8 storeys), and Liege (8 storeys). That’s it, the rest are between 2½ storeys maxing out at 5½ with the majority being 4½. This is a pretty typical of what you would find there.

          I actually think the density on Acadie is pretty good, the issue is that many of the buildings aren’t kept up very well because Acadie is such a miserable street and it being the border with TMR means there are very few services around. However, to call the high rises “slums” is inaccurate as they’re among the nicest buildings along that stretch. They also work well in the context as it’s a wide street. They’d be pretty out of place on a normal residential street or even St-Laurent.

        • CE 16:52 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

          That said, Liege is a pretty narrow street (narrower than St-Laurent) and this 9 storey mid rise works pretty well there.

        • Ian 13:13 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

          I admit I am exaggerating when I call them slums, but I am sure we can agree that Acadie does not have anything resembling street level culture, either, though it is convenient to the very lively Jean-Talon strip… which is mostly lowrise.

      • Kate 09:51 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

        Although we still haven’t seen more than three cases of COVID-19 in Quebec, the province has made further plans to designate clinics, adding Hôtel-Dieu to its Montreal plans in addition to the Jewish General and Ste-Justine. More on the plans for Hôtel-Dieu, which is reopening its emergency room to create a specialized clinic for the virus.

        Update: Brief news item says a probable fourth case is suspected in someone back from a cruise.

        Another update: Travellers coming back from areas where they were repeatedly tested (I presume their temperatures were taken) have been surprised to find they’re not checked when they land here at Trudeau.

        • Kate 09:48 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

          The Centre d’histoire looks at the snowy corner of Clark and Guilbault in 1958, and tells us a bit about Stanley Clark Bagg, who’s up there with our friend Jean-Marie Cadieux as a landowner who shaped the Plateau that we know.

          For Women’s Day, four women have been named historical Quebec figures: Agathe de Saint‑Père, an early businesswoman in Montreal (and wife of Pierre Legardeur de Repentigny), soprano Emma Albani, publisher Joséphine Marchand, and Berthe Chaurès-Louard, whose social activism led to the creation of a consumer cooperative. All have history in Montreal, so I’m blogging this.

          • Kate 09:19 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

            Managing the influx of coyotes in town (even though many of the calls last year were shown to have been caused by a single animal) has cost the city $450,000 since 2017. “Fewer than twenty” animals were trapped and presumably released outside town, but a lot of the cash appears to have gone into educating people what to do about them (i.e., nothing) and not to panic.

            • JS 12:15 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

              I wanna see a coyote! I wonder if the coyote hotline can give you useful spotting tips, eg best location & time of day, etc.

            • Kate 13:17 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

              Well, hang around the area now known as Frederick-Back Park with a raw steak in your hand, and you very well might.

            • denpanosekai 19:03 on 2020-03-08 Permalink

              I had one in my Crawford Park backyard a couple years ago. It was trying to eat my meat pies cooling outside. Gonna guess there’s a few around the Douglas/Angrygnome.

            • Francesco 20:59 on 2020-03-08 Permalink


            • Kate 08:15 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

              denpanosekai, I’m enjoying the sheer cartoon-ness of pies cooling on a windowsill when the coyote turns up.

          • Kate 08:56 on 2020-03-08 Permalink | Reply  

            On Women’s Day, Valérie Plante talks about the particular problems faced by women in politics.

            • Ian 21:31 on 2020-03-09 Permalink

              Funny how she doesn’t talk about hanging Montgomery out to dry. The photo op on Dec 6 has them as sisters-in-arms, and on many occasions Montgomery was presented (like Plante) as a champion of women’s rights.

              And yet…

              “One of the questions they asked the chief of staff is why she doesn’t smile more. Montgomery has every right to be suspicious of the process, and wonder whether such a question would be posed to a man.

              It appears the Comptroller General recommended that the chief of staff not have contact with the top civil servants, and Plante wants her fired. This would appear to be a quid pro quo deal, demanded by a top civil servant as a precondition for agreeing to a departure package.

              While Plante denies she told Montgomery the aide had to be fired in order to smooth over a messy situation, the fact that the full report is not being made public, with reasonable redactions, ostensibly because Montgomery’s name is there, is suspicious.”


              Plante talks a good game, but just being a woman doesn’t make her a feminist. That comes from solidarity.

            • Joey 09:32 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

              Fortunately we have a man to clarify, on the day after International Women’s Day, whether or not and under what conditions the first woman to be elected mayor of Montreal can be considered to be a feminist.

            • Ian 11:22 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

              Oh, forgive me. Of course solidarity means nothing, one simply has to call oneself whatever they like. Thank you for white-knighting on Plante’s behalf, neatly redirecting any criticism of her hollow stance.

            • Michael Black 13:45 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

              It’s hard to follow what’s going on, but I saw those photos too of the two politicians, and it’s hard to believe they’ve fallen so far apart. Either it was fake in the first place, or it didn’t mean much when problems arose.

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