Updates from March, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:54 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The second CAQ budget came down Tuesday. There’s no immediate money for the orange line extension to Bois-Franc. The CAQ is playing the game so many Quebec governments have played: it’s proposing instead a study of extending that branch of the line all the way to Laval.

    The CAQ is also proposing to “decongest” the city with a new north-south axis in the east end – that will be studied, too.

    We can’t seem to get this right. Either we spend 30 years glacially studying a metro extension anyone could see would be beneficial, while the pension fund, for godsake, simply hands down the REM without any studies, just “do this” and it gets built, without a word from the transit commission or the urban studies people at the universities.

    Also not in the budget: money for social housing. Valérie Plante is disappointed in the CAQ’s choice to ignore the city’s housing crisis.

    • Francesco 09:57 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      The language on page 24 that basically makes empty promises — essentially “we will study again because we like studies instead of actions” — includes a bizarre notion of extending the REM from Bois-Franc into central Laval, and sending a stub from Bois-Franc down to the ersatz orange line terminus at Côte-Vertu. None of this makes any sense. Apart from the fact that there is no room for a surface or aerial train in either direction there — from Émile-Nelligan to the Back River is built up, same for Côte-Vertu to Poirier — but again, the Orange Line tunnel already extends to Poirier (and is too narrow for the wider REM vehicles).

      Then there’s the silliness of the concept: connection of the Orange Line to the REM is urgent, in part, because of the tidal wave of development in the Decarie/40 sector; a Royalmount resident going to YUL would need to schlepp across Decarie to the metro, ride two stops, surface, change to the REM, ride 2km to Bois-Franc, then change to an airport train? They’d hop in an Uber is what they’d do.

    • Ian 12:56 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      That whole area around Royalmount is a mess. My wife worked literally 10 minutes by bus the other side of the triangle in VSL west of Acadie and it took her as long to get to work from Mile End (metro, 2 buses) as it takes for me to get to Ste Anne (bus, metro, bus). It’s absurd what an utter shitshow the Triangle is. It takes me about 45 minutes to an hour to drive to Ste Anne depending on how many people are on the road and about half that time is just getting past the Triangle. It’s full of trucks no matter what time of day it is because whether you are going to Laval or the Champlain or VSL or downtown or the big box outlets or wherever all the trucks have to pass through that bottleneck, and they are traveling all hours of the day.

      That said it’s 14 minutes to Gare Ahuntsic by the 179 from the Rockland Centre… shame the existing train doesn’t connect to the airport.

    • Francesco 17:25 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      Succinctly, if one doesn’t live directly within the Metro’s catchment, or isn’t a 9-to-5 downtown commuter from Roxboro or Beaconsfield, public transit in Greater Montreal has *always* been a dysfunctional mess. For over 30 years from 1966-on, my dad drove himself (or more often, got a lift) from central Pierrefonds to Roxboro CN station and took the train to work in the morning and back home again at night. This at a time when road commuter traffic was almost nonexistent and gas cost a smaller percentage of the budget it does today.

      When I started commuting to school in Westmount, I tried every mode and route Via public transit and none of it worked well. 24-walk 2 km-CN train-205 all over Creation-walk a km wasn’t a very nice way to get home after a long day!

      Now with REM we have an opportunity to make transit throughout Greater Montreal infinitely better, but we’re dithering on the most simple, logical projects that would ensure it. After a big push throughout 2019, we haven’t heard a peep about the Dorval REM extension since before the federal election last fall. Let’s hope Marc Garneau will have an update with positive news soon, as the TBM starts boring under the airport this spring. I’ve read many ambiguous reports about the PQI and its targets since last night and similarly hope that the summaries that include Christian Dubé’s mention of the Orange extension are actually correct.

  • Kate 18:15 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    An 82-year-old man is in critical condition after a stack of metal poles dropped from a construction site directly on top of him, in Lasalle Verdun on Tuesday.

    • denpanosekai 23:34 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Nah this is actually in Verdun right by the hospital and auditorium 🙁 hope he pulls through.

    • Kate 07:32 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      You’re right. I forgot that Lasalle Boulevard is largely in Verdun. Thanks.

    • Ian 13:09 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      It’s a funny part of town. I have a friend who lives on First in Lasalle and she always has to be sure when giving directions people don’t get it confused with First in Verdun, which is inconveniently close. To make matters worse, Google maps has issues recognizing First in Lasalle – you can only enter it as 1re Av, Montréal, whereas First (or 1st) in both Lachine and Verdun can be entered in French or English. Ironically 1st in Verdun is a way more French area than 1st in Lasalle.

    • Kate 15:20 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      Right. And to add to my comment, Lasalle metro station is also in Verdun. In the far east end of it, too.

      (In any other town we’d say that was the north end, but on the Montreal compass, it’s east.)

      Ian, there are chunks of numbered streets elsewhere on the island, too. Rosemont, Montreal East, also Anjou, it seems to me. Must cause some confusion.

    • Dhomas 00:41 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

      Not Anjou (that I know of), but RDP definitely has numbered streets.

    • EmilyG 09:13 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

      There’s also a Fifth street in Pointe-Claire, with no other numbered streets in that area.

    • CE 14:37 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

      I had started, but never finished a series of articles on the numbered streets in Montreal. I think there are nine 1e rue/ave etc. on the island.

  • Kate 18:09 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    A person with COVID-19 took public transit in Montreal on a couple of dates specified in the item, as well as an RTL bus in Longueuil.

    Meantime, the federal government is promising unspecified aid for workers affected by the virus. They ought to be prepared to step up and cover two weeks’ pay for anyone who has to quarantine, and with a quickness. I don’t expect it.

    Much as Evenko has done with the Bell Centre, the management of the Olympic stadium is promising to sanitize its premises in advance of a CONCACAF match the Impact is playing against Honduras’ CD Olimpia Tuesday evening, as well as two exhibition baseball games planned for March 23 and 24.

    • EmilyG 19:15 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      The first linked article gives the times and dates that the person was on public transit, as well as when to watch out for symptoms, though it also says the risk of infecting someone else was still pretty low.
      At least the buses/metros aren’t as bad as cruise ships in terms of infection risks..

    • EmilyG 09:13 on 2020-03-12 Permalink

      I do seem to see the stair railings in the metro stations being wiped down/sanitized more often by employees in the past few days.

  • Kate 12:59 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    I see on Facebook that Rouè-Doudou Boicel has died. His venue the Rising Sun on Ste‑Catherine brought a lot of music to this town.

    • Tee Owe 16:21 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Not sure it was on Ste Catherine- St Antoine maybe? Hope my memory still has some value

    • Tee Owe 16:22 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Sad to say him Bye

    • Blork 17:00 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Rising Sun was definitely on Ste-Catherine, just west of Bleury (in what is now the Quartier des Spectacles). It closed after a big fire in 1990.

    • Kate 19:14 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      To quibble, the Rising Sun was in the block just east of Bleury, the address being 286 Ste‑Catherine West – the same block as the Spectrum.

      According to this piece in the Gazette Boicel tried to move the club down to where Rockhead’s Paradise had been, on St‑Antoine, which is what Tee Owe may be remembering, but it didn’t flourish there and he moved it back up to Ste‑Catherine. Then the fire put it out of business in 1990.

    • Blork 20:36 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Kate, you’re right. I was thinking Bleury but seeing Jeanne-Mance in my mind’s eye. So yeah. Specifically, above where the Sesame restaurant is now (in the post-fire rebuild).


    • thomas 09:06 on 2020-03-11 Permalink

      During the Rising Sun era, Boicel lived in the apartment at the corner of Ste-Catherine O and Jeanne-Mance (currently above a Starbucks).

    • Lisa Finken 13:43 on 2020-04-30 Permalink

      I worked for him oh so briefly in 1979 at the Rising Sun, until I came to understand the conditions of working there were you had to sleep with him. No thanks!

  • Kate 12:37 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The mayor held a presser Tuesday morning to announce that the city’s civil authorities are now on alert even though we’ve had few cases of COVID-19 so far.

    Twenty people were seen and tested on the first day of the Hotel-Dieu’s coronavirus clinic Monday.

    The Canadiens are keeping visitors out of the dressing room, and Evenko promises to ramp up cleanliness at the Bell Centre, but hockey games are expected to go on normally.

    Travel agents (they still exist) are feeling the chill, and a Montreal MP who went to a political event in the U.S. where a confirmed coronavirus case was present has gone into voluntary self‑quarantine.

    • Meezly 16:08 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      I’ve been taking the 55 south to work. Will definitely feel a chill as a pass by Hotel-Dieu…a bit too close for comfort!

    • JP 19:31 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      I sort of know what you mean, Meezly. I had to pass by the JGH on Cote-de-Neiges to get to a library on Sunday…I walked on my way there, but decided to hop on one of the buses the way back. The combination of passing by a major hospital and the air on the bus being so stuffy and worries about this virus made me get off after just one stop.

  • Kate 08:08 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    The disarray at CDN-NDG borough hall is suggested by even a quick skim of the Gazette account and the TVA account, portraying an administration in chaos. How it started and who’s to blame are difficult to discern.

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

      I feel like we’ve been reading about administrative disarray in NDG for at least 20 years.

    • Kate 12:21 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Trying to think how to write (however briefly) about that mess made me realize I don’t even know whether it’s the borough mayor who’s supposed to bring order, or if not, who, given how Sue Montgomery was ejected from Projet over a report from the city comptroller general.

      And then I thought, maybe there’s some fundamental flaw in the relationship between city and borough. The borough system was cooked up, after all, on the fly, to assuage people left dissatisfied after the city merger-demerger mess (2002-2006) sparked by PQ meddling. Onetime independent suburbs were turned into boroughs, but then new boroughs were ordained from chunks of the city that had had their own organic lives but now found they had to act in concert – Cartierville and Ahuntsic, NDG and Cote-des-Neiges, and Park Ex, Villeray and St‑Michel, cobbled together to make bureaucratic units.

      The wonder is that, on the whole, it seems to work, but it shouldn’t surprise us that in CDN‑NDG, once steered by Michael Applebaum, fractures are now showing. This is, after all, the borough where a senior manager killed himself after UPAC interviewed him in 2013.

    • walkerp 13:44 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      I actually found the clearest explanation in The Senior Times of all places. Unfortunately, it’s not on their website, but you can download a pdf of the print edition. Check the article on page 5. Their take is that it’s the bureaucrats stonewalling. If that is the case, the really disturbing question is why Mayor Plante is coming down so harshly against Sue Montgomery. You have to wonder what pressures are being brought on her. Very disturbing, because it suggests corruption, which I really hoped/thought Plante was not connected to.

    • Ian 14:51 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      The Senior Times has actually been giving really good coverage to this issue – in depth, with lots of background the larger news outlets seem to be glossing over. I found this recent editorial very enlightening, too: Projet Montréal disappoints in failing to support Sue Montgomery

    • Mark Côté 16:10 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      It reminds me of those old British comedies, Yes Minister and Yes Prime Minister, which were all about the clash between the long-tenured unelected officials and the transient elected ones. Except this is much less funny. As both a proud NDGer, a proud (at the time, at least) Projet voter, and a friend of a friend of Sue Montgomery, this is profoundly confusing and disheartening.

    • Jack 18:32 on 2020-03-10 Permalink

      Yeah the kiss of death for any elected official in dealing with a career civil servant.
      “After touring the building, I realized it could not be saved. I asked for a professional audit of the building and the senior bureaucrat told my chief of staff we should have the result of the audit in August and that there was a contract.
      It turned out there was no contract, and there was no audit. He tried to blame an underling, and I said, ‘No, it’s your responsibility’,” Montgomery recalls.

  • Kate 07:50 on 2020-03-10 Permalink | Reply  

    It’s an icy morning and some schools are closed.

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