Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:41 on 2020-05-03 Permalink | Reply  

    The observatoire de la Place Ville-Marie is going out of business, and I never got around to going up there.

    • EmilyG 19:35 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

      It’s too bad. I always wanted to try it out sometime.

  • Kate 20:29 on 2020-05-03 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse folks won some of the accolades given out by the Fédération professionnelle des journalistes du Québec as well as by the National Newspaper Awards. I assume so did other local media, but I haven’t found links to their stories yet. Here’s the press release.

    A coalition of Canadian papers has posted an open appeal to the federal government for financial support in keeping going. Version française.

    • Kate 20:13 on 2020-05-03 Permalink | Reply  

      (I was sure I’d posted a link to one of these videos before, and even that Blork had commented “It’s like Streetview for the mid-1980s!” but I cannot find either post or comment, so forgive me if I’ve missed a trick.)

      Someone posted a link on Facebook recently to this Youtube shot in (apparently) 1985, not very professionally, but it shows the whole extent of the signage and other details on the north side of the commercial part of Ste-Catherine. For anyone who lived here then, it’s both weirdly familiar and yet “when did that disappear?”

      So I went looking today and found a similar video showing the south side. This one has no date on it, but a cinema is showing “Le Retour du Jedi”, which came out in 1983 (although see below, this was probably 1985 also).

      Both videos have terrible soundtracks.

      Much later update: The links above are defunct, but I think this (north side) and this (south side) are the same films.

      • Andrew 23:02 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        Fascinating, I watched way too much of that, but the other movies at the Palace make it the 1985 re-release of Jedi, which I think I actually saw there during that run, I would have been 7. The Raven show at the Spectrum “ce soir” means it was filmed 23rd April 1985.

      • Kate 23:55 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        Good research, Andrew – thanks!

      • dwgs 07:24 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Those are great. My personal soundtrack for that era would have been … noisier.

      • Chris 12:51 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        A lot fewer global chains, looks like mostly mom & pop shops.

      • Kate 14:06 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Totally. Lots of odd little businesses of the kind that would never be able to afford rent on Ste‑Catherine in our times. Also categories of business that don’t exist any more – Direct Film, record shops, cigar stores. Many more bank branches than now, too.

      • CE 15:29 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        I used to spend a lot of time on Ste-Catherine between Guy and Atwater so know that stretch pretty well. It’s interesting to see that the only businesses on that stretch that still exist are Argo books and the TD bank. Also, there isn’t a single Chinese business which now make up the vast majority of businesses along that stretch.

      • GC 18:30 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Kate, would it really have been that much cheaper then to have retail space on Ste-Cat versus now? (After adjusting for inflation, I mean…) I realize certain areas have been gentrified and are much more expensive now, but hasn’t that one been a central shopping hub pretty consistently over the decades? Are there just more big conglomerates now, pushing up the rents? Is it more expensive, in general, to have retail space? Or are you saying it was because it was post referendum?

        Pardon my ignorance, but I’m genuinely curious. And SO excited to talk about something other than the pandemic!

      • Kate 18:30 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        CE, yes. All the Asian businesses are new since then – mostly since the millennium. That whole stretch was very run down and depressed for years. There was minimal Asian presence on Ste-Cath, although Chez Donburi is there on the south side, just east of Guy, with a sign in the window saying “Mets chinois” even though it was actually a Japanese noodle joint.

        It’s also weird to recall Complexe Desjardins had a plain façade down to street level, and that the various boutiques and restaurants in the frontage were never intended by the original architect. It’s a lesson in how deadening façades can be, and how fixing them in retrospect can end up looking pretty bad.

      • Uatu 18:57 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Wow. Stuff I haven’t seen in years. Station 10, Peel pub, classics, Coles, the Seville, Kresge. The square in front of Les terraces used to be a meeting place for me and my friends. Thanks for the link, Kate. So many memories….

      • Kate 19:07 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        GC, I can’t give you numbers on this. But there were a few little grocery stores, including one next door to Classic Books near Crescent. Imagine, a grocery store between the Apple store and Ogilvy’s, you couldn’t do that now. Just a lot more ordinary stuff, rather than big glitzy chain clothing and shoe stores, although there were a few of those as well.

        The only small-scale businesses I’m aware of still existing on Ste-Catherine are a couple of tiny old‑style barbershops, because a few friends have mentioned going to them. They used to be run by Italian guys, mostly, and now are run by guys from the Maghreb – but “the haircuts are the same.”

      • Blork 20:54 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        There’s still a small grocery store on that stretch, Epicerie Mizan. It was at the corner of de Maisonneuve and MacKay until they knocked that building down last year, so they moved to that spot on St-C, between St-Matieu and St-Marc. Still a handful of podunk shops along there too, at least pre-COVID-19, plus a lot of family run Asian restaurants.

      • GC 22:22 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Kate, fair enough. I’m just curious. Obviously, I’d expect St-Viateur to be a lot more expensive to have a business on than thirty years ago, but I would have thought downtown would be similar…in contemporary dollers.

        I was alive in the mid-eighties, but not living in Quebec. When we’d visit family here, we’d mostly stick to the ‘burbs. So, I don’t have a lot of memories of the cityscape until the nineties. I’m sure my aunts kept me away from what they considered shadier parts of Ste-Cat, too.

      • Ian 10:58 on 2020-05-05 Permalink

        I remember in the early 00s telling friends from out of town that almost all the sex shops are now noodle restaurants and nobody believed me.

      • Ian 07:42 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        I’ll see your mid-80s downtown Ste Kitty and raise you one Promenade Ontario from 1978

      • CE 08:42 on 2020-05-07 Permalink

        That’s an amazing video Ian. Thanks!

    • Kate 11:26 on 2020-05-03 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse’s Isabelle Hachey is a brave woman. She volunteered for a week at the Lasalle CHSLD in the midst of a bad outbreak of Covid.

      • Jack 13:59 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        When you compare the production of information by La Presse and its columnists and line them up against the Journal de Montreal it s very telling. Lagace, Hachey, Boisvert and Journet have been providing insightful pointed journalism and opinion. They have opened my eyes to a lot. I think we all have a responsibility to try keep this institution afloat.
        This is the title of Richard Martineau’s column in the Journal,”La République indépendante du West Island “.

      • Kate 14:43 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        I know, Jack – I saw the headline and decided not to provoke myself by reading that (and I don’t live in the West Island and never have).

      • qatzelok 17:50 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        Kate, I have heard that there are photos of you “out there” mowing a lawn in Beaconsfield.

        Can you deny these allegations?

      • Tee Owe 12:19 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        “I was mowing a lawn in Beaconsfield, when …..”
        OK, I led, now you follow

      • Kate 14:08 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        The irony here is that I have mowed a lawn in Beaconsfield, although I have no idea how qatzelok knows that. An old friend lives there, and needed help with the landscaping a couple of summers ago when I was between jobs. So I went out there a few times (usually by train if I could) and ran the mower around. For suburbanites it’s a pain, but for a city person like myself it’s a novelty.

        But nobody took any pictures.

      • Blork 14:30 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        I hate mowing my lawn even though I have a sweet lightweight and quiet European designed electric mower. But fortunately for me, my next-door neighbor got “retired early” a few years ago and now she’s bored AF so whenever she mows her lawn she mows mine too. I’ve never even asked her, she just does it. So I haven’t mowed my front lawn since 2017.

      • Blork 14:35 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        …neighbors across the street probably think I have kompromat on her or something.

      • Uatu 15:23 on 2020-05-04 Permalink

        Lucky you! I hated mowing, but at times it could almost be quite Zen. The day would have to be cool without bugs, tho.

    • Kate 08:20 on 2020-05-03 Permalink | Reply  

      Police will continue patrolling social distancing even as nicer weather brings more people out into the sun.

      While François Cardinal ponders turning Montreal into one huge terrasse, this CTV piece is somewhat more dubious about outcomes for restaurants and terrasses under what I’m seeing more and more often described, in a tight-lipped fashion, as “the situation”.

      • PO 12:00 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        Pilot project. Allow bars and restos to serve alcoholic drinks to go in a plastic cup, New Orleans style. Allow X number of patrons into the resto/bar at a time to order and get their drink, then they exit and sip on the street 6 feet from others.

        Then once we see it’s successful, make it permanent and write it into the constitution or something, for fun.

      • Tee Owe 14:27 on 2020-05-03 Permalink

        @PO – I second that emotion

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