Updates from May, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:29 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada phrases this headline strangely: La formule E peut-elle donner une deuxième chance à Montréal? It seems to me that it was Montreal that punted Formula E, not the other way around.

    • Kate 21:28 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Looming cost overruns on several infrastructure projects are worrying city hall, but there’s not many specifics here.

      • Francesco 22:19 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        “(L)a main-d’œuvre moins disponible.” During a period with real unemployment nearing 20% just doesn’t compute. Sure, tradies may be in short supply, but all too often junior skilled workers are consigned to do unskilled grunt jobs, while all it takes for an unskilled applicant to work in construction is a six-hour CNESST course completion and a signed FTQ card.

      • j2 07:16 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

        In Saint Raymond they’re building a roof for a double bocce court for a lot of money. There’s no reason to do that this summer, it can’t be used. There, freed up some labour. (Just don’t leave it the way it is, taking up a quarter of the greenspace for the road to the bocce court.)

        They should be looking at every city project and figuring out whether it can be deferred.

    • Kate 17:54 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Not sure how I feel about Quebec promising up to $200M US to save the Cirque du Soleil. There are conditions, but it may be that the art form is more or less played out for the moment.

      • dwgs 18:43 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        Hell no

      • Ian 18:57 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        Circus arts are a very big force in Montreal’s economy, but like you I have my suspicions about Cirque DeS and they have had some, uh, management issues in the recent past.

        That said everyone who works in circus is unemployed right now, like most of the performing arts, so it’s nice to see the government offering up money to support the arts in any capacity.

      • Max 19:32 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        The NYT ran a piece on the Cirque about 10 days back:


        In a nutshell: they over-reached.

    • Kate 17:26 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      I’m hearing on radio that some water parks are opening so kids can cool off. Will have a link asap.

      Here’s a link about RDP-PAT opening the jets d’eau.

      And here’s Le Devoir on water parks generally opening across the city.

      (I’m not sure why I find the expression splash pads so distasteful. Maybe because it sounds like something you apply to the incontinent?)

      • MarcG 21:51 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        I’ve heard a similar term applied to carpets you put down indoors for dogs to pee on.

    • Kate 15:01 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      The Renaissance chain of second-hand stores has been overwhelmed with donations after a lot of folks went Marie Kondo on their stuff during lockdown.

      • Faiz imam 21:29 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        Good to hear they are open again. I love checking those places out every few months. So many useful items for cheap.

      • walkerp 09:26 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

        I am hoping for a big increase in old paperbacks. They may be the one thing that would cause me to increase my risk appetite for going into a store.

      • Kate 10:15 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

        walkerp, I’m enjoying the covers of old paperbacks that you’ve been posting to Twitter.

      • Ian 16:53 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

        Not to be a killjoy but Renaissance & other thrift stores whose stock comes from donations are killing off used bookstores – most used bookstores have to pay for their stock, 20 cents on the dollar is the going rate.

      • Bill Binns 17:13 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

        I used to love buying paperbacks at Goodwill & Salvation Army stores. I liked the disorganized randomness of it. I have been to several of these stores that organized their books by the color of the spine! Some don’t have any organization at all but gems can be found among the endless Michael Crichton and Tom Clancy titles I would end up buying books I otherwise wouldn’t. I discovered some of my all time favorite books and authors this way.

        Sadly, I don’t go anymore because I’m terrified of bed bugs.

    • Kate 14:41 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Tweets inform us that the Museum of Jewish Montreal on the Main – it’s in the corner space in the green building where the magazine shop used to be – has to move because of landlord issues. They’re looking for a new place before the end of June.

      Update: story from CTV and from the Gazette.

      • mb 15:40 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        Actually, they’re NOT looking for a place before the end of June, they’ll wait out the end of Covid online and will then move into a new space. And I’d be curious to know who is the new owner who gives them 1+ month to vacate.

      • Kate 15:50 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        Thank you for the clarification.

    • Kate 13:50 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

      Some in Montreal North say the reported numbers of infections and deaths are worse than the government is admitting. But it’s difficult to prove or disprove anecdotal evidence.

      • Kate 12:17 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Downtown was fairly busy after reopening on Monday, but the Journal found that Mont-Royal Street has not seen a rush on its stores – but why would that be expected? A lot of folks are necessarily being cautious about how they spend, and many of the merchants along that street deal in non-essentials.

        Le Devoir found shopping streets busy.

        The Journal also notes that nobody can try makeup samples any more. I don’t like saying “well duh” normally, but, well.

        • mare 13:05 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          You can definitely add St-Hubert Plaza to the list of not busy shopping streets. I passed there by bike yesterday and the sidewalks are so narrow that I would avoid them as the plague. They’re also started working on the awnings again so the block north of St-Zotique is closed off as well, with even narrower sidewalks.

          I saw outside line-ups in front of stores on Beaubien and St-Zotique though.

        • Bill Binns 11:34 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

          The only place I’m really desperate to get into is my barber. I was overdue when they shut the world off and now I have pretty much the same hairstyle I had when I was 14 and a big fan of Heavy Metal.

        • Michael Black 12:07 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

          This all gives me more chance for my hair to grow back.

          I thought it was stress and not eating last year, but later I read it was likely the chemotherapy. Nobody warned me about that.

          So 48 years of long hair gone. I can’t even remember how long it took to grow back then.

        • Kate 14:09 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

          Michael Black, sorry, but I thought it was common knowledge that chemo can cause hair loss. Sorry to hear it, and I hope the lockdown gives you a chance to feel back to normal.

          My hair is getting into Lady of Shalott territory. I too was overdue when everything shut down.

      • Kate 09:42 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Were Quebec a country, its rate of Covid deaths per capita would put it in the top five.

        • Alison Cummins 09:55 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          On April 2 our fatalities growth rate peaked at 1.252.

          April 25 it dipped below 1 for the first time but immediately bounced back up again.

          May 7 we dipped below 1 for the second time; May 15 we hit a minimum of 0.954; May 24 we were back up over 1 again. (Source: https://datagraver.com/corona/#/.)

          We were below 1 for 17 days in a row. And now we’re blowing the opportunity to get it under control.

        • MarcG 10:59 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          If you want to share that website with the specific filters you set you need to click on the “share these settings” button in the top right corner and copy that link.

        • Alison Cummins 12:51 on 2020-05-26 Permalink


          Yep. But I’ve had trouble with that in the past, so I’ve given up. The URL is so long that it breaks, so I would have to make a tinyurl which people might or might not trust.

          I figure that if people want to see for themselves they can enter “Quebec” in the region field. Otherwise… datagraver is just the place I pulled my info from.

        • Jonathan 14:18 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          This is a strange way to compare, and I see it so often. We saw it when it was declared that Montreal’s COVID situation was worse than Italy’s. It just shows how you can doctor geographic boundaries to manipulate the truth. I’m a human geographer by training, and this one of the first lessons taught in cartographic demography!

          If we selectively choose regions that have high death rates – take Hubei, or Lombardy, or some Spanish regions, then it could push Quebec down the list to something that would be very impressive.

        • Alison Cummins 14:51 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          If Quebec were a state, it would be eighth after New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Massachusetts, DC, Rhode Island, Louisiana and Michigan.

          https://datagraver.com/corona/#/?regions=canada:hex000000,quebec:hexE135BD,us:hex10ACCD,connecticut:hex44ADFF,delaware:hex3D2584,district of columbia:hex30460D,illinois:hex11A32A,indiana:hexD33D23,louisiana:hexCD5C00,maryland:hexED8638,massachusetts:hex8F4F7D,michigan:hex201E5D,new jersey:hex0BB508,new york:hexA04B42,pennsylvania:hexA7D0EC,rhode island:hexC44C09&logScale=false&perCapita=true&cutYaxis=true&cumulative=true&types=2,3&mappingType=date&mappingMaxDays=200&mappingStartNumber=25&mappingNumberStyle=relative&mappingEventType=lockdown&mappingDate=2020-3-6&smoothening=7&description=Tool%20for%20comparison%20on%20Covid%2019%20development%20for%20countries%20and%20regions

        • Alison Cummins 14:51 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

        • Alison Cummins 14:53 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          (Sorry, ninth.)

        • Jonathan 15:08 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          When you start throwing in regions in Italy, Uk, I think it goes further down on the list. (i put Glasgow, Lanarkshire, Lombardy and Madrid region). That website doesn’t have regional data for most countries, but I think if i entered Amazonias and regions/states/provinces in Iran, Turkey, etc it would be very different.

          The point is there, however. We can’t just pick and choose data that serves a self-determined point. As an aside, this is what I find unappetizing from Aaron Derfel’s tweets. He cherry picks a lot of his stats/charts/graphs.

          All this isn’t to say the situation is great in Quebec. It’s just not as bad as the JdM and the Gazoo wants it to be.

        • Joey 16:01 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          ZOMG if that residence in TMR were a country it would be the global epicentre of COVID-19!!!11111

        • Ian 18:59 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          The thing is Quebec does imagine itself a country in some circles, so this is a relevant metric.,

        • Brett 21:13 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          So, basically, the lockdown was too little, too late. Sweden kicked our ass with no lockdown. Time to open the bars, folks!

        • Kate 21:31 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          Sweden is not kicking anyone’s ass right now, Brett.

          It’s not a race to the bottom.

        • Alison Cummins 08:30 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

          Were Quebec a region in Belgium, Italy, Spain or the UK, it would be number 22 out of 62.


      • Kate 09:09 on 2020-05-26 Permalink | Reply  

        We’re expecting a heat wave period of hot weather to begin Tuesday and end sometime Friday with rain, but the usual public air conditioned spaces are not available as refuges.

        Many CHSLDs have no air conditioning either – part of the general neglect of old people we’re having to face. This item also notes that the heat will be rough on staff wearing full PPE all the time now too.

        • mare 11:20 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          Water playgrounds in parks are also closed, as are pools. And malls with food courts, perfect places for older people to get some respite from the heat. And cinemas, my go-to cool place 🙁

          Ideally the drinking fountains and taps in parks should be turned on, it would cut down on the enormous amount of waste when people can fill their water bottles. The drinking spouts on top can be disabled.
          Add a container of soap (or a big soap bar attached to a rope, I remember those from when I was young, but maybe a European thing) and frequent hand washing while being out in public becomes possible, adding to everyone’s safety. Okay, the soap might get destroyed quickly, but we can try.

          most of the garbage cans in our park Père Marquette) are surrounded by garbage, the city obviously lacks the manpower to empty them often enough. I really don’t get people who put their takeout garbage—cups, plates, bottles, etcetera—on top of the overflowing garbage can, do a little press for show, watch it roll down on the ground, and then just shrug and walk away.

          WTF? You brought it with you, maybe you can just take it home again?

          [insert old man waving stick at clouds gif]

        • EmilyG 11:25 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          With the lack of ways to cool down, I wonder if I could pour water from a watering can out into the ruelle from my balcony onto people below.
          (Dunno, maybe the heat is getting to my brain and I’m having weird ideas.)

        • Chris 11:26 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          And of course now you can’t even use a reusable mug if you wanted to, every place now refuses them. So those garbage piles will grow more.

          And air conditioner sales will go up, thus hastening the vicious circle of more energy consumption.

        • walkerp 11:31 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          With you mare 100%

        • dwgs 11:32 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          Just returned from a long dog walk where we crossed 4 municipalities and a federal park, not one functional fountain anywhere. Many thanks to the kind lady watering her garden who was happy to soak my dogs with her hose and let them have a drink.

        • Jonathan 16:05 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          I don’t mean to sound pedantic, but it’s not a heat wave but a period of hot weather. When the nights drop down into the 20s, it does allow for a respite of cooler weather that helps calm the effects of 30+ degree days.

          It’s makes a difference in terms of the public health response.

        • Kate 17:55 on 2020-05-26 Permalink

          Fixed above, but I observe in my defense that Radio-Canada calls it a vague de chaleur.

        • Mark Côté 00:32 on 2020-05-27 Permalink

          Even during the heat wave of 2018 the night temperatures were in the 20s, with the highest being 24.2 degrees. As far as I can tell overnight temperatures of 30+ degrees are basically unheard of here, so far anyway.

          Environment Canada defines a heat wave as “three or more consecutive days when the maximum temperature is 32°C or more.” It peaked at 33 today so if this isn’t going to be officially a heat wave it’s going to be damned close.

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