Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:22 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Andrée Champagne, who made her name playing a key role in Les belles histoires des pays d’en haut, one of Radio-Canada’s best-loved téléromans, has died. She went from her TV role to a political career, representing the Progressive Conservatives for St-Hyacinthe and joining the Mulroney cabinet as Minister for Youth and Deputy Speaker. Later she was a Conservative senator for some years. She was 80. La Presse doesn’t say whether it was Covid.

    • Kate 12:00 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      The vandalism of a small Côte Saint-Luc synagogue this spring has been declared not motivated by anti‑Semitism by relevant groups.

      • Chris 18:08 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        With no elaboration or explanation. Odd.

      • Kate 18:16 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        They note there’s no sign outside that it exists. It’s in someone’s house.

        Reading between the lines, someone had a psycho break, or the like. At a guess.

      • Chris 23:06 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Yeah, but why is there a need to read between the lines? Sounds like they know what happened, but don’t want to say.

        The perpetrator bothered to stuff religious items into toilets though, so kinda suggests they had a beef with maybe the rabbi or congregation or the religion itself. Maybe someone was transitioning to atheism and freaked out along the way. 🙁

        I wonder if B’nai Brith will update their website:

      • Kate 09:52 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        Chris, you can’t leave religion alone, can you.

    • Kate 11:25 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      La Presse has a piece on the transformation of a pleasant but nondescript little duplex in Villeray into a black cube that sucks in all the light and has as cold and relentless an interior as any I’ve seen. The transformation also inevitably turns a two-household dwelling into a single, as these things do.

      Oh, and there’s the breakfast bar. Of course.

      • Jonathan 14:00 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I wish people didn’t treat these so positively. This is pure speculative flipping, and takes a unit out of the market, during the time of a housing crisis.

        Luckily the borough has now passed a new ordonnance which disallows any conversion of duplex and triplex. There is a lot of opposition to this. The borough had received 19 questions during the last council meeting on only this subject (meaning these owners are organized). Usually the most one subject receives is 5 or 6 questions, mostly complaining about parking. I had a person knock on my door asking me to sign her petition to allow the conversions but I refused. Every owner has the possibility of asking for an exemption, and I think this is a good mechanism to make sure that these conversions are done tastefully (and I don’t consider the one on du Rosaire tasteful one bit) and to ensure it improves the housing conditions in the borough (affordability,access to housing, reduction of mineralized surfaces, etc).

      • Raymond Lutz 14:42 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        I’m worried, this erodes our ownership rights… What’s the use of having a ‘business oriented’ PM if he lets this kind of thing happen?

      • mare 16:15 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        Evaluation: 458 700 $
        Asking price: 1 950 000 $

        My guess is that they spent too much money on the acquisition and renovation, forgetting the old real estate expression: Location Location Location. I’m surprised the agent agreed to list it for that price.

        If you want and can afford a house like that, it’s unlikely you want to live in that part of Vileray.

      • david33 16:22 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        This type of renovation should be prohibited full stop.

        The city and even the boroughs have it within their power.

      • JaneyB 17:20 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        @Mare – They will never get $1.9 million for any residence in Villeray, LMAO. The agent’s probably a friend. The project itself and publicity in La Presse are undoubtedly to push the name of the architect to get other business, probably commercial from the look of the decor. Likely they got the publicity because the writer grew up in the house.

      • walkerp 22:14 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

        LOL that bathroom!

      • dwgs 10:10 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        I actually don’t mind the exterior. The interior though, blech. Have fun eterneally Windexing those walls.
        Also, before we condemn all conversions, I converted a small over/under duplex in NDG because it’s what we could afford. We rented out the upper until we had kids and then 900 sq. ft. just wasn’t enough. It was either buy something bigger we could afford (which would probably mean leaving the city centre ) or take one rental unit off the market. It wasn’t a hard choice.

      • DeWolf 11:22 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        The great thing about plexes is they are inherently flexible, which includes being able to combine two units into one. Rather than prohibiting that kind of conversion outright, maybe we should make it easier to add an extra floor or back alley unit to rent out. Cities change, the trick is to manage that change, not to (uselessly) try to prevent it.

      • mb 12:09 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        Tasteless generic renovation screaming for attention disguised as architectural gesture. Black has become the colour of arrogance in Montreal architecture of the past years. The price is a joke, more a measure of the owner’s self-esteem than of this piece of real estate.

      • Alison Cummins 12:46 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        Dark colours for building exteriors was cool until about five years ago, at which point it had already started to look dated. These days, interestingly, white is what stands out to me. “Oh how clean and fresh!” whereas before white just looked sad and dusty.

        The interior… well, sure, lots of windows and open space is always beautiful. But how are you managing heating and cooling in Montreal’s variable weather without doors to allow separate temperature control for different parts of the house? There’s not even an entryway door to keep January wind out of the house when going in and out. I guess the plan is to do this american style, where the front door is just for decoration and the real door is in the [heated] garage? But that would go against the whole point of living in the city, which is walkability and closeness to neighbours who just pop in.

        Yes, I am all for encouraging extra floors.

      • Jonathan 13:45 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        I’m not necessarily against these conversions. At present the approval of the conversion is an administrative process. With the new by-law my understanding is that it is not allowed except through an exemption, which makes it an approval process that goes through council and the citizen consultation committee. This would mean that the borough council, planners and committee can require certain conditions. For instance, it could disallow the conversion in the article because of the fact that it looks like a flip. It could make a condition that there be two units, or one rental, or require that an extra floor be added with a rental unit, etc.

      • david88 16:46 on 2020-06-07 Permalink

        “The great thing about plexes is they are inherently flexible, which includes being able to combine two units into one. Rather than prohibiting that kind of conversion outright, maybe we should make it easier to add an extra floor or back alley unit to rent out. Cities change, the trick is to manage that change, not to (uselessly) try to prevent it.”

        This a good idea that I obviously support enthusiastically.

        Practically, however, nobody but a developer is going to build an extra floor or lane unit when they simply want a well-located 8.5. You’re talking about $40,000 in renovation costs vs. $200,000 in constructions costs (conservatively).

        We need to prevent conversions such as this for a variety of reasons, but chief among them is to avoid Manhattanization of these neighborhoods – where the population density decreased as the area gets wealthier. It threatens the entire commercial and social eco-system of a given neighborhood.

        We should be going the exact opposite way.

      • Mary 16:02 on 2020-07-13 Permalink

        There have been at least five houses sold in Villeray that fetched more than $1.5 million. One recently sold for $2.2 million. One of the most sought-after neighbourhoods in the city. But just because one can does not mean one should. Save the shoebox houses, say I.

    • Kate 11:14 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      The Propos Montréal blog has a piece on the Aqueduc de Montréal this weekend, coinciding with a series of photos posted by Archives de Montréal on the same subject.

    • Kate 10:39 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

      Police will be acting on a zero-tolerance policy for homeless encampments that tend to crop up over summertime. It’s a decision made with the city and its public health department to minimize areas of Covid contagion. And although the city has been providing alternative shelter, not all itinerants want to use them.

      Some advocates for the homeless say that this policy distances them from services. This CBC piece puts more emphasis on the camps causing disruptive behaviour than on concerns with contagion. I think they could’ve asked why it is some of the homeless “weren’t interested in going to a shelter” – what’s the problem? Can it be solved?

      • Kate 10:34 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

        The city’s three new food halls were a brief fad before the pandemic arrived, and limited takeout options haven’t been a success for them. La Presse inquires about the future for a format that explicitly encouraged strangers to share tables.

        • Kate 10:28 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

          Food bank Moisson Montréal reports that, by May 31, it had distributed $5 million more in food than at the same date last year.

          • Kate 09:44 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

            SPVM police chief Sylvain Caron was invited to march in the protest against police violence planned for Sunday, but the invitation has been withdrawn. Le Devoir’s report still says he will march as does the CBC’s.

            Some storefronts have been boarded up downtown after a police warning about this protest. It was only Saturday that I noticed this brief piece saying Valérie Plante had condemned the vandalism that came from a few casseurs at the end of an otherwise peaceful march last weekend.

            The Gazette ran a high-minded and noble sounding op‑ed from Jacques Duchesneau about police brutality, but let’s not forget he was chief of the SPVM for four years and either didn’t or couldn’t put an end to racial profiling either.

            • david33 11:20 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              Why would anyone be opposed to the police chief getting onside to reduce police violence? What, you don’t want change, you just want to virtue signal?

            • Kate 11:43 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              CBC’s update says some protesters don’t want him there. It’s not virtue signalling.

            • Chris 11:49 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              They invited him, then disinvited him? Sounds like they were bluffing, and he called their bluff.

            • Kate 12:08 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              In a situation like this, who is “they”? More than one group is involved, and they wouldn’t necessarily be in agreement on all details. Someone gets the bright idea to invite the police chief, someone else says whoa, not cool. I don’t know that’s what happened but it’s probable.

            • NoDarnGood 12:15 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              The only “virtue signalling” in these cases is that of officials like Duchesneau who march, kneel, or offer platitudes and then effect no positive change.

            • Blork 15:03 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              According to the CTV article it sounds like they un-invited the police chief because they didn’t feel like his presence would be sincere and that him being there would “reinforce police impunity.”

              Side note: I have no idea what Jacques Duchesneau’s record is as police chief, but I do know that you can’t completely change a police department’s culture in four years. You can change the policies (I don’t know whether or not he did that) but that doesn’t change the behaviour of individual cops who personally feel the need to racially profile unofficially because they’re basically racist (or at least ignorant, which in this context is defacto racist).

            • Douglas 16:14 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              Now its okay to gather in large crowds… I thought the expertz told me going outside and doing things is putting lives at risk. I guess not even the expertz care anymore.

              The irony.

            • Kevin 18:24 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              In the 40 new public health directives issued in the second half of this week the core stays the same: wash your hands, stay 2 metres away from people, wear a mask if you can’t stay away from people.

              Otherwise going to a demonstration is no different than going to a park, which never stopped being permitted.

            • Chris 21:21 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              Both the CBC and CTV articles manage to tell us there is a protest Sunday, but not where or when it starts. Why is that? For anyone wanting to join, seems it’s a Place Emilie-Gamelin next to the Berri-UQAM metro station at 11:00.

            • Michael Black 23:01 on 2020-06-06 Permalink

              I’m sure the article I first read said he’d asked for an invitation, so they invited him. And then people objected, hence the invitation withdrawal.

              Dialog is one thing. But this could just be public relations, or the delusion of someone who thinks racism and police abuse is bad, but can’t see that it’s partly his prblem.

              Once again, in 1986 the Quebec Human Rights Commission had a hearing on racial profiling. I know this sort of thing goes back to at least 1976, not “racial” that I know of in my case, but it’s the same thing.

              It’s still being talked about, so it’s not right that some top cop be part of a march. This isn’t about making him feel good, it’s about him and the force changing so it doesn’t happen again. If they stop someone because of the way they look, or because “they don’t belong”, then it’s way easy for the cops to continue to treat someone like a criminal, which then could lead to a beating or killing. I don’t know, but I think that’s the sequence, not abuse because the cops “don’t like blacks or natives” but a more subtle mistrust because someone is different. If they want to stop someone, they have to have a real reason.

              Maybe in ten years it will be so rare that the occasional event can have cops protesting, but it’s too embedded now. They need to prove it first, before they can show “outrage”

          • Kate 00:22 on 2020-06-06 Permalink | Reply  

            Yvon Lamarre, chairman of Jean Drapeau’s executive committee from 1978 to 1986, and later editor of the Journal de Montréal for five years, died this week of Covid. He was 85. Lamarre is credited with creating the city’s housing bureau, the Lachine Canal park and the city’s initial bike paths, as well as the adoption of disabled accessibility laws, among other things.

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