Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:32 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Rosemont-La Petite Patrie borough has decided not to pedestrianize its commercial streets after all, and will soon be withdrawing its corridors sanitaires.

    • EmilyG 20:58 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      That’s too bad. Rosemont is one of the least pedestrian-friendly areas I know of in Montreal (of the areas I know well.)

    • Ian 08:22 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      I can see it, Mont-Royal is super crowded even at the best of times, is way more money, and has narrow sidewalks. Beaubien… not so much.

    • Kate 08:43 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Masson might’ve been fine, though, at least between the tracks and boulevard St-Michel, the stretch where they used to hold their street fair. It’s a nice little urban commercial area.

    • DeWolf 09:42 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      It surprises me they are also withdrawing the corridors sanitaires but maybe this is to facilitate terrasses for restaurants when they reopen.

    • DeWolf 09:44 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      (Croteau mentions that businesses weren’t interested in “terrasses in the street” but I assume he is referring to communal terrasses, not private ones.)

    • Spi 09:56 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Croteau was proposing Transit Malls, not fully pedestrianized streets. Transit malls stay open to busses and pedestrians can “occupy” the street between busses. It’s a bad in-between measure that in the context of Beaubien and Masson brought little improvement. You don’t close/occupy the whole street thus no clever social distancing design but you close enough of it to create a localized parking problem.

      It’s one of those things that if they had bothered to develop a plan before announcing the idea they wouldn’t be looking foolish now.

    • Ian 11:06 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      …which makes me wonder if the Mont-Royal buses will get rerouted to (for instance) St-Joseph. That seems like the best plan…

    • Joey 11:27 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      @Ian I saw a FB notice from the Plateau saying to click a link for full details about how things will be adjusted to accommodate the pedestrianization of Mont-Royal. See for yourself what “full details” (“toutes les infos”) means: https://www.mont-royal.net/nouvelles/lavenue-du-mont-royal-devient-pietonniere-du-15-juin-jusqua-lautomne/

      Spoiler alert – nothing about the 11 and 97 buses. My guess is they will run along St-Joseph and be able to access the metro station via Berri and Rivard intersections, which will remain open to cars.

      As a Villeneuve resident I’m a little concerned that our street will become a parking lot or thruway, especially with southbound streets like Esplanade and Jeanne-Mance being turned around (and with all the traffic from Esplanade south of Mont-Royal routed right through to Villeneuve). I can’t recall the stretch of Mont-Royal between St.-Laurent and Parc ever being purposefully closed in my ten years in the neighbourhood. Doesn’t seem like there’s a lot of upside. Usually we only get loads of extra traffic when St.-Urbain is closed south of Villeneuve, so hopefully things won’t be too excessive.

    • Spi 13:04 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      @Joey This is the first I’ve heard about Esplanade and Jeanne-Mance changing direction. You mean they’ll both be northbound now?

      The only problem this potentially solves is avoiding lost drivers driving to a dead-end when they reach Mont-Royal but that could just as easily be solved with temporary “cul-de-sac” signs at Villeneuve.

      If you live in the area between Villeneuve/Mont-Royal/Park and St-Urbain and you drive the only way to get back to your residence is to take St-Urbain come back up Esplanade try to get through the miss-aligned intersection at Mont-Royal which has been a problem for years when those 2 segments of esplanade weren’t even connected. It makes no sense, the locals are just going to drive through the alleyways as many already do.

    • fliflipoune 13:21 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Il y a eu beaucoup de confusion sur le « pourquoi » de ce recul. La raison est avant tout sanitaire: le document de recommendations pour l’aménagement urbain cet été spécifie des distances pour les terrasses de la rue. C’était impossible d’avoir cette distance, une terrasse et un autobus dans la rue. Les terrasses traditionnelles seront très difficiles, voire impossible sur une rue qui n’est pas 100% piétonne. L’arrondissement préfère alors ouvrir la rue à la circulation et mettre des terrasses partagées à certains endroits. C’est un ajustement à cause des restrictions pour le COVID.

    • Patrick 14:24 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      @Kate, agree with you about rue Masson. Nice vibe there, but are cars really much of a problem on that street?

    • Joey 15:01 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      @Spi look at the map: https://www.mont-royal.net/workspace/uploads/files/plan-de-pietonnisation-de-l-avenue-du-mont-royal_1.pdf Maybe you can figure out how someone is supposed to access Jeanne-Mance north of Mont-Royal by car, but I can’t (other than via the alley running parallel to Mont-Royal from Parc to St-Urbain, I guess)…

    • Spi 15:24 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      @Joey I’m really struggling to even understand the need to close Mont-Royal between Parc and Saint-Urbain. It doesn’t add a meaningful amount of public space when you’ve got the entirety of parc Jeanne-Mance right there. It’s not a stretch of particularly popular shops, I don’t see what the veterinarian/coffee shop/florist/ and mostly take out spots gain from it. Only Hà and Le Fillet potentially gain from expanded terraces.

      Esplanade is about to get much busier, it’s a really quiet street now but all those park goers and picnickers that take esplanade hoping to find primo parking next to the park will be forced into your area.

    • Kate 16:51 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Patrick, it’s not that cars are a problem on Masson or any given street, it’s that it changes the whole vibe of a street if you don’t have them. That’s why street fairs usually involve blocking motor traffic, and why sidewalk sales that don’t involve blocking traffic never feel like much.

  • Kate 20:02 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Quebec politics alert: Bill 61. CAQ is trying to pull a collection of fast ones while everyone’s looking in another direction. The Gazette meekly calls it a bill to cut red tape and restart Quebec’s economy. But note the following points, culled from Xavier Camus’s Facebook (my translations):

    Article 6: Government expropriations can’t be challenged
    Articles 3 and 50: Government contracts awarded without bidding process
    Articles 15 to 26: Construction permits to be allowed in previously protected areas
    Article 51: No one can sue the government or any of its members
    Article 4: No future law can be debated for more than one hour
    Articles 31 and 32: Government can change any law or rule

    Please read what this UdeM law professor has to say about this power grab. It’s a brief comment but a trenchant one.

    • Ian 08:03 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Ah yes, the old “I’m going to pass a law so I can do what I want so you won’t be allowed to say or do anything about it” trick. A classic.

    • DeWolf 09:57 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Truly insane. If this passes we’ll be electing dictatorships – governments that can do whatever they want, with no checks and balances, so long as they have a majority.

    • Tim 10:12 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      “Government contracts awarded without bidding process.” Has nothing been learned? WTF?

    • Daniel 10:29 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Well, that’s depressing on so many levels.

    • JaneyB 11:06 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      “Government contracts awarded without bidding process.”…all I can say is ‘Ilot Voyageur’, Charbonneau…sigh.

    • Ian 11:13 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Ah well so much for ever having bridges that don’t fall down 🙁

  • Kate 18:24 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Thanks to whoever voted for this website on CultMTL’s “Best of Montreal” survey (PDF) – we’re on the board at #5 of five. But we’re on the board.

    • ProposMontreal - Martin 19:02 on 2020-06-08 Permalink


    • Michael 21:12 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Technically you’re #4 as pornhub managed to make their list. Love your blog Kate, thank you! Sorry you didn’t make first place.

    • Ian 08:05 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Pornhub, aka Mindgeek, is indeed from and based in Montreal…

      But yes, congrats, Kate!

    • GC 08:31 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      UGH. Can’t believe #3 is even on there, let alone higher than this blog. Congrats.

  • Kate 16:25 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Restaurants will be allowed to reopen elsewhere in Quebec on June 15, in Montreal on June 22. Various limits and sanitary rules will be in place, but – according to what I just heard on radio – alcohol laws may be relaxed.

    I hope the CAQ is taking sensible advice here and is not chiefly motivated by wanting to make people happy in time for St-Jean.

    • qatzelok 20:01 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      White shoes will be permitted starting July 1 and ending on Labor Day.

    • Faiz imam 23:31 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Its snuck in at the bottom of that article, but bigger news as far as i’m concerned is that indoor gatherings of up to 10 people will be allowed on the same dates. That’s a big deal.

    • Kevin 08:38 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Do you have a room that seats 10 while maintaining physical distancing? Cuz I don’t.

    • Chris 09:46 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Kevin: so then don’t invite 10 people to your house. Problem solved.

    • Ian 11:09 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Haha indeed, this is why there is no generic maximum occupancy for buildings… to be fair besides children’s birthday parties I don’t have many situations where there are 10 people from different families in my house, if I’m having adults over it’s in the backyard… but I know not everyone in the city has a backyard.

    • Kevin 14:03 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      i WaS bIeNg FaCeTiOuS.

      Houses aren’t designed to keep people apart, so people are going to invite a gang of friends and family over and act like pre-pandemic times. All while the evidence points to the highest transmission rates coming from people being in close quarters with an infected person for a significant period of time.

      Contrast with what epidemiologists expect to do in the next few months.


  • Kate 11:11 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    Place Bonaventure has shut down its exhibition hall for good. In operation for 57 years, the space has hosted a lot of trade shows over the years, and notably the Salon du livre and the Salon des métiers d’art held before Christmas.

    I still hold out hope I’ll see that thing torn down. I don’t mind brutalism in itself, but Place Bonaventure was designed to turn its back on the street in a way that has damaged that part of town for decades.

    • Michael Black 11:31 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      The Auto Show was there originally. And one time in the sixties I went to an outdoor show there. When we started having computer shows here, later than elsewhere, they were at Place Bonaventure.

      It used to be more than an exhibit hall. There were stores, and not just for food. They even had a promotion at least once where the stores would offer up something on sale, and lower the price each day for a few days. The Compucentre offered an Apple II, the final day the price was almost within reach. But, even if I’d had the money, chances are good it would have been snapped up before the lowest price.

      Was the first local Compucentre there or Place Ville Marie? I suddenly can’t remember. But I remember an ad for their grand opening, and I rushed right down right then. What a disappointment. The name implied a computer store, but they only sold calculators and video games !ike Pong. And that remained for what seemed !ike a long time. I assumed they wanted to lock in the name but didn’t see computers as profitable that early.

      Then Futur Byte opened a few months a few months later on Phillips Square. A real computer store, it was mostly empty every time I went in to check the magazines and books. Slowly the kids found it, so at least the place looked busy.

    • ProposMontreal - Martin 11:59 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Damn! That’s big news. I work in the event industry and this place was hell to deliver to. That back ramp is a mess.

    • Dominic 12:03 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Not sure if you’ve seen it in the last year or so, but extensive construction to the side facing de la Gauchetiere has resulted in gigantic street facing windows to open up the building and bring in natural light for office and retail space.

      That area is pretty dead on weekends, not sure if COVID-19 screwed up their plans for adding a huge amount of downtown office space.

    • Mark Ury 13:25 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Michael—Compucentre was in PVM. I remember playing Akalabeth on the Apple ][ for ages, then popping into Laura Secord for a lemonade and mint bar.

    • Kate 13:36 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Dominic: No, I have not been past the building in a couple of years. Windows would be an improvement – thanks for letting me know.

    • Blork 14:06 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      It’s an improvement at street level (and one level up) but overall, and from a distance, it’s still a big block of doom.


    • Patrick 14:25 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      I agree about the building, but I did enjoy going to the Salon du livre there (even if the acoustics for the author panels were poor). Does the Salle des congrès really have enough room for that huge event? How does the PDC’s compare for accessibility, by the way? I’m always amazed at the number of kids in strollers at the Salon during the daytime hours.

    • Alex L 15:02 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Concrete and glass with a few flowers for the cause, trees cut down: I guess that’s the new trend.

    • Kate 18:31 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Blork’s link reminded me that it’s not only Place Bonaventure that blights that area. The Streetview link shows that the Bonaventure improvements are being done facing that awful parking garage façade which is the only street-level access to our train station – a structure that clearly pre-dates Bonaventure.

      For a city that used to be a major train transport hub, we’ve really messed up our passenger train access. We’ve cut Windsor Station off from ever being used again as a train station, and after patching over the rail access to downtown and enabling the construction of Place Ville-Marie and the Queen Elizabeth hotel, somehow we forgot that we didn’t actually have normal access to the trains any more. Either you have to approach the station through a tunnel, or you have to sneak in from La Gauchetière beside a taxi rank. Toronto has Union Station and New York has Grand Central terminal, and we have a parking garage.

    • Max 21:56 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      This is not really news to me. The reconstruction of the main and 2nd floor of PB has been underway for many months now. Kevric’s current objective seems to be getting store-front clients in along de la Gauch, and a big-box tenant committing to the former exhibition space. Kudos to ’em for picking up this monstrosity for a song whatever years ago and bringing her back from the brink. The building’s gone from something like 30% to 90% occupancy just by them putting in all the new windows, rejigging the entrances, and hooking her up to metro Sqaure Victoria. That’s no mean feat in terms of architectural intervention.

      No, it’s not pretty a building. But Place Bonaventure has earned its rightful spot in the downtown core. I’m confident the the new owners and their architects will make it right by us, in time. Patience, grasshoppers.

    • Robert H 23:46 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Je me rappelle avant la construction lorsque Le Centre Bell était encore en discussion. Il y avait déjà ceux qui se plaignaient que l’aréna couperait La Gare Windsor des voies ferrées. Ils ont recommandé qu’il soit construit au-dessus des lignes de train de banlieue. Mais, bien sûr, il n’y avait pas assez d’argent pour cela. Ainsi, La Gare Windsor a été dépouillée de sa vocation, et ceux qui s’en viennent à Montréal sont accueillis dans un hangar glorifié caché derrière d’autre bâtiments. Je me demande si cette grosse méprise, aussi connue sous le nom de Centre Bell, pourrait être corrigée. Est-il possible d’elever l’ensemble du bâtiment et de restaurer la fonction de la gare? Combien des millions faudrait-il? Mais je rêve.

    • GC 08:46 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      That’s a lot of empty space downtown. I hope it does get used for something.

      And I have to agree about the train station. When I first moved here I kept looking for the “real” entrance to it. I assumed there had to be a facade like Toronto’s Union Station and maybe a grand staircase or ramp.

    • Uatu 10:38 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      I’m just waiting for some slime ball developer to convert it into condos like some dystopian arcology imagined by JG Ballard

    • CE 10:47 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Gare Centrale used to have a sober, art deco facade but it was covered up by the Queen Elizabeth and the other building next to it. There’s still a gap between the buildings which you can see from the satellite view where the old facade is. The most direct entrance to the station is also the least known, go through these doors on René Lévesque and you’ll enter almost directly into the station.

      There’s a corridor next to the food court in the station where you can see lots of historical photos of the station, including a few that show the massive trench that cut through downtown where PVM was eventually built. Montreal has more of a Penn Station than a grand Central, unfortunately.

      At least Gare Centrale has a pretty interesting interior.

      Windsor station is never coming back. Maybe, possibly there was a chance that the Bell Centre would be removed someday so the tracks could again terminate at the station but now that there’s a 50 storey condo building in the way, I wouldn’t hold my breath.

    • Michael Black 11:04 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Now that’s descriptive.

    • CE 11:37 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Hi Kate, I posted a comment with a few links and it seems to have disappeared into the ether. Maybe it went into the spam folder?

    • Kate 11:38 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Sorry about that, CE. It was automatically held for approval because of the links.

    • Robert H 16:30 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Merci, CE. Au moins c’est mieux que Penn Station, le pire.

    • GC 18:27 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Thanks, CE. I lived here a few years before I even discovered that entrance, I think. Granted, most of the time I approach it from the metro or the PVM tunnel… When I worked across the street from the station for a couple of years, I got more familiar with the various entrances.

      I agree the interior is at least interesting. A bit more natural light would be nice, but that’s hard to make happen with all the tall buildings surrounding it. Lots of other main train stations in the world I’ve been to are rather cavelike in their natural light, too, so it’s not like I’m being fair to call just ours out for that.

  • Kate 09:00 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    There have been more reports of animals in the city, as mentioned in some media. On my block, for the first time since I’ve lived in Villeray (2005), skunks have been noticed under a neighbour’s back porch. He’s posted Facebook video of the little ones, admittedly kind of cute, but he’s had to call an animal control company and is now taking contributions toward having them rounded up and taken away.

    We haven’t had any wild turkey sightings, though, and no unusual creatures have been seen in Jarry Park pond.

    • Alison Cummins 09:17 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Gratuitous cute baby skunk video:

    • Alex L 12:02 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Over our neighbourhood in the Sud-Ouest, we’ve been seeing (and hearing) swallows since a few weeks now. And about a month ago, our neighbour saw a wild turkey “jump” his fence and run down the alleyway.

    • walkerp 12:53 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      I don’t know if this is related to the quarantine, but we had an awesome marmot hanging around in our backyard and the neighbours’. I have seen one in our alley in 8 years so pretty rare. Maybe he was just wandering through.

    • MarcG 13:03 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      There are a lot more geese with their goslings hanging around the St-Lawrence riverside in Verdun this year, despite that fact that it’s now overrun with humans.

    • Michael Black 13:15 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      Apparently the ground hog has returned to the neighbourhood. I haven’t seen it in years, but there were reports. Years ago the dog and I saw it in the backyard, and the groundhog ran to underneath the neighbors stairs. Later we saw it on a neighbor’s path, lying still, the dog just watching it carefully.

      But who knows if it’s the same guy.

    • Bert 16:30 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      A friend of mine spotted a turkey in Ahunstic over the weekend and I had one on my lot in Laval about a month ago.

    • EmilyG 21:01 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      The chimney swifts are back, flying overhead in all parts of Montreal, with their twittering. I’ve always liked chimney swifts.
      I also saw someone walking a pet pig, but that doesn’t count as wildlife.

    • JP 22:40 on 2020-06-08 Permalink

      My mom and I spotted a turkey for the first time here in New Bordeaux a couple of weeks ago. We’ve been seeing skunks and ground hogs for years now. As for birds, there are lots of sparrows, robins, cardinals, seagulls, geese, crows, and an elusive blue bird that I think might be a blue jay! It is quite exciting to see new animals and birds in the neighborhood.

      We actually had a cardinal build a nest in a shrub next to our front door. A chick even hatched but after two consecutive days of being watched/approached by a cat, the parents abandoned the nest and the chick died. I know the survival rates of nestlings is low, but we were very sad and disappointed. I often wonder if there was something we could’ve done.

    • Chris 09:49 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      >he’s had to call an animal control company

      “Had to”? Why?

    • Ian 11:12 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Lots of geese in Maurice Richard park in Ahuntsic! By my count there’s 5 adults and their extensive communal childcare system. A regular flotilla of goslings. Down here in Mile End there’s a family of nighthawks that seems to have tripled in size this year, you can hear them out hunting all day and night now that the ambient sound isn’t all trucks and airplanes.

    • Ian 11:18 on 2020-06-09 Permalink


      I take it back, I’m seeing the chimney swifts too, like EmilyG. I realized as soon as I watched the video. I used to live a bit closer to where they nest and at night I could hear them doing that fast dive that makes their feathers shriek, apparently it’s a mating display… I thought it was only nighthawks that did that.

      Plus nighthawks have visible white patches on their wings and don’t sound like swifts haha

    • Kate 12:47 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Chris, kids play in the alley, cats mooch around, people walk their dogs, nobody wants to get skunked or have their animals get skunked. I have to explain this?

      My neighbour took care to find an animal control company that guaranteed it would remove the skunk family elsewhere.

    • Tee Owe 15:12 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Nobody ever have to de-skunk their dog? – hint, tomato juice

    • Tee Owe 15:36 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      JP – about your cardinals – we tried to rescue a crow that was abandoned by its parents – charming little one and lots of good times – but in the end he/she wasn’t up to it, didn’t learn to fly, fell prey to local cats whatever – bottom line, bird parents abandon lost causes, Mom and Dad know best. Nothing you could do, don’t feel bad.

    • dwgs 15:52 on 2020-06-09 Permalink

      Tomato juice to get rid of skunk smell is an old wives tale. Make a solution of one litre of hydrogen peroxide, one quarter cup of baking soda, and a tablespoon or two of dish soap. Or double that depending on the size of the dog. Wash, rinse, repeat.

  • Kate 08:49 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

    A man was shot in Jarry Park on Sunday evening. He’s alive, but not cooperating with police.

    • Kate 08:43 on 2020-06-08 Permalink | Reply  

      More federal money will be announced Monday to support Montreal businesses downtown.

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