Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:37 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro introduces us to a map showing where people can go for free to cool off over the next few days, which are expected to be scorching.

    • Kate 20:34 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

      The trial of two men accused of a 2017 murder in Montreal North proceeded this week, the first jury trial in Canada to be held since the lockdown. When an accused can be shown to have bragged about killing someone on Facebook, I don’t think jury deliberations should take too long.

      • Alison Cummins 10:19 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        If I understand correctly:
        • Victim V was going to testify against dealer A in a drug trial.
        • A had a friend B whose wife C had V as a client.
        • Because of this connection, B was given the job of having V killed.
        • B got C to lure V into the open and younger friend D to do the actual killing.

        D is being charged with second-degree murder and B is being charged with involuntary manslaughter. (C has not been charged?)

        This seems like an odd set of charges.

        There’s no mention of charges against C.
        There are no conspiracy charges; instead, an organizer is being charged with involuntary manslaughter.

        Clearly, nobody’s talking. All they have is cellphone records and a thumbprint. … Oh yeah, and a Facebook confession.

      • Kate 10:42 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        I think this is why we have to pay prosecutors good money.

    • Kate 20:29 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

      You might think the owners of Galeries d’Anjou would welcome a metro station at their doorstep, but you’d be wrong. With the CAQ’s strong-arm expropriation law on hold, the owners are trying to block the project with a lawsuit.

      • Dhomas 03:44 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        This is a cash grab, plain and simple. The northwestern section of the mall and parking lot is completely empty and desolate. There is an abandoned building in the parking that’s been sitting vacant for decades with tons of parking around it:
        (It almost already looks like a metro édicule)
        It’s been abandoned so long, I don’t think anyone can remember what business was once housed there (I’d be curious to know, if any readers recall. I think I have vague memories of it being a photo development place, but I could very well be imagining that).

        Also, I don’t mean to be the tin foil hat person, but it’s interesting to note that Ivanhoe Cambridge is 100% owned by the CDPQ. The CDPQ is, obviously, also behind the building of the REM and they don’t seem to like competition.

      • John S 07:25 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        I think it was a Sear tire outlet.

      • Ephraim 10:03 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        Sears Tires was there. But the proposed metro station is actually corner of Beaubien. See http://www.stm.info/sites/default/files/media/Travaux/Ligne_bleue/19817_22_plan_plb_avec_pd_ang.pdf

        The mall is owned 50% by CF and Ivanhoe Cambridge. So only 50% owned by the CDPQ. And Ivanhoe Cambrdige in February said it was going to divest of about a third of it’s malls.

        Might be interesting for the city to suggest ending at Langelier instead and create the final station there, instead. You know, this is what killed Dupuis Frere… no metro tunnel, no traffic.

      • DeWolf 10:12 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        This is mystifying given that CF and Ivanhoe Cambridge can make a ton of money by redeveloping their parking lot into transit-oriented shops and condos. In fact that’s the plan for Fairview Pointe-Claire, which will be next to a REM station. That mall is also owned by CF so it’s weird they wouldn’t see the advantage for Anjou.

      • qatzelok 12:24 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        “it’s weird they (CDPQ) wouldn’t see the advantage for Anjou.”

        CDPQ aren’t paid to care about Anjou – only revenue streams.Santa Clause doesn’t exist.

        This potential conflict-of-interest is because the CDPQ is invested in too many things (mass transit lines and real estate and government access) and its mission creep is creating social paralysis as it seeks to always maximize its profit potential even against the common good (and they have government access)

        Humans who are this competitive often pursue lawfare and occasionally do illegal things to get their own way, but are well connected enough to get away with a tiny fine when they get caught.

      • david12 12:52 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

        Unusual to see heavyweights like Cadillac Fairview and Ivanhoe Cambridge lining up against the government, and it would be even more unusual for the government not to back down. Which they, of course, did here.

        But they shouldn’t! In fact, they should expropriate the entire area, pay the current market rate for it (low), then go MTR on the place and build thousands of units with all sorts of great commercial and cultural amenities below.

    • Kate 15:45 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

      Quebec had 42 more Covid deaths and 120 new cases clocked up over the last 24 hours. Some of the deaths happened earlier, apparently. And some health authorities think the total cases number is not accurate.

      A survey has found that Quebecers are the most likely people in Canada to feel that the first wave is over. Canada broke 100,000 cases recently, and has chalked up more than 8,000 deaths.

      • MarcG 16:19 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Some people are certainly behaving like everything is back to normal

      • Max 20:48 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Young people seem especially retarded about the seriousness of the the situation. Wise up already, kids. You’re putting your grandparents at risk of death if you’re not social distancing.

        Thank fuck the border’s closed to non-essential travel for another month, at least. Obviously we need that reopened if we’re ever to get our economy back on any sort of a normal track. But as long as there’s a narcissist retard in charge of that country, stay the hell away from me, American.

      • Kate 21:48 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        Max, you’re welcome to express your thoughts here without using the word “retard”.

      • JP 22:06 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

        A friend mentioned that she’d heard from family in B.C. that some Americans are crossing the border there under the guise of going to Alaska, but instead they just end up staying in B.C. or going to Banff or what have you.

        I really hope it doesn’t affect the stability they’ve reached pandemic-wise.

    • Kate 15:32 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

      Quebec has promised $400M in emergency aid to public transit in the province.

      • Kate 11:23 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

        Answering questions I’ve seen posed here and elsewhere, the STM has put up a map showing this summer’s reconfigured streets and accompanying bus detours. Version française.

        • Kate 10:59 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

          Just peeked at Peel and Ste-Catherine to see this. Anyone have the story?

          Few minutes later:

          • Kevin 11:31 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Suspicious package. Supposedly at the US consulate, but the last time I went to the US consulate it was not in that location.

          • Blork 11:31 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            CBC Radio says a building was evacuated because of a suspicious package. I didn’t catch the building, but it’s some U.S. thing…

          • DeWolf 12:12 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            The consulate is now at Ste-Catherine and Stanley, just to the left of the firetrucks in the second photo.

          • Kate 12:14 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Apparently so. CBC radio confirms Kevin’s story and mentions the consulate. Thanks all.

          • JP 12:17 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Is there a site where we can view the images captured by the camera?

          • Kate 12:21 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            12:15, the emergency vehicles have all gone.

            JP, the city’s traffic cams are all placed on this map. They’re not all working all the time, and many of them are simply pointing at a boring piece of road or highway. But there are some at interesting corners. I’ve got into the habit of looking at a couple of the Ste‑Catherine Street ones, and other downtown ones, since the lockdown. That’s how I spotted this incident at Peel and Ste-Cath.

            Quebec 511 is another interface to highway cams.

            I don’t think there’s any site that saves static jpegs from these cams.

          • JP 15:10 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Thanks Kate,

            That’s pretty neat. The camera at Peel and Ste. Catherine does seem to take brighter images than some of the other cameras at other locations.

            I looked at a few of the other views on Ste. Catherine…it doesn’t look crowded at all for a warm June afternoon. I haven’t been downtown since early March; though I may go in the next couple of weeks or so, it’s nice to get sort of a live view of what it’s like down there right now.

          • Kate 16:17 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Makes me wonder about the possibilities of programming an AI to look at the cameras from time to time and save any shots it finds interesting.

          • Jonz 16:49 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            The Chinese would be happy to do that for you, and if not them then the Americans and the Israelis, followed by….

          • Dhomas 18:41 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            @Jonz Google has already done it. They put the technology into a standalone camera:
            It was interesting, but not a success. Probably because of the creep factor.

          • Jonz 19:02 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Lots of creeps all over the place, no shortage of those. I saw a YouTube video a couple of days ago about a company bragging it was putting real-time face recognition software into cameras mounted on sports billboards (you hold your gaze long enough so they get a clear view). That’s face though, and Kate is talking about situational recognition. I don’t know what the Google software really did but I’m sure it’s a hot area of software development. No prob – lots of red vehicles with big numbers on them.

        • Kate 10:53 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

          Public health’s Dr Mylène Drouin is happy to see Covid case numbers falling around town over the last couple of weeks, but with a scant third of Montrealers wearing a mask, there’s a risk of a resurgence like they’ve recently faced in Beijing.

          Shopping centres in town are allowed to reopen on Friday except for food courts. This reopening may have been rushed a little because malls offer cooler spaces for people with no air conditioning during the heat wave.

          The Journal notes summer programming at the Old Port – but surely they’re wrong about the clock tower beach when they write “… pour permettre aux visiteurs de se rafraîchir directement dans l’eau du fleuve.” Unless things have changed, that “beach” is simply a hangout place, without access to the river.

          Update to the last item: It now reads “s’étendre sur une plage près du fleuve”!

          • Kevin 11:21 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Beijing is testing tens of thousands of people because about 150 people came down with Covid over a week.

            Quebec is not even close to being down to that level of infection, and it’s reopening malls and gyms with no screening measures.

          • DeWolf 12:14 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            Beijing is also part of a totalitarian surveillance state. I suggest we look at the experience of places that more closely mirrors our own.

          • Kevin 14:12 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            I believe Norway is down to 20 cases a week and maintaining strict limits on dine-in restaurants and in homes (everyone at least one metre apart)

            Pools are now open, a month after going from allowing groups of 50 to be in the same space.

            But they had far fewer cases and an order of magnitude fewer deaths.

        • Kate 10:46 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

          Airports having taken a hard hit in the pandemic, they will be discouraging future travel by inflating the charge they’re allowed to add to ticket prices.

          The construction of the REM spur to the airport is being put in doubt. On looking at the map included here, it strikes me that the spur branches off somewhat randomly. Shouldn’t it branch at a station?

          • Daniel 18:34 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

            > The construction of the REM spur to the airport is being put in doubt.

            This seems somewhat short-sighted. The airport has needed a decent transit link for decades, and at some point the demand to fly is certain to return.

            > On looking at the map included here, it strikes me that the spur branches off somewhat randomly. Shouldn’t it branch at a station?

            Don’t quote me on this, but I believe they’re reusing an existing or mothballed portion of CN / CP track to branch off towards Sainte-Anne, but the promotional diagram may not be geographically accurate, which I suppose is the point you were highlighting 🙂

          • Faiz imam 02:58 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

            Kate, you are correct that the spur location is not ideal. It means west island residents/visitors will have to transfer at bois franc, which is a decent detour.

            Unfortunately the location of the spit is in the middle of nowhere. No real value in building a station just to remove a few mins of transfer for certain users.

          • Kevin 10:20 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

            Yeah, most of the West Island track is along the existing mothballed Doney Spur, which runs between Hymus and the T-Can.
            It use to run west of St. John’s, but that portion was eliminated in the early 90s.

          • Daniel 12:01 on 2020-06-20 Permalink

            Thanks Kevin, I figured someone here would have the details 🙂

            For fun, I went down the proverbial rabbit hole and looked the spur up on the Canadian Rail Atlas (https://rac.jmaponline.net/canadianrailatlas/).

            Unfortunately there’s no way to easily link directly to the portion of the map which is of interest, but it’s curious to see this spur not only stretches out along the REM route as far as Complexe Pointe-Claire, but there’s another branch which enters the Technoparc, going towards the airport. I find that make me think, asI understood the station in that location would be underground so I guess they may not be using the full alignment.

        • Kate 09:50 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

          Not surprisingly, the Quebec coroner has ordered a public inquiry into the large number of Covid deaths at CHSLDs and private care homes, where more than 60% of the pandemic deaths have occurred so far.

          • Kate 09:19 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

            Some might say the horse got away a long time ago, but Plateau mayor Luc Rabouin says he’s determined to resist a second wave of gentrification he says is overtaking his borough.

            • Ian 09:58 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              Haha oh dear, the “second” wave hahaha

              …he does realize there’s a Lululemon on one end of St Viateur, and even depanneurs are getting evicted for upscale lunch counters on the other, while 20-30% of our Mile End residential properties are AirBnBs? What a joke! PM is good at adding quirky street furniture & planting flowers along the widened sidewalks, but they are definitely incapable of doing a damn thing about gentrification.

            • david34 10:23 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              Wherein the gentrifiers themselves are renovicted out of the neighborhood they made so desirable.

              Ian’s right, neighborhood PM is a drunk on a bicycle. Hardcore anti-housing construction at the same time that they complain about affordable housing. Look at Rosemont where the fact that people are still allowed to combine multiple units to form a giant single family home is just a deliriously hypocritical policy. The lowest hanging of fruit, but PM’s borough leaders, instead of making this easy change in favor of tenants/density, go the opposite direction, and force – force – owners to keep and maintain those dumpy single family shacks, aka the shoeboxes.

            • Chris 10:36 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              >Wherein the gentrifiers themselves are renovicted out of the neighborhood they made so desirable.

              Exactly. If you haven’t lived in the Mile End since the 1890s, then your generation is the previous generation’s gentrifiers. The cycle continues.

              We either build up, build out, or start reducing human population. (or all 3.)

            • DeWolf 10:51 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              Municipal governments in Canada have very little power. I don’t think it’s fair to blame them for macroeconomic trends that are affecting every city in the country. Everything that can actually make a difference — enforcing the ban on Airbnbs, cracking down on renovictions, building more social housing, imposing a vacancy tax on empty apartments — can’t be done without the involvement of the provincial and/or federal governments. But I guess it’s easy to scapegoat PM because… bike lanes?

            • david34 10:59 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              The city could greatly restrict Airbnb, crack down on renovictions, impose fines for vacancies and, most important of all, the city controls the most powerful housing tool there is: zoning.

              You can spent your political activism in dreamland trying to get money from the province or feds to give you money for a few units of social housing, but to call that an affordable housing plan is absurd. In Montreal, zoning is the most important component. It’s 70% of what matters.

            • CE 11:03 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              A few years ago I read about the Annex neighbourhood in Toronto. It’s similar to the Plateau; near downtown, nice streetscapes, interesting old houses, quirky businesses. It gentrified to the point where there was little left of what made the neighbourhood great and then entered a phase of what the writer called “post-gentrification” where everything got so expensive that only chains could move into the commercial spaces and only bankers and lawyers, etc could afford the houses. The result was a neighbourhood that was much less desirable the hype moved on to other areas. This is what I see happening in Mile End and starting to happen in other places like St-Henri. If you want to line up for 25 minutes with tourists for an ice cream or brunch or spend too much money on vintage clothes, it’s a fantastic place. But finding a laundromat or dep or other useful business is increasingly difficult where, at least for me, it’s now one of the last places in the central city where I’d want to live.

            • steph 11:12 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              Which wave of gentrification is the Old Port at?

            • Bill Binns 11:31 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              “Wherein the gentrifiers themselves are renovicted out of the neighborhood they made so desirable.”

              This is part of a cycle that happens in all types of neighborhoods but can only be complained about in very narrow circumstances. Who are the rightful inhabitants of the Plateau? The Scottish and Irish who built it? The artists that made it cool? Renters? Homeowners? If a majority of people living there now wanted increased density or an end to the scourge of gentrification they could easily vote for officials who promise to monkey with zoning to make it happen.

              I for one cannot wait to be gentrified out of my house and into 4000 sq feet in St Lambert. I have had enough of this island.

            • Kate 12:27 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              steph, the Old Port (if by this you mean in general all of Old Montreal) is kind of a special case on several counts. Old Montreal really is the original city, but into the 19th century most of the streets became commercial adjuncts to what was then the working port. The Plateau, St-Henri, Hochelaga, Point St-Charles and the old unreconstructed Griffintown, and a little later Rosemont and Villeray, were all working class “suburbs” originally, now all in the process of being gentrified.

              But the Old Montreal we know, all those side streets of gray stone buildings between 3 and 5 storeys high, was not built up as a residential district as those were, so it’s hard to say it was ever pre-gentrified. It largely went from being commercial and office space into the mid to late 20th century and then a lot of those buildings were renovated into condos.

            • Cadichon 13:39 on 2020-06-18 Permalink

              David, does zoning really represents 70% of what matters ? I think the whole “zoning drives up prices” argument is firmly rooted in a mainly west coast context, where you have cities like Seattle with something like 90% of residential land zoned for detached single family housing. I have never seen a map showing the extent of detached single familiy zoning in Montréal, but I’d guessed it’d be limited to some areas around Mount Royal park, and the outer limits of the city, like Pointe-aux-Trembles, Île-Bizard, etc. Montréal allows 3 ½ woodframe multifamily buildings on vast parts of its territory. I agree that some parts should be upzoned, especially around metro stations, and that the shoebox demolition ban was absurd. But putting so much emphasis on zoning I think misses what puts Montréal apart from other major North American cities.

              I’ll also add that if some PM boroughs have been more density cautious (RPP being a good exemple), I don’t think it reflects all PM boroughs views nor Plante’s stance on that matter.

            • Ian 09:51 on 2020-06-19 Permalink

              I’m just saying if Rabouin on one hand says he plans to stop another wave of gentrification while all the rest of PM regularly reminds us of how powerless they are to stop gentrification I can’t help but have my doubts.

              I recognize that I am cynical but I have seen far too much empty virtue-signalling from PM to expect results, especially since the damage has already been done on so many commercial streets like Parc, Bernard, Saint-Viateur, and Fairmount, and so many residential streets like Jeanne-Mance, Esplanade, Waverly, Saint-Urbain & Clark. A 4 and a half can cost over 1800 in Mile End now.

          • Kate 09:17 on 2020-06-18 Permalink | Reply  

            A motorcycle rider died in a crash in Park Ex on Thursday morning.

            Also Thursday morning, a propane tank in an east-end back yard blew up and set the small house on fire.

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