Updates from June, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 15:33 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The REM station in Griffintown is to be Griffintown-Bernard-Landry. My great-grandfather is rotating.

    • Kevin 15:39 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Considering the amount of graffiti on the Turcot as it’s being constructed, I predict that sign will not last long.

      Has anyone ever referred to that area by the name Plante uses?

    • Kate 16:09 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I doubt it – it’s an innovation, supposedly to honour Landry for his support of the Cité du multimédia.

    • DavidH 16:52 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Very few things sound as 1990s as the term “multimedia”.

    • Kate 17:35 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Very true.

    • Patrick 20:13 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      There is no way a new metro station could be given an English name today. If there’s a campaign to drop Landry’s name, there would have to be a French substitute. I would like to be proved wrong, but for the same reason the proposal to rename Lionel-Groulx for Oscar Peterson won’t go anywhere. Unless it was also twinned with a non-anglo toponym. Rose-de-Lima, perhaps?

    • mare 01:29 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      In real life it will probably just be called Griffintown. Just like Square-Victoria-OACI and Longueuil-Université-de-Sherbrooke; the only one who uses the full name is the metro announcer.

    • Kate 08:33 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      mare, I’ve made the same point in angry discussions on Facebook. It will just be called Griffintown station normally. It’s not as if there’s a second Griffintown station that will have to be distinguished by adding a second name.

      Still, it’s a cock of the snoot to the remaining Irish community here.

    • DeWolf 10:57 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      What exactly defines the Irish community? There are quite a few francophones with Irish ancestry and yet they rarely seem to be included.

    • ant6n 13:01 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Its really wierd to me what kind of stories around the REM generate controversy – here the naming of a station. Whats next, the color of the line on the map?

    • Kate 18:54 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      What exactly defines the Irish community?

      DeWolf, I find it difficult to define even if, in some sense, I could be considered part of it. But it’s not purely about ancestry. I’d venture a definition that the Irish community here identifies with speaking English, and mostly being descended from people who lived and worked around Griffintown and Point St Charles from 1850 to 1950. Most of us, I suspect, are three generations from Ireland and have long since lost touch with any connections there. But as a community we’ve been scattered by circumstance. So few were left in Griffintown by 1970 that St Ann’s, built in 1850, and once a keystone of the community, was torn down for lack of support. And then a lot of English-speaking people left Quebec after the Parti Québécois came into power in 1976, and not just Irish. (Please, no cries of what a lot of weenies they were: it was a hostile atmosphere, and many people knew they could have better lives elsewhere.)

      This is perhaps a start at explaining why having the Griffintown station named after a PQ honcho is felt to be a kind of mockery. No, there aren’t any Irish ironworkers left in the Griff and in some sense it doesn’t matter any more, but naming things has symbolic weight. On the whole I’ve supported Valérie Plante, but in this, I find her gesture a deliberate statement that part of my history is of no value to her, which makes me a little sad.

      ant6n, it’s basically too late for anyone to complain about the REM, except for the remaining details. Maybe my explanation above goes some way to clarifying why this is an issue.

    • Ian 20:00 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Even the great and powerful D*novan K*ng pointed out that more people in today’s Quebec that identify as having Irish ancestry in QC are francophone than anglophone but you raise a very important point – historically, Griffintown was the ground zero of English speaking Irish and their community, and were systematically dismantled, on purpose – ignoring this specific neighbourhood history is just one more insult among many, and the worst part is that Plante probably doesn’t even understand how or why it is insulting.

    • ant6n 06:00 on 2020-06-25 Permalink

      I understand the controversy. It`s still odd, because it is indeed about a detail, while the bigger issues weren´t much discussed, even when it wasn´t too late.

      Perhaps the controversy is constructed to make it apear politicians are even involved, when really they aren`t. It´s better to rile up people both ways, rather than admitting you`re powerless compared to some organization that calls all the shots and is accumulating power at the heart of Montreal.

  • Kate 13:08 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Striking while the iron is hot, a coalition of rights groups is demanding a ban on choke holds and use of tear gas by Montreal police.

    • Ian 20:00 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      hot take:
      The cops don’t give a shit and nothing will happen.

  • Kate 12:51 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    No new Covid death in Quebec and thus in Montreal has been officially tallied Monday, the first time this has happened since March 22.

    Forgive me if I suspect the Quebec government of lightening up on lockdown requirements and/or of lightening up the news to create a more positive mood as we approach St-Jean.

    Also Monday, François Legault shuffled some cabinet positions. He has moved Christian Dubé to the tricky health portfolio, creating a new Minister of Higher Education post for Danielle McCann. Education’s Jean-François Roberge will now only manage elementary and high schools.

    What is Legault telling us about government priorities to put Dubé, who was chair of the treasury board and is a financial guy through and through, in charge of health?

    • Faiz imam 13:09 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Somewhat expected. Sundays numbers are always the lowest, and we’ve been trending towards zero for a while now.

      Tomorrow the numbers will be higher, hopefully not by too much.

    • david824 15:43 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Axios has a brief linking the decreasing death rates to the theory/fact that new infections are disproportionately younger.

    • david824 17:10 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      And this, from Yglesias, gives us an idea of what may be going on in some places: https://www.nber.org/papers/w27408#fromrss

      Basically, when certain people are out protesting every day, other people are staying inside. With the result that the least vulnerable (younger protesters) are being infected more and the more/most vulnerable (normal middle aged or older people) are being infected less.

    • david824 17:15 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I’d also guess that normal summer activities – road trips, picnics, parties, rolling around in the hay, etc. – while not exactly going strong, are going strong enough to drive infection rates higher among the younger cohort, totally independent of the protests. Literally, when you’re being paid not to work and you have all this free time, unless you’re working on your novel or whatever, what the hell else are you going to do?

  • Kate 10:59 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Last week, François Cardinal posted about pedestrianized streets. Monday he says on Facebook:

    My God. Je n’en reviens pas des réactions outrées (voire acharnées) de plusieurs de mes confrères et consoeurs journalistes sur les réseaux sociaux, à la suite de la piétonnisation de l’avenue du Mont-Royal. Comme si on piétonnisait la totalité du Plateau…

    Or les chiffres montrent bien que ce n’est pas par la voiture que passe l’avenir de cette artère.

    Un sondage mené par la société de développement commercial a montré que 54 % des clients venaient à pied sur Mont-Royal. On parle donc d’une majorité d’entre eux!

    Il y en a pas moins de 20 % qui viennent en transport en commun, bus ou métro.

    Et tenez-vous bien: il y a plus de consommateurs qui viennent à vélo (12 %)… qu’en auto (11%)!

    Bref, tout près de 90 % de la clientèle du boulevard s’y rend autrement qu’en voiture!

    Et on se déchire la chemise parce qu’on la piétonnise pendant quelques mois cet été?

    Comme m’a écrit mon ami Michel C. Auger, la place de parking, à la fin du confinement, est le rouleau de papier de toilette du début du confinement…

    My bolding. I don’t usually quote whole chunks off Facebook but he has an important point to make.

    (Who said last week that it’s no longer suburban visitors who drive in to keep streets like Mont-Royal alive?)

    • MarcG 11:11 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Can someone explain the toilet paper joke to a maudite anglophone?

    • Blork 11:43 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Basically he’s saying that the irrational toilet paper hoarding we saw at the start of the confinement has shifted to parking space hoarding at the end of confinement.

    • mare 11:53 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      If parking is so important for shops there are avenues (Haha) that haven’t been taken at the moment.

      Shops often have access at the back of their buildings in the alleyways, and sometimes one or two parking spaces. Now those are used for the owner(s) or staff to park for free during the day, but if they’re serious they could reserve those spots for their clients (30 minutes max), and people can load their heavy bags with clothing and shoes without having to haul them. Make it into a unique selling proposition.

      Or go even further: when all (or most) of the shops in the street pool those spots together, they could hire a roving parking attendant (on an electric scooter!) to collect parking fees, or set up a valet parking service at the intersections that aren’t blocked. Fee waved if you spend $20 on the street.

      With some creative thinking they could find solutions—this might be one of them—that are maybe even better than the current situation. But change is hard and people don’t want the status-quo to ever be disrupted.

    • Bill Binns 12:06 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      This never ending argument could be solved with a few strategically placed multi story parking garages. It’s odd how few of them are in town actually.

    • Kate 12:14 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Bill Binns: not really. All the older parts of town were built up before cars were assumed. Then people built strip malls at the edges of the existing residential areas (Angrignon mall, Rockland, malls in Lasalle, Anjou, St-Laurent) so people with cars gravitated toward those – a tendency that’s been going on since at least the 1950s. But by then, the denser, older parts of residential Montreal were already built up, and mostly easily accessible by metro, so there was no point in tearing down whole blocks of housing to put up parking garages. I think there’s one on an older side street in Verdun but it’s the only one I can think of like that.

    • MarcG 12:58 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Yeah there’s one in “downtown” Verdun that was previously so underused that they were starting to host cultural events in it. Since Wellington has been made a pedestrian street for the summer I imagine it’s a bit busier than usual but I get the feeling that most people shopping are from the neighbourhood and just walk over.

    • qatzelok 13:39 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I fear it might take another three or four COVIDs to get rid of most of our cars and airplanes (and thus increase our odds of surviving as a species).

      But mankind’s gotta do what mankind’s gotta do… even when blinded by corporate propaganda.

    • CE 14:19 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      @Bill, Parking garages wouldn’t solve much. The first problem is the cost. Who is going to pay to expropriate expensive Plateau real estate near Mont-Royal and then build the thing just to keep a few suburbanites/JdM columnists happy? Are you willing to have your taxes pay for it?

      The second is that people won’t use them. There’s that one in Verdun discussed above and another just off Plaza St-Hubert which also tends to be pretty empty. The problem isn’t the amount of parking but its distribution. Drivers generally want to park directly in front, or within a block of their destination. Often, if they have a couple stops on the same street or in the same neighbourhood, they’ll drive from place to place. There’s something psychological about driving and then having to walk that throws people off. I had a professor in planning school who told us about a study in Quebec City where they asked how far people were willing to walk from their cars to businesses on commercial streets, then compared it to how far people would walk from their cars to a store in a mall. They found that people walked much farther at the mall than they were willing to on a street. (sorry, this was a while ago and I don’t have a citation)

      The third problem is aesthetics. Parking garages are rarely pretty and I doubt you’re going to get much support to rip down historic plexes along Coloniale or Brébeuf for multi-level parking garages.

      What will work is accepting that continuing to dedicate a massive amount of the street for the convenience of vehicles that make up a tiny portion of the street’s clientele is pointless. Especially since removing cars/parking will definitely make the street nicer and the increased foot traffic will likely make up for the lost revenue from the loss of drivers.

    • Ephraim 14:54 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      My biggest problem with the pedestrianization of streets is that no one seem to consider the handicapped when reconfiguring the streets. For example, there is a spot on Mont-Royal at Marquette. If you close Mont-Royal, then put that spot elsewhere, so that those who need the spot, have a place to park. There used to be a spot at St-Catherine and St-Urbain (on St-Urbain). They changed it to no stopping on St-Urbain and yet, they didn’t relocate the handicapped spot. Imagine you are handicapped… it’s painful to walk, now where do you go instead? There is basically no parking on St-Catherine street because it’s often closed. There is no parking on St-Urbain. There are no close parking spots. And if you are just trying to drop someone off, like someone in a walker, there is no place to even stop for unloading anymore, except a no-stopping lane.

    • Jonathan 16:54 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Kate, are you able to link to that article from François, I cannot seem to find it. LP only lists his editorials from 2019 on its site. And their search engine just throws me a Google search result!

      I’m glad he’s mentioning there’s been research on the origin of customers of the street. It really echos the same for many retail streets in Canada. The King street West study in Toronto shows that store owners believed more than half their customers came by car, whereas I believe the actual number turned out to be 4% or something low like this.

    • DeWolf 20:06 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      The mass freak-out over Mont-Royal is truly something to behold. People in the media and on the internet are really losing their shit over it and yet the street is full of happy pedestrians every day, so there’s definitely some cognitive dissonance at play.

      It’s also strange that there has been so much fixation on Mont-Royal when several other streets have been pedestrianized, including Wellington in Verdun and Ontario in Hochelaga, without a similar backlash. I also noticed that Bernard Street in Outremont is now pedestrian-only to accommodate extra-large restaurant terrasses (which were full to capacity when I passed by this evening).

      When Ste-Catherine in the Village was pedestrianized for the first time in 2007, there was a lot of consternation, and now it’s a consistently popular summer attraction. Unless those 10% of people who were driving to Mont-Royal somehow kept the entire street’s economy afloat (which I seriously doubt), this tempest in a teapot will be forgotten by the end of the summer.

    • Chris 02:15 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Another reason multi story parking garages won’t work is that they are expensive to build and maintain and make little revenue. The numbers are all in The High Cost of Free Parking.

      For one, operators of such structures have to compete against free, which of course is what the city idiotically charges for most on-street parking. Of course, developers aren’t clamouring to build them.

    • Kate 08:28 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      Jonathan, this text by Cardinal was on his Facebook page, it wasn’t part of a formally posted piece. This is his page – I’ve no idea if you have to be logged into FB to see it.

    • walkerp 09:26 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      We don’t want multi-story parking garages because we don’t want cars in the Plateau. That’s the whole point of the pietonisation.

  • Kate 10:07 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The Journal tells us about SPVM police sergeant Mathieu Fortier, who has a side gig selling military and police equipment and has succeeded in winning millions in public contracts including from the RCMP, the SQ and the SPVM itself. The SPVM knows about it and won’t talk.

  • Kate 09:58 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Ontario Street between Darling and Pie-IX will become pedestrianized this summer, starting July 2. This is the section that’s been the site of street fairs in previous years.

    Richard Martineau is charging square at the mayor on Monday with the headline Détruis ta ville avec Valérie Plante! and a ponderous, unfunny analogy about video games. He couldn’t hate her more if she were an anglophone.

    • Bill Binns 14:03 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      A street isn’t “pedestrianized” unless bicycles are also banned and that ban is enforced. A highly unlikely scenario anywhere in Montreal.

    • Kate 16:11 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Bill Binns, I was all along Mont-Royal on Saturday, where pedestrians are sharing the street with cyclists, and honestly, it was fine. I didn’t see anything even remotely resembling a close call between a cyclist and a pedestrian. Cyclists are taking their time and not taking any chances.

    • Ian 17:08 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      That said according to Rabouin Mont Royal is supposed to be pedestrian only. Has that changed or is it just being ignored?

    • Bill Binns 18:05 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      @Kate Well maybe they should let the cars stay if they promise to b super careful and courteous like the cyclists you observed.

      In all seriousness a real outdoor pedestrian area where you don’t have to have your head on a swivel for fast moving *anything* is entirely different than a mix of pedestrians and bikes. And if those cyclists were so courteous they would have touched their precious feet to the ground and walked their bikes through the pedestrian area.

    • Chris 02:24 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      >maybe they should let the cars stay if they promise to b super careful and courteous like the cyclists you observed

      A ridiculous false equivalency, even if you were only half serious.

      Cars and bikes are not at all the same, and you bloody well know it. Totally different mass, speed, and acceleration, and thus force and momentum. Not to mention a cyclist can hear what’s going on around him and a motorist can’t. And a cyclist is about the width of a pedestrian too.

      Obviously cyclists should not be bombing through pedestrian spaces, and if the pedestrian density is high enough, they should get off and walk. But I was on that stretch recently too and there were not very many pedestrians and the cyclists were slowly weaving amongst them. It was working splendidly.

    • Ian 08:10 on 2020-06-23 Permalink

      So I guess they aren’t enforcing that it’s supposed to be pedestrian-only…

      I am copy-pasting this from Luc Rabouin’s feed Facebook:

      Random Citizen:
      Pourquoi les vélos ne seront-ils pas permis tout en maintenant la priorité piétonne?

      Parce que c’est une rue piétonne pour déambuler tranquillement dans se soucier de faire attention aux autos ou aux vélos. C’est un choix. Il y a peu de rues 100% piétonnes à Montréal et nous l’expérimenterons sur Mont-Royal cet été.

      Oh well, so much for that. Cyclists are clearly too precious to not ride their bikes on Mont-Royal. Not that I’m surprised, I live in the Plateau and I still see folks riding on sidewalks every day (no exaggeration) even on streets with bike paths. My own street has bi-directional bike paths and I still catch shade from bicyclists riding on the sidewalk. One ran right into my friend last week as we were walking on the sidewalk with our kids and the cyclist told my friend to watch where he was going! I know a lot of cyclists are thinking “maybe but that’s super rare” – but I assure you it’s not.

      Please, don’t ride your bike where people are supposed to be walking. Especially when the borough is actively setting aside reserved space for bicyclists throughout the neighbourhood, to keep biking in pedestrian areas is just rude.

  • Kate 09:44 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Some lockdown measures in Montreal are lifting on Monday with indoor gatherings under 50 people now permitted, and restaurants and places of worship allowed to admit people, although with distancing. La Presse visited Portus, the posh rotating Portuguese resto, to follow what the owner and her staff are doing to reopen safely. Restaurant owners are facing uncertainty: will people come back, can a “distanced” dining room do well enough to keep the place open?

    Here’s a more detailed version of the rules in place now.

    Worldwide, the pandemic is getting worse, so we can’t throw off all caution. New Zealand, which declared itself Covid-free not long ago, recently faced a new outbreak and tightened its quarantine requirements – and its borders are a lot realer than ours.

    • DeWolf 10:04 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Small clarification: New Zealand hasn’t had any new outbreaks. They’ve had travellers arriving in the country with an infection, but an outbreak implies community transmission. The case of the two British women who were allowed to leave quarantine early to visit a dying relative *could* have caused an outbreak, but luckily it didn’t. It just goes to show the challenge and importance of maintaining quarantine restrictions and keeping a close eye on every new case once you’ve eliminated community transmission.

    • qatzelok 13:43 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      That commercial media continues to present “cases” as the equivalent of “reasons to fear deeply” is very gas-light-ish. It reminds me of the the case that our media made for going to war with Iraq – twice in my lifetime. Turned out to be lies, but we only found out AFTER all those military contracts were signed.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    The club on Aylmer long known as Biddles, now known as the House of Jazz, is permanently closing, although they have a Laval branch that’s staying open. The city’s other few jazz clubs are reopening gradually.

    Of course this year’s jazz festival is cancelled, but the event is doing a series of free online concerts from June 27-30.

    • david742 15:34 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      Was it reported here?: If not, Snack and Blues has also closed. They had all sorts of jazz there too. A real shame.

    • Kate 16:17 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      No, I’d never heard of the place, so I’ve never posted about it.

    • CE 16:19 on 2020-06-22 Permalink

      I had never been to Snack and Blues until and it was quite a spot. Good music, friendly crowd, free snacks. It really felt like what I imagine Plateau bars were like in the 90s.

  • Kate 09:26 on 2020-06-22 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada’s Espaces autochtones feature examines the tense relationship between police and indigenous people in Cabot Square, and how social services can create a buffer between them, with mixed results.

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