Updates from November, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 23:07 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The city plans to place new air quality sampling stations around the east end of the island, where industrial toxins have been a chronic problem.

    • Kate 22:32 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

      Police are promising a beefed-up presence in Montreal North and RDP, where there were four shootings over the weekend, although no fatalities.

      La Presse’s underworld guy, Daniel Renaud, floats the idea that it’s a war between cliques on the “red” side. I find it bizarre that people here adhere to the old Crips and Bloods gang colours from 1960s California, but it seems they do.

      • Kate 22:04 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

        Sometimes I think it’s the CAQ running Quebec and sometimes that it’s QMI, which investigated perks given to mob bosses by the casinos last week, so that now the finance minister has ordered an external audit into the situation.

        Don’t all casinos offer freebies to high rollers, without inquiring into where they got all that nice money?

        • Kate 17:25 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

          There’s a tempest going on in Quebec media and commentariat about the Association des libraires du Québec, which runs lists of books favoured by notable people. Recently they had François Legault’s list, where he praised a book by Mathieu Bock-Côté. The ALQ responded by deleting his list although they kept his video on their Facebook page. Cue general cries of censorship (the ALQ is not a government branch) and rending of garments. The list has since been restored on the Facebook page. The story is summed up here.

        • Kate 17:12 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

          Police have named a suspect in the murder of the Ahuntsic dépanneur owner earlier this month. Now they just have to find him.

          • Kate 12:30 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

            Monday marks the third day running with more than 400 cases of Covid diagnosed in Montreal. The Gazette has some numbers and graphs.

            More than 2070 schools have reported Covid cases since the beginning of the school year.

            • Kate 09:42 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

              Quebec’s Dominique Fortier has won France’s prestigious Prix Renaudot for her book Les villes de papier. Fortier went to McGill, and the book is about American poet Emily Dickinson. The book is in French, of course, but this struck me as a good example of a successful writer working at the boundary of the two cultures and two languages – a boundary that may well be hardened in the academic world by new language laws expected next year.

              • PatrickC 14:25 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                The book may be excellent (I haven’t read it), but the award seems to confirm the argument, made by Stephen Henighan and others, that for a Canadian novel to get serious international attention, it has to be about a non-Canadian subject. Examples: Life of Pi, The Handmaid’s Tale, De Niro’s game. Alice Munro’s Nobel Prize would be the (big) exception that proves the rule. Or is that just nationalist grumbling?

              • Kate 21:21 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Somehow I can’t blame people in England or France for not being gripped by Canada.

              • Kevin 00:01 on 2020-12-01 Permalink

                And yet many Germans are bonkers for Canada and tales of the Mounties, Inuit, and more.

              • Kate 10:19 on 2020-12-01 Permalink

                But are the Germans interested in serious literary fiction about those things, or adventure fantasies like the French thing about “le far west”?

            • Kate 09:27 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

              Food banks are facing sharply increased demand as the holidays draw closer.

              • qatzelok 11:16 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                This is looking more and more like “the Irish Potato” resets of a few centuries ago – the ones that gave us all our canals so we could be connected.

              • Kate 13:14 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                What the hell are you on about, qatzelok?

              • qatzelok 13:16 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                The way that the Potato Famines were used as a “reset” for commerce.

              • Kate 13:31 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                I’ve read that the Black Death killed so many people in Europe that the resulting lack of labourers meant the remaining able-bodied workers were able to get a better deal, at least for a time.

                The only other circumstance I can think of is the very local one, when Mayor Houde, faced with Depression-era unemployment in the city, created jobs by devising public projects in parks and elsewhere. I believe it’s one of the reasons he was so popular for so long (we’re still benefiting from some of the things built or improved during those years).

                But are you alleging that the Irish potato famine meant a lot of workers came here and worked on canals and so on for cheap? It wasn’t always so simple. The men working on the Beauharnois canal revolted after a point. Cheap labour doesn’t stay cheap forever.

              • Kevin 14:42 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                I don’t think it’s a reset as much as it is an acceleration of the suburbanization that’s been going on for several decades – at least in the Montreal area.

                I think it was in the Globe’s Cities series, two weeks ago, that said that proportionally more Montrealers commute in from outer ‘burbs to the city’s core than in Vancouver or Toronto. That’s affected the stores we have in various areas, why people don’t hear French when walking around the downtown core, yada yada.

                But if downtown office work is dead and buried (and I believe it is) those office workers are never coming back en masse, and that means downtown is also going to have to shift dramatically. The service jobs that relied to office workers are gone or displaced.

                If the provincial government and the suburbs jump on it, we could end up with a ring of 15-minute villages surrounding Montreal. The downtown core could end up being nothing but a university town, or office tower owners could push to build family friendly condos and put some elementary/high schools in the core (and the decision not to build a school at the old Children’s Hospital is looking worse and worse).

              • ant6n 18:38 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Montreal could become more polycentric.

              • Kate 21:26 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                ant6n, it’s going to have to eventually, as bigger cities do. I don’t know whether the process was as painful for London or Paris, Rome or Tokyo. Big cities get polycentric by bringing in villages around them, as Montreal has done with all the West Island towns (some of them quite old, like Pointe Claire and Ste-Geneviève), but we have this thing about being circumscribed as an island that makes it impossible, psychologically, to feel that places like Vieux-Longueuil or Ste-Rose have truly become part of the city.

                Of course the four big cities I mention went through most of this process long before the car.

            • Kate 09:19 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

              TimeOut offers a list of the fanciest donut places around town.

              • Ephraim 10:37 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                About a week and a half early… Chanukah starts on the 10th… donuts are traditional (fried in OIL)

              • Joey 11:33 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Highly suggest dogunut-lovers check out Salerno’s. Very cakey. No gimmicks.

              • walkerp 12:21 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Imagine if we could just have decent, classic donuts in the east of North America. It leaped from garbage to fancy donuts and skipped actual good donuts.

              • walkerp 12:27 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                God that is depressing. I went through the entire list and not a single classic old-fashioned among them. None of them can actually make decent dough, so instead they overcompensate with excessive and “creative” toppings. This is like getting a frappucinno and thinking it is good coffee. Very similar to all the terrible “mixology” cocktails in Canada where they hide the lack of alcohol with lots of sugary flavours. No bueno!

              • Su 12:31 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                I had no idea we had so many donut options in town! Back in the day, there was a a Sugar and Spice location in Alexis Nihon Plaza which baked on premises a vast assortment of authentic donuts. I can still taste their scrumptious “Old Fashioned”.

              • Michael Black 12:48 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                There was also a donut shop in that block near Guy where Le Fauboug is. I forget the name, but I’m sure that’s the first place I ever had a donut. For some reason, we’d stop in there after medical appointments.

                Other than that, as a kid donuts were something bought in boxes at grocery stores.

                That’s not true. Most of our donuts came from a bakery.

                Maybe Dunkin’ Donuts were in Quebec in the sixties, but if they were, I don’t remember them being downtown.

              • Kate 12:54 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                The only donut I’ve had in years was a plainish Tim’s donut, I think they called it a buttermilk donut? There was a Tim’s briefly on St-Denis near Duluth, gone now. My landlord near there was not good, and things had happened so I had no toilet for four or five days. (I called the Régie and they said “use a bucket.” Seriously.)

                Tim’s, thankfully, was open 24 hours and had a clean bathroom, so I availed myself. I didn’t like to keep using it and not buying anything, so I stuck to the buttermilk donut. It was pretty good. But I haven’t had one since and am in general not a big fan of Tim’s.

              • DeWolf 13:04 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                I’m with walkerp – it mystifies me as to why it is so hard to find a classic yeast doughnut here. I’ve tried a number of popular places and hated almost all of them. That said, Léché is good, so if you’re a doughnut minimalist like me, they’re probably your best bet. The only problem is their hours are very inconvenient if you don’t live in Westmount or St-Henri (9am-3pm). San Gennaro also makes excellent bombolone. It’s close enough to a no-frills yeast doughnut that it hits the spot for me.

                49th Parallel, the coffee roaster from Vancouver, is opening a café on McGill Street in the spring. All their existing cafés in Vancouver include a doughnut bakery called Lucky’s which make some of the best doughnuts I’ve ever had. I really hope there’s a Lucky’s in their space when they open here.

              • DeWolf 13:05 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Oh and how could I neglect Wavel. I really do enjoy their paczi and they’re light on the wallet, unlike most of the other ones on the Time Out list. (Not light on the waistline of course.)

              • Kevin 14:12 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Anyone who’s spent time in Vancouver knows Those Little Donuts kick ass.
                They’re made fresh, covered in sugar, cost a couple bucks for a bag or box of a dozen.

                There’s one place that makes a near-perfect replica across from Papineau metro but she’s closed for the winter.

              • Joey 15:37 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                @walkerp and others – like these doughnuts: https://www.boulangeriesalerno.com/na-605/pains

              • John B 15:46 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Nice list!

                As a fan of a great yeast doughnut, there isn’t a great place that I’ve found, but in the gourmet yeast doughnut category Leché is great! Protip, (for before or after times): The coffee & pizza place above the cafeteria at the Glen hospital sells Leché doughnuts.

                I hadn’t heard 49th parallel was opening a shop here. Fingers crossed for some of their doughnuts.

              • Tim S. 16:06 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Not on the island, but there are great simple yeast doughnuts at La Prairie market (not during winter, alas).

              • MarcG 17:03 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                Y’all have some serious Donut Obsessive Disorder issues to resolve

              • Kate 21:28 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                It became a more fertile post than I was expecting.

              • Meezly 10:43 on 2020-12-02 Permalink

                Rather late on this, but I’m surprised Samos made the list as the only “classic” donut joint on the list. I haven’t been there in years because I found the pastries were of average quality. Have they improved recently? I see on their site they’re now selling Poké Bowls??

            • Kate 00:38 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

              Not everyone is happy with the city’s plan to put in a refrigerated skating rink in Cabot Square. Says here it’s “an effort to encourage harmonious cohabitation between residents in the area and the homeless people who regularly visit” and although I’m trying to imagine how this is supposed to work, it’s not coming into focus.

              • Tom H 08:32 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                I imagine it would be somewhat similar to the situation at Place Émilie-Gamelin, where they inserted the large’Jardin Gamelin’ bar/beer garden. The homeless population would be pushed off to one far corner of the space, which the city would probably prefer anyway because it makes it easier for surveillance. I find it to be no small accident that the particular corner homeless folks in Place Émilie-Gamelin were pushed to (the north-east corner) was the one nearest designated SPVM parking and furthest from the metro entrance. At Émilie-Gamelin, there is the grassy slope that was designed to be a ‘buffer’ area between the two groups, but often it just remains empty.

            • Kate 00:32 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

              A man was shot in Rivière-des-Prairies Sunday evening, but there’s little else in this report.

              Monday morning: in fact there were three shootings within an hour, Sunday night in RDP, and police don’t know whether anything links them up.

              Shots had been fired earlier Sunday evening in Montreal North as well, and one man turned up in hospital with an injury, but what happened there is also still unclear.

              • Kate 00:30 on 2020-11-30 Permalink | Reply  

                Some bright anti-maskers had the idea on Sunday to protest outside a house in Westmount they believed to be the home of François Legault.

                Legault doesn’t live in Westmount.

                The Gazette talked to an academic who says too much media attention is given to anti-mask nutbars, lending them too much importance in the public mind.

                • Ephraim 10:41 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                  And too little attention to the question of their education and the failure of our education system. That being said, government should be more forthcoming with calculations and R-factors and let people run their own spreadsheets with the progression to learn more from the current situation. It would also ruin much of their arguments, when the numbers and regressions are easy enough for the public to see.

                • Blork 11:45 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                  Small point of distinction: there are anti-maskers and there are “anti-lockdowner.

                  The former are pretty much all idiots and nutbars, and the latter includes a wide range of people; from anti-maskers (it’s pretty much a given that anti-maskers are also anti-lockedowners) to people who think lockdowns are painting with too wide a brush and are not very effective while also creating other problem that are possibly more serious. That last point is debatable, but it’s a reasonable debate. (In brief, the idea is that it’s theoretically better to use masks and to engage in limited targeted lockdowns where outbreaks occur than to simply lock everything down and then suffer the increased suicides, mental health collapses, and economic ruin.)

                  I’m not arguing one way or the other on that; I’m just pointing it out. And I feel compelled to point it out because The Gazette’s “anti-masker” article uses a photo of people who are protesting lockdowns, not masks.

                • dhomas 18:45 on 2020-11-30 Permalink

                  They got the wrong place. That house was “François Legault Total Landscaping”.

                • Kate 23:09 on 2020-11-30 Permalink


                  Blork, thanks for making that distinction.

              • Kate 16:37 on 2020-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

                So many residents of Maimonides Geriatric Centre in Cote St-Luc are sick with Covid that 20 patients have been moved out to hospitals. A dozen staff members are also sick. Covid has killed ten residents in the second Covid wave so far.

                Quebec’s cumulative cases of Covid have now gone past 140,000 and cumulative deaths ticked up to 7,033 Sunday.

                • Kate 12:10 on 2020-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

                  Urbania sent someone to talk to UQÀM expert Anne-Marie Broudehoux about how people are taking back the city in response to pandemic restrictions.

                  • Kate 12:08 on 2020-11-29 Permalink | Reply  

                    Russell Copeman has been named interim director general of the EMSB, whose elections are currently in abeyance.

                    • Michael Black 13:14 on 2020-11-29 Permalink

                      And who would have thought when Russell was president of the Central Student Council at the PSBGM in 1976 that he’d still be at it 44 years later?

                    • Kate 15:41 on 2020-11-29 Permalink

                      Copeman is still freakishly youthful-looking. And sounding. I don’t know how he does it.

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