Updates from December, 2020 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:04 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Urbania asks how the blind get around in winter and speaks to five Montrealers about how they manage.

    • mare 00:10 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      How do the disabled in wheelchairs get around in the winter?

      The ones I know don’t get around, and stay inside. Busses often don’t stop —and when you’re sitting in a wheelchair you get too cold waiting 20 minutes to the next one—, adaptive transport is a joke and the metro is not accessible.

      And I see even less people in wheelchairs in the winter than in the summer. I’m possibly not in the right places, I bet there are more in suburbia and in malls.

    • EmilyG 10:56 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      Mare brings up an important point – Montreal can be extremely unfriendly towards disabled people.

      And as for malls, there are some that are more wheelchair-friendly, but sadly not all of them are. Society really needs to do more for disabled people, instead of just saying, Well, things work for most people, so what if some are inconvenienced.
      (You can look up “social model of disability” for more information.)

    • Ephraim 13:40 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      The city constantly removes handicapped parking spots. There is no report on the number of spots available. And parking enforcement should just write tickets even if someone is in the car in a handicapped parking spot without the hanging tag.

      The city doesn’t have enough places for people to sit in some places. Older people and the handicapped often need to stop. Even planters offer a pace to lean against.

      We don’t hold pedestrian spaces as inviolate (a fast moving bicycle/skateboard feels threatening to a handicapped person who may not be able to twist to see where the threat is coming from.) Think of what it feels like with you unable to twist and holding a cane or using a walker. (I live next to a rehab).

      Police don’t ensure that crossing pedestrians don’t have to wait extended periods (the invisible handicapped often can’t stand still for long periods.)

      There are plenty of things we don’t think of that would make things for older people and the handicapped better. But until you have to walk with a cane, help someone with a walker, etc. It’s hard to understand.

      I was temporarily handicapped at one time, my mother is in a walker, my friend walks with a cane, my father walked with a cane. When you deal with it, you realize how vital this access is. Just someone stopped in a handicapped spot means that you have to look further away… because they think it’s a waiting zone.

    • Michael Black 13:55 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      The dog has become impatient in old age, some corners are so complicated that it’s a long time between pedestrian lights. I can’t say I’ve noticed it lately, but for a time I was seeing a lot of cars blocking sidewalks where they are sloped for wheelchairs. Or cars parked on the sidewalk, that really sticks out this year when the sidewalks are already too narrow for distancing. And cars stopped or parked in bus stops makes it harder to get on and off busses.

  • Kate 22:02 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s a good Le Devoir op-ed on the need for government to truly act on serious rent controls. Alexandre Petitclerc says social housing is needed but it doesn’t solve the housing problem for the many working people who need an affordable place to live, without the nagging worry of being pushed out for profit.

    • steph 14:13 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      “limites sur l’augmentation des loyers entre deux baux,” ??? The limit is the same regardless of a lease change.

    • smd 16:43 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      @steph But without a provincial lease registry you’ll never know what the previous rent was. The self-reported tenant data at http://www.monloyer.quebec is a good start but needs to be made mandatory and searchable, much like the yearly average of an address’ Hydro bills.

    • steph 17:29 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

      If you don’t believe what your landlord put on your new lease, take him to the Régie (newly renamed the
      Tribunal Administratif du Logement). It should be easy for a landlord to prove how much he was receiving.

    • Kate 12:08 on 2020-12-30 Permalink

      steph, who’s going to sign a lease for a rent they can’t afford on the chance that the previous rent was significantly lower? You need access to open information about the previous rent so you can use that to negotiate a fair rent before you sign that new lease.

    • steph 18:59 on 2020-12-30 Permalink

      Don’t ever try to negotiate, the landlord will just choose another candidate. Accept the terms, sign the illegal lease, move in, and take it to to the Régie to sort if needed. The yearly rent increase should be following the calculation guidelines regardless of a change of tenant. Let the landlord prove in front of a Régie judge what the previous rent was and his calculation for the increase.

      I’d advise to even pay a deposit when asked (even if they’re illegal). let it be your 2nd months rent. The landlord won’t have a leg to stand on if he tries to take you to the Régie.

      It may not put you on the best terms with a landlord, but if your landlord is willing to be bend the rules, so should you.

    • Michael Black 21:36 on 2020-12-30 Permalink

      The Gazette says Ted Wright died Dec 12th. A big tennants rights activist, it’s interesting that his name seems to have surpassed Arnold Bennett. He started with the Housing Hotline, then went off by himself. I also vaguely remember him in the news for photographing something, was it English signs, or graffitti, I can’t remember.

      He was only 71, I thought he was older.

  • Kate 21:49 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

    It wasn’t obvious to me as a news blogger, but stats show that the Montreal fire service dealt with nearly twice as many residential fires in 2020 as they did in 2019. One possible reason is that cooking is the biggest cause of house fires, and more people have been cooking at home this year.

    • Kate 12:49 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

      Another series: this one by Brendan Kelly on pandemic experiences including an interview with an STM bus driver who feels isolated from her passengers. The directory with other stories is called brendankellyrocks, make of that what you will.

      • Kate 11:39 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

        24 Heures is doing a series on “lost Montreal” with, so far, a look at the old Montreal library on Sherbrooke Street – seems odd to call the building “une anomalie anachronique” when we have similar buildings functioning as a courthouse and a museum, among others – it’s a classic Greek form based on the Parthenon.

        Also in the series is a piece about Plaza St-Hubert back in the days of neon signs – “Time Square”? – and the zoo in Lafontaine Park which existed between 1957 and 1988.

        • Michael Black 12:36 on 2020-12-28 Permalink

          The zoo was interesting because it wasn’t square boxes. A ship, a whale, I can’t remember what else. But the forms were as exciting as the animals, maybe more. I don’t even remember the animals, and I did go again around the time it closed. And probably that concrete not so nice for the animals.

        • PatrickC 15:38 on 2020-12-28 Permalink

          The picture of the whale/aquarium at the Lafontaine Park Zoo brought back memories for me too, but also like Michael Black I have a hard time remembering any animals I saw there. Were there ever any llamas there? I have a fuzzy image of them, if I’m not confusing this zoo with another.

        • Kate 15:56 on 2020-12-28 Permalink

          I have a feeling I was brought there when I was a kid, but my memories are also fuzzy. I don’t think there was anything very large or wild there. I think you could put a coin into a bubblegum machine and get a handful of something like Shreddies to feed to placid animals like goats or deer.

          Llamas would’ve been possible, but I doubt there were ever lions, tigers, elephants or bears. I’m surprised they even stretched to having a camel.

        • CE 19:10 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

          I’ve heard that there was some sort of religious component to the zoo. Wasn’t the whale that’s now outside of the chalet part of something to do with the story of Jonah and the whale?

        • Raymond Lutz 20:21 on 2020-12-29 Permalink

          Raah! Conduisant ma fille à Montréal, j’évoquais la semaine dernière le souvenir de ce zoo même en passant devant le parc! Il y avait également tout près un labyrinthe fait de pières… Au Jardin des merveilles, j’ai souvenir d’avoir adoré voir et revoir le court métrage de l’ONF où un petit garçon sculptait un petit canôt (avec un amérindien?) qui dévalait le St‑Laurent…

        • Kate 10:09 on 2020-12-30 Permalink

          Raymond Lutz! Voilà une madeleine de Proust. Le labyrinthe, je l’ai trouvé fascinant, mais vu qu’on habitait dans Verdun à l’époque, on ne visitait pas ce coin de la ville souvent.

      • Kate 10:42 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

        A mountain of construction debris in Laval has been on fire since Saturday and it’s probably still burning now. A Laval story, but the smoke may be visible from town.

        • Kate 10:39 on 2020-12-28 Permalink | Reply  

          There was a suspicious fire overnight in a residential building in St-Michel. Anodyne news story, but what crossed my mind immediately is: why is a residential building (with at least 3 flats in it) standing empty during a housing shortage?

          • John B 18:05 on 2020-12-28 Permalink

            I suspect it’s an AirBnB. There’s a place near me that’s had For Rent signs out for months saying “fully furnished, perfect for student” – I bet they’re trying to fill it at some overpriced level fully furnished until the short-term rental market comes back.

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