Updates from February, 2021 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:10 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Notre-Dame Basilica and the big cemetery it also administers are having trouble making ends meet, especially after a nonexistent tourism summer last year. That the cemetery, which has put up numerous flashy mausoleum buildings in recent years, and which doesn’t rely on tourism, is not doing well, is a little more surprising.

    • Ephraim 20:13 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

      And? It’s private… the owners (the Supulcians and the Catholic Church) need to figure this out. If they want public money, then there should be a cost for it… when the tourists return, they will continue to charge them to enter the building… something they don’t even do in Paris. Hire someone who knows what they are doing to manage the facilities so you don’t sell or rent cemetery plots below cost. They don’t pay taxes… they shouldn’t be getting tax money.

    • GC 10:17 on 2021-02-21 Permalink

      It says the cemetery has a loss because of decreased coffin burials. I doubt that is related to the pandemic and I also don’t think that trend is going to reverse itself. A lot people are OK with being cremated these days.

      As for the Basilica… Yeah, if the Catholic Church can’t sustain it hopefully the city/province/whatever can take it over. But take it over for good, not prop it up with public money and then have it just go back into private hand in better times.

    • Kate 11:51 on 2021-02-21 Permalink

      I agree, if the basilica is going to be regarded as chiefly a tourist attraction, the city should own it and keep it up. I suppose to have credibility as a church it needs to hold services, so maybe they could contract to the Sulpicians for religious functions.

  • Kate 18:17 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    TVA has a lot of pictures of guns seized by the SPVM in various raids, although I suspect this photo essay will be hardware porn for some.

    • Ephraim 20:08 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

      Welcome to the dog and pony show.

    • MarcG 21:23 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

      Seriously, this just looks like an ad campaign for les squads

    • Jonathan 12:04 on 2021-02-22 Permalink

      yes MarcG! This is just trying to claim we need more hired guns in order to reduce gun violence.

      You’d think that after hundreds of years of using this same formula we would think of something more innovative in 2021 (and at least something proven, like more support and community services)

  • Kate 18:15 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

    Filomena Rotiroti, Liberal MNA for Jeanne-Mance–Viger (St‑Léonard), has announced she tested positive for Covid, after being at the National Assembly on Thursday. CTV says she’s the first MNA to test positive.

    • Kate 12:46 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

      I was struck just now by this image of an elevated highway running through San Francisco, re an elevated REM being forced through downtown Montreal.

      Elevated trains through town have been unpopular for a century. This morning, Rosemont councillor Christine Gosselin posted a cite from the book Angus – Du grand capital à l’économie sociale – 1904‑1992 by Gaétan Nadeau, about a railway project that was never even completed, but scarred several neighbourhoods: “Depuis 1910, les quartiers de Préfontaine, Maisonneuve et Mercier sont marqués par des piliers de ciment qui devaient recevoir une voie ferrée surélevée.”

      I’ve spent time rummaging through old Gazette issues on the Google newspapers site. I should have bookmarked the many items I noticed in the early part of the 20th century and between the world wars in which community groups and local councillors tried to fight the imposition of trains elevated on embankments that created breaks between neighbourhoods that linger to this day.

      • Kevin 13:28 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        I noted that even the Caisse people promoting the REM East don’t think the support pillars should be as massive as the ones for the rest of the REM.
        These pillars seem thicker than what supports highways.

      • CE 18:34 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        I would assume that if it were made of concrete, it would look more like the Sky Train in Vancouver wouldn’t it. Here’s a stretch of it that runs along and over a street.

      • DeWolf 19:06 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        Yes, it would more likely look like the SkyTrain, which is certainly not ideal, but it would hardly be a barrier between neighbourhoods. Here’s another Vancouver example in a more urban setting:


        And here’s a portion from downtown Vancouver where the SkyTrain runs very close to some apartment buildings. You can also compare it to the elevated roadway on the left, which is much bulkier and more overbearing:


      • David664 19:11 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        When it comes to development, 2/3 of the people who frequent this site could probably benefit from taking a pause before pronouncing on a given project to ask themselves: when was the last time I actually supported something? Like, peopl here are against virtually all change, growth, development, and progress in the physical space that we all (yes, “we all”) inhabit.

      • Kevin 19:58 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        The supports I spotted today near the Champlain bridge are like the bowl of a wine glass compared to the stems in those Skytrain photos.

      • Ephraim 20:16 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        SkyTrain runs along a corridor, not along a street for several kms. It crosses downtown… but isn’t this proposal to run along RL for a significant distance, no?

      • nau 20:57 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        DeWolf’s links show Skytrain cutting across streets but the REM East will go along René-Lévesque, so more like CE’s, which is however along a quieter street. Check out this section of Skytrain in Richmond and then transpose the Skytrain to the middle of the street on René-Lévesque.

      • ant6n 21:27 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        In downtown-proper, skytrain runs underground. I’d guess most of the taller buildings around the elevated sections of the skytrain were built after the train was put there. The first image DeWolf posted is 18km from downtown Vancouver, the second as at the edge of the inner downtown, where the skytrain emerges to go across that inner harbour area where the “science world” and the stadium is. I never found the skytrain very nice looking (or Vancouver, for that matter) – even though it’s not super massive, it does feel brutalist. It’s not as nice as the elevated subways built in Europe a hundred years ago on steel structures.

        I think what bugs me most about the downtown section of the REM2 is how dinky it appears. Rene Levesque should host a high capacity trunk line going East and West, not be the terminus for some far-East one-off mini-metro. as an elevated line, its hard to imagine it could scale up to a high capacity trunk.

      • steph 23:59 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        Guy corner Argyle.. looks like an elevated train to me. All of Turcot, and all of the MET looks like gross elevated eyesore.

      • Jonathan 08:30 on 2021-02-21 Permalink

        It seems like the province and CDPQ is trying to make the technology fit the context rather than let the context dictate the technology.

        What I see most reasonable is the type of set up some Portland transit lines have. They run at a faster speed elevated or with a complete grade separated right of way outside the town, but once it reaches the city centre it runs along the middle in a dedicated right of way. The traffic lights dictated by the vehicles. You would run longer trains slightly less often to deal with a potential bunching issue.

        Even the part under Lacordaire (?) Could run above ground potentially. That would significantly reduce the tunnelling costs.

        You would need an actual person to attend to the vehicle for safety. But all of this just seems completely reasonable and fits in. Isn’t this also what is being done with the Eglinton cross town? Where there it functions as part metro part streetcar?

        We need to flush this obsession with CDPQ and just really improve the transit planning process.

      • mare 11:17 on 2021-02-21 Permalink

        The REM2 could also just run at the current street level. RL is located on the top of a ridge, and changing every other intersection into an underpass by changing the grade of the hill would not be super complicated. The street is also wide enough to make on-ramps. Build smaller tunnels at the closed off intersections for bike and foot traffic and it’s probably cheaper and less of a barrier and eyesore. (You probably have to built an anti-suïcide fence along the track; no idea how they solve that issue along the other tracks of the REM.)

      • DeWolf 13:57 on 2021-02-21 Permalink

        Mare, that would mean turning RL into a wall with access points every few blocks. It would be way less permeable than an elevated structure that doesn’t block the ground level.

        I know some of you think I’m some kind of elevated rail fanboy, so let me just say that I think the REM de l’Est is a terrible idea. The money should be spent on the Pink Line, or barring that, on a modern tram that can run in the median of RL before turning into grade-separated light rail in the east end. It would probably be cheaper and the capacity would be about the same.

        But I also think there is a lot of catastrophizing going on about the prospect of an elevated railway. The Street View link that nau posted to the SkyTrain in Richmond is a perfect example. It’s not pretty, but it’s not particularly overbearing either, and it’s hardly a barrier.

    • Kate 10:27 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

      As Americans face an ice storm and related panics, articles are appearing on the 1998 ice storm and how Quebec coped, how weather causes pileups on highways and on how our grid compares to the U.S. ones that have failed.

      • Kate 10:00 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

        With the levels of downtown vacancy we’ve seen, do we really think a 25-storey tower will be built over the Bay store anytime soon?

        • qatzelok 10:54 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

          Never underestimate the power of money-laundering.

        • dhomas 12:11 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

        • DeWolf 14:38 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

          The Bay is not a developer, dhomas. They will either partner with a developer on this and split the rental income, or they will wait until the tower is approved and sell it as a turnkey project, renting out a portion of the space for a much smaller store. Either way they stand only to profit from this.

          They probably would have done something similar in Winnipeg but there just isn’t demand for $100 million real estate projects there. So that building will be sold and may be demolished, just as Winnipeg demolished its fantastic Eaton’s building.

        • Phil M 17:18 on 2021-02-20 Permalink

          They couldn’t build a tower on the nearly vacant lot across the street where they have their loading docks, and a dinky Hertz rental outlet?

          Don’t get me wrong, I’m all for getting rid of the nasty concrete facade on De Maisonneuve, but this design has zero aesthetic relationship to the original building.

          I vote no (fully aware I have no vote).

        • david672 00:51 on 2021-02-24 Permalink

          Just to settle a personal score, I’d like to note:

          But Raphaël Fischler, dean of environmental design at the Université de Montréal, questioned the market
          for such a development, given the decreased demand for office space.

          No longer at McGill.

          “I find it puzzling they would come up with an office project at this time,” he said. “Everyone is asking
          questions about the office market and even the condo market.”

          Never worked in the field, has no idea about economics of commercial construction.

          Fischler also expressed concern about highrise development in the downtown core, including a 61-storey
          condo tower in Phillips Square, which faces the Bay.

          He’s talking about the development of a parking lot almost as old as the city, and expressing skepticism about introducing commerce-saving residents and workers, because . . .

          “I don’t think we need such tall buildings in these locations,” he said.

          Why? He has degrees from very highly acclaimed schools, why is he so skeptical about development when it’s basically his metier? Here’s a hint, in the form of a statement from another architect:

          “Architecturally, the project for the Bay appears as an all-too-common example of the exploitation of a site
          to maximize real-estate return,” Martin Bressani, director of the Peter Guo-hua Fu School of Architecture
          at McGill University, said by email.

          The architects who don’t practice do not understand that the practice of architecture only exists in a world in which people pay architects for their services. It’s one of the most stark and adroit examples of ideology v. industry that there is.

          People want some perfect vision that they’ve cooked up, that vision just doesn’t pencil, so they oppose whatever does pencil.

      • Kate 00:02 on 2021-02-20 Permalink | Reply  

        The city and the suburban towns will be asking Quebec to outlaw hunting on the island of Montreal.

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