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  • Kate 16:36 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    Joseph Facal has a big old sneer at Montreal in Thursday’s Journal.

    I read his thing wondering what’s the point. The city is recovering from a pandemic. It’s also gradually recovering from a decades-long neglect of its infrastructure. Whenever I read complaints about construction cones I’m like OK, you’d prefer we let the water mains and sewer system collapse, and the roads above them look like bomb sites? Or do you want them fixed and maintained? Then put up and shut up.

    Of course he also hates cyclists.

    Update: Shoe dropped for me: And Facal (or a page editor at the Journal) has the nerve to headline his lousy piece with the title of a classic Beau Dommage tune.

    Also: Anyone know where Joseph Facal lives? I’d be willing to bet it’s off-island.

    • Matt G 16:57 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      What insignificant commentary. Like a city should be defined by how “nice” it is and how easy it is park for free…come on!

    • Kevin 16:58 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      All true Quebecers despise Montreal :/

    • John B 16:59 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      > OK, you’d prefer we let the water mains and sewer system collapse, and the roads above them look like bomb sites?

      This is the choice that has been made for the last generation or two, so maybe the answer is yes!

    • Blork 17:43 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      I think I’d be more tolerant of road construction and orange cones if I had some sense that it was being done systematically and smartly. Maybe it is, but it sure doesn’t seem like it. The most famous example of doing this badly of course is the do-over on the Main a decade or so again, which was highly disruptive and then had to be done all over again the next year because of a lack of coordination between the parties involved.

      That was so ridiculous and so in-our-face that I now look cynically at almost all such construction sites. How often do we see the machines show up and start digging and after two days they all go away, leaving a gaping hole surrounded by cones, and nobody comes back to the site for a week or two or even more?

      I have the same cynicism regarding the renovations of escalators in the Metro. Does it really take six months to renovate an escalator? It’s like they have a dozen escalator renovations going on at the same time and only one team of renovators. So they spend a day at one site, then the next day they go to another site, etc. etc., so they only work on any given site one day out of twelve. (I’m not saying it’s like that, but it sure SEEMS like that.)

      The same seems to happen with road and infrastructure repairs. Some seem to go quickly; others drag on for weeks or months, most of that time with no actual work happening at the site.

    • dhomas 19:40 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      I THINK they’re improving on this. In my neighbourhood, they’re redoing some of the streets. Before any street repair crews came, Bell came to put flags over all their underground infrastructure, as did Energir (Gaz Métropolitain) and Hydro-Quebec. Next, the city water people came to test all the city water pipes for lead. This was all done in a seemingly coordinated way, and in order. This week, they blocked the roads and started cutting the concrete around the sewers. Today, they removed the asphalt around the sewers. I spoke to some of the workers who told me that as soon as they finish, they will “raise” the water drains and then remove the rest of the street and sidewalks. We’ll see how the rest plays out, but so far it seems promising. The only thing that I think they could improve on further is coordinating between boroughs. They’re stopping right at the border of my borough and not working with the next borough over.

    • Kevin 20:59 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      One of my brothers repairs elevators and escalators. He’s never worked in the metro (they have their own crew) but he’s spoken with some of them as they worked while he was in adjacent malls.

      Most of the crews you see are doing maintenance. Commercial properties sometimes pay extra to do that maintenance overnight, but the STM does not.

      As for the maintenance, they do the best they can with what they have, but what they have is old and acquiring spare parts is difficult. That and cleaning the metro escalators is a bitch and a half.

    • DeWolf 22:02 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

      Funny how he complains about bicycles and then raves about Amsterdam, Berlin and Seville (three great cities for bikes) a few paragraphs later.

    • Uatu 08:56 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

      Seriously? You starve Montreal of cash and now you complain about it? Then quote some beau dommage song that doesn’t really reflect current Montreal? Ok boomeur.

    • Jack 12:09 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

      Laval, Facal was a very intelligent immigrant. First his parents sent him to Brebeuf where he palled around with PKP. There he became a Quebec “independantiste”. In doing so an entire network immediately opened to him. His dedication to that cause is reflected in this reading list that according to him “describes” Quebec. An unbelievable level of tunnel vision and ideological pretense.

    • JaneyB 18:01 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

      re: escalator repair – if acquiring spare parts for old machines is difficult, why can’t they use a machinist to make the parts. That is what they do, after all. Old buildings, old machines…whatever. There are experts that can make what’s needed to fix them. In the case of a large, captive contract like the STM, that shouldn’t be a problem.

    • qatzelok 19:59 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

      A whiny boomer with car-dependence issues.

      He should stick to writing incoherent troll-bites for the Gazette comment section.

  • Kate 16:19 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

    I’m not sure whether to applaud Quebec and Ottawa putting money into the aerospace industry, thus creating jobs and so forth etcetera, or query why they constantly prop up what’s nominally a capitalist venture with corporate welfare.

    • Kate 15:47 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

      Denis Coderre wants to turn Bonsecours market back into the farmers’ market that it was many years ago, although I wonder whether such a thing is even possible in that location. Would real farmers be allowed in, or would it be expensive, delicious “terroir” delicacies, maple syrup priced for the tourist market, and organically raised Wagyu beef?

      Coderre’s dictum that Ville-Marie needs a market does have some sense, but it’s not Old Montreal but the more mundane part of eastern Ville-Marie that could use a market. The loss of the old St-Jacques market left a gap for residents there, although I can’t remember whether it was under Tremblay or under Coderre that the building was sold into private hands.

      • David448 16:13 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        The Faubourg mall is the obvious location for a farmer’s market.

      • Kate 16:21 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        It wouldn’t be a bad idea, but it wouldn’t help eastern Ville-Marie.

      • j2 16:45 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        There was a grocery store where Brewskey downstairs is now, or maybe beside it but more west. It had terrible amounts of stock and lots of expensive items, like it couldn’t figure out if it should be a tourist destination. It didn’t last long and good riddance.

      • David 543 16:52 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        In Saint-Jacques, you have a lot of availability at the Palace Dupuis mall, at Faubourg Quebec you have the Viger station commerical area that could serve both eastern Old Montreal and all at new construction + Rad Can lands. At the Faubourg des Récollets, you have a plan for a market (or had?) at the 21ème project. Agree that Beausecours is the worst location – hard to get to, nobody lives there, hard to navigate in winter, and likely to skew tourist.

      • dhomas 17:01 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        It’s not a farmer’s market, but isn’t there a Super C in the old St Jacques market?

        Also, the market closed down during the Tremblay era, according to Wikipedia:


      • Ephraim 18:50 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        Yes, they put a Super C in the Old St-Jacques market. But Super C is a low-SKU store.

      • DeWolf 22:07 on 2021-07-15 Permalink

        The new Gare Viger development would be ideal for a public market that could spill out beneath the Notre-Dame viaduct in the summertime. There are thousands of people living around there and not a single grocery store within a 15 minute walk (the closest is the IGA in Place Dupuis).

      • CE 07:56 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

        I walked around that area in the spring and was struck by how much residential development there was without a single commercial space. Not even a café or dep.

      • JaneyB 18:20 on 2021-07-16 Permalink

        There is definitely a need for a grocery store somewhere in Old Montreal. A farmers’ market somewhere would be nice but somehow Marché Bonsecour sounds like it would be a touristic, overpriced foodstuff thing. Something like the Marché Public on Cote-des-neiges could work though. It would be great to have the Faubourg reanimated on the main level but the glorious Asian-focus Marché Newon upstairs is vast and fabulous.

      • Kate 11:25 on 2021-07-17 Permalink

        JaneyB, I had no idea about Marché Newon. I haven’t been down that end of town for more than a year (!!) but it’s now on my mental map.

    • Kate 11:38 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

      A member of a Hochelaga-Maisonneuve citizen group asks exactly what the vaunted plan to revive the east end means, if it’s about running a 24/7 logistics centre with trucks and trains coming and going at all hours near residential areas, and the destruction of some of the scanty green space in the area.

      • Kate 08:40 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse asks what happened to the coyotes, after reports have fallen off since a spike in 2019. Did the city’s actions really make a difference – as the city rep tries to claim – or did some other factor change things, maybe more people being around in residential areas in the daytime?

        In 2020, a Gazette story claimed that a lot of the reports were about a single animal, who has since either died or left the area.

        • Kate 08:30 on 2021-07-15 Permalink | Reply  

          The body of a man was pulled out of the river near the new Champlain bridge Wednesday night. No identification has been made but there seems no link with the man lost off a boat on the weekend.

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