Updates from September, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:22 on 2022-09-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Mile End landmark the Van Horne warehouse may be transformed into a hotel. Not everyone is thrilled with the plan.

    More Wednesday about neighbourhood concerns.

    • Blork 22:31 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      Gabor Szilasi took a well-known panorama of that building in 1980, which is one of the best known photographs of it from that era. A decade or so later I took a photo of it from more or less the same position as part of a project of night photos of the Van Horne viaduct that I was working on.

      I was a student at Concordia at the time (fine arts, photo) and when I exhibited the portfolio, Gabor (who was one of my teachers) expressed great interest in it. He was amazed that it was shot on 35mm film given the quality and detail of the print (TMI: shot with Kodak Technical Pan film: ISO 25, and developed using a very persnickety process to maximize detail and sharpness).

      Gabor said we should exchange prints, which was a common practice among peers back in those analog days. But your ever-doubting Blork just laughed it off, thinking he must be kidding. What a naïve idiot I was.


    • Ian 18:27 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      Wow, a missed opportunity! But at least you can take comfort is a compliment from someone you admire.

    • DeWolf 21:00 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      This seems like a good symbol of how Mile End has changed. A hotel is just kind of… lame. In an ideal world, the city would have endless reserves of cash to buy buildings like this and turn them into interesting community venues. Or some eccentric arts patron would have bought it for some kind of oddball project. Ultimately, though, opposing its transformation also feels like shouting into the wind. A warehouse for documents is becoming a warehouse for tourists.

      This Urbania piece has some nice passages:

      // Ce monolithe de briques dévoré par les graffitis apporte un patrimoine romantique qui fait de Montréal une ville plus cool que Brossard, invitant à l’errance, aux dérives et à la découverte de lieux atypiques à l’intérieur d’un réseau d’expériences et de textures différentes. //


  • Kate 18:04 on 2022-09-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Short of crossing guards, the city is pressing police into service to help school kids safely cross the street.

    So I thought I’d look into how to apply to become a crossing guard. Google “brigadiers scolaires montreal” and the first thing that pops up is the SPVM site. OK. Offer is $20.01 an hour. So you click on “Poser ma candidature” near the bottom of the page.

    This takes you to a city page, where you read another bunch of text and then click on a button that says “Postuler maintenant” and you get an “Erreur – Le poste pour lequel vous tentez de poser votre candidature n’est plus disponible.”

    Think this might be the problem.

    • Louigi 20:01 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      Hmm. That’s not what happens for me. I get taken to a page (1) which directs me to a page (2) which has a link “voir les offres” to a site where you can see lots of currently available jobs with the city. You then have to sign up for an account on their jobs site and you can submit your CV and apply for the crossing guard job, among others.

      Their system works for me, anyway.

      (1) https://simenligne.ville.montreal.qc.ca/OA_HTML/OA.jsp?page=/oracle/apps/irc/candidateSelfService/webui/VisVacDispPG&OAHP=IRC_EXT_SITE_VISITOR_APPL&OASF=IRC_VIS_VAC_DISPLAY&akRegionApplicationId=821&transactionid=1219467308&retainAM=N&addBreadCrumb=RP&p_svid=169732&p_spid=6346034&oapc=6&oas=g6ynFWbcCSz_L8xn6LZ9fA..
      (2) http://www.ville.montreal.qc.ca/emploi

    • mare 21:08 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      @Louigi That job offer has expired two years ago. (There might be other ones, I didn’t search)

      I honestly thought that the crossing guards were recruited via the school, and that they were parents or friends of parents. Travelling far for an hour of work twice a day doesn’t seem very efficient. I saw one brigadier who really had nothing to do because the street crossing he protected, on Villeray, was still pedestrianized for the summer. But he was hired so he showed up for work and sat on one of the concrete blocks that closed off the street, and perused the internet on his phone. This was last Tuesday, I don’t know if it happened every day. I guess the street was opened today so now work has finally started.

    • Kate 21:32 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      I still get “Erreur – Le poste pour lequel vous tentez de poser votre candidature n’est plus disponible” no matter what, but thanks for giving it a try.

    • Kate 21:38 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      I got to know one of the local crossing guards a bit, a couple of years ago. She was a retired woman who lived quite close by, enjoyed interacting with the kids and parents twice a day, and people like me that she often saw passing by. I don’t know whether she’s still doing it, since I don’t go anywhere in the morning now.

      I wonder how many older people stopped doing crossing guard duties when schools were out during the first waves of the pandemic, and haven’t felt like taking it up again.

    • Tim S. 08:14 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      Schools weren’t out that long in Quebec compared to elsewhere – “only” March – August 2020. The crossing guards I know best all seem to have come back. Nice to see them: the good ones are real neighbourhood institutions.

    • Louigi 14:09 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      @mare, my link (1) is indeed to an expired posting. But the bottom of the page at (1) has a link to (2), at which there are indeed current postings that I am able to apply for.

    • Paul 14:47 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      Old man story incoming…

      Growing up in Western Canada, the grade 5&6 students had to be the crossing guards in teams of three. It was a great way to instill responsibility, and it cost the community nothing. Although I am sure insurers wouldn’t like it, this could be a solution to many of our problems.

    • Kevin 16:42 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      Same thing happened here, wearing fabulous reflective orange one-shouldered harnesses.

  • Kate 15:23 on 2022-09-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Radio-Canada profiles local man Johny Saliby who’s come up with a new phone app to fight food waste by helping restaurants, grocery stores and so on make food available at a lower price preferable to throwing it away. I’ve just installed Sauvegarde on my phone and see several local establishments on it, will post about how well it works later.

    • mare 20:50 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      Invent is a big word, I have already three other apps on my phone that do something similar but not only in Canada*. The hard part is that they all need to ‘recruit’ stores to populate their app so it becomes/ stays useful. That costs time and money (lots of it) so the app makers basically use VC money to provide cheap food. Until one of them wins the biggest clients, dominates the market and the other apps will die.

      Coincidentally I used TooGoodToGo today, for the third time. I’m not sure the food I got today, two *very* nice frozen vegetarian quiches, were really going to waste, but maybe they were in a freezer for a while. It feels weird because I’m not foodbank poor, and people who really need it don’t have time to cycle (or drive, or take a bus) to an industrial location in St-Michel during business hours to pick up a meal for two.

      *TooGoodToGo FoodHero Flashfood Karma. I see they’re mentioned in the article too.

    • Mary 08:16 on 2022-09-07 Permalink

      And Foodprint, Une Bonne Chance

  • Kate 11:22 on 2022-09-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Ted Rutland presents a twitter thread showing crime statistics about guns and crime in Montreal.

    Some excerpts: overall gun crime is basically unchanged from 2018 (up only 3%)There is more violence, but no evidence of more guns. Half the murders in 2021 were carried out without a gun and the number of murders in 2021 was exactly the same as the average for the last 20 years.

    • Blork 12:37 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      That implies we’ve had guns going off almost every night since 2018 but it’s only lately that the media has been obsessively reporting it. Can that be true?

    • David S 13:21 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      But I believe I’ve been seeing more « shots were heard », with no victim. Those don’t seem to be considered in the stats, or am I missing something? Are reports done for these situations?

    • Simon 14:01 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      Blork, the police media department and the Fraternité has been encouraging the press to report on gun violence more since people started wondering why we spend so much on police services that seem to not be inclined to protect the public.

    • Spi 14:43 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      I really dislike his conclusion that overall gun crimes are “flat”, what people care about most is the use of a gun against a person. Sure letting off shots in an alley and at no particular individual and armed robberies are worrisome. The number of attempted murders by use of a firearm is up 52% (18 counts) if only half of those additional attempted murders had resulted in death then your homicides would have doubled.

      If you add homicides and attempted murders together in order to negate the criminals failure, the victims luck and medical intervention. Then you’re looking at a 46% increase in the use of a firearm with the intent to kill (because you rarely see someone get shot with the purpose to wound them)

    • Ephraim 19:05 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      If the southern neighbour’s citizens would stop arming the cartels and the gangs, maybe we would have less of them here.

  • Kate 09:14 on 2022-09-06 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse has a piece about how Montreal is out of step with the rest of Quebec politically and culturally – no secret – but the conclusion that “Ce qu’il souhaite par-dessus tout, c’est devenir le prochain Toronto, si bien qu’il ne se préoccupe plus depuis longtemps de s’accorder avec les aspirations québécoises.”

    I don’t feel that, but what are the aspirations québécoises? A longing for the old days? – Villemure writes of “volonté claire d’enracinement et de conservation” – the old days of white French Catholic monoculture in little villages, with big families to work the farm?

    Allison Hanes reminds us that Montreal has “a quarter of the [Quebec] population living on the island of Montreal and half in the surrounding metropolitan area. […] But it only has about a fifth of the seats in the National Assembly — 27 of 125.” That’s a serious distortion of its potential political clout.

    • Thomas 09:51 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      “Devenir le prochain Toronto”, eh? Montreal used to be the metropolis of Canada, not merely the métropole du Québec. If anything, restoring some of Montreal’s lost glory would be a return to traditions — just not the ones this particular chap is fond of. Also, I don’t know what planet this dude is living on, but courtoisie à la française isn’t really what comes to mind for me when I think about everyday life in Quebec lol

      Pauvre monsieur quand même…

    • Thomas 10:51 on 2022-09-06 Permalink


      During the last election campaign Legault pledged to institute some form of proportional representation if elected, which would have gone some way to fixing the issue of representation in the National Assembly. And then, just like Justin Trudeau before him, he reneged on that promise after winning the election. Quelle surprise. Turns out Legault and Trudeau aren’t as different as François would like to think. Meanwhile, democracy weeps…

    • DeWolf 10:55 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      “Plus les années passent, plus Montréal renonce à un certain art de vivre québécois. Montréal semble renoncer au calme, à la douceur et être bien déterminée à s’ensauvager en généralisant une violence sonore, économique mais aussi armée. Les balles fusent désormais sur l’heure du dîner, et ce, dans presque tous les quartiers de la ville.”

      What an outlandish, cartoonish vision of both Montreal and Quebec. I could just as easily characterize the rest of Quebec as a wasteland of strip malls and pickup trucks speeding down the main roads of hollowed-out villages. The kind of place that has turned inwards on itself, where there is no longer any social glue, where a little girl is mowed down by a car on her way home from school and her fellow villagers still voted en masse to install a sidewalk to prevent such a thing from happening again.

      But that would be a gross mischaracterization. It ignores all the lively, tight-knit neighbourhoods of Quebec City and all the small towns and villages that have been transformed by citizens who care about one another and the place they live. Just as this op-ed writer ignores the day to day reality of Montreal and describes it instead as a chaotic Wild West. This is city of ruelles vertes, comités de citoyens, lively street fairs and neighbourhood parties, bike paths, lush curb extensions and traffic-calmed streets. It’s cleaner, greener and safer than it was 30 years ago.

      Anyway, I looked up the writer and he’s surprisingly young, but perhaps not surprisingly, he seems to be styling himself as a reactionary intellectual. MBC Lite.

    • Kevin 11:04 on 2022-09-06 Permalink

      Montreal is not Quebec, and that’s perfectly okay.

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