Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 14:38 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

    Lots of dramatic words coming out about the impending partial tunnel closure: pain, hell, nightmares, and capharnaüm.

    • Kevin 15:04 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      I don’t think I’ve ever been through that tunnel, but the spillover effects from its closing are widespread.
      When they were doing work pre-pandemic (fire, paralumes, whatever) the afternoon backups to get on the Jacques Cartier bridge would spill onto the eastbound Ville-Marie all the way to the St. Laurent exit.

    • Ian 15:15 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      I know we like to ridicule commuter woes here, but after getting a job in Ste Anne and taking the bus for a few years it was only the reconstruction of the VME that convinced me to buy my first car. I am still not pleased about it, and the transit to Ste Anne is only getting worse. I would not be surprised if this capharnaüm for the South Shore leads to more people buying cars.

      If we don’t want people coming from or going to anywhere outside the city centre, fine, but if we actually want people to stop driving there need to be realistic transit solutions – we need carrot as well as stick. We aren’t all lucky enough to be full abled, have no mobility issues or needs, live and work within walking distance or convenient biking distance.

      Even the city centre bus lines aren’t back to their pre-covid schedule. This whole city is a shambles and we need to work together, not play at victim/villain against one another.

      I would love to live in a city where I could reasonably expect to get from one end to the other by public transit even outside commuter hours. I would love to live in a city where the only vehicular traffic allowed is delivery vehicles, emergency services, and public transit. Heck, I would love to not have to use a lead filter on my tap water and have the city pay for replacing the standpipes instead of funding the police more than any other Canadian city. These are all things that are ultimately political – they take work, and cooperation.

    • Kate 15:58 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      Not making fun. I’ve just been interested in the vocabulary.

    • dhomas 16:17 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

      I for one had never come across the word capharnaüm before in my life. Interesting vocabulary indeed!

    • qatzelok 12:07 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

      That tunnel has very bad bicycle karma.

      Because of the priorities that dominated its construction in the 60s, you can’t ride your bike to les Iles de Boucherville. You must take a ferry from the South Shore that is only open for a few months, and closes at aroung 5 pm.

      Meanwhile, SUVs and Winnebagos have easy access 24-7 via this tunnel-bridge.

      So if commuters really do experience a bit of the Hell-Pain-Nightmares that the car-industry media warns about, they probably deserve it for this kind of systemic racism against non-car commuters.

    • DeWolf 12:22 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

      You’re absolutely right, Ian. Regional transport planning in Montreal is broken and until it’s fixed, there will be more and more cars on the road.

      I honestly don’t know how to fix it. We have a federal government willing to pony up cash, but a provincial government that clearly has no interest in actually funding transit solutions. Meanwhile, transit agencies seem to have their head in the sand, hoping things will magically get better. Perfect example: the famous Pie-IX SRB is launching soon, but it will offer 10 minute off-peak frequencies and *no service at all* after 6pm on weekends. There will be no ticket machines in stations, so you’ll still have people fumbling with cash and tickets as they wait to board. It’s absolutely not bus rapid transit, despite the STM’s promise that it would offer metro-like service – buses coming every few minutes, quick all-door boarding, a seamless show-up-and-go kind of experience. The STM has said they will reevaluate the service offering if ridership increases, but ridership won’t increase if service is bad.

      Meanwhile, Exo still isn’t restoring commuter train service cut during the pandemic, and commuter train frequencies were already awful.

      So yeah, you’re absolutely right. But… I’m not sure what any of this has to do with the tunnel. The tunnel isn’t being closed to make life difficult for drivers. It’s being closed because it’s falling apart.

    • Kate 12:36 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

      No ticket machines in the SRB stations? What kind of sense does that make?

      Speaking of transit, on a different scale, I just found out that the Amtrak Adirondack has still not resumed its one departure per day.

  • Kate 09:26 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has a tree nursery in L’Assomption that was nearly auctioned off for unpaid municipal fees this month. Montreal owed the suburban town $160,000, which has now been paid.

    • Kate 09:21 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

      Time Out has named the Mile End the fifth coolest neighbourhood in the world. Twitterer FNoMTL suggests some alternative content.

      • Joey 09:49 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Who doesn’t send all their out-of-town friends to pick up some school supplies at Zoubris? I guess the same people who don’t buy flowers on vacation…

      • Meezly 09:57 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Well how nice. Now it’ll renew Shiller Lavy’s greedy efforts to buy up more buildings and hike rents.

      • Blork 11:12 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        I wish people would stop falling for this kind of bullshit. It’s only one step less bullshitty than those stupid Facebook things like “What Harry Potter character are you?”

      • Kate 11:42 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Sometimes I pass over them as uninteresting, but in this case I’ve seen enough tweeting and chattering about this one that I thought I should post it. And i liked FNoMTL’s spins on the details.

      • Ian 14:46 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        FNoMTL is right though, you need to know the neighbourhood cats. I’d rather see a top 5 Mile End cats list, too, while we are on the topic.
        1. Cool Gary
        2. The Siamese cat that begs for fish outside Ubi
        3. The one-eared cat that begs for chicken outside Serrano
        4. The big fat orange cat that likes to get pets and will follow you that hangs around Groll and Esplanade
        5. the stencilled cats along St. Viateur from back when the neighbourhood was actually cool, briefly

      • Kate 15:57 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        I’m just sad that Villeray’s iconic cat Richard has gone missing. It’s always going to be dicey when a cat hangs out in the street, even if it seems street‑smart.

      • Ian 16:44 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Oh heck. I don’t know Villeray’s cats but yeah, that’s always a risk. Hope he’s just been off on a spirit quest and returns soon.

      • Kate 16:45 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Actually, after posting that, I rummaged back through Facebook posts and found that his owner said Richard had returned. I’m so glad.

        Do you know Café Pinocchio? He’s a regular around that block.

      • Ian 16:55 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        I actually have a friend that lives near there, so yes. Glad to hear it 🙂

      • Kate 17:44 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        I find it amazing there are still cats that can go walkabout for days and come back unscathed. Of course, they may just be having a spa week with a nearby cat lady.

      • DeWolf 12:30 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

        I had a neighbour cat named Gatsby who went missing and it turned out some busybody down the street had taken him in, assumed he was a stray, and instead of going to the vet to check his microchip, she gave him to a friend who lived in Mascouche. Luckily he was able to return after his brief exile in the suburbs. (He normally had a collar but it must have fallen off.)

        That said, I can’t be too judgemental, because my wife and I were also guilty of (inadvertent) cat-napping. A beautiful little cat with no collar would come by our garden several times a day, and one day she just… never left. She even came inside and snuggled with my wife and I as we were sleeping. Even though the windows were open overnight, she didn’t go home, and this whole situation lasted for about three or four days before we decided to take her to the vet to see what the deal was. Luckily, we didn’t need to, because that was the day her owner started putting up missing cat posters. It turned out she lived about 25 metres down the alleyway.

        Cats are strange.

      • Tee Owe 12:54 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

        Nice that this became a cat thread. Speaking as one who was adopted by a cat, cats are not strange, cats decide!

      • Kate 15:02 on 2022-10-16 Permalink

        I took a photo of the fabled Richard last summer before finding out he had his own Facebook page and public.

    • Kate 09:19 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

      A UdeM study shows that the wealthier the borough, the larger the city’s investment in green infrastructure and bike paths. Principal author Yan Kestens encourages Projet Montréal to do better.

      • Ian 13:35 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        They’re right. This is what happens when you have no centralized urban planning. They don’t even do engineering studies on the bike paths. A lot of neighbourhoods getting the most bike paths and parks are, perhaps uncoincidentally, Projet boroughs … that have a lower percentage of BIPOC, higher incomes, and are rapidly gentrifying.

      • mare 15:03 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        From personal experience I must say that the bike path situation is not completely true. The network of bike paths in the rich West of the island is much worse and spottier than in the poorer neighbourhoods in the East.

        Related: despite being suburban, Longueuil’s bike paths are amazing, a lot of recent additions and the quality is top notch (no potholes, cracks or 10 cm recessed hole covers). It can be done.

      • dhomas 16:19 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        The Projet boroughs are likely also the ones that will see the least pushback to bike paths, though.

      • Ian 16:50 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

        Is that really true, though? There are a lot of neighbourhoods with fantastic bike paths even before projet that don’t vote projet now.

        The biggest problem with projet is they follow the Richard Florida “attract the creative class” model of urban planning which devalues expertise and contributes to gentrification.

        We need a centralized urban planning committee that at the very least looks at traffic engineering and urban engineering. Projet gleefully does not. They are avoiding studies to save money and instead perform green-looking easy wins to generate votes.

      • DeWolf 13:11 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

        Ian, most bike paths are initiated at the borough level, so it shouldn’t be a surprise that Projet boroughs get the most bike infrastructure. Every borough does things differently so I’m not sure about the specifics involved in something like the new Villeray Street path, for instance. But the city-level projects like the REV Bellechasse and St-Denis most certainly involved the city’s engineering divisions. The city’s engineers discussed their studies in the public Q&A sessions back in 2020. The same was true on a borough level for the Pine Avenue reconstruction which of course includes a major new bike path. Engineers were definitely involved.

        Which neighbourhoods have great bike paths that no longer vote for Projet? Aside from recreational paths along the rivers I can’t think of any non-Projet boroughs that have anything close to acceptable bike infrastructure.

        In terms of ethnocultural diversity, the 2021 census data isn’t out until the end of the month, but based on 2016, these are the ten boroughs with the largest percentage of visible minority residents:

        Saint-Laurent – 53% – Ensemble
        Montreal North – 49% – Ensemble
        CDN-NDG – 47% – Projet
        VSMPE – 47% – Projet
        St-Léonard – 43% – Ensemble
        Ahuntsic-Cartierville – 38% – Projet
        Ville-Marie – 36% – Projet
        LaSalle – 37% – Team LaSalle
        Anjou – 32% – Team Anjou
        Sud-Ouest – 28% – Projet

        It’s an even split. Projet certainly has its roots in the Plateau and Rosemont, which are both very white (though increasingly less so), but I’m not sure you can argue that they lack support among immigrants and POCs when half of the city’s least white boroughs vote for Projet.

        This is obviously a very superficial analysis and you could break things down even more finely by looking at individual council districts, but still – I think the argument that “Projet is the party of white gentrifiers” is a little facile when it has support throughout the city, including in many of the city’s most diverse boroughs.

      • DeWolf 15:33 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

        Actually, I just remembered that Bellechasse is technically a borough initiative, so the central city wasn’t involved in the planning (AFAIK). But St-Denis most definitely involved engineers and traffic studies as it passes through three boroughs and is quite complex.

        Also, I completely forgot Pierrefonds was a city borough, and it turns out it was 47% visible minority back in 2016. It’s an Ensemble borough. But of course very surburban. There are hardly any sidewalks, let alone safe bike paths.

    • Kate 09:15 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

      Some notes on driving this weekend.

      I’ve noticed more media adding a feature on what to do on the weekend, so I’m going to note these as well when I see them: 1, 2, 3.

      • Kate 09:06 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

        Metro considers the decline of the tavern as an iconic feature of Montreal, as habits have changed over the years.

        In the 1960s and 70s there were 700 taverns here; the admission of women starting in the mid‑1980s means there’s no longer a category of bar permit that defines a tavern any more, and the establishments that descended from them are disappearing.

        The writer’s young, though. She cites one writer claiming that slot machines (VLTs, presumably) were typical of taverns, but I’m pretty sure they were not legal (and may not even have existed) for all or most of the time the tavern was a thing.

        She also says there were three big breweries that produced all the beer: “Molson Coors, Labatt and Sleeman.” I would have said Molson, Labatt and Dow. Sleeman dates from a more recent time (1988), and Molson’s marriage to Coors was in 2005.

        • Blork 12:39 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          Nothing new here. I’ve been seeing “decline of the tavern” stories in local media since the late 80s.

        • Kate 13:04 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          Blork, I remind you I’m at the mercy of what turns up in the media on any given day.

        • Blork 14:41 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          Kate, I’m not knocking your post (nor the one about Timeout above). I’m just commenting in general.

        • Ian 15:01 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          I lived near Atwater and St Antoine for a longish time in the mid 90s. At that time, there were by my count 12 or so bars within 10 minutes walking distance, 4 of them former taverns with “bienvenue aux dames” signs. They are all gone now. Coin d’Or at Atwater and N-D in particular was a gem, it’s been a Belle Province, a vape store, and a bunch of other stuff. Now it’s an intensely pretentious cringeworthy gentrifier joint called “Foiegwa”. Westmount Tavern, my 2nd favourite, was a quaint little hidey hole. It is now a dental clinic. My old local, Bar Atwater, has been an antique store since the early 00’s. For a brief time when there were a lot of North Africans in the neighbourhood it served as a mosque. There are in fact no bars within ten minutes walking distance of that corner anymore, and there haven’t been for decades.

          Taverns, like hanging out in the blue haze at old man bars, presiding over your couple decks, your ashtray, and your glass are gone. There are still a few places that have a bit of the vibe but like Montreal of 25 years ago, the time has passed.

          FWIW VLTs became legal in the early 90s as I recall, but only started happening in a big way in the late 90s and became ubiquitous in the early 00’s. I’m seeing a lot of places pulling them out. I suspect there may be some shakedown involved as a lot the places getting hit by the protection racket still have VLTs.

        • Andrew 15:55 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          Ian, this probably won’t make you feel better, but Foiegwa only took over half of the Belle Pro, the other half is a bar called Atwater Cocktail Club that has a “secret” speakeasy style entrance in the back.

        • dwgs 16:41 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          There are definitely far fewer taverns these days and it’s a pity. I love finding a good ‘local’.

        • Ian 16:41 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          Aw sweet, I wonder of they still accept welfare cheques as scrip like Coin D’Or used to 😀
          St Henri is very cleaned up, the neighbourhood used to be actively dangerous.

          This is the thing, we miss “authentic” areas but resent gentrified areas. I kind of like being able to mostly do what I want without worrying about getting jacked up or whatever. I have no desire to go to yet another artisanal locally sourced what-have-you but at the same time If I walked into coin d’Or and ordered a drink in English at the wrong time I might have been beaten up & thrown out the back door into the alley – I saw it happen.

        • Kate 08:56 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

          Ian, you’re right about the irony. Once more than a few people notice that a neighbourhood or even a single establishment is still authentic, it immediately starts to get gentrified. I don’t know how you stop this except simply not to talk about urban areas and features you discover (see Green Bottle Street).

        • Ian 16:56 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

          Yeah well every misses “real” downtown, but nobody misses getting mugged.

        • MarcG 19:07 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

          @Ian: When you say there are no bars within 10 minutes of that corner, I guess you’re talking about a specific type? Burgundy Lion and Drinkerie St-Cunégonde are very close and I would call them both bars.

        • Ian 20:12 on 2022-10-15 Permalink

          Burgundy Lion is a Pub and Drinkerie is a twee “drinkerie” where a 2-egg brunch costs $22, but as you like.

        • MarcG 07:36 on 2022-10-16 Permalink

          Haha, never been in the Drinkerie, looks like a place to get drunk from outside. Check out Pam Pam in Parc-Ex if you want to fear for your life (that’s the “magic” on the sign) while enjoying $10 pichets. https://goo.gl/maps/aAhQssb9YuEe6h79A

        • Ian 11:58 on 2022-10-16 Permalink

          Yeah Park Ex for sure still has a vibe. I just hope the hipsters are happy with Mile Ex and Little Italy and leave Jean-Talon alone. I have too many rent refugee friends who used to live in “cool” neighbourhoods including St. Henry, the Point, and Little Burgundy that slowly migrated into Park Ex. Even the UdeM incursion doesn’t seem to be extending up to JT yet, thankfully.

      • Kate 08:40 on 2022-10-14 Permalink | Reply  

        Not only is the mayor still angry that Canada Post is prepared to help Transcontinental circumvent the city’s new bylaw making unaddressed mail opt‑in, the postal union is also not happy that its workers will be expected to haul the heavy flyers once a week.

        • Ian 16:42 on 2022-10-14 Permalink

          If only mayors had the ability to control federal services /s

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