Updates from October, 2022 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 13:05 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Blanche Lemco van Ginkel has died. That we still have Old Montreal is largely credited to her work, a report condemning the idea of running an elevated highway right through it, proposed in the 1960s.

    Update: More on Blanche Lemco van Ginkel from CTV and the Gazette.

    • Blork 15:26 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Serious proposal: name the linear park that runs along the old port after her. For obvious reasons, but also because a name like that really needs to be immortalized!

    • DeWolf 23:51 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      What an amazing legacy. It’s a shame that so many people have only heard about it just now (including myself!).

      I thought her surname sounded familiar and I realized that her husband was Moshe Safdie’s mentor when he was writing the undergraduate thesis that led to Habitat 67.

    • JaneyB 00:49 on 2022-10-27 Permalink

      @Blork. Great idea. In fact, that’s worth a letter to the Mayor’s office. Count me in.

      Also, this is the first I’ve heard of her. What a distinguished life.

    • Kate 10:01 on 2022-10-27 Permalink

      I recall posting something about her, but it must have been before this recension of the blog. She doesn’t get mentioned much, considering the positive effect she had on this city.

  • Kate 11:35 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Work on the Lafontaine tunnel may afford a boost to the river ferries, which have never been a major part of the transit picture. But they became much more popular this year, as the graph shows, and services may be increased next spring to take some pressure off tunnel traffic.

    • DeWolf 12:58 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      I took one for the first time this summer and it was great. Ferry rides are always relaxing and with service increases it may actually be a useful form of transport, something that can help reorient the city around the river. Metro reported the other day that, in theory, ferry services could run from early April to late December every year without any issues.

    • Kate 13:07 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      It’s also free now! (Is this the Metro piece you saw, DW?)

      The Navark website has not been updated yet to show that it’s free and extended into November.

      I feel an urge to be on the river when it’s snowing…

    • Blork 16:09 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      If only the navette from Longueuil were easier to get to. As it stands, it’s about a 700 metre walk from the nearest bus stop, and given that the navette only leaves once per hour, that’s a sweat-inducing 700 metres when time is running short.

      Also, it would be nice if the first boat left earlier. As it is, first crossing is at 9:30, which gets you into Old Montreal at about 10:00AM. Not ideal for most commuters, especially if you still have to hoof it to a Metro station and continue on to downtown or whatever.

      It works well for people who work in Old Montreal though, and who have a flexible work schedule, and who live within biking or walking distance of the Longueuil Marina. (As you can see, the scope is quite narrow.)

    • Kate 16:21 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      The Navark website, which I probably linked above after you’d written your comment, Blork, says there’s a departure from Boucherville at 7:30 a.m., also 9 and 10:30 am. Are we looking at the same data?

    • John B 17:03 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      The Metro article says it’s the Montreal Mercier – Boucherville ferry, (MMB), not the Boucherville – Vieux-Port ferry. Here’s the Navark page for the MMB route, which is updated.

      Do lots of people commute between the south shore and somewhere on the island east of the tunnel?

    • Blork 17:46 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Kate, that’s the Boucherville to Old Port ferry. I’m talking about the Longueuil to Old Port ferry.

      The Longueuil one is more leisure-oriented than the other ones. Much more space for bikes, and the seating is all outdoors (although you can go into the “hold” with the bikes if it gets cold or rainy). Also, it stops at Ile Ste-Helene in both directions, and runs late (something like 10:00PM or even later) but doesn’t start early in the morning.

    • Blork 17:53 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Here’s a photo of the Longueuil ferry, taken from above (the JC bridge) about 11 years ago. It’s still the same boat.

      This was the first boat of the day, heading from Montreal to Longueuil at 10:00AM I think (they started even later then) so of course it has no passengers. That whole exposed top deck is where people sit, plus there’s an exposed lower deck at the back but it’s pretty noisy there. The inner part (where you see the line of windows) is like a cargo area where there is limited seating along the two sides and the middle is all bike racks. It can hold about 50 bikes I think, although the they had reconfigured it on my last ride in September to have fewer bike racks. I’m not sure why.

      Compare that with the PAT and Boucherville ferries, which are much smaller and have seating more like a bus (and clear canopies over the seating).


    • Kate 18:16 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Thank you both for clarifications!

  • Kate 10:42 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse’s Vincent Brousseau-Pouliot lays out some figures showing that bringing in private money is not the best way to build public transit – the REM specifically, but he also looks at studies and experiences from elsewhere.

    The Caisse du dépôt has neither brought the project in on time, nor under budget.

    A week ago when it was announced that the REM would miss its December 1 launch, a regular reader asked who would absorb the cost overruns. Brousseau‑Pouliot doesn’t make that clear, although he does mention the billion dollars in public costs to cover the adaptations needed to integrate the REM.

    • Uatu 17:55 on 2022-10-27 Permalink

      This and the failure of private nursing homes is proof that neoliberal privatization policies are a load of crap

  • Kate 09:41 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Statistics Canada has released more data from last year’s census, the big number at the moment being that 23% of Canadians are immigrants, the highest percentage among the G7 countries.

    I was teased into reading this by a La Presse link saying that more than one third of Canadians claim no religious affiliation, but the article itself has no data about religions.

    • Kevin 10:13 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Census data about religion, immigrants, ethnicity etc.. comes out Thursday, with more details out Nov. 2

    • DeWolf 10:29 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

    • DeWolf 10:44 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Some highlights for Montreal:

      Visible minorities

      Montreal (city): 38.8%
      Montreal (CMA): 27.1%


      Montreal (city): 33.3%
      Montreal (CMA): 24.3%

      Recent immigrants (since 2011):

      Montreal (city): 11.2%
      Montreal (CMA): 7.6%

      Religious affiliation for Montreal (island):

      Catholic: 34.4%
      No religion: 30.1%
      Other Christian: 15%
      Muslim: 11.9%
      Jewish: 3.7%
      Hindu: 1.8%
      Buddhist: 1.4%

    • Kate 10:56 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Thanks, DeWolf.

      As I may have mentioned last year, while doing census work, I was surprised to note how few people were declaring a religion, even older people I figured must have been raised Catholic. And some who did, were speaking without much personal conviction, as if it was merely a label they’d always had and would go on having, from habit.

    • DeWolf 10:56 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Comparing the 2021 data with 2016, some trends:

      As a percentage of the total population, the number of visible minorities increased by about 5% in both the city proper and the metropolitan area.

      The proportion of immigrants in Montreal proper declined by 1% but increased in the metropolitan area by 1%, meaning more immigrants are now settling in the suburbs than in the city.

    • Kate 11:13 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Do immigrants go directly to the suburbs, or is the tendency to start out in the city, but as soon as you’ve saved some money, decamp to the burbs?

    • Kevin 11:15 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      That’s what I get for not double checking the date on a Stats Can tweet!

    • DeWolf 12:14 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      @Kate There are a lot of immigrants that go directly to Brossard and Laval without ever having lived on the island. My guess is that the outer ring suburbs tend to have more outflow from the island, like all of the Haitians moving from Montreal North/RDP to Repentigny.

    • Kate 15:28 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      I may be thinking about older immigrants. When I moved to Villeray, in 2005, there were still many older Italian and Portuguese folks around. I gathered from chatting with a few of them that their kids were maybe in St‑Léonard or Anjou, but more likely Laval or the West Island or beyond, but certainly not living in central Montreal any more.

      And when the older generation dies, their houses get sold in a snap, because the kids don’t come back to Villeray to live.

    • Chris 18:44 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      I would wager heavily that 3/4 of the “Catholics” are answering that because it’s an identity label their parents gave them. Likewise for the Muslims and Jews too come to think of it.

      Anyway, great to see religion on the decline!

    • Kate 14:54 on 2022-10-27 Permalink

      Said the same above, Chris, without the gloating coda. It’s obvious from the neglect of the massive churches in this town that few people are actually practising Catholics any more. But it’s left Quebec with a massive complex about religion that few are prepared to think about, so it’s not time to gloat quite yet.

  • Kate 09:37 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    The long-awaited deer cull in Michel‑Chartrand Park has been delayed again by a court challenge from the SPCA and by Sauvetage Animal Rescue (Anne‑France Goldwater).

    I don’t understand what it is those animal groups see as a resolution. The deer have no predators. The park is surrounded by suburbs, so the deer multiply without any possibility of moving along to other locations, as they would in a natural forest.

    The deer are, we’re reliably informed, destroying the greenery in the park, which can’t sustain a constantly growing herd.

    Either they have to be moved or they have to be culled, or else evolutionary forces will come into play and some will die of hunger.

    • Blork 10:04 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Among the weird things about this story is that the Boisé Du Tremblay, only one kilometre away, is bigger, wilder, and it has virtually no deer. At least I’ve never seen any deer there (although deer hunting is allowed, which might explain something but I doubt it).

      I walk in Parc Michel-Chartrand about five times a week, and I always see deer. Like 100% of the time. If I only see two or three it feels like something’s missing, as it’s typical to see a dozen or more on a walk through the park. Yet on walks of a similar distance through the Bloisé Du Tremblay I have never seen a single deer. Nor any other animal! Aside from a crazy amount of frogs in the spring, and one spectacular owl sighting, it feels totally lifeless. (To be fair, I’ve only gone through there about a dozen times.)

      Unfortunately the one-kilometre stretch between the two parks is a pretty hostile environment for wildlife. Boulevards and parking lots, etc. There’s a convoluted way around through a golf course, but I don’t think these deer have much sense of direction.

    • Kate 10:18 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      Could Longueuil declare a transhumance day, close the roads, and chivvy some of the Michel‑Chartrand herd along to the Boisé? Or would that create two problems in the place of one?

    • Blork 11:04 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

      I think the biggest problem there might be simply how to corral those deer and get them going in one direction. The deer are spread all over the park, although usually in clusters, but they do not herd well from what I’ve read. Imagine crossing cats with squirrels and then trying to herd them.

      Also, they are very easily spooked. And if you spook them too much they just roll over and die (or so I’ve read). (Aside: i know people like that, only instead of rolling over and dying they write weepy comments on Facebook.)

      On the other hand, maybe Anne-France Goldwater would volunteer to escort them, one by one, to the boisé, and to camp out with them for a couple of weeks to ensure they’re comfortable during the transition. And then along comes hunting season and the problem is solved.

  • Kate 09:36 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Tuesday afternoon’s high of 24.5°C beat a record set in 1966. Some weather stats from reddit.

    The Gazette has a dubious deck about Wednesday’s temperature: “The temperature to beat Wednesday is 2012’s high of 21.5 C.” We’re not actually aspiring to warmer temperatures, you goofs.

    • Kate 09:00 on 2022-10-26 Permalink | Reply  

      A Superior Court judge ruled Tuesday that stopping drivers over without cause is unconstitutional. The case was brought by Joseph-Christopher Luamba, a young Black man who faced repeated stops for which police had no justification and in which he received no tickets. The judge, Michel Yergeau, stated that racial profiling exists, a view that goes directly against the position of François Legault.

      • Meezly 12:53 on 2022-10-26 Permalink

        I was half listening to a CBC radio interview with a politician (I can’t recall whether he was municipal or provincial), but he definitely admitted that racial profiling was a problem. When he was asked about whether he believed systemic racism existed here, he admitted that it’s something he doesn’t want to get into because half of his constituents feel one way and the other half the other, and he felt the safest thing to do was not admit anything.

        Like a good politician, he was very adept at dodging the question because even though he was pressed about it, how the people most affected by systemic racism are the ones who want leaders to admit it, he said look how much time we’re wasting arguing about it when we could be actually dealing with “real” issues like racial profiling.

        Politicians and judges can admit that racism exists, and still deny that systemic racism exists, because, after all, this is Quebec. If you look at the article, it’s the same old double speak:

        “Still, Yergeau wrote that the ruling applies specifically to the random stops. He said the ruling is not meant to be an inquiry report on systemic racism involving racialized or Indigenous Peoples.

        The judge also said the ruling is not about racism within police forces, saying the court heard no evidence in this regard, nor did it draw a conclusion.

        But he noted that “racial profiling can sneakily creep into police practice without police officers in general being driven by racist values.””

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