Updates from January, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:51 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

    Barely a month ago it was revealed that the total bill to renovate the city hall building had reached $188.1 million and just now TVA says the new total is $211 million and it won’t be reopening till 2024. Item says they’re adding a museum, a café, a family room and a salle polyvalente.

    I’ve noticed before this tendency for mission creep in public projects, but I’ve grumbled about it before, and it won’t change anything.

    Minor update: Le Devoir’s Jeanne Corriveau tweeted some photos from the building, showing the work being done, likewise from CBC.

    • mare 21:59 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

      It’s like building your own house. While you’re working and it takes forever you get all these new ideas. Because of that it takes even longer so you get more great ideas.
      This is the municipal government building a house for themselves…

  • Kate 20:29 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

    A TikTok video of a police chase on foot on the Decarie autoroute has gone viral. CTV reports that the three fugitives – teens who had allegedly robbed a cell phone store in Granby – were arrested.

  • Kate 16:07 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

    La Presse’s Francis Vailles discusses how statistics show that the anglo exodus is over although anyone could have told them it’s old news; there’s always some churn, but the big diaspora was a generation ago. I’m probably a typical Montreal anglo of my time: all my cousins and all my high school friends have been gone for decades. A much smaller number of anglo friends and acquaintances have bailed in this century.

    There’s been some discussion around this Toronto Star article on the weekend about the decline of French, and what language nationalists mean when they say French is in decline.

    • Kate 13:52 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

      Since the start of the pandemic I’ve been following its progress in Quebec on the same Santé Québec page linked from the sidebar of the blog.

      Monday I went to look and find the page has disappeared. Can’t tell yet whether this is policy or incompetence.

      Update: It’s back.

      • Kate 12:24 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

        A Montreal woman has broken the world record in skiing solo to the South Pole.

        Is it fair to call her an explorer, as the headline does? I don’t doubt it was a major physical feat, but there’s no mention of data collection or scientific documentation, only the fact of getting it done quickly.

      • Kate 10:49 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

        La Presse’s Nicolas Bérubé finds that the policy to keep traffic fluid in Ville‑Marie leaves dead and injured pedestrians in its wake.

        I was just posting this when I glanced up and noticed La Presse has a news tab for “circulation” because traffic belongs alongside justice, environment, health and education as a topic.

        I also noticed a piece from Sunday about pedestrian safety which summarizes many recent transit and pedestrian issues and stories.

        • DeWolf 12:41 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Ville-Marie is the orphan child of Montreal boroughs. Not only does it not have its own mayor (thanks Tremblay!), only one of its councillors (Serge Sasseville) actually lives in the borough, and the other two (Robert Beaudry and Sophie Mauzerolle) occupy such high positions in the administration that they probably don’t have any time to focus on borough issues.

          Very disappointing that the Plante administration doesn’t seem interested in reforming the borough, especially since it’s where Plante got her political start.

        • DeWolf 12:46 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          This story also demonstrates that political leadership is only one half of the equation. If a city councillor wants traffic calming, but the bureaucrats insist on traffic flow, it’s usually the bureaucrats who win, at least until they can be replaced (which is what happened on the Plateau).

        • Kate 12:58 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          I wonder when the damage to Ville-Marie’s administration will be fixed. Or is it, like a microcosm of first‑past‑the‑post, a situation that will stick around because it’s in the interest of the ruling party to maintain the status quo?

          A lot of people in the central borough of the city don’t have the same level of civic representation as the rest of us, which is flagrantly unfair, but there it is.

        • shawn 14:32 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          On a hyperlocal note, while I don’t think it’s ever resulted in a serious accident (?) I find the intersection of the bike path at Clark and Saint-Joseph to be ridiculously skewed in favour of cars. No stop sign or even a crosswalk painted.

      • Kate 10:40 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

        TVA looks at a hideous house for sale in Westmount. I’m surprised anyone even got permission to deface that stately enclave with such an eyesore. Westmount should buy it and tear it down.

        • dwgs 11:25 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          You can tell the original owners were nothing but class by the prominent display of White Claw in the photo of the wine cellar.

        • Andrew 11:48 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Google Street view goes back to 2007 and it’s the same building, but much worse. Bigger windows and boring new facade, at least they got rid of all the brown.

        • Ephraim 12:09 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

        • Kate 12:43 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          The only good thing to say about it is that it’s tucked into a cul‑de‑sac so it’s mostly out of sight. Two much smaller houses facing it aren’t exactly architectural gems either.

          One thing I heartily dislike about the big house and its two facing neighbours is that the thing they thrust into the street at eye level are garages.

        • Blork 12:59 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          It was built in 1961, at a time when modernism and international style was all the rage. I’m sure at the time they saw this as the height of contemporary sophistication, and a proper refutation of all those stodgy old “classical” houses in the area. Lesson: tastes change, and just because something seems right now, it won’t necessarily age well.

          It was originally clad in flagstone, which was suitable for its vintage. At some point between 2015 and 2018 they re-did the stonework and replaced it with the smooth greystone we see now. It did not help. In fact it made it worse, because now it just floats in a timeless vacuum of bad and inappropriate materials. At least the flagstone was contemporary to its time.

        • Blork 13:06 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          For anyone who likes to peek, go to https://goo.gl/maps/yba8MDvpYoNDruq8A

          Check out the new stonework at the bottom of the rotunda, and how they’ve used flat stones on the round facade. The result is a bad lego-block look that seems like someone was too cheap to do it right. Then go back to 2015 where you see the original stonework. Even if you don’t like flagstone, you have to admit that at least the bottom of the rotunda looks like it was properly built.

          Also: in the 2015 (and earlier) views, the metal and glass of the rotunda and balcony serve as a deliberate contrast to the flagstone, which is at least visually and thematically interesting. All that is lost after the renovation.

        • Kevin 13:42 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          For $500,000 more you get a mansion in Laval with a private beach.

        • Blork 14:11 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Yes, but who could eat in that dining room? #thehorrorthehorror


        • dhomas 14:19 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          I had the exact same thought as Blork. The stonework was much nicer looking than the new brick. What a shame.
          I also giggle at the White Claw, @dwgs. I’m pretty sure there’s a bottle of Dom Perignon in the background. The people doing the staging could have led with that.

        • Kate 14:20 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Blork, if that Westmount house had even a twinkle of Expo 67-era charm, I could forgive it a little, but it looks like the worst of campus architecture of the era.

          That Laval dining room, holy anorexia. Nobody could eat in there.

        • Blork 14:39 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Kate, I agree. I don’t mean to imply I like it; just thinking about where it comes from so to speak. And commenting on the “bad-to-worse” reno.

        • shawn 15:04 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          I read the Dirt.com LA celebrity real estate site for kicks sometimes and I think I’ve become desensitized to goddawful mansions. Also Steven Dennis on Twitter/Mastodon does a “Friday Night Zillow” thing which is fun.

          But yes definitely reminiscent of cheap campus architecture, as Kate says.

        • Mark 16:04 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          For many other great examples (with funny descriptions of each), I leave you with this gem of a blog.


        • Uatu 16:34 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Those McMansions look like the houses in the neighborhood in Brossard where the hockey players live

        • dwgs 17:22 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Palate cleanser (don’t be scared, it’s sfw) https://cabinporn.com/

        • GC 17:50 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          Oh no! I’m already addicted to Zillow Gone Wild, on Instagram, and this thread is going to give me plenty of other distractions.

        • shawn 21:37 on 2023-01-16 Permalink

          I didn’t know about Zillow Gone Wild on Instagram, thanks.

      • Kate 10:37 on 2023-01-16 Permalink | Reply  

        Radio-Canada has noticed that our new police chief has a civilian sidekick called Cyrille Sardais, an HEC professor without security clearance who’s been allowed into settings and meetings that exclude many. Questions are being asked about whether this is a good thing.

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