Updates from January, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:32 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    First posted earlier Thursday on /r/montreal, TVA now has the story of the guy clearing snow near the edge of a high rooftop with no safety gear whatsoever. TVA didn’t verify his identity nor find out what kind of employer gets a man to do that.

    • Francesco 23:08 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

      Jeeeedoof ‍♂️

    • Francesco 23:10 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

      Lol no idea an emoji would give me that symbol. Should’ve been facepalm!

    • Kate 23:47 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

      It looks like a comment about male machismo.

    • dwgs 08:01 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      The question is why? It’s not like snow load is going to be a thing on that building.

    • Blork 11:01 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      This is not unheard of. Here’s a photo I took in 2007. It’s taken through the window of the office where I was working, and what you see is the REFLECTION in the windows of the building across the street. You see two guys who are right over my head (I was on the top floor) shovelling snow off the roof.


    • dwgs 15:32 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Your guys are wearing harnesses Blork.

    • Blork 17:18 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Ahh, so they are.

    • walkerp 21:34 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Who cares?

    • Kate 15:55 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      walkerp, it’s not good practice if a building management company makes someone work on a high rooftop with no protection to clear snow. There are legal limits to the risk an employer can require a person to take.

  • Kate 22:26 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    Knowing they’ll never win in Saint-Henri–Sainte-Anne, the riding left vacant when Dominique Anglade fled politics, the CAQ is running 21‑year‑old Victor Pelletier in the byelection to be held there before the end of May. Quebec solidaire already announced that Guillaume Cliche-Rivard, who came in second there in October, will try again to turn that riding QS. Apparently nobody’s yet been nominated by the PLQ.

    • Em 12:01 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Cliche-Rivard has been campaigning for weeks already, if not months. Liberals will need to get going if they want to hold it.

  • Kate 18:49 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    The STM has chosen the artists to create works for each of the five new stations on the blue line.

    I notice that of the five stations, three still share the same name as a green line station: Pie‑IX, Viau and Langelier. They’ll have to come up with some sort of variation: Pie‑IX Nord or Viau Bleu?

    Just don’t name any of them after Bernard Landry.

    • Ephraim 19:32 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

      How about naming one after John Ciaccia, Italian Canadian, member of the National Assembly, negotiator for the James Bay development

      Of course, I’m still waiting for ANYTHING to be named after Ezekiel Hart… anything. He’s the origin of the emancipation of the Jews in 1832 in Quebec and for that matter, all non-Christians to enter politics in Quebec and Canada

    • Kate 21:30 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

      I tend to want the metro stations to be named logically after the closest major street or urban feature, not after politicians, no matter how deserving.

      There are no secondary major streets along the blue line that would make sense as alternate names (they already did this once, naming the station that should have been Papineau Nord “Fabre” which is not a major street, and I suspect they won’t do that again) so it’ll probably have to be Pie‑IX Nord and so on.

    • mare 00:52 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Pie-IX Nord would be a terrible name (Pie-IX itself is already a terrible name, especially for tourists). It suggests it’s a short walk between the two stations.

      A very Quebec thing would be to just rename the section of Pie-IX north of the 40 into Boulevard Bernard Landry. And then name the station after the boulevard.

      I actually don’t like that metro stations are named after streets. Sherbrooke street is 30 km long, naming a station Sherbrooke doesn’t say much about its location. (Naming another station partly after a university named after another *city* called Sherbrooke doesn’t make sense at all, it just makes for a ridiculously long name that nobody ever uses.)

      The moment you get bigger networks you run into trouble, especially with the length of some of the streets in Montreal. At some point in the future there could well be three metro lines crossing Pie-IX (in the unlikely case a new line is ever built after 20+ studies). Would you name the third station Pie-IX-Centre?

      Naming stations after famous (dead) artists is my favourite, but a station with a Cree of Mohawk name is long overdue as well. Or just name them after plants, trees or animals. Station-Raton-Laveur does have a nice ring to it, doesn’t it?

    • GC 09:17 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      I’ll bang my usual drum that we shouldn’t name things after people, at all.

      I agree that giving Blue line stations the same names as Green line stations is a bad idea, though.

    • MarcG 09:46 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      The metro station closest to me is named Lasalle, presumably because it’s near Lasalle blvd – which is very long like Sherbrooke so pretty useless in that regard – but the number of poor lost souls I find wandering around nearby thinking they’re in the borough of Lasalle is amazing. Names are important, do a survey before you start printing the signs!

    • shawn 10:21 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Yes these are always fun to argue about. FWIW, I still find myself calling Edouard Montpetit ‘Vincent d’Indy’, which was never even the official name? Or it was for 5 mins.?

      As for these blue line stations, I wonder if there are some old neighbourhood names that could be used? I’d rather like that, naming it after these traditional quartiers or districts, where possible.

    • shawn 11:23 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Looking at what’s in the french wiki article on the Blue line and I see that one station is in Saint-Léonard, which is in turn a shortening of the old parish Saint-Léonard-de-Port-Maurice… so I daresay Saint-Léonard will be the name?

    • Ephraim 11:52 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Sherbrooke Station should actually be renamed Square St-Louis (the legal name of the park). It’s not even on Sherbrooke

      The original Viau maybe should be renamed, it’s not really on Viau at all… it’s on Pierre-de-Coubertin. They could name it Musee, since it is near so many museums… the biodome, the botanical gardens, the planetarium and the memorial to Drapeau’s folly. Which of course suggests that Pie-IX could be renamed Stade Olympique?

    • shawn 12:12 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Yes, Square St-Louis would have been a nice name too. I once told a clued out family member to meet me at the Sherbrooke metro and he went to métro Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke! Though that’s hardly the station’s fault. And it we’re renaming Viau then surely it should be Espace pour la vie, not ambiguous Musée.

      I hope the STM reads Kate’s blog and governs itself accordingly.

    • carswell 14:13 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      @shawn Nothing to stop you or anyone else from submitting suggestions directly.


      There’s even a prefabbed “Suggestion” subject line option. Suggesters might also CC a few media outlets in the hope of sparking a public discussion.

      FWIW I think the idea of naming most of the new blue line stations after places is the way to go, though Anjou and Lacordaire are fine as is. I don’t imagine the STM will be open to radically changing existing stations’ names; however, history shows they will consider amending existing names (so Pie IX-Stade olympique or Pix IX-Stade?).

    • Kate 14:51 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Viau (green) could be renamed Espace pour la Vie, or make some reference to Copernicus or Galileo because of the planetarium.

      MarcG: you are so right about Lasalle station being confusing.

      Some great ideas here!

    • carswell 15:05 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      While not personally opposed to changing, say, green line Viau to Espace pour la Vie, can you imagine the confusion that would last for years if its old name were given to a new station? I’m sure the STM can. Yes, there is a history of at least one total name change (Île Ste-Hélène to Jean-Drapeau) but the old name wasn’t reused.

    • Kate 17:07 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Here’s the thing: they might, might just get away with calling the Pie‑IX blue line station Provencher, a street that’s a couple of short blocks east, although less well known.

      But Viau, up there, is not near any street or feature of note, and the same problem affects Langelier. Viau, Langelier and Lacordaire are all in St‑Léonard, so that wouldn’t work as a station name.

      Alternative names don’t leap off the map.

  • Kate 16:45 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

    I don’t usually issue warnings, but the details how Jimmy Methot was murdered in Lachine in September 2021 are grim. An unnamed adolescent has been sentenced to an exceptional sentence of nine years for participating in the killing.

    • Kate 14:47 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

      The son of the woman killed Wednesday in the city’s first homicide of 2023 was arrested Thursday and will be charged with her murder. Emmanuel Gendron-Tardif is a filmmaker, and his mother was assistant director of Laval’s culture and leisure department.

      • Kate 14:43 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        A funeral was held on a snowy Thursday morning for 10 minutes max, transit advocates calling for more funding for services.

        In the future, will someone assume that there was a prominent citizen here nicknamed “10 minutes Max”?

        • Tee Owe 14:52 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          First cousin to Max Headroom maybe?

        • Francesco 23:12 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          10-Minute Max used to be my porn name

        • Ephraim 13:42 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

          @Frencesco – Well, I guess it’s better than 2 minute Max, but 8 minutes…

      • Kate 14:41 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Rents rose an average 5.4% last year while rentals grew scarce. It was the steepest rental increase in 20 years,

        • Blork 14:47 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          And unlike cauliflower, those prices don’t come down once inflation goes back to “normal.”

        • DeWolf 14:59 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          Maybe we have an economist reader who can explain this to me, but one of the most remarkable things I encountered upon moving to Hong Kong was how prices were quick to adapt to the changing economic circumstances. When times were tough, there was actual deflation – you could negotiate a lower rent from your landlord, and businesses lowered prices. During the financial crisis of 2008, bars offered deep-discount happy hour deals to draw in customers, and lots of discount restaurants and variety stores popped up in vacant spaces where other businesses had gone belly up. When times were good, all those prices went up just as quickly as they had gone down.

          That doesn’t seem to happen here. Prices remain stable for years on end, and when they finally do go up, they stay up.

        • Blork 16:20 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          I’m no economist, but it sounds like maybe it’s a cultural thing. Maybe (maybe!) there’s a sense among business people in Hong Kong that retailing, whether it’s groceries or restaurants or bars, is an essential part of the community, so the retailers respond in lean times by lowering prices and making goods more accessible. Compare that with western ideas of retailing which tend to be entirely driven by motivation for profit and growth, community be damned.

          Or maybe (probably more realistic) it’s good old supply-and-demand economics, where in a densely populated place with many retailers, demand goes down in lean times so prices correspondingly go down in order to keep enough sales to stay in business. (After all, it’s the problems with SUPPLY that are supposedly fuelling our current inflation. If supply were stable then prices would be too.)

        • Blork 16:53 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          Speaking of economics and retailing, there’s been talk lately about whether or not the grocery retailers are gouging us by taking advantage of wild inflation. Is it a coincidence that most grocers are recording record profits for 2022? How can we not see a link?

          But here’s the thing. Grocery retailers will say they’re not gouging us because their MARGINS are the same as before, or maybe even lower. So here’s a glimpse at a bit of retail number crunching to show how retailers can make significant extra profits while still claiming the their margins haven’t changed.

          Primer: MARGIN is the difference between what the store pays for goods and what they sell it for expressed as a percentage. The basic formula is:
          [(selling price – cost of product) / selling price] x 100

          So check out this pretty simple example:

          Pre-inflation: Retailer buys a cauliflower for 2$ and sells it for $3. [(3 – 2) / 3] x 100 = 33% MARGIN.

          Post-inflation: Retailer buys a cauliflower for 4$ and sells it for $6. [(6 – 4) / 6] x 100 = 33% MARGIN.

          Retailer can say “but our margins are the same as they were before inflation!” Yes, they are still making a 33% margin on that cauliflower. But look at the MARKUP, which is the actual dollar profit made on that sale:

          Pre-inflation: the retailer made $1.

          Post-inflation: the retailer made $2.

          DOUBLE THE MARKUP, i.e., double the GROSS PROFIT (not including other expenses) even though the MARGIN is the same.

          Even if the retailer lowers their margin:

          Retailer buys a cauliflower for 4$ and sells it for $5.50. [(5.50 – 4) / 5.50] x 100 = 27% MARGIN.

          …they can still say BUT OUR MARGINS ARE LOWER! However, they’re still making 50% more markup on that cauliflower than they did before inflation.

          So please keep this in mind when you hear retailers in the media saying they’re not gouging consumers. If they gave even a tiny F about consumers instead of their spreadsheets they’d adjust their margins so that MARKUP is only slightly higher than before (to account for other expenses that no doubt have gone up). When they complain that their margins are the same or even slightly lower, they are not mentioning that they are taking a higher MARKUP/PROFIT on each item than they used to.

          Side note: today at Provigo they wanted $6 for a one-pound bag of parsnips. A root vegetable, grown in Quebec. $6 for a one pound bag (that’s about three or four parsnips.)

        • Mark Côté 17:33 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          Not that inflation isn’t still super high and a problem, but prices do sometimes fall. StatsCan says prices in a number of categories fell in November and December. All categories are still above 2021 levels, though.

          Also, I can’t find it now, but a small number of subcategories actually fell over the course of 2022. Cannabis was one of them, because of market saturation.

        • mare 17:42 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          I think one reason is how rent control works in Quebec. It’s more economically sound to leave an apartment empty until you find a tenant for the rent you ask. Landlords can only (legally) increase rents with a few percent, usually around 1.5, per year while their costs are going up much faster. Lowering the rent with 6% will mean it will take 4 years of rent increases until it’s at the current level again. So even if you wait a few months until you find a tenant, you’re still ahead.
          You only need one tenant, it’s not like cauliflower where you need many buyers and if nobody buys it you have to throw it away. (I read more 50% of produce in grocery stores is thrown away, because it’s too expensive or goes ‘bad’ before it’s sold.)

          I kind of like the system in the Netherlands, with a much greater shortage of housing, they have a completely different way of rent control.
          Every apartment owned by building corporations (which is a large percentage of rentals) is evaluated on a form (or website now) and gets points for a long list of features like square footage, length of kitchen counter, type of heating, thermostats, square footage of windows, date of last renovation, etc etc. External factors are also included like schools, shops, factories or other noisemakers (minus points) in the neighbourhood, the unobstructed view, the state of the building’s maintenance etc.
          In the end the total number of points defines the amount of rent the landlord can legally ask. (With some wiggle room, for example x amount of points leads to a rent between 550 and 600 euro.) The amounts are indexed so they are going up every year, but slowly.
          If a tenant makes the calculates for their apartment and feels they pay too much they can go to the rental board who does the same calculation and decides on the allowed rent, and imposes it on the landlord, retroactively. With penalties if there was bad faith.
          If the number of points changes because of renovations rents can be raised faster, but only with a few extra percents per year, so the final higher rent is only reached after a few years. But this system does give landlords an incentive to increase the quality of their rentals.
          This system keeps all rents in check, and rent hikes between tenants aren’t possible like they are here. With a negative vacancy rate in the Netherlands (there are waiting lists for housing) rents would otherwise rise exponentially.

          (It’s probably a bit more complicated than I describe here, but this is already way too long.)

      • Kate 11:49 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Following Wednesday’s piece about densification on Nuns’ Island, CBC attended a residents’ meeting about new residential developments, given the paucity of infrastructure on the island. There’s also more than a whiff of “we moved here because it was nice, and now other people are moving here and it’s not so nice.”

        • DeWolf 12:50 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          The infrastructure is an easy solve: more buses. When the REM opens, there will be a train to the rest of city every 2.5 to 5 minutes, so the real issue is getting people to the station. At the moment there are two bus lines running every 20-30 minutes, which is pretty unacceptable if you hope to attract more ridership.

          There’s also a decent network of bike paths all over the island. With just a little more investment, especially in terms of making intersections safer and bit of investment in making road crossings safer (they’re a mess right now) you could have a situation where it’s extremely pleasant to travel to the REM station by bike. The proposed footbridge to mainland Verdun would help a lot too.

          But I assume there’s also a cultural problem: Nun’s Island probably has a lot of residents who would turn up their noses at riding a bike or taking public transit. Maybe I’m being unfair, but it’s the impression I get when I go there.

        • Kate 12:54 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          The station needs a Dutch-style bike parking lot.

        • Blork 14:49 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          Infrastructure is more than roads and transport. I suspect the infrastructure they’re talking about involves things like water supplies, sewage, electrical grid, etc.

        • Blork 14:56 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          That said, the infrastructure project that I personally think would make Nun’s Island a fantastic place to live is if they connected rue Galt in Verdun (where it extends into the park) with Boul. Marguerite Bourgeoys on the island via a bicycle/pedestrian bridge.

          Not only would that make the de l’Eglise Metro station WALKABLE to Nun’s Island residents, it would make the shopping on Wellington something that is easily reached on foot or bike. It would still be a bit of a hike for people on the far end of the island, but with improved bike paths it would make it a nice quick trip. (The current bike path between the island and the Metro is pretty nasty, as it runs alongside the autoroute and busy boulevards, etc.)

        • Kate 14:57 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          I saw some mention of schools. When the island was first being built up it was pretty much only apartment buildings. I don’t think anyone stepped in and said, wait, what about space for schools and clinics and stuff – much like an earlier Griffintown.

      • Kate 11:43 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        An old bylaw saying you can’t park in your driveway if there’s no garage has been invoked in an unspecified but suburbanish part of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Residents are peeved after doing so for many years. Why one resident took it upon themselves to urge the city to enforce this odd law hasn’t been made clear.

        • Ephraim 12:17 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          The borough has some responsibility here… when they gave the permit to convert the garage, they should have required that the driveway be converted to green space, if it was illegal to park there. But they didn’t, they allowed it to remain, which suggests that it was still legal. Likely, this will end up in the courts (and my guess, any reasonable judge will say the same thing and throw out the tickets and require the city to rewrite the bylaw.)

        • DeWolf 13:02 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          As usual, the CTV article leaves out a lot of important details (what is it with CTV?), such as the specific location (it’s Place de Boucherville near Honoré-Beaugrand metro) and the fact that many of the garages had been illegally converted into living spaces.

          TVA has more detail: https://www.tvanouvelles.ca/2023/01/24/la-ville-interdit-les-voitures-dans-leur-entree-de-maison-1

          This seems like a weird bureaucratic quirk that can easily be solved. In the meantime there’s not exactly a shortage of street parking on this quiet dead-end street with no parking restrictions. But I’m not surprised the media is all over this, because, you know, in the war on cars, every driver is a victim.

        • DeWolf 13:05 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          @Ephraim, according to TVA, some of the conversions were illegal, and the homeowners that did them legally had the obligation of removing the parking space, which obviously they neglected to do.

          Sucks for the current homeowners but we’re talking about things that were done 45 years ago…

        • jeather 13:10 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          It looks like a rule set up to avoid people paving over their entire front lawn, which strikes me as reasonable. Some neighbour got mad about who knows what — maybe they wanted to do the same conversion and found out the rule? — and complained.

        • dhomas 14:57 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          I did not know this was illegal, probably like most everyone else. There are tons of these on my block. If I was a jerk, I could cause trouble for A LOT of people. If you start here and go around the block, you’ll see at least a dozen examples:

          I always thought it was very ugly, but not illegal.

        • DeWolf 15:02 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          The northeast corner of Rosemont and most of St-Michel is full of buildings whose owners have covered their front yard with asphalt so they can use it as parking. You can see it a lot in the Petit Maghreb. There usually aren’t any curb cuts for these de facto parking lots, so they’re probably illegal. For whatever reason the boroughs involved haven’t seen fit to crack down.

        • Kate 18:55 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          So wait, if the car goes on a strip of asphalt next to the house, it’s fine? But if it sits on a strip of asphalt so that when it’s parked it’s pointing AT a part of the house, it’s illegal?

        • jeather 20:25 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          Right, the driveway has to point at a garage or to the back yard, but not at the house unless it was there before 74 — I am sure this is set up to restrict covering the entire front as parking (a garage is only so wide). It seems like an entirely sensible law (which I had no idea existed until yesterday either).

      • Kate 10:53 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        The city will be paying out and apologizing to thousands of people illegally mistreated by police during protests from 2011 to 2015.

        • steph 11:08 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

          There’s another 6 million added to the SPVM budget in the blink of an eye…

      • Kate 10:36 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

        Two men were stabbed and a third man was arrested, overnight in Anjou.

        • Kate 09:31 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

          Most city schools are staying open despite the snow, which will taper off through Thursday. More snow expected on the weekend.

          Here’s a list of schools that are closed and some observation of the morning rush hour.

          Snow is accumulating.

          • Kate 09:27 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

            I keep seeing reports about New Brunswick recruiting Quebec nurses. NB ought to remember they’re essentially the Ukraine to Quebec’s Russia.

            • Kate 00:00 on 2023-01-26 Permalink | Reply  

              Two new art installations are coming downtown: a three‑part sculpture called Les diamants irréguliers, previewed here, at Berri and Ste‑Catherine, and another piece, described here, meant for McGill College Avenue.

              • shawn 14:08 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

                Interesting that they’ve announced their sculpture for McGill College before they’ve released a detailed plan at what that street/greenspace going to look like? I can’t wait to see what they do but I think it’s a long way off, not before they finish St-Catherine West?

              • DeWolf 15:10 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

                @Shawn, plans for McGill College were released in 2021:


                There was an international design competition and it was won by Swedish landscape architecture firm Mandaworks in collaboration with local landscape architects civiliti, with engineering works done by SNC-Lavalin.

                Work was meant to begin this year, but it needs to wait until the REM is finished, so it has been delayed to 2025 at the earliest.

                There’s more renderings, plans and diagrams here:


              • shawn 15:32 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

                Wow, that’s gorgeous. Thanks DeWolf. Looks like the water feature will recreate the effect of a stream coming off the slope.

              • shawn 15:36 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

                Also underscores (to me) what a complex piece of real estate that is with all the tunnels and things going on below at various strata, underneath..

              • DeWolf 18:08 on 2023-01-26 Permalink

                Yeah, it looks promising! I’m hoping it won’t be derailed by, say, a change in municipal administration in 2025 (or maybe just inflation).

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