Updates from January, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:59 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The announcement of the closure of Archambault’s original flagship store has sparked a piece by Philippe Teisceira‑Lessard on the decrepitude of the environs of Place Émilie-Gamelin.

    As I recall, developers had bought out the whole block shown in the photo at the top of the story. Amir, Da Giovanni, L’Escalier, they didn’t go away because the neighbourhood turned bad. They were pushed out. And now the pandemic plus the sheltering of homeless folks in the hotel has made that block an unpropitious setting for a new condo building.

    How long did it take between the ruin of the Seville and the construction of a new building, between the demolition of the Spectrum and a new project on that corner?

    Update to add: Radio-Canada has a piece that’s an echo of La Presse’s on the situation around Place Émilie‑Gamelin.

    • shawn 22:58 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Well, the demolition of the Spectrum and the new project took a long time because Equipe Spectra’s original project for that block fell through. They ended up selling the land to the Maestria condo developer, I guess. But that’s just a side note. I didn’t know all those merchants by Archambault were pushed out!

    • JaneyB 17:16 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      I loved L’Escalier and Utopik before it. Any news on a re-opening of that place in another locale? I know UQAM was key to its atmosphere but maybe just maybe…

    • LJ 21:13 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      Much of the activity at the old L’Escalier has moved on to La Petite Marche, on St Denis a bit north of St Joseph.

    • Kate 12:08 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

      It’s true, La Petite Marche has a full schedule of live music.

  • Kate 21:26 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

    The McGill Tribune has a nice piece about Adrian at The Word, which will be celebrating its 50th anniversary in 2025.

    • DeWolf 21:57 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Nice piece indeed!

      I find the offhand mention of McGill business students pretty adorable. Deciding it would be a good idea to do a case study of a quirky second-hand bookstore for your business school class seems like a very Montreal thing to do.

    • PatrickC 10:45 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      Adrian is a great guy. He’s not one to draw attention to his good works beyond the store, so some readers may not know that he and Donna coordinate a free hot lunch every month at Christ Church Cathedral that feeds more than a hundred people, many living on the street. You just walk in. More information here (though the page has not been updated to reflect the return to inside, sit-down service):

    • Kate 15:48 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      Thanks, Patrick. I hadn’t known about that.

  • Kate 18:07 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

    After a mild January, more snow and then colder temperatures are coming.

    • Ian Rogers 19:22 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

      Still relatively mild, it is the thick of wintertime after all and we haven’t seen -20 in the daytime yet this year.

    • steph 10:38 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      I’m already sick of the cold and snow. I can’t wait for the chirping birds of spring.

    • JaneyB 17:20 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      @steph – just to give you a glimmer of hope, my spring onions have just popped out of the soil (admittedly inside, next to the window). They notice a change in the light already.

    • shawn 21:37 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

      Definitely noticing the sun is high in my south-facing window.

      I was out on St-Denis today and the sunny side sidewalk was bustling. I feel like that street’s coming back.

    • Blork 17:36 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

      Ian, hold on to your hat. Next Friday’s high will be -20.

    • Ian Rogers 21:58 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

      Yikes. Yeah, that’s no good.
      The good news (for me) is I will be in Toronto on Friday – 19 will be the overnight low.
      Still, We had a mild January – we have certainly had many winters where it was -20 during the day for a week. Typically, January is the coldest month – so there is light at he end of the tunnel. Imbolc is next week!

  • Kate 18:05 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

    Three more arrests have been made in the hammer attack this week on a teenager outside a Montreal high school. Two are over 18 but have not yet been named; a 17‑year‑old was arrested on Wednesday.

    • Kate 15:17 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

      The city is going to change some street directions in Ste‑Marie, near where the little Ukrainian girl was knocked down and killed last month. The mayor spoke up for traffic calming downtown.

      Part of Fullum Street will become one way only, and streets that have been used as shortcuts will have their directions reversed. In theory, motorists should be blocked from speeding through the residential area.

      Updated to add: Metro maps out the most dangerous areas for pedestrians.

      • Nicholas 15:37 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        It’s too late, but this is a key way to reduce cut throughs and rat running. It’s like having subdivisions with No Exit signs, so the only way to get through is to go around on the main arterial road, where you can create safer crossings to the next no-cut-through section. (You can also add diverters, like on Gilford at Chambord and Lanaudière in front of that senior’s residence.)

      • DeWolf 18:11 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        I wonder how Fullum will be configured. If the bike lanes are moved between the parked cars and the sidewalk, it will be narrow enough to actually slow traffic. But if they simply turn it into a one-way street with two lanes of traffic, that’s going to create a speedway…

    • Kate 14:23 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

      The Charles Daudelin sculpture Mastodo is to return to Viger Square next fall, but not as a fountain. The heavy bronze form was meant to fill with water, then tilt and empty the water into a basin, but it stopped working fairly soon after it was first installed. It was taken away when the square was redesigned and has been sitting in a city warehouse ever since.

      • shawn 14:30 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        Don’t want to hijack this thread but place Émilie-Gamelin just north has been dealt a blow:

      • Joey 15:06 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        That Archambault article… blaming everything under the sun except the fact that nobody buys media anymore…

      • carswell 15:26 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        @Joey That’s true for other Archambault and Renaud-Bray (same company) outlets too, and the ones I frequent (JTM’s A and CDN’s R-B) seem to be making a go of it. They started transitioning to gift items, toys, kitchenware, etc., years ago. And the big Archambault stores also sell musical instruments and scores, another non-media profit centre. The CDN R-B axed its extensive video and CD/LP sections years ago and the JTM’s counterparts have been smaller each time I’ve gone in; they’re adapting their business model to the new reality.

        I find the reduced traffic explanation for the Berri store perfectly plausible. Actually, the company may have hastened the Berri store’s demise by opening well-stocked outlets in many neighbourhoods around town (the JTM and Place-des-Arts stores, for example). Why schlepp to the corner of Berri and Ste-Catherine when I can drop by the CDN Renaud-Bray or JTM Archambault whenever I do my grocery shopping?

      • Kate 15:37 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

        I hope they can save the sign, which has been at risk of being scrapped before. Is there space on the Jean‑Talon building?

      • dhomas 07:37 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

        I think the only location the could accommodate the sign would be the Jean-Talon one. This would be the most likely spot:

        All their other stores are in pretty short, one-story buildings or part of shopping centres.

        Though this location has less history as an Archambault store, it does have history in the Montreal music scene. It was the site of Italmelodie for almost 50 years before turning into Archambault in about 2016, if memory serves.

      • shawn 11:42 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

        That’s great a point about other locations. The underground PdA location is just so convenient. It may not have the cachet but maybe the best location for a music store in the city.

      • EmilyG 12:43 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

        I’m a musician and I’ve gotten a lot of things from Archambault. Sheet music and musical instruments. I’ll miss the big Archambault store.

    • Kate 14:18 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

      Weekend activities from CityCrunch, CultMTL, Sarah’s weekend list.

      Daily Hive lists the Montreal restaurants on Yelp’s list of the top 100 restos in Canada, and CultMTL has the best Chinese restaurants according to its readers.

      • Kate 11:39 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

        A coroner’s report suggests that the new Champlain bridge should be equipped with suicide barriers like the ones on the Jacques‑Cartier, after a man leapt from the bridge last May.

        I looked back and find that in 2019, Le Devoir reported on suicide barriers being installed as part of the original design.

        • dhomas 16:32 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

          SNC-Lavalin cheaped out and didn’t deliver the project as specified? Insert surprised Pikachu meme.

        • qatzelok 20:54 on 2023-01-27 Permalink

          We have legal assisted-suicide in Canada now. Why not provide an assisted-suicide kiosque at each end of the bridge instead of ruining another bridge with an ugly metallic cage structure?

        • CE 00:13 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

          We’ve got a real edgelord on our hands here.

        • Sprocket 12:13 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

          That is quite the take.

        • qatzelok 12:41 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

          In an article about the same thing in Radio-Canada, Louis Coté is of the same opinion as I am in this thread.


        • Kate 15:53 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

          That link says nothing about your edgy position, qatzelok.

          It’s well known that suicide is often an opportunistic act. People in trouble sometimes act on impulse, and it’s been shown that if you stop them there, what they don’t do is immediately go in search of an alternative. They find some way to go on.

          Nudging them to make an end to themselves is not the way to handle this situation.

          And that’s leaving out two important aspects: bereaved families and friends, and the experience of those who find the bodies or have to clean up after them. You’re throwing them all to the wolves.

        • qatzelok 21:28 on 2023-01-28 Permalink

          Those are all good points, Kate. I in no way encourage anyone to do themselves in, and I am not strongly in favor of government assisted suicide.

          **But… Back when the Jacques Cartier bridge was pining for its suicide barrier, a friend of mine an I disagreed about its pertinence.

          Friend said it was a good idea. I disagreed, saying that society is supposed to give people something to live for, and NOT to remove any way of committing suicide from its immizerated masses. He disagreed with me, as if to say that society is not supposed to give anyone a reason to live.

        • dhomas 06:07 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

          We CAN do both, you know that, right? Give people a good standard of living and reasons to live, all the while removing easy access to messy suicide during periods of weakness. It’s not one or the other.

        • qatzelok 13:14 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

          dhomas, I want to believe that “we can have it all.”

          But in Cuba – where people have a lot less stuff than we do – there are no suicide barriers on any of the bridges, and there are many opportunities for a “messy suicide” in its infrastructure.

          So it appears that the West’s mental health crisis is self inflicted (by our sick society) and trying to “foil suicide attempters” is not a lucid social direction to be taking. We need a much more profound change to our social order.

        • Orr 15:29 on 2023-01-29 Permalink

          I once saw the afterwards of a jumper off the PJC from above, when I was crossing the bridge on the sidewalk, before the barriers were installed.
          It was unforgettably sad.
          Firemen held up curtains around the person, so street level people would not see it. I was not so lucky.
          But it’s good to know the facts of life. And of death.

      • Kate 00:45 on 2023-01-27 Permalink | Reply  

        Radio-Canada says police have seized 19 firearms and arrested 8 people over the last two weeks, TVA too, and I’m wondering whether that’s anything special, or whether Fady Dagher has lit a fire under the SPVM PR department.

        Compose new post
        Next post/Next comment
        Previous post/Previous comment
        Show/Hide comments
        Go to top
        Go to login
        Show/Hide help
        shift + esc