Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 16:15 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

    Following 24H, several more Quebec papers are ceasing to print – six regional Quebec papers, which go virtual, and Corriere Italiano, published here since 1952, which is shutting down entirely.

    • Kate 13:48 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Covid is down but not out in Quebec, with testing showing that 15,000 people are infected daily.

      • Blork 14:37 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        It’s unclear to me if that means “15,000 new infections every day” or “on any given day there are 15,000 cases of Covid.” Does anyone here know?

      • MarcG 15:28 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        New inflections per day. Tara Moriarty’s team estimates that 223,289 Quebecers (1 in 38) were “currently infected” during the week of Feb 26-Mar 4.

      • Kate 16:05 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Just came in from doing errands in half a dozen places in the ‘hood. Almost nobody wears masks any more, but I’m still unwilling to put myself out there as a guinea pig. I have a lot to do, and don’t want to risk getting sick – and I’ve really enjoyed not having any other viruses over the last 3 years too.

      • shawn 16:33 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Funny I just sort of stopped masking today, out of laziness. Back it goes!

      • Michael 17:09 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Normal masks are useless. Look at what masking did to stop covid spread in China.

      • MarcG 17:15 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Masks work and better masks work better. Be selfish, protect your organs.

      • Daniel 17:23 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Masks can work, but “masks” as a category seems almost useless at this point because there are different types fitted and worn with varying degrees of rigour.

        I’m surprised to see that many people have not gone beyond wearing a surgical mask, since while that shows some effort toward masking, it perhaps at this point falls short in terms of usefulness. It seems like a holdover from the very early days of the pandemic when the notion was to save the best masks for hospital staff maybe?

      • Kate 17:28 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        I ordered some N95s awhile back and am slowly working through them. The very fact one’s wearing a mask tends to keep people at a bit of a distance, I find.

        I’ve chucked out the first generation of cloth masks I got during the first year of the pandemic.

        I went into a fruiterie today without my mask on, expecting only to be there a few minutes, then I heard the owner coughing and coughing. He wasn’t wearing a mask, so I hastily put mine on.

      • MarcG 17:30 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        I’m also very surprised when I see crappy masks being worn crappily by people who are not being forced to wear them – you clearly haven’t fallen for the ‘mild’ lie but in the process of educating yourself you didn’t come across “wear a tight fitting respirator”? Je ne comprends pas du tout.

      • Daniel 17:31 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Interesting. Well if we ever cross paths, you’ll recognize me because I’ll be the other person wearing an N95 (or Canadian equivalent). :p

      • Blork 17:55 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        I still diligently wear my mask at the grocery store and a few other places. But I do find myself occasionally not wearing it if I’m going into a large place that seems well ventilated and has few people in it.

        Many people I know have had “close calls” without getting infected. Supposedly the newest variants are very contagious, but situations like the following real-life one from last month seem to happen a lot:

        Person A has a two hour meeting in an enclosed room sitting across a small table from Person B.

        A few hours later Person B calls Person A to say they have just tested positive for Covid.

        Person A fully expects to come down with it but never does.

        Please don’t interpret that as any kind of Covid denial. Just saying it’s not as predictable as we might think, and it does make me wonder if “all mask all the time” is the wrong approach. In fact most trustworthy epidemiologists say things along the lines of “wear a mask in crowded or poorly ventilated places.” I think that’s pretty much my strategy now. Except for the grocery store; I don’t know what their ventilation is like but it’s such a habit now to wear a mask that I see no point in changing.

      • shawn 18:29 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        I wear an N95, well-fitted.

      • EmilyG 22:01 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        I still wear a mask when in indoor public spaces. Two masks if I’m going to be inside for a prolonged period of time.
        I get boxes of N95s at the local Home Hardware.

      • JaneyB 20:48 on 2023-04-01 Permalink

        Also still porting an N95 indoors. I see regular readers actually have some things in common here. That makes me wonder what the erstwhile irrepressible, now mostly lurker Bill Binns is up to. Mask or no mask Bill?

      • JP 22:00 on 2023-04-01 Permalink

        I’m a regular reader and have done away with masks, but I get that others want to keep wearing them and that’s fine; I respect that.

      • MarcG 11:28 on 2023-04-02 Permalink

        JP: Thanks for giving us your blessing? The libertarian reframing of public health as individual choice is very disturbing.

    • Kate 13:06 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Le Devoir alleges that the city has given out renovation permits to buildings in unsafe condition including the Place Youville building that burned down two weeks ago. There are simply not enough inspectors, says an anonymous city worker interviewed here, and confirmed by professionals in the business.

    • Kate 11:11 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Six people were found dead in the St Lawrence on Thursday, upriver off Akwesasne, and they turn out to be from Romania and India. La Presse links the deaths to the closure of Roxham Road.

      Authorities say it looks like the people were trying to illegally enter the U.S.

      Update: The death toll has now reached eight.

      • shawn 11:47 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Right, we knew this was going to happen. We’ll see more attempts at water crossings, I’m sure.

      • SMD 13:00 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Trudeau has blood on his hands, as do Legault and Polievre and all the other politicians who pushed for this change. These deaths were predictable and preventable and intended. We are now living in a country that refugees drown to get to, like Italy. Shame on all of us.

      • Kate 13:52 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        If these people were trying to get across to the U.S. illegally, as La Presse’s piece suggests, can this be put on Canada?

        The man who died at Christmastime near Roxham Road was also trying to get into the U.S. These unofficial crossing points are not only about trying to get into Canada.

      • Spi 13:53 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Pretty shameful that either of you would politicize these deaths. These were people that were already safely in Canada (for several years in at least one case since one of children was born in Canada) trying to illegally cross into the US, similarly to that Indian family that died doing the same in Manitoba.

        Ideologues that can’t even be bothered to learn the basics fact about the people that died before holding up their deaths as an example of something it is not.

        Shame on you SMD, their deaths aren’t just a news story for your political posturing. If you cared the least bit you’d at least read the article.

      • dwgs 14:00 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Anyone who thinks that human smuggling began at Akwesasne upon the closure of Roxham Road is ill informed, this has been happening for decades and will continue. People, drugs, weapons, cigarettes…

      • Kate 14:16 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Spi, anything to do with crossing borders invokes politics, for good or bad. Please do not attempt to shame SMD or any other user here.

        dwgs, my mother had a friend whose dad used to bootleg booze over the border there during Prohibition in the U.S.

      • Spi 16:20 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Kate you think it’s acceptable for SMD to inappropriately and incorrectly attribute the deaths of these people on all of us because it fits their political ideology contrary to the facts but calling out SMD’s hypocrisy is beyond reproach?

      • Kate 17:24 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Spi, I make mistakes here about complicated stories and motivations and sometimes so do people who comment. I don’t want to be dogpiled on, neither do I want to see anyone dogpiled.

      • walkerp 11:19 on 2023-04-01 Permalink

        Of course their deaths are a function of border policies. Maybe I’m mistaken, but I’m sensing a victim-blaming in your position, SPI. They must have been desperate to attempt such a crossing and that desperation is a result of restrictive border policies.

      • Kate 11:38 on 2023-04-01 Permalink

        I have to admit it seems odd to me that people would be so desperate to get to the U.S. from Canada that they’d risk a tricky crossing of the St Lawrence to do it. All the radio reports have stressed that the kid who died was a Canadian citizen, which suggests one of the families had been here for awhile. What could be so bad in Canada or so alluring in the U.S. that it would be worth desperately risking your life for?

      • walkerp 12:42 on 2023-04-01 Permalink

        I suspect that other family members had neither American nor Canadian citizenship, but the child got it because they were born here. It could have been that some of the members came to Canada as a tourist with the goal of getting citizenship somehow in the US. I can only guess as to their motivations but I would strongly believe they were in a pretty tough situation.

    • Kate 09:51 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Following this week’s summit on better control of road construction around town, the Journal is smugly complaining that there are road cones where some roads are to be closed on the weekend.

      Did the Journal or its readers actually think that road cones could all vanish or that road repairs would never need to be made again? Roads will always need to be closed for repair. It’s the nature of putting stuff on the ground and pounding multi-ton vehicles over it every day. Sooner or later it falls apart. Get a grip.

      • Joey 13:52 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Is it not the mayor who has made ‘ghost orange cones’ the focus of all this discussion? As if the only real problem was mismanagement of road closures… seems hardly deserving of a whole summit. Just make rules about road closures and enforce them. Meanwhile, how many times are major streets ripped open because of no coordination between varius public and para-public agencies? Why is the quality of the constrution work so shoddy that the work doesn’t last?

      • Kate 16:22 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

        Focusing on cones is a sort of shorthand for the whole picture, I think.

        Is the construction work shoddy? How do we compare to other cities this size, in a comparable climate? Maybe if people were not driving so many monster trucks, we wouldn’t have the same issues.

    • Kate 09:40 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

      Weekend activities for the beginning of April from Metro, CityCrunch, CultMTL, Sarah’s Weekend List, Montréal Secret.

      Driving difficulties of the weekend.

      • Kate 09:31 on 2023-03-31 Permalink | Reply  

        Police have been investigating Middle Eastern gangs in connection with a series of violent incidents in Montreal and Laval. It’s businesses owned by Middle Eastern folks that have been the targets in a classic protection racket.

        • Kate 22:06 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

          Following a relatively mild, if snowy winter, winter cycling numbers are higher than they’ve ever been.

          • Kate 21:54 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

            John Allore isn’t a household name here but some of us have probably encountered his writings about the unresolved death of his sister Theresa in 1978. On the eve of a TV segment about the unsolved case, John Allore has been killed in a bike accident where he lived in the U.S.

            I never met Allore, but earlier in the life of this blog I had a brief email exchange with him: he wanted me to do a post about his sister, but I didn’t see how a cold case from Lennoxville fit into the theme of current news in Montreal, so we left it there.

            • Kate 18:20 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

              CTV hints that Quebec Airbnb hosts may be faking permit numbers in response to the new crackdown on short‑term rentals.

              • steph 20:55 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                ” it’s the Province’s responsibility to enforce their legislation” – Airbnb.

                This is called “technically correct” but also “technically an asshole.”

              • GC 21:18 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                Yep. If they were serious about this, Airbnb could at least automatically detect cases where one host is using the same permit number for multiple listings. That code would not be hard to write.

              • John B 21:30 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                After a quick look at the CITQ website I don’t see a way to verify if a number is valid. If there’s no way for citizens or AirBnB to verify the number I don’t see how we can really expect AirBnB to be enforcing this. Yes, maybe they shouldn’t accept 123456, and maybe they should require that each number be unique, but enforcing local laws is a fairly large burden for a government that can’t be bothered to enforce those same laws to impose on a foreign company.

              • Ephraim 21:31 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                Oh the shock that people who were running an illegal underground deadly tax evading business… were going to actually follow the law. And that the company that assisted them in tax evasion, licence evasion and assisted in the death of 7 people would actually do the right thing. Shocking. It’s just Shocking.

              • Ian 11:02 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                Dang, I guess our elected officials & or RQ are going to have to do something after all.

              • Paul 13:59 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                -Force AirBnB to provide records of all financial transactions in QC over the past 3 years
                -Determine the property owner for each property in question
                -Validate if the address/owner have a license. If no, fine them for each transaction
                -Cross reference the owner’s taxes to ensure they reported the income. If no, fine them.
                -Allow local municipalities to access the interactions to occur if bylaw violations occurred (e.g. Old Montreal). Fine them.

                This isn’t rocket science. Revenue Quebec needs to just enforce their laws.
                Engage a temporary task force of 100 people to comb through records for 1 year and you will easily recover this money.

                Once word gets out, the number of fake listings will plummet. Keep a task force of 5 as FT inspectors afterwards.

              • Ephraim 14:13 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                When RQ finds them, they need to do a 7 year audit on their accounts. Bring you bank records for the last 7 years and let’s see if you declared all the income. You did, great… here is the fine for running the business without a permit and if you made over $30K a year, a bill for the GST/QST that you should have declared, before AirBnB collected it for you. And for the years that AirBnB didn’t collect the tourism tax… that bill and those fines. And of course we have passed this on to the city to reassess you taxes as commercial for those years. So the $2500 fine plus fees ($3750) is just the TIP of the iceberg. And let’s see if this was all worth it, running an underground business. (And Revenue Canada can be called in for a look too)

              • Peter 18:11 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                I wrote the CITQ asking how citizens can check the numbers and here’s their response:
                “We invite you to do a search on the official website of the Ministry of Tourism, http://www.bonjourquebec.com. Barring exceptions, establishments holding a valid registration are listed there.”
                It works. You just punch the number into the main search field. It’s quite interesting to see the actual addresses.

              • MarcG 18:37 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                Thanks Peter, I wrote them earlier today but didn’t hear back yet. My local Airbnb’s policy number matches a different address – does that mean that they’re lying or is the info on the CITQ site the company’s contact info and not necessarily the location of the unit?

            • Kate 18:14 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

              Discussions were held Thursday at a summit meeting by the city on how to minimize construction sites around town, including cracking down on contractors who don’t work fast enough. CBC radio talked about putting in less intrusive bollards instead of orange cones, which suggests that it’s the actual cones that have become offensive.

              La Presse’s report on this is fine, but contains one of those irritating codas from Ensemble, in which Alan DeSousa complains that the city is “coming too late to the party” and should have done this earlier.

              Journalists are trained so rigidly now to include “balance”, that we get this pointless counterweight that adds absolutely nothing to the story – and, what’s more, the journalist clearly knows it, because they never bother to challenge the Ensemble spokesman to explain what they would do differently and how that would be better. Because they know there’s nothing useful to be extracted that way, obviously. What is the point of telling us DeSousa says it’s too late? Should city hall just shrug and say “No point in doing any of this, it should have been done years ago” and give up?

              • Kate 17:52 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

                Metro looked into the history of the building destroyed in the fire two weeks ago, known to architects as the William Watson Ogilvie building. The image shown is horizontally stretched, though. It looked like this, photo taken from the building file on the Vieux Montréal site.

                • shawn 10:01 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  I don’t think anyone wants more views above what Kate has shared but the Wikipedia Commons has a category for the building. Oh and in case anyone wants to take some snaps of it now and upload them to the Commons, that would be great: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/Category:Édifice_William-Watson-Ogilvie

                • Kate 11:22 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  That’s a good link, shawn – thanks. I wonder if any of the Airbnb offers included that little tower at the corner. I’ve always dreamed of working in a circular room.

                • shawn 11:41 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  I hope someone does take some snaps before it’s all pulled down. A staggering amount of contemporary Montreal photos in Wikipedia were taken by this fellow Jean Gagnon, who I don’t know personally. I think he’s about my age and I don’t know if he is as active anymore.

              • Kate 15:35 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

                The Bay downtown has banners up reading “Soyez la chèvre” – apparently a translation of “Be the GOAT“.

                • Kevin 15:45 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  I can’t decide if it’s a deliberate mangling (chef/chevre/goat), a deliberate fuckup (all press is good press), or just ignorance.

                • Thomas 16:01 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  It’s almost certainly a pun playing off the recent usage of G.O.A.T. and the idea of the mountain goat, the latter of which is pretty common in the world of outdoorsy mountain gear and apparel.

                  Sadly puns are often hard to translate, and silly banners are part of the price we pay for trying to have the least amount of English possible in Quebec.

                • Spi 16:23 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  People are just reading too much into this, the source ad campaign from Columbia Sportswear (which is visible on their website) references an actual goat and their ability to climb any terrain, not to the often used sports acronym. The phrasing is awkward in French but it wasn’t exactly eloquent in English either (be the goat)


                • Blork 17:26 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  My spies in the youthful communities assure me that kids these days (kids these days!) actually use “chevre” the way we use GOAT. It’s a very recent thing, and is used sort of ironically. So at first glance this is a bad transliteration, but in fact it is fully on point.

              • Kate 11:58 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

                I’ve seen several references in recent months to the Braemar House in Westmount, for sale at $25 million. Global’s writer airily refers to it as a “Regency cottage” and misspells the name in two different ways, but it’s interesting if only because it’s in an unusual architectural style for Montreal. And it’s far from a cottage.

                • Marco 14:12 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  $25 million for a cottage? That’s wishful thinking. It’s called a cottage because that’s the architectural designation according to the cultural ministry according to a link in the article:
                  So very British to call a large home in Canada a “cottage” because we’re all just country folk over here after all.
                  Oooh, wait it has a pool too.

                • Ian 21:05 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  In MTL real estate parlance a “cottage” can simply mean a non-adjoined house. There’s lots of “cottages” in Outremont, for instance.

              • Kate 11:54 on 2023-03-30 Permalink | Reply  

                Sherbrooke Street in NDG has been afflicted by closures and empty storefronts, a trend that has yet to be reversed.

                • qatzelok 12:20 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  For trolls who blame bike lanes for commercial collapse, Sherbrooke in NDG is a totally bike-pathless car sewer with oodles of street parking. It should be a model of urban success for suburbanites looking for cheap drip coffee.

                  But it isn’t. It’s an unpleasant strip of asphalt with wide-but-empty sidewalks.

                • shawn 12:45 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  I know you’re going to link to this anyway but here’s a new Gazette story. “Montreal aims to crack down on zombie construction sites and vagrant orange cones” https://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-aims-to-crack-down-on-zombie-construction-sites-and-vagrant-orange-cones

                  I never heard that term “zombie construction site” before but it’s perfect imo. Côte-Ste-Catherine Rd comes to mind, quite recently. They had put kilometres of cones to mess up traffic but no actual work being done.

                • Tux 14:04 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Pedestrianize it! I say that as someone who lives in NDG and owns a car! Pedestrianization is a proven way to revitalize neighborhoods and encourage the growth of small business.

                • Ephraim 14:20 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  The closure of St-Lawrence at Pin is creating a killing ground for businesses in that area. So many of the businesses and restaurants are closed now including Dirty Dogs. La Main Supermarket is closed because of a fire… and surprisingly not because of horrible management, but then again, maybe that’s what caused the fire, who knows!

                • Kate 14:34 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  shawn, I might have missed that, thanks for the link.

                  Tux, I don’t think Sherbrooke can be easily pedestrianized, because it’s also highway 138 and I have a feeling the city’s not allowed to block it off to traffic.

                  qatzelok, you make a cromulent point there.

                • shawn 15:05 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Ephraim, how long will that intersection be closed do you know? They are doing a big underground repair at the same time as they are refurbishing Pine. That’s the right approach and with our ancient and neglected water system this must be done. But yes I noticed that supermarket was shuttered.

                • Tux 15:09 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Kate, I just want to make the island as inhospitable to cars as possible. Wherever you get rid of cars, you make room for *life* I recognize my antipathy to cars is pretty impractical politically but if it’s all the same to you I’ll keep advocating for getting rid of them here. If I took my ideas to the municipality or the province they’d dismiss me as a bitter crank, and based on how many people I can find in real life to agree with me, they wouldn’t be far off the mark! I promise to do it in good humor.

                • Kate 15:38 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  No, I’m with you, Tux, I love the feel of a good walking street with no motor traffic. I was just explaining why I think e.g. NDG‑CDN can’t decree a chunk of Sherbrooke Street closed to traffic.

                • DeWolf 15:40 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Pine and St-Laurent is only closed for six weeks. I’m not sure how that could force any businesses to close unless they were already bankrupt.

                  The entire Pine Avenue reconstruction is on budget and on schedule and will be set to be completely finished by the fall. I’m not sure what there is to complain about.

                • DeWolf 15:49 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Sherbrooke in NDG could do with a St-Denis style facelift. Bike paths on either side and pedestrian crossings with landscaped refuge islands. It’s such a wide street you wouldn’t even need to get rid of any parking, just the painted median in the middle.

                  Of course there’s also the issue of transit. If the 105 ran more often, it wouldn’t be so crowded and people would be more easily able to access Sherbrooke without a car. (Car access seems perfectly fine as qatzelok noted – I’ve driven there a number of times and never had any issue finding a place to park.)

                • Kevin 15:56 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  The people I know who closed their businesses on Sherbrooke did so because the rent has increased drastically in the past few years.

                  And there are always plenty of pedestrians and cars parked on Sherbrooke. The street’s not failing because of a lack of shoppers/customers. It’s failing because speculators are pricing it up.

                • DeWolf 15:56 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  @Tux Sherbrooke is so wide I’m not sure how you could pedestrianize it without it feeling like a ghost town all the time. Monkland is much better candidate for pedestrianization, but if I recall correctly, even the short-lived street fair that took place there was shot down by nearby residents. NDG is unfortunately very car-centric.

                • shawn 15:57 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Ok. Yes, six weeks for a hole that big isn’t bad, I reckon. And yes that stretch of the Main has been in bad shape for a long long time, pre-closure.

                • shawn 16:00 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Someone replying to Brendan Kelly on Elon Musk’s site said an issue for him is it’s a hard street to cross (which I never noticed but makes sense). But if its could be humanized like St-Denis while still allowing for enough vehicular flow, that’d be great.

                • Kate 16:07 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  St-Denis is not great for crossing either, and they’ve never closed the street to traffic north of Sherbrooke that I recall, although they’ve had occasional sidewalk sales. But it too is legally a highway, the 335.

                • dwgs 16:12 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Speaking as someone who lives half a block from Sherbrooke in that area…First of all, there is a good, heavily trafficked two way bike lane one short block away on de Maisonneuve so putting another one on Sherbrooke might not be the best way to spend limited financial resources. Also, that stretch of Sherbrooke is pretty rideable, I do it often. The sidewalks are wide and there is a good sense of community, it’s far from the urban hellscape that some here would have you believe. Could it be better? Sure, just don’t turn it into another Monkland, we like our slightly downmarket vibe. (btw, many of the vacant storefronts are Se***kis properties)

                • shawn 16:31 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  St-Denis is fantastic for crossing now imo. Traffic quieting and those long blocks all have cross-walks in the middle. Nothing like when you used to have to dash across.

                • Tim S. 17:17 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  The Monkland street fair was closed because it actually impeded rather than promoted access to local businesses. I very much enjoyed it myself, but it was more of a dispute between merchants and the organizers than anything to with cranky car-driving local residents.

                  And agreed with Kevin and dwgs that the problem with Sherbrooke is likely to be more about landlords than foot/car traffic.

                • DeWolf 17:24 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  @shawn, Yeah, that’s what I mean. The new crosswalks on St-Denis between Roy and Mont-Royal are the best in Montreal. You never have to cross more than one lane of traffic at a time before you have a refuge island. Sherbrooke only has crosswalks at signalled intersections, absolutely nothing in between, so if you’re crossing at Oxford, Belgrave or Beaconsfield (for example), good luck. That’s the main issue with the street in terms of design.

                  @dwgs The bike path on de Maisonneuve is not great, and there’s no reason you need to have only one bike path per neighbourhood. You’re right that Sherbrooke isn’t a terrible street for cycling but it’s not great, either, and if you don’t have proper cycling infrastructure on commercial streets, you can’t expect ordinary people to use their bike to buy groceries or do ordinary things. And crucially it’s the rare Montreal street with an excess of space, so it would literally involve moving the parked cars 1.5 metres into the street and eliminating the painted median. Not exactly an expensive procedure.

                  @kevin, Good point. I wonder if PM’s vacancy tax (supposedly on its way) will have enough teeth to actually do something about speculation by our local oligarchs. Sherbrooke has a similar problem in Westmount where Cromwell owns virtually every building.

                • Ephraim 17:26 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  The city’s website says “fermetures partielle de l’intersection de l’avenue des Pins et du boulevard Saint-Laurent jusqu’à la fin septembre 2023.” It’s started in February. It’s a pretty sad piece of street at the moment. Nino has a going out of business sign, I noticed for rent signs in Au Pain Dore, and more. I can’t remember how many doors were shut. Some of the restaurants were dark as well.

                • shawn 17:27 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Yes I love love love Saint Denis again. Great job by the Plante administration. And it was the REV the drew me back. Now I pretty much make up reasons to go there. (Not today tho. Give me some warm weather pls.!)

                • shawn 17:29 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Wow that’s much longer than 6 weeks of course – but are you sure that doesn’t refer to the completion of *all* the refurbishing alone Pine, not the current closure at the corner? That’s what the “partial” suggests to moi.

                • Kate 18:23 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  Good to hear that about St-Denis. When I lived a block over near Duluth, although the street had its charms, it was inundated by traffic, and the blocks are long, meaning you had to slog to get across.

                • Kevin 18:56 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  I honestly don’t know. If an owner is using the building to claim depreciation of fixed assets while waiting for multi-million increase in building value, probably not.

                  As others have pointed out, there are some owners with substantial holdings giving them very deep pockets. Building owners are doing nothing to attract tenants, and in some cases are actively discouraging them.

                • dhomas 19:11 on 2023-03-30 Permalink

                  St-Denis street should be used as a template across the city of what a livable urban thoroughfare should be. I went to the Renaud-Bray there a few weeks ago, and it was very pleasant. Sooooo much better then the urban highway it was used as before.
                  The same day, I had to go to the Renaud-Bray on St-Hubert (I needed multiple copies of a book so I had to hit up a couple of shops). I didn’t think I would, but I kinda preferred St-Denis. I kinda missed the old awnings on St-Hub. The new ones are bizarre to me, but it might just be nostalgia.

                • Orr 02:40 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  @dwgs Sherbrooke is the street with shopping and is where I want to travel safely on bicycle separated from the busy car traffic to do my shopping. To REV St-Denis-ify it would be a huge safety and mobility improvement. So many people live a couple of blocks from it, but won’t bike for shopping because (wait for it) it’s not a safe street to bicycle on. REV Sherbrooke best thing the city could do to it to improve quality of life for local residents. De-se***kis-ing it a strong second to give entrepreneurs a chance to start storefront businesses without $10k per month rent.

                • MarcG 09:19 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  Free idea: Charge $20 a head to observe the tarring & feathering of the landlord-whos-name-will-not-be-said in Girouard park and use the profits to revamp Sherbrooke.

                • DeWolf 12:37 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  @Ephraim That’s for the entire Pine Avenue project. Pine will continue to be closed west of St-Laurent, but the intersection itself will open in a couple of weeks and northbound traffic on St-Laurent will resume.

                  From the city website:

                  Corner Boulevard Saint-Laurent and Avenue des Pins: complete closure
                  Repairs to underground infrastructures require the complete closure of the intersection from February 27 to mid-April 2023.


                • Joey 13:57 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  Long-term, shouldn’t every single street in the city have some kind of dedicated cycling infrastructure? The idea that the only safe way to bike from, say, Sherbrooke and Girouard to Sherbrooke and, I dunno, Hingston, is to bike down to de Maisonneuve and take the bike lane is kinda nuts, no?

                • Kevin 14:11 on 2023-03-31 Permalink

                  There are dedicated bike lanes on Notre Dame and Cote Ste Antoine too.

                  I don’t get why somone would perceive Sherbrooke as being unsafe. In each direction it’s one lane of traffic, one of parked cars, and the flow is generally slow.

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