Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:07 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

    Mayor Plante’s father has died. Her statement about him on Instagram is a reminder that Mme Plante was born up in the Abitibi.

    • Kate 20:58 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Three statistics experts explain why the official numbers on French as the language spoken at home in Montreal may be underestimated because the statistical method excludes multilingual households where French is spoken alongside other languages, mostly African or North African ones.

      Going out on a limb, I suspect the CAQ, like the PQ before it, actually prefers an underestimate, because it’s politically useful to be able to claim that French is in decline.

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

        It doesn’t matter anyhow, you know those that get worked up about such things don’t think the French in Mali is what they want to hear when ordering a frites-sauce.

      • Emily Gray 23:44 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        When I lived alone (and didn’t have anyone else in the house to speak to,) I’d speak French and English about equally on the phone.

    • Kate 14:03 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      CBC has a video by Arizona O’Neill about the loss of neon signs around town but she lost me when the first image was a bad drawing based on this photo of Plaza St‑Hubert while she tells us about Ste‑Catherine Street and the Red Light district. The Plaza was not in the Red Light district, and from photos I’ve seen, there were no neon signs illuminating the Red Light, despite the name.

      Then the video shows a lot of drawings and cutouts, but honestly, if you’re going to make a video about the past, find some legitimate archival images. There are plenty if you do some research.

      • shawn 14:25 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        Still, it is so amazing how impressive Saint Hubert Street was. It was like this other downtown. Wild.

      • Kate 15:40 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        It really was. St-Hubert didn’t have the same density of cinemas – I think there was only one. And some of the businesses are a bit downmarket – there are two signs visible offering loans – so the overall tone had a little less pizzazz. But it was still pretty damn sparkly.

      • shawn 15:53 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        Tbh – maybe you were more integrated than me – it was like the “French downtown.”

      • shawn 18:56 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        It’s a shame we couldn’t have kept more neon but once the commerces are gone, there’s no reason to keep the signage. FNoMTL has an Instagram post about the state of this dying neon art installation at Mont-Royal and Saint-Laurent, tagging the artists so they know the state it’s in: https://www.instagram.com/p/CpPzyn9LiNI/

      • Kate 20:28 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        Although a few older signs have been preserved at Concordia, taking down old neon tubes is dicey at best. Maintaining neon signs was always fussy work and expensive, too. You can’t blame store owners for switching to the plastic panels most of them use now, dull though they are by comparison.

        Maybe there will be a renaissance of LED tube signs sometime soon.

      • shawn 20:43 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        And I now realize my link was likely to an LED tube sign installation, not neon?

      • Ephraim 20:53 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        St-Hubert was where you went for discount jeans

      • Kate 21:02 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

        shawn, it looks like LEDs to me.

        Neons must have held up OK to cold temperatures, but till recently, LEDs not so much. But LEDs are being improved fast.

      • CE 11:35 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

        I was coming across the Jacques Cartier bridge last night and was struck by how much impressive lighting has sprung up in the last few years. The JC bridge looks fantastic at night, the new Champlain is also striking, it’s just one continuous colour-changing line of light spanning the river. I don’t know when it happened, but the lights at the top of PVM were changed a few years ago and they’ve given the building a stylish look that it didn’t have before. I think as LEDS get better and cheaper, we’ll see more lighting around town, it’ll just be different from the old neon.

        We also have to remember that there are lots of rules around signage that didn’t exist during the neon era. Even if businesses wanted to put up big flashy signs on the major commercial streets, they probably wouldn’t be allowed.

      • bill 13:07 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

        This is a list of all the mistakes in the film:
        0:16 The image is based on this photograph of Saint Hubert, not Sainte Catherine (notice the “Trev”)

        1:10 “When we are taught Montreal’s history our red light district is left out.” Every single venue in the Quartier des Spectacles has red spot lights in front of it as a means to remember what it was like 100 years ago. The entire design of the Quartier des Spectacles website is an homage to the red light district, and the history is clearly stated in the “About” section.

        1:25 Quebec Prohibition. Quebec passed a law in 1919 outlawing the sale of alcohol. There was a referendum, and liquids with less than 2.5% abv were re-allowed

        1:52 The image of women using a lyra, aerial ring or circeau: While aerial circus acts had been around since the 1770s, it did not become popular until the Cirque du Soleil used it in 2003.

        2:04 “US Mobsters…” Lucky Luciano was exiled to Italy in 1946 and prior to that it is highly unlikely that he ever stepped foot in Montreal
        https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lucky_Luciano and https://dlil.overdrive.com/nsls-glencoepublic/content/media/3998481

        2:24 “Being a port city would bring in boats of US soldiers…” A) if you are on a boat you are not a soldier, you are a sailor. B) Yes, Montreal was (and is) a port city. But use some common sense, why would the US Navy send any ships to Montreal? It is two day down the Saint Lawrence river, since 1812 we have not been at war with the US and the US Navy is not in the habit of taking cruises. Montreal’s commerce was why its port was so large and important.

        2:25 I can understand Artistic License, But why use a cutout of a schooner, a type of ship that was used mainly in the 18th and 19th centuries when she is discussing Montreal in the 20th century?

        2:40 “Casinos” Gambling was outlawed in Canada in 1892 and it wasn’t until 1970 that lotteries were allowed. If there were any casinos in Montreal they were of the illegal variety (except for Church Bingo)

        2:54 “…next door Dunn’s…” Dunn’s moved to 892 Sainte Catherine W in 1955 and was between Mansfield and McGill College. Not in the red light district

        3:04 “…once seating 2,600 people…” The Capitol did when it opened in 1921. But in the 1950s it was a “roadshow house.” Technically nothing is wrong here, but she is conflating two extremely different periods of Montreal history.

        3:07+ It is all her opinion. The sneaker industry is a multibillion dollar industry (ie there are lots of people who get excited about buying sneakers). As for Bell, I would counter that their reach is far more significant and important nowadays than anything she is lamenting.

        3:38 “corporate logos” Dunn’s was a business, the Capitol Theatre was a business, and as she mentions there were a lot more. They all had their logos plastered on their storefronts. I fail to see anything but an aesthetic difference – similar to the difference in popular music from the 1920s and now.

        3:50 “The first thing that had an impact…” was not Bill 101. It was Jean Drapeau who was first elected mayor of Montreal in 1954 and from his background on the Caron Inquiry, waged a war against everything illegal in the city.

        4:20 “But not for much longer.” Cafe Cleopatra, Kingdom, L’Abri du Voyageur, and Erotica are all still there. And there are dozens of massage parlors in the neighborhood.

        4:38 “It was time to pave it over.” It was paved long before the creation of the Quartier des Spectacles. Place des Arts was built in 1962. Complexe Desjardins was built in 1975. Parc de la Paix in 1993
        https://www.montrealcentreville.ca/en/shopping/the-story-of-sainte-catherine-street/ and

        6:20 “instead of erasing that moment in history.” It has not been erased, it has been preserved.

        6:36 “It is the feeling you get at night when you drive into the city…” I could be wrong on this one, but I do not think that the Five Roses sign is visible from the Samuel de Champlain bridge.

      • Kate 13:30 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

        bill, my God. What a dissection!

        However, I do know that there were sometimes American sailors in Montreal, maybe around WWII, because both my parents witnessed them and said it was considered a good laugh. Americans were accustomed to beer that was 3% at the time, and Canadian beer was twice that, so apparently American sailors were often seen reeling around in public.

      • carswell 14:54 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

        Light pollution is a big and growing problem, especially in urban areas, not that you’d guess that by reading this thread.

    • Kate 11:12 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

      Le Devoir followed the two leading candidates in the Saint‑Henri–Sainte‑Anne byelection taking place March 13, but which some residents aren’t even aware is happening.

      Metro follows baby caquiste Victor Pelletier as he campaigns.

      Advance polls began Sunday and will continue on Monday.

      • Kate 11:02 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

        The strike continues at Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery. CTV leads here with sad families unable to visit graves, but at least also summarizes the labour issue.

        People should get a grip. The strike is about working people making a living, and “living” is the key word here. “There were people that had come from France to see their loved one” is just melodrama. Their loved one is six feet under, they’re not going to see anyone. Priority should be for the living.

        • steph 12:08 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          Are Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery maintenance fees paid upfront for perpetuity, or is it a yearly fee? I assume if it’s the first, client families can start suing. If is’ the second, I suppose they’re in a budget shortfall (who would pay for services not rendered)

        • Kate 13:14 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          I have a receipt somewhere from the 1940s made out to my grandfather for maintenance in perpetuity on his family grave in NDN. His mother’s father had bought the plot in the 19th century so my great‑great‑grandparents are in it, as is my great‑grandmother, and later my grandfather and grandmother were buried there, as were other connections of his family, and eventually my father and mother.

          Someone mows the whole area throughout the summer, so I suppose they’re still fulfilling the deal, although – as you suggest – it’s not a very sustainable business model. They mow the cemetery generally – it wouldn’t work to mow most of the graves in an area but deliberately not mow specific ones which had not signed a deal. I haven’t seen anything like that happening.

          On the other hand, I’ve seen tombstones wrapped in plastic with a notice pinned on them saying the graves are going to be removed, but it’s not clear why. These are not the temporary graves, either, so I don’t know what the situation is.

          I’m the last person in town to be connected to the people in that grave, but I don’t think NDN has records linking it to me. I don’t know whether they’d come after me for a fee, or if I risk losing the plot eventually if not, but I could wave my grandfather’s receipt at them if they did. Perpetuity is a very long time.

        • steph 13:39 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          Perpetuity is not “eternal”; it is limited to 100 years by the Civil Code of Québec since 1994 (1995?). on the NDdN cemetery site ( https://www.cimetierenotredamedesneiges.ca/en/regulations ) ” The funerary sites are conceded for a fixed period not exceeding 100 years.”

        • Kate 15:44 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          Thanks for the details. I doubt they’ll dig up great-great-grand-dad right away, he was buried in 1878, and he was still there last I looked. But they might get antsy once my grandfather’s arrangement runs out.

        • walkerp 10:18 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

          Is this a deliberate tactic of the strike to not let people in?

        • Kate 10:23 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

          Can’t tell. I don’t think the workers would be legally allowed to lock the place up, but maybe management is taking the position that it’s unsafe if the roads have not been plowed?

          Or they could be simply trying to get public opinion on side by locking everyone out and telling the media.

        • Julius 23:14 on 2023-03-25 Permalink

          Kate etc… if you don’t know what you are talking about, don’t write anything. Who are you to judge what people need as comfort

        • Kate 08:58 on 2023-03-26 Permalink

          I do know my ancestors are buried there and if they had their choice, they’d stand with the workers.

      • Kate 10:44 on 2023-03-05 Permalink | Reply  

        Balarama Holness is publishing a memoir about his colourful life so far and his plans for the future.

        • Marc R 22:07 on 2023-03-05 Permalink

          seems like a good candidate to become a federal liberal MP, taking some pages from the melanie joly playbook

        • Mark Côté 00:49 on 2023-03-06 Permalink

          I actually donated to his campaign, but I received zero communication. For a supposed grassroots party this struck me as really strange.

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