Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 19:27 on 2023-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The Old Montreal building that burned this week had 15 apartments rented out on Airbnb in a section of Ville-Marie that does not allow short‑term rentals, although another anecdote in this piece suggests that there may have been longer‑term tenants as well.

    No alarm is said to have gone off inside the building when fire broke out, either.

    Update: Workers will start taking the façade down on Sunday.

    • shawn 20:51 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

      Montreal Globe and Mail correspondent Les Perreaux speculated earlier on twitter that a tragedy like this might make the city take the problem of illegal AirBnBs more seriously.

    • Josh 11:51 on 2023-03-20 Permalink

      Shawn, just a small FYI, Perreaux left the Globe some while back. He’s now the editor in chief of the journal Policy Options.

  • Kate 13:23 on 2023-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Noticed lately I’m getting spam comments generated by ChatGPT. They come from plausible-sounding names and read like relevant responses to topics, but the key thing is that the user link is not an individual’s, but something being promoted for Google ranking – diet pills and NFTs today, for example.

    I’m watching comments with closer attention now but if anyone spots something that looks shady please don’t hesitate to let me know.

    • Tim S. 22:00 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

      Just out of curiosity Kate, would you consider posting a sample?

    • Kate 23:01 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

      I emptied the spam queue, unfortunately. But I’ll keep an eye on it and post later if I find more.

  • Kate 11:43 on 2023-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

    People living in St-Michel near the Francon quarry have no peace after snowstorms as incessant queues of massive trucks roll up to deposit their load through the ports at the edge of the old quarry. The sheer scale of the thing is striking.

    • Kate 09:55 on 2023-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

      The suspect and the three victims in the triple homicide this week have been confirmed to be part of a family and the ages suggest they were the suspect’s parents and a grandparent. Arthur Galarneau is to appear in court Saturday.

      The Journal says the victims were Galarneau’s parents and his grandmother.

      These killings were #3, #4 and #5 of the year. Radio-Canada has an interesting observation. The first two homicides were also apparent matricides, and both also carried out with knives.

      Update: Galarneau was charged with three counts of second-degree murder on Saturday. CTV has names and photos of the victims now.

      • Kate 09:52 on 2023-03-18 Permalink | Reply  

        As many as six people are missing following the fire in Old Montreal this week, and the remains of the building are still too unstable to search. CTV talked to a relative of one of the missing people.

        • shawn 10:55 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          “..they couldn’t get out because they were no windows in the room”: that would violate our building code, as I understand.

        • shawn 11:01 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          But then when you look at the place, there’s lots of windows. It’s more window than wall. Unless the owners were sticking people in the middle of this narrow wedge shaped building, which seems unlikely.

        • MarcG 11:18 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          There are some photos of the interior here, and going by the looks of that “bathroom” you can assume that a lot of other non-standard design choices were made. There were 15 people in the building and 4 listed apartments.

        • Kate 11:23 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          I expected a classier renovation job in a building like that. A toilet next to a fridge?

        • shawn 12:09 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          Oh yes look at that: crammed in, a disaster waiting to happen. I’m sure the vultures at AirBnB Inc. won’t be liable, sure they’ve taken care of that.

        • Ephraim 12:19 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          Actually, if the owners were doing AirBnB and didn’t have commercial insurance, the Insurance company can wiggle out of paying it, claiming it was commercial activity and not covered. Worse, if they had a residential mortgage, they violated the mortgage, so they bank can call the mortgage. Or the worst of all scenarios, they have to pay to rebuild with no insurance money while still having to pay a mortgage on a non-existent property. Ah, the stupidity of it all.

        • shawn 12:26 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          It’s just such a scam. Sorry, I just hate AirBnB.

        • walkerp 16:34 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          Yep, Airbnb is definitely a factor here.

        • shawn 17:01 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          La Presse now confirming that the building owner is lawyer ****** , who owns a lot of other properties.

        • shawn 17:08 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          Actually Le Devoir has more info. *****

        • Kate 19:32 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          The Journal had a couple of paragraphs on him already at the end of this piece on Thursday, but I hesitated to name him because angry lawyers can cause a world of hurt, and I don’t have a budget for that. So please forgive me for eliding your comments, shawn.

          There are a few names I don’t want mentioned here because I don’t want to turn up in Google searches.

        • shawn 20:20 on 2023-03-18 Permalink

          Ah, right. Sorry.

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