Updates from March, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 18:54 on 2023-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    Montreal is the top city in Canada for illegal Airbnb listings.

    The owner’s lawyer says there were smoke detectors throughout the building, but would not say whether they were functional. The journalist also quotes the lawyer as saying “Il y a effectivement un appartement qui n’avait peut-être pas de fenêtre au sens traditionnel” which tells me whoever wrote this (no byline) knew damn well the lawyer was blowing smoke.

    Fenêtre au sens traditionnel! The Gazette says that reviews on Airbnb criticized the building for having apartments with no windows.

    Ricochet has zeroed in on another man whom they say was running a “short-term rental empire” in association with the owner, whom I won’t name on the blog because I don’t want to be found by ego googling, but who’s mentioned in this article, which goes into some detail about the situation around the building before the fire.

    A second body has been found and will be sent to a lab for identification.

    • shawn 19:06 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      and again, not to harp on this but my contractor once told me it’s illegal to have a bedroom with no window in Montreal… can anyone shed light?

    • Kate 19:11 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      I can’t cite the law, but it’s one of the reasons for Montreal’s endemic double rooms in row houses. Technically the inner half of the room – often curtained or screened off – still has access to a window, because it’s the law.

    • shawn 19:21 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Right, that’s what I have here.

      I mean if that’s our building code then another reason it’s all the more shameful that no one in a position of authority ever did anything.

    • Joey 19:41 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      An architect friend described the window regulation to me as a “quality of life” issue. I suspect there’s also an element (perhaps a more critical element) of “how else can we save you from a fire?”

    • mare 19:53 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Afaik a light well is also considered a window. So that might be the non-traditional window. Unlikely that it’s to code if an apartment has *only* a light well.

    • Ephraim 20:13 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      In the Plateau, they won’t even allow for a home theatre with no window. Only room allowed with no window is a bathroom.

      So, what’s the Quebec government doing about it… since they are responsible for allowing things to get this bad in the first place. NOTHING… Revenu Quebec has officially killed 7 people, okay 2 dead and 5 missing… still blood on their hands

    • Kevin 20:31 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      The building code has changed a lot over the years and there are many provincial modifications to the federal code. In general they require two exits for each lodging. There are exceptions if there are sprinklers, and it doesn’t mean each bedroom has to have a window.

      But a box with only one way in is not up to code.

    • Chris 20:51 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      It may be the building code now, but maybe not when that old building was built; it could have been grandfathered.

    • Kate 21:30 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Unless I’m mistaken, that building was originally offices, not residential. Either way, it’s inevitably been used and subdivided in different ways down through the years, and clearly the last pass of divisions for Airbnb, including the one with the toilet next to the fridge, wasn’t done with any regard for code or safety, q.e.d.

    • Meezly 21:59 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      In 2021, the OQLF carried out 5,848 language inspections. Imagine what a dedicated team of inspectors for illegal short-term rentals would have accomplished and how many lives this would have saved if this had been set up years ago. Priorities.

    • Michael 22:28 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Not only did they not have a window in the bedroom. There is ZERO windows in the loft. An apartment with ZERO windows.

      This landlord needs to be put in jail.

    • Michael 22:31 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      There is no grandfathered zoning for an apartment with zero windows. I suggest people go and take a look of what this apartment looked like. The 2 “windows” in the picture, both lead to a bedroom that has zero windows to the outside in it.

    • Nicholas 01:43 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

      I’ve spoken to a building inspector for the Plateau and they confirmed the only window requirement is that every permanent bedroom has some natural light. Skylights and light wells are allowed, and guest bedrooms don’t need natural light. He said it was for mental health reasons, not fire safety, and fire department confirmed the latter.

    • Meezly 09:37 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

      Translated from the TVA article: the data on Montreal (92,5 %) far exceeds that of Quebec City, which has an illegality rate of 76.6%, Toronto with a rate of 55.8%, and Vancouver, with the lowest rate of 28.5%.

    • Blork 09:41 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

      I once stayed in a room in a small hotel in Bairro Alto, Lisbon, that had no windows. I had stayed at that hotel before, and liked it, but I arrived late that night with no reservation and the other hotels in the area were all full. So I took the room. (It was only for one night, so what the heck.)

      Although the room was clean and nicely appointed, I had a bad night. I couldn’t relax and I did not sleep well. I don’t know if I was even thinking about fire; it was just weird to be shut into a windowless (and as a result, somewhat airless) room. I felt claustrophobic, which is not something I had felt before. Never again, that’s for sure.

    • CE 14:44 on 2023-03-22 Permalink

      I lived in a converted warehouse years ago in Griffintown before all the condos were built and one of the bedrooms didn’t have a window. The three other bedrooms were occupied by the same people the whole time I lived there, the windowless one saw lots of people come and go, a few of whom went crazy.

  • Kate 09:08 on 2023-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    A video taken by a witness shows a man being badly beaten in the metro, although the video doesn’t show what was said before the attack started. No indication here whether the attacker was identified or arrested.

    • shawn 10:20 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Yesterday there was a phalanx of about a dozen big burly STM officers in Cremazie metro… stopping people from exiting the northbound platform unless they could show proof of purchase. Yes, one thing has nothing to do with the other and we can’t and shouldn’t have cops on every car but it’s just interesting timing, at least for me.

      FWIW, someone who shared the video on twitter thought a possible motive could have been a gang initiation.

    • steph 12:02 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      The gang initiation angle explains why no one is jumping in to help; assuming the gang was standing by.

      I can’t help but wonder, if an initiation goes bad and the crowd turns and dogpiled the wannabe gangster, does he still get into the gang?

    • JP 13:08 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      I think people generally don’t jump in. I don’t think anyone consciously thinks “it might be a gang initiation I won’t intervene”. It’s probably bystander effect at play more than anything else.

      As for whether he’d get in if this was a gang initiation, he’s proven he would take orders from them….even if others jumped in I don’t see how that would change anything…..in any case, what a loser.

      Hope the man is alright.

    • Kate 13:39 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      I think it’s even more basic. If there’s a violent guy that seems out of control, most people will naturally keep away out of a sense of self-preservation. We don’t see this guy using a weapon but there’s no knowing if he has one.

      I have a feeling strangers might have been quicker to intervene had the victim been a woman. But it’s not certain.

    • Bert 15:58 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      It is even simpler than that. It is a classic case of the “bystander effect”… Someone else will do something… https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bystander_effect

    • Kate 19:18 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

      Bert: I see you tried 3 times to post this comment. It was held up automatically because of the link. Sorry about that!

  • Kate 09:01 on 2023-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

    A house in St-Léonard was shot at on Monday night but there were no human victims. It’s the fourth such incident in two weeks, all in different parts of town.

    • Kate 08:51 on 2023-03-21 Permalink | Reply  

      The bill for the renovation of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel has just increased by nearly a billion dollars.

      • steph 10:35 on 2023-03-21 Permalink

        With another 2.5 years to go, I’m hedging my bet on a final bill of ~4 billion.

        The new Champlain bridge cost 4.2 billion. Maybe they could have build a new tunnel too.

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