Updates from May, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 21:49 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Plaza St-Hubert is going to be pedestrianized entirely for summer 2024, from Bellechasse to Jean‑Talon.

    • Thomas 22:01 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Pretty cool that the merchants voted in favour of this instead of complaining about parking or something.

      As an aside: whenever I hear any news about the Plaza, I’m always reminded of one of my favourite old-timey Montreal commercials: https://youtu.be/BwMV-QwcbyE

    • Ian 22:04 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      There’s tons of parking one street over, just in behind the commercial access alleys – very much not an issue.

    • Kate 22:48 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Thomas, that’s hilarious. I like how we’re told twice that we can take the metro.

    • mare 00:04 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      And almost all shots are taken from… fast driving cars!

    • walkerp 09:15 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      Oh that’s cool! That part of St-Hubert is always entertaining just to walk up in the summer. So much going on. Pedestrianized will make it even more fun.

    • DeWolf 11:13 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      I live a couple of blocks away so I’m often on St-Hubert, and on the weekends it’s a real madhouse. Completely gridlocked and dominated by traffic, most of which is probably people looking for parking.

      It has a special atmosphere during the summer street fairs, a real market street, and it would be pretty interesting to see how that develops over an entire summer instead of just a few days.

    • Kate 13:31 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      It was nicer when there were big trees, but yes, it’s got its own atmosphere.

  • Kate 19:48 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    A residential rent registry has been launched so people have a hope of finding out what the existing rent was on a given flat, and landlords can’t apply unfair hikes between tenants.

    Here’s the link.

    • Nicholas 22:45 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      It seems what’s new is Vivre en Ville and others sponsoring this, and the name. This website was actually created six years ago under the name monloyer [dot] quebec. If you check this new site’s Facebook page you’ll see six years of history and lots of references to the old site in posts and photos (the email is also still at the old site). Same with if you google the old site, there are links to the new one with the old site’s name in the title. It was originally made by a bunch of web developers part of a non-profit cooperative. It’s good it now has financial backing and institutional support. It’s just weird they’re saying things like “Conçu par Vivre en Ville” when I saw the new site and immediately knew by the design it had to be related to the old one. I mean does Radio-Canada/Canadian Press really think 15,000 people signed up between the site “launching” this morning and when they published their story at 2 pm?

    • Kate 22:57 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Thanks for the background on this, Nicholas.

    • MarcG 08:47 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      Odd that the entries I added to the old monloyer site didn’t get transferred to the new one.

  • Kate 18:18 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Saw or heard something today about how local Quebec asparagus is coming in, and passed by Jean‑Talon market to get some.

    Seven dollars a bundle – and not a lavish bundle, either. A random man passing nearby exclaimed “Sept dollars!” and didn’t buy.

    Lufa’s charging $4.25 for the same amount. Do the market dealers charge a premium because they can basically get away with it?

    Also, has anyone noticed that prices are extremely uniform across the entire market? Everyone was selling their asparagus for $7 a bundle today and it’s not the first time I’ve noticed this tendency.

    • Ian 18:28 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Having worked decades ago at Atwater Market I can tell you that the “farmers” are indeed in cahoots and that most of them get their produce from the same depot the big grocery stores do.

      Lufa, on the other hand, isn’t getting their produce from those distributors. One of the big reasons Lufa can charge less for stuff even if it’s grown by one of their partners is that it doesn’t have to travel as much which means fewer sets of hands it has to pass through and less money spent on gas & fleet maintenance.

      Fiddleheads are in too, get ’em before they get woody 🙂 blanche, sautée in butter, devour.

    • Spi 18:39 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      At this time of the year farmers are too busy working their field’s to be at the market, so the stalls that are there are mostly resellers, which is why they’re all selling produce from the US and QC Asparagus probably all from the same supplier.

    • MarcG 19:40 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      The organic asparagus I received from Lufa today for $4.25 was smaller than previous years. There was a good exposé (does that accent bother you, Kate?) on CBC not long ago about bullshit farmers market stands in Ontario – presumably it’s the same racket here.

    • Kate 19:50 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      That accent is perfectly fine, MarcG. It’s only the folks who write “Montréal” and “Québec” in English text that make me grind my teeth.

    • Ephraim 19:58 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      The only place I shop at JT or Atwater are the places that work by the kilo. There is a reason they sell by “pack” and by container… so you won’t know the real price. I buy a LOT of groceries, I need to know the price by kilo/pound in order to compare. Heck, I follow the price of butter and eggs all the time.

      Remember to cook your fiddleheads twice! Don’t want to get sick

    • Kate 20:14 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      I have some fiddleheads here (also from Lufa). I’ve cooked them before but can’t remember the method I used. Ian says “blanch, sauté in butter” – how do you cook ’em, Ephraim?

    • Ephraim 21:29 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      @Kate – After cleaning, boil for 15 minutes or steam for 10 to 12 minutes. Discard water and thoroughly clean with water (usually cold to stop the cooking). Then you can prepare them as you want, like sauté them, fry them, bake them, etc. But it’s very important to discard the water after the first cooking. The water has tannins, acid and a toxin.

    • Kate 22:52 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Lufa has notes on fiddleheads in which they say the toxin has never been identified, and the Wikipedia page says the same. Odd.

    • Ephraim 07:59 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      That makes it a known unknown. But yes, the cooking and washing is what ensures that it’s safe. And Ostrich ferns are the only ones safe to eat.

    • CE 08:46 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      I grew up in New Brunswick where fiddleheads are abundant and had never heard all the worries about fiddlehead toxins until I moved to Montreal. When I was a kid, I used to eat them raw right off the stock. I usually just soak them in water before either boiling or steaming them once, served with butter and vinegar. I’ve eaten fiddleheads cooked like this hundreds of times and have never once gotten sick.

    • walkerp 09:17 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      Same. Well didn’t grow up in the Maritimes but been sauteeing fiddleheads once for years and nobody has ever gotten sick. Feels like you’ll boil the flavour right out of them.

    • carswell 09:46 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      I believe the cook-twice advice was related to cases of British Columbians eating non-ostrich varieties. Cooking only ostrich ferns, I’ve never followed it either.

      I rinse the fiddleheads well, trim them and soak them briefly in water acidulated with lemon juice. Cooking method tends to be one a French chef suggested for asparagus: slowly sautéing then in butter or butter and olive oil in a skillet over low heat (around 10 minutes).

    • Ephraim 12:14 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      Actually, that caution about eating them related to a LOT of cases and most provincial governments have the same warning. Here is the information from NB… https://www2.gnb.ca/content/dam/gnb/Departments/h-s/pdf/en/HealthyEnvironments/Food/FiddleheadsAndFoodSafety.pdf

    • Benoit 18:21 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      The fiddleheads discussion reminds me of all the warnings we used to get 30 years ago about sushi. There were plenty of articles in the newspapers that warned people about eating them, along the lines of “Be careful with raw fish, make sure the cook uses fresh fish, you could get sick and even die” etc. Yet I don’t know anyone who got sick after eating sushi!

  • Kate 15:15 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    The city has finally got it together to pass stronger rules on landlords who allow buildings to fall derelict.

    • Ian 17:59 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Gee that’s funny, I thought this was precisely what Richard Ryan said we couldn’t do in Mile End to keep Saint Viateur from getting hollowed out. How peculiar.

      In other news the “new” Laurier BBQ on St. V & Jeanne-Mance that Shiller-Lavy kicked out the patisserie for is papered over now.

    • Kate 18:21 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      There’s a fine line between allowing storefronts to remain empty and letting entire buildings fall into ruin.

    • Ian 18:35 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      From that article I don’t think the law is making that distinction, just that fines will be tougher if the building is allowed to fall into disrepair.

      Back in the “save Mile End” protests we were just asking for a vacancy tax, and Ryan was literally saying that was unrealistic and impossible. Of course that wasn’t true, but Ryan was good at toeing the party line & not making waves – which is why unlike Norris he was still allowed to talk to the public.

    • Kevin 19:45 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      I noticed today that Vancouver’s vacancy tax has brought in roughly $150 million for that city in two or three years–and put 4,000 rental suites back on the market

    • Joey 22:45 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      That chicken was excellent. Been gone for a while.

    • Mozai 10:08 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      “Derelict” and “Vacant” are not the same thing; I wonder if this will be enforced upon derelict-but-occupied buildings.

  • Kate 09:54 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    You wouldn’t expect a bundle of ad flyers to be such a perennial story, but it is: Publisac is about to be replaced by a single printed circular which will be distributed by Canada Post, thus circumventing a city bylaw. The mayor’s intention to keep unsolicited paper out of the recycling stream (and out of landfill, for the inevitable portion that will be chucked in the trash) has been thwarted, and she’s not happy about it.

    • John B 13:22 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      If TC had only created this all-paper, (and less paper), product in the first place, they probably would never have had to go through the ban and bad press. When I moved to Montreal I was pretty surprised to find flyers were distributed in plastic bags, something I had never seen elsewhere, (and still haven’t).

      Moving all-digital is seems like a good idea, but there seems to be small but not insignificant portion of the population that can’t be pulled into the digital era for some reason. Managing the community garden 10% of our members want their renewal forms printed, by mail. A couple of these are just people who don’t want to give us their email address for whatever reason, but most are people who really don’t use computers much, and some are surprisingly young, (in their 60s), to the point where I wonder how they really live their lives, and will continue living their lives for the next couple of decades. Requiring an opt-in sounds like a good idea, but anyone who has worked in communications, marketing, or tech support, knows that people don’t absorb most information that is provided to them, so many people will simply be angry their flyers stop coming, despite all the warnings and opt-in requests.

      I’m not sure what the answer is, but TC may actually have found it: Digital focus, with a paper component that uses 60% less paper than before, and no plastic. Opt-in would be better, but hopefully there’s a way to opt out for people who don’t want it at all.

    • PO 14:12 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      My worthless take – I am well versed in anything electronic, but there are some things that digital formats won’t replace in my book. One of them would be something like circulars or flyers.

      Best example would be grocery store flyers with the week’s specials. I will flip through the printed one and build a menu for the week based on what is in sale. I will not, however, open a web browser or or app and clumsily navigate through those same pages.

      No reason. I just don’t like it. And I can see the digital format ultimately failing to have the same appeal, because it would be too easy to just load it with an impossible amount of content.

      The same way I just let the spam filters pick up the weekly newsletters and offers from every company I’ve ever bought from, I would have no interest in looking at a digital version of the publisac.

    • Blork 16:34 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      I was about to reply to John B’s comment that “there seems to be small but not insignificant portion of the population that can’t be pulled into the digital era for some reason” but PO has pretty much nailed it. It’s not that people CAN’T go find the circulaires online, it’s that they WON’T.

      I’m a bit like PO in that I glance at the circulaires because they’re right there in front of me and it’s easy to compare the prices of a few competing stores on the main specials of the week. But I don’t do much more than look for particularly good specials (like when wild Argentinian shrimp go on sale every couple of months for half the normal price; it’s the only shrimp I buy, so when it goes on sale I stock up. Also, I used to keep an eye on things like chuck roast (stews and chili!) but wow I have not bought chuck in almost a year because even when it’s on sale is crazy expensive.

    • J 19:28 on 2023-05-11 Permalink

      Re “there seems to be small but not insignificant portion of the population that can’t be pulled into the digital era for some reason”, I can easily see how that happens. If you don’t need technology for work (and there are jobs out there that don’t) you might not keep up with it and, before you know it, you don’t know how to use things and maybe don’t care for it.

      My parents work in factories, they don’t use computers for their day-to-day jobs, and never bought themselves computers or smart phones…these are luxuries for them. Now that they’re almost retired and in their 60s, yeah, they can’t quite be wooed into it. They are actually part of a community garden as well and I’m the one who takes care of registration and passes along important messages that arrive via email. I also check them in for their flights when they’re traveling, etc. I don’t know how others get by or will in future but I suppose my parents will rely on my sibling and me to help them with these things. For the record, between the two of them, they do have a smart phone now…but it certainly took a while. In any case, I do ultimately agree that the flyers should be opt-in.

    • Tux 09:04 on 2023-05-12 Permalink

      Publi-sac should absolutely be something you can frictionlessly unsubscribe from. In my house it goes from the stoop straight into the recycling bin. I’m sure it’s useful for some folks – not for me.

  • Kate 08:40 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    With its funding gone, the organizers of the Carifiesta parade are going to meet with the city, which has already said the organization doesn’t meet its criteria for funding. Global reports that unnamed city officials have had concerns about the event’s governance for years, and that the communities involved will try to do something to save the parade.

  • Kate 08:29 on 2023-05-11 Permalink | Reply  

    Notre-Dame-des-Neiges cemetery will reopen for visitors Sunday, for Mother’s Day, but only till 3 pm, and some areas are still waiting to be cleaned up after the ice storm.

    In other Mother’s Day news, there’s been a teapot tussle over one Quebec school deciding to celebrate parents generally rather than specifying mothers or fathers. This wasn’t meant as a gender thing, but a nod to kids with only one parent, or who are in foster care. But Éric Duhaime got bent out of shape and the school has backed down.

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