Updates from May, 2023 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 22:36 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro’s Jason Paré tried out the Adirondack train to New York and makes some useful observations for potential travellers about the food, drink, wi‑fi, the long halt at the border and so forth.

    • shawn 23:51 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      I took that train about 30 years ago and it’s funny how a little seems to have changed. I think that I remember liking most of all is simply the hypnotic soothing of the motion and sound of the train. That at the great scenery.

  • Kate 22:31 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    A bagless version of the Publisac by the unedifying name Raddar is now being distributed to 725,000 households. Item says you can opt out of receiving Raddar on the Canada Post site but I see no sign of where you can do this.

  • Kate 22:20 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    A five-alarm fire broke out around 4:30 pm Thursday on the roof of the monastère du Bon‑Pasteur at the corner of Sherbrooke and St‑Dominique. Nobody was hurt. The building houses a seniors’ residence, a housing co-op, a daycare and condominiums, and also hosts art exhibits and classical musical performances.

    • EmilyG 22:59 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      I’ve been to a lot of great concerts there. It’s sad to hear this news.

    • carsswell 23:34 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      The CTV article reports that it is the chapelle wing of the building, which now houses the concert hall (with Heritage Montreal offices located directly underneath), that appears to be the most severely damaged. If so, this is doubly sad news for music lovers and musicians. The city already has a dearth of venues for small ensembles, especially affordable venues and double especially ones with good acoustics, and has now lost, at least temporarily, one of the best. And who knows what’s happened to the magnificent instruments, most notably the grand piano and an 18th-century harpsichord, regularly used in performances? Hoping the damage is not extensive and the hall is restored and even improved.

    • shawn 08:21 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

    • Kate 08:49 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      So much so that the air quality is down Friday morning.

    • MarcG 08:58 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      I smelled it all the way in Verdun around 6pm last night.

    • shawn 09:30 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      Wow, Verdun. From Sherbrooke East… incredible.

    • carswell 10:19 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      Heartbreaking drone footage from earlier this morning. This makes it look like the fire is mostly confined to the roof/upper storeys.


    • shawn 15:29 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      La Presse reporting at 2:10 pm Friday that the fire is still not extinguished.

    • Ephraim 22:43 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      With a concert hall with the public… why was this not retrofitted with a sprinkler system?
      Please, can we not think of retro-fitting certain buildings with fire suppression systems? Especially when you have a concert hall, where hundreds can perish in one go!

  • Kate 16:36 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The CAQ government says it will allow more immigrants into Quebec – but only if they speak French. But there’s no indication how and where the language tests will be administered.

    I’m all for more immigration here, but can we also talk about putting up more residential units to meet the inevitable needs of a growing population?

    • Ephraim 16:48 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Make them pass the nursing exam… that will make sure they can speak French… because it certainly isn’t testing nursing skills 🙂

    • JP 16:57 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Well if they want more immigrants who speak French, maybe they need to be more accomodating about religion and revisit some of their laws.They are really only exacerbating and creating other issues (as perceived by them) down the line.

    • Tim S. 17:48 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      We have some neighbours who are refugees from Ukraine. They studied French in university so were eager to give Quebec a shot, have what seem to be good jobs working remotely for international firms, didn’t complain about sending their kids to French school, love Montreal, and are moving to Ottawa because they can’t navigate the Quebec immigration bureaucracy.

    • Spi 18:05 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Ironically the most Quebec version of the outcome possible, unable to provide a rather simple and adequate level of service (French integration classes for new immigrants) the provincial government would rather abandon that responsibility and just require the people to do more.

    • Daniel 19:16 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Ugh, Tim S. That is so disheartening on so many levels!

    • Kevin 20:14 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      There are not that many economic-class (ie. rich enough to give Quebec a loan) immigrants.

    • Jonathan 07:50 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      Refugees don’t go through provincial immigration bureaucracy, but federal. Not sure what your neighbours, JP, would have had as experience with any Quebec immigration process…

    • Tim S. 08:25 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      I assume that was directed at my comment, Jonathan. I gather Quebec isn’t recognizing some of their diplomas so they can’t get Permanent Residency here. This is based on random chats in the street, so perhaps I’ve missed a nuance.

    • Jonathan 11:25 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      Ooops. Yes, that was directed at you, Tim. Permanent residency for refugees isn’t handled by the Quebec government and you do not need to have a degree recognized in order to get permanent residency. For recognizing diplomas, this is usually done by professional orders, depending on the sector. That’s a whole other game. Even recognizing certain competencies across provinces is difficult… god bless federalism I guess.

    • shawn 18:13 on 2023-05-26 Permalink

      Quebec launches a new platform for French-language education services – not just for immigrants – on June 1: https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/2023-05-26/services-d-apprentissage-du-francais/quebec-lancera-lundi-un-guichet-unique.php

    • shawn 11:30 on 2023-05-27 Permalink

      La Presse has a Q&A with the minister about Francophone immigration cause a solution for Quebec: https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/politique/2023-05-27/entrevue-avec-christine-frechette/l-immigration-est-une-solution.php

    • shawn 11:31 on 2023-05-27 Permalink

      … sorry Kate I was lazy and using dictation mode. Please make me make sense or delete 🙂

  • Kate 12:05 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Last Friday, the SPCA was called to an NDG park where they had to rescue two sheep and five chickens which had apparently been left there by someone who could no longer maintain them in town.

    I wonder who had been keeping two urban sheep that had passed unnoticed.

    SPCA spokesman says they’ve all gone to live on a farm somewhere.

    • Ephraim 12:58 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      How eggciting! Maybe they should have waited for Baastile Day? The shear entitlement of making someone clean up their droppings! Ewe could manurefacture more of these bad puns… c’mon and shed some! (Sorry….)

    • Meezly 14:15 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Wool you please stop? 🙂

    • walkerp 14:24 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Those were really baaaaaaad.

    • mare 16:33 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      You can keep sheep in the basement or in a shed. Most of the mouton or lamb meat comes from animals that never go outside.

    • Ephraim 16:49 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Fresh Shepherd’s pie!

  • Kate 10:34 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    The Musée Grévin, which opened here in 2013 as a spinoff from a Paris institution dating from 1883, closed in 2021 and has now declared bankruptcy – at least the Montreal branch has done so.

    • shawn 12:43 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      I suppose in a way it wasn’t a very good location. Super central, but totally hidden up there on the top floor?

    • Kate 13:01 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      That was probably a factor, but I think wax museums have had their day.

    • carswell 13:11 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Agree with Kate. Plus, compared with Madame Tussauds, Grévin just isn’t well known, especially by tourists and especially non-Franco tourists. The focus on local celebs was also misguided, with limited appeal to clueless tourists and even Quebecers. Why pay to see a mediocre wax statue of, say, Ricardo, when he’s unavoidable on TV, in print and even on merchandise and when you can often see him in the flesh at his café and other venues?

    • shawn 13:41 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Yes for sure.

  • Kate 09:39 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Dieppe Park, which is on the tip of the peninsula containing Habitat 67, is losing its shoreline. This part of the river is important for biodiversity, apparently, meaning you can’t just bring in a lot of bulldozers to pile it back up.

    Was this peninsula a natural formation? Or was it created, or extended, as part of the Expo 67 earthworks? It certainly isn’t shown on this 1843 map, although this 1903 map has something labelled “guard pier” that might be involved.

    • qatzelok 11:22 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Like Cité du Havre, parc Dieppe was created with landfiill as an extension of a previously-existing jetty – a jetty that protected the Old Port from river currents. The construction of this park, Cité du Havre and the Expo islands increased the current in some places making the Estacade necessary to avoid ice dams forming.

      There may be a clue in this as to why this little park is slowly dissolving.

    • MarcG 11:31 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      I layered the google map image over the 1843 map, using the bridge and Wellington street and the canal as my line-up points: https://imgur.com/a/lJolfnz. The 1843 map is obviously a bit imperfect so the angles are a bit funky but it seems like the pier lines up reasonably well.

    • Kate 11:52 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      qatzelok, that’s what I was wondering. Islands and shoals form naturally out of the shape of the river and its currents. You can create them artificially, but since the manmade ones didn’t aggregate out of natural forces, those forces may eventually tear them down.

      MarcG, I think that’s the 1903 map, no?

    • shawn 11:54 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Yes, someone posted a lovely photo on Facebook looking out from the Old Port in the Old Days and that jetty wasn’t there. It was much nicer looking – if more dangerous for navigation, etc..

    • mare 12:11 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      That increased current might also help with the standing wave south of Habitat that is so popular with surfers.

      (Only slightly related story:) I was resting in Parc Dieppe two weeks ago and there are tons of people fishing on the Port side there. I saw someone catch the biggest fish I’ve ever seen being caught with a normal rod. It was about a metre long, no idea what species. They had problems getting it out of the water because apparently the line was wrapped around its body. I expected it to go on a barbecue somewhere, there are always lots of North African families gathering and barbecuing there, but to my surprise they came back after 5 minutes and carefully put the fish back into the water. After a few seconds it swam away, hopefully not too traumatized. I guess they spent some time removing the line and the hook, took photos and that was it. (I’d have preferred they had eaten it, injuring animals as a sport is not really my cup of tea.)

    • shawn 12:15 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Yes, the standing wave only seemed to pop when they also expanded Saint Helens and built Ile Notre-Dame to create more of a bottleneck, but you’re right. It started with the jetty.

    • MarcG 13:41 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Kate: Oops, yes it is.

    • Andrew 14:07 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      So I think this drawing shows the Guard Pier under construction in 1889ish

      At some point it was renamed the MacKay Jetty and it looks a lot of terrain actually deposited around the original embankment.

    • walkerp 14:27 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Mare, I believe that it was a sturgeon. I think that`s what they fish in the fleuve and they can get quite big.

    • Blork 15:44 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Agree it was probably a sturgeon. That area is known for pretty good sturgeon fishing. I know a guy who claims to have caught a two-metre sturgeon under a bridge on Ile Ste-Hélène. He described carrying it home on the Metro, which must have been quite the sight.

      I once saw a sturgeon jump out of the water just off a park in Boucherville and I swear it was about two metres long. Huge!

    • shawn 15:59 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Ha. I have a story about sturgeon too. Once, just once, I went fishing in Quebec. I drove up to Tremblay with some friends and somebody gave me a fishing rod and I lowered the thing into the lake. I guess it was Lac Tremblant or a smaller nearby lake?

      I was almost instantly attacked by this monster. Huge and ugly and scared the crap out of me.

      It broke or bit through the line, and I was so relieved. Absolutely no interest in ever repeating the experience.

    • dwgs 19:55 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      @mare catch and release is what most anglers practice these days. It’s doubtful that the fish was harmed, they’re tougher than you might think. If it was a sturgeon it wouldn’t have been very good to eat because a) they’re bottom feeders so bleh and b) big fish are old fish and old fish aren’t good eating. Also, as a friend of mine who is an avid sport fisherman says “big fish make more big fish”.

    • shawn 20:20 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

      Yes I would not want to eat that. Aren’t there warning about eating fish from the waters near Montreal? And I believe a big fish is going to accumulate more toxins in its flesh.

  • Kate 09:06 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

    Patrick Lagacé visited with the sisters of Fabienne Houde‑Bastien, the young woman killed in a car crash as she walked home from a social gathering last weekend. They want her to be remembered as more than just “a pedestrian”.

    • Kate 09:00 on 2023-05-25 Permalink | Reply  

      Candidates have all been nominated in the NDG-Westmount byelection to be held June 19 to replace Marc Garneau. The odds of anyone but Liberal candidate Anna Gainey winning this one are slim to nonexistent.

      • shawn 11:00 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

        Trudeau is definitely in trouble in the polls, but I would have to think that Anna Gainey would be cabinet material, given her background, at the very least. Does anyone know if she’s a good public speaker?

      • Kate 11:20 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

        shawn, tu me donnes froid au dos. A future with Pierre Poilievre as PM, alongside DeSantis as president of the U.S., would hardly be worth living in.

      • JaneyB 21:25 on 2023-05-25 Permalink

        My hunch is that the Bloc would pick up any Trudeau losses more than Poilievre would. Quebecois will never vote for someone from English-Canada (yes, bilingual but from Calgary) when they have a home-grown option, namely Blanchet who has excellent eco-cred and is a proven protector of QC interests. Blanchet’s signature is actually on the Quebec-California cap-and-trade accord which is still in effect. Poilievre is a climate idiot in addition to being evil in many other ways. The man has attacked the mother ship, namely Radio-Canada. Sometimes the tone-deafness of party leaders toward Quebec is just breathtaking.

      • Uatu 09:26 on 2023-05-27 Permalink

        Yea sure Poilievre. The guy who wanted to make Canada the Bitcoin capital of the world.

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