Updates from April, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 09:42 on 2024-04-06 Permalink | Reply  

    Monday’s forecast of sunny skies and mild weather is bringing people to Quebec to see the eclipse in totality.

    24Hres suggests the best places in town to see the eclipse – which means they’re likely to be stampeded.

    Time Out suggests where to get free eclipse glasses. 24Hres has some suggestions although not necessarily free. There have been warnings of fake eclipse glasses in circulation.

    The Journal and the Gazette look back to the last total eclipse that passed over Montreal – in 1932.

    La Presse has grouped its eclipse stories on one page. It also mentions that it’s forbidden to stop on the highway to watch.

    Le Devoir has a map and other features. It’s certainly somewhat annoying that the line of totality bisects the island of Montreal.

    This brief video explains what else we may be able to see in the dark sky during totality.

    Do you have plans for the eclipse?

    • MarcG 11:12 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Taking the day off and going to Mont St-Hilaire, which is apparently a good viewing site.

    • Kate 11:24 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Are you not concerned about getting stuck in highway hell?

    • carswell 11:40 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Mulling a few options, depending on the time I have available (a surprising number of clients appear ready to work through the eclipse).

      If I had wheels and the day free, I’d consider a trip to and steep hike up Mont St-Grégoire for the sweeping views of the St. Lawrence plain, proximity to wildlife and distance from extraneous noise sources.

      On island, three options. First, biking out to the second most southern point of the island (I think; St-Anne-de-Bellevue appears to be the southernmost), in LaSalle, around Parc des Rapides, where the totality will last nearly a minute longer than on Mount Royal or the Old Port. Unfortunately, bikes, even when pushed, are no longer allowed in the Parc des Rapides.

      Second, somewhere on Mount Royal. The Outremont Summit is an obvious spot but others surely know that too, so maybe somewhere in the cemetery.

      Third, on my rooftop, which is kind of in the treetops and has an unobstructed view of the sky though the hum of the city is inescapable.

    • MarcG 12:40 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      This is the first I’m hearing that there will be extra traffic (yes I am naive). I’ll plan to leave early I guess.

    • Kate 13:52 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      It’s impossible to know how many people will migrate from the north of the island to areas squarely in the zone of totality, but there’s bound to be some, especially around obviously advantageous spots.

    • H. John 13:59 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Friday, on Radio-Canada’s Téléjournal, Patrice Roy interviewed Olivier Hernandez, the director of Montreal’s Planétarium about the eclipse.

      He mentioned an interesting and useful phone app (for IOS & Android):

      “Le jour même de l’éclipse, l’application vous donnera en temps réel des informations sur les phénomènes interessants à observer tout au long de l’événement. Vous entendrez aussi des avertissements sonores pour vous aviser quand mettre et enlever les lunettes de protection.”


    • Blork 15:08 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      The eclipse has been in my calendar for years. Very excited about it. But now that it’s imminent I’m almost overwhelmed to the point of apathy. I did not get glasses, but that’s partly because I’m more interested in watching the overall phenomenon than just the tiny little bit you see through the glasses. Maybe I’ll stand next to someone with glasses and they’ll let loan them to me for a few seconds. We’ll see.

    • anton 17:58 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Glasses are pretty important. You can only directly look at it for about a minute, during the time of totality. But its super interesting to see it become total, which you do with the help of the glasses.

    • Daisy 19:29 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      I’ve been looking forward to this for years. Asked for the day off a year in advance. Bought my glasses in September. Tried them out for the partial eclipse we had in October, even just that was cool to see. I’m just going to head to the park by the water to watch.

    • Kevin 20:06 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      An entreprising teen came by my home today selling eclipse glasses. ️

      If you need something, anything with a hole and a sheet of paper can be a camera obscura. Colanders, graters, making a really small circle with your finger…

    • mare 20:53 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      TLDR: based on my limited experience with eclipse (singular), I predict the traffic jams with everyone returning to Montreal and Laval at the same time will be epic. So I’m going south by bike. Hopefully no flat tires, I can’t call a friend for help.

      So i’m going to cycle to a secret location, only accessible by bike but still close to Montreal. It’s very quiet at all times, but there are also some birds that will be even more quiet during the totality. (I like quiet, my nightly dog walks during the lockdowns are high on my list of favourite things of the past few years.)

      But maybe I’m going to cycle a bit further south, on a remote bike path near Chambly, and will stop every 10 minutes to look up, because it takes long to reach totality and frankly it’s quite boring. Like watching paint dry. And 11°C isn’t really warm.

      This is my second total eclipse, I won’t bother with trying to take photos of the sun this time (I had a tripod and a 35mm TTL camera with a 800mm lens last time and the resulting pictures still weren’t very special). I also don’t have a pair of eclipse glasses since I prefer to use another (DIY) solution that is cheaper and more comfortable. I won’t mention it here because someone might sue me if it makes them blind.

      My first eclipse was 25 years ago in the North of France and I drove south 600 km with my large camper van from the Netherlands. The spot I had chosen, because it resembled the name of a friend, turned out to be great. We spent the night in a remote field and the next morning the thick cloud cover opened up a few minutes before the totality so we saw the ring and 2 minutes of the totally covered sun. Then the clouds obscured the remaining spectacle. We were very lucky. Many other friends (and thousands, maybe millions of strangers) who drove to Northern France (one was just 5 km away) didn’t see a thing, because the clouds didn’t budge in their spot. But the darkness and the silence were still impressive, even with the clouds. At least that’s what they claimed. IIRC the colour of the light is a bit like that of the smog from the wild fires. Without the smell, teary eyes and lung damage. But that’s a reverse memory because I had never seen fire smog 25 years ago.

      Oh, and the traffic jams going north around Brussels and Antwerp were simply EPIC. Everyone who had travelled south had spread their travels over many hours or even days. But they’ll all returned home directly after the eclipse, to be home for the evening. This was before GPS so we didn’t even know it would take us 4 hours to get past Brussels. To avoid another traffic jam we took the back roads near Antwerp and got spectacularly lost. We arrived home at 4 in the morning. It was a very eventful journey.

      I even made a mini website about it (this was in 1999, before the invention of weblogs). But it’s in Dutch and it has old photos of me that I don’t particularly like. So the URL is yet another thing I won’t share.

      (Sorry, this is ridiculously long; get a blog.)

    • Daniel 21:24 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      Ha! I enjoyed that, mare. 🙂

      No special plans. I’ll admit I never got the glasses bc the odds seemed so low of a clear day in early April. And now I just don’t have energy or patience to deal with crowds.

      So I’ll step outside and observe what I can observe and then enjoy other people’s takes and photos.

    • Kb 23:02 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      We’re going to Mont-Megantic’s observatory! They have set up a whole event, telescopes, etc.

    • Mr.Chinaski 23:52 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

      So you have tickets from the sepaq? btw you won’t be able to go up to the observatory, only ticket holders can go to the event at the bottom museum https://www.sepaq.com/fr/reservation/activite-astronomie/parc-national-du-mont-megantic/eclipse

    • CE 09:30 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      I’ve been waiting for this eclipse for 30 years, the last time I saw a full eclipse was when I was 7 or 8 in 1994 and we had a book on eclipses at school which had a list of all the upcoming ones for the next 100 years. I noticed that there would be one on my birthday waaaay in the future. I always kept it in the back of my head but was surprised to find out a while ago that it would happen on my 38 birthday, rather than when I’m 60 or 70 as I originally thought. I guess 38 was an old man to 7 year old me! I got a chalet with some friends in the Townships.

    • Kate 10:03 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      CE, happy eclipse birthday!

    • Meezly 10:40 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      If you’re in the path of totality, you can view the eclipse with the naked eye. The glasses are necessary if you want to view the progression of the eclipse before or after totality. Montreal is on the edge of totality so you can only do this for about a minute. But as soon as the sun appears behind the moon, it’s important to put your glasses back on. The further in the area of totality you are, the longer you have the privilege of viewing the eclipse without glasses. Driving out two hours further east from Montreal will give you about another 2 minutes of totality. The Texan-M3xican border apparently has the longest totality duration of about 4.5 min.

      Even though the areas outside Montreal is huge, I heard that elevated areas like Mount Orford will be quite crowded and are fully booked if they had made the area a ticketed event.

      Traffic accidents also rise during these rare astronomical events, mostly because people are rushing and more are travelling, so please stay safe everyone!

    • Blork 12:11 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      Pro tip: during the eclipse, look at the ground. Shadows from tree branches and other things will look a bit funky. It’s too bad it’s not happening in summer, because the shadows of leafy trees during an eclipse are very funky.

      Personally I’ll probably just go out into the street, or maybe walk over to the park with all the doomed deer.

      I have no desire to photograph the eclipse, and I don’t understand why anyone would have that desire. As Mare intimates, the photos will be unremarkable, and in the meantime you’re missing everything by concentrating on taking the photo. Elsewhere in the world there are many people far better equipped than you to take such photos; let them be the source of eclipse photos. Your unremarkable photo is not worth what you miss out on by fiddling with your camera. (Same applies to lunar eclipses.)

    • MarcG 12:16 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      Thinking of cancelling my plans since traffic sucks. Even just leaving the Mont St-Hilaire parking lot will probably be a nightmare. Unfortunately I was counting on using their eclipse glasses and now it’s a bad late to acquire some. Is the projector box as good or is it much cooler to see it through the glasses?

    • Chris 12:56 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      >Unfortunately, bikes, even when pushed, are no longer allowed in the Parc des Rapides.

      Even when pushed?! Surely not. Doesn’t say anything about that here: https://montreal.ca/en/places/parc-des-rapides It even mentions cycling as an activity.

      >and now it’s a [tad] late to acquire some

      Not really, I got mine just today. But indeed had to go to 3 places before finding any.

    • Kate 13:36 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      MarcG, I didn’t mean to rain on your parade. Your plan is still sound if you and your party are relaxed about being held up in traffic after it’s over.

    • MarcG 15:02 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      Kate, au contraire, I appreciate the heads up, my wife has inflammatory bowel disease so traffic is very unrelaxing!

      Chris, if you can mention where you found them I would appreciate it.

    • carswell 15:22 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      If the boundries of Parc des Rapides extend to LaSalle Blvd, then, yes, you can still bike in and through it. What I and, I suspect, most others think of as the PdR, the island that affords the best and often only views of the rapids from the riverside park, was closed to bikes ridden and pushed last summer. Very explicit signs between the big on-shore, unsupervised (so dangerous for bikes that might attract thieves) bike rack and the footbridge to the island.

    • nau 17:28 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      @MarcG If you haven’t been able to rustle up any glasses, I have an extra pair that’s of no use to me that I’d be happy to give you. My impression is that you live in “downtown” Verdun. I’m available to meet this evening at some point between 7:30 to 9:00 p.m. on the steps of the church on Wellington (the one between Eglise and Galt evidemment), if you’re interested.

    • MarcG 18:40 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      @nau: That’s very kind of you. Kate sent you an email with my email address so we can communicate in private but if you don’t get it for whatever reason I’ll meet you there at 8:30pm.

    • nau 19:09 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      Email sent.

    • Kate 19:19 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      What will you use as a password?

    • MarcG 20:10 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      The official Montreal City Weblog gang sign, of course. I’d like to offer my 2 adult tickets to Mont St-Hilaire tomorrow to anyone who wants them, you need to arrive between 12pm and 1:59pm.

    • nau 21:18 on 2024-04-07 Permalink

      I had a bit of trouble with the part where we have to make the k and the 8 at the same time, but MarcG was polite enough to let it slide.

    • Kate 21:41 on 2024-04-07 Permalink


    • Chris 10:47 on 2024-04-08 Permalink

      MarcG, seems my late reply is pointless now, but it was a local Jean Coutu. Anyway, they ran out quickly once the neighbourhood facebook group got wind of it. I’ve heard some MP (member of parliament) offices are also giving away glasses too.

  • Kate 00:31 on 2024-04-06 Permalink | Reply  

    As noted, a man was stabbed at Lionel‑Groulx recently, but at the same station that day, a woman was randomly punched in the face – and she happened to be the daughter of Richard Martineau and Nathalie Collard, columnists in rival media. Collard ponders the incident.

    • Kate 00:24 on 2024-04-06 Permalink | Reply  

      A woman has been fighting to stay in the otherwise empty building on Ste‑Catherine opposite Place Émilie-Gamelin, and although no compensation has been agreed on for her eviction, the city has granted a demolition permit.

      • steph 11:05 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

        This is gross. How much profit does Mondev expect to make with this project? Why should they make even 1$ on her back?

        I found only one TAL judgement from 20 juillet 2023 where they refuse to “DÉCLINE compétence juridictionnelle sur la présente demande.” So the city has given a demolition permit despite White not being legally evicted??? Wouldn’t the landlord need an eviction judgement BEFORE the demolition request? This is a mess.

      • Nicholas 12:02 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

        I think it’s gross she’s blocking housing during a housing crisis because getting $20,000 and a furnished apartment larger and nicer than the one she has two blocks away for $400 a month is not enough and she wants more. Do we expect a developer to line up millions of dollars for a job and give her all the profit except $1?

        Almost 100% of people living on the island had their houses built by developers. If we stop developers we stop new housing.

      • SMD 19:48 on 2024-04-06 Permalink

        6.85% of people living in the city of Montreal live in social or community housing. If social and community groups had greater access to land and credit that number could easily go up. For-profit developers are as much a cause of the housing shortage as a solution to it, as they build to maximize returns instead of meeting the human right to housing.

      • Paul 09:27 on 2024-04-08 Permalink

        +1 Nicholas
        Spot on. This is just another form of NIMBYism (albeit from a more sympathetic party).
        The developer’s offer has been more than generous.

      • Tim 10:59 on 2024-04-08 Permalink

        There were a lot of fans on this board for this woman a year ago when her story came up… https://mtlcityweblog.com/2023/05/24/single-tenant-blocks-condo-development/

      • Ian 14:30 on 2024-04-08 Permalink

        I also recall the one building that refused to sell to the îlot Voyageur project and held out for years and years, the last building on the block… and then they sold and the project was underway! Huzzah! And now the whole block is abandoned except the one corner that was finished.

        Café Cleopatra is another one that held out against developers in what turned out to be a prescient move.

        Just because developers and $$$ and the city are in on it doesn’t mean it will ever happen.

        Developers only. care about profit, don’t pretend they are performing a public service from the goodness of their hearts.

      • Chris 20:33 on 2024-04-09 Permalink

        >If social and community groups had greater access to land and credit…

        You can give your own money here for example: https://indwell.ca/donate/

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