Updates from April, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:15 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Here’s a Journal piece headlined L’écostupidité de l’administration Plante. In this brief piece, Nathalie Elgrably assumes (or pretends to assume) that city hall’s intention to limit wood‑fired ovens is about greenhouse gas emissions.

    It isn’t. It’s about particulates. Here’s a page from the American Environmental Protection Agency that explains some of the health effects of wood smoke.

    I still tend to feel that in a city this size, we can deal with a few bagel bakeries and pizza places that burn wood, given all the other sources of crap in the air, but some people clearly do not agree.

    • DeWolf 20:39 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      There are certain sacrifices to be made when living in a big city. A bit of noise, a bit of filth, a bit of pollution – all within reason, of course. And I think that having a handful of woodfired ovens for culinary purposes is entirely reasonable.

      If Paris, Tokyo, London and other big cities much larger and denser than Montreal can handle restaurants with wood ovens, why can’t we?

    • Ian 20:55 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, if the city was serious about this they would make the police enforce the existing anti-idling laws against delivery trucks.

      Going after bagel ovens is just misdirection that will do almost nothing to improve air quality, and in so doing, destroy one of the things Montreal is actually famous for.

    • Joey 14:26 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      @Ian I thought the bagel factory people said that they could switch to gas without changing the taste of the bagels.

    • Blork 14:29 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      That EPA page is interesting and informative, but it doesn’t really set a context. It seems to be oriented around home heating systems or fireplaces, etc. As in, those are hazards you need to be aware of if you have a wood burning stove in your house. It doesn’t say anything about what your hazard is if you live next door to a bagel shop or a block away from a wood-burning pizzeria.

    • Ian 15:02 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      @joey you could make them in whatever you feel like but the texture and flavour will obviously shift.

  • Kate 16:16 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Metro service is back to normal Thursday afternoon after a second pepper spray attack in two days, this one at Villa‑Maria. Parts of the orange, green and blue lines were down for ventilation.

    • carswell 16:25 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      Had a dental appointment downtown late this morning. As has been the case for several months now, whenever I have to be somewhere, including concerts, at an appointed hour, I took a slower bus-only route instead of risking the metro. What good is a public transit system that is increasingly unreliable? If I’d missed my appointment, I would have been charged a hefty fee too, so such outages are not only inconvenient but potentially costly.

    • Kate 11:33 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      Going downtown over the mountain can be nice if the bus isn’t too crowded.

    • carswell 13:14 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      True that though the bus I take to go to my dentist’s office is the 129 sud (+ the 24 ouest in inclement weather) and that only runs about once every 25-30 minutes outside of rush hour, a frequency that doesn’t always mesh with my needs.

      But thinking more about the larger issue leaves me with other questions. For example, if someone releasing pepper spray in a minor station can shut down all or significant parts of the orange, blue and green lines for hours, if there is no quick or affordable infrastructure fix (Agora has a discussion as to why) and if these incidents are happening regularly, does that mean we should give up on or at least not favour further developing the underground? When your bus is immobilized, you can get off and take another bus, hail a taxi, hop on a Bixi or walk to your destination and arrive more or less on time. Not the case for people stuck in a tunnel and not necessarily the case if you’re part of a horde forced to vacate a metro station, when competition for a taxi, Bixi or place on a bus can suddenly become fierce.

      Also, can anything be done to deter pepper spray attacks in the metro? Would drastically increasing the sanctions for an event that brings the system to a halt at great cost to the STM, law enforcement and passengers work? Say, sending perpetrators to the slammer for years and/or forcing them to spend the rest of their lives working to pay back the cost of their crime (including compensating passengers who missed their flights, for example) and/or declaring them unfit to be parents with all the consequences that entails?

    • Kevin 14:02 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      The catch is that Villa isn’t a minor station. Between it and Snowdon there is another tunnel that goes under Decarie to Queen Mary, part of the long-planned garage that will require more digging.

    • carswell 17:04 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      I hesitated over the choice of “minor” but, considering the transfer stations (Berri-UQAM, Lionel-Groulx, Snowdon and Jean-Talon) major, it’s the best I could come up with. The point being that it’s not a transfer station and yet an incident can bring to a halt lines (the green line, for example) that are nowhere near it. Also, in terms of traffic, VM is not a major station. But however VM is categorized, my questions still stand.

  • Kate 14:26 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    CBC has a podcast asking what happened to Belmont Park, the amusement park in Cartierville that closed in 1983.

    • carswell 17:09 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      Heard an extended clip on Daybreak. Didn’t know that Belmont’s demise can largely be blamed on Jean Drapeau, who wanted to eliminate competition to La Ronde, which the city owned at the time. He really did view Montreal as his fiefdom.

    • Kate 17:34 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      He really did. He just got rid of things that he felt didn’t fit in with his vision of the city – Goose Village, the Faubourg à m’lasse, and Belmont Park. He all but destroyed Griffintown, too.

      La Ronde wasn’t exactly high class, but it didn’t have freaks.

    • Ian 10:22 on 2024-04-20 Permalink

      News stands, street food, farmer’s markets, most of Lower Westmount, much of Little Burgundy…
      I’m just glad it didn’t cross his mind to get rid of depanneurs.

  • Kate 14:22 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    Parts of the fencing that separates the SRB Pie‑IX from the rest of the road are going to be replaced because they block the view of pedestrians at intersections. They’re now 1.5m high and will be 70 cm in future. La Presse got a disobliging snark from Ensemble, but this is the kind of thing you have to adapt when risks become clear.

    • Blork 17:49 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      I wonder if they’re not just swapping one risk for another. 70cm is pretty low. Most people can just step right over a fence that low, so will this bring a rash of people not crossing at the proper end points and instead jaywalking and hopping over the fence? (And all the risks and hazards that brings…) If they made it 100cm it would still be low enough to not block the view of pedestrians but it would be too tall to step over unless you’re a basketball player.

      I’d like to think this was thoroughly studied and 70cm was arrived at via consultations with different experts but I suspect it was because they found 70cm fencing pre-made somewhere and cheap instead of having to custom make it to 100.

    • Kate 19:20 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      It sounds like they’re only lowering the fences near corners, to give better visibility at crossings.

  • Kate 11:01 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The REM will be running short trains on weekends and statutory holidays.

    Transit generally is sinking into debt.

    • Francesco 11:48 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      REM was designed and planned to run two-car trains during off-peak hours, they have not yet done so while still breaking in the system; uncrewed switching from four- to two-car trains and back again would add an unnecessary layer of complexity during these live tests. Nothing to see here.

    • Kate 13:00 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      La Presse thought it was a story.

    • Francesco 15:28 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      True. Like the Devoir thinks modern (nearly silent, compared to just 30 years ago) planes at 5000 feet over Montréal-Est approaching YUL are making life Hell for some dude in RPP.

    • Jonathan 06:34 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      Planes are pretty loud overhead here in Villeray. So much so that if i’m having a videocall in my backyard I have to pause my speaking in order to let it pass.

    • Kate 09:08 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      Ian, I kyped this map of the city from CTV (copied it because I was afraid they’d eventually delete it) and it should show you the borough. Please come back and report!

    • Kate 09:10 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      Jonathan: yes, the planes are loud here in Villeray, but the weird thing is, I kind of like it, because it means it’s summer and I have the windows open.

    • Ian 09:21 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      In my last apartment, in the heart of Mile End, I was directly under the flight path for helicopter school. Didn’t notice they came every 40 minutes … until covid 😀

      To be fair, that wasn’t why I moved, but it’s one of those things that once you notice is hard to ignore.

    • azrhey 13:36 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      I’m in VSL directly under the landing path. Plane noise is a thing, sure, but I guess I would much more bothered if I didn’t have to keep my windows closed 24/7 because motorized idiots think Marcel-Laurin is a racing track….

  • Kate 09:23 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    It was a bit of a fuss in anglo media recently that some anglo parents of children with learning difficulties were given an information session in French only, with the ministry people saying they were not permitted to give it in English. Now it turns out that in this case, English should have been allowed. Bit of anticipatory obedience there on the part of the flunkies.

    • jeather 11:14 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      But that’s the problem everyone predicted — and that has happened in a few other ways as well — people refuse to speak English just in case they might get in trouble even if the person has the right. I’ve heard examples with the SAAQ.

      I continue to have never had issues with medical professionals, though.

  • Kate 09:20 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    François Legault still doesn’t know the price of a 4½ in Montreal.

    • Blork 10:12 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      No surprise, but it’s not like there’s only one price. It probably ranges between $1200 and $3500 and that’s before you even go looking at the fancy places.

    • Kate 11:26 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      At the risk of sounding like Legault, is $1200 really the low price now?

    • carswell 11:44 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      In CDN, not a wealthy borough, the average price for a 3 1/2 last year was just under $1,200, Kate.

    • Blork 12:51 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      I’m sure there are cheaper 4-1/2s on the Plateau than $1200, but those are edge cases I think, such as places with the same tenant since 1992 or whatever.

    • Ian 12:54 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      Just checking padmapper now the only 2 bed under 1200 on the entire island is on St Jacques in Upper Lachine. Kijiji gave me a couple of 4½s in Repetigny, a place in Deux-Montagnes, and a basement apartment in Pointe-aux-trembles.

      Légault is serving real Lucille Bluth vibes.

    • Andrew 15:06 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      I’d never heard of Upper Lachine as a neighbourhood, just a street so I checked the listing. Funnily enough it’s a block away from the police shooting yesterday, that’s what Padmapper calls that corner of NDG.

      560 sq feet for a 4-1/2 is absurd though, the rooms are minuscule.

    • mare 16:59 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      There’s a huge difference between what people pay for a 41/2 and the prices of the ones that are advertised. The ones that have a normal rent, with landlords who have raised the rents with 1-2% every year like the regie allows, can still be in the $700 range. My neighbours rent 4 4 1/2s in that price range. And really, those aren’t that scarce. But you will never see them being advertised on Kijiji, because even if the current tenants don’t transfer their leases, the landlords won’t have any problems finding tenants through word of mouth. Or if they do put it on Kijiji, they’re inundated with potential candidates. Not all landlords illegally raise their prices with hundreds of dollars between tenants. The prices of the ones you see advertised are either ridiculous high for their size or state, or are new construction, where landlords are corporations with hundreds of free units.

      Rents of newly constructed 4 1/2s are obviously much higher than $700. And the kicker is that their rents *can* be legally raised with hundreds of dollars in the first 5 years after construction, even when they’re rented. So sometimes tenants have to move out because they can’t afford a 15% rent increase.

    • DeWolf 20:51 on 2024-04-18 Permalink

      I wonder what effect Bill 31 will have because we really do have two parallel markets in Montreal. One is the “market-rate” or open market which is quite expensive. Then you have the somewhat impenetrable lease-transfer-and-nice-landlord market — the “friend” market — which is way more affordable. With the CAQ’s new law the latter market will shrink, but how quickly I don’t know.

      I have friends who’ve had to move within the past year and for whatever reason they weren’t able to tap into the “friend” market, and things are dire for them.

      I moved a little over two years ago and got a 6 1/2 for a price that was reasonable on the open market but is vastly more expensive than what the “friend” market can offer. But the open market keeps going up. If I were to move again today, I wouldn’t be find anything comparable. That’s pretty messed up.

  • Kate 09:07 on 2024-04-18 Permalink | Reply  

    The Université de Montréal possesses excavated indigenous remains of 49 people, and its anthropologists want to return them to first nations – but to which ones? They don’t know which nations are involved, and there’s no official mechanism for doing this.

    • Ian 09:21 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      I’m surprised there isn’t a DNA database they could check against.

    • Kate 09:35 on 2024-04-19 Permalink

      People would have to be OK with giving samples, and I don’t know whether many indigenous people would want that done.

      Additionally – from what we’ve seen – it’s quite possible that at least a few self‑identified indigenous people would turn out not to be so indigenous after all. They might be particularly hesitant to submit their DNA to analysis.

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