Updates from June, 2024 Toggle Comment Threads | Keyboard Shortcuts

  • Kate 20:00 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    Sid Lee Architecture has produced an eye‑catching structure for Montreal West’s train stop. Gallery of photos shows the edicule from every angle.

    One new building, one old: the Wall Street Journal admires the Orange Julep.

    • Anton 02:48 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      Not to trash the architect, And I know this is just a second entrance but this design is not very helpful, because what this station needs is four tracks and separation from the two level crossings before and after, and connection to those streets, as well as a roof over the platforms.

      This station is at joining point of three rail lines merging into the city, a rail line that is parallel to a very highly served bus line (105) but a rail line that sees very little actual service.

      It’s kind of typical AMT thinking to produce nice looking prestige buildings next to lines offering little service, rather than thinking about what’s needed to increase service.

    • Kate 08:17 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      Is it a second entrance? I don’t know that stop well, only having used it once, but used to be just a platform and a small shelter for the ticket machines, before they built this new thing. Most of the exo stops are no more than that.

    • H. John 09:56 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      The original station is still there and stands directly across the tracks from the new entrance which replaces a stairway (leading from Sherbrooke St to the platform).

      The original building housed a ticket office, baggage room, and waiting room.

      Lots of childhood memories of buying tickets, checking bags, and then heading to Quebec City (first stopping at Park Avenue Station and then Three Rivers).


    • Kate 10:04 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      Is that building still in use, H. John?

      There’s one in Westmount in a similar style that’s been out of use for decades.

    • H. John 10:38 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      @Kate I’m honestly not sure, but Wiki thinks it is:

      “Along with Beaconsfield station, it is the only station on the line to retain its original station building (1889) in passenger use. In addition to ticketing facilities, the station building houses an underpass that connects to two headhouses on the island platform. Mechanical bells are still sounded as a signal when trains approach this station.”

    • Major Annoyance 11:06 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      The original Montreal West station is still in use. I’d love to see the Westmount station resurrected, but it’s landlocked now by the surrounding townhouses, and there’s no place left to put it around the Vendôme station.

      Two more historic station buildings survive along the Vaudreuil train line. The one at Valois station is now the Pointe-Claire community resource centre. It doesn’t seem to have many visitors from the few times I get out to Delibee for smoked meat. The Beaconsfield station building is still used by passengers. The eastern part has a waiting room with a washroom and gives access to a tunnel underneath the tracks. I’m not sure what’s going on in the western (2-storey) part of the building.



    • Nicholas 17:47 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      When I went there in February, you could no longer walk from the platforms directly to Westminster, instead needing to take the tunnel to the old station building or the new entrance. This meant a longer walk for everyone going to Westminster, and since I think there are no elevators, it means needing to walk all the way to Elmhurst and back around on Sherbrooke. I’m sure it was done for “safety” reasons, but this whole thing is negative value.

      Anton is also right, that it would be better with four tracks and more service. But no one at Exo or ARTM cares about trains, so we don’t use the resources we have.

  • Kate 13:46 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    One person was killed in a multi-vehicle crash Sunday morning on the Turcot. TVA says someone ran from the crash as well.

    In other police blotter news, two men were stabbed in separate incidents Sunday morning, and a driver plunged a car into the wall of a Maxi Saturday night – “La thèse de la conduite avec les capacités affaiblies n’a pas été écartée.” You think maybe?

    • Nicholas 16:40 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      The number of people who crash vehicles into buildings, unaided by any other vehicle nor anything other than their own incompetence, recklessness, or negligence, is astounding.

  • Kate 11:59 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    The Globe and Mail’s Marcus Gee writes a glowing encomium to Montreal’s summer glories.

    • Chris 17:05 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      He seems to have over-extrapolated after seeing a few nice sections, but even in the Plateau 90% of the streetscape is a car-dominated hellhole.

    • Ian 17:32 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      A hellhole, eh? Lol.

    • Kate 17:50 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      I’m half tempted to ask Chris what place he feels is not a hellhole, but I’m afraid it would lead to suggestions he should go there.

    • DeWolf 18:12 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      I think Chris has been spending too much time on r/fuckcars. Or maybe just rewatching NotJustBikes’ rather performative video bashing Montreal.

      There’s still a lot of work to be done on the Plateau even with 10+ years of improvements, and yes, the entire borough is still dominated by cars, given that they’re almost everywhere. But “hellhole” is such a ridiculous overstatement. I’m not sure how you can walk around the Plateau, which has so many small delights, and think that it’s a hellhole. Unless you have some incredibly strong ideological blinders on…

    • Chris 18:39 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

      Yeah, hellhole is too strong I guess, (boy you guys are literal!), but the author gives the impression that the kinds of things he describes are common and everywhere, while in fact very rare, with the reality being almost every street is dedicated to car movement and parking. Readers from elsewhere will have the wrong impression.

      DeWolf, I don’t read reddit at all, but I did see that NotJustBikes video, and I think he’s rather right, with this article being a good example. Extolling small positive examples while saying little about the majority situation.

      Montreal, Plateau especially, has indeed made some nice progress in recent decades, but it’s far too slow for my liking. At this pace, we’ll all be dead before it really reaches anything great.

      It’s a choice to dedicate all this space to cars. We could choose instead of allows cars on only every other street for example. But we don’t. And never will. People don’t want it. I know my opinion is in the 0.1% range.

    • Robert H 05:40 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      Heavens, Chris, how can you stand it here? And where else in Canada would you go? Where else in North America for that matter?

    • Ian 10:06 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      It’s a choice to live in a place that devotes so much space to cars. That you live in a place that has so many cars and roads and infrastructure is on you. There are many parts of Canada, and even right here in Quebec that have no roads at all. Nobody is stopping youi from living off the grid in a remote area. Quebec even has a long history of communes and experimental rural communities if the social aspect is what’s holding you back, you just need to find a few people as pure of soul as you.

      You can drive as far north in Quebec as km 666 on the Trans-Taiga, a mere 750km north of Radisson (or so) then there are no roads at all. Nobody is keeping you from this car-free paradise. If you really want to be a purist, you could get flown up by bush plane so you wouldn’t have to worry about what to do with your now-useless car.

      You are not only part of the 0.1% range of people who have opinions this strong about car-free living, but the even smaller percentage unwilling to take advantage of the perfect opportunity to make your dreams a reality.

    • DeWolf 11:57 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      That’s awfully disingenuous of you, Ian. We’re talking about cities, not remote off-grid living. It’s not unreasonable to want to live in a city where you don’t need to constantly suffer the noise, pollution and mortal danger of having too many cars in too many places.

      There’s a huge, huge spectrum between the status quo in Montreal and a car-free utopia. Reducing the amount of space cars have in the city doesn’t mean getting rid of them entirely, but it does mean vastly improving the quality of life of the people who live here.

    • Ian 12:05 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      I’m not the one that self-describes as a 0.1% purist, I’m not being disingenuous at all.

      I grew up on a commune without electricity or indoor plumbing, it’s entirely attainable if that’s what you really want and aren’t just posturing.

    • DeWolf 12:17 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      I don’t think Chris (or myself) wants to live in the countryside. You’re missing the point. It’s about cars *in the city* and how to reduce their impact. Clearly I have more tolerance for cars than Chris does, but I think we both agree that city living is safer, more productive and pleasant when the city isn’t crisscrossed by dangerous pseudo-highways.

    • Ian 13:09 on 2024-07-01 Permalink

      Well at least you don’t blame it on immigrants …

      I naturally give your takes more credit for nuance than those Chris blurts out.

  • Kate 09:32 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

    How Notre‑Dame‑du‑Perpétuel‑Secours church in Ville‑Émard became a theatre may serve as a template for other disused churches in the city – if they’re in a fit state to be repurposed.

    • Kate 09:06 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

      The new ARTM fare grille comes into effect Monday. A single ticket remains $3.75 but the typical STM monthly pass notches up from $97 to $100.

      • Kate 09:02 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

        There’s a fair bit about the NHL draft in the sports news, for those interested, but the only tidbit that’s caught my eye is that they’ve drafted Saku Koivu’s son.

        • Kate 08:33 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

          QMI has a story about known mobster Antonio Pietrantonio narrowly escaping an attack by two unknown assailants last week.

          • Kate 08:30 on 2024-06-30 Permalink | Reply  

            The July 1 moving day isn’t what it was. This piece mostly focuses on people choosing to move on other days, but eventually gets to the fact that in a housing market like this, people are more likely to hang onto a place they’ve got and that they can afford, however imperfect.

            Even so, piles of stuff have been spotted on various streets as people quickly shuffle off unwanted goods before moving.

            A mover that CTV spoke to in the story above estimates that 40% of current moves are evictions. La Presse talks to one man evicted after 27 years in his St‑Michel apartment, leaving him with nowhere to go.

            More detail from CBC, which spoke to the owner of Le Clan Panneton: “his business was only booked at half capacity Monday because most people have been moving in the few days before or after instead. He says it’s because landlords who evict their tenants have to pay for their moving expenses and want to avoid the higher fees on July 1.”

            • Ian 15:18 on 2024-07-03 Permalink

              Hard to feel bad for the predatory moving companies that made mad cash by jacking up their prices when everyone had to move on the same day

              Tangentially related,I am seeing a few places still for rent in my neighbourhood – I can only assume they are hoping for those “upper middle global ex-pat citizen class from France” UdeM students who don’t mind paying inflated prices for a poorly maintained dump as long as it has lots of rooms and is within biking distance of school.

          • Kate 09:26 on 2024-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            Two visual memes are getting social media traction around town: a vividly painted triplex on Atateken for a Koodo ad, and a photo apparently showing a large fridge having tumbled from a third‑floor balcony onto a car below, staged as a stunt by Belair Direct to promote insurance.

            • Ian 15:19 on 2024-07-03 Permalink

              I did get a sewing machine dropped on me down a spiral staircase while helping a friend move once, but never a fridge.

          • Kate 08:54 on 2024-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

            A suspect in this week’s car theft with baby (earlier news) has been identified, and he’s got quite a history, but since he’s been declared not criminally responsible in the past, the outcome of this incident is uncertain.

            • Kate 08:39 on 2024-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

              Four peregrine falcon eggs were moved to the Mercier Bridge this spring from the Laviolette bridge in Trois‑Rivières, because that bridge is undergoing a lot of repairs. But the experiment was not a success, as none have hatched with their adoptive parents.

              The UdeM falcon nest video isn’t live as I write, but the latest news on Facebook shows three young birds are still thriving.

              (Actually, it’s worth dropping in on the youtube link from time to time. I caught one of the adults having a preen on Sunday afternoon and got an eyeful of its beautiful feather pattern.)

              • Kate 08:27 on 2024-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

                More than a million instances of non‑paying passengers were clocked up by the STM in 2023, depriving it of more than $2 million in revenue. For the same period, the STM saw 288 million passages that were paid for.

                I’m sure the STM would like to have that money, but how much would they have to spend to enforce the law?

                Speaking of the STM, CTV reports on some unusual imagery being used by the transit commission on TikTok.

                Adding later, La Presse’s analysis of the rebounding of metro service stoppages and how they follow the overall number of passengers. The second bar graph, showing the number of users, reveals that while ridership has risen from a trough in 2020 and 2021, it is not nearly back to its previous numbers.

                • Nicholas 09:51 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  That’s a small amount of slippage, and it’s hard to get much closer to zero. Though as they say, this is only cases employees notice, but also includes monthly pass holders who don’t tap, which they apparently don’t do 15% to 25% of the time. And they don’t mention all the times the bus fare box is out of service and they waive you on.

                • Blork 12:15 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  I agree with Nicholas. It’s no biggie. A certain amount of slippage is to be expected, and this is well within the acceptable range I would think.

                • Ephraim 17:21 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  What an annoying article. It doesn’t say what percentage of income that is. So we don’t know if it’s worth it to try to capture it. Pareto’s principle… the cost to try to get to 100% might just be too high to bother. And what’s the machine error rate? The number of people with valid travel documents that the system misses when someone passes.

                • walkerp 20:45 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  That’s not correct to say they lost $2 million in revenue. It’s potential revenue because how many of those people would have actually paid for the ride?

              • Kate 08:22 on 2024-06-29 Permalink | Reply  

                CBC reports on the discovery of 18th‑century human bones near a cemetery in Quebec City. Archaeologists are treating this as a great find.

                I simply do not get it. The 18th century is not so long ago. The lives and existence of those people is part of history, not a prehistoric conundrum to be elucidated. There is no reason to disturb their graves and crow about it.

                • Blork 12:13 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  I tend to agree. Although in this case the bones are linked to two important battles (Plains of Abe and Ste-Foy) so that makes them a bit interesting. If they were just randos then whatev.

                • Kate 13:31 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  Interesting how, though? The article says they’ve found evidence of injuries, but these men were active soldiers so that’s no surprise. What else do they think they can find out?

                  If the bones have to be moved because of construction, they should be moved respectfully to some cemetery in the area. They shouldn’t be pounced on to give archaeologists something to do, and to confirm things we already know.

                • Blork 16:37 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  Fair point. But you find fonts and typesetting interesting, and those archaeologists would probably be just as perplexed as to why. Point being that archaeologists have their niche interests that are unknown to non-archaeologists in the same way that most professions and hobbies to. So who are we to judge.

                • Blork 16:42 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  … and hobbies DO. And that was supposed to end with a lighthearted shrug but FFS commenting on phones! ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

                • Kate 17:53 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  Fonts and typesetting are not dead human beings. We have a general principle of respecting the dead. If these were Indigenous remains, Indigenous people would be all over this, making sure they were not desecrated, and we’d respect that. I don’t see why dead British soldiers are due less reverence.

                  Also, and this is an unrelated point, there’s often a big deal made about archaeologizing the remnants of European settlers here, as if they were from the ancient Egyptian Middle Kingdom or something. But they are not, and digging up bits of broken china, glass bottles and clay pipes from the 19th century may be interesting in a hobbyish sort of way, but they don’t demonstrate anything we didn’t already know about life here at the time. Archaeology should be about understanding human lives and settlements before historical records, to reconstruct ways of life we have no other references for.

                • Tim S. 19:25 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  Kate, there’s a lot that material evidence can tell us that written documents do not. For example, we have a more precise understanding of disease than pre-20th century people did, being able to test remains to figure out what they died of could be pretty important. For example, during the medieval and early modern period, “plague” occurred fairly frequently, but here’s still a fair bit of uncertainty about what diseases were actually circulating, where and when. The one caused by Y. Pestis? Typhoid? A severe flu? We have plenty of written records from the period, but they don’t help us answer this particular question.

                  Same thing goes for the various artifacts you mention: sure, many finds will be unremarkable, but some of them will be surprising and can be used to fill in gaps in the written records.

                  I could be wrong, but based on my quick reading of the article I suspect they were doing rescue archaeology: basically doing an excavation before the land is developed and any evidence destroyed forever. If there are human remains there, then they will have to be excavated and removed according to whatever Quebec law is.

                • Kate 20:49 on 2024-06-29 Permalink

                  Tim S., that’s reasonable. But when’s the cutoff between letting dead people rest in peace, and allowing them to be dug up and analyzed?

                • Marc R. 00:47 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

                  I suppose that the line is drawn by funding; if no-one is willing to pay for folks to dig them up and analyse them, they’ll be left in peace. What justifies funding and how those decisions are made is a matter for the funding bodies, who surely have a helpful mission statement on their website

                • Kate 09:00 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

                  Tim S., on thinking about it – what kind of histopathological information could you get from old bones? I can imagine being able to say “this man had a mild case of rickets when he was a kid” but is there enough left to say “this man survived smallpox, but it was cholera that killed him”?

                • Tim S. 10:57 on 2024-06-30 Permalink

                  Kate: I’m not an expert, but techniques for recovering DNA are becoming more and more sophisticated. I think it depends on which kinds of disease leave traces in bones and marrow. As you point out, some disease can leave a specific kind of scarring or deformity on bones.

                  I just so happens that I’m reading a book about Stonehenge this weekend, and the author (an archaeologist) made the point that remains in ‘ordinary’ cemeteries are dug up all the time, either because the lease on the plot expires or because the whole cemetery is getting built over, and for the most part no one cares. But when it comes to archaeological digs people can get very exercised over remains that are thousands of years old. Personally, I do incline a little to your position, but there are real answers to be found, and this kind of excavation is probably preferable to being crushed into the foundation of a skyscraper.

                  Marc R. I can’t quote you the Quebec law, but generally if you’re doing any kind of construction work in a historic area you’ll need some kind of archaeological observation. On their website, the organization doing the dig lists as one of their services:

                  La supervision par un archéologue permet de repérer et d’enregistrer les données archéologiques lors de travaux mécaniques qui sont susceptibles de perturber des sites archéologiques.

                  Keep this in mind when thinking about construction costs!

              • Kate 22:00 on 2024-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

                The Gazette has two historical sex abuse stories Friday.

                A class-action suit has been authorized against the EMSB and one of its former principals, alleging sex abuses for decades in the last century. The principal is still alive and living in B.C.

                A class-action suit has been proposed over two social workers at the Jewish General alleged to have abused children in the 1980s. The two men have since died and the lawyer representing one of the potential plaintiffs is hoping more victims will step forward.

                • Kate 21:33 on 2024-06-28 Permalink | Reply  

                  There was a protest against Airbnb in Hochelaga on Friday and some people even occupied an apartment, saying it was an illegal conversion.

                  People in the Plateau are also displeased about the inaction against illegal Airbnbs in the area.

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