Snow is a bitch to get right, be satisfied with…but we go forth anyway despite snowblind and other temporary post processing afflictions..
Posts Tagged ‘Montreal’
The two great French cities of the world, well, Montreal used to be worthy, are having some development conundrums. Paris has decided to add a dozen highrise buildings but away from the city centre – the Eiffel Tower must always be the dominant structure there. So Paris does have limits, like Montreal, on how high buildings can go,whether they are downtown or not and this is a pretty good thing. But the world’s most popular, most desired, city to visit seems to be feeling it needs to keep pace with London which has added some interesting if not awkward tall architecture in the last decade or more. And that in itself may be the problem. Is ridiculously beautiful low rise and dense Paris becoming insecure? The short answer is, of course not, The City of Lights is just too exciting at street level for Parisians and the gabillions of annual tourists to feel anything but totally enthralled, if not hopelessly in love. And if you were to take a global poll of places you just HAVE to see in Paris, probably most of the buildings, structures, parks, museums, and neighborhoods that would make up the top 20 would turn out to all have been built before 1900, so there hardly seems to be any real justification for trying to bring Paris into the 21st century via some high rise kitsch scheme that is quickly becoming obsolete in the rapidly oncoming (incoming) climate change era (Post Arctic) that needs to be dominated by sustainability and survival strategies. Unlike the excessive (and unimaginably expensive) attempts to create a more dignified Las Vegas in places like Dubai as the Oil Empire, as all empires must do, will be forced to reinvent itself, or crumble, Paris is, after all, forever.
Does Paris Need New Skyscrapers? Story at BBC
But the link here between Paris and Montreal is that these new high rises ideas are being pushed in Paris by none other than City Hall.
Yesterday the Mayor of Montreal was arrested on fraud charges. It was inevitable given that the Charbonneau Commission’s look into the awarding of construction contracts has actually been effectual into finding out who has been naughty and not so nice and corrupt. Michael Applebaum, certainly a nice person, but a politician of the sort who starts believing he can do no wrong, eagerly replaced the resigned Gerald Tremblay (who got out when the going got too hot) thus bringing infamous disgrace upon himself when surely he could have opted to take the hit and slide quietly out of city history. And the investigations continue…
Construction cranes loom over the Griffintown district of Montreal like living monuments to the greed and ignorance and corruption of the Tremblay era in Montreal. Make no mistake about this – Griffintown had the potential to be developed into a low rise dense urban paradise that would have astonished the world with it’s combination of old world charm and new world innovation. It would have been a magnificent neighborhood where people from far and wide would love to live. Of course this version of Griffintown would have required a city administration that was well schooled in urban planning, possessed an energetic vision of how the city needs to be run in the future, and a genuine agenda for creating beautiful communities and neighborhoods. Instead we get a splattering of high rise condos, each offering fine views of each other, where street level becomes a parade of simulated “ideas” of neighborhood dominated by expensive stores and chain coffee shops that very few people outside the area will ever use, in effect, places devoid of personality and character, let alone a seamless fusion of history and the ongoing pride that is only ever truly experienced by people who were raised in, descended from, or have long assimilated into the area.
Neighborhoods without a local culture are not neighborhoods. And culture is a beautifully abstract invention of humans that evolves over many generations – you can’t just build it. Irish culture has been all but buried in Griffintown, but it could have been saved had there been a desire on the part of the city to do so. The new generations would have been enthusiastic about returning to their roots in a regeneration of Griffintown that could carry on the spirit of the local culture that once lived, loved, and died there.
The best thing to do with Griffintown now is to simply kill it off altogether and rename it Tremblayville, an appropriate legacy to the city administration that allowed greed and even it’s own self proclaimed ignorance to hurt so badly a city that was once called The Paris of North America.
This is something I have to try!
Exercise in musical cooperation
Every spring, an interactive installation takes over a high-traffic area in Montréal’s Quartier des spectacles and sets a collective ritual. The installation offers a fresh look at the idea of cooperation, the notion that we can achieve more together than separately.
The result is a giant instrument made of 21 musical swings; each swing in motion triggers different notes, all the swings together compose a piece, but some sounds only emerge from cooperation.
The project stimulates ownership of the public space, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds, and creating a place for playing and hanging out in the middle of the city centre.
A traveling version of the project is currently being made for these collective moments to spread around the world.
A Project by Daily tous les jours
Created by Mouna Andraos & Melissa Mongiat
Executive Producer Antoine Clayette (2012), Hugues Monfroy
Music Radwan Ghazi Moumneh
Concept Team Dominique Côté, Alexandre Landry, Yolène Leroux, Luc-Alain Giraldeau
Design Sébastien Dallaire, Alexandre Landry
Technical Direction Eva Schindling
Production Coordinator Tara DeSimone
Technological Partner ESKI
Technical Direction Vincent Leclerc
Project Manager Josiane Mercier
Programming Patrick Keroulas, Vincent de Belleval
Production Philippe Savard, Marc-André Tessier
Video Geoffrey Boulangé
You don’t need a weatherman to know which way the wind blows – Bob Dylan
C’mon, tell us how you voted for Tremblay again and again and how much you thought he was a good mayor – Neath Turcot
Union Montréal manager was on engineering firm’s payroll
Posted: Mar 12, 2013 2:52 PM ET
Last Updated: Mar 12, 2013 3:11 PM ET
The former general manager of the Union Montréal said he saw no problem with accepting $5,000 a month for consulting work with a civil engineering firm while working for the municipal political party.
Christian Ouellet worked for Union Montréal from 2004 to 2008. At the same time, he maintained a contract with Roche Ltée, one of the largest engineering firms in the country.
He told the province’s corruption commission this morning that his contract with Roche pre-dated his time with the party. His role was to help the firm move into the Montreal market by arranging meetings with elected officials and preparing a communication plan for the firm, which was aggressively trying to raise its profile on the island.
Ouellet said he did not tell the mayor or the party’s executive when he took the job with the party in 2004 that he was still on Roche’s payroll.
“You’re the general manager of a municipal political party. You [are involved in] party financing and political organizing. You know you’re receiving a sum of money from a civil engineering firm on the side and you don’t see a problem there?” Commissioner Renaud Lachance asked Ouellet.
“No,” he responded, his arms crossed in front of his chest. (more…)
****An English version will follow****
17/12/2012 – Mouvement historique – Les autochtones se réunissent sous la bannière Idle No More pour dénoncer les politiques du gouvernement Harper – Joignez-vous à eux le 21 décembre à Montréal.
Suivant l’impulsion d’un mouvement spontané, lancé par le mot-clic #IdleNoMore sur Twitter, des manifestants se sont rassemblés à travers le Canada le 10 décembre dernier pour protester contre l’adoption du projet de loi omnibus C-45 et contre l’indifférence du gouvernement du Canada à l’égard des Premières Nations. Le slogan, véritable appel à la mobilisation autochtone, a depuis fait boule de neige et motivé des dizaines de manifestations allant de Vancouver à Halifax, et maintenant Montréal.
Afin de faire écho à la grande manifestation prévue le 21 décembre à Ottawa, des membres des Premières Nations du Québec et leurs sympathisants se réuniront pacifiquement à Montréal ce vendredi. Ils témoigneront par le fait même de leur appui à la chef d’Attawapiskat Theresa Spence qui a débuté une grève de la faim le 11 décembre dernier, afin de réclamer une rencontre avec le Premier Ministre Harper et la Reine. Au cours de la dernière semaine, l’Assemblée des Premières Nations du Québec et du Labrador (APNQL) et l’Assemblée des Premières Nations du Canada (AFN) ont donné leur appui officiel à Theresa Spence et réclamé que le Premier Ministre accepte de la rencontrer.
La manifestation du 21 décembre se veut un premier effort de mobilisation au Québec et les membres du mouvement entendent poursuivre leurs actions jusqu’à l’établissement d’un réel dialogue de nation à nation entre le gouvernement du Canada et les Premières Nations. Ils invitent également toutes les organisations sympathiques à leur cause à le manifester publiquement et à se joindre à eux le 21 décembre.
Mélissa Mollen Dupuis, Widia Larivière,
Amanda Tap’we IronStar, Marie-Celine Charron email@example.com
Pour plus d’informations sur le mouvement Idle No More:
Le site web officiel: http://www.idlenomore.ca/
La page Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/IdleNoMoreCommunity?ref=ts&fref=ts
Les comptes Twitter canadien et québécois: @IdleNoMore / @IdleNoMoreQC
Groupe Facebook Idle No More – Québec: http://www.facebook.com/groups/466954116690346/
Un site web regroupant les faits saillants du mouvement: http://peuplesvisibles.tumblr.com/
Historic movement – Indigenous people unite under the Idle No More banner to denounce Harper government policies – Join them on December 21 in Montréal.
17/12/2012 – Under the impulse of a spontaneous movement launched with the #IdleNoMore hashtag on Twitter, protesters joined across Canada on this past December 10 to protest against the adoption of omnibus bill C-45 and the Canadian government’s indifference regarding First Nations. Truly appealing to indigenous people to rally, the slogan has since gathered momentum and motivated dozens of protests from Vancouver to Halifax, and now in Montréal. To echo the big demonstration planned in Ottawa on December 21, members of Québec’s First Nations and those who support them will meet peacefully in Montréal on Friday. They will express their support to Chief of Attawapiskat, Theresa Spence, who has undertaken a hunger strike since December 11, demanding a meeting with Prime Minister Harper and the Queen. This last week, the Assembly of First Nations of Quebec and Labrador (AFNQL) and the Assembly of First Nations (AFN) have officially given their support to Theresa Spence and demanded that the Prime Minister accept to meet her. The demonstration on 21 December is meant as a first mobilization drive in Québec. The movement’s members intend on continuing their efforts until a true nation-to-nation dialogue is established between the government of Canada and the First Nations. They also invite all organizations who are sympathetic to their cause to express it publicly and to join Friday’s demonstration.
Idle No More Demonstration in Montréal
21 December at noon Cabot Square (Atwater / Sainte-Catherine)
Mélissa Mollen Dupuis, Widia Larivière
Amanda Tap’we IronStar, Marie-Celine Charron
For more information on the Idle No More movement:
The official website: http://www.idlenomore.ca/
The Facebook page: http://www.facebook.com/IdleNoMoreCommunity?ref=ts&fref=ts
The Canadian and Québec Twitter accounts: @IdleNoMore4 / @IdleNoMoreQC
The Idle No More – Québec Facebook group: http://www.facebook.com/groups/466954116690346/
A website documenting the movement’s main events: http://peuplesvisibles.tumblr.com/
The new album is out! Expwy in the sky is a double concept EP. Don’t forget that you can play both EPs SIMULTANEOUSLY. Get it! Have a listening party! Invite your friends! Listen to it together!
The first part is about a neighborhood that was destroyed to build the Ville-Marie Expressway in the 60′s and the second part is about the new Turcot expropriations. and just to illustrate how history repeats itself you can play the first and second parts simultaneously.
Murale de l’Arche Montréal : un projet inspirant qui réunit
des graffiteurs et des personnes ayant une déficience intellectuelle
New mural at 6115 Jogues, looks to be on the side of the presbytery of St-Jean-Damascène.
And here is the city blurb.
Montréal, le 6 novembre 2012 – « Quand différentes personnes travaillent ensemble, qu’elles mettent en commun leur passion et leur talent, de petits miracles peuvent survenir. » C’est en ces termes que le maire de l’arrondissement du Sud-Ouest, Benoit Dorais, s’est réjoui de la réalisation d’une murale sur un mur du bâtiment de l’Arche Montréal situé au 6105, rue Jogues. La fresque vient souligner les 35 ans de cet organisme qui offre des services aux personnes présentant une déficience intellectuelle. Elle est inspirée de dessins des participants aux ateliers d’art de l’Alizé à l’Arche.
Pour souligner la concrétisation de ce projet, les principaux acteurs se sont réunis pour une photo : le maire Benoit Dorais, la conseillère de Saint-Paul–Émard Huguette Roy, le directeur de l’Arche Montréal, Alain Ouedraogo, des résidents de l’Arche et les graffiteurs professionnels qui ont réalisé la murale, Arly Padan, résidant du Sud-Ouest, et Tyson Hampton.
L’arrondissement a octroyé un montant de 3 000$ à l’Arche Montréal pour la création de cette murale. « Ce projet rassembleur touche plusieurs enjeux fondamentaux soit l’intégration et la reconnaissance des personnes ayant une déficience, le soutien aux créateurs du Sud-Ouest, l’embellissement ainsi que la gestion des graffiti par des moyens préventifs. De plus, cette fresque inspirante s’intègre harmonieusement au quartier et offre un repère visuel attrayant pour les promeneurs et les usagers du parc Ignace-Bourget situé à proximité. On mise sur le respect du travail de ces graffiteurs pour garantir l’intégrité de l’oeuvre et par le fait même régler un problème récurrent de graffiti sur ce bâtiment », a déclaré le maire Benoit Dorais.
« L’oeuvre met en lumière le talent et le plein potentiel de deux groupes en apparence distincts. Elle permet aussi au grand public d’être mieux sensibilisé au savoir-faire des résidants de l’Arche et à leur place en société. Elle donne de plus l’occasion à des artistes graffiteurs d’exprimer leur talent dans un cadre légal », a ajouté Huguette Roy, aussi présidente de la table de sécurité urbaine de l’arrondissement.
One of the things that stands out in my mind regarding the merger of the cities on Montreal island involves former Verdun Mayor, Georges Bosse. After the merger Bosse became a key player on Montreal’s notoriously secretive Executive Committee. Soon after he was the City’s main shill for the massive, and awesomely ill conceived, Devimco project for Griffintown (connecting some dots, anyone?). At one point he actually said that the Devimco project would be great for Verdun businesses on Wellington Street. Now that took quite a stretch of the old imagination to picture a bunch of nouveau condo owners for some strange reason deciding to trek to Verdun to do their important shopping. My point here is that politicians, and developers, will say just about anything, make the wildest speculations possible, in order to make their projects more attractive, and people will buy it simply because it promises positive economic development.
And so it was with the merger, an entity that was supposed to solve a lot of economic issues for all the former Montreal Urban Communities. But there was a choice as to who would lead the city after the merger between Pierre Bourque and Gerald Tremblay. I was at a debate on the West Island and watched Bourque and Tremblay debate before a very hostile audience. Bourque, who was terrible in English, did not connect with what was bugging people at all as he promised great things for the merger. Tremblay, who was definitely not a separatist (nudge nudge wink wink), made promises about fighting the merger and that seemed to provide some bitter satisfaction for the audience, there was a faint light at the end of the merger tunnel. Montreal was going to be a great city again, that was the bottom line.
The merger was wrong, a universally acknowledged failed project, and so was voting for Gerald Tremblay. For some of us corruption at Montreal City Hall was painfully obvious. But the voters who put Gerald Tremblay in three times need to rethink why they supported him, why they decided to continue to support such an incompetent and corrupt administration, and why they feared any and all alternatives.
Henry Aubin: Corruption rise mirrors city’s growth
MONTREAL — Gérald Tremblay is gone as mayor, but a major reason for the upsurge in corruption remains intact and unchallenged: the merger.
One of the significant things to come out in testimony before the Charbonneau inquiry is the linkage between the growth of corruption and the creation of the megacity.
The chronology that three witnesses — Lino Zambito, Gilles Surprenant and Luc Leclerc — have given for illicit activities sheds light on how corruption and collusion existed at a relatively low level in Montreal during the 1990s, then boomed in the years following the enactment in 2000 of the law for the merger of all municipalities on Montreal Island.
Almost no one in the political class talks about this correlation. The merger is still a sacred cow for most provincial and municipal politicians of all parties. The merger enjoys immunity from criticism, too, by most media commentators. Yet the merger is the elephant in the corruption room.
C’mon, tell us how you voted for Tremblay again and again and how much you thought he was a good mayor. Tell us you had no idea that there was corruption at City Hall. And tell us us how you figured out that voting for a guy who was “not a separatist” actually did the city any good. The corruption at City Hall has been point blank obvious to anyone paying attention for the last, say, 30 years. The game is over and they want you to kick in 3% on your property taxes. But it’s not likely you will see the irony.
Montreal taxes up 3.3 per cent in 2013 proposed budget
Montreal property taxes would go up an average of 3.3 per cent under the city’s proposed 2013 budget, presented this morning.
The increase would translate into about $100 more for the average homeowner.
Residents of the Plateau Mont-Royal would see the biggest increase, with their tax increasing by 5.7 per cent. Tax increases would be the lowest in Anjou at only 0.5 per cent.
Mayor Gérald Tremblay said the $4.9 billion budget marks a major change, offering for the first time a new structure for financing the boroughs that he says will provide them with more autonomy.
A new tax transfer in the budget plan would allow boroughs the flexibility to make more financial decisions without city approval.
From this Gazoo article.
Once upon a time, in almost every industrial city, countless rivers flowed. We built houses along their banks. Our roads hugged their curves. And their currents fed our mills and factories. But as cities grew, we polluted rivers so much that they became conduits for deadly waterborne diseases like cholera, which was 19th century’s version of the Black Plague. Our solution two centuries ago was to bury rivers underground and merge them with sewer networks. Today, under the city, they still flow, out of sight and out of mind… until now. That’s because urban dwellers are on a quest to reconnect with this denigrated natural world. Lost Rivers takes us on an adventure down below and across the globe, retracing the history of these lost urban rivers by plunging into archival maps and going underground with clandestine urban explorers. We search for the disappeared Petite rivière St-Pierre in Montreal, the Garrison Creek in Toronto, the River Tyburn in London, the Saw Mill River in New York, and the Bova-Celato River in Bresica, Italy. Could we see these rivers again? To find the answer, we meet visionary urban thinkers, activists and artists from around the world.
Il était une fois, des centaines de rivières sillonnaient nos villes. Pourquoi sont-elles disparues? Comment? Et pourrions-nous les revoir un jour? Ce documentaire tente de trouver des réponses en rencontrant des urbanistes, des militantes et des artistes visionnaires du monde entier.
Premiering in Toronto on October 10, 2012. Film features some of Montreal’s best known underground explorers.
I have been saying for few years now that Pierre Brisset should be given the keys to the city for his commitment to transportation infrastructure in Montreal. Interesting Gazette article that shows how drastically things have changed now that Charest is gone.
Turcot Interchange: Groups will present alternative plan on Thursday
by Andy Riga
MONTREAL – The cost and scope of the Turcot project has ballooned in the six years Pierre Brisset has been its unofficial watchdog.
Now, Brisset wants to help shrink it back to a manageable size and reasonable cost by reducing the interchange’s size, delaying unnecessary work and not moving Highway 20. Savings — estimated at $1.5 billion, half the current price tag — would go to new public-transit options.
On Thursday morning, groups opposed to the Turcot plan will convene on Transport Quebec’s Montreal headquarters to deliver an alternative proposal that Brisset, an architect, developed with Concordia University urban planner Pierre Gauthier.
It’s part of a daylong event meant to push the new Parti Québécois government —which includes several vehement Turcot critics — to dramatically alter the plan.
Le PQ veut prolonger la ligne bleue avant 2020
by Tommy Chouinard
Le gouvernement Marois veut mettre sur les rails le prolongement de la ligne bleue du métro vers Anjou. Il envisage de «bonifier» le mégaprojet de réaménagement de l’échangeur Turcot. Et il se montre ouvert à l’idée d’augmenter la taxe sur l’essence pour financer les transports en commun dans la grande région de Montréal.
Dans une entrevue accordée à La Presse, hier, le ministre des Transports et des Affaires municipales, Sylvain Gaudreault, a donné un aperçu de son plan de match pour la métropole. Sa priorité: «décongestionner» le réseau routier et «développer les transports en commun». Sa philosophie, c’est la «mobilité durable».
Le Parti québécois (PQ) respectera sa promesse électorale: la ligne bleue du métro sera prolongée jusqu’à Anjou avant 2020, a-t-il indiqué. Ce projet comprend cinq stations et coûterait 1 milliard de dollars.
Full story here.
I know the Anglo Community will have a shit fit when I say it, but the Parti Quebecois are looking awfully good coming out of the box. They were fairly strong critics of the Turcot plan in opposition and appear to be following through on their promise to rethink Turcot if elected. But what choices do they have? Minority and coalition governments appear to be the most effective. As long as power is not absolute and government has to worry about getting tossed on an issue by issue basis, democracy has a chance to work. Government should be a servant of the people, not an oppressive force to be feared and loathed.
Anyone following Turcot since the MTQ announcement of an new interchange in 2007 knew one simple fact – Jean Charest had to go! His government’s handling of Turcot was almost as monumentally inept, illogical, and politically suicidal as his decisions over student tuition fees. The new Parti Quebecois government has named Daniel Breton as Environment Minister. I don’t know him personally, but have seen him at countless public demonstrations, testifying at public consultations, and even running a light show/video event on the side of the Hydro Quebec building downtown. He would seem to be the real deal.
The article below mentions that most players in the Turcot saga would prefer not to see the CN tracks pulled over to the Falaise Saint Jacques. The Falaise is actually a city designated “Ecoterritory”. Moving the Turcot project beside it would be an anti environmental move in the typical going backwards/dumbing down swirl of enthusiasm that seems to be at the heart of the Tremblay era in it’s willingness to destroy all green space, and so many heritage buildings, on the Island of Montreal for the sake of real estate profits.
I have heavily criticized the MTQ over the years for their Turcot plan, but it needs to be stated that this was all under Charest who liked the project. Perhaps now we can get back to having a sensible conversation, a realistic talk in the year 2012.
Foes Of Turcot Plan Work On Alternative
by Andy Riga, The Gazette
MONTREAL – With the design of the new Turcot Interchange apparently no longer set in stone, opponents of the plan are working on a detailed alternative they say would cut costs, reduce car capacity and encourage public transit.
“It’s not too late to change the project,” said Shannon Franssen, a spokesperson for Mobilization Turcot. “In its current form, it would be disastrous not only for the neighbourhood, but also for all of Quebec.”
The coalition of community and environmental groups would scrap plans to increase car capacity to 325,000, from 290,000. It also wants public transit to be more prominent.
The group says money can be saved by eliminating plans to rebuild the Ville Marie Expressway. More savings can be had by not moving Canadian National tracks, an expensive part of the project because the land it’s moving to is unstable, inflating costs.
There is evidence the new provincial government might be willing to change the previous, Liberal, government’s $3-billion Turcot plan.
Jean-François Lisée, minister responsible for Montreal, has wondered aloud whether Quebec can revisit the plan.
Two of the plan’s most outspoken critics now have high-profile jobs — Environment Minister Daniel Breton and Thierry St-Cyr, now chief of staff to Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault. (more…)