Archive for April, 2005

Westmount vs St-Henri – Neighbors with nothing in common


I don’t read the pseudo-tabloid that is the Journal de Montréal, but as I was waiting for a friend at the gym today I picked it up and discovered a very interesting (although terribly written) article about the huge differences between Westmount (one of the richest parts of Montreal) and Saint-Henri (one of the poorest) which are separated only by one street / a few hundred meters.

A difficult read, but here were some interesting factoids to translate out:

  • Students in Saint-Henri are half as likely to finish high school.
  • In Saint-Henri, a little less than 57.3% of adults 20 and over have finished high school. Cross Saint-Antoine street, and this proportion jumps to over 90%.
  • Nearly half of students who enroll into junior high school (Secondary 1) in Saint-Henri do so at least a year behind.
  • Life expectancy is 82.1 years in Westmount. In Saint-Henri, you can expect to live over 10 years less than that.

These types of stats, of course, occur all over the country… but these obviously hit harder because they’re closer to home. We’ve got such a long way to go… : \

Reporter: “What do you think about western civilization?”

Gandhi: “I think it would be a good idea.”

The metro of our dreams


Imagine a world where Montreal could have a transit system worthy of a metropolis. There is even a station within walking distance of my house (Source) and I’m only eight stations away from work. All we would need is some political courage and a few billions, nothing more.

A tree on strike.

Arbre de greve au pavillon de design.

I shot this a few days ago to talk about it but it slipped my mind.
It’s a tree that was at the Ecole de Design when students were on strike. It symbolizes the fact that there are many students who go through school on student loans and they can’t pay their debts.

Third’s a charm

The third edition of Yulzine: Duality is out. Still a good read (especially for those of us who can appreciate both languages) and I really hope that we can maintain this momentum.

Montreal bridge trivia

The Champlain bridge was supposed to be build in Lachine, where the river is much narrower, but expropriations in Verdun were deemed less expensive. Would Nuns Island still be fully forested had that had been the case?

After it was built in 1932, the Jacques Cartier Bridge was initially christened the Montreal Harbour Bridge.

The Victoria Bridge was erected in 1860 to ensure continuing access to Portland, Maine which was the closest port that remained ice-free during winter. Its construction cost the lives of 26 workers.

In 1934, it would cost you 50 cents to cross the new Mercier Bridge. Because it was built over the Kanawake Reserve, Mohawks could cross for free.

Source, Montreal: The Unknown City

I really don’t get the music business

If I’m to believe m-c, La Presse and Time Magazine, Montreal-based Arcade Fire is one of the best thing to hit the Canadian indy music scene in the last year.

So why is it available on the US version of the iTunes Music Store but not in the Canadian version?

Jail for splashers!

Although there is some hope for Tuesday and Wednesday, we should expect grey skies and rain for the next 6 days. At least nature is making it obvious that a little water from the sky is exactly what she needed. By next weekend we should have plenty of leaves, flowers and green grass.

To the automobilists out there, don’t forget that our plentiful potholes will become much more difficult to spot, and keep and eye on the side of the road as well. I have just found out (in a book fortunately) that Montreal has a little-used bylaw stating that motorists that commit a “breach of common courtesy”, aka splashing a pedestrian, can be thrown in jail for up to 6 months…or pay a fine of up to $40.


Everything is white in there, except the objects. They also sell posters which are quite nice. Wow, my stuff will be there in two years.

Exposition des finissants 2005

Exposition des finissants 2005

Intervention at Centre de Design.
21 au 24 avril 2005. 1440 rue Sanguinet corner Sainte-Catherine. M

What do you do when the school is cheating?

Every year, L’Actualite, the province’s most popular french newsmagazine, publishes an extensive ranking of all high schools in Quebec. For the past three years, the College Charlemagne, located in my own borough of Pierrefonds, has garnered the #1 position which is based on results from the annual exams that are organized by the department of education.

Many private colleges make extensive use of these rankings in their marketing activities. Since they are also involved in grading the end-of-year exams, there is the theoretical possibility of conflict of interest.

Unfortunately, Radio-Canada has just reported that the College Charlemagne is now the object of a criminal investigation and suspected of tampering with the final grades of last year’s exam. Isn’t it just lovely? The real victims are the schoolkids whose grades will remain under suspicion even through they had nothing to do with this.

The College has released this press report.

Number portability.

This is one good news: the ability to keep your mobile phone number when you change carriers in Canada. If all goes well, it should be applicated in September. Good stuff. Lots of tension in the competition coming up.

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