Archive for April, 2007

Now I know who’s paying for the Laval Metro

People like me are. Today was a rude realization. A little background. I give English courses and this session, I have several classes out near St Martin and Industrial in Laval. Before the new Metro stations, I had two choices to get to my classes. The fastest was the AMT train to Gare St Martin. The longer took me to Henri Bourassa and then a Laval bus. Each month I calculate the cost to decide if I needed to buy the Tram 3 pass (which costs $38 more than the regular STM pass). Since a round trip bus fare in Laval from Henri Bourassa costs $5.25, I had to go out there 8 times in a month for it to be worthwhile to buy the Tram 3 pass.

But now everything has changed. First of all, I no longer have choices. I must travel to de la Concorde station and take the bus. The AMT has closed the Gare St Martin. And the real rub is this. The round trip bus fare is still $5.25, but to reaccess the Metro in Laval now costs $2.75 extra.

So now it costs $8.00 to go to Laval instead of $5.25. That’s over a 50% increase! Since I was only scheduled to travel to Laval 5 times this month, I only purchased the regular STM pass and a packet of tickets in Laval. Imagine my shock to find today that I have to pay $2.75 extra to make the exact same trip I made Friday. And with fewer choices! I feel like I’ve been had. (It’s still slower than taking the ATM train from Parc too.) I’m sure I’m not alone.

Montréal Designers Open Their Doors

If this is news to you, then mark your calendar for next Saturday, May 5, from noon to 5 p.m. Montreal has been designated as a “UNESCO City of Design“. The Design Montréal bureau is launching the first edition of Design Montréal Open House day. This event will familiarize the general public with Montreal’s design and architecture communities, and showcase their richness, diversity and talent.

Montreal design firms that have been recognized in the past two years in interior, industrial or graphic design, architecture, landscape architecture and urban design will open their doors to exhibit the work that won them these prestigious awards. The designers who received awards for Montreal projects, which visitors can tour (e.g. buildings, squares, parks, streets and interiors) or view (e.g. furniture, signs, etc.) will be on hand to discuss their achievements and answer visitors’ questions. For more details, check out Montréal, UNESCO City Of Design.

Habitat 67 and the Wave

Everyone is talking about the 40th anniversary of the opening of Habitat 67, which is known around the world. Just behind it in the St-Lawrence river, there is something that I imagine has been there somewhat longer. That’s the Montreal Wave. It also seems to be attracting attention around the world since I heard an interview on CBC with someone who moved to Montreal just for the surfing.

tornwordo wrote about it last year on this blog. Corran Addison has just written to me on this and mentions that there is a very large and developing scene here in Montreal. If you’d like to see some of the surfing action, here’s the link Corran sent me.

Conflicting data

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I’ve noticed that my wife and I have been arguing a lot about the weather these past few days, now we know why. My weather widget is on the left, the one from her laptop is on the right.

At least Meteomedia says that I’m the one who’s right…for once.

Nostalgia

As you now doubt have read, listened and watched all over, this is the 40th anniversary of Expo ’67 – Man and His World.

You’ll no doubt have seen photos posted on Flickr, newsreels of the great events and listen to Baby Boomers all over lament as how those really were the good old days.. when Montreal made its mark on the world.

You’ll also hear later some of these same people complain, that our society today no longer has this vision. That these types of projects are no longer tolerated. They will point to the Casino/Cirque du Soleil as an example of ‘great’ projects that were killed.

I’m 35 years old. I wasn’t around for Expo ’67. I don’t remember the Olympics. But I am quite aware of the mess that was left over after these grand ideas. I am quite aware of the deficits and more importantly the environmental cost that was left over.
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Time to sell that RBC stock

The next time that you see somebody flashing his fancy RBC Platinum Visa card try not to look too impressed. We got an offer for a pre-approved card in the mail today.

The problem is that it was addressed to my 14 years old daughter.

Fortunately I got to it first.

We’ve got bags!

We’ve got bags for recycling. As denizens of Ville Marie, we were visited by the “bag distribution” girls who gave us a box of 40 new see-through bags. April%20045.jpgThey explained the new recycling guidelines, the changed pickup day and finally warned us not to put anything with a “deposit value” in the bags. This is to avoid having people tear open the bags. I thought this was rather funny. Do not put recyclable soft drink bottles into the recycling bag. So we’ve decided to put those things “next to” the bag so that whoever wants to cash in that nickel may do so.

There are some pluses. You can put nearly every glass, paper, metal and plastic item into the bag. There is no need to sort or separate. They do ask that you rinse your containers, but that was the same as before. I’m hoping their aim of cleaning up the city works, and I hope this reduces the scattered litter that the old bins used to provoke.

Earth Day in Montreal

Check out this amazing photograph of the Earth Day demonstration by Eric Baillargeon. Makes me wish I was there.

Thanks Kate.

HMCS Halifax

Today the attraction in the Old Port certainly was the HMCS Halifax, a Canadian Navy ship. It arrived in Montreal on Friday, leaving Tuesday morning. And it opened it’s deck to visitors! It’s quite impressive to visit such a boat.
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If you’re interested, the boat and crew are welcoming visitors again Sunday April 22 and Monday April 23, from 13h to 16h.
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Feed the rich, give to the poor

Last night was gastronomically spent at a restaurant a friend and I stumbled upon called Robin des Bois. A charming non-profit establishment, they put forth an interesting concept of a restaurant where all the proceeds, after covering the cost of food and cook goes directly to local charities. The waiters all work on a volunteer basis and the food is quite delicious.

The “daal” lentil soup with coriander and a dollop of sour cream was excellent, and my “noix” of venison over swiss chard in spiced orange oil and accompanied by a purée of parsnip and tarragon butter melted in the mouth. The prices are very reasonable, the wine list is small but significant, and the staff are friendly, relaxed and unpretentious. Give back to the community by having a wonderful meal! Definitely recommended.

Robin des Bois – le resto bienfaiteur: 4403, boul. boul. Saint-Laurent (corner Marie-Anne) 514.288.1010

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