Monday, January 31, 2011

Turcot ...or the Longest Yard (story)

        Protesters voice opposition to Turcot plan at St. Henri meeting

Photograph by: Allen McInnis, Montreal GazetteAs protesters chanted "Turcot, pas d'autos!," more than 300 southwest borough residents packed a St. Henri community centre Monday night to express opposition to and doubts about Quebec's $3 billion plan to rebuild the crumbling Turcot Interchange.

A standing-room crowd listened politely as Quebec Transport Department officials outlined plans to demolish the existing structure in stages, with enforceable limits on noise and air pollution, to create 300,000 square meters of green space, a new 55-hectare residential area and transform Notre Dame St. W. into an urban boulevard.

Eight anti-noise barriers are to be erected and during construction, limits will be imposed on daytime, evening and overnight noise, with heavy fines for ignoring them.

The project, approved by Quebec last fall, was endorsed by Mayor Gérald Tremblay and his Union Montreal majority, over opposition objections.

Turcot is the system of elevated roadways where highways 15 and 20 and the Ville Marie Expressway converge.

Replacing it will require the demolition of 106 units at 780 St. Rémi St. and two buildings with eight units on Selby St., dislocating about 130 residents.

That detail was met by a chorus of boos.

Since the daily volume of vehicles that use the new structure is expected to rise to 304,000 from about 290,000, Daniel Breton said this means "the death of Quebec's goal of cutting greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent by 2020."

"There has to be a radical change in the transportation modes used by Quebecers," he said, to sustained applause.

Though there are plans to increase bus routes serving the area, critics last night said the project is missing a light-train aspect.

Derek Robertson, a construction project manager, said the overall concept was not designed for the 21st century.

"Why are we not getting a train to the west up and running prior to the demolition and construction as a mitigation process (for the current traffic volume?" Robertson asked.There was no direct answer.

                                  Cheers !! HF&RV

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Montreal Metro....and then some

MASS TRANSIT | Le Métro de Montréal :: »Le Plus Sexy du Mon





Correspondance de couleur des moyens de transport de Montréal, Lesli222, Oeuvre personnelle





Lignes du métro de Montréal destinée au modèle géographique, Leslie222, Oeuvre personnelle








Station Berri-Université du Québec à Montréal | Architectes : Papineau, Gérin-Lajoie & Leblanc

Station Bonaventure | Architecte : Victor Prus

Station Peel | Architectes : Papineau, Gérin-Lajoie & Leblanc

stm fr

stm en

Screen shot 2009-10-25 at 09.45.50


Screen shot 2009-10-25 at 09.36.11

Can a subway be sexy?

With today’s starchitects, we take it for granted that the answer should be an unqualified Yes!

But Montréal had the first subway with true élan. This marvel of the future was initially built as part of Montréal’s city-of-the-future infrastructure to support expo 67.


The Métro went under the St. Lawrence to a major station on Isle Ste-Hélène (now named after Montréal’s infamous mayor, Jean Drapeau) where les expoistes could switch to le Minirail et l’Expo Express:


mwf01 copy

From its conception, the manifesto for the Métro — a marvel of civic infrastructure — included public art. This was a marriage of art and architecture rarely seen on such a large scale:


The stations were individually designed by a leading star of the mid-sixties’ Canadian architectural firmament.




DISAPPEARING TRAIN: time lapse by Ziad Chatila

Le Métro was also conceived as an integral method of delivering bodies (read: “consumers”) to that other part of Montréal’s mid-60s’ vision of the future: Montréal souterrain, the underground city:



Galerie marchande à l’intérieur de la Place Ville Marie, 1962
Photographie: SITQ | © Courtoisie de SITQ -Place Ville Marie, © Héritage Montréal

Compare what was happening in urban planning and design in Montréal in the mid-60s to what was happening to the inner city neighbourhoods of most American cities during the same era.

As for the Métro, the mid-60s’ elegance of the original stations eventually gave way to the brutalism of the ’70s as the system constantly expanded (the ’76 Olympics were a good excuse to add several more kilometres to the network).

Unlike Toronto, Montréal has continuously expanded its original 3 lines. They’re still at it! They are now, finally, planning to extend the original Expo (Yellow) Line further south into Longueuil.





Inspired by Paris’s smooth rubber-tired system, Montréal’s Métro went on to influence systems in Lyon, Marseille, and Montevideo, plus a downscale version with funky graphics (and pictograms for every station) in Mexico City:



There may be equally fascinating metros around the world (Washington’s comes quickly to mind …



… as does San Francisco’s 1970s’ response to Montréal: Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART). That’s sexy!)




Sexy logo: “Bay Area,” on a magnetic strip ticket. The future, early ’70s version.


Mais le Métro de Montréal, c’est le meilleur, et encore, le plus sexy.


Marc Dufour is a fan.

LINES EVERYWHERE. Here’s what Dufour envisions in his city of the future:


expo 67 constructionExpo67_Montreal_Hey_Friend_Say_Friend_Album_Cover

Le futur n’était-il pas magnifique?

C’était l’année de l’amour, c’était l’année de l’Expo,” disait la chanson. Dans ces temps là, l’optimisme était de rigueur; n’allait-t’on pas mettre des hommes sur la lune en moins de deux ans? Tous les espoirs était permis, et les projets de lignes de Métro n’échappaient pas à la règle.

The future: wasn’t it wonderful?

It was the year of love, it was the year of Expo,” said the song. Back then, optimism was in the air; weren’t we going to put men on the moon in a couple of years? Everything was possible, and building the Métro was no exception.

                         Cheers !! Have Fun & Remember Verdun

More Montreal Disappearing:

Another day, another crumbling Montreal mansion.

Last week, it was the Redpath Mansion on du Musée Ave.

Next up: Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine House.

The building, once home to the pre-Confederation prime minister, has been deteriorating for decades and is on Heritage Montreal's endangered-landmarks list.

The organization's description: "Constructed in the 1830s, this house, despite certain modifications, is a rare example of the Neo-Classical greystone mansions built in the St. Antoine ward in that era. Its setback from the surrounding streets is a reminder of its original setting on landscaped grounds."

The shuttered house is on Overdale Ave., a couple of blocks west of the Bell Centre, in the shadow of the Guaranteed Pure Milk Bottle.

Ashley Clarkson, a Concordia University public history student, is one of the organizers of a Feb. 23 protest to raise awareness about the building.

"I think the biggest problem with the building is the lack of public knowledge," Clarkson told Metropolitan News in an email.

"So we will be there giving out pamphlets and questionnaires and hopefully raising awareness and possibly giving the building more recognition from the city.  We are trying to get the building as much attention as possible so maybe something will be done with it."

Below is a 2008 Gazette story about the building, by Alan Hustak. The article was part of a "landmarks in limbo" series.

The graffiti-splattered greystone mansion with broken windows sits on Overdale Ave. at the edge of a huge parking lot just north of the Lucien L'Allier métro station on a large tract of land that has been vacant for more than 20 years.

The three-storey house was once the residence of Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine, who, along with Robert Baldwin, served as prime minister of the British colonial government of the United Canadas.

Lafontaine lived in it for 15 years until he died in 1864.

Even before squatters abandoned the house eight years ago, heritage activists waged a campaign to restore the property as a museum or an interpretive centre of pre-confederation history.

The most recent development proposal was to convert the house into three luxury condo units, but so far nothing has come of it.

Problem is, the consortium that owns the property isn't eager to have the building designated a historic site.

According to the city, repeated requests to repair the broken windows, which have exposed the second floor to the elements, have repeatedly been ignored. According to Ville Marie borough spokesperson Jacques- Alain Lavallée, the owner has been served with notice to stabilize the building.

"Someone has to get out with a picket sign and say, 'What's happening here is a disaster,' " said architect Michael Fish, who has led the fight to preserve the building since the early 1980s. "Internal damage has been inflicted on this building and its neighbourhood slowly, quietly, over the past 30 years. The owners have no intention of developing anything. They bought the land for speculation, without buildings, tenants and any responsibilities; they have nothing to do but watch it increase in value."

The plight of the building came to public attention in 1985, when the Drapeau administration refused to allow a number of Victorian buildings on the site to be demolished.

Successor Jean Doré permitted buildings to be torn down.

Senator Serge Joyal, a former federal cabinet minister, has thrown his support behind the effort to save the house.

"We are not just looking to save the four walls," he said. "Integrating the walls into a development that might house condos or offices isn't what we are looking for. We want to see the site restored and turned into a public property."

What Should Be Done?

Preserve it: The mansion is one of the few that exists from before confederation, a tangible link to that period of history when Montreal was the capital of the United Province of Canada. When a mob burned the Parliament buildings in Montreal in 1849, Lafontaine's house was also looted in the riots that followed.

Forget it: Years have ravaged the mansion, and although the footprint of John Ostell's original design is there, not much of the original historic building remains. Louis-Hippolyte Lafontaine is already memorialized in Montreal with a major park and an expressway tunnel named in his honour.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

25 Years Ago, It took 73 seconds,and 46 Thousand Feet and that was it for the Challenger

     WASHINGTON – NASA marked a day of remembrance on Thursday for astronauts who have died in the line of duty, particularly the victims in the explosion of the space shuttle Challenger 25 years ago.

Schoolchildren and space enthusiasts around the world watched live Jan. 28, 1986, as the Challenger lifted off carrying seven astronauts, including the first teacher, Christa McAuliffe, to embark on a mission to space.

The shuttle exploded 73 seconds after launch at an altitude of 14,000 metres (46,000 feet), killing everyone on-board.

"This year marks the 25th anniversary of the loss of Challenger -- a tragedy that caused us to completely re-think our systems and processes as we worked to make the shuttle safer," said NASA chief Charles Bolden.

"The nation will never forget Jan. 28, 1986, nor its indelible images."

Engineers determined that the blast was caused by the failure of a joint seal caused by cold weather.

Bolden attended a wreath-laying ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery outside Washington on Thursday, and flags at NASA stations were flown at half-staff.

A total of 24 people have been killed while supporting the space agency's mission since 1964, NASA said.

Among them were seven astronauts killed aboard the Columbia in 2003 when the space shuttle disintegrated upon re-entry to Earth cvaused by a damaged heat shield that was compromised by a broken off piece of insulation.

Three astronauts died aboard the Apollo 1 in 1967 when a fire broke out during a launch pad test.

"NASA has learned hard lessons from each of our tragedies, and they are lessons that we will continue to keep at the forefront of our work as we continuously strive for a culture of safety that will help us avoid our past mistakes and heed warnings while corrective measures are possible," Bolden said.

"The legacy of those who have perished is present every day in our work and inspires generations of new space explorers."

The United States plans to retire its space shuttle program this year. The shuttle Discovery is set to launch on Feb. 24, followed by Endeavour on April 18.

If the space agency can secure the funding from Congress, a final voyage to the International Space Station is scheduled for Atlantis at the end of June.

The shuttles made a major contribution to the construction of the ISS, a multibillion-dollar project begun in 1998 and financed largely by the United States.

After the fleet is retired, international space agencies will have to rely on Russian space capsules for access to the ISS.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Montreal History Through Montreal Newspapers

                                       The Montreal Bearon
79 issues
Jan 5, 1940 - Sep 26, 1941 Montreal Daily Express
1 issues
Dec 30, 1971 - Dec 30, 1971 The Montreal Daily Herald
569 issues
Jan 14, 1880 - Dec 31, 1892 The Montreal Daily Mail
948 issues
Jan 3, 1913 - Aug 31, 1917 The Montreal Daily News
17 issues
Oct 3, 1887 - Oct 24, 1887 Montreal Daily News
2 issues
Sep 15, 1869 - Jul 4, 1870 The Montreal Daily Post
1,028 issues
Feb 2, 1885 - May 21, 1969 The Montreal Daily Witness
1,313 issues
Oct 29, 1856 - Dec 31, 1879 Montreal Daily Witness
5,304 issues
Nov 7, 1871 - Sep 13, 1976 Montreal Evening Post
613 issues
Feb 4, 1860 - Jan 31, 1881 The Montreal Evening Star
10 issues
May 26, 1869 - Apr 3, 1877 The Montreal Free Lance
58 issues
Aug 28, 1867 - Dec 13, 1873 The Montreal Gazette
24,869 issues
Jan 1, 1878 - Nov 20, 2006 Montreal Gazette
165 issues
Feb 1, 1827 - Sep 29, 1828 Montreal Guardian
186 issues
Jan 23, 1931 - Dec 28, 1934 The Montreal Herald
2,392 issues
Oct 19, 1811 - Mar 6, 1984 Montreal Herald
1,569 issues
Nov 2, 1816 - Jun 30, 1892 Montreal Herald and Daily Commercial Gazette
1,122 issues
Dec 8, 1869 - Aug 9, 1878 Montreal Metropolitan
10 issues
May 4, 1895 - Oct 31, 1896 Montreal Post
28 issues
Mar 15, 1904 - Mar 25, 1957 Montreal Record
4 issues
Sep 13, 1978 - Sep 29, 1978 The Montreal Shareholder
43 issues
Oct 3, 1879 - Mar 1, 1912 Montreal Transcript
250 issues
Oct 4, 1836 - Jul 7, 1888 The Montreal Transcript
20 issues
Jul 27, 1843 - Oct 20, 1863 The Montreal Tribune
129 issues
Aug 4, 1910 - Mar 20, 1913 The Montreal Vindicator
470 issues
Jan 3, 1832 - May 4, 1882 The Montreal Weekly Herald
12 issues
Oct 18, 1851 - Apr 17, 1884 Montreal Weekly Pilot
9 issues
Dec 25, 1847 - Jun 5, 1852 Montreal Weekly Transcript
9 issues
May 25, 1842 - Jul 4, 1872 Montreal Western Star
52 issues
Mar 23, 1819 - Oct 3, 1820
       Use this link to access the M's for archive newspapers, Many Montreal papers are listed here,I wonder if papers called the Montreal Guardian ,are really the 'Guardian' that we knew from Verdun, because at one time the banner across the top of the Guardian mentioned they also served the Point, Cote St Paul, Verdun etc etc 
Maybe we get lucky and find a treasure trove of Montreal / Verdun history.....Cheers !! 
                   Have Fun and Remember Verdun

Monday, January 24, 2011

Queen's Park 1899

I am still doing research on the Queen's Park that held the 1899 World Meet bicycle races. As strange as it may seem, no one knows exactly where the Queen's Park was situated including some local historians and the city of Verdun. I have been doing research on and off on the subject since I am a member of the SHGV but I have concentrated on the subject in the last couple of months and come to the conclusion that it was situated in the rectangle comprising Wellington, Rielle, Lower Lachine road (LaSalle Blvd) and Gordon as shown in my illustration. Several questions remain unanswered such as:

Where was the house of Ucal-Henri Dandurand situated on Lower Lachine Road. I have discovered that it burnt down on the 19th of October 1901. He was one of the owners and spark plug of the whole project.

When was the race track demolished. It was completed on the 17th of may 1988.

When was the stadium demolished. It seated between 8000 and 12000 people wich is considerable since Verdun had only a population of approximately 2000 people.

Where are the plans of the complex.

Is there a map of Verdun 1899 showing the velodrome.

Are there other photos that have not been publised.

Are there 8mm or 16mm films that where taken.

Hopefully these mysteries will be answered on the fascinating saga of the QUEEN'S PARK velodrome.