So, I was on the way to act as a photog and official note-taker at a local NGO’s AGM a few weeks back and I snapped this pic on my way to Con-U. I can’t remember if it was at the top of Chomedey, Fort or St-Marc, but it was definitely visible from Sherbrooke.
If I’m to understand this correctly, there are cobblestones under a once thick though now eroded layer of asphalt in this area. Why replace it? Why not bring back the cobblestones? Perhaps more cobblestones will result in fewer people using small residential side-streets as a Formula-1 test track.
Plus, isn’t it nicer?
Reminds me of what the Old Port looked like before they dug up all the pavement and resurrected the cobblestones as part of the late-1980s, early-1990s master renovation. At the same time they got rid of the parking lot which once occupied the Champ-de-Mars. Doing so allowed for the excavation which led to the re-discovery of the city’s old defensive walls.
I don’t think anything of valuable will be discovered below St-Marc, but the area is historic and needs a facelift. May as well start with what already lies below our feet.
Among other things, the culprits have all been paroled from their life sentences. The families of the victims were given a mere 1 to 3,000$ and the City, Fire Dept. and proprietor walked away from one of the worst disasters in the city’s history.
Most of those who died died together, huddled in a bunch by a rear window, hoping to escape the smoke and flames. A rear exit had been locked shut, and people were trampled as the patrons upstairs rushed to the ground floor Blue Bird, itself filling with smoke and flames racing across the ceiling support beams. That the fire escape was locked would be grounds enough for the City, Fire Dept. and proprietor to be on the hook for a substantial amount, but the victims were nonetheless not properly compensated.
Evidence of this can be found in the plaza, which is starting to look a little worse for wear. It could use a clean-up, a spruce-up, new vegetation and it would be nice if the fountain was operational – something to draw people into the interior plaza, or possibly, something to serve as a focal point in the middle of the plaza to draw people’s attention towards walking across the plaza. Unlike other more successful examples, such as the plazas at PVM or Place-des-Arts, Westmount Square doesn’t seem to be able to draw many pedestrians into its centre as a means of diffusing traffic away from the street. Perhaps this is a result of fewer people working at Westmount Square, and fewer still are both employed and live in the area. One can tell by walking around the plaza that it would have at one point in the past had significantly more thru-traffic.
Kristian Gravenor, over at Coolopolis, (always a bevy of the lurid and amazing re: crime in the city), has put this video together of interviews with a former street gang leader and local criminologist, with a focus on the Haitian Street Gangs.
But why does it seem as though the SPVM isn’t terribly good at catching and prosecuting gang leaders and mob bosses? Why do we have such a hard time keeping a lid on gang violence? One would think that we’d have had enough experience by now to have figured out excellent ways of combating these problems.
Almost makes you think the big-league crimes that happen here do so because they’re occasionally allowed to happen. The ultimate in collusion and corruption may be the same apparatus that keeps the general crime rate low. I don’t want to believe this is the case, but sometimes I wonder why a city like ours continues to have to deal with various inter-gang flare-ups of violence. If the Vice article is in any way legitimate, we may have to deal a major spike in violence, akin to the late-1970s when the Sicilians ‘bought-out’ the Calabrians to take control of the local Mafia and its business. Those were dark days, and the people must do whatever they can to prevent such a war from starting again. The question is are we willing to give the SPVM a carte-blanche to wipe out the problem?
How far are we willing to let them go to protect us all?