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  1. Does anyone know of a good source on Montreal corruption? I'm not asking for research, just for personal interest. A few of the questions I would like to be able to answer are: - Which companies have bribed officials in the past? Are they still in operation? What has been done about it? - I know the new hospital and some other large scale projects were immersed in some corrupt deals, but how widespread is corruption in other smaller projects like street renovations, paving, street furniture, etc? Is it common at all? Does the low quality of many streets/sidewalks in Montreal have anything to do with corruption, or is it just the city being cheap? What about garbage collection? Road markings? Signage? Snow removal? - Is there anything a common citizen can do to help? Raise awareness somehow? - Do city officials sometimes have their hands tied? Is any openly trying to do anything about it? - Will I get in trouble for asking questions? 😁
  2. This is amazing I always pick up trash when I walk around my neighbourhood (in case you ever wondered why some areas around Sir Wilfrid Laurier Park are so much cleaner than the rest of the Plateau ). But the fact that this may become a trend is exciting! Do a little jog, pick up a little trash, let's go plogging tonight! The Swedish fitness trend combines jogging with picking up sidewalk litter — and it's catching on in Montreal Read:
  3. It is almost blasphemy to speak about street-level in this forum (I'm joking), but I believe Griffintown could become a great neighbourhood if it got some street-level love. And I'm not talking about restaurants or fancy shops, but nice sidewalks, nice street furniture, nice parks. I was disappointed to realize that most new Griffintown sidewalks are of horrible quality and horrible looks (just like most sidewalks in the island), and that no new street furniture was planned for the place. Sure, a couple of paths here and there are set to be renovated, but would it hurt to make the whole place look nice and special? It seems like Montreal, and maybe Toronto, are the only North-American cities where these things are not planned before redeveloping a neighbourhood. Any idea why this is? [uPDATE] In case you're wondering what I'm talking about, check out this corner completely surrounded by new buildings. Look at the already chipped sidewalk (it actually chipped before the first winter after it was built! So no excuse, it's just terrible quality):*Google Maps Move around and you'll see more of the same. Now look at this spot on Seattle's South Lake, Another place where a bunch of new [not necessarily beautiful] residential buildings have popped up recently (thanks to Amazon):*Google Maps Clearly the density is quite different, but in South Like, sidewalks were built at the same time as the neighbourhood was being redeveloped. The same thing is done in London, Barcelona, or New York. Why not in Montreal?
  4. I added all suggestions to the map ( Montreal - Sidewalks), along with other places I noticed on Google Maps. I'll also be adding some TMR as well :*Google Maps
  5. Although not a sidewalk, we have something similar:*Google Maps Quebec City has something kind of similar:*Google Maps Thanks for the tips on L'ile des sours! I'll try to find those and add them.
  6. If anyone else is as obsessed with sidewalks as I am, you may enjoy this map I've made of good quality and renovated sidewalks in Montreal. Pretty much anything different from the typical ugly concrete sidewalks makes the cut. Some of them are still under construction/renovation. I can actually draw most of these from memory, but I still had to look some of them up. I'm sure I missed some, so feedback is welcome! Montreal - Sidewalks
  7. This is a pretty common sight in the Plateau and the cause of 90% of its litter: People take out their garbage too early (one day in advance sometimes) and squirrels take care of the rest. In this case I've placed a temporary piece of paper on the tree for the infractor to read. It says to take out the garbage at the appropriate time (4pm-7pm Tuesday and Friday at this spot), NOT BEFORE. We'll see how they respond. Anyone can get the garbage days and times from here: Info-collectes
  8. Frustrated by how difficult it is to contact Montreal's 311 service, a couple of friends and I have built this handy web app: It works on desktop and on mobile. This is not a for profit project, but simply our proposed solution to what we see as a very outdated system. We take care of bundling up and forwarding reports to different instances of the city's boroughs using a partially automated system. Please give it a try and let me know what you think
  9. (Please read below for details) My suggestion for now: Call 311 or tweet @MTL_311 every time you see litter around (even if they respond with: "please call 311". It needs to be visible). Take a picture with your smartphone and tweet at them with a description of the location/address. They will eventually be forced to simplify and improve their system. See @SF311 (San Francisco) for a good reference. I've been observing my neighbourhood (Plateau/Laurier) quite a bit. While I still think there is a lot more litter than similarly dense places in North America, residents themselves are not really that dirty. Cleaning crews are just too infrequent and/or ineffective. I was in Santa Clara (Silicon Valley) recently. I stayed in a relatively dense commercial/residential area. The place is often absolutely spotless. However if you stay at a busy terrace during certain time in the afternoon, you may see a few napkins flying around, and the occasionally plastic bag or food wrapper around the supermarket. The kind of minor stuff you see normally in the cleanest areas of Montreal. Shortly after, however (or in the worst case early next day), the place would be back to being totally clean. One or two guys would walk around with a broom and a trash picker and would spot even the smallest pieces of litter. Montreal's foot cleaning crews are very different. They are dispatched a few times a year and do a pretty decent cleanup job. Besides this, they seem to be sent a few days after someone complains to 311, which is very rare because we're all used to the litter. They send about 4 or 5 guys to a small area, and they often miss most of the litter, or are not really sure what they're supposed to clean up. My point is that many upper-middle-class neighbourhoods in the US would be as dirty as neighbourhoods like the Plateau if they didn't dispatch a couple of obsessive compulsive street cleaners every day. I understand that these kind of jobs are more expensive or unionized in Canada, which may explain Montreal's system. But these hints that residents/culture are not the issue and should give us some hope
  10. Hi MtlMan! Let's do that please! I'd love to help by: * Translating announcements to English (although that may not be necessary since it's a Montreal page, but it may give it more visibility). * Reporting offenders and taking pictures. * Building and hosting a little web app for people to send pictures with one click. Let me know whether you'd like to create the FB page, or if I should create it and add you as an admin (In that case I would need a title and description that makes sense in French).
  11. Please read: Montreal Desperately Needs To Solve Its Massive Litter Problem Even the sites of trendy co-working spaces, schools in expensive neighbourhoods, fancy condo buildings, landmark public libraries, and churches are often surrounded with trash. ... Continue reading here:
  12. Hi everyone, This is a note to the people who claim Montreal is clean. I just cleaned up one block in the Plateau by myself. This is not representative of the whole neighbourhood, but its neither the cleanest nor the dirtiest street in it. I spent about one hour picking up litter. I filled up two large garbage bags and could hardly carry all the weight by the end. See attached pictures. Having done this in a third world country before, one garbage bag was normally enough for one residential block. Yes, you would find certain spots containing mountains of garbage bags, but this was the result of too little investment in garbage collection, not of people carelessly littering their own neighbourhood. It is also very common in other cities for residents to clean up in front of their buildings. This is certainly a taboo in Canada, not sure why.
  13. Thanks for your comments guys. @peekay, in my case, I realized this by myself since my first year living here. The comments from visitors just made me remember it after I had gotten used to it. My plan is to gather data though, so I'll try to do that as well. @denpanosekai I'm adding cigarette butts to the list, since it is often dangerous to throw them into a garbage can which explains why many people don't do it. @Rusty Agree, Rome is worse. @andre md I've heard a couple of reasons for the lack of garbage cans in Montreal. One is money; collection takes longer and is more expensive. The second one is the fear that they be used for dangerous purposes (this is why there are no cans downstairs in the metro). The picture of the park is indeed puzzling, but I believe many people see green areas as somehow less deserving of cleanliness than concrete. I've even seen people carefully push litter into the small green space of a sidewalk tree. The new nice controversial sidewalk greenery in the Plateau is also a victim. Although they are a magnet for flying litter as well. @Malcolmeyeal My experience tells me that SF is a lot cleaner than Montreal. However, I think what happens in many US cities is that there a big difference in cleanliness efforts between richer/more touristic areas, and poorer areas. This a controversial approach that probably leads to a better image and more investment from outside. Thanks again for your comments. Proposed solutions are coming . Feel free to post yours.
  14. I've lived in Montreal almost 10 years, and I've come to the pretty clear conclusion that we have a huge litter problem in the city. I've decided to start a conversation and to try to do something about it, so I'm going to go ahead and gather some thoughts, and I invite anyone interested in the subject to pitch their ideas. Step 1. Admit there is a problem. It seems that this is one of the hardest steps for us to take. Try taking a walk down a couple of residential streets in the Plateau for example, or up Du Parc or Cote Des Neiges. Have someone from another city visit you. A couple of people from Latin America have said to me something like "people here are disgusting" while looking at all the litter in the street. I've pointed out how offensive this is by the way (it's common in some Hispanic cultures, including my own, to say things like this), and I don't think the same way, but it does highlight our litter problem. A friend who lives in New York thinks that Montreal doesn't "need" to be this dirty. Many arguments against the idea that Montreal is dirty are based on comparisons to other cities; "it's the same everywhere." Although I don't think this invalidates the point that Montreal streets are dirty, I'm also sure that it is not the same everywhere. You don't find this much litter in dense neighbourhoods of Chicago for example. Other arguments are about Winter, but then again, just take a walk today. It hasn't snowed in months. You may not notice the issue if you have lived here since childhood, but visitors do notice it, and people from outside of Canada are the most surprised. Step 2. Identify the direct causes of the problem. There are many causes of this problem. I'd like to identify the direct ones, even if they are not to be tackled directly. Let me explain what I mean; Instead of saying "there are not enough garbage cans" I will say "Many people don't wait to see a garbage can before they dispose of their garbage". It is important to understand direct causes because it allows us to break paradigms and think of the problem from different perspectives. Here is the list of direct causes I have noticed over the years (in no particular order): 1) Many pedestrians don't wait to see a garbage can before they dispose of their garbage. 2) Many drivers throw litter from their vehicles. 3) Many residents dispose their garbage outside without using proper garbage bags. 4) Many residents dispose their garbage outside during the wrong hours/days (see the next point). 5) Garbage bags are attacked by squirrels and other animals, as well as by people looking for cans to recycle. 6) Often garbage bins/cans overflow. 7) Garbage collection is often done without care, letting some of the litter fall off the bins and trucks. 8) Many people leave their litter behind in public parks and squares. 9) Sometimes wind blows garbage out of bins/cans. 10) Many smokers throw their cigarette butts on the ground. I'm going to pause here for now, but I'd like this conversation to go on and produce ideas and solutions. Feel free to give me your thoughts!
  15. Hi everyone! Has any of you downloaded an official festival mobile app (such as the Jazz Festival app)? What do you think of these apps? Did you find them useful? I'm working on a related projects and I really want to know your opinion! Thanks!