Now You See it, Now you Don’t


The old Children’s Hospital, which was closed last year, when the new MUHC was opened just up the road at Vendome, has been sitting, empty, vacant, waiting for someone to buy the building, design a plan, and execute that plan.

It seems, we have a plan now …

Courtesy: CTV News Montreal

City council is expected to approve a plan next week to build a half-dozen high rises, a library, a community centre and possibly a school at the site of the former Montreal Children’s Hospital.

Last week the hospital confirmed that Montreal developer Luc Poirier had purchased the building and the land that lies at between Atwater Ave. and Sussex St., and between René Levesque Blvd. and Tupper St. for $25 million.

Poirier sold his interest to Philip Kerub, who along with Devimco, Fiera Capital Corp., and the FTQ’s real estate fund are investing $400 million in the plan to build six buildings that are 20 to 30 storeys tall, and a three-storey building.

Kerub will renovate the three-storey former nurses’ residence that lies at the corner of the lot, and said he will preserve and restore its current envelope. Kerub will also build a tower that will house a hotel, office space, and “high-end condominium units.”

Devimco president Serge Goulet said his company will build the other towers that will include 600 condos, 600 rental units, 160 social and affordable housing units, and a community centre.

The Devimco towers will also include room for stores.

Plans for a school are still being worked out. If a primary school is built, it would be an eighth building on the site, and would decrease the amount of greenspace in the area.

But with close access to the metro and Alexis-Nihon Plaza, developers believe the site is bound to be a hit.

“Location, location, location,” said Brian Fahey of Devimco. “You also have to take into account that we’re going to be respond to demands for people looking for greenspace and community activities.”

The block’s footprint will also expand by removing a section of Lambert Closse St. and incorporating Henri Dunant Park in the northwest corner.

Richard Bergeron, the Executive Committee member in charge of downtown Montreal, said he wants to see a development like this every year for the next 15 years.

“If you look at the objectives of the downtown strategy the goal is to have 50,000 more inhabitants in downtown Montreal from now to 2031. We need to get this objective, to reach this objective, more or less 1,800 new housing units year after year,” said Bergeron.

“If you compare to Toronto, Toronto had 80,000 new inhabitants in the last 10 years downtown.”

Bergeron was enthusiastic that the development has condos, apartments, and social housing in the same location, combined with community services.

“We need that density, that quality of project. We need projects with mixed-use like this project has to have the city that we want,” said Bergeron.

The opposition at city hall pointed out that most of the condos and apartments will be between 700 and 800 square feet, pretty tight for a family.

“We believe and the housing department has done studies that indicate there’s a market for that,” said Executive Committee member Russell Copeman. “If families want homes that are much larger than that, they’re not going to find them in downtown Montreal,” adding that having roughly 2,000 people living in the area will help merchants including those in the old forum.

“We have a marvelous opportunity to contribute to, as Mr. Bergeron said, to the rejuvenation of this neighbourhood,” he said.

The entire project, with its 1,400 housing units and 600 underground parking spots, will be subject to public consultations beginning in January.

If all goes according to plan the demolition of the hospital will begin next summer, and two towers could be completed next year, with the entire project finished in five to seven years.

This is what will appear, a block from home, over the next seven years …


Thursday: The Way We See the World


I thought it was bitterly cold earlier today. Well, tonight it got even worse. We are sitting at a very frigid (-19c/-30c Wind Chill) tonight.

I had a conversation with Mama about Christmas earlier, and had some time before I had to head out again. And instead of walking to a bus stop, I called a taxi.

We have what is called a Taxi-Coop. One Number, taxis any time, anywhere …

Well, that isn’t right. I called the taxi company and gave them my address, and the woman on the other end says to me … Your address doesn’t exist. I can’t send you a taxi.


Then I gave her the closest corner/busy street/location which is a block away.

She found that address (read:Location) which is on the same street on which my building sits.

Fuckity fuck fuck fuck …

I walked outside, and there was a taxi waiting for me outside my building…

How it got there, I don’t know. But the driver had my name.

Mischief Managed.

Speaking of Mischief Managed … I bought a limited edition Harry Potter …


I did not, at first check on their shipping policy before I ordered it. But if their website is correct, Winter may be over, before I get my jacket.


Only thirty people showed up for the meeting.

The take away … If I don’t change the way I think, the world around me doesn’t change either. Some people need to be knocked down a few pegs to see just how insignificant they really are in the grand scheme of things.

Because some Alcoholics have problems of gradiosity and entitlement.

Another man, with some significant time, was on shaky ground tonight. Once again, i was reminded, just how hard I work to stay stopped.

At least now, as a friend said to me before the meeting, I am maturing in sobriety. Keeping it simple is how I do it. I still do service that keeps me mindful of where I came from.

Sobriety is a long haul proposition. And if you haven’t READ the BOOK, we suggest, very highly, that you READ the BOOK.

Osmosis does not work in this case. You can’t suck up sobriety by just sitting in a chair, night after night. At some point, THE WORK will commence.

It is almost Christmas. Misery is right around the corner.

Alcohol makes the world go round, during the holidays. And if we aren’t careful, we might find outselves, holding a glass of champagne bubbles, and once we reach that point,


There are EIGHT shopping days until Christmas …


Christmas Shopping Extravaganza


The weather outside is definitely FRIGHTFUL ! We are sitting at a frigid MINUS 15c with a wind chill of MINUS 25c. Earlier today my lady friend and I braved the cold to go shopping at the biggest mall I have seen in Montreal.

I never go that far to shop, but there was a Toys R Us / Babies R Us gigantic store at Angrinon, which is at the terminus of the Green Line, about 20 minutes from home.

And let me tell you that we hit some serious pay dirt. I was shopping till I dropped, looking for the BEST Christmas Gift EVER, for Lu and Mama. We did some serious damage to my wallet when all was said, purchased, wrapped, and then SHIPPED to New Found land.

I have alerted Mama that three boxes are on their way there and should arrive early next week. It is going to be interesting to see Lu’s reaction. I told Mama that her little heart is probably going to explode on Christmas morning.

I am competing, don’t you know, against grandma and grandpa, for the Best Gift EVER !

I think I have this in the bag…




Thursday – The Quiet before the Deep Freeze

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The weather, as we speak, is going where it has not gone yet this season. Double digit Minuses which will last for the next 48 hours or so, with another dump of snow coming over the weekend.

But this IS Canada, don’t ya know !

It has been said that Winter has come much earlier than forecasters had told us it would, or that they had expected …

And I have to be out tomorrow afternoon, Christmas shopping.

It snowed the beginning of the week, enough that the plows and dump trucks have been out two nights in a row. And the bane of our existence, are those trucks with the sirens on them, that drive up and down, SOON TO BE PLOWED streets, alerting the owners of cars parked in PLOW zones, that they must be moved immediately or else be towed at the owners expense.

It has been a quiet week. Another quiet week on the front that really needs some noise. I am beginning to believe that, people who don’t want to see you, or won’t make time to see you, are not worth waiting for, any longer. This saga has been going on for two months with no resolution.

I’m just not hedging my bets any longer that I am going to get the answer I seek. And the other day a good friend of mine that I studied with, and he played the organ at our wedding said this to a question posed …

How many sins must one repent and atone for, before God accepts our sacrifices to Him ? And the answer was stern and swift ….

You don’t have to. He has made the sacrifice; offering himself to God and to man. Live your life. As for those who cannot accept you, “leave that place and shake the dust off your feet as a testimony against them.” Their stubborn pride is their shame, not yours.

I also listened to the advice given to me a few days ago about taking care of my self and my spirit. I have been doing that. I’ve spent time with people I enjoy being with, I had coffee with an elder last Friday night, and I’ve devoted much of my Christmas to my friends and people I care about.

It’s funny really, our Christmas Lists are very short. Hubby does not ask for anything for himself, it always has to do with cooking or food. Hence, home.

I don’t really need anything that much, because I have everything that I need. And today was pay day and I had errands to run, and gifts to get into the mail first thing this morning. I did my grocery shopping, I got my hair cut, and finally came home.

I trolled every site that sells stuff that I think I need. And after that run, of so called “Window Shopping,” figured out that I really did not want to buy anything.

My friend Lisa says this about shopping soberly …

  • Do I need this ?
  • Do I really need this ??
  • Really, Do I need this ???
  • If you answer No to any one of these, then don’t buy it.

I only have one running list of BOOKS, I would like.

I have found the ease and cheaper pricing of Amazon.Ca. I bought a couple of books from them, but my heart rests firmly at Indigo Book Sellers, right up the Green Line.

Twitter is wonderful for news and shopping aggregation.

The New York Times Best Sellers List, The New York Times, Best Books of 2016, are great, and the popular Indigo Recommendation page is also good. I gave hubby a list of books I wanted to add to my library, and in case he gets me a gift card, I can use it online to buy all the books that are presently collected in my virtual shopping cart.

  • The Return by Hisham Matar
  • The Dispossessed by Szilard Borbely
  • Barbarian Lost – Travels in the New China by Sasha Trudeau (Brother of the PM)
  • Israel and Palestine by Alan Dowty – EXPENSIVE at $80.00 cad
  • Where Memory Leads by Saul Friedlander
  • Fragrant Harbour by John Lanchester

All of these come highly recommended, so they are currently, like I said, sitting in my cart. And at night I get that little email saying … “We think you left something in your cart, are you going to buy them?” Hopefully, one way or another …

With Christmas, I either get maudlin and angry and resentful, or I can turn it around and remember that I have the choice to do what is good for myself and my friends.

I chose the l latter of the two.

This afternoon I did some laundry and around 5, I was gonna take a nap, but that did not happen, because my mind was racing. I’ve been re-reading Ben Ehrenreich’s … The Way to the Spring, Life and Death in Palestine again.

I wanted a Kaffiyeh, Because Rafa has one that is beautiful. Thank you Amazon. I also ordered a book,

“Palestine, Drowning in the Tears of God,” by Rev. Anthony J. Mucciolo D.D.

There is so much terrible in the world, and innocent civilians, men, women, and children and young men, are dying by the tens of thousands because of war and strife.Not All Men are created in the image of a terrorist. And outright killing everybody, is a WAR CRIME for sure.

The question of Palestine and Israel is a subject I rarely talk about, because it is complex and fraught with complications, that dipping my toe in the water of education, would take decades. But I know enough to know where to stand in this debate.

Firmly in the Middle of the road …

Like my best friend, and probably because of the way HE sees the world, he encourages me to study the hard truths. And So I’ve been slowly doing that, reading good books, by good authors. Ben Ehrenreich was on the ground, in the thick of it, when he wrote his book about the conflict from the Palestinian side of the equation.

So that is a thing …

After that I decided to to some serious heavy lifting here on the blog. My first blog has been sitting dormant for almost a decade that I’ve been paying for upkeep, space and domain. Why pay for two blogs when I only use one.

That First Blog, has been exported off the main frame, and imported into this one. There are close to 4,000 entries now indexed in the back end. And over a thousand images sitting in my image bank now. When I attempted to do this a few years ago, images would not transfer across, now they do. I purchased an image bank upgrade to complete the import, so for those electronically inclined, there is fifteen years of blog in the archives.

Tomorrow, well, in a few hours from now, when temps will be in the MINUS double digits, my intrepid lady friend who lives across town is meeting me for a shopping extravaganza trip so that I can shop for Baby Mama and Baby Lu Lu.

My quest is simple. I need to find the perfect Christmas Present that will knock to socks off of a two year old little girl. Not to mention her mother as well.

Christmas is coming to those I love dearly this year.

It will be merry and bright for sure …