A long, long time ago (not in a galaxy far, far away) bars were banned in the borough of Verdun. Since bars were prohibited in the borough, there's been next to no change, with Verdun being almost completely dry. All that changed a few years ago, with an exciting new development in the works that will make Verdun even more fun.
For those who aren't fully aware of the liquor history of Verdun, here's what you need to know: In 1875, bars were banned in the borough. Back in 2013, the liquor laws were loosened, allowing only one microbrewery (and yes, it had to be a microbrewery) in all of Verdun.
Since Benelux opened in 2013, nothings really changed in Verdun, but it will. Set to open sometime before the holidays is the first traditional bar in Verdun, Bar Palco.
Unlike Benelux, which is a microbrewery, or any other venue that sells alcohol in Verdun, all of which have Food-Primary Licence, Bar Palco will have a standard bar license.
So for the first time in over 100 years, you can grab one of your favourite brews (that wasn't made on-site) and drink to your heart's content without needing to order food.
Not to say there won't be food at Bar Palco. After speaking directly with the bars operators, we learned that Bar Palco aims to position itself as a neighborhood bar that is also a cultural platform for artists of every sort, with a full food menu to boot.
Bar Palco also promises a different event every week (ranging from musical performances to vernissages), a Foosball table, a stage with a working piano, and as with every quality bar, a selection of beers, imported wines, and cocktails.
Only a minute walk from de l’Église in the heart of Verdun, Bar Palco will be easily accessible once it opens, which should be sometime before the holidays are upon us, according to the bar's operators.
To get more info and stay updated on Bar Palco's opening date, head over to the bar's Facebook page here.
The City of Montreal has announced that it will be moving forward with investments on seven projects that were selected by Montrealers.
The investment will come from the city's first-ever participatory budget, which allowed citizens to choose their favourite projects.
Over a two-year period, $10 million will go to seven projects that got the most overall votes from the population. Six projects will be spread out over 14 boroughs and one project will encompass the entire territory of Montreal.
"What emerges from the selected projects is the importance that people place on improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reclaiming public spaces for the benefit of the entire population," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.
The following projects were selected for investment:
A budget of $2.7 million will be used for building more than 125 water fountains that will allow for refilling reusable water bottles in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard and Ville-Marie.
Moving Day in Montreal is never easy, but for some, it's an awful reminder of the city's unstable and sometimes cruel rental market. The latter experience is what local housing advocates, the Front d'action populaire en réaménagement (FRAPRU) and the Comité d'action des citoyennes et citoyens de Verdun (CACV), brought to everyone's attention in a demonstration on June 30.
According to a press release, "banners were deployed in Villeray, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Parc-Extension, Verdun and on Plateau Mont-Royal on buildings where the tenants were evicted" to highlight "fraudulent evictions" and call for more social housing.
"While Montreal lacks affordable housing, rents are exploding," Veronique Laflamme, spokesperson at FRAPRU, said in the statement.
"With an average rent for vacant units of $1,200 and a median income of only $38,800, one wonders how many Montreal tenants have had to accept living in housing that is too expensive, too small, out of the way or unhealthy to have at least a roof over their heads and how many others are at risk of finding themselves on the street at this time."
The housing crisis in Montreal has been well-documented, with "nearly half of renter households under the age of 24 spending more than 30% of income on housing expenses," according to an April 2021 report by the Conseil jeunesse de Montréal.
Verdun has become a centre of housing activism — and problems
Verdun has become both a hotbed for housing activism and a microcosm of Montreal's housing crisis. You might remember those viral images of a huge lineup outside an apartment viewing.
In 2019, MTL Blog reported on the case of Karine Laviolette, an elderly Verdun resident who said she was being harassed by housing speculators and threatened with eviction if she didn't comply with their demands.
"There are still places in Verdun where rent doubles in one year and though that's not technically legal, companies get around it," Steve Baird, a community organizer at the CACV, said in an interview with MTL Blog.
"Verdun seems to be the place where they can flip the most buildings and make the most money."
All of Quebec's regions — including Montreal — will be designated COVID-19 green zones as of June 28. The news comes as residents continue to receive vaccine doses and COVID-19 cases fall dramatically.
Although the green level designation is the lowest of all alert levels in Quebec, occupancy limits, public health guidelines and other rules will continue to apply. Here's what you need to know.
Montreal bars and restaurants will soon see their terrasse occupancy limits extended to 20 people per table.
Indoors, a maximum of 10 people from three different residences will be able to sit at the same table.
In bars, singing and dancing will still not be permitted.
Bars will have to stop serving alcohol at midnight and close at 2 a.m.
Weddings and funerals
As of Monday, wedding ceremonies will be able to host up to 250 people, but guests must remain seated during the ceremony and practice 2-metre social distancing.
Wedding receptions will be limited to 50 people outdoors and 25 people indoors, with 2 metres of distance between each person, except for members of the same household.
Masks will have to be worn at all times, except when seated, silent or speaking in a "low voice."
Funerals "will be limited to an audience of 250 people who must remain seated during the event," according to the government.
Moreover, "during the viewing of the body or ashes of the deceased, as well as during the expression of condolences to the next of kin," it will be "permitted to have a rotation of 50 people at the same time inside the premises."
Masks will still be required.
Gatherings in homes will be limited to 10 people from a maximum of three different households, with social distancing and mask-wearing "highly recommended."
As of Monday, outdoor gatherings will be limited to 20 people.
The government also recommends wearing masks and practicing social distancing during outdoor gatherings.
In gyms, you'll be able to carry out activities alone, with one other person or with members of one other household. Fitness classes will be able to welcome 25 people, but close proximity activities won't be allowed.
Sports, including guided lessons and training, will be permitted in outdoor public spaces for groups of "no more than 50 individuals," with no limit on the number of households they make up.
Organized games and matches between sports teams will be allowed with up to 50 spectators.
Indoor sports, "including guided lessons and training," will be permitted for 25 participants from different households.
Organized indoor sports will be able to have up to 25 spectators.
Washrooms and locker rooms will be open and must be cleaned regularly by facility staff throughout the day. Equipment rentals will also be permitted.