It seems 2017 is going to be a very busy year for Montreal, with already many plans to revitalize and upgrade our fair city, with tens of millions of dollars being invested for its 375th anniversary. So far there is talk of a massive makeover of Espace pour la vie (Biodome, Botanical Gardens, Insectarium), turning the Bonaventure Expressway into an "Urban Boulevard", as well as a complete overhaul of the congested Pie-Ix/Sherbrooke intersection. Now there is word of a brand-new $20 million swimming pool set to be built in Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie in 2017.
According to Le journal de Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie, the borough is seeking to finance this ambitious project which would see the current swimming pool, originally built in 1949 and located on the corner of 8e Avenue and boulevard Rosemont, completely rebuilt from the ground up. The center today can no longer handle the high-demand anymore, seeing some 53,000 users in 2014.
This new aquatic center would offer an 8-lane pool, a jet pool, competitive diving boards, and spectator stands, as well as be LEED-certified, and would be built over 43,000 sq.ft. in the area directly behind where the Rosemont pool currently sits.
As it stands now, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie would finance 20% of total cost with the remaining 80% covered by the city, with hopes that the provincial government will chip in $16 million. If it all goes to plan, this project is slated to be finished by 2017, and would give Montreal a whole new state-of-the-art venue for water sports.
And now you're surely asking yourself, "But what about our roads?" Indeed.
If you've left home at all this summer — especially while carrying something sweet — chances are you've been harassed by buzzing, flying, stinging, black-and-yellow insects. While wasps are regularly a nuisance during the summer in Montreal, they've made their presence known this season, leaving some Quebecers wondering: Are there more wasps than usual this year?
Are there ACTUALLY more wasps than usual this year?
According to Dr. Mlynarek, we don't know if there are more wasps in the region compared to previous years. But she said there are definitely more wasps now than there were at the beginning of the summer.
"The queen wasps come out in the spring, and they start creating their nest. As the summer progresses, the population within the nest, [...] the colony, [...] increases in size. So by the end of the summer, we have a lot more wasps than we did at the beginning," she explained.
She said peak time for wasps is around mid-August, leading up to "now-ish."
Only new queens survive the winter by hiding, while the rest of the colony dies out. As new queens search for their winter homes, and the hives begin to close down, "all the worker wasps are kind of vagrants, flying around [...] out of work, so we notice more of them," Dr. Mlynarek said.
What are some hacks for fighting off wasps?
Dr. Mlynarek's biggest piece of advice is actually not to fight off wasps at all.
"The best thing to do is just to leave it alone as much as possible. They'll buzz around you a bit, but they'll quickly lose interest," she said. "If you start waving your arms around, then the wasp thinks, 'Oh, there might be something interesting there.'"
In other words: stay calm. You can stand still, she said, or if you're walking just continue walking.
If you have something with a sweet smell, like a cup of juice, Dr. Mlynarek suggests covering it with a coaster or a piece of paper because it's attracting the wasps to it.
If you're sitting on a terrasse or in your backyard, Dr. Mlynarek said you can either buy wasp traps or put a bowl of juice some distance away from you so they'll go toward that more than they'll go toward you.
When will the darned things finally go away?
"Once the temperature starts cooling down, there'll be fewer and fewer wasps because the old workers from the beginning of the summer will start dying off [...] and the newer workers that were born mid-summer will start becoming less active," she said.
"By the first frost, all the wasps should be gone."
In the meantime, Dr. Mlynarek said you can find relief from the wasps at night or on cooler days.
"They stay in their nest and keep warm. Like all of us in the winter, we kind of want to stay bundled in our beds if we can," said Dr. Mlynarek. She also noted that wasps are diurnal, meaning they're active mainly during the daytime.
But the more you learn about wasps, the less you might hate them. You might even — gasp! — come to appreciate them. While they can sting you, Dr. Mlynarek said this is only dangerous if you're allergic.
"They're pollinators [...] and they're also predators. They eat a lot of pests and other insects that could be detrimental," said Dr. Mlynarek. "Wasps are really important for ecosystems."
Finally, you can see the Chinese Garden illuminated by hundreds of lanterns. The theme is the legend of Pangu. According to Chinese mythology, Pangu is a giant who created the world, and the exhibit creates sensory experiences that Espace pour la vie says combine art, science, technology and emotion.
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.