A big, huge red ball is coming to Montreal. Not just any random red ball, but the red ball, from the worldwide artistic initiative The Red Ball Project by Kurt Perschke.
Stopping around the world, The Red Ball Project is all about re-engaging citizens with their city on a new level. As the title would suggest, the art project involves a large red ball being placed at specific sites in a city (usually of a landmarks) to make people look at the area in a whole new way, or to make them notice a spot ordinarily overlooked.
Montreal will become one of many Red Ball cities (Paris, Abu Dhabi, California, and Toronto to name a few) by the end of the summer. Look out for that big red ball once August hits, and find out more info on the art project on the official website and FB page.
The only question that remains is: where will the red ball be in Montreal? We know the ball will run a circuit throughout the city, but the exact locations aren't set in stone. A short video of Perschke's sketchbook reveals some likely candidates, as does his twitter feed. With those in mind, and our own ideas, here's where the red ball should be placed in Montreal.
Quartier des Spectacles - All but confirmed, as Journal Métro let us know.
Théâtre Maisonneuve - Another candidate mentioned by Métro, and Place des Arts is a fitting locale
James McGill Statue - Strathcona theatre was mentioned by Perschke, but we think the short 'n stubby statue would look better with a huge red ball right next to it.
La Banquise - Tweets revealed Perschke went to the poutinerie, and none of the clientele would even bat an eye.
Chinatown - Bang Pho New York was a stop on Perschke's MTL-journey, so if not the resto, why not the gates leading into Chinatown?
Mount Royal Cross - A giant red ball looming over the city, that would just be epic.
Notre-Dame Basilica - The old church could use some new colour
Schwartz's - Tourists and citizens already line up for the smoked meat, why not weird 'em out with a giant red ball?
Olympic Tower - Sure it'd kind of look like a lollipop, but the tower could use the extra flair
Orange Julep - Think of the symmetry of a enormous red ball and the iconic Orange Julep orange.
Where do you think the red ball should go?
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Montreal is certainly no stranger to a traffic jam, which makes taking public transit a more viable option to not only get around faster but do more good for the environment.
As Canadian cities take the initiative to improve their transit systems and reduce their carbon footprints, Montreal has become one of the country's greenest metropolitan areas when it comes to transport, according to one ranking.
A December report from Kijiji Autos analyzed green transport options in Canada's most populated cities, evaluating their use of electric cars, bikes, scooters, and the number of electric charging stations.
With its metro and bus systems, BIXI rentals, bike lanes, and availability of electric cars, Montreal found itself in third place among Canadian cities that offer the greenest transport with a score of 5.5/10.
Although Vancouver and Ottawa/Gatineau snagged the top two spots, Montreal takes the lead as the most bicycle-friendly city in all of North America, with a total of 2,163 bicycle paths, says the Copenhagenize Index.
Montreal's third-place ranking is encouraging news, said McGill University Assistant Professor of Geography, Grant McKenzie, who specifically boasted about Montreal's metro system, "especially compared to other Canadian cities," as well as its "substantial investment towards electric buses."
While McKenzie said "we can always do better" and bemoaned the city's ban on e-scooters, he called the popularity of the BIXI and the inclusion of electric bikes in its fleet an "excellent move in the right direction."
As for electric cars, Kijiji Autos looked at new registrations of electric vehicles in the first quarter of 2021, as well as total charging stations. Montreal landed second to Toronto with a total of 3,633 new registered electric cars, and 1,258 electric charging stations throughout the city.
Kijiji Autos also looked at the number of hybrids and electric vehicles for sale on their platform. Montreal led the way with 1,063 hybrid vehicles and 375 electric vehicles, states the report.
With the province of Quebec offering residents a rebate for the purchase or lease of electric cars, Quebec estimates that there will be 1.5 million electric vehicles on the road by 2030.
It's official — 2021 was the hottest year on record for Montreal, according to Environment Canada. It beat out the previous hottest years, 1998 and 2012, by a mean few hundredths of a degree.
This rise in temperature in Montreal is attributed to new weather patterns, causing scorching temperatures in June, August, September and October. "August and October were record-breaking months," said Environment Canada spokesperson Simon Legault.
"We were lucky that July was below normal because if it hadn't happened that way, [...] we would have shattered the record instead of just breaking it," he added.
A few hundredths of a degree may not sound like such a big problem, but temperatures in Montreal (and around the world) have been steadily rising.
The average annual temperature in Montreal from 1951 to 1980 was 6.5ºC, according to ClimateData.ca. Last year's mean temperature came in at a whopping 8.6ºC. This drastic increase in fortyish years has already begun to show its effects — not just on our electrical bills in the summer, but also the health of the population, the Climate Action Network says.
Whether or not 2022 will be even hotter remains anyone's guess. Projections for an area as small as Southern Quebec can only be made a few weeks in advance.
What we do know is that February and March should be significantly warmer than January.
"A few short intense waves of cold are coming in," Legault said of January, adding that February and March are expected to be "close to or above normal temperatures."
Where: Librairie Saint Henri Books, Indigo, Argo Bookshop, etc.
Why You Should Go: To buy yourself a new book to keep you occupied during curfew hours! Retail stores remain open at 50% capacity under new restrictions, but keep in mind that they'll be closed on the first three Sundays of January.
Women will lead five of Quebec's eight largest cities following the 2021 municipal elections.
The biggest headline of the night may have been Valérie Plante's triumph over old foe Denis Coderre in Montreal, but across the province, the faces of municipal politics have become more gender-balanced.
According to the latest counts and projections, France Bélisle (Gatineau), Catherine Fournier (Longueuil), Évelyne Beaudin (Sherbrooke) and Julie Dufour (Saguenay) are all also on their way to their respective (and figurative) city hall corner offices.
In Quebec City, it seemed for a while like Marie-Josée Savard would join them. Multiple outlets had even called the election for her until the vote count for her opponent surged into the evening. Bruno Marchand ultimately claimed victory.
Mayor Plante commented on the historic nature of her second mandate in her victory speech Sunday night.
"Four years ago, Montrealers elected the first woman mayor in the history of the City of Montreal," she said.
"Tonight, they told us again, 'yes, this mayor, we're going to continue to work with her, we trust her!'"
This year, for the first time, Montrealers will have two women leading the city, as Projet Montréal's Dominique Ollivier is set to take over as president of the Executive Committee.