Montreal, famously known as a city of renters, is about to suffer a crisis unlike ever before.
City officials have announced that there is a skyrocketing shortage of rental properties and have released a guide to assist people for the upcoming months.
The guide outlines the obvious, like making sure you find a new place before your lease is over, and also gives resource recommendations for people that are looking for a new place to live. Unfortunately, it fails to mention the why or how of this year's rental shortage, but there are many possibilities.
TL;DR The City of Montreal has released a guide that warns people of an imminent rental shortage. With a lack of properties and the total available rentals drastically decreasing, Montreal's new guidelines are an attempt to help citizens better navigate a complicated and ruthless rental market. To view the guide, check out the city's website below.
Critics cite that the prevalence of Airbnb is one of the major catalysts of Montreal's rental shortage this year. Just a few weeks ago, the Comité logement du Plateau-Mont-Royal and the Comité logement Ville-Marie called for a city-wide ban on the short-term rental service, according to the Montreal Gazette.
Both rental groups claim that there are over 2,000 uninhabited apartments in the Plateau alone, which equals to about 5% of apartments not being rented out to actual tenants.
With vacancy rates in the Plateau among some of the lowest in the city, the groups worry that tenants won't feel secure and don't want to rent in places where Airbnb is so prevalent.
For example, on Parc Ave, there are entire apartment buildings that are empty, waiting for Airbnb users to rent them out. While this is super lucrative for Montreal landlords, as they can set whatever price they want, actual tenants are suffering and cannot find a place to live.
Renters groups in Montreal are calling on Revenue Quebec and the City of Montreal to put increased pressure on Airbnb and potentially even ban the service outright.
Since last year, Revenue Quebec has issued thousands of warnings to Airbnb hosts for setting up illegally, to no avail. While the government doesn't want to charge anyone, renter's groups in Montreal have had enough with Airbnb taking over the city.
While this guide released by Montreal is a good first step, there needs to be more done to prevent this rental shortage, or at least to curb its proliferation. The city is willing to help residents and potential renters in any way they can, but ultimately, the responsibility falls to the people.
For now, it does seem like this problem is limited to the big central areas like Ville-Marie, Griffintown, the Plateau, and Mile-End. But this doesn't mean that other neighbourhoods won't suffer the same fate.
One big issue that is foreshadowed for the city is the seemingly endless spread of condo developments. Should condo buildings continue to be built unabated, the Torontofication of Montreal will be in full swing.
Montreal enjoys some of the lowest rental prices in the country but that could all change in the near future. If you're looking for a new place this summer, make sure to start looking as soon as possible. You would do well to look for apartments in less popular areas too, since finding something in a trendy neighbourhood doesn't seem too likely.
To consult the City of Montreal's rental guide before you move, click here.
"The premier did his best impression of Maurice Duplessis," Nadeau-Dubois said at the National Assembly on Wednesday evening, "by proclaiming himself the 'Father of the Quebec Nation.'"
What happened at the National Assembly?
Nadeau-Dubois said that Legault shouldn't assume that he can speak for all Quebecers.
"There are millions of Quebecers who are against Bill 21 [...] who don't support him or his government," said Nadeau-Dubois. "There are millions of us who are tired of him pretending to be our 'saviour and 'redeemer' [...] we are fed up of his sermons."
Legault angrily retorted that "there is a large majority of Quebecers who support Bill 21 and there are two multicultural parties [...] who are against Bill 21."
"The leader of Quebec Solidaire talks about Maurice Duplessis [...] the man had his faults but he defended the Quebec nation and wasn't 'woke' like the Quebec Solidaire leader."
Nadeau-Dubois then clapped back that "if the premier wants to bring the level of this discussion into the gutter, I won't follow him there."
"The premier doesn't have the right to expel Quebecers from the nation just because they disagree with him. He's a premier, not a monarch."
But who exactly was Maurice Duplessis?
Duplessis was twice elected Quebec premier from 1936 to 1939 and from 1944 to 1959.
Duplessis was against mandatory conscription for Quebecers during World War II but lost his premiership after calling a snap election. At the time, he was a heavy drinker and womanizer according to the Canadian Encyclopedia but quit drinking after a life-threatening bout with pneumonia and diabetes.
His second, 15-year long term as Quebec premier was more successful than his first. His government undertook enormous public works projects.
He was, however, especially harsh against workers' unions, according to the Encyclopedia, which also states corruption reached "legendary proportions" under his government
Quebecers who grew up during his reign took to calling this era in Quebec history "La Grande Noirceur," or "The Great Darkness."
According to the Canadian Encylopedia, Duplessis "had disdain for most contemporary concepts of civil liberties."
Nadeau-Dubois took to social media to poke fun at Legault's use of "woke," writing, "I don't know what François Legault has against woks," alongside a picture of himself with the cooking pot.
Legault doubled-down on using the term at a press conference on Thursday morning and even went on to define what he meant by "woke."
"For me, 'a woke' is someone who wants to make us feel guilty about defending the Quebec nation and its values," the premier said.
"I don't mind him calling me Duplessis but he is really on the other extreme [...] defending Quebec values doesn't interest him [...] that's why I called him 'woke.'"
No right turn on red on the Island of Montreal. It's a message everyone who's ever crossed into the metropolis knows. But why is this the case? It's a discussion that dates back a generation, so the reasoning behind it may have fallen out of collective memory.
The process of legalizing right turns on red in Quebec dates back to 2000, when public consultation on the subject began. The Ministry of Transports began right turn on red pilot projects across the province in 2001.
Despite a report on the results of the pilot projects recommending against legalization, Quebec officially adopted rights on red on April 13, 2003 — everywhere except Montreal, which was left to decide for itself whether to institute the measure.
The city put together a commission to study the possibility, but contributing groups rejected the measure, citing pedestrian and bike safety.
In its submission to the commission, the regional public health authority claimed rights on red would increase vehicular traffic in Montreal as well as the risk of pedestrian injury. It also said adverse effects on public safety "would be experienced primarily by residents of disadvantaged neighborhoods, children, the elderly and the disabled."
Public health encouraged the city council to maintain the ban and focus on improving road safety, not make it worse.
Cycling advocacy group Vélo Québec, meanwhile, argued that, not only would right turns on red endanger pedestrians and cyclists, but that they would also undermine the character and international standing of Montreal, which, the group said, has an urban culture that emphasizes pedestrian access.
"Montreal is a city known for its restaurants, its festivals, its friendliness and the safety of its streets (this is what makes the Jazz Festival such a success, especially for Americans who can't believe that they can walk safely downtown in a festive atmosphere)," Vélo Québec wrote.
"Unfortunately, this unique character that makes Montrealers appreciate their city and that we are so good at selling to foreign visitors is directly challenged by the possible authorization of the [right turn on red]."
The special commission submitted its final report to Montreal City Council on October 27, 2003, but the city, of course, never implemented the measure.
Montreal public health revisited the issue as part of public consultation on road safety in 2017, but reaffirmed its findings from 15 years earlier, stating that "it is unthinkable to support a measure that creates road insecurity and injuries."
Gun violence in our city has been on the rise for the past few months now. Recently, Montreal police received 911 calls for two separate shootings in the city. The first happened during the afternoon around 3:50 p.m., where multiple civilians reported hearing gunshots fired at the corner of Émile-Journault and 9th Avenue in Saint-Michel.
SPVM spokesperson Caroline Chèvrefils told MTL Blog that when police arrived on the scene, they found a 23-year-old man who had been shot in the upper body. He was then transported to the hospital and we're told that his life is not in danger.
J'ÉTAIS LÀ, à moins de 50 mètres, #LIVE, en porte-à-porte avec @DenisCoderre quand c'est arrivé.
Il y a une garde… https://t.co/ZKT4XOeHQl
City council candidate Guillaume Lavoie from Ensemble Montréal tweeted that he and Denis Coderre were campaigning door-to-door right next to where the shooting happened. There is a daycare nearby. Some citizens told us that it was the 3rd time in a short time," Lavoie wrote.
The second shooting happened just after 12 a.m. on Thursday, September 16, only eight hours after the other shooting, in an apartment on rue Despréaux, which left a 29-year-old man wounded in the upper body. He was brought to the hospital with non-life-threatening injuries.
"There was an altercation that happened in the apartment between several people and that's when gunshots were fired," Chèvrefils explained. "One or several suspects fled the scene before the arrival of the police."
The investigations for both incidents are ongoing and no arrests have been made in connection to the two shootings as of yet.