Heads up to anyone planning to use the Champlain Bridge anytime this weekend: the bridge will be closed starting tonight to early Monday morning. The closure will occur due to a "work blitz" on the bridge, which is just the bridge authority's way of saying a lot of construction.
The Champlain bridge will be closed from tonight at 10pm all the way until Monday at 5am. Another weekend closure will occur next weekend, from October 17th to 20th.
This weekend's work blitz will be all about linking the Champlain Bridge corridor to the Nun's Island Bypass Bridge, in case anyone was wondering what the travel-hassle inducing closure is really for.
CBC reminds us that the yellow line will also be closed this weekend (Saturday & Sunday) for repair work. Shuttles will run in the yellow line's stead, as is usually the case.
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Boucherie Slovenia, a boulevard Saint-Laurent institution for 50 years, will soon serve its last spicy sausage.
The iconic home of enormous Eastern European-style sandwiches — Slovenian sausage and towering cold-cuts were staples — will close its doors forever on January 29, said the owners, Lourdes Rodrigues and Jean Teixeira, in a Facebook post.
"Thank you to all our loyal customers, for the wonderful years," they said.
With a menu overflowing with huge, yet affordable, meat and mustard sandwiches — sauerkraut, pickles and Cherry Cokes were also standard — Boucherie Slovenia is the latest of the Main's iconic old-school institutions to close.
The beloved Moishes steakhouse announced its closure under the strain of the pandemic in the summer of 2020.
The Boucherie Slovenia Facebook post asks readers to share their memories of the restaurant and butcher shop, with many offering childhood stories of visiting for a pepperette sandwich or their "underrated" smoked meat, which is "the best in the city," according to one commenter.
Many apparent long-time customers said they wouldn't know where to go to find dishes comparable to Boucherie Slovenia's treasured menu items.
Others remarked on how yet another classic Montreal restaurant is closing its doors. "Nothing replaces these fantastic old shops," said one person. "It's a loss. The rich character of the boulevard is disappearing."
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.
The Sûreté du Québec (SQ) released Quebec road accident stats for 2021, showing a 6.06% increase in fatal collisions compared to 2020, when lockdowns and travel restrictions forced many people off the roads.
According to Thursday's statement by the SQ, the Quebec police force responded to 245 deadly car accidents in 2021. In those 245 accidents, 262 people were declared dead, a 4.8% increase from 2020.
Combined, the Mauricie and Lanaudière regions had the most deadly traffic accidents (47), closely followed by Montérégie (40), Estrie and the Centre-du-Quebec (33), the Capitale-Nationale and Chaudière-Appalaches (26), the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Gaspésie–Îles-de-la-Madeleine (26) and Saguenay–Lac-Saint-Jean and the Côte-Nord (26).
Deadly accidents also occurred in the Outaouais and Laurentides regions, as well as the Abitibi-Témiscamingue and Nord-du-Québec regions.
"The figures presented are above the average of the last five years," the Sûreté said in its release. They also released information about the key factors surrounding many of these accidents.
"The Sûreté du Québec maintains its efforts to ensure the safety of road users," added the Sûreté. "We would like to remind drivers that they must adopt safe driving behaviour and exercise caution to reduce the risk of being involved in a collision."
20% of road deaths occurred in instances where victims were not wearing a seatbelt at the time of the collision. According to police records, 24.5% of deadly road accidents were caused by reckless driving or speeding.
Impaired and distracted driving were also reported as dangerous behaviour, causing 14% and 7% of deadly accidents, respectively.
In fact, Environment Canada put out a special weather alert for the following areas:
Châteauguay - La Prairie
Longueuil - Varennes
"A system from Colorado will move into Western Quebec late in the day on Sunday and reach eastern parts of the province on Monday morning," the alert says.
It says the storm could start with snow and then turn into freezing rain overnight on Sunday.
"Forecast precipitation types and amounts will become more certain as the event draws nearer and warnings will be issued as needed," Environment Canada says.
Meanwhile, MétéoMédia is predicting up to 25 centimetres of snow in parts of Quebec. It also predicts strong winds gusting up to 80 km/hour in the Greater Montreal area. This could even lead to power outages.
What road closures can drivers expect this weekend?
Quebec's transportation ministry issued a press release outlining several obstacles on Greater Montreal roads throughout the December 3 weekend.
Between Longueuil and Montreal, Highway 25 northbound will be closed from exit 90 (R-132, A-30, La Prairie, Varennes) on Highway 20 west and the entrance to rue Notre-Dame Est / Curatteau — a stretch that includes the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel. The closure is set to start Saturday at 12:30 a.m. and last until Monday at 5 a.m.
On the South Shore, expect the following closures starting at 11:30 p.m. on Friday:
Ramps leading from R-132 east and west (Exits 89-N) to Highway 25 north
East and west entrances to boulevard Marie-Victorin
Entrance to rue de l'Île-Charron
In Boucherville, at the Highway 20 / Highway 30 Interchange, the ramp leading from Highway 20 to Highway 30 west / Vaudreuil-Dorion will be closed between Friday at 10:30 p.m. and Monday at 5 a.m.
Between Montreal and Brossard, at the end of the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge towards the South Shore (Highway 10 east, Highway 15 south), there's a partial closure of two out of three lanes, Saturday and Sunday from 5 a.m. to 4 p.m.
In Montreal, two traffic lanes on Avenue Papineau southbound between rue Sherbrooke and rue Ontario will be closed for maintenance from Friday at 9:30 a.m. to Monday at 6 a.m.
Note that some or all construction work may be postponed due to the weather.