Tag Archives: by-laws

NDG wants to change the face of St. Jacques Street

St. Jacques Street, looking east from Madison

St. Jacques Street, looking east from Madison

St. Jacques Street in NDG has a reputation, and not a good one. It’s lined mostly with used car dealerships, auto repair shops, seedy motels and deteriorating parking lots. The neighbourhood around it is known more for being on the “wrong side of the tracks” than anything else.

The borough, as part of its master plan, is trying to change all that. It’s proposing a by-law (PDF) that would disallow the creation of new gas stations, auto parts shops and car dealerships on St. Jacques between Madison and the Decarie expressway. Instead, it wants to see more other kinds of commerce (restaurants, grocery stores and the like) on the south side and more residential development on the north side.

Midas shop on St. Jacques

Midas shop on St. Jacques

While some major franchises are located in this area (such as this Midas shop and an Ultramar gas station), the vast majority are Mom & Pop shops with fading signs and improvised setups.

The draft by-law, which will see public consultation next month, would not force these businesses to close. But it would prohibit new ones from forming in their places if they do.

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Balcony BBQ taboo

Did you know it’s illegal to barbecue on a balcony in Côte-Saint-Luc?

Apparently the law isn’t really enforced, and politicians are looking at ways to change it, according to The Chronicle’s Martin Barry (who uses three different spellings for “barbecue”).

What’s interesting about the law is its motivation. It’s not the act of barbecuing on balconies that’s dangerous, it’s taking propane tanks up elevators. So now they’re considering allowing people to take propane tanks up elevators if they’re alone.

If propane tanks on elevators are the problem, why not just restrict propane tanks on elevators?

(There’s also the point that fire truck ladders only go so high — which worries me because even propane-less apartments may need them someday — and that tanks are necessarily stored too close to the building’s doors and windows.)

Even if the laws are meant to stop real dangers, can’t we make them a bit more common-sense?