Tag Archives: St.-Laurent-Blvd.

Follow the Main with La Presse

La Presse’s Émilie Côté has put together an interesting little project, Michel Dumais points out: an audio guide to St. Laurent Blvd. The idea is that you download the “podcast” (media outlets need to learn what “podcast” means: putting audio or video online doesn’t automatically make it a podast – a podcast is something you subscribe to which doesn’t apply here), and listen to it as you follow its instructions and walk slowly up the Main from La Presse’s office to the Plateau.

The audio is very professionally done, and it shows that La Presse got professionals to produce and narrate this project instead of having some clueless in-house person to muddle their way through. I haven’t listened to the whole thing (I don’t have an hour and a half to spare), but it seems to work.

There is one nagging problem though: I can’t for the life of me find an MP3 download link, even in the extended user’s guide. You can listen to it live on the site (which is completely useless if you’re intending to listen to it while following its instructions), and you can click on a link to download it through iTunes, but if you don’t have iTunes you’re screwed. I don’t see the point in having website visitors forced to use a particular piece of software. Is Apple paying them or something?

UPDATE (Sept. 30): They’ve added a link to an RSS feed that has links to the MP3 files.

That said, if you don’t mind jumping through that unnecessary hoop, and you have a couple of hours to kill, it’s something to do.

No geographic tax breaks, except these geographic tax breaks

Hey, remember last week when the city, receiving complaints from businesses along St. Laurent Blvd. that construction was running them out of business, refused to consider tax breaks because they couldn’t legally offer them on the basis of geography? (“If we give one, we will have to give one to everybody.”)

This week, the City of Montreal has announced a $60-million new “business subsidy” program, called réussir@Montréal, which would offer tax breaks for companies who expand or renovate (allowing them to not pay taxes on the increase in property value for a few years).

Here’s where it gets interesting:

The remaining $12 million of the funds would be available to merchant associations on some commercial streets the city wants to revitalize. The money would go to facade renovations and for the association to prepare a business plan.

St. Laurent Blvd. is one of the streets that would be eligible, executive committee member Alan DeSousa said. Other streets include Fleury St. in Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough and Monkland Ave. in Cote des Neiges-Notre Dame de Grace.

Correct me if I’m wrong, but doesn’t that sound like a geographically-targetted tax break?