Author Archive

July 09 2013

A Farewell to The Grid, From Devon Willis

July 9th, 2013Posted by 

Much has happened since I began as a blogger for The Grid in January 2013. When I joined the team, I had just graduated from my bachelor’s degree and was in the process of applying to jobs and graduate schools. I have since been working full-time at a Montreal not-for-profit called the Montreal Urban Ecology […]

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June 24 2013

Summer in Montréal, Canada: My Living Room Just Got a Whole Lot Bigger

June 24th, 2013Posted by 

I decided to take this blog post, my last for The Grid, to the field, literally and metaphorically. I am sitting in Parc Laurier, a park close to my home in Montréal’s Plateau neighbourhood. I have gone back to basics, pen and paper in hand. I sit under a tree observing the park and its […]

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June 11 2013

Bicycle Theft in Montréal, Canada

June 11th, 2013Posted by 

This is a very appropriate week for me to be writing a blog post about bicycle theft in Montréal. Last week, someone took my bell and my lights right off of my bike in the middle of downtown. I am an avid cyclist; I bike to work, to run errands, and to go out to […]

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May 28 2013

Pedestrians, Cyclists and Public Transit Users: Big Spenders

May 28th, 2013Posted by 

I often do my shopping by bicycle, but regularly find it difficult to find a safe place to lock my bike on commercial strips in the city. While some businesses have taken it upon themselves to install bicycle racks, others do not yet see the need to offer safe parking to their cycling clients. However, […]

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May 14 2013

An Update on the Reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange in Montréal, Canada

May 14th, 2013Posted by 

In December 2011, a former Grid blogger, Yosef Robinson, wrote a piece about the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange, a major highway junction in Montreal, Canada. The original proposal came about as the aging infrastructure was beginning to crumble. The project faced fierce opposition, as it planned to widen the interchange (going against everything we […]

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April 30 2013

Public Spaces in a Winter City: Montreal, Canada

April 30th, 2013Posted by 

Montreal is transformed by the seasons. During our hot summers, bars and terraces overflow with people, festivals bring crowds to the streets, and public spaces brim with locals and tourists. Winter is a different story. Large public spaces that are vibrant in the warmer months, like Place-des-Arts and Place Jacques-Cartier, are virtually abandoned when the […]

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April 16 2013

Cross-border Transportation: Moving between Canada and the United States

April 16th, 2013Posted by 

I travel to the United States. Like most Canadian cities, Montreal sits just one hour from the American border, and just six hours (by car) from New York City. However, it is not all that easy a trek to make. One can, of course, drive. However, as I am not a car-owner, my remaining options […]

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April 02 2013

Aging Among Friends: The Need To Make Cities Places For The Young– And The Aging

April 2nd, 2013Posted by 

As in many cities, Montreal has a need to create neighborhoods in which residents are able to age in place. Many of Montreal’s suburban areas are places where families settle in, children grow up, and parents continue to live their lives until they become elderly. Unfortunately, this environment may become difficult to those entering old […]

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March 19 2013

The 10-Minute Neighbourhood: City vs. Suburb

March 19th, 2013Posted by 

A year ago, I lived in the Plateau-Mt. Royal neighbourhood of Montreal, Canada. One of the most densely populated parts of the city and a former working class neighbourhood, over the past few decades it has arguably become the hippest part of the city, with countless restaurants, bars and cafés and many beautiful parks. My […]

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March 05 2013

Traffic Signals on the Scale of Cyclists in Montreal, Canada

March 5th, 2013Posted by 

As a part of its plans to invest in sustainable transportation, Montreal has built several bicycle lanes over the years. However, traffic signals for bicycles have yet to follow in many neighbourhoods. Although there are traffic lights directed towards drivers and pedestrians, traffic signals on many streets do not “speak” to cyclists. While traditionally cyclists […]

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February 19 2013

A New Bike Coalition in Montréal, Canada

February 19th, 2013Posted by 

Montreal is awash with bicycling advocacy groups. In recent months another group has formed: the Montreal Bike Coalition, an initiative of the Mile End neighbourhood community organization “Ruepublique” (literally, public street). The Bike Coalition aims to connect all the grassroots cycling organizations and citizen cyclists, with a focus on utilitarian cycling, while not replicating the […]

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February 05 2013

From Carpooling to Transit: A Multimodal Carpooling Application in Montréal, Canada

February 5th, 2013Posted by 

In low-density environments, carpooling has long been touted as a sustainable transportation alternative. However, in practice it is difficult to realize. Rarely do multiple people have the same origin and destination – and even when they do, this does not hold for every day of the week. This is attributable to our increasingly flexible work […]

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January 22 2013

Two Wheels, Four Seasons: Winter Cycling in Montreal, Canada

January 22nd, 2013Posted by 

Montreal, Canada is a winter city. From November to March (and sometimes even April) the city grows cold, the days are short and it snows – sometimes a lot. Even so, in recent years cycling in winter months has increased dramatically, according to Vélo Quebec. As I write this post, it is a beautiful 6°C […]

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