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Canadian Urbanism Uncovered

Montréal Monday: On second thought, don’t bike here, Hampstead’s ban on clotheslines, and what to make of the Montreal North riots?

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Each Monday, Spacing will bring you some of the popular posts from our sister blog, Spacing Montréal. We’ll keep an eye open for topics and discussions that are pertinent to current public space issues in Toronto.

• White paint and good intentions are not enough to guarantee cyclists’ safety on the roads, but often times that is all brave riders have to rely on to get around the city. Alanah Heffez looks at the state of bike symbols on a section of De Maisonneuve where many cyclists commute on their way downtown, frustrated by the disconnect between the symbols of safe bike routes, and the often dangerous reality.

• Although clotheslines have several advantages over mechanical dryers, including energy efficiency and being much gentler on natural fibres, many North American municipalities have banned clotheslines from being hung. Hampstead, a town on the Island of Montréal, is one of those municipalities, enforcing fines of up to $300 for people caught using the device. Hampstead believes that clothesline are unsightly, but for all their benefits, isn’t there some inherent beauty in this old fashioned way of drying clothes?

• The rioting in Montreal North reveals deep problems in the city’s community-police relations, not to mention issues of urban poverty, racial discrimination, and political exclusion. Christopher DeWolf looks at some of the tensions boiling over in Montreal North, sparking thought and debate about equity and justice in the city.

Photo by Alanah Heffez