I’m back! I took the last few months to:
- travel to Morocco with my partner, her first time visiting my home country!
- start a new job with an agency I wish I would have known about years ago.
- get through the whole holiday storm period.
- go back to Morocco with my mother and sister.
I’ve got a few things to share since then.
I feel that as we get older and get used to paying for everything, we forget about the services that our city offers for free. You don’t always have to go to the spa (I love spas).
I signed up for (paid) level two swimming lessons with Sport Montréal which took me back to Complexe Sportif Claude-Robillard. It was so sweet to revisit this place from my childhood and I was so impressed by the installations. This winter, I go to go Joseph-Charbonneau which is easier to get to but is a bit on the rougher side.
This is a friendly reminder that we have many beautiful indoor pools in this city which you can visit to work out or swim with your family and it’s 100% free. Plus, the water isn’t cold like in outdoor pools.
Buying A Building At The Tax Sale
In November, I attended something organized by the city that I had never heard of before. I just happened to find out about it while surfing the web randomly.
I thought it was going to be small and quiet but I arrived at a high-security event where hundreds of excited people gathered together. I really felt like I had discovered a secret!
Every year, as a last resort, the city will auction buildings if they have not paid their taxes. The list comes online in September and it includes lots, condos, plexes, houses and commercial buildings.
The starting bid is the amount of taxes that haven’t been paid, so it starts at a small fraction of the actual property value. It was such an interesting event to attend!
There is one thing that I witnessed during the sale that I found completely unfair and I wish the city would change.
The majority of winning bids went to entrepreneurs who were simply buying to flip and resell at a higher price. Most of them weren’t even established in Montreal but came from the rest of the province.
I think the city shouldn’t allow that from the start. The sale should be done in two rounds:
- First round: You must be a citizen of Montreal, with proof of address. You can only purchase one building. I believe this would actually help Montrealers purchase their primary residency.
- Second round: Anything that wasn’t purchased by locals can then be up for grabs to the people looking to make a profit.
Our Streets Aren’t Safe
You’ve probably been affected by the ongoing discussion about the safety of our streets, especially with the latest death of a child in a school area.
I’m a pedestrian, cyclist and driver and I totally feel a negative shift in our streets lately with cars. 95% of drivers are in a rush and they don’t even make their full stops anymore, if they’re actually making sure there’s a stop sign, to begin with.
As a tech person, I know that a big fault goes to Waze which brings strangers onto streets they shouldn’t even know about when transiting. But that’s not a reason to accept any of this.
I found this online tool named WalkRollMap that lets visitors report unsafe street corners and I think it’s brilliant. I will be contributing to it for sure. Now, let’s just hope our city listens to us and acts before more people need to be badly hurt.