Concrete Blocks (may) Fall Off Building!

The scene around quarter to six in the evening.

I’m going to get a picture!

* Update *

I got a picture!

** Update II **

A security guard yelled at me for taking pictures!

*** Update III ***

The photograph seen previously was in fact the bullet-riddled carcass of a building in Bosnia taken during the Balkan Wars of the 1990s. The similarities to what we’re dealing with here in Montréal are…
none whatsoever.

But depending on who you talk to, you may have the impression Montr̩al is in the midst of a massive crisis with regards to crumbling infrastructure. In some respects I think we may very well be Рat least it seems that way in the media:

From the Gazette.

From Spacing Montreal.

From the Toronto Star.

Here’s the basics regarding today’s street closure.

If you followed this story* throughout the day you may have noticed slight discrepancies between the lead and the actual situation. Nothing feel off the ten-floor building at Cathcart and University, a window-washer noticed some of the slabs were loose. That’s pretty much it.

Now, that said no one’s quite sure when the last time the building was inspected, and it got me wondering whether the City needs to go on an all-out inspection blitz, literally inspecting every single building, street, bridge, viaduct and tunnel larger than a bus shelter in the entire metropolitan region. One shot, it would probably take an entire year to complete with a massive team of ‘deputized’ building inspectors. I can imagine a six-week intensive training course and a source of part-time employment for every university student in the city. The following year would be spent analyzing the data and getting those responsible to make the necessary repairs.

Honestly, how else are we going to get our confidence back? Such a study may just be the ticket to, at the very least, have a thorough understanding of the shape we’re in. I would hazard to guess such a report would indicate the majority of structures are sound and in no danger of having pieces fall off, but that said, a thorough city-wide inspection of everything would doubtless net a long list of repairs. It would be a massive wake-up call and may be enough to get the citizens to realize more is needed to keep our infrastructure safe and secure.

What do you think?

Is the media over-doing it? Is this to be expected in any urban environment? Or does the City of Montreal need to take dramatic action to counter years of inaction, as some suggest?

Let me know…