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  1. Could the Miami skyline one day resemble Manhattan’s? Apr 5th 2014 | MIAMI | From the print edition A mirror of prosperity ICON BRICKELL, a three-tower complex in Miami’s financial district, was supposed to be a flagship project for the Related Group, the city’s top condominium developer. It would boast 1,646 luxury condos, a 91-metre-long pool, and a hundred 22-foot columns in its entryway. By 2010, however, it had become a symbol of the excesses of the city’s building boom, and Related was forced to hand two of the towers to its banks. Miami condo prices plunged to 60% below their peak. The vacancy rate jumped to 60%. Predictions flew that the market, the epicentre of America’s property crash, would take ten years to come back, or even longer. The speed of the recovery has surprised everyone. Condo prices are already back near peak levels in Miami’s most desirable areas, and at 75-80% elsewhere. The available supply of units has fallen back to within the six-to-nine-months-of-sales range considered normal, from a stomach-churning 40 in 2008. Only 3% of condos are unoccupied. Sales of condos and single-family homes are above pre-crisis levels across Miami-Dade County. Commercial property, too, has rebounded, with demand outstripping supply. Developers are once again relaxed enough to crack jokes. “I call the current expansion the Viagra cycle,” jokes Carlos Rosso, Related’s president of condominium development. “We just want it to last a little longer.” The recovery has been partly driven by low interest rates and bottom-fishing by private equity, which helped to clear excess inventory. But the biggest factor is that the city nicknamed the “Capital of Latin America” has attracted a flood of capital from Latin America. Rich people in turbulent spots such as Venezuela and Argentina are seeking a safe haven for their savings. Estate agents are also seeing capital flight from within the United States. Individuals pay no state or city income tax in Miami, unlike, say, New York, whose mayor wants to hike taxes on the rich further. “Somebody said to me, ‘Give me three reasons why this will continue.’ My answer was: Maduro, Kirchner and De Blasio,” chuckles Marc Sarnoff, a Miami city commissioner, referring to the leaders of the capitalist-bashing regimes in Venezuela, Argentina and New York. Another attraction is the 40% rise in Miami condo rents since 2009, buoying the income of owners who choose not to live in the tropical hurly-burly that Dave Barry, a local author, calls “Insane City”. Brokers report increased business from Eastern Europe and the Middle East (Qatar Airways will fly direct to Miami from June), and an uptick in inquiries from Chinese buyers. Is another bubble forming already? Developers say this time is different, and in some ways it is. In a few years Miami has gone from the most- to the least-leveraged property market in America. Buyers of new condos typically have to put 50% down, half of that before building starts. Banks are loth to extend construction loans unless 60-75% of the units are already sold. In both residential and commercial projects, they require developers to put in much more equity than before. Mr Rosso says Related now puts in three times as much, which limits its ambition. The firm now has 2,000 condos in the works, a tenth of what it was building in 2007. Still, a supply glut is possible. With developers gung-ho again, around 50 towers are under construction or planned in downtown Miami (including the Porsche Design Tower, whose well-heeled inhabitants will be able to take their cars up to the level on which they live in a special lift—this is useful if you really love your car). More were added last month when Oleg Baybakov, a Russian mining-to-property oligarch, bought a trio of condo-development sites for $30m, more than triple their assessed market value in 2013. Miami’s developers are adept at using “smoke and mirrors” to hide the true number of pre-sold units, says Peter Zalewski of Condo Vultures, a property-intelligence firm. Some see the first signs of trouble. The stock of unsold condos and houses has crept up slightly since last summer. A local broker says that Blackstone, a private-equity firm with a taste for bricks and mortar, bought $120m of properties with his firm’s help in 2013 but “won’t do anything like that this year”. Mr Zalewski says banks are competing harder to finance certain projects, but this may not be a sign of unadulterated bullishness. They may simply be betting that many of the 134 towers proposed but not yet under construction in South Florida won’t get built—meaning the 57 that have already broken ground will do better than forecast. Much will depend on whether Latin Americans remain addicted to Miami property and, should their ardour cool, whether Americans and others would take up the slack. Few domestic buyers are comfortable putting 50% down, especially when most of it is at risk if the project fails. One or two developers have begun to accept 30% down, a possible sign of increased reliance on home-grown buyers. The market should get a fillip from the current and planned redevelopment of several chunks of downtown Miami. One of the most ambitious projects is Miami Worldcenter, a 30-acre retail, hotel and convention-centre complex that will feature Bloomingdale’s, Macy’s and a giant Marriott hotel. A science museum will soon join the art museum . These projects build on progress made over the past decade towards becoming a world-class city, from the opening of dozens of top-notch restaurants to Art Basel picking Miami as one of the three venues for its shows (“the Super Bowl of the Art World”, as Tom Wolfe called it in his Miami novel, “Back to Blood”). Tourism is at record levels. Miami is the only American city besides New York in the top ten of Knight Frank’s 2014 global-cities index, which ranks cities by their attractiveness to the ultra-wealthy. (It comes seventh, ahead of Paris.) Property is still far cheaper than in most other cities on the list (see chart). Miami’s Downtown Development Authority (DDA) is dangling the city’s low taxes and lovely weather in front of companies to persuade them to move there. This is starting to bear fruit, especially in finance: Universa, a $6 billion hedge fund in California, recently agreed to relocate, following part of Eddie Lampert’s ESL. SABMiller, a giant brewer, has moved its Latin American head office from Colombia. . “I lived a long time in New York, but here [in Miami] it’s easier to make something from nothing,” enthuses Nitin Motwani, a DDA board member, who talks of the city’s skyline one day resembling Manhattan’s. Mr Zalewski is more cautious. Miami’s property market is “a great game”, he says, but “all it would take to send a chill through the entire market is one big project to go sideways.” Developers who joke about Viagra should keep some aspirin within reach, just in case.
  2. mtlurb

    Quartier Concordia

    Quartier Concordia Quartier Concordia will transform the Sir George Williams campus from a collection of scattered buildings into a welcoming and cohesive urban campus in the area bordered generally by Sherbrooke, Guy, René-Lévesque, and Bishop. The goals of the Quartier Concordia project include improving the use of outdoor spaces, stimulating street life, and providing respite for the Concordia community and the public. The project will optimize vehicular and bicycle traffic as well as pedestrian flow, facilitate movement between campus buildings, and ensure the safe interaction of vehicles and pedestrians. Quartier Concordia will also maintain a welcoming environment for the Concordia community and the public, highlight landmarks, improve the use of space, promote the display of artwork and create a distinct campus environment within the downtown core. The project will be carried out over several years by Groupe Cardinal Hardy and in conjunction with the City of Montreal. Facts: A multi-year project Landscape architect: Groupe Cardinal Hardy Location: The area bordered by Sherbrooke, Guy, René-Lévesque, and Bishop The project will promote a distinct, welcoming, and efficient downtown campus
  3. MONTREAL - It’s the talk of downtown: big changes are said to be coming to Ogilvy’s and Holt Renfrew. The buzz is that Holt’s will close in its current location, move into Ogilvy’s, and the Art Deco Holt building will become condos. Sales staff in the area worry about their jobs, while merchants wonder what effect the loss of a retail anchor on Sherbrooke St. W. would have on the foot traffic for boutiques on Crescent and de la Montagne Sts. The rumours come after Selfridges Group Ltd., owners of Holt Renfrew, acquired Ogilvy’s this summer. Terms for the sale, which closed on Sept. 8, were not disclosed. The sale came just a year after a consortium of Quebec real estate investors bought the historic department store. “As of now, it’s business as usual for both,’’ said Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, a spokesman for SGL, part of the billionaire Weston family’s empire. The Toronto family also owns Selfridges department store in the United Kingdom, stores in Ireland and the Netherlands, and controls Canada’s Loblaw grocery chain. An Ogilvy’s branch at Quartier Dix30 had been set to open next August. SGL still plans to open a store in Phase 3 of the South Shore mall, but no date for the opening has been set, said Lamoureux of National Public Relations. “Rumour is rumour,’’ said Ogilvy president Michel Théroux. “There’s no way to kill a rumour.” “The owners are studying a lot of scenarios,’’ Théroux said, emphasizing he has no information on any changes. He, too, tells employees it’s business as usual. A retail analyst, as well as executives speaking off the record, say that merging Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy’s stores is logical. The big question, said one source, is the future of Ogilvy’s as a heritage brand. “They’re not looking to walk away from it as brand, but it won’t be the name on the door,’’ the source said, adding that Ogilvy’s has great recognition and appeals to many people who don’t shop at Holt’s. “Heritage and tradition is worth something, but at the end of the day – I don’t know. We’re all waiting.” Holt’s has about 64,000 square feet of selling space compared with Ogilvy’s 120,000 square feet. About 80 per cent of Ogilvy’s is leased to boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Ports, Les Chaussures Ogilvy (actually run by Jean-Paul Fortin shoes) and the large Design Louis George boutique on the fourth floor. Holt’s, with 11 stores across Canada, leases space to Hermès, Chanel, Links, Max Mara and the fur boutique. The future of many of those leased boutiques is at risk, a source said, wondering how the brands from the two stores will be merged. The source said Holt Renfrew has to face up to competition across Canada and in Montreal, with U.S. chains moving in and with the online shopping onslaught . “It’s time for a wow store in Montreal,’’ the source said. “I don’t know where the bagpipes will be.” Whatever is in store is years away, observers say. Asked whether Montreal can afford two high-end department stores, consumer analyst Neil Linsdell said there is definitely enough money here. “But when you get on that very high end, you’re not competing with everyone else in Montreal, because you probably have more travelled customers,’’ said Linsdell, of investment bank Versant Partners. “To a certain extent, you’re probably competing with London, New York.” In every sector, the selection is greater in the U.S., he added. “You can be very successful at either end of the market, high end or low end. Everybody is being squeezed in the middle,’’ Linsdell said. “High end is probably a better place to be.’’ To Théroux, Montreal has had room for the two high-end stores in the past, so he sees no reason that should not be in the case in the future. That said, Montreal is a small market and not a shopping destination for well-heeled tourists. “It’s not Toronto, it’s not New York. So you have to be a little bit different – offer things that people enjoy and like. We have to be humble,’’ he said. “Let’s address quality for the Montreal market.’’ He said the Louis Vuitton boutique at Ogilvy’s does very well; its accessories are affordable for many people. “But can we have a Prada boutique (with a) full assortment, etc., etc.? I’m not sure.” Real estate agent Liza Kaufman, who sells the adjacent Ritz condos, had heard the rumours, too. She said she thinks nobody really knows the plan. “There is going to be a Holt Renfrew,’’ she said. “Holt’s is a national brand. Ogilvy’s is only local. I do love Holt Renfrew. I love the location, obviously. Having said that, the store is small.’’ She and her clients travel and do a lot of their shopping elsewhere, she said, for the greater selection and the better prices. Kaufman said she thinks it’s business as usual for five years. As for possible changes to the real estate on Sherbrooke St. W., she suggested storefronts could remain on Sherbrooke St. W. even if the building becomes condos. “I would hope that other retailers take over that space if Holt’s does move,’’ Kaufman said. Linsdell noted that the demographics of an aging population favour the construction of more condos in the downtown area. And on the city council side: “There seems to be a war on the commuter.” Linsdell does not predict a major backlash from Montrealers by a move to Ogilvy’s by Holt Renfrew. It could be considered just a real estate play, he said, with Holt’s moving to the much roomier Ogilvy quarters and not losing that much in the availability of product.“There’s the immediate payoff on the real estate, selling it to a condo developer,’’ he said. Last week, the Quartier du Musée association staged a fashion show featuring designers in the area. Marie Rouzaud, coordinator of the group, said the goal is to keep designers and artisans – be it fashion or chocolate – and small businesses in the area. “We suffered because of the construction. Everywhere downtown is difficult, because parking is expensive, taxes are high,’’ Rouzaud said. “It’s hard to survive. Boutiques close, and big chains come in. Downtown must keep its authenticity,’’ she said. “If Holt Renfrew moves, it will be sad for the quartier.’’ The arrival of Montreal’s first Anthropologie, a U.S. chain store with a devoted following, and Tiffany’s jewellers is seen as good news in the short term. Both are expected to open early next year, Anthropologie next to Holt’s on de la Montagne, Tiffany’s in the new Ritz condo project on Sherbrooke. Designer Michel Desjardins, who opened a bright atelier-boutique on Crescent St. two years ago, said he likes the shopping corridor created by Holt’s and Ogilvy’s from Sherbrooke to Ste. Catherine St. “The circuit would be broken,’’ he said, if Holt’s were to wind up on Ste. Catherine, which he characterizes as less luxe than Sherbrooke. For Sally Yep, a boutique owner on de la Montagne, it’s difficult to imagine the merging of the two stores. “You always think of them as being separate fashion visions. I have the impression that Holt’s is going to stay strong,’’ she said. “Holt is the dominant brand. Ogilvy has more tradition.” Another merchant, not wishing to be named, also spoke of the different characters of the two stores. “It would be terrible without a free-standing Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy,’’ she said. “There is a clientele that is loyal to these stores.’’ http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/changes+predicted+Ogilvy+Holt+Renfrew/5756714/story.html
  4. Amelie Co

    Toujours plus de projets dans Griffintown!

    Le quartier semblerait s'agrandir de nouveau ! En effet, le promoteur Prével, acteur prépondérant dans les changements du quartier depuis plusieurs années, serait à l’origine d’un futur projet situé au 1725 Rue Basin. Bien qu’il n’y ait pas beaucoup d’information aujourd’hui, nous savons déjà que la limite de hauteur à été modifiée de 16 à 25 mètres. De quoi imaginer de beaux projets pour le quartier !
  5. Hey, I really like to make that kind of video. Tell me if you want to see more. Don't forget to like and subscribe, thank you for the watching. Follow me on my social media: IG: @donpicturehd https://www.instagram.com/donpicturehd/ Music: KARD - Don't Recall (Hidden Ver.)
  6. Enjoy! Compliments of: Le Triomphe, Montreal, scale 1:87 *************************************************** CITÉ NATURE, Montréal, scale 1:87 ********************************************** DOWNTOWN MONTRÉAL, scale 1:1000 Some buildings in green...maybe some day they will rise.
  7. jesseps

    Downtown Heliport

    I was reading today in "Metro" that they are planning on having a heliport downtown somewhere
  8. http://www.cbc.ca/beta/news/canada/montreal/montreal-real-estate-tax-foreign-investors-vancouver-1.3704178 A new tax on foreign buyers in Vancouver has real estate agents predicting a spillover effect into other Canadian markets. But it's unclear if Montreal, often an outlier when it comes to real estate trends, will be among them. "I really don't think this is something that's looming for Montreal," said Martin Desjardins, a local realtor. The market here is "nothing compared to what's happening in Toronto and Vancouver," he said. The new 15 per cent tax, which took effect Tuesday, was introduced by the British Columbia government with the intent of improving home affordability in Metro Vancouver, where house prices are among the highest in North America. Ontario Finance Minister Charles Sousa has said he is examining the possibility of a similar tax "very closely," as a measure to address Toronto's skyrocketing home prices. Experts believe the Vancouver tax could exacerbate the booming housing market in Toronto and, potentially, affect other Canadian cities. Brad Henderson, president and CEO of Sotheby's International Realty Canada, said some foreign nationals could turn to areas not subject to a tax — either elsewhere in British Columbia or farther afield. "Certainly I think Toronto and potentially other markets like Montreal will start to become more attractive, because comparatively speaking they will be less expensive,'' Henderson said. However, the Montreal market has so far remained off the radar of foreign investors. France, U.S top Montreal foreign buyers the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation said the number of foreign investors in the Montreal area is small and concentrated in condominiums in the city's downtown. The report found that 1.3 per cent of condominiums in the greater Montreal region were owned by foreigners last year. That number jumps to nearly five per cent in the city's downtown. Residents of the United States and France accounted for the majority of foreign buyers, while China (at eight per cent) and Saudi Arabia (five per cent) accounted for far fewer buyers. Francis Cortellino, the CMHC market analyst who prepared the study, said it's difficult to determine whether the Vancouver tax will change the situation much in Montreal. "We're not sure yet what [buyers] will do," he said. "There are a lot of possibilities." In Montreal, Desjardins said the foreign real estate buyers most often operate on a much smaller scale, often consisting of "mom and pop investors" or people from France looking for a more affordable lifestyle. "I don't think it will ever be to the point where we'll have to put a tax," he said. Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  9. With Festival Season Underway, Montreal Reflects on 10-Year Cultural Plan BY GREG SCRUGGS | JUNE 17, 2016 Summery electronic beats floated through the air alongside fragrant cheese and the occasional whiff of marijuana. Picnic blankets laden with pâté and baguettes commingled with flowing bottles of beer and wine. Families parked strollers, millennials lounged near their bikes, and techno tourists went gaga for Swedish DJ and producer Peder Mannerfelt. The occasion for such a languid Saturday afternoon earlier this month in downtown Montreal was MUTEK, a festival dedicated to electronic music and digital arts that held its 17th edition this year. Its free programming at the Parterre, a simple plaza easily converted into a performing arts venue, is just a small sampling of the festival overload that takes hold every summer in the city’s Quartier des Spectacles, a downtown cultural district that hosts most of the outdoor fêtes. Even as the 40,000 MUTEK attendees, roughly half from outside the metropolitan area, fluttered among a handful of the Quartier’s sleek venues, workers were busy maneuvering lighting trusses and erecting stages on downtown streets to accommodate the 500,000 that came for Les FrancoFolies, a French-language music festival that wraps up Friday, and the 2.5 million expected for the Montreal Jazz Festival, which starts June 26. Montreal is North America’s undisputed festival capital, with 200 annual medium- to large-size events downtown that generate over 1,000 festival days, according to the city’s Bureau of Cinema, Festivals, and Events. “For the size of Montreal, that’s pretty astounding,” says the bureau’s director, Daniel Bissonnette. The metro area of 4 million has a comparatively low GDP per capita, he points out, but through a combination of dedicated cultural infrastructure and savvy marketing, it punches well above its weight. Cities have come knocking at his door to ask what’s in Montreal’s secret sauce, he says, most recently Los Angeles. At the end of June, Bissonnette will travel to Kraków, Poland, for a meeting of a nascent, as-yet-unnamed international network of festival cities that also includes the likes of Adelaide, Barcelona, Berlin and Edinburgh. But as the city’s international festival acclaim grows, it must also continue to nurture the local cultural community, whose public arts funding is in limbo as the provincial government plans to cut back while the federal government has pledged to increase support. Plus, next year concludes the scope of the city’s 10-year cultural plan and the city council is poised to adopt a new strategy. While it’s still early for any concrete details, the bustling summer scene downtown offers some clues as to what the future might hold. The square-kilometer patch of the eastern edge of downtown Montreal demarcated as the Quartier des Spectacles was once the city’s red light district and a popular cheap housing option for artists. But it was also the home to the symphony and opera halls, a clutch of theaters and music venues, and the Museum of Contemporary Art — now MUTEK’s annual home base. First proposed in 2002, the Quartier des Spectacles came together over the last decade through a series of demolitions, rehabs and new constructions. The artists living there were, by and large, kicked out — whether by eviction or escalating housing costs as new condos came into the neighborhood. Some affordable live-work space was built in the Mile End neighborhood in exchange for the loss, but the artistic community who created the cachet for the neighborhood to become the Quartier des Spectacles was not compensated directly. While some of Montreal’s infamous strip clubs remain, it’s hardly the red light district it used to be — though red illumination on many of the Quartier’s sidewalks pay homage to its seedier days. And new construction continues apace, from outdoor spots like the Parterre and the Place des Festivals to new anchors like a fresh home for the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and next year’s planned arrival of the National Film Board of Canada. The result has been a resurgence in downtown living by a more well-heeled crowd attracted to the city’s cultural offerings, which mirrors trends across North America. But while cities like Philadelphia have managed at best an Avenue of the Arts, Montreal has taken over a whole neighborhood and it continues to grow. “The Quartier des Spectacles is not a finished thing,” notes MUTEK Director Alain Mongeau. Chantal Fontaine opened a bistro two years ago in the heart of the quarter along Boulevard Saint-Laurent, which is pedestrianized during the summer festival months. “The golden age of the red light district passed a long time ago,” she says, dismissing any nostalgia for the neighborhood’s previous incarnation. Also an accomplished comedienne, Fontaine lives three blocks away and notes that she can walk out the front door of her condo at 7:45 p.m. to make an 8 o’clock show. She envisions the Quartier as the city’s answer to Broadway in New York and hopes that the city’s new cultural strategy will reflect that ambition. “International renown, that Montreal becomes an incubator of shows that tour the world,” she says. “We must value our local culture abroad, we have the talent for that.” MUTEK, meanwhile, is already doing that and downtown is essential to its identity. “If we moved to another neighborhood we’d have to remap the whole discourse of the festival,” Mongeau says. “We feel like we’re contributing to the brand of the city.” Blending culture and commerce doesn’t sit well with everyone however. “Western society is pushing us to be entrepreneur artists,” laments Ghislain Poirier, a DJ/producer and a fixture on Montreal’s music scene who has played at MUTEK in past years. In 2010, he wrote an open letter to the mayor complaining that the city was kowtowing to new condo dwellers’ noise complaints and shutting down music clubs — the very venues that made the neighborhood appealing for real estate developers in the first place. That issue has since quieted down, with Bissonnette pointing out new building codes requiring triple-pane windows, policies governing the timing of outdoor amplified sound during festivals, and municipal noise inspectors who will come to a complainant’s home to objectively measure interior sound. “That’s the price you pay to have the excitement downtown,” he says. “A park far away from downtown? That’s not how Montreal works.” Nevertheless, Poirier is convinced that the cultural geography of the city has changed as a result. “Downtown is more for performing, it’s not a place of creation,” he says. “Before it was lofts and artists. Now it’s venues and festivals, mass culture and Hollywood big events.” At the same time, such bookings are valuable and Poirier looks forward to the fat paycheck from festival gigs in the Quartier des Spectacles, which help him pay Montreal’s still affordable, but nevertheless rising, cost of living. While the trend of displaced artists is hardly unique to Montreal, the phenomenon of cultural gentrification is atypical — newer, fancier forms of culture displacing older, scruffier types. As the city prepares to plan ahead for the next 10 years, it may be time to put on the brakes, Poirier says. “There are almost too many events. We’re coming to a saturation point.” https://nextcity.org/daily/entry/montreal-festivals-10-year-cultural-plan
  10. Revitalizing Calgary's core: Some possibilities for rebirth 'Calgary has reinvented itself before ... from a ranching/agriculture-based economy to oil and gas' By Richard White, CBC News Posted: Jun 17, 2016 While it is shocking that Calgary's downtown skyscraper vacancy rate skyrocketed to 20 per cent at the end of March, and that it could soon surpass the vacancy record of 22 per cent set in 1983 (twice what it was a year ago), we should keep some perspective. These numbers are not unheard of in major corporate headquarter cities. Back in the 1970s, New York City was in decline. By the mid-70s, the city came close to bankruptcy and its office vacancy rate hit 20 per cent. In 1993, Toronto's downtown office vacancy rate hit 20.4 per cent. Vancouver's rose to 17.4 per cent in 2004. And these may not even be records, as data only goes back to 1990 for those cities. Today, New York City, Toronto and Vancouver's downtowns are booming. All downtowns go through periods of growth, decline and rebirth. Montreal's decline and rebirth In the '60s, the case could still be made Montreal was Canada's business capital. Its downtown was a major office headquarters for Quebec's natural resource industry as well as a thriving financial industry, including the head offices of the Bank of Montreal, Royal Bank of Canada and insurance giant Sun Life. In 1962, when the Place Ville Marie office designed by iconic architects I.M. Pei and Henry N. Cobb opened, it symbolized Montreal's arrival as a world-class city. This was further reinforced with the hosting of Expo '67, the arrival of Montreal Expos baseball team in 1969, and the 1976 Olympics. However, the '70s brought the threat of separation, which prompted many corporate headquarters and their executives to move to Toronto. By 1971, Toronto's population surpassed Montreal's. The 1976 Montreal Olympics, the most expensive in history, plunged the city into a legacy of debt and decline for decades. Today, Montreal has reinvented itself as an international tourist destination and a major player in the gaming and music industries. New York's return from the brink In 1975, New York City was on the brink of bankruptcy. The gradual economic and social decay set in during the '60s. The city's subway system was regarded as unsafe due to crime and frequent mechanical breakdowns. Central Park was the site of numerous muggings and rapes; homeless persons and drug dealers occupied boarded-up and abandoned buildings. Times Square became an ugly, seedy place dominated by crime, drugs and prostitution. Today, New York City is back as one of the world's most successful cities, economically and culturally, and Times Square is again one of the world's most popular urban tourist attractions. Calgary's future Perhaps Calgary has already begun to reinvent itself. Despite the growing vacancy rate downtown, the CBRE's First Quarter 2016 Report says, "Not all commercial real estate in the city has been affected, though. Suburban office space held steady from the last quarter, and the industrial real estate market is still robust because it's not tied to oil and gas." Indeed, Calgary has become one of North America's largest inland port cities, including two state-of-the art intermodal rail operations. Calgary is now the distribution headquarters for Western Canada, a position once held by Winnipeg. And so Calgary's industrial sectors employ more people than the energy sector. Calgary Economic Development is working with the real estate community to implement a "Head Office/Downtown Office Plan" with three action items. One idea is the repurposing of smaller older office spaces as incubators and innovation hubs to attract millennials and/or entrepreneurs. A good example of this is in West Hillhurst, where Arlene Dickenson has converted an old office building at the corner of Memorial Drive and Kensington Road that was once home to an engineering firm into District Ventures, home to several startup packaged goods companies. Another repurposing idea would be to convert some older office buildings into residential uses. In the U.S., programs like Vacant Places Into Vibrant Spaces have been successful but mostly for office to residential conversions of older buildings with smaller floor plates. They don't work for offices buildings with floor plates over 7,500 square feet (which is the case for most of Calgary's empty high-rise office space), as it is expensive and difficult to meet residential building codes, which are very different from commercial ones, making it tough to compete with new residential construction. In an ideal world, Calgary could become a global talent hub, where skilled workers who have been displaced from the energy and related industries continue to live in Calgary but become a remote workforce for energy projects around the world. Temporary and permanent satellite offices could be established in Calgary with teams of engineers, geologists, accountants, bankers etc. working on projects around the world. The obvious strategy would be to woo international companies in the finance, insurance, transportation, agriculture, digital media and renewable resources to set up a Canadian or North American office in Calgary, maybe even relocate here. With cities like San Francisco, Seattle and Boston facing major affordable housing crises for millennial workers, Calgary could become a very attractive place for a satellite office for companies in those cities. One "off the wall" idea postulated by George Brookman, CEO of West Canadian Industries, would be to promote Calgary as an "International Centre for Energy Dispute Resolution," similar to the Netherland's TAMARA (Transportation And Maritime Arbitration Rotterdam-Amsterdam), which offers an extrajudicial platform for conducting professional arbitration for settling disputes. However, one wonders: Could Calgary compete with London and New York, which are already leaders in the international arbitration business? Incentivize rebirth Calgary has reinvented itself before, evolving from a ranching/agriculture-based economy to oil and gas in the middle of the 20th century. Indeed, the downtown core, which is an office ghetto today, would benefit immensely if incentives could be made to convert a dozen or so office buildings into condos, apartments or hotels to foster a rebirth of the core as a place to live. Calgary at a Crossroads is CBC Calgary's special focus on life in our city during the downturn. A look at Calgary's culture, identity and what it means to be Calgarian. Read more stories from the series at Calgary at a Crossroads. http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/calgary/calgary-core-kickstart-richard-white-1.3638276
  11. http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/nobel-reit-is-moving-downtown-montreal-577586241.html 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - (TSXV: NEL.UN) Nobel Real Estate Investment Trust (the "REIT" or "Nobel REIT") is pleased to announce that it is moving its head office into its most recent acquisition located at 2045 Stanley in Downtown Montreal. Our offices are therefore closed today for the move; they will reopen in our new premises on Monday May 2nd. The REIT will then be reachable again at its new phone number, 514-840-9339.
  12. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a myth that millennials hate the suburbs It might not be as cool as living downtown, but a new survey suggests millennials might not hate suburbia all that much. Altus Group, citing its 2015 fall FIRM survey, says 35 per cent of those 35 and under disagree with the statement that they prefer to live in a smaller home in a central area than a larger home in the suburbs. The same survey found 40 per cent do agree with the statement, with everybody else neither agreeing or disagreeing. “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — it’s a myth that all so-called millennials are homogeneous in their desires, attitudes and behaviour,” says the report from Toronto-based Altus Group. “While there may be some tendencies that are more pronounced among today’s younger generation, when it comes to the housing sector, segmentation analysis is critical.” The survey, which only considered respondents in centres with populations of more than one million or more, found in almost every age group there was a willingness to trade off the bigger house in the suburbs for a smaller home in a central area. Among those 35-49, like millennials, 40 per cent said they would make the trade-off. <iframe name="fsk_frame_splitbox" id="fsk_frame_splitbox" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; width: 620px; height: 0px; border-style: none; border-width: initial;"></iframe> Broken into sub categories, 19 per cent of millennials agree completely they are willing to live in that smaller home in a central area versus the larger one in the suburbs. Another 21 per cent somewhat agree. Millennials actually ranked behind those 70 years or older when it comes to strong feelings on the matter. Among those seniors, 22 per cent agreed completely with going for the tinier downtown home. “There is a prevailing view that all millennials in larger markets want to live downtown — even if it means having to settle for a smaller residence to make the affordability equation work. Our research busts that myth,” said Altus Group. The same report finds all those downtown dwellers, many of whom will be settling in high-rise condominiums, are going to need parking sports because they are not ready to ditch their cars. The FIRM survey found that in the country’s six largest markets, defined as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau and Montreal, only about one in 10 owner occupants of condominiums built in the last six years does not have a vehicle. That’s close to the average of all households, but condo dwellers are far less likely to have two vehicles. twitter.com/dustywallet gmarr@nationalpost.com http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/dont-tell-anyone-but-its-a-myth-that-millennials-hate-the-suburbs Contrepoids à la discussion: http://mtlurb.com/forums/showthread.php/23922-Bye-bye-banlieue%21
  13. A future world-class animation hub creating 500 jobs by 2020 http://www.newswire.ca/news-releases/cinesite-opens-major-animation-studio-in-montreal-canada---a-future-world-class-animation-hub-creating-500-jobs-by-2020-568037871.html MONTRÉAL, Feb. 8, 2016 /CNW Telbec/ - Cinesite has chosen Montréal, Québec, to make its investment in a new state of the art animation studio with the intention of getting nine feature animated films into production over the next five years. This was announced today by Antony Hunt, CEO of the Cinesite Group, and the Premier of Québec, Philippe Couillard at the opening of the new 54,000 sq ft Animation Studio in downtown Montréal. The new facility will have the capacity to employ 500 permanent staff to work on animated films by 2020.
  14. eastender85

    Terminus Craig (1925-1970)

    Until Montreal scrapped its streetcars in 1959, the Craig Terminus was one of the hubs of the city's sprawling tramway network. Located near the corner of St. Urbain and Craig (now Viger St. Antoine), 14 different tram lines merged into this imposing stone building, built in 1925. It was demolished in 1970 when the Ville Marie Expressway tore through a huge swath of downtown Montreal.
  15. nickchinappi

    New funding for young Québec firms

    "Waiting in the wings is a new tech incubator in downtown Montreal...unveiled Dec 1" I wonder what they're referring to? http://montrealgazette.com/business/millions-in-funding-available-for-up-and-coming-businesses Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  16. nickchinappi

    Electric car charging stations downtown

    Interesting to see Montreal take a leadership position in this space. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/mobile/montreal-to-get-106-new-electric-car-charging-stations-by-june-1.2626788 Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
  17. http://gehlarchitects.com/blog/hurray-for-smart-montrealers/ HURRAY FOR SMART MONTREALERS! Over the last couple of months I have written about the different aspects of smart cities, the pros and cons, the dos and don’ts. The outcome of these musings suggests that we ought to discard the idea of a smart city for the sake of promoting smart communities, in which smartness is a tool for benefitting and improving the local social sustainability. However, within this approach lies a fundamental challenge: how do we actually make communities engage with and take responsibility for the shaping of the public realm, using tools and methods they have never known before? Enter Montreal. Montreal uses pilot projects to kick-start the regeneration of the urban spaces. A vacant parking lot on the outskirts of Downtown was turned into an urban beach thanks to the local organization l’ADUQ. Public Life in Montreal To understand the social life of Montrealers, one must first understand the basic history of the city’s public spaces. During the era of modernisation, more than 1/3 of the downtown core was demolished to make way for massive super-complexes embodying offices, car pars, underground malls and cafes. In the industrial suburbs, thousands of housing units were torn down to allow vehicular traffic an easy access into the city. These “renovations” were carried out in less than two decades, but they still managed to methodically get in the way of public life. Since then, the city has taken a completely different approach to urban planning, superseding even today’s hype for attractive, green and lively metropolises. “My colleagues and I, we based our entire careers around reconstructing the city from where it was left after the 1970’s and 1980’s demolitions (…) we want Montreal to be a network of public spaces.” – Wade Eide, Montreal Urban Planning Department, private interview July 15, 2014 Throughout the year, Montreal hosts hundreds of events that all contribute to a lively and active public life. Today, the effects of Wade Eide and his colleagues’ efforts are absolutely visible in the streets and squares of Montreal, which have indeed been transformed into a coherent experience of activities and life. The most remarkable part of this transformation is the effect that it has had in the mentality of the citizens (or maybe it was the other way around?): in Montreal, the city truly is for its people, and people care for and participate in public matters to a degree that I have rarely seen. I believe, because of this mentality, Montreal has a serious chance of actually fulfilling the vision of a smart city built for and by communities. The steps of Place des Arts serve as a public space, popular with everyone on a sunny day. The Montreal Model Montreal’s outstanding mentality for public participation has – luckily – also been recognized by the current smart Montreal’s front-runners, mayor Denis Coderre and Vice-President of the Smart and Digital Office, Harout Chitilian. In their campaigns for a smarter Montreal, they enthusiastically encourage the citizens to voice their opinions and share their ideas: “This ambitious project of making a smart and digital city will take advantage of new technologies, but above all it will draw on the collective intelligence to create a specific Montreal model. I count on you, Montrealers to give your opinions on the various forums that are available to you. I invite you to participate today. The floor is yours!” – (translated from French) Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, 2014 Focus on citizens is visible in the public space. In this project residents of Montreal share their unique stories in a virtual exhibition. As part of the public participation process, the city has developed a web portal, “Faire MTL” (Make Montreal), where Montrealers are offered the chance to contribute to, comment on, collaborate with and follow 180 tangible projects that are to be implemented over the next couple of years. The ambitious plans also include the creation of physical spaces for innovation and co-creation, along with the use of public spaces as living laboratories for the growing smart communities. The fusion of a genuinely open and inclusive government and the natural participatory spirit of the Montrealers, makes Montreal a key player to follow in the game of defining how future (smart) cities could be shaped and function at the hands of the citizens. Every summer Sainte-Catherine Street (the city’s commercial high street) transforms into a pedestrian street, allowing citizens to walk, shop, eat and enjoy the city life. Find more about Montreal’s projects here. August 25, 2015 __ Camilla Siggaard Andersen sent via Tapatalk
  18. Une des forces de Montréal est sa diversité. Et une des raisons pourquoi j'adore cette ville est bien évidemment la diversité que l'on peut décliner de plusieurs façons différentes. La diversité s'exprime par une diversité de climats/saisons, une diversité de restaurants/gastronomies etc. Mais une facette de la diversité de Montréal est son coté multiethnique, religieuse et/ou linguistique. En voici un bel exemple dans cet article provenant du New jersey et faisant part du dynamisme de la communauté juive qui s'exprime dans les nombreux commerces, lieux de cultes et quartiers ayant une forte concentration de gens de cette communauté. http://www.jewishlinknj.com/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=8716:vacationing-in-montreal&catid=165:travel&Itemid=577 Merci à Montréal city weblog pour avoir posté cet article. C'est là que je l'ai vu et j'en profite pour le partager avec la communauté de mtlurb.com
  19. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) This is the first part of three. Plus you get more visuals in the paper today.
  20. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/little-trace-remains-of-montreals-glamorous-theatre-era Little trace remains of Montreal's glamorous theatre era LINDA GYULAI, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Linda Gyulai, Montreal Gazette Published on: February 27, 2015 Last Updated: May 13, 2015 9:27 AM EDT Undated photo of theatres lining downtown Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal. Undated photo of theatres lining downtown Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal. There are imaginary ghosts dancing behind the plywood that’s temporarily concealing a vacant storefront on Ste-Catherine St. W. as it undergoes renovation. They’re the spirits of vaudeville and Hollywood, of stars of first silent and then talking movies, of singers, dancers and “manufacturers of mirth,” as one newspaper reviewer described a pair of vaudeville entertainers, and of generations of Montrealers who flocked to live shows and movie premieres while the location was known as Loew’s Theatre. You wouldn’t know it today, but the skinny, towering storefront a few metres west of Mansfield St., which most recently housed a Foot Locker shoe store, was once the entrance of a majestic theatre that served as Montreal’s principal vaudeville house and one of its main movie theatres for many years after it was built in 1917. Then: A print from about 1910 of His Majesty's Theatre, which was located on Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine St. Then: A print from about 1910 of His Majesty's Theatre, which was located on Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine St. Now: His Majesty's Theatre was demolished in 1963, where today stands Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts complex. Now: His Majesty's Theatre was demolished in 1963, where today stands Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts complex. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The York Theatre opened in 1938 on the northwest corner of Ste-Catherine and Mackay Sts. Then: The York Theatre opened in 1938 on the northwest corner of Ste-Catherine and Mackay Sts. Now: The York Theatre was demolished in 2001 to make way for Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts building. Now: The York Theatre was demolished in 2001 to make way for Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts building. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A 1972 photo of the Loews Theatre, on Ste-Catherine just west of Mansfield St. Built in 1917 by architect Thomas W. Lamb. With more than 3,000 seats, it was the largest in Montreal when it opened, and for years was the principal vaudeville stand in the city. Then: A 1972 photo of the Loews Theatre, on Ste-Catherine just west of Mansfield St. Built in 1917 by architect Thomas W. Lamb. With more than 3,000 seats, it was the largest in Montreal when it opened, and for years was the principal vaudeville stand in the city. Now: The Loew's Theatre was subdivided into five cinemas in 1976. Boarded up today, the building most recently housed a Foot Locker store. Now: The Loew's Theatre was subdivided into five cinemas in 1976. Boarded up today, the building most recently housed a Foot Locker store. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Strand built in 1912 on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Mansfield Sts., and the first major movie theatre in Montreal's downtown. Then: The Strand built in 1912 on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Mansfield Sts., and the first major movie theatre in Montreal's downtown. Roméo Gariepy / collection Cinémathèque québécoise / Roméo Gariepy / collection Cinémathèque québécoise Now: The Strand Theatre ended its days as the Pigalle before being torn down in 1973, with the neighbouring Capitol Theatre, to make way for an office tower. Now: The Strand Theatre ended its days as the Pigalle before being torn down in 1973, with the neighbouring Capitol Theatre, to make way for an office tower. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Capitol Theatre, about 1925. The Capitol opened in 1921 on the south side of Ste-Catherine, just west of McGill College Ave. Then: The Capitol Theatre, about 1925. The Capitol opened in 1921 on the south side of Ste-Catherine, just west of McGill College Ave. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A print of the Colonial Theatre from about 1915. The theatre was renamed the Regal in 1920. Then: A print of the Colonial Theatre from about 1915. The theatre was renamed the Regal in 1920. Then: The Palace Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. between McGill College Ave. and University St. The Palace Theatre was built as the Allen Theatre for movies in 1921. Then: The Palace Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. between McGill College Ave. and University St. The Palace Theatre was built as the Allen Theatre for movies in 1921. Now: The site of the old Regal (and Colonial) theatres is now the SuperSexe strip club, and the former Palace Theatre, next door, is a restaurant. Now: The site of the old Regal (and Colonial) theatres is now the SuperSexe strip club, and the former Palace Theatre, next door, is a restaurant. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Gaiety Theatre, on the northeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Aylmer Sts., became a movie house in 1909. Renamed the London Theatre around 1912, later renamed The System, renamed Le Cinéma 539 in the 1970s and showed X-rated films. Then: The Gaiety Theatre, on the northeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Aylmer Sts., became a movie house in 1909. Renamed the London Theatre around 1912, later renamed The System, renamed Le Cinéma 539 in the 1970s and showed X-rated films. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette files Now: The exterior of the former Gaiety Theatre remains recognizable. Building most recently housed a store. Now: The exterior of the former Gaiety Theatre remains recognizable. Building most recently housed a store. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: Bennett's Theatre opened in Montreal in 1907, on the north side of Ste-Catherine at City Councillors St. Then: Bennett's Theatre opened in Montreal in 1907, on the north side of Ste-Catherine at City Councillors St. Now: The former Bennett's Theatre, renamed the Orpheum in 1910, is now the site of an office tower. Now: The former Bennett's Theatre, renamed the Orpheum in 1910, is now the site of an office tower. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. The former Princess Theatre was later renamed Le Parisien, and is now a newly renovated retail outlet up for rent. The former Princess Theatre was later renamed Le Parisien, and is now a newly renovated retail outlet up for rent. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Imperial Theatre in 1913, the year it opened ion Bleury St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Imperial Theatre in 1913, the year it opened ion Bleury St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Now: The Cinéma Impérial. Now: The Cinéma Impérial. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: An undated photo of Montreal's Nickel Theatre at the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine St. W. and Bleury St. After 1912, it became known as The Tivoli Theatre. It was destroyed in a 1923 fire. Then: An undated photo of Montreal's Nickel Theatre at the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine St. W. and Bleury St. After 1912, it became known as The Tivoli Theatre. It was destroyed in a 1923 fire. Now: There's no trace now of the old Tivoli Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. at Bleury St. Now: There's no trace now of the old Tivoli Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. at Bleury St. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Gayety Theatre, in 1957, at the corner Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain Sts. It was the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal in its day, later transformed into the home of the Comédie Canadienne theatre company. Then: The Gayety Theatre, in 1957, at the corner Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain Sts. It was the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal in its day, later transformed into the home of the Comédie Canadienne theatre company. The site of the former Gayety Theatre today is the Théâtre du nouveau monde. The site of the former Gayety Theatre today is the Théâtre du nouveau monde. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Ouimetoscope at the corner Ste. Catherine St. E. and Montcalm St., was inaugurated in 1906. Then: The Ouimetoscope at the corner Ste. Catherine St. E. and Montcalm St., was inaugurated in 1906. Now: Condos and a commercial space now occupy the site of the former Ouimetoscope, but a privately erected plaque draws attention to the site's historical significance. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Théâtre National, was built in 1900 on the south side of Ste-Catherine at Beaudry St. Considered the oldest French professional theatre in North America. Now: The Théâtre National, built in 1900, is now Le National, a music and live entertainment venue. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then and now: The grand old theatres of Ste-Catherine St. From west to east, here are some of the old theatres that once lined the street, along with what the sites look like now. By the end of its reign in the 1990s, the once glorious Loew’s was a five-screen cinema that had been eclipsed by even larger multi-screen movie theatres. The Loew’s was just one of more than a dozen lost movie and live entertainment palaces that once lined Ste-Catherine, long before Gap and Second Cup made their debuts. And you wouldn’t know that, either, because the story of Ste-Catherine’s role as a theatre row cannot be found on the street. Unlike Sherbrooke St. W. to the north, downtown Ste-Catherine boasts no historic plaques to point out its landmarks and recount the street’s history. “It was the Quartier des spectacles before there was Quartier des spectacles,” Heritage Montreal policy director Dinu Bumbaru said of the downtown stretch of Ste-Catherine. He was referring to the name of the entertainment block the city and the provincial government are building around Place des Arts between Ste-Catherine and De Maisonneuve Blvd. east of Bleury St. On its own initiative, Heritage Montreal installed 19 interpretative plaques along Sherbrooke in 1992 for Montreal’s 350th anniversary. It was an ambitious undertaking for a private, non-profit organization as it sought the cooperation of building owners to put up the plaques. The funding was provided by philanthropist Liliane M. Stewart and a number of foundations. Stewart, who presided the Stewart Museum and the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, died in May. The downtown theatres were the most important theatres in town. — Dane Lanken Heritage Montreal also installed 15 plaques around Dorchester Square in 2004. Stewart and the owners of some of the buildings in the area provided the funding. Now, with Montreal’s 375th anniversary coming in 2017, Bumbaru suggested that the city install historic plaques along Ste-Catherine. Coincidentally, city hall is in the midst of developing a revitalization plan for Ste-Catherine between Atwater and Bleury, which creates an opportunity and a budget for such an improvement, he said. Ste-Catherine began life as a residential street. It was transformed starting 120 years ago into an artery of grand stores, churches and theatres. In 1907, the city of Montreal boasted 53 cinema and concert halls and theatres, notes the Répertoire d’architecture traditionnelle, published by the former Montreal Urban Community in 1985. By 1911, the number had grown to 63. Two years later, in 1913, the city had 77 cinemas, concert halls and theatres. The most popular among them were concentrated on the downtown portion of Ste-Catherine. Today, almost all of Ste-Catherine’s early-20th-century theatres have vanished. Even the buildings that housed the theatres are mostly gone. Among the only traces of the street’s past are the Imperial theatre, still showing movies on Bleury just above Ste-Catherine, and the theatre hub formed by such venues as Club Soda, the Metropolis, the Société des arts technologiques and the Monument National at Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent Blvd. “The corner of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent is the only place where you can still feel the concentration of theatre,” Bumbaru said. Another hint of Ste-Catherine’s connection to old cinema and live theatre is a discreet bronze plaque – again, privately erected – on a building on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Montcalm St., east of the downtown core. A commemorative plaque recognizes Le Ouimetoscope in Montreal. A commemorative plaque recognizes the site of the historic Ouimetoscope theatre on Ste-Catherine St. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette The plaque pays tribute to Léo-Ernest Ouimet, an engineer and projectionist who erected on the street corner what is widely considered to have been the first theatre in Canada built specifically for movies. Ouimet opened the Ouimetoscope in 1906 out of a former recital hall. Soon after, he tore down the building and built a new and fancier Ouimetoscope dedicated to movies, which opened on the same spot in August 1907. The Cinémathèque canadienne (later renamed the Cinémathèque québécoise) put up the plaque in 1966. A commercial and condominium building sits on the site today. Ouimet, meanwhile, sold the Ouimetoscope in 1915 and moved to Hollywood. In 1920, he produced a feature film called Why Get Married? that played at Loew’s Theatre in Montreal, author Dane Lanken writes in his 1993 book Montreal Movie Palaces, a seminal work on the history of Montreal’s grand theatres. Lanken’s book also notes the Ouimetoscope may have been the first fancy movie palace in the world, and not just in Montreal. Lanken was working as a film critic at the Montreal Gazette in the early 1970s when the downtown theatres started to get demolished or have their grand interiors chopped up into multiple cinemas. Palace theatres were going the way of silent movies decades earlier. “It was really the end of the line for the big old theatres,” Lanken said in an interview. He spent 20 years gathering photos and conducting research and interviews on the city’s movie palaces for his book. People by and large lived in very dreary, cold-water flats. But for a quarter, you could go out and sit in this palace. And the doorman would open the door for you, and there would be an usher who would show you to a seat. You were treated royally for 25 cents. — Dane Lanken Lanken wasn’t the only theatre buff to lament the loss of the palace theatres. Montrealer Janet MacKinnon, who fought to preserve historic theatres in Canada, documented the significance of this city’s theatres with her organization, Historic Theatres Trust. MacKinnon died in 2011, but the Historic Theatres Trust collection is now housed at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The theatres’ history, architecture, ownership and size may be recorded, but Lanken says he agrees with Bumbaru’s suggestion to erect plaques at Ste-Catherine’s landmarks to help keep the history alive. “The downtown theatres were the most important theatres in town,” Lanken said, adding that Montreal’s principal theatres for decades were the Loew’s, the Capitol, the Palace and the Princess, all located within a few blocks of each other on Ste-Catherine. “From the early days of the movies, probably 1920 or so, until the the system broke down around 1970, movies would play first at one of these four downtown theatres,” Lanken said. “And then they would go out on what were called double bills at what were called the neighbourhood houses, like the Monkland in N.D.G., or the Rialto up north (on Parc Ave.). There were a couple dozen of these theatres in the neighbourhoods, but the prestige place to see a movie or for a movie to open in Montreal was at one of these four theatres. That’s why they were so important. And those blocks (along Ste-Catherine) certainly were the Quartier des spectacles of that time.” Most of the early 20th century theatres, such as the Loew’s, offered both films and live theatre. The decorative style of those theatres was classically inspired, based on ancient Greece and Rome, Lanken said. As a result, theatres like the Loew’s boasted columns and plaster low-relief decoration. “The grandeur of these theatres was an important selling point for them,” Lanken said. “People by and large lived in very dreary, cold-water flats. But for a quarter, you could go out and sit in this palace. And the doorman would open the door for you, and there would be an usher who would show you to a seat. You were treated royally for 25 cents.” If the theatres had sprouted somewhat organically on Ste-Catherine in the early 20th century, their destruction was in large part due to an under-appreciation of their architecture, decoration and history, Lanken said. Emblematic of the palace theatres’ plight in the 1970s was the Capitol, on Ste-Catherine just west of McGill College Ave. Lanken calls the Capitol “the greatest theatre ever built in the city.” “It was the grandest, the most spectacular and just about the biggest,” he said. “It’s so rare to walk into a room anywhere where there’s 50 feet of space over your head. But you could certainly get that in a theatre like the Capitol. “A lot of theatres would have walls or columns made of plaster painted to look like marble, but in the Capitol there was real marble. It was a very expensive theatre to build.” The Capitol was built in 1921 by Thomas W. Lamb, the master theatre architect of New York. Lamb who also built the Loew’s and hundreds of theatres across North America, for the then-new Famous Players Canadian Corp., which would become the largest chain in Canada. RELATED A bitter farewell to the Capitol Theatre Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette In 1973, the Capitol and its neighbour, the Strand, also owned by Famous Players by then, were demolished to make way for an office tower. “They thought there was more money to be made tearing down the theatres and putting up buildings,” Lanken said of Famous Players. It was the era of mayor Jean Drapeau, to boot, so the demolition of the city’s old theatres didn’t seem to bother city officials, he added. However, they were tearing down Montreal’s collective memory. In the early 20th century, the city was on a North American circuit for touring vaudeville acts, Lanken said. Vaudeville shows were a collection of unrelated acts. “It was family entertainment and anybody could go to it,” Lanken said. The Loew’s in its heyday was the main vaudeville venue in Montreal, putting everything from skaters to acrobats to “comedy dancers” on its bill, along with movies. Ste-Catherine also boasted burlesque shows, notably at the Gayety, the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal that was built in 1912 at Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain St. Stripper Lili St. Cyr made her Montreal debut here in 1944, Lanken’s book explains. It has been home to the Théâtre du nouveau monde since 1972. “Burlesque was vaudeville, except that it had a stripper in it and maybe a chorus line,” Lanken said. “And a dirty comedian was a hallmark of it, as well.” Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal’s Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”.<br />Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett’s Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Montreal Gazette files Vaudeville disappeared with the advent of “talkies” around 1929, but the Loew’s continued its program of vaudeville and movies for another decade, Lanken said. The Loew’s brought American comedic entertainer Red Skelton to Montreal before his rise from vaudeville to radio and television. Another performer to hit the stage at the Loew’s was Sally Rand, whom Hollywood filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille put in silent movies in the 1920s and who was billed as the world’s most famous fan dancer when she appeared on the bill at Loew’s in 1935 with her vaudeville act. It was said to be tamer than her burlesque act, in which she would use two ostrich feathers to playfully reveal parts of her body – minus the naughtiest parts — as she danced to Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. By the time Leonard Schlemm was taking his first dates to the Loew’s as a McGill University commerce undergrad in the early 1970s, the theatre was strictly showing movies. But the grandeur and elegance of the theatre hasn’t faded for Schlemm, who opened the Mansfield Athletic Club inside the belly of what used to be the Loew’s in 2005. The Loew’s had been built for Marcus Loew, who by 1917 already owned 100 theatres across the U.S. and Canada and would later be a co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood. With over 3,000 seats, the Loew’s was the city’s largest theatre when it opened. In 2001, Club Med World spent $8 million to renovate the then-vacant space and turn it into an entertainment complex. When the venture failed, the property was divided into two lots, one for the former entrance of the theatre on Ste-Catherine, which was rented to a shoe store, and the other for the interior belly, which opens on Mansfield. The Mansfield side remained empty until Schlemm’s real-estate agent scouted it in 2004 as a potential downtown location for the international fitness centre operator to open a new club. Schlemm had opened a gym in a smaller theatre in Madrid, Spain, and says he saw the potential for the former Loew’s. He bought the nearly 50,000-square-foot lot from a real-estate company that had bought the entire property from Club Med World. The storefront portion on Ste-Catherine, still owned by the real-estate company, has long since lost the old theatre facade. The construction work going on behind the plywood now is on the modern glass exterior, the borough of Ville-Marie says. The work is being done to make way for a new commercial tenant. However, the interior of the former Loew’s is still evident inside Schlemm’s Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. Four of the original architectural drawings for the theatre adorn a wall that leads into the workout space. While many of the grand theatres have been razed, the classically-inspired interior of the former Loew's is still evident inside the Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. While many of the grand theatres have been razed, the classically-inspired interior of the former Loew’s is still evident inside the Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. Peter McCabe / MONTREAL GAZETTE “Club Med had done an excellent job of refurbishing it,” Schlemm said, adding that the company preserved the decorations from the old theatre. (Lanken credits architect Mandel Sprachman for his “sensitive” renovation when he was hired in 1975 to split the Loew’s into a five-cinema theatre. Sprachman saved the dome in the ceiling and decorative elements on the walls to make it possible to one day restore the interior to its former glory.) Schlemm says he likes the idea of erecting plaques for the theatre landmarks along Ste-Catherine. At the same time, he says he recognizes that the city may have other pressing financial needs. So for now, the preservation of Montreal’s theatre row on Ste-Catherine – its history, its spirits and its few remaining fragments, anyway – relies on the will of individuals such as Schlemm and Lanken. A more concerted effort is needed, Bumbaru says. After all, it’s a street where an important piece of Montreal’s story may be lurking behind any ordinary-looking storefront sent via Tapatalk
  21. very depressing. http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/69d8aefa-95a7-11e4-a390-00144feabdc0.html#axzz3RFvv7YUu The Fast Lane: A premier city now second among equals Tyler BruleTyler Brûlé Montreal was Canada’s leading lady. The view last Saturday couldn’t have been more different S econd cities are always curious affairs. Often chippy, occasionally unassuming and always striving to be that little bit more distinct, quirky or boisterous than the comfy cousin who holds premier status on the international stage. Melbourne likes to trade on its Europeaness, seasons and liveability compared with Sydney’s beaches and overused Opera House. Residents of Osaka are loud and good-humoured, while Tokyoites are seen as too precious and concerned with protocol. Mancunians need to remind you of their industrial glory days, football teams and increasingly well-connected airport versus the gridlock of London. Second cities that used to hold the number one position are even stranger, particularly when their fall has been largely of their own making. Last weekend I returned to Montreal for the first time in about four years and the drive from the airport to downtown was a bittersweet journey along a route that used to dazzle in the early 1970s. Back then, the low-slung offices and factories lining the highway into the city carried the names of global brands and Canada’s industrial powerhouses. Downtown, skyscrapers and buildings from the turn of the 20th century carried the brass plaques of important banks and insurance companies. Montreal was Canada’s leading lady, the young nation’s port of first impressions. It had hosted a World Expo in 1967 and was about to run up a shameful debt in the form of the 1976 Summer Olympics. The view last Saturday couldn’t have been more different. Rather than the familiar logos, the words that dominated every other façade, in a variety of pleading fonts, was “à louer” (to rent), and these signs stretched from the perimeter fence of the airport all the way to the buildings around my hotel on the once elegant Sherbrooke Street. A plague of rental and for sale signs is generally a good indicator that things are not going quite to plan, whereas a skyline dotted with cranes and scaffolding (in Canada’s case, Toronto), suggests the opposite. Derelict office buildings and boarded-up restaurants aside, many would argue it’s all gone to plan, and Montreal has become a shining light of diversity and French culture in an otherwise Anglo continent. Businesses must answer the phone in French first; multinationals must spend tens of millions reimagining their brands in order not to fall foul of the province’s language police (Starbucks Coffee must have the prefix Café, should people miss what it does. This isn’t the case even in France); and then there are all the other quirky laws that ensure the province of Quebec maintains its special status at vast expense while its infrastructure is crumbling. When Quebec passed its radical language laws in the 1970s and hundreds of thousands of long-time residents headed for the Ontario border, there were many who thought this heavy-handed attempt at language preservation wouldn’t last. Yet Canada’s number two city continues to suffer a serious brain-drain, and even young francophones are becoming vocal about the province’s outmoded world view. For the moment Montreal remains an interesting place because a depressed economy allows creativity to flourish (think Berlin) as low rents mean it’s easier to try out a new retail concept or launch a restaurant. Having done two tours of duty in Montreal (1972-77 and 1980-83), I enjoyed the positive friction that came from Anglo-French sparring and the cosmopolitan flavour it cast over the city. More than 30 years later, the whole concept of language “rules” in an increasingly mobile world is simply unproductive. A recent piece in a Montreal daily politely argued that the city’s problems were related to manufacturing moving overseas and poorly integrated logistics while failing to even aim a dart at the elephant in the room. Multilingualism is a fine concept but it should not be imposed upon long-time residents, new arrivals or businesses seeking to invest — particularly when in Canada there’s another, more widely spoken language.
  22. http://business.financialpost.com/2014/12/16/cmhc-finally-releases-foreign-ownership-data-on-housing-too-bad-few-believe-it/
  23. Made you click Molson Coors relocating headquarters to 1801 California in downtown Denver Molly Armbrister Reporter- Denver Business Journal Molson Coors Brewing Co. will relocate its U.S. headquarters next year to Denver's second-tallest building: 1801 California. The company (NYSE: TAP) has leased 53,872 square feet in the 54-story tower at 1801 California St., which was purchased and upgraded by Brookfield Office Properties Inc. last year. Molson Coors will renovate the office areas, located on the 45th, 46th and part of the 47th floors, beginning in the spring. The company expects to inhabit the new space in fall 2015. Molson Coors' HQ is currently located at 1225 17th St. in Denver. It also has headquarters space in Montreal. "We are pleased to be moving to 1801 California, which will allow us to maintain our headquarters presence in vibrant downtown Denver," said Sam Walker, Molson Coors global chief people and legal officer. "This new location enables us to bring together our offices and employees under one roof and remain in the heart of Denver's thriving business community." 1801 California was formerly occupied entirely by Qwest Communications, but now CenturyLink Inc., which bought out Qwest, occupies about 30 percent of the building's 1.3 million square feet. Brookfield has been working to fill the building since completing its renovations on the property in February. "We're thrilled to have Molson Coors' U.S. headquarters making its home at 1801 California, said David Sternberg, executive vice president for the midwest and mountain regions for Brookfield. "1801 California is an ideal setting for Molson Coors — a landmark location for one of Colorado's iconic companies and one of the world's leading brewers," said Ted Harris, senior vice president at Cassidy Turley, one of the brokers on the transaction.
  24. 539 Sainte-Catherine Street Montreal, QC This building is situated at the northeast corner of Sainte-Catherine and Aylmer, across the street from The Bay's 640,000 sq. ft. main store. The property can accommodate a tenant of up to 5,000 sq. ft. on the ground floor, with potential for a mezzanine if required. The 40 foot facade on Sainte-Catherine Street, ceiling heights above 14 ft., excellent visibility, and the presence of many national retailers in the immediate vicinity create an ideal location for a flagship retail store in downtown Montreal. The building is undergoing a retrofit with completion expected in spring, 2012. http://www.canderel.com/news-communication/539-sainte-catherine-street
  25. Mtlvision

    Vision pour Montreal

    Hello everyone, I have a vision to develop Montreal that would revolutionize the face of downtown and give an international touch to it. What I would like to do is to form a small group to develop a few schematics/drawings of my idea and present it to the city developers and some business people. Anybody that has the skills necessary on this forum willing to put some time in it? Let me know