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  1. Jay Baruchel flew the flag at a Just for Laughs gala in 2013, but the longtime Montrealer now admits that part of the reason behind his move to Toronto is that "Quebec’s politics did my head in." Peter McCabe / Montreal Gazette files SHARE ADJUST COMMENT PRINT Jay Baruchel has been a relentless booster of his hometown in general and his ‘hood of N.D.G. in particular, for years telling anyone who would listen that he would never move to L.A. even though so much of his work brought him to Tinseltown. Well, things have changed, as Bob Dylan so succinctly put it. Baruchel has moved to Toronto, for work and personal reasons. Here he talks about what prompted him to do what so many anglo Montrealers have done in the past four decades and make the move down the 401. RELATED Jay Baruchel will roll with the punches in Goon sequel Montreal Gazette: So you’ve made the move to Toronto? Jay Baruchel: I’ll be perfectly honest: I’ve kind of moved here for a while. MG: I did hear rumours. Advertisement JB: I just bought a house here. There’s a few contributing reasons, not the least of which is between the movie (Goon: Last of the Enforcers, Baruchel’s upcoming feature directorial debut) and my TV show (Man Seeking Woman), I was here as of September, then shot to Christmas, went home (to Montreal) for about a month and a half, and then I’ve been here since. There’s going to be basically a month between the end of the shoot of our movie and the start of Season 2 of Man Seeking Woman, so I’m going to be here a s—load. And I won’t lie — Quebec’s politics did my head in. My mom calls it a five-year plan. I’m giving it five years to try to live somewhere else. I’ve never done it, really. MG: Yeah, because we’ve talked about this for years, ever since we’ve known each other. You were basically couch-surfing when working in Los Angeles and you always said you didn’t want to move to L.A. JB: And I didn’t. MG: So what happened? JB: A few things happened. I realized that not only did I not hate it in Toronto, but I quite like it here. I was bred to hate it. My parents fed me with all the Montreal anglo stuff — the “it’s where we go to die” stuff. But I also realized I had never spent that much time here. It was when I was here two or three winters ago doing RoboCop, I had a lot of time off and I realized I’d never spent more than five days in a row here. Between that and doing the TV show and a lot of my friends living here, I won’t lie — I fell in love with it a bit here. It’s just a bit of an easier place to live than back home. The last election was very traumatic in a way. MG: Why? JB: I was faced with a truth: I either will just swallow it and make peace with it, like I always have, that this is part and parcel of what it is to live in Montreal, the political climate as it is. It was either shut up or move. It was untenable. It was my fault if I keep living someplace that keeps giving me a headache. MG: Well, obviously the Liberals won that provincial election. So what I take from that is that separation, the referendum, was one of the big issues in that election, and it’ll be a big issue in the next provincial campaign, and you can’t deal with that anymore. JB: And it always will be. Aside from that silly stuff, which I wish would just go away but it won’t, it was less that than the kind of poisonous ethnic dialogue, which really, really left a sour taste in my mouth. It didn’t feel like the place that Mom wanted me to live in. She wanted me to grow up in someplace multicultural and to see every complexion of the world on the street, and to hear all the languages, and for that not to be a defeat or a sacrifice, but a good thing and a strength. You come here and it really is a pretty diverse place. Just some of the issues, some of the editorial subject matter in Quebec — it’s from 100 years in the past, man. I wake up here and I’m just a dude in a city. And when I go outside and speak English, it’s not a loaded or political deed of any kind. I’m just living. There’s just way less headaches here. Everything is a bit easier here. MG: I realized after spending a fair bit of time in Toronto myself that it’s not such a bad place, and I came to the conclusion that the Montrealers complaining the most about Toronto are people who haven’t been there since 1974. JB: That’s it. It’s not Toronto the Good anymore. It hasn’t been that for a long time. Also, the other thing is, if I want to put my money where my mouth is and be a filmmaker in Canada, as opposed to the States, I gotta be honest and realize that the vast majority of the ideas I have are in English, and that’s why it makes much more sense for me to be here. That being said, I still have my house in Montreal, and so I’ll always keep one foot in N.D.G. It might just turn into a pied-à-terre, but I’ll always have one foot there. That’s the other thing I realized: I don’t have a particular (passion) for the province of Quebec. I have a great deal of love for Montreal, but really, more than anything, it’s just my neighbourhood — it’s just N.D.G. So I miss that, but it happens to be located in a pretty difficult part of the world. MG: Obviously you’re a Leafs fan now? JB: Oh, f— you. That’s part of the fun of being here — being part of the Habs expat scene. It’s massive. Once upon a time you were scared to wear Habs s— in Toronto, and we just run this town now. There’s just nothing they can say. Very sad. :mtl:
  2. Opinion: The pros and cons of life in Montreal A newcomer finds that compared with Toronto, this city has lower rents, but higher taxes; better cycling lanes, but worse roads By Chris Riddell, Special to The Gazette September 2, 2014 4:42 PM MONTREAL — To an outsider, Montreal might seem like the perfect place to live. It has the lowest rents of all the major cities in Canada, it’s the nation’s epicentre of art and culture, and there are more restaurants and cafés than you can visit in a year. When I moved here from Toronto last year, it was mostly for the lower cost of living, but also for the enriching experience of a new culture so different from my own. In Montreal, I could theoretically have a better quality of life than I did in Hogtown, where the rents are some of the highest in the country. But is living in Montreal really all it’s cracked up to be? I hit the streets, speaking to everyday citizens about why they moved to Montreal, and tried to nail down some of the advantages and disadvantages of living here. What I found was interesting. Jesse Legallais, a 31-year-old musician, moved to Montreal from Toronto 10 years ago and hasn’t looked back. Sitting on a bench outside Café Social on a sunny Friday afternoon, he says: “It’s a bit of a slower pace than some of the other major cities and there is a diverse community here. There are a lot of talented people, so you’re kind of kept on your toes, but you don’t have to constantly scrape for work as hard as, say, New York or Toronto or L.A.” Montreal turned out to be the perfect place to nurture his craft as a musician. The cheaper cost of living was one of the main factors drawing him here, along with the bilingual nature of the city. Some people come to Montreal and find it’s a great place to open a business. Take Andre Levert, for example. Originally from St. Catharines, Ont., he moved to Montreal in 2000. Today, he and his wife own a head shop on Prince Arthur St. E. called Psychonaut. “I found that because commercial space and the cost of living is cheaper in Montreal, for starting a business it was less risk in the beginning,” he says. “I went and checked the rent for stores like mine in Ottawa, and it was way more expensive.” Levert stresses that it really is the people that make the city such a great place to live. Many other aspects of Montreal are lacking: language laws and infrastructure are problems that need to be addressed, and the city has its work cut out for it in those areas. It certainly isn’t all sunshine and roses in Montreal. While there are some great advantages to living here, there are also a number of drawbacks. Here is what I’ve noticed. Pro: Cheap rent. I can definitely say that I am not the only person who moved to Montreal from Toronto at least partly for the cheaper rents. According to Numbeo.com, the average rent in Montreal for a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre is $877. In Toronto, a one-bedroom apartment in the city centre goes for an average of $1,463. If you came to Montreal more than 10 years ago, you would have paid even less. “After the referendum they were just giving them away here,” says Legallais. “Especially up in this neighbourhood (Mile End) before it became so trendy. You’d get 6½s, first month free, for $400 or $500.” Con: Taxes are higher. Although the cost of living might be lower here, you are also paying some of the highest taxes in the country. In Quebec we pay 16 per cent provincial income tax on amounts up to $41,095. Add that into the federal rate for the same bracket (15 per cent), and you’re losing almost a third of your paycheque in taxes. Sales tax is also high. Here you pay five per cent goods and services tax and also 9.975 per cent provincial sales tax. This, along with the high income tax rate, could be enough to offset any savings you might enjoy from the cheap rents. Pro: Dépanneurs. Since I’m from a province where the sale and distribution of alcohol is extremely regulated, I think the ability to buy beer at my local corner store is amazing. No matter where you are in Montreal, you’re never too far from an ice cold case of Boréale. Some dépanneurs take it a notch higher by adding extras like sushi bars, craft beer rooms and sandwich shops. Con: The SAQ. I have often said that Montreal is a kind of purgatory for scotch or bourbon drinkers. Finding a bottle of Wild Turkey involved looking up online which SAQ store to go to, and then travelling across town to buy it before the store closed at 6 p.m. Ally Baker, an arts student at Concordia, agrees. She hails from Edmonton and has been living in Montreal for 2½ years. “Coming from a province where it’s not government regulated, I find the selection is a lot less, you’re paying a lot more for whatever you’re getting, and you have to travel a lot more to get to different stores. The hours aren’t that great as well,” she says. Pro: Great parks and cycling lanes. In 2013, Copenhagenize rated Montreal the best city in North America for cycling, and it’s no wonder why. The bike-lane network is excellent, and I have been taking a great deal of time this summer to make effective use of it. The separated lanes especially are fun and make you feel safe. Coming from Toronto, a city with a terrible bike network, this is a very attractive feature for an avid cyclist. The parks in this city are second to none. There are tons of green space to spend time in when the weather is nice, and many of the large parks have facilities for just about every sport you can think of. You are also allowed to drink in public (as long as you have some food), so picnicking is always a popular summer activity. There is certainly no shortage of things to keep you busy in Montreal once the weather warms up. But of course that means ... Con: Cold and snowy winters. Montreal is notorious for long, cold, snowy winters. This past winter was especially brutal, and many Montrealers would agree with me. During these cold months, the city is comparatively dead. This doesn’t mean there is nothing to do, however. There are still events like Igloofest, for example, if you know where to look. But if you expect to survive the season, you will need to adapt. “I’m coming from Michigan, so it wasn’t so much of a shock for me,” says Rochie Cohen, a mother of four in the Côte-des-Neiges area. She has been living in Montreal for 12 years. “We just have to leave the house a half an hour earlier. There is a lot of bundling up: coats, scarves, gloves and boots. It takes a lot longer.” Pro: A world-class cultural scene and laid-back attitude. Montreal is a magnet for young artists looking for a place to develop their craft and connect with like-minded people. Numerous artists, writers and musicians of renown were born here. Not only that, the citizenry is much more laid-back than elsewhere in Canada. “My brother asked me, ‘What can you do in Montreal that you can’t do in Ottawa?’ and I told him basically nothing, but everything you do in Montreal is more entertaining,” says Levert. He adds: “You go to a grocery store and shoot a few jokes with the people in line. It’s a joie de vivre that you don’t get anywhere else.” Con: Language barriers. Language issues have been in the spotlight for a long time in Montreal. It’s virtually impossible to get a decent job if you aren’t bilingual, and it can also be isolating for some people. This is true for anglophones who don’t speak French, but it also goes the other way. Aurore Trusewicz is a freelance translator from Belgium. She came to Montreal to attend McGill University in 2007, and French is her first language. “Even though I was attending an English university, I was just listening to English all the time and not really speaking it,” she says. “I was concerned about that because I knew that in Montreal a lot of people speak English, and I was intimidated about how I would speak with (the customers at work).” Although it was intimidating at first, she stuck with it and polished her English skills with diligent practice. The same can be said for learning French. It can be scary to practise speaking it when you aren’t good at it yet. But if you show a genuine effort, you’ll find there are many people out there willing to help. Pro: Affordable public transit. When I moved here, I looked forward to using Montreal’s affordable and extensive transit system. The cost of a monthly pass is much lower than in Toronto, and the métro covers more of the city, so it’s easy to get around. The stations are also designed with better esthetics than the system of my hometown. “The public transportation system is quite nice compared to other places,” says Trusewicz. “Last year I had the chance to go to Miami, and really, you can’t do anything without a car over there. It’s nice to have a métro and buses, even in the middle of the night, to go wherever you want to go.” Con: Traffic and infrastructure problems. This city is disintegrating around us. After riding my bike around these streets, it’s plain to see that some of the roads are in a pitiful condition. After driving here, it’s also plain to see that the design of some of the highways and intersections is very confusing to someone who hasn’t been living here all his life. Combine this with the heavy amounts of roadwork and construction going on, and you’ve got some very bad traffic problems. The roads and sewers have been neglected for years, and now the city has a tremendous amount of work to do with upgrading its ailing infrastructure. City hall is also hard pressed to find the financing to pay for it. It seems this is one problem that Montrealers are going to have to suffer through for years to come. - - - For and against relocating to Montreal The good: Universities have the lowest tuition rates in the country, making Montreal a popular city for students. Residents enjoy the cheapest electricity in Canada, thanks to Hydro-Québec. Daycare is affordable, due to the reduced-contribution spaces for children 5 or younger; parents pay $7 per day. Operational costs for running a business are the lowest in North America, according to a 2013 KPMG survey. Approximately 2,000 hectares of public parks are spread across 17 large parks and 1,160 small neighbourhood parks. The bad: Many people leave Quebec each year for better job prospects in the rest of Canada (28,439 people left from January to September in 2013). Political corruption and allegations of ties to the Mob have besmirched the city’s image. Montreal has some of the worst traffic congestion in the country. It seems essential to be bilingual in order to build a life here; that can be hard for newcomers. Part of the city’s water system is well over 100 years old and prone to leaks. Boil-water advisories have been issued in the past. Chris Riddell is a freelance journalist and copywriter who lives in Côte-des-Neiges.
  3. jesseps

    Canada - 100 Million Citizens

    For a while now I have been thinking about how Canada would be like, if we actually had a decent size population. I found an article from the Globe and Mail from a few years ago, saying we should really consider increasing the number of immigrants coming to this country. How do we get 1.9 million new people to move to Canada and live here, each and every year? Yes, the current major cities like Toronto and Montreal will continue to grow, but we should find ways to get other cities to grow also. If we did manage to get to 100,000,000 people living in Canada by 2050, we would have a density of 10 people per sq.km. That would be almost similar to present day Russia (excl. the annexation of Crimea). The US has 35 people per sq.km. With that we would see Canada explode to well over 300 million people. Yes it would be a lot of more mouths to feed. Plus we would need a rapid expansion in new urban centers across the provinces and especially the territories. We would also need to develop/revitalize current industries and create new industries. I know the energy (petrol) and mining sectors are in the toilet, but if we managed to increase the population, we would probably bring those industries back to life. We may be able to finally fly Montreal to Vancouver or within this country for cheaper or drive through the Prairies and be bored out of our minds or even driving all the way to Iqaluit and not worry about the gas tank, seeing there may be a station close by and not 1000's of km away. Also we can finally see many of the national parks and provincial/territorial parks, that are inaccessible and costs 10s of thousands of to visit. The reason I bring up the territories, they are grossly under populated. If there are more people there and more towns/cities connecting them to the south, the cost of living there will decrease. Plus by 2050-2100, more people will be moving north because of climate change. I found one agency formulate by 2050, we would see Canada's population grow to well under 50 million, we would be one of the wealthiest per capita, but our GDP would be lower. If we could increase the population to 100 million and also find a way to still have a similar GDP per capita as the one forecast for 2050 with 50 million, we would be the 4th wealthiest instead of the 17th. It is a long shot and I know Canada has a lot to do before that time, but we should really think about the future of this country.
  4. http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324425204578599533804057360.html#articleTabs%3Darticle A Move to Montreal A Texas couple's love of Europe leads them to a new life in Canada By JUDY THOMPSON When I tell people that we spend four months each year on a French-speaking island, they are puzzled. French Polynesia? French West Indies? No. Our island is in the middle of a mighty waterway in eastern Canada: the city of Montreal. With the St. Lawrence River rushing by on all sides, Montreal is a destination I've loved since 2000 when my husband, Cameron Payne, persuaded me to vacation in Quebec instead of France. I reluctantly said yes—and it was life-changing. I was smitten. I've always wanted to live in Europe, having a love of old cities, history and urban life, but gave up on it as too expensive, too fraught with language problems and too far away. On our first visit to Montreal, though, the atmosphere felt a little like Europe. The population (about 1.6 million) spoke French, food was an art form, public transportation was excellent, and the city's high-density neighborhoods were bursting with life. So in 2006 we committed to Montreal as a semiretirement refuge from Houston. (As tourists we can stay in Canada for a maximum of six months each year.) We bought a two-bedroom condominium in an old building (1906) on the Plateau, a neighborhood known for its high concentration of residents who make their living from the arts. Summers Outdoors From our doorstep, we can see Parc Lafontaine, a summer magnet for Plateau residents, children, dogs, friends, musicians, picnics and acrobats. It has two lakes, bike paths, a jogging path, an outdoor theater, a dog park and much more. For us, proximity to this park was the most important factor in choosing a home. We usually arrive in June. (Winters are inhospitable.) Summers are lived outside as much as possible. People are out and about, walking in tree-shaded neighborhoods, biking, Rollerblading, eating at sidewalk cafes, walking up Mount Royal (a hill, really, at about 765 feet, and the city's namesake) and tending flowers and gardens. Friends and acquaintances invariably ask: "But what do you do up there?" We live a simple life with no car or air conditioning and windows open—as unlike Houston as you can get. We never tire of walking around Old Montreal (some of it built in the 1700s) or visiting the Jean-Talon and Atwater farmers' markets. Life is lived close to the farm in Quebec, and these two markets put it all at your fingertips. Summer also brings festival season, which includes the Montreal International Jazz Festival in the new outdoor cultural heart of the city, Quartier des Spectacles. Montreal is a compact city; we can walk anywhere we regularly go within 30 minutes. (Our local grocer is less than a five-minute stroll.) That said, we often take advantage of BIXI, a citywide bike-sharing program. In the beginning I was skeptical that we would become BIXI users, since biking was something we hadn't done in decades. But Montreal has a strong bicycle culture, with 300-plus miles of bike paths and thousands of people pedaling to work every day. So in 2010 Cameron and I bought helmets and joined in, a decision that helps with errands, sightseeing—and expenses. The annual BIXI fee is only 82 Canadian dollars (about US$79 at current exchange rates). Even though Montreal is a French-speaking city, our experience has been that nearly everyone under 40 also speaks English, and they are friendly about it. There is a large English-speaking community located on the west side of the city, but our preference was to experience something different. So, we chose the predominantly French-speaking area. We have never regretted it. The downsides of settling in for several months each year are few. The cost of living and sales taxes (15%) are higher than in Texas. Given that Montreal is an island, summer days can be humid, and traffic in the city is complicated by many narrow one-way streets. (We also joined a car-sharing service called Communauto.) On balance, the benefits far outweigh any shortcomings. Take crime—or the lack thereof. It takes a while to stop looking over your shoulder at night while walking, but we don't do it anymore. Buyers' Market Not counting lodging (since we own our home), our living expenses for everything we do (renting cars, taking short trips, eating out, buying groceries, etc.) are about C$100 a day. Currently, a well-located older condo on the Plateau—generally, about 1,000 to 1,500 square feet—runs about C$350 to C$400 a square foot. Given the large number of new condos available in other parts of the city, the market currently favors buyers. We have spent seven summers in Montreal, and each year we see more of Quebec (and the rest of Canada), make more friends and appreciate more fully the retirement choice we made. This live-and-let-live place with so much joie de vivre and natural beauty suits us. It is a place where we live a simpler life but don't miss anything. And it feels a little like Europe. At least to an American coming from Texas. Ms. Thompson works in residential real estate in Houston. She can be reached at encore@wsj.com
  5. https://medium.com/@transitapp/the-mini-villages-of-montreal-s-metro-6900e158b2a The metro is the backbone of Montreal. Besides New York City and Mexico City, Montreal’s annual ridership is higher than every other subway system in North America. It’s a feel-good story if you’re from Montreal. But there are lots of big cities in North America. Why has the STM — Montreal’s transit authority — been so successful in getting us to ride the metro? One big reason: Montreal’s metro stations are incredibly well-integrated within the city’s densest neighbourhoods. Would you take the metro if it took you an hour to get there? Probably not. That’s why when urban planners design transit systems, they try to optimize transit station walksheds: the area around a transit station accessible by foot. Just because your grandpa walked seven miles to school (uphill both ways) doesn’t mean you should. Having a metro station within walking distance makes it more likely that you’ll actually use public transit, and not have to rely on a car. This visualization shows the population that lives within walking distance of each Montreal rail station: Montreal rail station walksheds’ population within 800m of stations. The sizes of the circles and the numbers inside them correspond to the population in 1,000 people (24 = 24,000). How does your station compare? In other words, if you were to shout really loudly outside most metro stations, there are lots of people who will hear you. There are thousands — and often tens of thousands — of people living within 800 metres of Montreal’s rail stations. And this is in a city with almost no skyscrapers! To create this graphic, we found the number of people in Montreal who live within 800 metres of the nearest rail station, which represents a 10 minute walk for a fully-grown human with average-sized legs. The Côte-Sainte-Catherine station has the most people living in its walkshed (about 28,000 people), followed by the Mont-Royal and Guy-Concordia stations (about 26,000 each). Mont Royal metro on the left (26,000 people), Montmorency on the right (6,000 people). Where would you rather live? Funnily enough, the metro station with the most foot traffic (Berri-UQAM) actually has less people living around it than the areas around the adjacent Beaudry, St. Laurent, and Sherbrooke stations. This is because many people going through Berri-UQAM don’t actually live there — they’re just stopping to transfer between the Orange, Green, and Yellow lines. Tweet at us!On the whole though, areas around metro stations are much more densethan the rest of Montreal: the population density within metro walksheds is more than 10,000 people/km², while population density outside of them is a mere 3,700 people/km². By giving Montrealers cheap, rapid, and reliable access to the rest of the city, metro stations encourage people to live nearby. But when people can’t live near stations (due to zoning or other reasons) you don’t see as much development, and neighbourhoods become much more car-reliant and “suburbified”. Consider Montreal’s AMT stations, which generally don’t have as many people living nearby as metro stations. AMT stations are often next to highways and surrounded by a sea of parking, while others are smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. The lack of dense housing nearby is one reason that the ridership numbers for the AMT (80,000 daily trips) pale in comparison to the mammoth numbers of the STM Metro (1,250,000 daily trips). When people live further away from stations, they have to rely on feeder buses or park-and-ride’s. To avoid that inconvenience, many people simply choose to use cars instead of taking public transit. Altogether, we’re proud that Montreal’s car cravings are comparatively light. When stacked up against similarly-sized North American cities, our public transit mode share is very high. Take a look: Originally posted by transit planner extraordinaire Jarret Walker on humantransit.orgLargely because of our city’s metro, over 20% of Montrealers take public transit to work, which is more than double the share in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Washington DC, and Seattle. Still, we can do better. In the STM’s Strategic Plan for 2020, one of the primary goals is to reduce the share of car trips from 48% of total trips down to 41%. To make up the difference, they hope to encourage more Montrealers to take public transit. There are many ways to acccomplish this goal: congestion pricing or better parking policies to discourage driving, increased service to boost transit’s convenience, and real-time customer information (iBUS anyone?). In particular, our walkshed graph shows that denser development should be an important part of the STM’s toolkit — notwithstanding the usual political hurdles. Our team at Transit App is also doing its part to make public transit more convenient in Montreal, and in many other cities around the world. From our Mile End office, our team is giving millions of people the flexibility and reliability of a car — without the burdens of actually owning one. Find out how we can help make your transit experience better: You can download Transit App for free on iPhoneand Android
  6. Dear all, I have been a member of MtUrb since day 1, less active with posts now than I was a few years back, but always an avid reader. So, new developments in Montreal are really surprises when I go back "home" every few years. For you see, I have been living in Hong Kong for the past 5 years, enjoying life in the most transit-efficient city in the world. But this post is not about Hong Kong, it is about re-discovering Montreal... Last time my wife and I came back to Canada was 3 years ago. As usual, we enjoyed our time and visited our friends and family in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa (where we lived and worked for over 12 years) and Toronto. I remember thinking back then that while Montreal was cooler, Toronto was the boom town, and Ottawa was the sleepy, quaint, moneyed high tech capital. How things changed in 3 years. Ottawa seemed to us like it went down the drain; unbearable traffic, no high-tech rumble anymore (loss of Nortel?), a feeling as it somewhat had lost its soul somewhere in suburbia... Not quite sure how to pin it down but it felt empty. Quebec City didn't change much; we never cared for it much as we always thought the old Quebec to be an island of pretty in a sea of bland. Toronto is still booming, but still looking for its heart... As I said, none of the real-estate development in Montreal should have surprised me since I was aware of every single one of them, thanks to you guys, but they did, in a big way. I could feel the vibrancy. In the new buildings, parks, squares, sure. But also in the attitude; I felt positivism and renewed joie-de-vivre. Food trucks that hasn't been allowed for decades are now back in full force, Ste-Catherine no longer felt like an unfortunate and sometimes decrepit metaphor for the two solitudes. Yeah, coming from Ottawa on the Metropolitain, or crossing the bridges made a Hong-Konger think that North-America hasn't quite gotten out of the stone-age of transportation. But I saw more people in the city of Montreal than ever before; people working, living and playing within urbanity. I also, for the first time, really saw the concept of urban villages materialize before my eyes, be it downtown in the condo environments, in NDG with its eclectic combination of tree-hugging concepts such as urban-gardens, and the sense that people truly understood that in order for sustainability to exist, it needs to be financially viable (overheard of discussion of a green entrepreneur planning how he was going to make his rooftop gardens profitable). Like it or not, one also cannot deny that Ferrandez has changed the face of the Plateau; I thought the density of people biking was a sight to behold. Maybe I was dreaming and under the influence of so much amazing food (and ok, a good amount of red wine too...) that I partially lost my mind but beyond all of the impressive public money investments (CHUM, parks, new Metro trains, etc, etc), I thought, talking to people and "feeling" the city-beat, that I could feel a paradigm-shift or the beginning of one: the private sector investing in Montreal, believing in it (naysayers just have to spend 5 minutes at the corner of René-Levesque and De La Montagne to be convinced), and residents that seem to have moved on from the rut, looking forward instead of back... I hope that continues when, hopefully, one day, I decide to move back to Canada and, maybe, settle down in Montreal. We thoroughly enjoyed our time. I leave you with 2 pictures. Hard to say that Montreal is at a standstill. The old 'Carriere Miron' is becoming one of the largest park in Montreal, here's what I would do with it. Picture was taken from the north-west corner. I'm not an artist but, you get the idea... Have a great rest of this wonderful summer! JC
  7. The first installment in a new Gazette series about living in Montréal. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal-az/index.html Being a Montrealer can be tough: the winters, the crumbling infrastructure, the corruption scandals ... But the start of the summer party and festival season has finally arrived, making this a perfect time to bask in all that this city has to offer, and to celebrate why we love Montreal, from A to Z. There’s so much to celebrate about living in Montreal If overcoming adversity is the secret to communal happiness, then we’re due an extra helping of joy. We ask some prominent Montrealers what they love most about our city BY RENÉ BRUEMMER, GAZETTE CIVIC AFFAIRS REPORTER JUNE 7, 2014 9:11 AM Things are looking up: Montreal’s skyline as seen from the lookout on Mount Royal. Photograph by: Megan Martin/Special to The Gazette MONTREAL — In order to truly appreciate life, a wise friend once told me, one has to suffer a little. We were descending from the peak of Mt. Algonquin in the Adirondacks after an unexpectedly harrowing five-hour hike through snow and ice that allowed ample time to ponder the question: “Why did we choose to inflict this on ourselves?” But as we descended, elated, my friend pointed out that it was the hardships we overcame that made the journey so special, and brought our disparate band of hikers closer. If overcoming adversity and suffering en masse is the secret to communal happiness, then Montrealers are due an extra helping of joy. Just as a sailor trapped in the darkness of a long storm may forget the existence of the sun, many Montrealers swamped by waves of corruption scandals and a particularly nasty political climate have lost sight that they live in one of the greatest and most vibrant cities in the world. One that manages to remain mostly harmonious in spite of, or perhaps because of, its vast diversity. More tarnished jewel than island paradise, Montreal is all the more precious to those who choose to live here — in part because of its imperfections. There are signs, finally, that Montrealers are starting to feel that glimmer of warmth again, and with it a rebirth of their pride. The shift in attitude coincides with the re-emergence of the sun, a glorious Habs playoff run, and Grand Prix weekend, what radio host Terry DiMonte refers to as “the starting gun for the summer.” It’s a time when we see our metropolis through the eyes of outsiders who see it as a special place for its unique French-English mix, harmonious multicultural melding and its expertise in the art of joie-de-vivre. The Gazette asked a handful of prominent Montrealers what they think makes our metropolis stand out. Alongside these perspectives, today we kick off a Gazette summer series on the many things that make this city a special place to live, from A to Z. We’ll run daily features — one for each letter of the alphabet. Congratulations, Montrealers, we’ve made it through some dark times. Now, it’s time to celebrate under the sun. The last many months have been hard on the soul, CHOM morning man Terry DiMonte notes. “I’ve told family and friends across the country that it has been very difficult to live in Montreal over the past 18 months, even more difficult than normal,” DiMonte said. “I had a French friend who told me, ‘Anglophones love the city so much because they have to fight so hard to stay.’ “When I first came back from Calgary, my first summer was the Maple Spring (season of student protests), which I found incredibly difficult, and that was followed by the election of the Parti Québécois (government) and all the disharmony and divisiveness (that followed), and that I found really, really soul-sapping.” In his four years in Calgary, DiMonte found that city clean, well-run and “all of those things that Montreal isn’t.” Yet he returned, for there is something about this city’s chaos that attracts. “As much as I hate to say it, part of what makes Montreal special is it demands a lot of you to live there — the construction, the politics, the closed highways, the potholes, the things we argue about, it’s all of those things that make the place in an odd way a special place. … It gives it a flavour you can’t find in any other city in Canada.” All that adversity breeds a certain toughness, said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The city has shown resiliency in the face of a slew of crises, including loss of status as Canada’s top business metropolis, the flight of head offices and a decimated manufacturing sector. “Despite all that, there is an optimism, or will, to develop the city that always comes back,” Leblanc said. “We are an ambitious city. That doesn’t mean we necessarily realize all our ambitions, but when we say Montreal will be a cultural metropolis, and we way Montreal is a city of creativity, we actually create those two Montreals, we project ourselves as an international metropolis.” After a long decline, Montreal is rebuilding its roads and bridges, and residential and commercial office towers are sprouting everywhere, and especially downtown. There are 86 building projects over $5 million underway in Montreal and its demerged municipalities, Quebec’s construction commission reported this week. That indicates a positive outlook by developers, and the banks that saw fit to finance them, Leblanc said. The challenge, however, will be putting up with 10 years of construction zones. Beyond the current building boom, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal also notes the city’s unique geography. “What I think is wonderful, somehow, is the space of the city itself,” Bumbaru said. “The architecture is not an architecture of immense landmarks, but one of streetscapes, and the connection between those, in a way. We can have a stroll on Gouin Blvd., or a stroll from the mountain down to the Lachine Canal. It is a strollable city. “It is the scale of the city, the notion of neighbourhoods and the fact that we have a living core.” (Eighty-four thousand people live in the Ville Marie borough, making for the most populated downtown core in North America after New York City, La Presse reported this week). While many cities are statistically diverse, their cultural groups are often grouped into ghettos that inhibit interaction and can create tensions. Montreal has a “mixity,” notes Bumbaru, “a porosity in the city fabric” that allows the multitudes to merge. That coming together creates a unique collectivity among people from all over the globe, says comedian Sugar Sammy. “People say there are two solitudes — I think there’s actually all these cultures that are starting to meld together,” said Sugar Sammy, whose bilingual standup shows have drawn 235,000 fans in Canada and India over the last two years, and whose new French TV show, Ces gars-là, is drawing a wide anglophone audience. It helps, he notes, that most Montrealers are bilingual, if not trilingual. The easy mixing allows Montrealers, often strongly attached to their own neighbourhoods, to visit the city’s other many varied locales and yet always still feel at home, Sammy said. “It’s not just biculturalism, but so many cultures and the fact that people know about each other here,” he said. Despite the division caused by Quebec’s proposed charter of values, Montreal’s “mixity” is actually a source of unity, Sammy said. Montreal’s city council and its mayor unanimously defied the charter, and the PQ, which proposed the charter, were trounced in the April elections. Communications strategist Martine St-Victor describes Montreal’s intermingling as harmony, as opposed to mere “tolerance.” “Harmony means not only that you have Asian friends, it’s that you love Asian restaurants — that you actively seek out other cultures and make them your own,” she said. “There is this human contact that you don’t find, for example, in New York or Paris,” she said, in part because many of Montreal’s neighbourhoods, with their local cafés and small cordonneries, maintain their village feel. “You sense you are part of a collective, that we are not just individuals, which is great.” It’s also a city where people aren’t afraid to look one another in the eye. And the city has a new champion, she said, in Mayor Denis Coderre. “He’s taking the city where it hasn’t been in a long time because he has guts. He has a big mouth, but he backs it up.” Since his election in November, Coderre has travelled to municipalities throughout Quebec, and to New York City, Paris, Lyons, and Brussels to forge bonds. And to proclaim: “We’re back.” “Our role is to make the city known, to make sure we are contagious. We have a great reputation internationally,” Coderre said. “When people come to Montreal, they fall in love with it.” At home, Coderre’s message has been: Tackle the issues, stop beating ourselves up about past transgressions and gain more power as Quebec’s major metropolis. If city council is proactive and takes decisions, the people will appreciate it, he argues. And they will forgive your mistakes, which allows for progress. “When we step back and look at ourselves in a bigger way, I think this is one of the greatest places in the world,” Coderre said. And a city that suffers as one also gets to celebrate as one. “We have this sort of sense, I think, of going through something together,” Sugar Sammy said. “We live whatever the pulse is, and if you live it together you feel it, and I think it makes you fall in love with the city even more.” rbruemmer@montrealgazette.com Twitter: ReneBruemmer
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  9. Earth to anglos: This is Quebec. Bus drivers speak French BY NICHOLAS ROBINSON, THE GAZETTE JANUARY 7, 2014 I’m an expat American whose family transferred here (my father worked for ICAO) in 1976. In 1988, after having gone to college and graduated in California, I moved to Japan and spent five years there, teaching English. When I returned, my parents had relocated to California, but left their condo here unrented and unoccupied. Naturally, I chose to resettle here instead of California, and I’ve been here ever since. I spoke French before I came to Montreal, having learned it in francophone African countries, so I had no problems getting around Montreal. Except in my lengthy absence, Bill 101 had been passed, and many anglos were hightailing it out on the 401. It was strange coming back to a Montreal that had language issues; I’d never had the Eaton-fat-lady experience while I had been here in the 1970s and had never had any problems back then. And at first, actually, for over a decade, I resented the ridiculous sign law that made English two-thirds smaller than French on signs, plus all the “tongue-trooper” shenanigans over the years. But then my mind started changing, and today I’m pretty much the polar opposite to what I was in 1994. I now teach Japanese to individuals in Montreal, having enthusiastically learned it from scratch while in Japan. Most of my students are francophone, but we usually end up having the class with a mixture of all three languages. Now when I hear about people “not getting service” in English in such institutions as hospitals, or not being responded to in English by bus drivers, my stance is: tough luck. When I moved to Japan, I quickly discovered that almost nobody spoke English, and that in order to function, I would have to learn Japanese — and fast, which I did. And now I feel maybe Bill 101 should have gone farther and made all signs only in French. After all, we are living in a French-speaking province that just happens to be in the middle of a vast country called Canada. Any anglos who have been here for any length of time — over a year or so — should at least be able to carry out basic living functions in French and learn how to read signs in French. The wheedle-factor here is enormous. To my mind, the French speakers of Quebec have been incredibly tolerant of the anglophone “community,” and a vast swath of them have gone to the immense trouble of learning English — when they don’t have to at all. Yet they do, happily and willingly and without a single murmur of protest. Why then, can’t the so-called “anglophone community,” knowingly residing in a province that has every right in the world to make everything in French, not do a better job of learning French? Earth to anglos: this is Quebec. In Quebec most people speak French. Bus drivers have every right in the world to respond to you in French, even when you speak to them in English. And my suggestion to these besieged individuals is simply: learn how to speak French. There are literally hundreds of places where you can learn it absolutely free. Or take some of my classes and move to Japan, where there is a severe shortage of English teachers; I promise there are no French speakers there to hound you. Nicholas Robinson teaches Japanese in Montreal. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  10. On vient de me recommander ce livre; sûrement qu'il y en aura ici qui seront intéressés... The Endless City At the turn of the twenty-first century, the world is faced with an unprecedented challenge. It must address a fundamental shift in the world’s population towards the cities, and away from mankind’s rural roots.Over the course of two years, a group of internationally renowned professionals from a variety of different disciplines and backgrounds gathered together in six world cities to take stock of the new urban condition and to offer an approach to dealing with it. The Urban Age conferences – organised by the London School of Economics and Political Science and Deutsche Bank’s Alfred Herrhausen Society – centred on six very different cities. In Shanghai and Mexico City, the urban population is experiencing rapid growth and change,while Berlin is coming to terms with shrinking expectations.The result was a sometimes passionate, always challenging and informed debate on how architects, urbanists, politicians and policy makers can constructively plan the infrastructure and development of the endless city, to promote a better social and economic life for its citizens. 34 contributors from across Europe, South America, China, Africa and the U.S. set the agenda for the city – detailing its successes as well as its failures. Authoritatively edited by Ricky Burdett and Deyan Sudjic, The Endless City presents the outcome of this pioneering initiative on the future of cities. It has a follow-up volume called Living in the Endless City (2011). http://lsecities.net/publications/books/the-endless-city/
  11. Located in one of Montreal's most prestigious and central sectors, Le Luxor condominium offers a living standard of high quality and luxury.
  12. http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-03-14/micro-apartments-in-the-big-city-a-trend-builds Always happy to see quotes from professors at my alma mater, especially when it comes to real estate issues! Micro-Apartments in the Big City: A Trend Builds By Venessa Wong March 14, 2013 6:00 PM EDT Imagine waking in a 15-by-15-foot apartment that still manages to have everything you need. The bed collapses into the wall, and a breakfast table extends down from the back of the bed once it’s tucked away. Instead of closets, look overhead to nooks suspended from the ceiling. Company coming? Get out the stools that stack like nesting dolls in an ottoman. Micro-apartments, in some cases smaller than college dorm rooms, are cropping up in North American cities as urban planners experiment with new types of housing to accommodate growing numbers of single professionals, students, and the elderly. Single-person households made up 26.7 percent of the U.S. total in 2010, vs. 17.6 percent in 1970, according to Census Bureau data. In cities, the proportion is often higher: In New York, it’s about 33 percent. And these boîtes aren’t just for singles. The idea is to be more efficient and eventually to offer cheaper rents. To foster innovation, several municipalities are waiving zoning regulations to allow construction of smaller dwellings at select sites. In November, San Francisco reduced minimum requirements for a pilot project to 220 square feet, from 290, for a two-person efficiency unit. In Boston, where most homes are at least 450 sq. ft., the city has approved 300 new units as small as 375 sq. ft. With the blessing of local authorities, a developer in Vancouver in 2011 converted a single-room occupancy hotel into 30 “micro-lofts” under 300 sq. ft. Seattle and Chicago have also green-lighted micro-apartments. “In the foreseeable future, this trend will continue,” says Avi Friedman, a professor and director of the Affordable Homes Research Group at McGill University’s School of Architecture. A growing number of people are opting to live alone or not to have children, he says. Among this group, many choose cities over suburbs to reduce reliance on cars and cut commute times. “Many people recognize that there is a great deal of value to living in the city,” he says. Friedman calls the new fashion for micro-digs the “Europeanization” of North America. In the U.K. the average home is only 915 square feet. In the U.S. the average new single-family home is 2,480 square feet. The National Association of Home Builders expects that to shrink to 2,152 square feet by 2015. Small living has deep roots in Japan, where land is scarce. “It’s just the way things have always been done,” says Azby Brown, an architect and author of The Very Small Home: Japanese Ideas for Living Well in Limited Space. Three hundred square feet may sound tight, but consider that Japanese families historically lived in row houses outfitted with 100-square-foot living quarters and large communal areas. After World War II, Japan’s homes grew, though not much by American standards. By the late 1980s the average Japanese home measured 900 square feet. Tight quarters demand ingenuity and compromise. Think of the Japanese futon or the under-the-counter refrigerator, a feature of European apartments. The Murphy bed gets a sleek makeover in a mock-up of a micro-apartment on exhibit at the Museum of the City of New York. The 325-square-foot space, designed by New York architect Amie Gross, also features a table on wheels that can be tucked under a kitchen counter and a flat-screen TV that slides along a rail attached to built-in shelves. Visual tricks such as high ceilings and varied floor materials make the space feel roomier. The show, titled “Making Room: New Models for Housing New Yorkers,” displays some of the entries from a design competition sponsored by New York’s Department of Housing Preservation and Development. The winning team, comprising Monadnock Development, Actors Fund Housing Development, and nArchitects, secured permission to erect a 10-story building in Manhattan made of prefabricated steel modules. Some of the 55 units will be as small as 250 square feet. “The hope is that with more supply, that should help with the affordability of these kinds of apartments so that the young or the elderly can afford to live closer to the center and not have to commute so far in,” says Mimi Hoang, a co-founder of nArchitects. Although tiny, these properties aren’t cheap, at least not on a per-square-foot basis. In San Francisco, where two projects are under way, rents will range from $1,200 to $1,500 per month. In New York, the 20-odd units for low- and middle-income renters will start at $939. Ted Smith, an architect in San Diego, says singles would be better served by residences that group efficiency studios into suites with communal areas for cooking, dining, and recreation. “The market does not want little motel rooms to live in,” he says. “There needs to be cool, hip buildings that everyone loves and goes, ‘Man, these little units are wonderful,’ not ‘I guess I can put up with this.’ ” BusinessWeek - Home ©2013 Bloomberg L.P. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
  13. Changing the plans America’s oil capital is throwing up a few environmental surprises Jul 14th 2012 | HOUSTON | from the print edition STEVE KLINEBERG, a sociologist at Rice University, mentions a couple of events that made Houston’s leaders take notice of a looming problem. One was the day, in 1999, when their city overtook Los Angeles as America’s most polluted—evidence that the rise in asthma attacks among the city’s children, and the students passing out on football pitches, were no coincidence. Another was when Houston came up short in its bid to compete to host the 2012 Olympics. No one on the United States Olympics Committee voted for it, despite the fact that Houston had a brand-new stadium and had promised to turn an old sports field into the world’s largest air-conditioned track-and-field arena. At a casual glance, Houston looks much as it ever did: a tangle of freeways running through a hodgepodge of skyscrapers, strip malls and mixed districts. A closer inspection, though, shows signs of change. The transport authority, which branched into light rail in 2004, is now planning three new lines, adding more than 20 miles of track. Most of the traffic lights now boast LED bulbs, rather than the incandescent sort. More than half the cars in the official city fleet are hybrid or electric, and in May a bike-sharing programme began. Every Wednesday a farmers’ market takes place by the steps of city hall. Other changes are harder to see. The energy codes for buildings have been overhauled and the city is, astonishingly, America’s biggest municipal buyer of renewable energy; about a third of its power comes from Texan wind farms. Houston, in other words, is going green. Laura Spanjian, the city’s director of sustainability, says that businesses are increasingly likely to get on board if they can see the long-term savings or the competitive advantages that flow from creating a more attractive city. She adds an important clarification: “We’re not mandating that they have to do this.” That would not go down well. Houston is the capital of America’s energy industry, and its leaders have traditionally been wary of environmental regulation, both at home and abroad. In fact the city has been sceptical of regulations in general, and even more of central planning. Houston famously has no zoning, which helps explain why the city covers some 600 square miles. It is America’s fourth-largest city by population, but less than half as densely populated as sprawling Los Angeles. People are heavily dependent on cars, the air quality is poor and access to green space is haphazard. At the same time, Houston has jobs, a low cost of living and cheap property. Many people have accepted that trade-off. Between 2000 and 2010 the greater metropolitan area added more than 1.2m people, making it America’s fastest-growing city. Still, the public is taking more interest in sustainability, and for a number of reasons. As the city’s population has swelled, the suburbs have become more crowded. Some of the growth has come from the domestic migration of young professionals with a taste for city life. And despite living in an oil-industry hub, the people of Houston are still aware of the cost of energy; during the summer of 2008, when petrol prices hovered around $4 a gallon, the papers reported a surge of people riding their bicycles to bus stops so that they could take public transport to work. The annual Houston Area Survey from Rice’s Kinder Institute also shows a change. This year’s survey found that 56% think a much better public transport system is “very important” for the city’s future. A similarly solid majority said the Metro system should use all its revenue for improvements to public transport, rather than diverting funds to mend potholes. In the 1990s, most respondents were more concerned about the roads. People’s views about houses have changed, too. In 2008 59% said they would prefer a big house with a big garden, even if that meant they had to use their car to go everywhere. Just 36% preferred a smaller house within walking distance of shops and workplaces. By 2012, preferences were running the other way: 51% liked the idea of a smaller house in a more interesting district, and only 47% said they wanted the lavish McMansion. http://www.economist.com/node/21558632
  14. I have an idea...lets keep the status quo. By Nicolas Van Praet Montreal • Forget Newfoundland, derided for decades as the fish-dependent fiscal laughingstock of Canada. Another province is swiftly climbing the ranks of the penniless: Quebec. Quebecers will displace their fellow countrymen as the poorest Canadians if current income and purchasing power trends continue, according to a new study released Tuesday by Montreal’s HEC business school. The stark outlook underscores the urgency for Canada’s second-largest province to fix its structural problems and lends weight to arguments that its untapped natural resources should be developed. Related “Compared to the rest of the country, Quebec has a real revenue problem,” says Martin Coiteux, an economist who wrote the study for the HEC’s Centre for Productivity and Prosperity. Unless the province begins an honest, nothing-off-limits self-examination, “it runs the risk of finding itself last among Canadian provinces with respect to income and standard of living.” It’s the trend lines that should be worrying Quebecers, Mr. Coiteux said. The income gap is widening between Quebec and Canada’s richest provinces while it is shrinking with the poorest. Over a 31-year period from 1978 to 2009, every region of Canada gained on income against Quebec, according to the study. Buoyed by revenues from offshore oil, Newfoundland has bridged the income gap with Quebec to within $3,127 per adult as of 2009. Ontario’s income was $9,853 higher per adult that year while Alberta’s was $17,947 higher. That in itself is problematic for Quebec. But the HEC research also shows that one of the key things that made living in Quebec so attractive, namely the lower cost of living compared with other big provinces, is also rapidly changing. While it remains cheaper to buy consumer goods like food, gasoline and haircuts in Quebec than most other provinces (9% cheaper in Quebec than Alberta in 2009 for Statistics Canada’s standard Consumer Price Index basket of goods, for example), the difference is narrowing. And that makes the purchase power equation even worse for the French-speaking province. What explains this income nightmare? Mr. Coiteux summed it up thus: “Proportionately, fewer Quebecers work [than other Canadians]. They work fewer hours on average. And they earn an hourly pay that’s lower than that of most other Canadians.” The relative poverty of Quebec means that its residents pay less in federal income tax and receive more transfers than those living in richer provinces, which reduces the income gap with Ontario, Alberta and B.C. But that situation also represents “a form of dependency,” Mr. Coiteux noted. Provincial wealth in Canada is increasingly split along the lines of those who have natural resource wealth and those who do not. In addition to a bounty of hydroelectric power and aluminum production, Quebec also has known shale natural gas and oil deposits on its territory. The Liberal government of Jean Charest has signalled it is eager to tap its forestry and mining wealth, most notably with its plan to develop a vast portion of its northern territory twice the size of Texas. It has put oil and gas commercialization on the back burner in the face of public opposition and a continuing ocean boundary spat with Newfoundland. But even the northern development plan isn’t generating unanimity. Quebecers have proven to be tremendously shy in using their resources to generate wealth, says Youri Chassin, economist at the Montreal Economic Institute, a conservative think-tank. “We are kind of afraid of the consequences. And it might be good to have public debate about this. But [in that debate], we have to take into account that we are getting poorer.”
  15. jesseps

    McMansions / Mansions of Quebec

    For Sale Living space: 6,500 sq.ft Honestly who wants a Floridian style home in Hudson. It probably looks totally out of place in the winter. --- For Sale Living space: 17,000 sq.ft It was built by Jean Houde. Plus after it was built, Hudson supposedly banned having homes built this size or something. --- For Sale Living space: unknown but probably well over 3000 sq.ft Japanese style house in Beaconsfield.
  16. jesseps

    Ultra-small home

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_4W_F1RKR0A I don't think anyone here would like this. It would beat living in apartment thats for sure. Plus if it cost like US$500,000 in Tokyo. It can't be that expensive here.
  17. A stunning painting of a possible future (or present depending on how you look at it)… walled cities of techno-utopia surrounded by the rest of the world living in the middle ages. Hi-Res: http://www.radoxist.com/picture/54 Low-Res:
  18. jesseps

    La Maison Productive - 4 étages

    MONTREAL'S FIRST 100% GREEN CONDO AND TOWNHOUSE PROJECT Overview Located minutes from Montreal’s downtown core and the historic Atwater Market, Maison Productive House (MpH) is a contemporary, green living project that offers a contemporary architecture that makes sustainable urban living bountiful and verdant. At Maison Productive House empowers consumers to live intelligently. Maison Productive House offers you two housing choices to meet you specific needs, Condo and Townhouse. Each unity offers a contemporary and green design that is both rich in space and refined in its architecture. MpH residences offer a privileged, refined living environment, which is refined and avant-garde. MpH perpetuates the exceptional architectural style with the most advanced Green (sustainable living) elements. MpH is Montreal’s first ecological design that seeks carbon-neutrality and addresses various productive aspects of a responsible lifestyle: alternative energy, food garden, active transportation, more personal productivity and leisure time. Here are some of the design principles that inspired the vision for the MpH Its walking distance from Charlevoix metro station Amenities MpH is very green. Its infrastructure can contribute to the environment instead of being as drain upon it. Maison Productive House seeks a LEED® Platinum certification and follows zero-emission development (ZED) design principles. What is unique about the MpH project is that it is Novoclimat® certified, uses Solar Panel and Geo-thermal energy; includes EnergyStar® appliances, dual-flush toilets and radiant heated floors. Additional examples of this unique project include: Onsite garden Custom-built doors kitchens and stairways using FSC or reclaimed wood or bottles No use of VOC products in lacquers, and natural fibers wherever possible (insulation, wall structure). Social and productive spaces, mixing ecological and social functions, such as: its year-round greenhouse, sauna, meditation room, and laundry room recovering grey waters and balcony. The sauna is strategically placed to allow for voluntary heat loss that directly will benefit the otherwise passively heated (solar) greenhouse. The greenhouse is supplied with recouped rainwater and filtered gray water for irrigation. Other amenities include: - Attention to linkages between outdoor and indoor spaces with the innovation of SunSpaces and ample roof, garden and balcony spaces for social interaction and growing. - Artisan bakery integrated into the residential development - Creation of possible income-streams to owners through rental spaces - Proximity to public transportation and the provision of a shared car service - Both inside and outside the greenhouse, the roof is maximized for growing vegetables. Cold-frames are integrated in the roof balustrade with seasonal covers to extend the growing season. - This social gathering area will have all the amenities for Bar-B-Qs, sun-bathing and gardening. - The Sauna uses an electrically-powered design which utilizes pine wood and is large enough for 4-6 people. - In addition to the roof greenhouse, every owner has their own private plot for growing fruits and vegetables in the garden as well as access to a fruit orchard and a herbal garden. - Water filtration systems: Units 2,4 and laundry room have recycled gray waters. Also personal units are supplied with carbon filters in the kitchen counters to provide the cleanest possible drinking water. backview They say they have 55% sold. It seems like they have 3-4 condos [only 1 left] (each are 3.5 equalling 809 sq.ft) and there is 4 townhouses [only 2 left] PDF File
  19. jesseps

    National Geographic Living on Mars

    Netload.in (link) Interesting show. I would have posted a Megaupload file but there isn't one yet.
  20. http://www.nationalpost.com/news/canada/toronto/story.html?id=2958954
  21. jesseps

    For Sale: Thompson Manor

    (Courtesy of Sotheby's Realty) View of the city Outisde Bedrooms:4 Bathrooms/Half Baths:4 / 2 Price: $7.875 million
  22. MTLskyline

    Girl, 5, raised by dogs in Siberia

    http://www.montrealgazette.com/Life/Girl+raised+dogs+Siberia/1636491/story.html Creepy....