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Found 18 results

  1. 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
  2. Le syndicat Conseil du Québec (FTQ) s'est entendu avec la compagnie Golden Brand de Montréal, qui ferme ses portes, pour accorder aux travailleurs une somme de 3,5$ millions en indemnités de départ. Pour en lire plus...
  3. (Courtesy of CNW) It should be open in the Spring of this year. I drove passed it, honestly it doesn't look at like it at all ready. They are setting up shop in the old Ferrari-Maserati dealership. At least now people don't have to go to Toronto or John Scotti to get their Rolls
  4. Montreal has a hot brand City should plug culture: minister By LYNN MOORE, The GazetteFebruary 21, 2009 Montreal should be "branding" itself as a major cultural and creative capital using institutions such as the Canadiens, the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and Montreal International Jazz Festival, Quebec's minister of economic development told a gathering of business leaders. The global finance crises has exasperated setbacks such as the loss of the Grand Prix Formula 1 racing event while continuing job and production cuts by major companies have shaken citizens and business leaders alike, Raymond Bachand told a Metropolitan Montreal Chamber of Commerce luncheon. "I want to tell you that the solutions (to shaken confidence and setbacks) are staring us in the face ... and are under our feet, if only we would see them," Bachand said. Bachand's reference to the Canadiens as a "one of the best-known trademarks in the world" prompted a wave of laughter from the audience. A front-page article in yesterday's La Presse linked three Canadiens players with one of the suspects arrested last week in a police operation targeting organized crime. "When one journalist makes a mistake, we don't condemn all media (outlets). And just because one player makes a mistake, we don't forget about 100 years of history," Bachand said. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  5. Why does montreal have worse roads than any other north american city? If climate really plays a role, why does ottawa or toronto have much smoother roads with a nicer texture and color, other than the newly repaved hwy 40, i don't think there is a single nice road in this city, i am very cautious while i drive around i just never know what's on the way, i own a brand new car which i paid alot for and i keep fealing that these roads will destroy the suspension components prematurely. Will there ever be a solution for this problem? I mean even brand new pavement is usualy wavy and unproportionate and ends up looking just as bad as before after 2-3 years Oh and i'm new here! Hi everyone
  6. Urban shift is reshaping Montreal Montreal will be a much greyer city 20 years from now, and the aging of our populace will influence everything from home design to urban architecture to public transportation. It will also be a more multi-coloured city, measured in terms of skin tone, and multi-linguistic, too, as new legions of immigrants flow in, altering its face, flavour and sound. It will be more condensed, with condominiums overtaking expensive single-family homes as the lodging of choice for first-time homebuyers. And it will be a poorer city mired in a heavily indebted province, forcing it to focus on necessities like rebuilding roads and paring down bureaucracies and services rather than investing in grand designs like megaprojects or metro extensions. Economic imperatives will force Montreal to focus on what it’s good at to survive — namely, being itself. The city will endure by hosting festivals and conferences, promoting its flourishing arts scene, throwing successful, peaceful street parties for hundreds of thousands at a time and inviting the world to come. It will market itself as a vibrant, fun, creative place to live, and a coveted vacation destination for legions of retired baby boomers with time on their hands and savings to burn. This in turn will lead the city to become more accommodating to pedestrians and cyclists, with stretches of thoroughfares like Crescent and Ste. Catherine Sts. becoming pedestrian-only enclaves. This is the Montreal 2033 vision of McGill University architecture professor and housing expert Avi Friedman. Author of 12 books on housing and sustainable development, he is called on by cities throughout the world to consult on urban development and wealth generation. He sees in Montreal’s future a metropolis that will be poorer, still paying for past transgressions of inept infrastructure design and inadequate maintenance. But at the same time, it will be buoyed by its four major universities and its cachet as one of the cool hangouts in the vast North American neighbourhood, a magnet for tourist dollars, immigrants and creative minds. “Montreal is a brand. We’re not talking about Hamilton or Markham or Windsor. Montreal is a brand. But we need to learn how to use our brand better,” he said. Statistics Canada released figures in the fall that indicated Montreal was becoming a city of singles. Nearly 41 per cent of its residents who reside in a private dwelling live on their own, as compared to 30 per cent in most large Canadian cities. Our aging population, large number of university students, exodus of families to the suburbs, low immigration numbers and high percentage of apartments are largely the cause. The numbers spurred Friedman to ponder where the city he’s lived in for more than three decades will be in 2033. Major urban shifts, he notes, generally take about 20 years to evolve. “I wasn’t looking for pie-in-the-sky ideas, not Jetsons-type futuristic predictions, just reasonable assumptions based on trends we are already seeing today.” The greatest influence will come from the aging of the huge demographic wave that is the baby boomer generation, which will be between 70 and 87 years old in 20 years. Most will no longer be working, or paying as much in taxes. “Montreal, like other eastern cities, is going to be a poorer city than it is today, which is likely to force greater efficiency of all operations and institutions,” Friedman said. “We will have to learn to do more with less.” As families shrink (the average family size has gone from 3.5 individuals in 1970 to 2.5 in 2006), and house prices rise, demand for smaller living units will increase. The era of the single-family house as a starter home within the city limits will be a thing of the past for most, as it has been in many European cities for a long time, Friedman said. First-time buyers, many of them young families, will move into the many condominium projects sprouting downtown. Older boomers will shift from their suburban homes to condominiums. The ratio of family homes to condominiums, now at a roughly 60-40 split, will probably reverse during the next two decades, he predicted. Already densely populated neighbourhoods like Notre Dame de Grâce will see residents and developers building upward, putting additional floors on houses or commercial buildings to add residential space. (In congested Vancouver, developers have already started stacking condominium complexes on top of big-box stores like Walmart and Home Depot.) Homeowners will transform their basements into separate apartments, and the division of single-family homes into separate units to take in two or more families will proliferate. Houses will be transformed as more people opt to work out of home offices, or as retirees alter their living spaces to pursue their hobbies or their work. And seniors will make room for live-in nannies and nurses to help care for them. There will also be more grab-bars, ramps and in-house escalators. Technological advances will allow many routine hospital procedures to be done at home via computer. Patients will be able to check their blood pressure and other health indicators at home and send the information to their caregivers over the Internet, all the while chatting with nurses or doctors face-to-face via Skype. “Aging in place will be on the upswing,” Friedman said. “There will be less and less reason for hospital visits.” The new superhospitals going up downtown and in N.D.G. will also spur residential development as thousands of hospital workers seek housing nearby. Condominiums have started sprouting already near the hospitals, and close to the métro stations and train stations that serve them. Private medical clinics, for locals and foreigners alike, will be built around and even in hospitals, as the cash-strapped government off-loads more services to the private sector for wealthier clients not willing, for example, to wait three years for a hip replacement. The condominium boom, well underway in Montreal and reaching the saturation point, will continue, although at a slower pace. Montreal is on the verge of a condo crash, Friedman predicted, part of the normal ebb and flow of residential construction that regenerates every five years. “You will hear about bankruptcies, about people going under, all sorts of bad stories. This is common. Then there will be a burst of energy and another wave.” Condominium developers will start incorporating more family-friendly features like larger units, terrace gardens and parks on their properties. Condo towers with shops and restaurants on the ground floor will become more common, as will the SOHO concept (Self-Office, Home Office) common in China, where residences are located on upper floors and small offices on lower floors, and people commute by elevator. Many boomers, liberated from their children and their jobs, will give up their suburban homes to live closer to services and entertainment and downtown. Their influx will spur elderly-friendly changes seen in other cities, such as automatic doors at unwieldy metro entrances. Métro stations will become poles of residential development, followed closely by commercial properties to serve the influx of people. Suburbs like the West Island will see more low-level condominiums of four to six storeys, and available land between municipalities will be slowly colonized, making for one continuous metropolis. The densification, with housing projects like those in Griffintown bringing tens of thousands of residents into the downtown core, will result in an even more active and vibrant city, with offshoots of more shops, restaurants, services and life downtown. Neighbourhoods like St-Henri, Rosemont and Park Extension, relatively close to downtown and well-served by public transit, will be the next regions to see a slow gentrification, Friedman predicted. In a sense, we will mirror Toronto’s growth, but on a smaller scale and with a Montreal twist. “In 20 years, downtown Montreal will be populated by many more people who will bring their flavour, their lifestyle and their unique Montreal brand, with things like after-hours clubs, which is not Toronto,” Friedman said. “This is a fun city, with restaurants and pubs and clubs. I believe it will be a fun place.” Friedman sees Montreal’s four major universities and an increase in immigration quotas to make up for low birthrates as other major drivers of change, with immigrants coming from burgeoning regions like Asia and Latin America and settling in the north and east of the city. Already, roughly 10 per cent of the students in Friedman’s bachelor’s-level architecture classes are from mainland China. Montreal needs to do more to attract the droves of computer engineers from places like China, India and Pakistan who currently see California as their first choice. And tourism, with the many jobs it brings, will be Montreal’s bread and butter. At this phase in its history, Friedman sees Montreal as a city bogged down by the sins of its past, fixated on corruption and mismanagement and with no sense of a grand vision coming from city hall. Things will get more difficult from an economic standpoint, and “poorer cities do nothing. If you have wealth, you can change things,” he said, pointing to bike and public-transit friendly European cities like Copenhagen, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Berlin as examples. There is hope for Montreal’s future, Friedman said. It is articulated in the plethora of condominium towers and cranes on its skyline, in Montreal’s reputation for its joie-de-vivre attitude, open-mindedness and its artistic energy, a magnet for the young, adventurous and creative. But the hope is tempered with this caveat: the successful cities that Friedman has observed, are those whose citizens are willing to enforce change, as opposed to hoping city councillors will do it for them. “Do-it-yourself cities are the successful cities. We have to ask ourselves ‘Are we a forwards city, or a backwards one?’ ” Developments already underway provide an indication of the answer. “The densification of the core we’re seeing here will bring life,” he said, gazing up at the condominium towers growing like mighty redwoods of metal and glass in Griffintown. “This city will be a hopping place.” Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Urban+shift+reshaping+Montreal/8071854/story.html#ixzz2NF8glXu5
  7. Une chaîne américaine que je ne connaissais pas. Trouvé sur le Twitter d'Allison Lampert http://www.solutions-emailing.com/i/?id=09vcDkuA4auvj46wHXUNVh9gW7Rc1AAY5C55s956nkbAf16yxk7HTFuFk7XwI1nYD12zNZ0LylE_3d
  8. MTLskyline

    Tvhd - Hdtv

    Combien d'entre vous ont la Télévision haute définition (TVHD)? Quel est votre service (Vidéotron Illico, Bell Expressvu, StarChoice)? Quel type de télé (marque, taille, LCD/Plasma, etc)? HD-DVD ou Blu-Ray? J'ai un Sharp Aquos LC-26D43U. C'est un télé LCD de 26 pouces de très haute qualité, avec une belle image. Mon service est Illico qui a un bon prix, mais a des problèmes de fiabilité, et le service à la clientèle inférieure . Je suis indécis concernant HD-DVD contre Blu-Ray. ------------------------------------------------ Who here has High-Definition Television (HDTV)?What service are you using (Vidéotron Illico, Bell Expressvu, StarChoice)?What kind of TV do you have (brand, size, LCD/Plasma, etc)?HD-DVD or Blu-Ray? I have a Sharp Aquos LC-26D43U. It is a high-quality 26-inch LCD television with a very nice picture. My service is Illico which has a good price, but has reliability problems and bad customer service. I am undecided about HD-DVD vs. Blu-Ray.
  9. Gillette to phase Tiger Woods out of ads New York — Associated Press Published on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 11:57AM EST Last updated on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 4:05PM EST New York — Associated Press Published on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 11:57AM EST Last updated on Saturday, Dec. 12, 2009 4:05PM EST One of Tiger Woods’ major sponsors will phase the world’s most valuable athlete out of its advertisements while he takes time off to repair his personal life. Gillette’s announcement Saturday marks the first major sponsor of the superstar athlete and corporate pitchman to distance itself from Woods. “As Tiger takes a break from the public eye, we will support his desire for privacy by limiting his role in our marketing programs,” said Gillette, a division of Procter & Gamble. Other sponsors are mulling their options and trying to gauge the fallout from the man who has become the face of golf, as he drops off the circuit for an unspecified period. AT&T said it is evaluating its relationship with the golfer. Representatives from Accenture won’t say what its plans are regarding Woods, whom the consulting firm has used to personify its claimed attributes of integrity and high performance. “I think you will see the handful or so of companies that he has relationships with doing some real soul searching and making some probably, for them, difficult decisions in the next few days,” said Larry L. Smith, president of the Institute for Crisis Management, in Louisville, Ky. Late Friday, Woods announced an indefinite leave from golf and public life to try to rescue his marriage after a two weeks of intense coverage of his infidelity sullied his carefully cultivated good guy image. The decision and contrite tone of his statement was seen by marketing experts as a smart step to repairing his public image. His previous brief and vague statements on the matter were criticized as insufficient to quell the intense scrutiny and to lessen the damage from more than a handful of women who claim to have had affairs with him. “It’s just like your most beautiful fashion brand is being trashed,” said John Sweeney, director of sports communication at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill’s School of Journalism and Mass Communication. “I don’t expect Tiger to be the gold standard anymore, but he’s not going out of business ... He’s too big and too talented to be fired, but he will have significant declines from what he was.” Woods, 33, spent 13 years burnishing a pristine personal brand. His good looks and multiracial heritage gave him broad appeal. His domination of the game and fist-pumping flair for the dramatic established his tournament appearances as must-see TV. His work ethic is admirable. Marketers were drawn to his image as a clean-cut family man who mourned the death of the father who taught him the game, doted on his mother and married a former Swedish model with whom he has two young children. Woods is the pitchman for brands ranging from AT&T to Accenture to Nike. His array of endorsements helped him become the first sports star to earn $1 billion. Michael Jordan, Woods’ closest contemporary, is a distant second. Jordan has accumulated about $800 million during an NBA career that spanned nearly 20 years, according to Forbes. Nike, which built its $650-million golf business around Woods, said late Friday it supports his decision. Gatorade, a unit of PepsiCo Inc., said previously it supports Woods and said Saturday it has no updated comment. Gillette’s decision includes phasing out Woods from its television and print advertising, and from public appearances and other efforts linking the two entities together, Gillette spokesman Damon Jones said. “This is supporting his desire to step out of the public eye and we’re going to support him by helping him to take a lower profile,” he said. Gillette, which operates from Boston while parent P&G is based in Cincinnati, has had a contract with Woods since 2007. Jones declined to provide further details, including length and value, of the contract. Woods hasn’t been seen in a prime-time television commercial since a Gillette spot on Nov. 29, according to research firm Nielsen Co. Jones said that was because golf is currently off-season, so the company is promoting new products like Gillette Fusion MVP with football and baseball stars instead, because those seasons are more current. As any ads featuring Woods expire, they will not be renewed. Jones said that did not mean the company was severing its ties with Woods. There had been no upcoming scheduled public appearances for Woods, he said. He declined to comment on when the company would resume including Woods in its marketing, and would not say whether that would be linked with the timing of Woods comeback, when and if he decides to resume playing golf.
  10. Hotel overview LUXURY HAS NO LIMITS: A Modernist architectural jewel that rises up from its surroundings like a huge sentinel: the new Hotel ME Barcelona. The hotel is a new symbol for innovation and contemporary luxury in the city of Barcelona. ME Barcelona is the fourth hotel operated under the ME by Meliá brand, hotels with their very own special personality. Located in an impressive building measuring 120 metres in height, the ME Barcelona has a total of 34 floors, 29 above ground and another 5 below ground. The hotel has been designed by the French architect Dominique Perrault, famous worldwide for his avant-garde designs. Rooms 192 Supreme, 44 The Level, 16 Suites, 6 Grand Suites and 1 Sky Suite Interactive 32" plasma TV Wireless internet connection (WI-FI) free throuhout the hotel Audio system for Tango X2 I-pod Direct phone: in bathroom, writing desk and night-table Pillow top mattress 2 Types of gel and/or feather pillows Full-length mirror Shiny white resin or wooden mirror Bathrooms with panoramic views over Barcelona and the Mediterranean Sea Iron and ironing board available in the room Mini-bar (additional charge) Safe Individually controlled air-conditioning and heating Writing desk to measure with Fax-Modem connection for Internet or WIFI (free) Magnetic key card Bathroom with rain shower or bathtub, bathrobe, amenities (Aveda brand), hair-dryer, magnifying mirror Room completely soundproofed Connecting rooms (on request) i-Pod rental additional Services and facilities Special pet service 24-hours room service Customised service through our "everything-is-possible" team Laundry service Personalised call / wake-up service Room cleaning service twice a day I-pod rental (extra charge) Possibility of a baby-sitter Special service for pets Different musical atmospheres (live DJs) Local attractions Puerto Olímpico: 5 minutes by car Torre Agbar: 5 minutes' walk Shopping Center: 5 minutes' walk Sagrada Familia: 5 minutes by car Parque Gúell: 15 minutes by car Restaurants and bars Sky Food Bar & Lounge- relaxed, chic and modern venue. Fresh market cuisine DOSCIELOS Restaurant & Lounge - the Torres brothers' design cuisine, with a charismatic ambience and a panoramic balcony Angels & Kings Club - The New York Club Floor is an exclusive meeting point for people in the city Leisure Fitness Centre with natural light open 24 hours a day /7 days a week Outdoor stainless steel urban swimming pool Sun / chill out terrace on the 6th floor YHI SPA, including sauna, Jacuzzi, pressure showers, hammam and 4 treatment rooms Boutique Different musical ambiences (live DJ) Meeting rooms ME Barcelona has meeting rooms for 14 to 225 persons, all equipped with the latest technology State-of-the-art audiovisual equipment Business Center Catering Cell phone rental Computer rental Secretarial services Fax and photocopy service, printers Simultaneous interpretation services Meeting rooms: 5 Studio, 3 Sky Ballroom and 1 Evolution room http://www.solmelia.com/solNew/hoteles/jsp/C_Hotel_Description.jsp?codigoHotel=0823
  11. The food court king He's conquered the malls — now Stanley Ma is ready to take on the Street. By Joanna Pachner It's 12:45 p.m. on a weekday in May at the Place Vertu food court, and the only counter with a lineup is Thai Express. The 1970s–era shopping centre in Montreal's Saint–Laurent suburb has seen better days but, in at least one way, it's cutting–edge: unbeknownst to the diners, this food court serves as a laboratory for MTY Food Group, where it develops and perfects its new fast–food concepts. The company, whose office is located kitty–corner to the mall, currently has eight banners here, and the landlord allows it to test new formats when a location opens up. MTY's most recent introductions—Tandori, Kim Chi Korean Delight and Vie&Nam—were all fine–tuned at Place Vertu. With 21 different dining options, the food court, like those in most other large malls, resembles an international food bazaar, a huge change from what peckish shoppers would have found a few decades ago. "When I started 30 years ago, you'd have Chinese, Italian, a burger place and maybe one more, and that'd be it," says Stanley Ma, MTY's founder and chief executive. "Now you walk in and say, 'Wow! I have $20. What am I going to have today?'" No one has been more responsible for this transformation than Ma. The Hong Kong immigrant has developed, licensed or acquired 26 brands of quick–service fare—from Mexican to Japanese, from doughnut to health nut—and he's busy expanding his smorgasbord. Already the most diversified food franchisor in the country, MTY has quickened its pace of growth in the past three years, during which it almost doubled its number of outlets. Last year's surprising acquisition of Country Style Food Services Holdings, Ontario's second–largest coffee chain, boosted MTY's store count by nearly 50%, and the most recent addition—Quebec hot–dogs–and–fries specialist Groupe Valentine, a deal that closed earlier this month—has brought the total to more than 1,700 restaurants that ring in about US$400 million in annual sales. The company bought three chains in 2009 alone, and launched four internally developed banners within the past two years. It's not just the growth that's impressing industry observers but the company's consistently strong performance. MTY's most recent quarterly results widely beat market expectations. "It's an extremely well–run business," says Leon Aghazarian, a consumer products analyst with Industrial Alliance Securities in Montreal. "Stanley is very experienced. The strength lies there." Yet while Ma has made no secret of his acquisitive hunger, he's a growth–focused entrepreneur with a deeply conservative streak. He eschews debt. He only buys profitable players with clear synergies for MTY. And he's wary of easy money. When restaurant franchisors converted en masse to income trusts a decade ago, he resisted calls to follow suit. Now, with trusts set to lose their preferential tax treatment next year, the sector is scrambling for alternatives and "I look like a genius," says Ma with a chortle. More important, his rivals' predicament positions MTY, long an industry consolidator, to take advantage of those who'd rather sell than face the cost of another conversion. A middle–aged man with a formal manner occasionally lightened by corny jokes, Ma isn't rushing into any hasty unions. Known as a very private individual who says no to suitors much more than he says yes, he seems to prefer to fly under the market's radar. Few people outside the industry have heard of him or his company, and investor interest remains muted despite the rapid proliferation of MTY banners. A teenage immigrant from Hong Kong (his English remains heavily accented and he doesn't speak French), Ma opened his first venue, a Chinese and Polynesian restaurant, in 1979, at the age of 29. Within a few years, however, he switched to fast–food franchising—then a novel business model in Canada—seeing an opportunity in supplying immigrants like himself with a chance to run their own operations. Food courts presented ideal locations for new brands with little name recognition, since consumers tend to choose where they take their trays based on gustatory whim rather than brand loyalty. As such, there is little need for marketing beyond mouth–watering menu boards and frequently changing specials. And, as Ma added new banners to his original Chinese chain Tiki Ming, he was able to leverage his landlord relationships. "He would typically own the lease, so if one brand didn't work out, he could put in another," says Brian Pow, vice–president of research at Acumen Capital Finance Partners in Calgary and a longtime MTY watcher. Ma's dominance of shopping malls and cinemas bestowed on him the moniker "king of food courts." Ma's early ambition was to be able to drive from Montreal to Quebec City and stop every hour at one of his outlets. While most Canadian restaurant companies have either a single brand (like A&W or Pizza Pizza) or a handful they oversee as a master franchisee (Priszm Income Fund, for example, is the Canadian parent to KFC, Taco Bell and Pizza Hut), MTY's multiplying offerings allowed it to match the cuisine to each location and demographic. Ma has tended to look for master franchisees with strong financial know–how and expansionist ambitions. MTY simply collects royalties, with little need for capital investment, says Aghazarian. "The business is a cash cow. There is almost no risk associated with it." This low–risk philosophy is how MTY ended up in the Middle East, of all places. In the mid–2000s, the company was approached by a restaurant operator serving the Arab Emirates who was looking to franchise three of its banners. The relationship has since grown to encompass seven brands and several nearby countries, but MTY is protected: it doesn't sign the leases and has no liability exposure. "Even if it flops, it won't damage MTY's image here," says Aghazarian. Nevertheless, the region is on track to account for 5% of MTY's stores by year–end. So when, in April of 2009, MTY bought Country Style, observers found the deal uncharacteristically rife with pitfalls—an also–ran brand in a highly competitive market. It was also an unusually large acquisition for MTY. Still, the chain had been sprucing up its stores since it emerged from bankruptcy protection seven years earlier, adopting a format similar to market leader Tim Hortons. For MTY, which ran Yogen Früz and Cultures banners in Ontario but was largely clustered in Quebec, Country Style represented a quick surge within Canada's biggest province. Ma also saw co–branding opportunities, and within months of purchase, he started teaming more than a dozen Country Styles with his TCBY yogurt chain. Other pairings will follow. He points out that in a 3,000–square–foot store, Country Style can do $600,000 per year in revenue and, say, Thai Express another $750,000, thus raking in $1.3 million from a single venue. The approach fits MTY's operating philosophy: "The returns are good, the investment small," says Ma. Ma's long been interested in the coffee sector. "Coffee is a good business," he says, tenting his fingers thoughtfully. "The profit margins are very good, and it will help MTY's other brands because of the buying power of the coffee bean." MTY had looked at Country Style several years earlier but walked away. Ma won't specify the reasons—"I don't want to hurt the feelings of other people we dealt with," he says in his typically courtly manner—but it came down to sticker shock. By 2009, Country Style's revamp was further along and MTY had greater financial means, says Ma. "I also felt comfortable with the Country Style management." (Rick Martens, who has run the chain since it emerged from bankruptcy protection, remains at the helm.) Since the takeover, MTY's operating expertise has proven useful. Observers say that Ma has trimmed slack in distribution and at the head office. Ma simply observes: "If you're a hockey player and become a coach, you know it makes sense to do it this way because you know what it's like." Acumen's Pow, however, questions whether the Country Style game plan has played out as smoothly as Ma claims. "It's been a big challenge for Country Style to cater to a different audience with a different product mix," he says. "And Stanley's idea that he could bring in other brands, I don't think it's been as successful as he'd hoped. [The transition] has been longer and slower than expected." Ma has grown accustomed by now to strategic second–guessing. The pressure was at its height back in the early 2000s, when numerous financiers were banging the drum for him to convert to a royalty trust, in which cash distributions are set as a percentage of top–line revenue. "When we trade over $2, they say, 'You're ready [to convert],'" recalls Ma. "When we trade over $5, they say, 'I guarantee, Stanley, if you convert, you'll go to $8.' Then they say, 'Stanley, if you don't go to income trust, don't come to see me anymore.'" Ma clearly relishes having been proven right, though he had no inkling about Ottawa's tax treatment flip–flop. His motivation was simply to use his cash to grow the company without taking on debt. When he was first urged to make MTY a trust, he had fewer than 200 stores. "I thought they were pushing MTY to run too fast," he says. One of MTY's strengths is its willingness and ability to respond to consumers' changing tastes. Of the 26 brands MTY controls today, 10 were developed in–house to exploit new trends. The past few years have been all about Asian food, says Ma—Korean, Indian, Vietnamese. Thai Express became MTY's most successful brand after Ma bought the small chain in 2004 and merged it with his nascent Pad Thai. Meanwhile, pizza and Italian food more broadly are in decline. But for all that ethnic variety, the single best–selling fast–food item remains french fries. And that happens to be the strong suit of Groupe Valentine, a 95–store, family–run chain based in small–town Saint–Hyacinthe east of Montreal. Valentine mainly serves rural and suburban markets—areas where MTY has little presence and wants more. And though MTY has a competing banner in the 20–store Franx Supreme, Franx has been a performance laggard. According to MTY spokesman Jean–Francois Dubé, Franx will likely be merged with Valentine, and then under the Valentine name will venture into Ontario, where Franx has one location and Valentine has none. Ma is eager to keep growing his Ontario business where, thanks to the Country Style purchase, MTY now has 41% of its stores—more than in Quebec. He gained a foothold out west, meanwhile, with the 2008 purchase of Canadian rights to American banner Taco Time. However, he has no plan to head across the border, despite another chorus of investment bankers pushing him on. "I believe the States is a dangerous place for retailers," says Ma. "It's a different animal, has different rules, mentality." Canada still has lots of room for MTY, he argues. Instead, he wants to reach 2,000 locations before he considers an American expansion. Besides, Ma may get tasty opportunities amid the income trust shakeout. Ottawa's move to phase out trusts depressed many restaurant operators' shares, as investors assumed no other structure would be as lucrative and the roughly half–a–million cost of conversion to a corporation would cut into profits. Most food franchisors, like MTY, rely on royalty fees paid by franchisees and so lack assets they can depreciate to offset taxes. "These structures are not viable post–tax," wrote Turan Quettawala, a Scotia Capital analyst, in a 2009 report. Nevertheless, some—including Pizza Pizza, Boston Pizza and A&W—have opted to remain trusts for now. Prime Restaurant Royalty Income Fund (owner of East Side Mario's and Casey's, among others) and Imvescor Restaurant Group Inc. (Pizza Delight, Baton Rouge), meanwhile, have chosen to convert to corporations. So far, there haven't been many deals. Private equity, which prefers operating control, has shown little interest. Will MTY make a move? "There's definite potential for them to move in on one of the pizza guys," says Aghazarian, and Priszm is rumoured to be looking for a buyer. Ma says he's holding numerous talks—mainly with those pesky investment bankers looking to arrange a marriage from which they can profit. But he adds, "We're not going to do a deal just to be in the newspaper for 24 hours." Meanwhile, MTY has some challenges of its own to address. Most notably, its same–store sales have been dwindling by 1% to 2% for several quarters, though the rate of decline has slowed and the fast–food market is improving. "If they're only acquisition–driven, that's dangerous," says Aghazarian. Acumen's Pow is more concerned with Ma's poor job of exploiting public markets. In May, MTY moved from the TSX Venture Exchange to the main board, but "[stanley] doesn't really market his stock," says Pow. "There are days I ask why he hasn't gone private. Since he went public, he did only one [equity] raise." It merits noting that Acumen was one of the investment firms that nudged MTY toward income trusts a few years ago. Today, Pow credits Ma with managing to finance his business while resisting the pressures of the market's expectations. But, he says, "Stanley has to ask himself, What's the succession plan? The more control is in the marketplace, the better you'll do in a takeout." Ma shows little interest in being taken out. His three kids all work in the business, and his ambitions keep growing—at his own conservative pace. He long ago achieved his initial goal of an MTY restaurant every hour along the Monteal–Quebec route. His next target—2,000 stores—isn't far away; by this summer, the company opened more new locations than it had projected for all of 2010. Ma's current focus lies in an area he worried little about when he started: building brand equity. While 80% of MTY's stores were once in food courts, today only about 30% are, due largely to the acquisition of Country Style, Taco Time and a few other banners that all had a heavy street presence. There, promotion matters for building destination traffic, so MTY is shifting marketing dollars from menu upgrades to billboard and bus advertising. The king of food courts, accustomed to the low–investment and low–risk climate of indoor counters, realizes that to grow to 3,000 restaurants and beyond, he needs to expand outside. "We're gaining confidence that, yes, we can handle the street, that brand power is there now," says Ma. "Customers know what to expect from Thai Express, like they know what to expect from McDonald's." The reclusive immigrant is ready for some spotlight. "I want [my brands] to be like the big boys, recognition–wise," says Ma. "Hopefully, one day someone travels to Dubai and says, 'Oh, Thai Express! I know it.'" http://www.canadianbusiness.com/managing/strategy/article.jsp?content=20101011_10022_10022&page=1
  12. Hilton is launching a New Brand DENIZEN Hotels and Montreal is on the list for a new concept hotel!!!! See the web site: http://www.denizenhotels.com/ press on Heart See also the following article: Hilton unveils new brand: Denizen Hotels Mar 10, 2009 Beverly Hills, Calif.--Hilton Hotels Corp. announced today the addition of Denizen Hotels, a global lifestyle brand, to the Hilton Family of Brands. Appearing throughout the world in international social epicenters, Denizen Hotels will cater to globally-conscious modern travelers of the world. “We are thrilled to welcome Denizen Hotels into our portfolio of brands,” said Christopher J. Nassetta, President and Chief Executive Officer, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “While we continue to operate in a challenging macro economic environment, the addition of Denizen Hotels demonstrates our commitment to continuing to invest in our long-term growth. Denizen Hotels, a lifestyle brand that will attract business and leisure travelers across cultures and generations and has an authenticity that will appeal to today’s sensibilities, will be highlighted by exceptional design and service at an accessible price point. This new brand rounds out our Luxury & Lifestyle portfolio, which includes the Waldorf Astoria, the Waldorf Astoria Collection and Conrad Hotels & Resorts.” Denizen Hotels will target corporate and leisure guests and creates an international intersection between business and pleasure with an environment that redefines how guests stay and how they play. Each hotel will offer both substance and style, creating a technology-rich, smart-in-design living environment, focusing on connecting emotionally with guests. From innovative check-in experiences to in-room curated comfort, Denizen Hotels will harness design and technology inspiration to provide a transformative guest experience for the world citizen. During a unique unveiling at the International Hotel Investment Forum (IHIF) in Berlin, a reconstructed vision of the brand experience will be presented to attendees within a shipping container. Designed to allow visitors to walk in and experience the space, this bold presentation embodies the eclecticism and global design language of the brand, expressed with the green thread of sustainability – one of the core values of the brand. “The term denizen literally means ‘citizen of the world,’” said Ross Klein, Global Head Luxury & Lifestyle Brands, Hilton Hotels Corporation. “We created this new brand in homage to guests who desire and deserve the best hotel experiences, both on an emotional and functional level. We are excited to introduce this new concept and look forward to welcoming the denizens of the world to our properties.” Denizen Hotels will offer a global voice with a local accent – cultivating a community for guests to connect within each unique location. In addition, Denizen Hotels will benefit from being a part of Hilton’s global infrastructure that supports a worldwide network of more than 3,200 hotels and 545,000 rooms in 77 countries. Highlighting local expertise, and blending with a solid support network, Denizen properties will provide an exceptional and practical experience at accessible prices in urban, non-urban and resort destinations. Social, interactive spaces will be at the heart of the Denizen Hotels brand, welcoming guests and providing exclusive hubs for relaxation and inspiration. From communal style society restaurant tables for the epicurean explorers to rejuvenation zones which will provide a personal technology-rich haven before or after check-in, Denizen Hotels creates a living community, anticipating guest needs and desires in and outside of their rooms and suites. Harnessing the diversity of world renowned architects and interior designers such as Charles Allem, Clodagh and David Rockwell to shape and envision each space, Denizen Hotels’internal and external spaces will reflect the influence and eclecticism of world class international design. Denizen Hotels is primarily aimed at the globally-conscious modern traveler. With developments planned in cosmopolitan, urban cities as well as resort destinations, Denizen Hotels provides for everything from an inspiring urban weekend getaway to a rejuvenating retreat or smart business trip in destinations across the globe. Denizen Hotels will range from unique, select experiences to larger destination resorts, creating a unified yet eclectic brand with the assurance of the Hilton brand reputation. Active development negotiations are currently underway for resorts and destinations in key cities throughout the globe; including, but not limited to Abu Dhabi, Austin, Beverly Hills (California), Buenos Aires, Cancun, Hollywood (California), Istanbul, Jerusalem, Las Vegas, London, Los Cabos, Miami, Montreal, Mumbai, New York City, Panama City and Washington D.C. “Hilton Hotels’ Luxury and Lifestyle brands have heralded a return to the authenticity of Conrad Hilton’s original vision, as realized in the 1950s,” added Ross Klein. “We listened to the comments and needs of our Hilton loyalists and are excited to introduce Denizen Hotels as our latest addition to these complementary, best-in-class brands.” For additional information on Denizen Hotels, please visit http://www.denizenhotels.com.
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  14. http://toughmudder.com/events/montreal-sat-july-6-sun-july-7-2013/?language=fr Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 Tough Mudder: Fancy an obstacle course on steroids? Tough Mudder brings its bruising brand of insanely popular obstacle-course challenges to Quebec in July By René Bruemmer, THE GAZETTE May 31, 2013 ason Ostroff ran competitively as a kid. He remembers it being a trying experience, with much training and gasping and worrying about best times. He doesn’t run much anymore, but one childhood activity he does miss is the jump and tumble fun of navigating obstacles, revelling in the elemental joy of getting over, under or through. Which is why he and three longtime friends will be taking part in the Tough Mudder event this summer near Montreal, a child’s obstacle course on steroids designed by military men that bills itself as “probably the toughest event on the planet.” “Honestly, it’s just that I like the idea of running an obstacle course — it’s just fun, and since I was a little kid, I kind of liked the idea of having to get through this stuff,” said Ostroff, a 26-year-old McGill medical student living in Notre-Dame-de-Grâce. “It feels like an army boot camp kind of thing. And an opportunity to be a kid again.” In July, about 8,000 people are expected to sign up to test their strength, stamina and perhaps sanity at the first Montreal Tough Mudder event, taking place at the Bromont airport, one hour’s drive east of the city. Participants will navigate an obstacle course 15 to 20 kilometres long and scale 25 challenges designed by British Special Forces, most often with the help of teammates — entrants are encouraged to enter as part of a team, and about 80 per cent do. They will climb wooden walls, jump fire, receive electric shocks, crawl through fields of mud and immerse themselves in freezing water in challenges with names like Arctic Enema, Fire Walker and Ball Shrinker. At the end, they will be handed an ice cold beer, but they will not be told how long it took them to complete the course, because providing a change from timed marathon-type races is at the heart of the Tough Mudder philosophy. It also was a key selling point Ostroff used to coerce his friends. “None of them wanted to do it, until I explained it wasn’t timed,” he said. “They liked the fact we could just take it easy and didn’t have to sprint the entire race.” The Tough Mudder events are part of a growing phenomenon of adventure-type races offered worldwide with names like Muddy Buddy, Spartan Race and Warrior Dash for those seeking a new brand of challenge. In its second year in 2011, Tough Mudder had 140,000 participants at 14 events. By 2012, it had grown to 35 events, bringing in almost 500,000 participants. This year, 53 events are planned worldwide. The Spartan Race, a similar challenge that has a 20-kilometre event this year at Mont Tremblant on June 30, had 300,000 participants globally last year. Of those, most are corporate types joining with colleagues and “70 per cent of our people just came off the couch,” Spartan co-founder Joe DeSena told The Wall Street Journal. (Doing some training, however, is highly recommended.) When Will Dean presented his idea for Tough Mudder as part of a Harvard Business School contest, he was hoping to attract 500 participants to his inaugural event in 2010, drawn mostly through advertising on Facebook and word of mouth through social media, he told The New York Times. His professors considered that optimistic. The first race drew 4,500 participants to Allentown, Pa., and Dean, a former counterterrorism agent from Britain doing his MBA, discovered a new calling at the age of 29. It has grown into a $70-million company based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Modelled largely on events held in Europe, Dean’s premise was to create a challenge that involved more camaraderie and teamwork than standard marathons, and where participants don’t have to train for months. Participants are also allowed to skip obstacles they find too challenging. The organization takes a certain glee in poking fun at marathon-type races (“Fact # 1,” its website reads: “Marathon running is boring. Fact #2 — Mudders do not take themselves too seriously. Triathlons, marathons, and other lame-ass mud runs are more stressful than fun. Not Tough Mudder.”) The organization has also raised more than $5 million for the Wounded Warrior foundation, which supports injured soldiers. That being said, one does have to be a tough mudder to complete the race, which is why only 78 per cent of participants do so. Given the nature of the event, participants have to pay an extra $15 for insurance on top of the $85 to $180 it costs to register, depending on how soon in advance participants sign up. Spartan Race estimates an average of three people are injured in each of their races, and seven per cent will suffer “light” injuries. A 28-year-old died in April at a Tough Mudder event in West Virginia after leaping into a mud pond and failing to resurface, the first fatality in Tough Mudder’s history. The organization notes it is its only fatality in its three years among 750,000 participants, and the West Virginia event was staffed with more than 75 first aid, ambulance and water-rescue technicians. Ostroff trains five to six times a week at the gym, doing cardio and working on upper body strength, which should help, as might his intended specialty of orthopaedics. He hasn’t done any specific training for Tough Mudder — one day a year of climbing ropes and walking slippery planks over ice pits is enough, he said. He trusts his teammates, some of whom he has known for 20 years, although he’s a little concerned about the one who weighs 240 pounds, since he will have to help boost and lift that mass over wooden walls. His greatest concern is the running aspect of the race. “Honestly, I just hope to have a completely awesome day, as injury-free as possible,” Ostroff said. “I just want to have a great memorable event.” [email protected] Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/sports/Tough+Mudder+Fancy+obstacle+course+steroids/8460617/story.html#ixzz2UziJ5r3o
  15. http://www.huffingtonpost.ca/2012/02/05/schwartzs-sold-rene-angelil_n_1255654.html?ref=canada Not sure what to make of this. :biting:
  16. Wednesday September 21, 2016 Mississauga condo developer forgets to put 120 bathrooms in brand new building Condo living is supposed to be simple. So you can imagine the shock of some Mississauga condo owners when they moved into their units and discovered that something simple was missing: None of the units in the 35 storey building had been equipped with a bathroom. In his interview with This is That, developer Jordan Petrescu, admitted a mistake had been made but surprisingly was not willing to take the blame. "There are no bathrooms in the units, but there were also no bathrooms on the plans or in our show suites," says Mr. Petrescu, "so technically, our customers bought these units knowing they were bathroomless." Click listen to hear how residents are now forced to use a porta-potty in the parking garage as a bathroom.
  17. Canada Says Aloha to aloft Starwood Hotels' New Select-Service Hotel Brand, Created by the W Hotels Team, To Open Properties in Toronto and Dorval TORONTO, May 16 /CNW/ - Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, Inc. (NYSE:HOT) announced today at the Canadian Hotel Investment Conference, plans for two aloft hotels in Canada. These aloft properties, part of Starwood's new select service hotel brand, will be located in downtown Toronto and in Dorval at the Montreal Airport, and will be franchised under long-term license agreements with Starwood. In the same way W Hotels broke through the clutter of conformity in the upscale hotel arena, aloft - A Vision of W Hotels will raise the bar in the tired select-service category, delivering urban-inspired, loft-like guest rooms, enhanced technology services, landscaped outdoor spaces for socializing day and night and an energetic lounge scene to nearly 500 markets worldwide by 2012. "aloft has set out to eliminate the trials of travel by incorporating style, convenience and a social environment - similar to the atmosphere in W's Living Rooms - to an otherwise tired, lonely experience," said Brian McGuinness, VP, aloft brand development. "We're excited about moving into Canada - clearly aloft has made a strong connection with the development community in North America and around the world." aloft guest rooms will feature 9-foot ceilings, oversized windows to maximize natural light and create a residential feel, ultra-comfortable beds, well-designed workspaces, and wireless access throughout the property. The hotels will also feature re:fuel, a gourmet grab & go food and beverage concept featuring signature sweet, savoury and healthy foods, 24 hours a day, as well as a destination bar for unwinding, aptly named w xyz. The aloft Toronto will command a superb address in the dynamic Niagara St. and Portland St. enclave. The hotel will feature 250 guest rooms in a brand new construction high-rise concept. The site, adjacent to picturesque Victoria Memorial Square Park, backs onto Front St. West, with the arrival court and main entrance on Niagara St. The area is fast becoming known for lifestyle offerings, including some of the city's best restaurants and hippest residential projects. The developer, owner/operator is Manga Hotels International, which is owned by Dave Toor. Construction is slated to begin mid-2007, with a projected opening in late 2008. The aloft Dorval will offer travellers at Pierre Elliot Trudeau International Airport a refreshing new place to stay. The new hotel, featuring 136 loft-like guest rooms, will be located right at the entrance to the bustling airport. The developer and owner/operator is the Silver Hotel Group, owned by Deepak Ruparell. Construction is slated to start in late 2006, with a projected opening some 12 - 18 months later. "We are thrilled to be bringing the aloft concept to life in this vibrant, hip area of Toronto," said Dave Toor, President & CEO, Manga Hotels International. "aloft hotels brings a unique sense of style and service to our guests that will bring something fresh and exciting to the market. It is great to be working with the team at Starwood as they continue to raise the bar." "It is very exciting for us to have the opportunity to be on board as this new brand takes off in Canada," said Deepak Ruparell, President, Silver Hotel Group. "We believe that aloft hotels will offer travellers a new twist on their hotel stay, offering a stylish, refreshing alternative to what's currently out there." Each aloft hotel will incorporate W's heritage: a totally sensory experience, design integrity and attention to materials as much as to details. Design visionary David Rockwell and the Rockwell Group, whose award-winning projects include the Kodak Theater, Nobu and the W Union Square, collaborated on aloft's design.