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Found 100 results

  1. Talk about orchestral manoeuvres http://www.theglobeandmail.com/servlet/story/LAC.20080204.SEGUIN04/TPStory/TPEntertainment/Music/ A young Montreal conductor has landed two high-profile gigs in Europe. It may be a while before Canada gets him back to lead an orchestra at home, writes Robert Everett-Green ROBERT EVERETT-GREEN February 4, 2008 How did he get that job? A lot of conductors must have had that thought about Yannick Nézet-Séguin recently, probably more than once. Till last spring, Nézet-Séguin was known mainly in the Montreal area, as the music director of l'Orchestre Métropolitain du Grand Montréal and a frequent conductor of l'Opéra de Montréal. His guest-conducting appearances elsewhere in Canada and the United States had been well received, and he had built a respectable library of recordings with the ATMA label in Quebec. It seemed only a matter of time before the 32-year-old Montrealer began to move up the ladder of orchestral jobs in Canada. Everything changed in April, when Nézet-Séguin surprised everyone (including himself) by becoming the next principal conductor of the Rotterdam Philharmonic. He will replace Valery Gergiev, one of the most prominent and exciting conductors on the planet. In November, the London Philharmonic announced that they too wanted a steady relationship with the young Canadian, who will become the orchestra's principal guest conductor at about the same time he starts work in the Netherlands next fall. His first gigs with his new colleagues are still months away, but Nézet-Séguin seems certain to become the most prominent orchestral conductor Canada has ever produced. Print Edition - Section Front getSLinks("topStoriesInSection","LAC.20080204.SEGUIN04",5); Historically, we've done better in the world's opera houses, both in singing and conducting. Wilfrid Pelletier was a fixture on the podium at the Metropolitan Opera in the forties, Mario Bernardi conducted Sadlers Wells in the sixties, and Yves Abel and Keri-Lynn Wilson (conductors of Nézet-Séguin's generation) both have busy careers, mainly in Europe. Nézet-Séguin had only done a handful of concerts in Europe before arriving in Rotterdam for his debut program as a guest conductor, some months after Gergiev had announced his departure. He knew they were shopping, and liked the idea of a job in Europe, but thought it would take another four or five years to get one. "I never imagined I was a real candidate," he said during a phone conversation, in advance of four performances in Toronto. "Maybe that's what got me the job, because I didn't act like someone who wanted the job. I just worked the way I always do." Even so, he was aware that he was coming under sharper scrutiny than usual, from players who have a lot of sway individually over who runs the show. "An orchestra in a search is always a strange animal," he said. "I could feel they were testing me more than usual, asking more questions, resisting things I was asking them to do, to see if I had the balls to go ahead." He describes himself as a risk-taker, willing to follow the impulse of the moment in performance even if it means colouring over the lines a little. That approach got a strong stamp of approval from the Dutch musicians, who voted unanimously in favour of his appointment. His candidacy was also helped by his repertoire, if only because it doesn't overlap much with that of his predecessor. Gergiev's programs included plenty of Russian works, while Nézet-Séguin favours French music and late-Romantic Germanic repertoire: the symphonies of Mahler and Bruckner, and the tone poems and orchestral songs of Richard Strauss. The same logic advanced Nézet-Séguin's case at the London Philharmonic, which was looking for a foil for its new principal conductor, Vladimir Jurowski. The orchestra had a "great tradition" in the works of Mahler and Bruckner during the reign of the late Klaus Tennstedt, Nézet-Séguin said, and they wanted someone to carry that on. He said he has been offered "almost total freedom" in programming his four concerts a year. Nézet-Séguin initially studied piano with Anisia Campos at the Conservatoire in Montreal, though he knew he wanted to be a conductor by the time he was 10. He was particularly impressed by his early experience of concerts in a park, given by Charles Dutoit and l'Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal. "Dutoit would introduce pieces and be very accessible, and that had a big impact on me as a little boy," he said. "If it had not been for this, I would maybe never have been a conductor." He began singing in the Catholic Cathedral choir when he was 8 or 9, eventually became a section leader, and took over as music director at age 18. He did extra work in harmony, analysis and history at the Conservatoire, but only took one year of formal conducting study, with Raffi Armenian. "My main conducting teacher was actually my piano teacher, because a conductor is also an interpreter," he said. "She was a very old-school teacher, very strict and demanding. She wouldn't allow any compromise in my piano study just because I wanted to be a conductor. I remember some years, I was really angry with her, because she wanted to develop some aspect of my playing that I considered very superficial. But I'm so grateful now. I couldn't have wished for a better teacher." He spent a couple of summers at a choral-conducting workshop in Princeton, N.J., and a year of informal study with Carlo Maria Giulini, whom he followed around Europe, sitting in on rehearsals and occasionally meeting with the conductor. Nézet-Séguin was much impressed by Giulini's "very simple and human approach to everything, to the music and to the musicians. He was very calm and respectful and collegial, whether he was working with l'Orchestre de Paris or a Spanish youth orchestra. I didn't know what to do with the amount of respect he was showing me." Gradually he realized that he was being taught the value of an open, trusting attitude, toward others and inevitably toward oneself. Ironically, he never had much contact with his first conducting hero, Dutoit. "I tried twice to get permission to attend rehearsals with the OSM. I wrote them two letters, that were never answered." The usual route for young Canadian conductors trying to get noticed is to enter competitions, leave the country, and jockey for an assistant's job with some well-known conductor. Nézet-Séguin was considering those options when l'Orchestre Métropolitain asked him to become its music director in 2000. "When they offered me the job, I was really ready to leave, and become an assistant somewhere else," he said. Some people even counselled him to do that anyway, because they feared that if he stayed in Montreal with the city's "second" orchestra, he would be seen as a merely local conductor. "I'm very thankful that Canada trusted me very early," he said. "Because I did not really expect that." He remains fiercely loyal to his home town and his first orchestra. When the Berlin Philharmonic approached him with an offer to conduct three concerts in December, he turned them down, because he was already booked to perform several school concerts with l'Orchestre Métropolitain. "It's a matter of survival, musically and personally, to be part of my own community," he said. His parents and two sisters, who are all teachers, still live in Montreal, and he expects to return often once he takes up his posts in Europe. And he plans to take Canadian music with him in the other direction. His Dutch audiences are probably ready for more Canadian music: Montreal's Claude Vivier may actually be better known in the Netherlands than in Canada, thanks to a major retrospective of the late composer's music at the Holland Festival several years ago. "Rotterdam is a very modern city, and is known for its modern architecture and contemporary art," Nézet-Séguin said. "But the orchestra is quite conservative. So one of the goals is to develop the range of repertoire and to try to be more daring." It sounds like a good berth for a young conductor with an appetite for risk. The next question on this side of the water is whether we'll ever get him back, to lead a major Canadian orchestra. Yannick Nézet-Séguin conducts a Tchaikovsky program with l'Orchestre Métropolitain at various Montreal-area venues from tonight through Friday (http://www.orchestremetropolitain.com). He performs music of Tchaikovsky and Dvorak with pianist Yundi Li and the Toronto Symphony Orchestra on Feb. 13, 14 and 16 at Toronto's Roy Thomson Hall; and Bach's St. Matthew Passion with Toronto's Bach Consort at Eglinton St. George's United Church on Feb. 15.
  2. Vote for Montreal to be the sole Canadian city on the board! Only 20 cities will be included. We are currently 18th!
  3. Montreal's new music defies category January 22, 2008 By Jim Lowe Times Argus Staff Blair Thomson, second from right, applauds members of the Musica Camerata Montréal as they applaud him after the premiere of his “Don’t be afraid of …” on Saturday at McGill University. Left to right are violinist Luis Grinhauz, pianist Berta Rosenohl, flutist Marie-Andrée Benny, cellist Mariève Bock, Thomson and violist Lambert Chen. Photo: Jim Lowe/Times Argus Musica Camerata MontréalFor its next concert, Musica Camerata Montréal will present "Music of Central Europe," Saturday, March 15, at McGill University's Redpath Hall, 3461 McTavish (at Sherbrooke) in Montreal: Smetana's Piano Trio, Opus 15; Kodaly's Sérénade, Opus 12; and Julius Zarebski's Piano Quintet, Opus 34. Tickets are $30 Canadian, $20 for students; call (514) 489-8713, or go online to www.camerata.ca. MONTREAL – If there is any "Montreal style" of composition, it couldn't be discerned at Saturday's concert by the Musica Camerata Montréal at McGill University's Redpath Hall. The veteran chamber ensemble presented compositions by five contemporary Montreal composers – Serge Arcuri, Jacques Hétu, Robert Rival, Blair Thomson and Claude Vivier – but the works were so diverse in style that there seemed nothing in common save for the traditional instrumentation. The concert honored the Canadian Music Center, celebrating its 35th anniversary, which makes some 15,000 Canadian scores available free to performers. All composers but Vivier, who died in 1983, were in attendance. Most fascinating was the work commissioned by Musica Camerata, "Don't be afraid of …" by Thomson (b. 1963), heard in its premier performance. Full of color, mostly subtle pastels, the one-movement piece for flute, clarinet, piano and string quartet opened with ethereal sounds, edged along by quietly sliding pitches. It was atmospheric, but ever-changing in tonality – and atonality – but then things picked up, with a virtuoso violin solo contrasted by pizzicato among the other strings. It became driving with just a bit more stridence, increasing in velocity – coming to a sudden stop. The up-and-coming Thomson was born and trained in Toronto, but now makes his home in Montreal. A protégé of the late Canadian composer James Tenney (this work is in his memory), Thomson used 21st century rhythmic and harmonic language – with soft edges – and a lot of imagination. Now in its 38th year, the Musica Camerata Montréal, one of the city's most respected chamber ensembles, uses the mix-and-match style of New York's Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center in its varying instrumentation. Led by violinist Luis Grinhauz, longtime assistant concertmaster of the Orchestre Symphonique de Montréal, the ensemble has made a name for itself performing unusual chamber works of the 19th and 20th century. The ensemble's high level of playing was quite evident as it moved into the 21st century. "Les furieuses enluminures" by the Montreal born-and-bred Arcuri (b. 1954) was episodic in nature and often quite exciting. The respected Quebec composer said he was inspired by Medieval illuminations on a church ceiling in Florence. Written for flute (and piccolo), clarinet, piano and string quartet, it opened with striking clashes of chords, followed by the piano supporting a haunting melody played by the others. It was a constant struggle between tonal and atonal, as he wove a colorful tapestry of solos and various groupings, building in excitement – finally fading out with barely audible flute notes. "Pièce pour violon et clarinette" by Vivier (1948-1938), one of Montreal's most respected composers, was hardly new to the Musica Camerata. The two who played it – Grinhauz and Michael Dumouchel, the OSM's second clarinet – recorded the musical "storytelling" work. At times in parallel, other times in tandem, the two engage in pithy and spicy conversation throughout this little work. It was a delight. The three-movement Serenade, Opus 45, for flute and string quartet, by Hétu (b. 1938), one of Montreal's best-known composers, didn't challenge the audience much, but it gave pleasure. The opening Prélude was light, lyrical, tonal. The larger-scale Nocturne, opening with a viola lament, mixed the conversational and lyrical and indulged in the passionate, finally proving haunting. The scherzo-like Dance was light with a touch of stridence – but not enough to bite. Most traditional was the 2005 Piano Trio by Rival (b. 1975), who is not a resident of Montreal but wrote the work while living in the city. The opening Allegro resoluto was substantial and powerful in a Brahms-like way, its drive interspersed by moments of lyricism. The slow movement, Elegy: Largo, was very moving, with lyrical strings, intense piano, then joining in an almost romantic style. The final Dance: Andante, despite a mundane theme, was full of dance rhythms, spiced by unexpected moments such as an atonal piano contrasting the tonal strings, and nice lyrical interlude. Throughout, the writing was largely tonal but with interesting rhythmic juxtapositions. The Rival benefited from the sensitive and sure-fingered piano of Berta Rosenohl. Marie-Andrée Benny, principal flutist of the Metropolitan Orchestra, Montreal's second, was sensual as well as dexterous in Hétu's Serenade. Violinists Grinhauz and Van Armenian, violist Lambert Chin and cellist Mariève Bock were the able string section. Certainly there were a few intonation and ensemble slips, but this was an able, substantial and convincing performance of some rewarding music. http://www.timesargus.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20080122/FEATURES14/801220317/1011/FEATURES02
  4. Six Canadian cities out of 50 have the winning combination that attract migrants * Six Canadian cities out of 50 have the winning combination that attract migrants Calgary, Waterloo, Ottawa, Vancouver, St. John’s and Richmond Hill have what migrants are looking for when choosing where to locate, according to the Conference Board’s second report assessing the attractiveness of Canadian cities. Read the report here. “Cities that fail to attract new people will struggle to stay prosperous and vibrant,” said Mario Lefebvre, Director, Centre for Municipal Studies. “These six cities come out on top across all rankings, so they appear to have an overall winning combination that is attractive to migrants. Although it would be hard to imagine a more diverse group of cities, each has particular strengths that make them magnets to newcomers, both from within Canada and abroad.” City Magnets II: Benchmarking the Attractiveness of 50 Canadian Cities, analyzes and benchmarks the features that make Canadian cities attractive to skilled workers and mobile populations. The performance of these cities is compared on 41 indicators grouped across seven categories: Society, Health, Economy, Environment, Education, Innovation, and Housing. The challenge in determining overall attractiveness is that when individuals are choosing a new city, they value attributes of city living differently. Weights were computed for each of the seven categories. For migrants with a university degree, the Education category matters the most (21 per cent) in the decision to locate, followed by Society (20 per cent), Innovation (19 per cent) and Economy (13 per cent). Migrants without a university education consider, in an overwhelming fashion, that the Economy category matters the most (33 per cent) and followed by Society (20 per cent). “In deciding where to live, university-educated migrants prefer cities with higher Education and Society outcomes. Migrants without a university education place more value on a city’s economic strength,” said Lefebvre. “However, the study shows that a city that is attractive to a certain type of migrant ends up being attractive to all, so policy makers must be cautious in crafting policies aimed at attracting university graduates only.” Overall Grades The six “A” performers – Calgary, Waterloo, Ottawa, Vancouver, St. John’s and Richmond Hill, Ont. – range between big and small cities, from the West Coast to the East Coast, and include both urban and suburban centres. Specifically: * Calgary’s strong economic results come as no surprise given its performance over the past decade, but the city also ranked first in Innovation and second in Housing. * Waterloo’s worldwide reputation for high-tech excellence in education and business is well deserved. Ranked number-one in Education, Waterloo also posted strong results in Economy, Innovation and Housing. * Ottawa reaps the benefits of a strong and well-educated public sector. The nation’s capital excels in Innovation and Education, and, apart from Health, scores well across all categories. * Richmond Hill, a fast-growing city north of Toronto, has become the second most diverse city in Canada. A well-educated workforce contributes to its high scores in the Education and Innovation categories. * Vancouver enjoys an enviable climate and a vibrancy that comes from its young, diverse, and multicultural population. * St. John’s has achieved a strong productivity level that even surpasses that of Calgary and Edmonton. It is also a stellar performer in Health and Environment categories. The “B” class includes 14 cities – Edmonton, Victoria, Markham, Vaughan, Kingston, Oakville, and Guelph are consistently in the top half of this group. The City of Toronto also earns an overall “B” grade. Although held back by lacklustre results in the Health and Environment categories (too few physicians for such a large population, and too many days of poor air quality), the City of Toronto leads all cities in the Society category, particularly the proportion of foreign-born population and the proportion of population employed in cultural occupations. In all, the Toronto census metropolitan area (CMA) obtains five of the top 14 spots. The Toronto CMA attracted 35 per cent of Canada’s immigrants (about 85,000 per year) between 2001 and 2006, but this is partly offset by migrants – 25,000 annually – leaving for other Canadian cities. London, Halifax, Lévis, Regina, Québec City, and Burlington also receive “B” grades. A total of 21 cities get “C” grades, including three of Canada’s largest urban centres: Winnipeg, Montréal, and Hamilton. Although an overall “C”, Mississauga – with its high number of immigrants – gets a “B” in attractiveness among university-educated migrants. Four of Vancouver’s suburbs – Richmond, Burnaby, Coquitlam, and Surrey – earn “C” grades, as does nearby Abbotsford. Generally, Vancouver’s suburbs lag behind in Health and Economy. Sherbrooke, Gatineau, Kitchener, Barrie, Saskatoon, Moncton, Brampton, Kelowna, Thunder Bay, Peterborough, St. Catharines, and Sudbury also get “C” grades. The “D” class includes nine small or mid-sized cities – four in Ontario: Oshawa, Brantford, Windsor, and Cambridge; four in Quebec: Longueuil, Saguenay, Trois-Rivières, and Laval, and Saint John, New Brunswick. Along with struggling economies in most cases, seven of these nine cities have shown little population growth, while the other two posted a decline in population (Saint John and Saguenay). These nine cities are also clustered near the bottom of the Innovation and Education categories. Performance By Category * Society – Canada’s largest cities post the best results, with Toronto and Montreal capturing the only two “A” grades. Toronto’s suburbs rank highly, as do Vancouver and Victoria. * Health – Small and mid-sized cities dominate this category, which mainly measures per capita access to care. Only Kingston and St. John’s get “A” grades. Vancouver and Quebec City are the only big cities to rank in the top 10. Suburban cities, which rely on services located in the urban cores, face the greatest challenges – 10 of the bottom 12 are neighbours of either Toronto, Montreal or Vancouver. * Economy – Although the rankings are based on 2006 data and pre-date the recession, the Conference Board expects cities with strong economies back then to rebound and post the strongest showing following the downturn. Calgary, Edmonton and Vaughan earn the only “A” grades in the ranking; Edmonton’s strong economy makes it particularly attractive to non-university educated migrants. Five Toronto-area suburbs make the top 10. Ottawa and Waterloo also rank in the top 10. * Environment – Seven of the eight cities in British Columbia included in this report earn “A” grades and dominate the top 10 rankings, due largely to good air quality and a mild climate. Montreal ranks last and Longueuil is also near the bottom. Mississauga, Burlington, Vaughan and Oakville also earn “D” grades. * Education – The “university towns” of Waterloo and Kingston outclass their counterparts and earn the only two “A” grades. Small and mid-sized cities dominate the results for teachers per student population, with four small Ontario cities (Burlington, Waterloo, Peterborough and Guelph) grabbing all the “A” grades on this indicator. * Innovation – Calgary, Richmond Hill and Ottawa get “As” for Innovation. Cities with broad manufacturing or resource-based economies generally fare less well in this category. * Housing – Small and mid-sized cities generally do the best in this category, thanks in particular to relatively affordable housing. The Quebec City suburb of Lévis leads all cities, and five other Quebec cities rank in the top 10. The opposite is true for all eight B.C. cities, where homes are generally expensive. As a result, these cities fall in the bottom half of the rankings and five of them, including Victoria and the Lower Mainland cities, get “D” grades. http://www.muchmormagazine.com/2010/01/six-canadian-cities-out-of-50-have-the-winning-combination-that-attract-migrants/
  5. « Fin 1897, Raymond Préfontaine, influent conseiller municipal qui deviendra maire de Montréal l’année suivante, pousse un projet de la Grand Trunk Railway Co. visant à s’emparer du square [Victoria] pour y installer son nouveau terminal. Ce projet ne verra cependant jamais le jour et la fin du siècle sera au contraire marquée par les premiers signes de la reprise du développement du square. » (Marc H. Choko, Les Grandes places publiques de Montréal, 1990, Éditions du Méridien) Cependant, la Grand Truck a construit son immeuble de 1899 à 1902 au 360 McGill et il ressemble beaucoup à celui ci-dessus, tout en étant un peu plus petit. Sa filiale, la Canadian Express, a construit le sien en 1908 sur dix étages juste en face, au numéro 355, avec un tunnel le reliant au premier. Les deux immeubles existent toujours. Il semble que le projet ci-dessus a simplement changé et que la compagnie a construit ses bureaux au square Victoria et sa gare plus loin.
  6. McGill takes 12th spot in global ranking ELIZABETH CHURCH From Thursday's Globe and Mail November 8, 2007 at 5:05 AM EST An international ranking of universities has put Montreal's McGill University in 12th spot, the highest rank to be reached by a Canadian institution. The annual rating, done by London-based Times Higher-QS World University Rankings, moved McGill up from its 21st placement last year. Ten other Canadian universities made the top 200 list, with the University of British Columbia finishing in the 33rd spot and the University of Toronto in the 45th. "This is such a source of pride for us. It shows that McGill is moving in the right direction," principal Heather Munroe-Blum said. The placement means McGill is now the top-ranked public university in North America, she said. It also demonstrates that the practice of concentrating resources on areas of excellence such as neuroscience, developmental biology and law is showing results, she added. "We have chosen our spots very carefully in areas where we can be leaders in the world." The rating, which was to be released this morning in London, comes at an important time for McGill as it looks to tap its network of alumni for a major fundraising campaign and is striving to increase its profile. Harvard University once again was placed at the top of the international ranking, which was conducted by an independent firm, sold off by the owners of the Times of London in 2005. Oxford, Cambridge and Yale all shared second place. The survey considers a number of factors in its rankings and gathers input from more than 5,000 academics around the world.
  7. Nutrition in Motion Ltd. expands to Montreal TORONTO, Oct. 16 /CNW/ - Nutrition in Motion Ltd. (NIMDIET.COM), Toronto's most sought after fresh diet delivery service, has arrived in Montreal! Life on the Island just got a little less hectic and a lot healthier as Nutrition in Motion Ltd. begins delivering healthy gourmet meals directly to the doorsteps of Montreal residents. The city with a cuisine best known for smoked meat sandwiches has a new option for those looking to eat healthily and lose some weight. Nutrition in Motion's Montreal diet delivery service provides clients with three fresh daily meals, three snacks and a dessert conveniently delivered to their door. Meals are portion controlled and consist of healthy carbs as well as the right fats providing customers with effective weight loss and balanced nutrition. Montreal resident Lindsey Spelder, who believes that she would still be a fast food junkie if not for Nutrition in Motion Ltd., says "I'm not a good cook and I'm always working. I've been trying to lose weight for years and Nutrition in Motion is really easy. For me it's a no-brainer." The NIM Montreal comprehensive food program, including three meals, snacks, dessert, and delivery costs $36.99 daily (or $1036.00 per month). Nutrition in Motion Ltd. is a Canadian based diet company that has helped thousands of Canadians slim down and achieve their desired weight. Through its daily, full service weight loss program comprised of three meals and three snacks delivered to the client's door, Nutrition in Motion Ltd. is becoming a leader in the Canadian health and weight loss industry. Please visit Nutrition in Motion Ltd. at www.nimdiet.com. For further information: 2006 Highway 7, Unit No.1, Concord, Ontario, L4K 1W6, [email protected], www.nimdiet.com, (416) 486-1646
  8. Investir à Québec Les Affaires, 00:00 Canadian Real Estate Il n'y a pas que Céline et Sir Paul qui aiment Québec. Le magazine Canadian Real Estate aussi. Car Québec est un bon endroit pour placer son argent dans la brique, nous apprend ce magazine spécialisé. Mieux : ce serait, après Ottawa, le deuxième endroit au Canada pour l'investissement immobilier. Canadian Real Estate a publié la liste des 10 marchés immobiliers les plus prometteurs. Cette liste est fondée sur les performances actuelles du marché, les infrastructures et les projets de développement. La Vieille Capitale est la seule ville québécoise à figurer au palmarès. Décidément, tout réussit à la ville de Québec ces temps-ci.
  9. Canada's inflation rate jumps to 3.1 per cent Canwest News Service Published: 1 hour ago OTTAWA - The annual rate of inflation in Canada jumped to 3.1 per cent in June, the biggest rise in almost three year years, fuelled by soaring gasoline prices, Statistics Canada said Wednesday. Most economists had expected an overall inflation rate last month of 2.9 per cent from a year early, compared with a year-on-year increase of 2.2 per cent in May. "Gasoline prices increased 26.9 per cent between June 2007 and June 2008, significantly higher than the 15 per cent advance posted in May," the federal agency said. "June's increase was the largest since the 34.7 per cent gain reported for September 2005, when hurricanes Katrina and Rita disrupted the oil market," it said. "June's increase reflected both recent increases in pump prices, as well as the fact that gasoline prices had been on the decline in June 2007." On a monthly basis, inflation rose 0.7 per cent in June from May. "In addition to gasoline prices, mortgage interest cost, bakery products and air transportation also exerted strong upward pressure on the consumer price index in June," Statistics Canada said. Prince Edward Island and Alberta posted the biggest gains in consumer prices, rises 4.7 per cent and 4.4 per cent, respectively. Meanwhile, the core rate - which strips out volatile items, such as energy and food, and is used by the Bank of Canada to gauge inflation - rose by 1.5 per cent in June, the same rate as the previous month. On Tuesday, Statistics Canada reported that retail sales rose by a less than expected 0.4 per cent in May, with virtually all of the increase due to higher prices, especially for gasoline. However, Canadian consumers - thanks to the strong Canadian dollar - have not been as hard hit by rising prices for food and fuel. As well, pump prices have fluctuated over the past few months from the $1.20 range upwards to nearly $1.50 a litre, driving down consumption. The Bank of Canada's target for inflation is between one and three per cent, although it expects the rate to peak at 4.3 per cent early in 2009. The central bank has held its key lending rate steady at three per cent for the past two months after a series of reductions in an effort to spur spending amid an economic slowdown. However, the bank has signalled it is now balancing the need to encourage growth without fuelling inflation. "The sting of the steep pick-up in headline inflation is lessened by the fact that the Bank of Canada was already so public in calling for an eventual peak of more than four per cent by the turn of the year," said BMO Capital Markets economist Douglas Porter. "A further correction in energy prices (on top of the $20 drop in crude oil in the past two weeks) would go a long way to further dampening concerns about lofty headline inflation readings," he said. "With core holding steady at 1.5 per cent in June, right around where the bank looks for it to average in Q3, there's really not much to chew on here from a monetary policy stance." The Canadian dollar trading around 99 cents US following the inflation report, little changed from its Tuesday close of 99.16 cents US. Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): All-items +0.7 / +3.1 Food +1 / +2.8 Shelter +0.6 /+4.7 Household operations and furnishings 0.0 / +1.3 Clothing and footwear -0.5 / -0.6 Transportation +1.8 / +5.5 Health and personal care +0.1 / +0.7 Recreation, education and reading 0.0 / +0.4 Alcoholic beverages and tobacco products +0.2 / +1.6 Goods +1.1 / +2.5 Services +0.3 / +3.7 All-items excluding food and energy 0.0 / +1.2 Energy +4.4 / +18 Source: Statistics Canada Percentage change (May to June / June 2007 to June 2008): Newfoundland and Labrador +0.8 / +3.1 Prince Edward Island +0.5 / +4.7 Nova Scotia +0.6 / +4.2 New Brunswick +0.5 / +2.1 Quebec +0.4 / +3.1 Ontario +0.5 / +2.8 Manitoba +0.8 / +2.4 Saskatchewan +0.7 / +3.4 Alberta +1.5 / +4.4 British Columbia +0.7 / +3 Whitehorse +0.9 / +4.5 Yellowknife +0.8 / +4.5 Iqaluit +0.6 / +2.3 Source: Statistics Canada http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=8187d0e4-0761-4d7e-a550-ad9f55369ca1
  10. http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/al-jazeera-coming-to-canadian-tv/article1200118/ I am in favour of them bringing this channel to Canada provided that the CRTC keeps a very close eye on it. However, if Videotron adds this channel, they will be receiving an angry phone call or letter. I am still waiting for Fox News to come to Illico, and it is in no way fair to offer Al Jazeera but not Fox News.
  11. On avait déjà discuté de cela il y a longtemps et il y avait de l'opposition et Cdn Tire menaçait d'aller construire en Ontario et puis plus rien... jusqu'à aujourd'hui où l'on a cette bonne nouvelle : ----------- 900 emplois créés Canadian Tire inaugure son nouveau centre de distribution 16 juin 2009 - 11h35 LA PRESSE CANADIENNE Une rare bonne nouvelle en ces temps de crise économique: Canadian Tire (CTC) et Systèmes de distribution Genco ont officiellement inauguré mardi un centre de distribution de 1,5 million de pieds carrés qui emploiera 600 personnes à temps plein et 300 autres à temps partiel, à Coteau-du-Lac, en Montérégie. Le premier ministre Jean Charest participait à l'annonce. Ce centre de distribution représente un investissement de 240 millions $ dont la construction a fourni du travail à 900 ouvriers. L'installation pourra traiter jusqu'à 55 millions de pieds cubes de marchandise par année et desservira les magasins Canadian Tire situés au Québec, en Ontario et dans les provinces de l'Atlantique. Le Québec à lui seul compte 94 magasins Canadian Tire employant plus de 10 000 personnes.
  12. First Canadian Place officer tower to receive a facelift 680News staff Toronto | Thursday, September 24th, 2009 7:56 am Toronto - First Canadian Place, Canada's tallest office tower, will be receiving a $100-million makeover. There are currently 45,000 slabs of white marble on the 72-storey home for the Bank of Montreal. But, Brookfield Properties, the building's owner, is going to replace the marble with 7,800 panels of white glass. The National Post reported the property, which opened in 1975, has already seen a refurbishment of some of the marble slabs, but the look has deteriorated. Tom Farley, president and CEO of Brookfield's Canadian commercial operations, told the paper that when the company bought the property in 2005, they knew it was a fixer-upper. If the original builder had used thicker marble, it would have lasted 100 years. Brookfield said it will also renovate the lobby of the tower. The National Post called the renovation another positive signal for the downtown business core, with the recent opening of the Bay-Adelaide Centre and two other office towers opening before the end of the year. ----- Hyrdo-Quebec are you listening??? Please renovate your POS.
  13. (Courtesy of Luxist) List (Promo) So if any of you want to take your better half on a nice romantic getaway
  14. du NationalPost Nobody is selling real estate and few are buying it, so how do you value it? The question dominated a panelist discussion that included the leaders of some of the largest real estate companies in the world. The consensus at the 14th annual North American Real Estate Equities conference, put on by CIBC World Markets, is the Canadian market will see little activity in 2009. Pinned down on what Toronto's Scotia Plaza might fetch in today's market, Andrea Stephen, executive vice-president of Cadillac Fairview Corp., said she couldn't answer. "It is difficult because there is a small pool of buyers," said Ms. Stephen who passed the question on to Tom Farley, chief executive of Brookfield Properties Corp. which is now building the Bay-Adelaide Centre, the first new office tower in Toronto's financial core in 15 years. Mr. Farley noted only three major assets have traded in the past seven years, the last being the TD Canada Trust Tower in Toronto. That was sold at $723/square foot, he said. Ms. Stephen said that figure might be "little rich" in today's market, but said it's hard to establish a real price. When Cadillac, which is owned by the Ontario Teachers Pension Plan Board, bought the Toronto-Dominion Bank's office tower assets the price was about $300 a square foot but that was eight years ago. There is no real pressure on any of the major owners of Canada's office towers to sell, so the type of fire sales that have been seen in the United States are less likely. "You have eight entities that control 90% [of the major towers]. It's ourselves and seven pension funds," said Mr. Farley. "We can weather the storm." Not everyone on the panel was as confident about the Canadian market. David Henry, president of retail landlord Kimco Realty Corp. which is based in the United States but has some holdings in Canada, said rental rates are "falling of the cliff." He did note the company's Canadian portfolio is holding up better than its U.S. holdings. He said there will be merger opportunities as prices continue to fall. Mr. Henry, said capitalization rates have been rising with alarming speed. The cap rate is the expected rate of return on a property, the higher the cap rate the less a property is worth. "We saw cap rates go from 6 to 8.5 in the United States. It may not go as high [in Canada] but it could go to 8," he said, referring to the retail sector. Dori Segal, the chief executive of First Capital Realty Corp., said he still hasn't seen the buying opportunities. "There is not a single grocery anchored shopping centre for sale in Toronto, Montreal, Vancouver, Calgary or even Victoria for that matter," said Mr. Segal.
  15. Mediocre job performance is better than the alternative JAY BRYAN, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago Canada's job market is in mediocre shape, we discovered yesterday, and when you look at the alternative, this is wonderful news. For the past few weeks, many economic forecasters have been nervously asking themselves if Canada could resist the powerful recessionary undertow from a slumping U.S. economy or whether we'd fall into a downturn similar to the one that's under way south of the border. The final answer might not be available for a little longer, but yesterday's August job reports out of Ottawa and Washington make it clear that, for now, Canada is doing much better than the U.S. and is certainly nowhere near recession. In Canada, employment grew by a solid, if uninspiring, 15,200 jobs, returning to growth after two months of declines. That left the unemployment rate at 6.1 per cent, just above its record low of 5.8 per cent in February. So far this year, the Canadian economy has created 86,900 jobs. In the U.S, by contrast, August proved to be the eighth month in a row of shrinking employment, with 605,000 jobs lost (divide by 10 for a rough equivalence to Canadian numbers) since the beginning of this year. Unemployment south of the border jumped to a five-year high of 6.1 per cent - which sounds low to Canadians, but because of differences in measurement methods, is approximately equivalent to a Canadian unemployment rate of 7.1 per cent. Canada's modestly good job report reinforces the rationale for the Bank of Canada's decision to hold interest rates steady this week. The bank's targeted rate is already quite low at three per cent, and there's no clear need to pump emergency stimulus into the economy. Indeed, one of the the country's weakest sectors in recent years, manufacturing, has shown surprising resilience this year. As of August, factory employment was down by just 14,000, or 0.7 per cent, for this year. That's quite an accomplishment, given the plunge in car purchases by U.S. shoppers, who are the key market for Ontario's giant auto industry. In fact, Ontario has done quite well for a manufacturing province heavily dependent on U.S. customers. So far this year, it has created 51,900 jobs and its unemployment rate has actually edged down to 6.3 per cent from last December's 6.5 per cent, thanks to strong employment in construction and service industries. Ironically, Quebec, another big manufacturing province, hasn't done nearly as well, even though its big aerospace industry is much healthier than the auto industry, helping Quebec's factory sector create some jobs this year. Still, Quebec is one of the few provinces not to have enjoyed overall job growth so far in 2008. In fact, employment has shrunk by 25,200, while the unemployment rate has risen to 7.7 per cent from 7.0 per cent at the end of last year. Montreal's unemployment rate is up just 0.1 per cent so far this year, to 7.3 per cent in August, but this doesn't reflect any better performance than Quebec's on the employment front. The city actually lost 15,700 jobs in the first eight months of the year, but this was mostly offset by the 13,000 workers who abandoned the Montreal job market, making them disappear from the unemployment calculation. They might have found better opportunities elsewhere, gone back to school or simply stopped looking after a tough job search.On the provincial level, Quebec construction employment has been lukewarm and consumer-oriented service industries like retailiing have been shedding jobs, notes economist Sébastien Lavoie at Laurentian Bank Securities. As well, education employment has shrunk in Quebec as it grew in Ontario. Lavoie suggests that Quebec consumers may feeling worried enough to be cutting back on spending, while in Ontario's bigger, more diverse economy, there are still enough areas of growth to offset the auto industry's distress. Nevertheless, Ontario's ability to shrug off the U.S. economy's distress could be living on borrowed time, warns economist Douglas Porter at BMO Capital Markets. There are layoff announcements and factory closings that have yet to go into effect, he notes. And as for Ontario's boom in condo and office construction, "I have to wonder how long it can hang on."
  16. Canadian smog costs $1 billion, 2,700 lives: CMA Canwest News Service Published: Wednesday, August 13, 2008 The Canadian Medical Association estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air.Dean Bicknell/Canwest News ServiceThe Canadian Medical Association estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air. OTTAWA -- Smog this year will contribute to the premature deaths of 2,700 Canadians and put 11,000 in hospitals, costing the economy and health-care system $1 billion, Canada's doctors say. A report by the Canadian Medical Association calculates that deaths linked to air pollution will rise over the next two decades, claiming nearly twice as many lives each year and costing $1.3 billion annually in health care and lost productivity. The study estimates that by 2031, more than 4,900 Canadians, mostly seniors, will die prematurely each year from the effects of polluted air. Ontario and Quebec will bear the brunt, with smog-related deaths soaring among aging baby-boomers and the chronically ill. In Ontario, the number of premature deaths could double, to 2,200, from 1,200 per year, while hospital admissions over the same period could jump by as much as 70%. The annual health-care and economic costs could rise by as much as 30%, to $740 million, from $570 million. Quebec's mortality rate could rise by 70%, from 700 a year to 1,200, while hospital admissions could spike by 50% annually, costing the province 10% more, or up to $290 million a year. While smog can trigger lung problems, accounting for up to 40% of hospital visits, heart attack and stroke are the real problems, responsible for more than 60% of all air-pollution-related hospital admissions, the study found. Pollutants such as nitrous oxide damage the heart by harming blood vessels, leading to atherosclerosis, a disease that makes people susceptible to heart attack and stroke. Besides the direct costs to the economy and the health system, the study tries to put a price on the poor quality of life and loss of life caused by smog-related deaths. With those estimated costs included, this year's total bill -- in addition to the $1 billion estimate for economic and health-care costs - would amount to more than $10 billion. That figure would rise to $18 billion a year by 2031, with nearly $16 billion of that the price the doctors' association puts on lost lives. But Gordon McBean, a renowned climatologist at the University of Western Ontario, questioned the accuracy of such estimates. While he praised the report and called most of its data sound, he said the attempt to put a price tag on lost life is problematic. "Health-care costs you can do a reasonably good job quantifying, but quality of life and the actual value of life is a bit difficult," said Mr. McBean, co-author of a recently published Health Canada report on the impact of climate change on human health. As a Canadian representative to the Nobel Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, Mr. McBean said the world's top experts have tried unsuccessfully to come up with similar estimates for the human cost of climate change. "That became very controversial because the people who did it said, 'Well, a North American is worth so many thousand dollars and an African is worth a small fraction of that.' And people like me didn't think that was acceptable," he said. Given that climate change likely will lead to more smoggy days, the report does not exaggerate the level of anticipated deaths caused by air pollution, said Mr. McBean. "They're not overstating the problem. If anything, these are lowball estimates."
  17. Harper disagrees with pessimistic report on Canadian housing market Wed Sep 24, 1:46 PM Conservative Leader Stephen Harper says he disagrees with a report by brokerage firm Merrill Lynch that warns Canada could be headed for a housing and mortgage meltdown similar to the one that has devastated the United States economy. The report, issued Wednesday by Merrill Lynch Canada economists David Wolf and Carolyn Kwan, said many Canadian households are more financially overextended than their counterparts in the U.S. or Britain. They said it's only a matter of time before the "tipping point" is reached and the housing and credit markets crack in Canada. "I don't accept that conclusion, not at all," Harper told reporters on tour in British Columbia. "We have seen the housing market and the construction market much stronger in Canada than in the U.S.," he said. Harper said Canadian financial institutions have also taken a different approach to lending than their American counterparts. "We don't have the same situation here with the mortgages as was the case in the U.S. with the subprime mortgages there," he said. "So, therefore, I think that our market is in a much stronger position." The report acknowledges that the analysis is more pessimistic than the prevailing view. Many economists have been saying that Canada's housing and banking sectors are much more stable than their American counterparts, and will likely slow down but not crash. But Merrill Lynch Canada - whose U.S. parent is one of the biggest victims of a crisis in financial markets arising from the American housing and mortgage meltdown - said Canadians should be wary. Household net borrowing in Canada amounted to 6.3 per cent of disposable income in 2007, which is more than households in the U.K. and not far off the peak reached by U.S. households in 2005. The report also said housing prices are now falling and inventories of unsold homes are rising sharply in Canada, suggesting that this market turnaround will not be a transitory phenomenon. However, the prevailing view is that Canada's lenders have issued few of the type of subprime mortgages that sparked the U.S. crisis. In addition, a recent study showed that Canadian residential properties are not overvalued in most cities. With files from the Canadian Press lien