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Found 100 results

  1. Bonjour, Voici un thread ou tous et chacun pourront mettre leurs photos sans nécessairement créer un nouveau thread. Un peu dans le genre ''post some pcitures of your city'' sur SSP. Je commence avec quelques photos que j'ai pris sur un bateau dans le vieux-port.
  2. Middle-class communities disappearing Big increase in poor neighbourhoods in Toronto and more rich districts, according to U of T study February 08, 2009 Daniel Dale STAFF REPORTER "PRIMO PIZZA," the sign reads. "SINCE 1965." Like the store's walls, it is green and white and red, the colours of the Italian flag, and, on the left, there is a cartoonishly mustachioed man carrying a pepperoni pie above his head. This could be any Italian-owned pizza joint in the city. It was indeed Italian-owned until last year. Then a man named Rocky sold it to a man named Abdul. Abdul Malik, a 43-year-old Indian immigrant, kept its name and its oven and its sauce and its dough. He made just one addition to the top right corner of the sign, easy to miss if you're darting in from the cold, above the shop's phone number. "Halal 100%." "Some people, when they see the sign `halal,' they don't come," said Malik, who also drives a taxi. "We're losing some customers. But we're gaining other types of customers." The neighbourhood known to Statistics Canada as Census Tract 354 is changing. A community of 1950s red-brick bungalows, sturdy front-lawn maple trees and long, narrow driveways, it seems the very embodiment of white middle-class suburban Canadiana. But like the rest of Scarborough, it is decreasingly white. And by University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski's definition, it is no longer middle-class. Later this year, Hulchanski – associate director for research at the U of T's Cities Centre – and a team of researchers will release an update of their 2007 report The Three Cities within Toronto. Their new analysis of data from the 2006 census confirms a trend they found in the first study: the income gap between Toronto's rich areas and poor areas is growing, while its middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing. Hulchanski's findings, in aggregate, are dramatic. At the micro-level of this individual neighbourhood, however, the impact of relative economic decline is not unlike Malik's change to the pizza shop's sign. Significant, certainly, but subtle. Between 1995 and 2005, the 5,225-person census district, roughly bordered by Lawrence Ave. E. to the north, Knob Hill Park to the south, Brimley Rd. to the west and McCowan Park to the east, gained 1,020 members of visible minority groups. They now comprise more than 55 per cent of the population, up from about a third in the 1990s. Most of the newcomers came to Canada this decade or last from South Asian countries – predominantly India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Like recent immigrants of all types, many of them struggle to make an adequate living. The area's average individual income in 2006 – $29,929 – was 25 per cent lower than the average for Toronto census districts: $40,074. Hulchanski classifies areas 20 per cent or more below the city-wide average as low-income; according to him, this area has been low-income since at least 2000. Yet ask long-time white residents to classify their neighbourhood and they will inevitably call it middle-class. Ask them to describe recent demographic changes and they will think for a moment, then point down the street to a house an Indian family bought from a British couple, or around the corner to another now owned by Sri Lankans. "When we moved in almost 30 years ago – we moved in '79 – there were more Anglo-Saxon people," said Filomena Polidoro, 53. "Now there are more ethnic people. It's more mixed. And it's nice, still nice. We like it." The old-timers' shrugs about its low-income status reflect a key caveat to the discussion of the disappearance of the city's middle-class census tracts: to fall from "middle-income" to "low-income," in relative terms, a neighbourhood need not get significantly poorer. Since the city's high-income neighbourhoods are getting richer, a middle-class neighbourhood that maintains its income level will be relatively poorer. The influx of South Asians has not made this one destitute; it remains largely populated, said Polidoro, by people who work as teachers, nurses, and factory and construction workers, among other unpretentious jobs. But the new arrivals contributed to a decline of about $1,000 in the neighbourhood's inflation-adjusted average individual income between 2000 and 2005. Two local real estate agents said about 70 per cent of people now inquiring about houses in the neighbourhood are South Asian. Many recent buyers, said Coldwell Banker agent Raffi Boghossian, are large extended families who have pooled limited incomes, sometimes "not much more than minimum wage," to acquire property. Local businesses have adjusted accordingly. At Reliable Parts, an appliance parts shop beside Primo Pizza, employee Warren Lastewka has a polite "the price is the price" speech he delivers when cash-strapped customers reared in haggling-friendly countries ask for unadvertised discounts. The Paperback Exchange, a bookstore in the plaza since the 1970s, now stocks elementary educational books with titles like Basic Learning Skills and Parts of Speech near its sci-fi novels. "I'll get a family of Pakistanis in when the teacher says to them, `Your kid's not going to make it if they can't read English.' From now through to June, that's when they usually get the notice," said Joy Ritchie, 64, the mother of owner Troy Ritchie. "I keep those books on the wall there. And I do very good business on that from now to June." Low-income areas sometimes lack proximity to social services and other essential conveniences. This one is served by Scarborough General Hospital, a Royal Bank, a Shoppers Drug Mart, a library and a Price Chopper. "Everything is convenient for us in this area," said Kaushik Maisuria, 28, an India-born auto garage employee who lives with his two uncles and two young cousins. "We can get whatever we want." Including, increasingly, products and services targeted to them, like Malik's halal pizza or the plaza's JD's Market and Halal Meat, where large bags of basmati rice line the aisles and a butcher works out back. Once a Becker's Milk, the location was a standard convenience store until October, when Jaffer Derwish's Afghanistan-born family converted it into a small grocery. In a tough economy, business is slow, said Derwish, 23. So is demand for local real estate. "The market is sort of dead in the area," Boghossian said. Many prospective buyers, he said, "are people with income that is not certain." "Typical Scarborough," said Royal LePage Signature realtor Joan Manuel. "You're not getting multiple offers. And if you do, you're not getting them over (the listed price)." Those people still making offers, however, are drawn to the neighbourhood's increasing ability to meet distinct South Asian needs. About 800 metres from Brimley Rd. is the large new Jame Abu Bakr Siddique mosque, a gleaming white facility whose minarets loom over another halal pizzeria. Prospective buyers have cited the mosque as a key lure to the area, said Manuel. And other attractions abound. Down the street is the bustling Bombay Bazaar grocery store in a Lawrence Ave. plaza so busy people park their cars in the middle of the parking lot, preventing those lucky enough to find spots from backing out. Nearby are a Hindi video rental store-slash-hair salon and a fish market. It is, for some, a sight to behold. "Where there used to be an old mom-and-pop operation," said Joy Ritchie, a touch of wonderment in her voice, "now they're selling saris." http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/584203 Poor neighbourhoods growing across Toronto RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Newspapers in South Asian languages serve the city's many new immigrants. Toronto's middle class is disappearing. Since 2001, 15 of the city's middle-income neighbourhoods have vanished, according to a yet-to-be released University of Toronto report. The majority became low-income areas, where individual earnings are 20 to 40 per cent below the city average. Hardest hit are the suburbs. Declines in Scarborough and north Etobicoke have continued. Falling income is also affecting parts of Brampton, Mississauga and Durham. In 1970, 86 per cent of 905 neighbourhoods were middle class. In 2005, that number had tumbled to 61 per cent. From 2000 to 2005, the number of city neighbourhoods with very low earnings – more than 40 per cent below the Toronto-area average – grew by almost 50 per cent. Residents in these neighbourhoods live on welfare-level earnings, says U of T researcher David Hulchanski. The report, due out this year, is an update of the groundbreaking 2007 The Three Cities within Toronto report by Hulchanski and a team of university researchers. It analyzed and mapped Statistics Canada census data from 1971 to 2001, finding that not only were middle-class neighbourhoods disappearing, but Toronto was divided into three distinct geographic areas: City 1, which consistently gained income; City 2, which maintained its income but shrunk in size; and City 3, whose residents saw their earnings fall over the 30-year period. Hulchanski says municipal governments are not to blame. "The people of Toronto did not do this to themselves. This is a national trend. What we're showing on these maps is the way federal and provincial policies, as well as the economy, have played out in Toronto's neighbourhoods." He says policies such as universal health care and social assistance helped build the middle class. Cutbacks, including downloading of social services from the province to cities and a lack of affordable housing and job protection, are leading to its destruction. "You didn't talk about McJobs in the 1970s, or even part-time jobs without benefits. Whoever heard of a job that wasn't full-time without benefits?" he asks. "That would be shocking 25 years ago. Now it's normal." Hulchanski's updated study, with another five years of data from the 2006 census, confirms the decline of the middle class and the continued polarization of rich and poor neighbourhoods. From 2001 to 2006, individual incomes in wealthy areas grew 14 per cent, while residents of low-income neighbourhoods made only modest gains. During the 1970s, Toronto was a predominantly middle-class city, with 341 of its 520 census tracts – neighbourhood areas determined by Statistics Canada so that they have roughly 4,000 residents each – in the middle-income category. Poverty was contained in the city's urban core. Thirty years later, it's a city divided. Richer residents live along the Yonge St. corridor, close to services and transit. Individual incomes average almost $90,000 a year. The proliferating poorer communities are located in Toronto's pre-amalgamation suburbs, the middle-class bastion of the 1950s. In 2006 that area included 40 per cent of the city's census tracts. Sixty-one per cent are immigrants. There is little rapid transit and an average income of $26,900. Sandwiched between the two areas is a shrinking City 2, neighbourhoods with static income where the average income is about $35,700. Hulchanski began his research in 2005 with a $1 million grant (spread over five years) from the Social Science Humanities Research Council of Canada. He teamed with St. Christopher House, an omnibus social service agency in the city's west end, to examine how gentrification was changing the neighbourhood. The data was difficult to analyze. Within the 30-year period, census boundaries had changed and some of the information wasn't available electronically. A U of T data analyst took more than a year to get it into shape. By the time Hulchanski began his work, Toronto and the United Way had completed research showing the city's poverty was highest in 13 priority neighbourhoods. "The trend line was clearly there. Researchers saw it and the city's work with the United Way was going on," says Fiona Chapman, manager of social research and analysis for Toronto. "What David's work has done is absolutely confirmed the concerns. And I think why everybody doffs their cap to David is (that) he's been very good at helping the public understand these concerns." BY THE NUMBERS How the income decline affects the outer suburbs $40,074 Average 2005 individual income, all Toronto census districts 61 Percentage of population comprising immigrants in districts where incomes have declined more than 20 per cent since 1970 34 Percentage of population comprising whites in such districts 19 Number of subway stations within 300 metres of such districts, versus 40 for biggest-gaining districts 54 Percentage of 2005-07 homicides in such districts, versus 12 per cent for biggest-gaining districts Source: University of Toronto Cities Centre U of T analysis of census data shows middle class shrinking, especially in Scarborough, Etobicoke February 08, 2009 Patty Winsa STAFF REPORTER http://www.thestar.com/Article/584204 interactive map: http://www3.thestar.com/static/Flash/map_middleclass.html PDF:http://multimedia.thestar.com/acrobat/51/c7/2cc835a5403d8d76478fae97bba0.pdf
  3. CGI laying off 100 in Montreal François Shalom , Montreal Gazette Published: 52 minutes ago Montreal technology company CGI Group Inc. laid off about 100 people at its Montreal and Toronto offices today, The Gazette has learned. The information-technology services firm told the affected employees in a letter that their department, technology and infrastructure management, "needs to undergo a transformation and re-alignment to adapt to market conditions. As a result, we are reducing the size of our workforce." Company spokesperson Lorne Gorber confirmed that about 65 people lost their jobs in Montreal and another 35 in Toronto. As an outsourcer, we're in constant restructuring mode," said Gorber. "We need to deliver constant improvements in performance of technologies and processes." Gorber said that CGI is making "every best effort to find new opportunities for them" elsewhere within the company. About one-third of those laid off are managers. One employee affected, 34-year-old IT consultant Marc Lallier, said he was called down to a conference room, handed the company letter and given an option to move. He has one week to respond, but couldn't say whether he would keep his $63,000-a-year salary in the new post offered to him. Gorber stressed that CGI is not retrenching. "We've just added 50 jobs in Quebec City recently and some positions in Sherbrooke as well, where we want to ramp up to 150 posts." He said the cost-cutting move is "not a knee-jerk reaction" to losing a contract but a more rational and thought-out division of labour. The last time the company announced important layoffs was in March 2006, when CGI slashed 1,000 jobs due to cutbacks at an important client, BCE. But the company has since rehired about twice as many as that, Gorber said, for a current workforce of about 27,000 people worldwide. About 16,000 are in Canada, of which 9,000 are in Quebec, 6,000 of them in Montreal. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/business/story.html?id=735856ab-0983-4177-bd62-2c7fc6bb00c9
  4. The world is welcome to park downtown 150 spots set aside for diplomats, staff ANNE SUTHERLAND, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago Parking downtown is difficult enough: Who hasn't done the "once more 'round the block" routine over and over before throwing in the towel and paying sky-high prices to park in a lot? Adding to the frustration is seeing prime spots reserved for the diplomatic corps - 150 spaces in all - in the Ville Marie and Plateau Mont Royal boroughs. Who are these people with special licence plates and why do they get to park - free of charge, on top of everything - in some of the most advantageous places? Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says.View Larger Image View Larger Image Cars fill Cathcart St. parking spots designated for use by diplomatic staff. Those sites represent only a handful of the 16,800 metered parking spaces in Montreal, a city official says. For staff of consulates and employees of international organizations, like the International Air Transport Association or the International Civil Aviation Organization, free parking is part of a range of diplomatic perks. Italy, for example, has its own consular building and parking lot on Doctor Penfield Ave. Many other consulates rent space in office towers downtown, however. As a matter of courtesy and security, the city of Montreal designates 150 spots to international officials and consular and diplomatic staff, said Jacques-Alain Lavallée, spokesperson for the Ville Marie borough. Montreal has been extending this privilege for more than 30 years, and does so "to attract international institutions and for security reasons," said François Goneau, of the city's public affairs department. There are 16,800 metered parking spots in the city, so the 150 spots for consular officials represent a minuscule percentage of available street parking, he noted. Michel Philibert of Stationnement de Montréal, the para-public agency that manages parking in the city, said there is no way to gauge how much revenue metered parking in those diplomatic spots might bring in. Extending perks to the international market is very lucrative in the long run for Montreal, Goneau said. "It has been estimated these international organizations bring in excess of $200 million in business to the city," he said, citing a study done in 2000. Only drivers with a CC (Consular Corps) or a CD (Diplomatic Corps) prefix on their licence plates are eligible to park in the diplomatic corps spots. There are 191 CC plates and 140 CD plates issued to people in Montreal, according to the Société de l'assurance automobile du Québec. If you park in a spot designated for the diplomatic corps and get caught, you will get the usual $42 fine for parking in a restricted zone, Montreal police Constable Olivier Lapointe said. The city receives two requests a year, on average, for diplomatic corps parking spots. If a consulate closes or moves, the designated parking spots are returned to the public, Lavallée said. [email protected]
  5. L'entreprise américaine, qui détient les magasins La Source au Québec, se met sous la protection de la loi sur les faillites afin de redresser ses finances. Pour en lire plus...
  6. Stewart Museum shuts for $4.5-million refit To reopen in 2010; military drills continue The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago The Stewart Museum in the Old Fort on Île Ste. Hélène has closed for 18 months for a $4.5-million renovation program. The museum, which attracts about 60,000 visitors a year, is housed in a 188-year-old building that needs to be upgraded to meet 21st-century standards. "It means bringing the building up to scratch," said Bruce Bolton, executive director of the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, which rents the facility from the city. The work will include the installation of elevators, new windows and a sprinkler system. Another $500,000 will be spent to refurbish the permanent collection of artifacts, which hasn't been touched since 1992. The city has leased the property to the Macdonald Stewart Foundation since 1963 for use as a military and maritime museum. In 1985 it became the Macdonald Stewart Museum, and in the '90s became simply the Stewart Museum in the Old Fort. The museum is expected to re-open in May 2010. When it does, it will offer a revised educational program of activities. "In the past we offered quite a few group activities, perhaps too many, so we plan to clean up the act," said Sylvia Neider Deschênes, the museum's communications chief. The museum will be closed, but the military drills in the parade square will continue. "We will not touch the two ceremonial military regiments, the Compagnie franche de la Marine and the 78th Fraser Highlanders," Neider Deschênes said. "That's one program that sets us apart from other museums. We're adamant about keeping them. All the military animation programs will run next summer."
  7. Cataclaw

    Longueuil 2020

    Voici ma vision pour le secteur du bord de l'eau. The situation is simple. We have a high-density area surrounding a transit hub, a good example of transit oriented development... but it is locked in by highways. Furthermore, the "Old Longueuil" area, the real cultural, historical and recreational area of Longueuil is blocked off from this downtown area as a result. Finally, the waterfront is also isolated by autoroute 20. This isn't just some random waterfront either.. this is PRIME space. Just across from Sainte-Helene island and Montreal. There's a reason throngs of people come here to watch the fireworks in the summer! The view is exceptional! Solution : Mettre l'autoroute 20 sous terre ainsi qu'une portion du boulevard Taschereau et réunir le bord de l'eau avec Place Charles-Lemoyne (le "centre ville" de Longueuil) et le secteur du Vieux-Longueuil historique (l'autre "centre ville", et selon moi, le vrai) - Faire de cette région un vrai pole économique, culturel, récréotouristique, etc. Optimistic? Ambitious? Naive? Perhaps... i know this project would be hilariously expensive, but damn, imagine the cohesive and dynamic, livable and exciting Longueuil city center that would emerge! Please give me your feedback... i'm very interseted in hearing what you have to say! Merci beaucoup tout le monde! (Metro Charland named after the Montreal South mayor - Montreal South being the small town originally located on that land, eventually merged into Longueuil. Boul Isidore Hurteau named after the first mayor of Longueuil) AVANT APRES
  8. Grumpy

    Dubai...

    As controversial this city may be take a look at this :
  9. A few years ago I've got a panoramic map of the city -from MartinMtl- and I was wondering if there are new ones lately published ?
  10. Condos, costs squeeze Vancouver office space DAVID EBNER From Monday's Globe and Mail June 29, 2008 at 10:33 PM EDT VANCOUVER — The numbers, at first glance, couldn't look better for a commercial real estate developer. On the small peninsula that constitutes downtown Vancouver, there's barely any available office space. The 2.6-per-cent vacancy rate ranks as the lowest of any city core in North America. And rents are soaring, with the cost of prime office space jumping 25 per cent in just one year to more than $34 per square foot. Yet hardly any new commercial space is being built. Just 130,000 square feet is under construction in downtown Vancouver, which would add less than 1 per cent to what exists. It's a fraction of what's happening elsewhere: Calgary's downtown is expanding by 5.6 million square feet, or 17 per cent, and Toronto is growing by 3.8 million square feet, or 5 per cent. Construction costs have risen far faster than rents, driven by a Western Canadian construction boom that has made labour scarce and expensive, and the climbing cost of materials such as steel. Vancouver developers say they just can't make the numbers add up for new projects. In Calgary, for example, the energy boom allows developers to charge $45 a square foot, a third more than they can get in the Vancouver market. “It takes a lot of nerve to build today,” said Don Vassos, a senior vice-president at real estate services firm CB Richard Ellis Ltd. who opened the company's Vancouver office 24 years ago. Since then, the downtown has gone through a transformation that helped produce the current shortage of commercial space. It's a trend the city now hopes to reverse. In the 1980s and 1990s, planners and politicians set about creating the Vancouver that currently exists, one consistently on best-places-to-live lists. Under the rubric of “living first,” the city heavily promoted residential development downtown, pushing the population on the peninsula to 90,000, more than double the 40,000 or so in the mid-1980s. But the dozens of residential condominiums have begun to squeeze the commercial core. Four years ago, alarm bells started going off for planners when Duke Energy sold the landmark Westcoast Transmission building for a condo conversion. That provoked the city to impose a temporary halt on such changes in the central business district. With developers predicting that Vancouver will run out of space to build new commercial buildings in the next 20 years, city council is poised to encourage construction of more office space. In July, it will consider a series of proposals from planners that include an expanded central business district, tighter rules on condo conversions and proposals to allow taller towers with more density. Until things change, however, businesses will continue to feel the squeeze. Part of the problem, developers say, is that condos are far more profitable than commercial space because residential buyers are willing to pay large premiums for benefits such as views of the ocean and mountains. And unlike Calgary and Toronto, where large corporations drive demand for many storeys of commercial space, the typical Vancouver tenant is more likely to be a law firm or upstart technology company requiring far less space. Developers have to sign on many more tenants to make a project work instead of landing one big name. Some Vancouver developers say the city has to take measures to encourage new commercial buildings that go beyond the proposals city planners have put together. “They need to address costs,” said Tony Astles, executive vice-president for B.C. at Bentall Real Estate. “And they need to address the length of time it takes to go through the whole process, from zoning to approvals. “It's a clogged-up system. Right now, it's very difficult to rationalize a high-rise office tower in downtown Vancouver. The costs of construction have risen so fast that rents – even though they're at their all-time high – haven't kept up.” http://www.reportonbusiness.com/servlet/story/RTGAM.20080629.wrdowntown30/BNStory/Business/home
  11. The New York Times June 28, 2008 By BEN SISARIO MONTREAL — On Wednesday night, in the last of his three concerts presented as preludes to the Montreal International Jazz Festival, Leonard Cohen, the 73-year-old hometown poet-hero on tour for the first time in 15 years, said that on his last time through town he was “60 years old, just a kid with a crazy dream.” Between waves of applause and hollers in French and English, he added, “I am so grateful to be here and to be from here.” Mr. Cohen’s math notwithstanding, hometown pride and musical reverence are at the center of the festival, which opened its 29th season on Thursday and runs through July 6. Billing itself as the largest jazz festival in the world, it attracts one million visitors a year to more than 500 concerts in a three-block music zone downtown and brings about $100 million in revenue to the city, according to Canadian government estimates. With CD sales in a chronic slump, the music industry has been turning increasingly to live events for income, and in recent years big smorgasbord festivals have sprouted up all over North America, aiming to present all kinds of music for all kinds of people. But with a setting ideal for tourists as well as for local residents, and a solid history of eclectic programming — among the attractions this year are Woody Allen, Al Green, Aretha Franklin, Public Enemy and the local debut of Steely Dan — Montreal has held on to a rare prestige. “There is no parallel in North America and perhaps no parallel around the world,” said Scott Southard, a jazz and world-music booking agent who has 15 artists at the festival. “In Europe or Bonnaroo, for instance, they have to erect an entire village in a remote location. Here you have an urban environment without having to reconstruct the venue infrastructure every year.” Begun in 1980 by two concert promoters, Alain Simard and André Ménard, as a way to fill up what was then a dry summer concert calendar, the festival takes over four concert halls of the Place des Arts performing arts complex as well as numerous theaters and clubs around the perimeter. Several blocks of downtown streets are closed for outdoor stages, retail and food booths and children’s activities. Despite the size, Mr. Simard, the president of the festival’s parent company, L’Équipe Spectra, said that “the goal is not to be the biggest jazz festival in the world, it’s to be the best.” But as the festival approaches its 30th season, it is preparing to grow even bigger, with help from a four-year, $120 million government plan to develop the area around Place des Arts. The first phase, to be completed by next summer, includes a 75,000-square-foot park and performance ground, the Place du Quartier des Spectacles. The festival has also been given a 30-year lease and a $10 million grant from the Province of Quebec to renovate a nearby vacant building; when completed it will add one club for use year-round. As a tourist draw second only to Grand Prix du Canada, the Formula One race held in Montreal in early June, the jazz festival has become an important symbol of Montreal’s cosmopolitan lifestyle, said Charles Lapointe, the chief executive of Tourism Montreal, a nonprofit agency financed through a hotel tax. “The jazz festival exemplifies perfectly what we are presenting on the foreign market,” Mr. Lapointe said. “You can celebrate on the streets without any problems with security and express all the pleasure you want.” Civic pride and creative abundance was clear on Thursday, the official opening. (Mr. Cohen’s touring schedule prevented him from being part of the festival proper; he appears at the enormous Glastonbury pop festival in Britain on Sunday.) During the afternoon crowds gradually filled up the Place des Arts campus, slurping on ice cream cones beside the fountain and listening to the sound check for a tribute to Mr. Cohen featuring Chris Botti, Madeleine Peyroux, Buffy Sainte-Marie and others. Darting between indoor evening concerts by the veteran jazz singer Dee Dee Bridgewater, the young British songwriter Katie Melua and the African performers Vieux Farka Touré and Salif Keita, a visitor could quickly take in half a dozen outdoor concerts, parades and magicians. Two-thirds of the concerts are free. The Cohen tribute drew an estimated audience of 100,000, filling the plaza and nearby streets. But the concerts by Mr. Cohen himself were the clear early highlight. Dressed like a spy in a crisp black suit and fedora, Mr. Cohen, who has said that after years in a Zen Buddhist retreat in California, his lifelong depression has finally begun to lift, sang a sleek and emotional set of nearly three hours. In “Bird on the Wire,” “Hallelujah” and “Tower of Song” he sang of being weighted down by cynicism and starving for affection, but between songs he doffed his hat and smiled broadly for sustained ovations. The festival, a nonprofit enterprise run by the for-profit company L’Équipe Spectra, has an operating budget of $25 million. And though about 18 percent of that comes from national, provincial and city sources, the biggest form of government support is the closing of several blocks of busy city streets. The bulk of the budget comes from corporate sponsorships (40 percent) and sales of tickets and memorabilia (39 percent). The prominence of sponsorships gives the festival a sense of hyperbranding. Looking over Place des Arts, it is almost impossible not to see a giant symbol of General Motors, the lead sponsor: besides GM logos on banners and fliers throughout the grounds, the company also has five displays of new cars for contests, and at least one of the many marching bands wended its way around, wearing black GM T-shirts. Festival organizers say that they have made efforts to ensure that the sponsorship is tasteful and not intrusive. Signs are only seen outdoors, where concerts are free, they say. There is no advertising for the paid concerts indoors, and the organizers say they will not rename the event to suit any sponsor. To create an egalitarian atmosphere, the festival also shuns velvet ropes. “You will never see a V.I.P. area on the site,” Mr. Ménard said. “There’s never a place where people walk and are told, ‘No, that’s not for you.’ The unemployed can stand next to the president of the sponsor company.” For the Cohen tribute on Thursday night, however, there was a small area of bleachers near the stage reserved for the news media and others. But a reporter who lacked the necessary badges was still able to enter with a few kind words. And unlike many large festivals, this one had a network of fenced-off pathways that made quick travel through even a crowd of 100,000 tightly packed fans on Thursday evening easy for anyone needing or wanting to get through. “The vibe is very peaceful,” Mr. Ménard said of the festival. “The fabric of this city is all about the quality of life. The fact is, we have long, deadly winters, so come summertime, everybody is in for a party — but a civilized party.”
  12. The world's big digs http://www.cbc.ca/world/story/2008/06/19/f-big-digs.html Last Updated: Monday, June 23, 2008 | 10:26 AM ET CBC News Construction on Montreal's Honoré Mercier Bridge, billed as Canada's largest bridge repair, has a price tag of $66 million for its first phase. Work is expected to last until 2011. It's a big endeavour, to be sure. But it still pales in comparison to the scope of massive projects planned or underway around the world. Consider China's $63-billion — yes, billion — water diversion project, or Canada's own ambitious plans for the 2010 Winter Olympics. Many of these projects break new ground, figuratively as well as literally, in striving to set new world standards. They want to be tallest, widest, first or most expensive works of their kind. Here are some of the world's biggest digs, either underway or planned: -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- China: north-south water diversion Estimated cost: $63 billion With this massive hydro-engineering plan, China seeks to deliver water from the water-rich Yangtze River area in the south to parched regions in the country's north and west. In essence, the Chinese want to build a series of new, artificial rivers. Adopted in 2002, the ambitious plan calls for three water routes to eventually be built. Planners hope that the 1,250-km central and 1,150-km eastern routes will divert 13 billion cubic metres of water to Beijing and other northern cities by 2010. Due for completion in 2050, the western route cuts through the mountains of Tibet to reach China's arid northwestern provinces. If completed as planned, all three routes would carry a torrent of water as powerful as the flow of the Yellow River, China's second-longest waterway. The key word is "planned": Parts of the project have been delayed by technological and financial difficulties and concerns over water pollution, state media has reported. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Vancouver: 2010 Olympic infrastructure Estimated cost: $2.6 billion Two major projects are transforming transportation in British Columbia's Lower Mainland in the lead-up to the 2010 Winter Olympics. The 80-kilometre Sea to Sky highway, from Vancouver to the resort town of Whistler, is being improved at an estimated cost of $600 million. New passing lanes are being added and some sections straightened to improve safety. The new Canada Line, meanwhile, will provide a 19.5-km rail link between Vancouver and the city's international airport in Richmond. Completion of the 16-stop line is expected in 2009 in advance of the beginning of the Games. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Panama: Panama Canal expansion Estimated cost: $5.25 billion Workers use heavy machinery at the site of the Panama Canal expansion project in Panama City on April 28, 2008. (Arnulfo Franco/Associated Press) Approved in a 2006 national referendum, this project will be the largest improvement in the historic waterway's history. The canal's locks will be widened by 17 metres to 50 metres to accommodate modern ocean-faring vessels. By the time of its expected wrap-up in 2014, officials expect the canal's shipping capacity will be doubled. That will be good news for the ships who make the 14,000 annual trips through the 82-km-long canal. The smaller waterway has forced costly queues in recent years. If finished as planned in 2014, the expansion will open at the same time as the Panama Canal's 100th anniversary. It was originally built by the Americans and French and transferred to full Panamanian control in 1999. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- United Arab Emirates: Burj Dubai Estimated cost: $4 billion With their ultra-tall Burj Dubai, Emaar Properties want to do more than part the clouds with their building. The developers want to make a statement. A big statement. Even while still under construction, the Burj Dubai is already the world's tallest free-standing structure, eclipsing Toronto's 553-metre-tall CN Tower in September 2007. When completed in late 2009, the building will exceed 800 metres and house offices, a glitzy hotel and residential space. By then, the skyscraper will have consumed 330,000 metric tonnes of concrete, 39,000 metric tonnes of steel rebar and 142,000 square metres of glass, and 22 million worker hours of labour. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Algeria: east-west highway Estimated cost: $13 billion Flush with a windfall of oil and gas revenues, the Algerian government has embarked on a $144-billion project to upgrade the country's public works. Schools, hospitals and a subway for the capital, Algiers, are all being built. A cornerstone will be the east-west highway that will span more than 1,200 km across the country, connecting the Tunisian border in the east with Morocco in the west. Expected to be completed in 2010 and financed completely by the government, the roadway will also connect Algiers and other major cities in the country's north. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- China: Three Gorges Dam Estimated cost: $25 billion Spanning the Yangtze River, Three Gorges is 210 metres high and more than two kilometres long. Critics call it an environmental nightmare, but China's leaders believe it will control flooding along the Yangtze, harnessing an estimated 18,000 megawatts of power by its eventual completion in 2009. However, the dam has displaced more than one million people and it's estimated rising waters will submerge 1,200 towns and villages. Work began in 1993 on the project which, when complete, will produce three times the capacity of Canada's Churchill Falls generating station in Newfoundland and Labrador. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Moscow: Crystal Island Estimated cost: $4 billion Once completed, this sprawling residential and commercial complex near the heart of Moscow is expected to be one of the world's largest and most expensive buildings. British architect Norman Foster has drafted plans for a tent-like structure with 2.5 million square metres of ground space set around a 450-metre peak. As planned, Crystal Island would include an observatory deck near the top, as well as apartments, entertainment facilities and sports complexes. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- San Francisco: Bay Bridge Estimated cost:$6.3 billion Upon its completion in 1936, the Bay Bridge was hailed as an engineering triumph, spanning the 13 kilometres between San Francisco and Oakland, Calif. But a major 1989 earthquake, which caused extensive damage to the bridge, drove home the need for repairs to guard against future temblors. So this massive repair project was drawn up. The eastern span will be entirely rebuilt and its western portions greatly overhauled. Work on the bridge, which carries an estimated 280,000 cars per day, is expected to wrap up in 2013. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Australia: Brisbane bypass tunnel Estimated cost: $3 billion This big dig will eventually deliver Australia's largest tunnel, built under the streets of the city of Brisbane. Named the Clem Jones Tunnel after a popular former mayor, it will provide another north-south traffic artery through the city. The goal for completion is the end of 2009. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Italy: Strait of Messina Bridge Estimated cost: $9 billion Since Roman times, Italian leaders have dreamed of a fixed link between the mainland and the island of Sicily. Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi tried to bring such a plan to life after his election in 2001, only to have it scuppered after a change of government in 2006. The April 2008 election restored Berlusconi to power and gave the idea a second life. The new plan calls for a 3.3-kilometre suspension bridge — it would be the world's longest, besting the current world record holder by almost 1.5 kilometres. Construction could begin in 2010 and wrap up by 2016, a government official says. -------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Las Vegas: CityCenter Estimated cost: $9 billion Dubbed a "city within a city" on the famous Las Vegas Strip, this monster complex will combine a resort casino called Aria, along with several other hotels and residential buildings. CityCenter will cover 76 acres after its expected completion in 2009. A little more than 46,000 square metres of space will be dedicated to The Crystals, a complex featuring restaurants, retail and other entertainment. The project will employ about 7,000 construction workers, according to the developers.
  13. Repairs to Hélène de Champlain building force eatery to shut Restaurant's owner plans to close it down when lease expires at end of 2009 ALAN HUSTAK, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The building that houses the Hélène de Champlain restaurant on Île Ste. Hélène needs massive repairs, and the restaurant will close for good in 16 months when its lease expires. Pierre Marcotte, the French- language television personality who has leased the red sandstone building from the city since 1983, says the property needs between $3 million and $5 million in repairs. "We have no choice but to close," he said. "The city has decided not to renew its lease after 2009 in order to undertake the repairs. That could take a year or more to complete. The electrical and heating systems are outdated, and major repairs to the building itself are necessary." Initially meant to be a sports pavilion, the island chalet was built during the Depression as a Quebec government make-work project. It was designed by Émile Daoust to resemble a Norman château, and the grounds were landscaped by Frederick Todd. It was turned over to the city in 1942 and in 1955 became a municipal restaurant, but didn't get a liquor licence until 1960. In 1966, Mayor Jean Drapeau had the building redone as the official residence for Expo 67's Commissioner-General, Pierre Dupuy. It also had a hall of honour next to the main dining room that was used by Drapeau as a reception centre for visiting dignitaries and heads of state. The reception for French President Charles de Gaulle was held in the chalet after he delivered his controversial "Vive le Québec libre" speech. Even though the restaurant proved to be a money-loser, Drapeau kept its five dining rooms open until 1977, when they were closed because of a labour dispute. They reopened in 1981. Marcotte said he does not plan to renew his lease, and no one is certain what will happen to the building once the repair work is done. In the past, there has been talk of converting the site into a hotel for high rollers at the Montreal Casino. [email protected] thegazette.canwest.com
  14. The Rules are the following: You give a point to a city and take a point away from another city. The cities are the 20 most populous suburbs in Greater Montreal (all of which are about 25,000 people or more). Each City starts with 10 points, last city standing wins. One Post per person per day. This is a game, so no politics or rude/inappropriate comments. Keep it clean. (In order from the largest to the smallest city) Laval - 10 Longueuil - 10 Terrebonne - 10 Repentigny - 10 Brossard - 10 Dollard-des-Ormeaux - 10 Blainville - 10 Chateauguay - 10 Saint-Eustache - 10 Boucherville - 10 Mirabel - 10 Mascouche - 10 Cote-Saint-Luc - 10 Pointe-Claire - 10 Boisbriand - 10 Sainte-Julie - 10 Vaudreuil - 10 Sainte-Thérèse - 10 Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville - 10 Saint-Constant - 10
  15. The New York Times July 15, 2008 Country, the City Version: By BINA VENKATARAMAN What if “eating local” in Shanghai or New York meant getting your fresh produce from five blocks away? And what if skyscrapers grew off the grid, as verdant, self-sustaining towers where city slickers cultivated their own food? Dickson Despommier, a professor of public health at Columbia University, hopes to make these zucchini-in-the-sky visions a reality. Dr. Despommier’s pet project is the “vertical farm,” a concept he created in 1999 with graduate students in his class on medical ecology, the study of how the environment and human health interact. The idea, which has captured the imagination of several architects in the United States and Europe in the past several years, just caught the eye of another big city dreamer: Scott M. Stringer, the Manhattan borough president. When Mr. Stringer heard about the concept in June, he said he immediately pictured a “food farm” addition to the New York City skyline. “Obviously we don’t have vast amounts of vacant land,” he said in a phone interview. “But the sky is the limit in Manhattan.” Mr. Stringer’s office is “sketching out what it would take to pilot a vertical farm,” and plans to pitch a feasibility study to the mayor’s office within the next couple of months, he said. “I think we can really do this,” he added. “We could get the funding.” Dr. Despommier estimates that it would cost $20 million to $30 million to make a prototype of a vertical farm, but hundreds of millions to build one of the 30-story towers that he suggests could feed 50,000 people. “I’m viewed as kind of an outlier because it’s kind of a crazy idea,” Dr. Despommier, 68, said with a chuckle. “You’d think these are mythological creatures.” Dr. Despommier, whose name in French means “of the apple trees,” has been spreading the seeds of his radical idea in lectures and through his Web site. He says his ideas are supported by hydroponic vegetable research done by NASA and are made more feasible by the potential to use sun, wind and wastewater as energy sources. Several observers have said Dr. Despommier’s sky-high dreams need to be brought down to earth. “Why does it have to be 30 stories?” said Jerry Kaufman, professor emeritus of urban and regional planning at the University of Wisconsin, Madison. “Why can’t it be six stories? There’s some exciting potential in the concept, but I think he overstates what can be done.” Armando Carbonell, chairman of the department of planning and urban form at the Lincoln Institute of Land Policy in Cambridge, Mass., called the idea “very provocative.” But it requires a rigorous economic analysis, he added. “Would a tomato in lower Manhattan be able to outbid an investment banker for space in a high-rise? My bet is that the investment banker will pay more.” Mr. Carbonell questions if a vertical farm could deliver the energy savings its supporters promise. “There’s embodied energy in the concrete and steel and in construction,” he said, adding that the price of land in the city would still outweigh any savings from not having to transport food from afar. “I believe that this general relationship is going to hold, even as transportation costs go up and carbon costs get incorporated into the economic system.” Some criticism is quite helpful. Stephen Colbert jokingly asserted that vertical farming was elitist when Dr. Despommier appeared in June on “The Colbert Report,” a visit that led to a jump in hits to the project’s Web site from an average of 400 daily to 400,000 the day after the show. Dr. Despommier agrees that more research is needed, and calls the energy calculations his students made for the farms, which would rely solely on alternative energy, “a little bit too optimistic.” He added, “I’m a biologist swimming in very deep water right now.” “If I were to set myself as a certifier of vertical farms, I would begin with security,” he said. “How do you keep insects and bacteria from invading your crops?” He says growing food in climate-controlled skyscrapers would also protect against hail and other weather-related hazards, ensuring a higher quality food supply for a city, without pesticides or chemical fertilizers. Architects’ renderings of vertical farms — hybrids of the Hanging Gardens of Babylon and Biosphere 2 with SimCity appeal — seem to be stirring interest. “It also has to be stunning in terms of the architecture, because it needs to work in terms of social marketing,” Dr. Despommier said. “You want people to say, ‘I want that in my backyard.’ ” Augustin Rosenstiehl, a French architect who worked with Dr. Despommier to design a template “living tower,” said he thought that any vertical farm proposal needed to be adapted to a specific place. Mr. Rosenstiehl, principal architect for Atelier SOA in Paris, said: “We cannot do a project without knowing where and why and what we are going to cultivate. For example, in Paris, if you grow some wheat, it’s stupid because we have big fields all around the city and lots of wheat and it’s good wheat. There’s no reason to build towers that are very expensive.” Despite its potential problems, the idea of bringing food closer to the city is gaining traction among pragmatists and dreamers alike. A smaller-scale design of a vertical farm for downtown Seattle won a regional green building contest in 2007 and has piqued the interest of officials in Portland, Ore. The building, a Center for Urban Agriculture designed by architects at Mithun, would supply about a third of the food needed for the 400 people who would live there. In June at P.S.1 Contemporary Arts Center in Queens, a husband-wife architect team built a solar-powered outdoor farm out of stacked rows of cardboard tube planters — one that would not meet Dr. Despommier’s security requirements — with chicken coops for egg collection and an array of fruits and vegetables. For Dr. Despommier, the high-rise version is on the horizon. “It’s very idealistic and ivory tower and all of that,” he said. “But there’s a real desire to make this happen.” ---------------- Peut-être pour Dubai en premier? Et le silo no.5, un de ses jours?
  16. The New York Times Printer Friendly Format Sponsored By April 6, 2008 30 Seconds With Alex Ovechkin By LEW SERVISS The fans chant “M.V.P.!” when Alex Ovechkin scores at the Verizon Center in Washington. They have had a lot of practice this season. Ovechkin, the 22-year-old dynamo from Moscow, scored his 65th goal Thursday, breaking the season goal-scoring record for a left wing set by Luc Robitaille of the Los Angeles Kings in the 1992-93 season. The next task for Ovechkin is to help the Capitals advance in the postseason; Washington secured a playoff berth Saturday night. LEW SERVISS BEST THING ABOUT LIVING IN WASHINGTON Good people here and just I like it here WHAT DO YOU MISS MOST ABOUT RUSSIA? My family, my friends FAVORITE VIDEO GAME Counter-Strike THE BEST THING ABOUT SCORING A GOAL The celebration WHO WOULD PLAY YOU IN THE MOVIE “THE ALEX OVECHKIN STORY”? Probably Jim Carrey THE SPORT YOU’RE WORST AT American football probably FAVORITE CITY TO VISIT Montreal IF YOU WEREN’T A HOCKEY PLAYER, WHAT WOULD YOU BE DOING? Probably playing soccer LEAST FAVORITE FOOD Sushi FAVORITE DRESSING ROOM MUSIC Hip-hop ANYTHING IN PARTICULAR? No WHAT’S BETTER THAN MAKING THE PLAYOFFS? Nothing Home Contact Us * Work for Us * Site Map Pour moi il va avoir une opportunité de visiter notre belle ville, plusieurs fois ce printemps!
  17. Toronto's two solitudes: Poor city beside rich city Nov 20, 2008 04:30 AM Comments on this story (3) David Hulchanski "We heard as well about parents whose struggle to hold down two or three jobs leaves them with no time or energy to parent, of youth being humiliated by the obviousness of their poverty, of the impact of precarious and substandard housing on their ability to study and learn and engage with friends, and about the numerous other daily stresses of living on the margins of a prosperous society." – Review of the Roots of Youth Violence, Vol. 1, p. 31. We learned last week that among the roots of youth violence is the lack of good jobs – jobs that support a family, jobs that support an average lifestyle, jobs that support good quality housing. Though we already knew this, as a society we need to stop moving in the opposite direction. It wasn't too long ago that our language did not include terms like "good jobs," "bad jobs" or "the working poor." How could you work and be poor? Many people today are working more than full-time and are poor. They have no choice but to live in the growing number of very poor neighbourhoods. Money buys choice. Many neighbourhoods are becoming poor in the sense that most of the residents are living in poverty, and poor in the sense that housing, public services and transit access are all inferior relative to the rest of the city. The growing polarization between rich and poor is happening in part because of the loss of average, middle-income jobs. There used to be far fewer concentrations of disadvantage in Toronto. In the early 1970s about two-thirds of the City of Toronto's neighbourhoods (66 per cent) were middle-income – within 20 per cent of the average individual in-come of the metropolitan area. By 2005, the middle income group of neighbourhoods had declined to less than one-third (29 per cent). The trend is the same in the communities around the city's boundaries – the 905 area. The number of middle-income neighbourhoods declined by 25 per cent, from 86 per cent to 61 per cent, during the same period. Now 20 per cent of the neighbourhoods in the 905 area have very low average individual incomes, compared to none in 1970. This income polarization – the decline of the middle group with growth in the two extreme poles – is not only a general trend among Toronto's population, but it also is the basis of where we live. The City of Toronto is now divided into increasingly distinct zones. One zone of tremendous wealth and prosperity, about 20 per cent of the city, is located mainly along the Yonge corridor and stretching east and west along Bloor and Danforth. Average household income was $170,000 in 2005, 82 per cent of the population is white, only 4 per cent are recent immigrants (arriving 2001 to 2006), and only 2 per cent are black. Some of these neighbourhoods are more white and had fewer foreign-born residents in 2005 than in 1995. In contrast, there is a huge zone of concentrated disadvantage. It is still located in part in the traditional inner-city neighbourhoods, but now is also in the inner suburbs, the car-oriented areas built during the 1960s and 1970s. This is 40 per cent of the city, about 1.1 million people. Close to one-third of residents live in poverty (are below the low-income cut-off measure used by the federal government). Only 34 per cent are white, 15 per cent are recent immigrants, and 12 per cent are black. Federal and provincial economic policies, while seemingly abstract and high-level, play themselves out on the ground in our neighbourhoods. Paying a growing segment of the population wages that do not support individuals, let along families, at a basic standard of living and a fundamental level of dignity is not sustainable. The now well-documented rise in income inequality, income polarization and ethnocultural and skin colour segregation are city-destroying trends. They are trends produced by commission and omission, by public and private sector decisions. We need to use our regulatory power for the common good to focus on improving the labour market through measures like a living wage and providing people with a voice in working conditions via a fairer path to unionization. One-sided policy-making is not only generating greater disadvantage, it is destroying the city as a great place to live and work. Nothing is trickling down. The city is increasingly segregating itself as the social distance between rich and poor increases. Immigrants are arriving in a very different economy than they did 30 and 40 years ago. A recent Statistics Canada study concludes, for example, "that the wage gap between newly hired employees and other employees has been widening over the past two decades," the "relative importance of temporary jobs has increased substantially among newly hired employees," and that compared with "the early 1980s, fewer male employees are now covered by a registered pension plan." In short, policies have allowed fewer jobs to pay a living wage with good benefits. This did not happen by accident. It is not only possible but essential that we have an economy with good jobs with at least a minimum living wage for all. We need public policies that support the goals of a just and inclusive society, and we have to ensure that the use of political power benefits the common good. These are key goals of the Good Jobs Coalition and form the agenda for Saturday's Good Jobs Summit. They are essential to reversing the city-destroying trends at work in Toronto today. David Hulchanski is a University of Toronto professor and author of the report The Three Cities within Toronto. This is one of a series of essays created for the Good Jobs Summit, which takes place Nov. 22 in Toronto.
  18. Montreal's Jews aren't going anywhere By Yoni Goldstein The history of Russian Jews in Montreal, Canada, began more than a century ago, when a coalition of Jews and Christians in the city raised funds to help Jews escape from the Russian empire in the wake of an onslaught of pogroms triggered by the assassination of czar Alexander II, in March 1881. There are widely varying estimates on the current size of the Russian Jewish community in Montreal: The local Jewish federation believes there are fewer than 10,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the city, while Russian community officials claim the actual number is more than double that figure. In either case, a community center and a Russian-language biweekly newspaper attest to the fact that Russian Jews have established a vibrant community in the city (whose total Jewish population is about 100,000). Of course, as in virtually every city outside Israel where there is a Jewish presence, life for the Jews of Montreal is not without challenges. The city has been home to some minor-league anti-Semitism in the past, and the province of Quebec is proving to be mildly hostile to anyone who can't speak in French and isn't willing to learn how. But the biggest threat to Montreal Jews, the Quebec sovereignty movement of the 1970s and then later, in the early-1990s, has more recently lost favor in the eyes of more Quebecois than ever before. Now is a good time to be a Jew in Montreal. Apparently, Nativ, the formerly clandestine organization that since the 1950s has shared responsibility for bringing Jews from what is now the Former Soviet Union to Israel, and Israel's minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, don't agree. According to recent stories in Haaretz and the European Jewish Press service, having apparently run out of Jews still living in the FSU to bring to Israel, Nativ is planning to make a new push in North America to recruit Russian Jews there to make aliyah. Target No. 1: Montreal. It's a peculiar strategy: aiming to do business in a country that has two significant, settled communities of Russian Jews (the other being Toronto, where some 90,000 live); a country that is safe for Jews and where Jewish communities have long prospered; and a country, moreover, to which disadvantaged immigrants flock and where they are welcomed in droves, where they can experience multiculturalism and inclusiveness. When you're trying to convince people to leave peaceful, thriving Canada for a better life in the Middle East, you know you're in trouble of some kind. The only ones that look bad in this story are Nativ and Lieberman. The decision to recruit in Montreal is, at best, misguided. Worse, it demonstrates that the brand of covert immigration missions that were Nativ's bread and butter between the 1950s and 1990s is no longer needed. For 30 years, the organization was solely responsible for assisting countless Jewish escapees from the Soviet scourge, but that very important work is now finished. Jews who, under the hammer and sickle, were unable either to express themselves Jewishly, or to leave for someplace else where they would be free to do just that, are now at liberty to choose where they want to live, including Israel. In fact, Nativ's decision to choose Montreal's as its first stop in North America proves just how out of touch the organization is. (Already in Germany, Nativ has provoked a protest from Jewish communal leaders because of similar efforts there to lobby Russian-immigrant Jews to depart for Israel.) According to estimates from the city's Jewish federation, 80-85 percent of Russian Jews living in Montreal actually moved there from Israel. These people have already been the beneficiaries of Nativ once, and yet, at some later point, they decided that Israel wasn't the right place for them after all. There's no reason to think that they would consider moving back now, no matter how hard aliyah-liaison officers try to convince them. Nativ's venture into Montreal is doomed to fail because the organization's brand of cloak-and-dagger aliyah recruitment simply isn't suited to today's Jewish global village. Its employment of old-style Zionist tactics, which depict the State of Israel as representing the final stronghold against a world of Jew-haters doesn't connect with people anymore. There are, after all, other perfectly suitable homes for Jews. Montreal is one of those places. Perhaps the time has come for Israel in general to reevaluate its relationship with Diaspora Jewry and acknowledge that there are other places in the world perfectly suited to Jewish living. Once it takes that first step, the next job would be to recognize that the overall relationship between Israel and the Diaspora must change. Instead of looking at the Diaspora as a temporary home for those Jews who can't or aren't ready yet to make aliyah, Israel should invest in forming bonds with Jewish communities around the globe. Nativ, which has been reorganized and reportedly has a fat new budget, might even consider investing some of its cash in making those communities healthier, much in the same way those communities have long invested in the welfare of Israel. Montreal's Russian Jews aren't going anywhere and neither are the vast majority of Jews - Russian-speaking or otherwise - in North and South America and Europe. The sooner the Israeli government realizes that fact, the sooner it can begin to forge a new, symbiotic relationship with all the Jews outside Israel who are quite content to stay right where they are. Yoni Goldstein is an editorial writer at Canada's National Post, and a columnist at the Canadian Jewish News.
  19. In your opinion what does the city need what is actually not there?
  20. A sampling tour of Vermont and Montreal Miami Herald BY LIZ BALMASEDA This is the trip you take when you can't decide what trip to take. You want country-style serenity, but you also want big-city fabulous. You want glorious lake views and rolling green hills, but you also want cosmopolitan boutiques, downtown bustle and jazz. A tour through the soul-soothing Lake Champlain region of northern Vermont and the stimulating thoroughfares of Montreal is a best-of-both-worlds trip you can enjoy in just five easy days. But here's a word to the overly ambitious traveler who wants to see it all on every journey: Think of this tour as a gourmet sampling, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. COUNTRY: VERMONT'S WEST COAST Our tour began in Burlington, Vt., an easily accessible destination for South Florida travelers, since JetBlue has affordable, frequent flights from Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, with a short layover at JFK airport in New York. For big-city escapists hoping to capture a few days of peace, the gentle signs that you've arrived are noticeable right away. I saw them just moments after my flight landed in Burlington, as I walked along an airport corridor to the rental car parking lot. There they were, perfectly white, wooden rocking chairs. Not generic airport seating, but rocking chairs. The quaintness continued on the 25-mile drive south toward Vergennes, on the shores of Lake Champlain, or Vermont's ''West Coast,'' as they call it here. Along carefree U.S. 7, we passed farms and creameries, vintage New England fa?ades, sloping country roads and even one of Vermont's vintage covered bridges. This road takes you past some of the area's most popular attractions. There's the Vermont Wildflower Farm, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and the Shelburne Museum. There are plenty of teddy bears to hug, cheeses to taste, hiking trails to explore and folk art to buy along this route, depending on your time and interests. As for us, we were in a hurry to reach Lake Champlain and check into our lakefront hotel, the Basin Harbor Club. It was close to 5 p.m. and we didn't want to miss the daylight views. But as we turned on to Basin Harbor Road, we watched the sky blacken across the sprawling farmlands. Lightning streaked the sky in the distance. The sudden darkness along this solitary road gave me the creeps, but I tried to put up a good front for my travel companion, my 16-year-old niece, Natalie Alatriste. ''We're almost there,'' I reassured her, straining to read the passing road signs. But then, like some kind of joke from the universe, one sign called out to me: ''Sleepy Hollow Lane,'' it said. Natalie and I looked at one another and burst into laughter. I stepped on the gas and sped toward the hotel. We joked about what it might be like -- the Bates Motel, maybe? And when we had to dash into the resort lobby under a thunderstorm and take an old wooden staircase to our room, we wondered what kind of adventure awaited us. Indeed, as I opened the door, I gasped. It wasn't the room that stunned me, for it was ample and nicely appointed in a charming New England style, with a quiet balcony overlooking the leafy landscape. No, what stopped my suburban South Florida heart cold was what wasn't there: There was no TV. No TV? How could I survive Wednesday night without ``Top Chef Miami''? But moments later, we walked outside to find the sun had returned, casting a magical light on the trees, the lovely walking paths, the sturdy collection of cottages and the main attraction: the shimmering lake. We sat on brightly colored Adirondack chairs and gazed at the mountains that inspired their name. The sun shone well past 9 p.m., illuminating the landscape of mountains and lake. It was simply gorgeous. The resort sits on 700 rolling acres on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest lake in America. The historic resort, which is open from mid-May to mid-October, has been welcoming families for 120 years. It offers its guests a laid-back ambience and activities that include golf, tennis, swimming, boating, water sports and hiking. There's even a museum on the grounds, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, devoted to the lake's history. In early October, this is a prime spot to take in northern Vermont's spectacular foliage. For up-to-date reports on leaf coloration until late October, travelers can call Vermont's 24-hour foliage hot line (for details, see below). About 7 miles from downtown Vergennes, the Basin Harbor Club embraces its remote setting, beckoning visitors to relax and forget big-city stress. That explained our missing TV set: In fact, there are no TVs in any of the resort's 74 cottages, 24 rooms or 14 suites. (I did spy a small television and two computers in a den tucked beside the bar in the main lodge. And there is telephone Internet access in the rooms.) The resort also embraces another tradition: All gentlemen over age 12 must wear a coat and tie after 6 p.m. during July and August. That first night, my niece and I dined at the Red Mill, the more casual of the two places that serve dinner at the Basin Harbor. With its funky red facade, its lively bustle and eclectic menu, the renovated sawmill quickly became our favorite place. We were hooked after our first taste of the house specialty, Basin Harbor Cheddar Ale soup: a creamy, lightly spicy tribute to one of Vermont's great gifts to the world -- cheddar. We paired it with a wonderful plate of crispy calamari tossed with scallions, pepperoncini and hot cherry peppers in a garlicky sauce. And because one can never have enough cheese, we ordered a plate of local cheeses for dessert. Our server kindly wrote down the names of our two favorites: Grafton Young cheddar and Crowley Reserve (both cow milk cheeses). The menu, varied and tempting, kept us coming back throughout our stay. Just check out the menu's description of the Champlain Valley Rabbit Papardelle: ''Braised rabbit, chocolate, espresso, brandy, paprika, raisins and hazelnuts,'' tossed over pasta. You get the idea. For breakfast, however, we preferred the Main Dining Room, an elegant, gourmet restaurant that really dresses up at night. In the morning, guests can get the same quality food and service without having to put on their fancy threads. If the cheese soup kept us coming back to the Red Mill, the French toast kept us coming back to the Dining Room. I should be more specific here: The prime Vermont maple syrup on the French toast kept us coming back. Good Vermont maple syrup, we learned, is not the sticky, overly sweet stuff they serve you at I-Hop. It's a perfectly balanced elixir that never overpowers your palate. More local delicacies awaited us in downtown Vergennes, Vermont's oldest city, established in 1788. The heart of this small, Victorian city is a great place to walk and take in the essence of Vermont. The streets are dotted with cafes and shops, along with a couple of bed-and-breakfasts. At the suggestion of locals, we stopped in at Vergennes' sweetest shop. Daily Chocolate is no regular candy store: It's a chocolate shop par excellence. Tucked below street level on a side street, it would be hard to find if not for the aromatic wafts rising from its kitchen. There, owner Floery Mahoney makes fresh batches of uniquely flavored chocolate each day. We found her behind the counter, arranging truffles and hand-formed chocolate barks. Natalie scooped up a bag of her favorite dark chocolate for the road. I was tempted by the wide selection of flavors, which included far-flung combinations like lemongrass/sake, maple/chipotle/pecan and green tea infused mint. But I resisted -- well, only because Mahoney told me the shop has a Web site, dailychocolate.net, and she gladly takes orders for shipment. TOWN: MONTREAL Fortified with Vermont chocolate, it was time to make a run for the border. Montreal is just 90 miles north of Burlington. The AAA Web site routes travelers west across the lake into New York state, where they can pick up I-87 into Canada. But that route would add at least one hour to our travel time, thanks to the Burlington-Port Kent, N.Y., ferry crossing. (There's also another crossing between Charlotte, Vt., and Essex, N.Y, a 20-minute sail along a particularly lovely part of Lake Champlain. But that crossing is farther to the south.) After conferring with Vermont locals, I decided to skip the ferry and the New York detour altogether and take I-89 north from Burlington, a breezy highway that turns into Canada's Route 133, a slower, but perfectly fine country highway that guides you into Montreal. The best part about it is there was no traffic at the border. We showed Canadian border guards our U.S. passports -- don't leave home without a passport or other valid immigration documents -- and we were on our way. While the landscape remains rural, the French signs remind you that you've entered another country, another culture. An hour from Burlington, and you can stop for French pastry and a cafe au lait -- or more maple syrup, if you wish. But once you've entered Montreal, with its skyscrapers and churning traffic, you're snapped into another reality, a world away from the rural pastures. The city carries the heart-pumping, electric charge of a big-time metropolis. We found our way to Rue Sherbrooke, a vibrant boulevard that anchors some of the city's best hotels. There, we spotted ours, the Omni Mont-Royal, a favorite of business travelers and weekend shoppers. The hotel is just off the main shopping drag, Rue Sainte-Catherine, and the entrances to the network of subterranean shopping malls that makes up Montreal's Underground City. Also within walking distance are some of the city's major museums, including the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee d'Art Contemporain. But we -- meaning Natalie -- had decided this trip was not nearly long enough to squander on museum-hopping. Not when we could be shopping. We dropped off our luggage and headed for the shops. Back in Vermont, Natalie had looked up the locations of her favorite store, H&M, and didn't waste too much time directing me to the nearest one. Unfortunately, this one was not within walking distance. It was at the Rockland mall about 20 minutes north of the hotel. But the drive there gave us the chance to see the busy streets and storefronts of city's immigrant communities, a mix of cultures sharing blocks and buses. That night we met friends, transplants from South Florida, for dinner in the Vieux-Montreal quarter. They gave us a tour of the charming, Old World streets of old town. ''Doesn't this feel like we're in a tiny corner of France?'' one of my friends asked. Indeed. The narrow, cobblestone streets, quaint shops and bistros set off all sorts of French culinary cravings. Lucky thing my friends' favorite restaurant couldn't have been more French. Its name alone speaks to its specialties and no-nonsense nature: the Steak Frites. The restaurant, which anchors a corner of Rue Saint-Paul, is a cozy place where the menu is handwritten on a chalkboard. Of course, none of us needed menus -- we ordered steaks and fries all around, followed by a shared dish of profiteroles. The neighborhood is a great place to stroll at night, or listen to good jazz. After all, this is the city that each year gives us one of the best jazz festivals in the world. A perfect place to indulge in the live jazz sounds of Montreal is directly across from the Steak Frites restaurant. The Modavie is a restaurant, wine bar and jazz club featuring live music nightly. But you must dine there to watch the show. Later, as we toured the city at night, we stopped in at the sleek W Hotel, at 901 Square Victoria, for a Perrier. It was a fitting end to a great evening. The next morning, we breakfasted at Anton & James, on nearby Stanley Street, a chic coffee shop that bills itself as a ''cafeteria urbaine.'' Then we hit the Underground City, walking the malls from one end to another. As we made our way out of the city, we stopped to walk around the Plateau neighborhood, perusing the shops and storefronts along Rue Saint-Denis. I found a great music shop called L'Atelier Grigorian -- http://www.grigorian.com -- with an extensive collection of jazz. A few doors down, we also found a casual spot for lunch at La Brioche Lyonnaise, a pastry shop with outdoor seating. I could have spent hours on Rue Saint-Denis, but I knew we had to head back to Vermont. It was already afternoon, and we had a morning flight. Our drive to Essex Junction, Vt., was easy and relatively quick. We checked into the Inn at Essex, a cute 120-room country hotel that houses the New England Culinary Institute. And we arrived just in time for a spectacular dinner at Butler's, the inn's finest restaurant. There, a multi-course gourmet feast is prepared each night by the culinary students. This inn is perhaps the area's best bargain. For what you might pay at a Holiday Inn Express, you can stay at a charming, well-appointed inn with gourmet touches, spa services and culinary classes. Even the toiletries, sweet-smelling and organic, are yummy. And the place is only 7 miles from the Burlington airport -- there's an airport shuttle, too. The next morning came all too quickly as we packed our bags for our return flight. Outside, in the gardens of the inn, it was a glorious, Vermont morning, the kind that nudges you to stay a little longer. We couldn't, of course. But we did stop at the gift shop for a souvenir: a bottle of Vermont maple syrup.
  21. Montreal's moment Stylish, historic and full of great dining options, this Québécois hot spot has evolved into North America's own City of Light. Co-owner Alison Cunningham at Joe Beef Stay Our favorite hotels are clustered around Vieux-Montréal. Hotel Le St.-James (355 Rue St.-Jacques; 514/841-3111; hotellestjames.com; doubles from $400), housed in a former 19th-century bank, is a Gilded Age fantasy of Oriental carpets, antiques and paintings, and outsize four-poster beds. The fauxhawked staff at Hotel St.-Paul (355 Rue McGill; 514/ 380-2222; hotelstpaul.com; doubles from $279) might be off-putting if the rooms weren't so comfortable and stylish, with playful fabrics brightening the dark walnut floors and white walls. Although the era of the minimalist design hotel may be ending, Hotel Gault (449 Rue Ste.-Hélène; 514/ 904-1616; hotelgault.com; doubles from $209) shows no signs of losing its edge. The exposed brickwork and cast-iron columns feel as of-the-moment as when Gault opened five years ago. Set among the port's converted warehouses, Auberge du Vieux-Port (97 Rue de la Commune Est; 514/876-0081; aubergeduvieuxport.com; doubles from $280) offers water views and a lively rooftop terrace. Shop Old Montreal has been quietly resurrected from its tourist trappings. Yvonne and Douglas Mandel, pioneers of the new Vieux, showcase their sharply tailored menswear at Kamkyl Urban Atelier (439 Rue St.-Pierre; 514/281-8221). If you go ... Montreal has great bike trails throughout the city and along the water. (Try the one that follows the Lachine Canal.) In Old Montreal, Ca Roule Montreal (27 Rue de la Commune Est; 514/866-0633; http://www.caroulemontreal.com) offers both bicycle rentals and guided tours. Nearby, Espace PEpin (350 Rue St.-Paul Ouest; 514/844-0114), a women's label, features a kimono-meets-tuxedo-shirt dress called the Écuyère. Rue St.-Denis, up in the Plateau neighborhood, is filled with charming boutiques. Couleurs Meubles et Objéts du 20e Siècle (3901 Rue St.-Denis; 514/282-4141) stocks a smart selection of Midcentury housewares, equal doses Scandinavian and Canadian. Proof that Montreal is an epicure's dream: Les Touilleurs (152 Ave. Laurier Ouest; 514/278-0008) in Mile End, where marble counters are piled with cooking implements, including Quebecer Tom Littledeer's maple spoons and spatulas. Visit the expansive Le Marché Jean-Talon (7070 Rue Henri-Julien; 514/937-7754) for regional cheeses and maple candies, and 53 kinds of sausage at William J. Walter. Eat At Joe Beef (2491 Rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514/935-6504; dinner for two $140), the interiors (a boar's head trophy over the bar; rustic wooden tables; checkered napkins) verge on irreverent, but the food is anything but. The emphasis is decidedly Québécois -- heavy on meat, with healthy doses of foie gras and boudin. Don't Miss T+L: Montreal destination guide T+L: The next design city T+L: Mountain magic Club Chasse et Pêche (423 Rue St.-Claude; 514/861-1112; dinner for two $125), on a cobblestone lane in Vieux-Montréal, is marked by an antler-and-fish crest hanging outside the door. Dishes (striped bass with asparagus and sorrel; rabbit and lobster gnocchi) pay homage to both gun and rod, but all are refreshingly light. Leméac (1045 Rue Laurier Ouest; 514/270-0999; lunch for two $60), in the fashionable Outremont neighborhood, has all the tropes of a perfect French bistro: efficient staff, a long brass bar and a menu that ranges from a creamy blanquette de veau to a fresh salmon tartare. Part restaurant, part underground nightclub, Garde Manger (408 Rue St. -François-Xavier; 514/678-5044; dinner for two $9) offers innovative seafood (General Tao lobster), and a seat at the coolest party in town. After 9 p.m., the rock sound track comes on and the dining room fills up. Do There's plenty to explore in the city, but save time for a walk through Frederick Law Olmsted's wooded Parc du Mont-Royal (lemontroyal.qc.ca) -- views from the summit are spectacular. The municipal-looking Belgo Building (372 Rue Ste.-Catherine Ouest), the hub of the city's contemporary art scene, brims with more than 30 workshops and galleries. Two of the best are Pierre-François Ouellette Art Contemporain (No. 216; 514/395-6032) and Galerie René Blouin (No. 501; 514/393-9969). For a deeper look at Canadian art, the Musée des Beaux-Arts de Montréal (1380 Rue Sherbrooke; 514/285-2000; mbam.qc.ca) has contemporary Inuit sculptures, early-20th-century landscapes from Ontario's Group of Seven and Serge Lemoyne's exuberant 1975 "Dryden" -- a 7-by-11-foot painting of legendary goalie Ken Dryden's hockey mask. Montreal's nightlife is centered around Rue St.-Laurent, in the Plateau. Try Pop! Bar à Vin (250 Pine Ave. Est; 514/287-1648), which resembles a Danish living room circa 1966; Bily Kun (354 Mont-Royal Est; 514/845-5392), specializing in local microbrews; and Bar Plan B (327 Mont-Royal Est; 514/845-6060), a favorite among the city's restaurateurs.E-mail to a friend
  22. The fine Montreal art of being happy with what you have ARTHUR KAPTAINIS, The Gazette Published: Saturday, August 18 Almost everything was wonderful last Saturday - the weather, the music, the charity, the skyline. The sound? Well, what do you want? Percival Molson Stadium was built for football, not for music. There might be room for sonic improvement next summer, if I may jump to the reasonable conclusion that a concert by the Montreal Symphony Orchestra under the auspices of the Montreal Alouettes, with or without Kent Nagano, is now an annual event. One point of departure would be a shell that projects sound rather than a tent that contains it. Of course, there are certain sonic variables beyond the control of the MSO or the Als. The Royal Victoria Hospital is nearby, with its mamoth ventilation units. A two-hour shutdown of hospital air conditioning would be very nice, but perhaps too much to ask. Imperfect Acoustics: Kent Nagano and the Montreal Symphony Orchestra in last weekend's charity concert in Molson Stadium. While I mused over the problems and possible solutions it occurred to me that Montreal does not have a good, permanent outdoor summer concert facility. It is an odd situation considering that the city appears to experience more outdoor summer concerts than any other city on Earth. Where to install it? There is a mountain and a Chalet, the esplanade of which is haunted by ghosts as formidable as Leonard Bernstein, who conducted the MSO there in 1944 and 1945. In the 1950s Alexander Brott developed a rival operation called Dominion Concerts under the Stars. To build an amphitheatre anywhere on the mountain, however, would likely involve the felling of trees, an idea that now creates fierce opposition regardless of the benefit. Furthermore, the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Les Francofolies are strongly integrated into the centre of the city and Place des Arts. There are idle lots in that neighbourhood, some formerly earmarked for the development of a Place du Festival. But as the destruction of the Spectrum suggests, few downtown developers view the performing arts as a priority. And even a radical arts freak would have to concede the essential oddness of a deep-downtown outdoor concert venue that is vacant nine months a year. To build something as fine as the Lanaudière Amphitheatre within the city limits would also have the regrettable effect of siphoning off thousands of listeners from Lanaudière itself. Perhaps the solution to this problem, among others, is not to worry about it. Russell Johnson, the American acoustician who died last week, was an international figure famed for his concert halls in Birmingham, Lucerne and Dallas. But his Artec Consultants firm had a disproportionate influence in Canada. The Domaine Forget in Charlevoix - frequently used as a recording facility - is an Artec design, as is Jack Singer Concert Hall in Calgary, the Chan Cultural Centre on the campus of the University of British Columbia, the Thunder Bay Community Auditorium, the Weston Recital Hall in Toronto, the hall of the Festival of the Sound in Ontario cottage country and the Bayreuth copy that is the Raffi Armenian Theatre of the Centre in the Square in Kitchener. The Francis Winspear Centre in Edmonton is thought by many to be the best of all modern Canadian concert spaces. But perhaps Johnson's most astounding contribution to the cause of good acoustics in Canada was his transformation of the notorious dead space of Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto into a vibrant home for the long-suffering Toronto Symphony Orchestra. "That was easy," I remember his telling me at the 2002 reopening, with a shrug. The essense of the solution was reducing the interior volume with bulkheads. Sure it was easy - for someone with Johnsons's mix of spatial instinct, musical perception and pure science. Johnson long harboured a desire to build a new hall for the MSO. It appears he will realize it posthumously. The Quebec government chose Artec as the acoustical consultant for the project even before launching the competition to seek an architect. Diamond Schmitt Architects, one of the firms in the running for the MSO hall design, has won a "Good Design is Good Business" citation from BusinessWeek and Architectural Record magazines for the Four Seasons Centre in Toronto, a facility often referred to simply as the opera house. It was one of 10 projects cited from a competitive pool of 96 projects from nine countries. This common-sense award honours "architects and clients who best utilize design to achieve strategic objectives," according to Helen Walters, editor of innovation and design for BusinessWeek.com. My sense is that it serves as a counterweight to the ultraflamboyant designs that tend to capture headlines. The CAMMAC music centre in the Laurentians has also received an honourable mention from the Prix de l'Ordre des architectes du Québec 2007 for its new music pavillion. There will be a celebration at the site on Sept. 5. Love it or not, Place des Arts is active during the summer. Carnegie Hall - despite its prestige and air-conditioned presence at Seventh Ave. and 57th St. - is completely dark through the summer of 2007 and much of September. By October, however, the place is humming. The MSO used to occupy an October weekend under Charles Dutoit. During the coming season the orchestra will give one performance in the New York temple, on Saturday, March 8. Nagano conducts a program of Debussy (Le Martyre de Saint Sébastien: Symphonic Fragments), Tchaikovsky (Violin Concerto), Unsuk Chin (a new work) and Scriabin (The Poem of Ecstasy). All these selections are in keeping with the orchestra's former Franco-Russian reputation. If you wait six days you can then hear the Philadelphia Orchestra under its chief conductor - Charles Dutoit - in an even more MSO-ish program of Bartok (The Miraculous Mandarin Suite), Debussy (Nocturnes) and Holst (The Planets).
  23. Lawyer exodus shutters Desjardins 35 Lawyers Join Rival Lavery Firm; Quebec's Spun Off Jim Middlemiss, Financial Post Published: Saturday, August 18, 2007 An era will end for the 100-lawyer law firm Desjardins Ducharme LLP in September. The once-esteemed law firm will close after more than 50 years in business. Thirty-five of its key Montreal business lawyers will leave the firm to join rival Lavery, de Billy LLP at the end of next month. Concurrently, the Quebec City office of Desjardins, which comprises 50 lawyers and merged into the firm in 1992, has spun out and will operate under its old name Stein Monast LLP. [/url] Another seven litigators from the Montreal office will join litigation specialist Donati Maisonneuve LLP. The final eight lawyers will either retire or have said they are moving to other firms or into corporations. "We have accounted for everyone," said Gerard Coulombe, chairman of Desjardins, who explained that "Quebec City couldn't join the Lavery deal because it would have created too big a firm[for that region.]" Jean Brunet, managing partner of the Quebec City office, agreed: "You can't have a law firm of 100 lawyers in the area. "We're putting down the principles of how it will work in Quebec City," he said of the new firm, adding that he does not rule out opening a smaller Montreal office. The addition of 35 lawyers to Lavery creates a 180-lawyer firm, making it the largest independent provincial firm. The split is no surprise and has been rumoured for weeks once Desjardins started bleeding lawyers to other firms. "We took a good hard look at the various practices and groups lawyers," said Richard Dolan, managing partner at Lavery, said. "We settled on some very strong, solid business lawyers and bankruptcy and insolvency lawyers who had complementary practices to our practice mix. This is a really exciting business opportunity for us." Lavery has always had strong business in insurance, said Mr. Dolan, "The lawyers are going to bring additional bench strength to our corporate merger and acquisitions practice and the insolvency group." Of late it has been a tough go for some independent law firms, squeezed by the creation of large national firms, especially in Montreal, where several Toronto-based firms have opened offices or merged with local firms. In the spring, Goodman and Carr LLP, a 90-lawyer Toronto firm, said it was dissolving its practice. Kip Cobbett, a lawyer with Stikeman Elliott LLP in Montreal, said it is "very sad" to see Desjardins' demise. "It was a wonderful firm. It will certainly change the landscape." The agreement is subject to a vote by the Lavery partners expected later this month. [email protected]
  24. (Courtesy of Monocle Magazine) 1. Munich 2. Copenhagen 3. Zurich 4. Tokyo 5. Vienna 6. Helsinki 7. Sydney 8. Stockholm 9. Honolulu 10. Madrid 11. Melbourne 12. Montreal 13. Barcelona 14. Kyoto 15. Vancouver 16. Auckland 17. Singapore 18. Hamburg 19. Paris 20. Geneva --- It is an interesting list of cities. I am happy that Honolulu beat out New York. Though New York has been growing on me. One thing certain cities I did not expect to see on this list especially: Vienna.