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Found 11 results

  1. Oct 10, 2007 9:28:00 AM MST Ineos Nova to shut down Montreal polystyrene plant by end of year (Nova-Chemicals) JOLIET, Ill. _ Ineos Nova, a joint venture between Nova Chemicals Corp. (TSX:NCX) and global petrochemicals giant Ineos, will shut down a Montreal polystyrene production facility by the end of the year. The closure will cut six per cent of the joint venture‘s polystyrene production and is part of a restructuring that aims to achieve about $50 million in annual synergies. It was not immediately known how many jobs, if any, are affected by the closure. “Shutting down the Montreal site will remove high-cost capacity and enable us to consolidate production at our most efficient manufacturing sites,‘‘ Kevin McQuade. “We are committed to providing our customers with an effective transition during the coming months.‘‘ In March, Nova announced the deal with global chemicals giant Ineos to expand the two companies‘ existing European styrene joint venture to include North American styrene and polystyrene plants in Canada and the United States. Styrene and polystyrene are widely produced petrochemicals used in making coffee cups, egg cartons, foam meat trays, toys and many other products. The joint venture company is expected to have revenues of about US$3.5 billion a year and will be the world‘s biggest producer of styrene and polystyrene _ widely produced petrochemicals used in making coffee cups, egg cartons, foam meat trays, toys and many other products. Nova keeps full ownership of its other major divisions, which make olefins and polyolefins, chemicals used in packaging, electronics, aviation, manufacturing and other sectors, and expandable polystyrene.
  2. Montreal does it. Why can’t we? TheChronicalHerald.ca SILVER DONALD CAMERON Sun. Feb 8 - 8:20 AM Pedestrians shelter from the weather in one of downtown Halifax’s pedways. (Staff) ‘THE GUY never went outside at all," said my friend. "Not for a month or maybe two months. The story was in one of the papers here. He went to the theatre, shopped for food and clothing, did his banking, ate out, all kinds of stuff. He even went to Toronto and New York — and he never went outdoors." "He went to New York without going outdoors?" "He went by train. The Gare Central is underground, right under your hotel. " We were in Montreal, strolling along the underground passageways which are said to constitute the second-largest underground city in the world, after Moscow. I had been working in Montreal for a week. I was staying at Le Reine Elizabeth, on the Boulevard Rene Levesque, and most of my meetings were on Sherbrooke Ouest, 20 minutes’ walk away. The streets were choked with snow and lethally slick with ice — but I wore just a sweater as I walked past coffee shops, jewellers and haberdashers in perfect comfort. It occurred to me that the underground network made Montreal a safer city than any other in Canada, particularly for senior citizens. Walking outdoors in the winter is a hazardous activity for seniors. Every year, hundreds fall and break their arms and legs and hips — a significant factor in the Orange Alert at the Halifax Infirmary ER last month. Old bones don’t knit quickly, and many never really recover. The danger was brought home to me a year ago, when I suddenly found myself lying on the ice beside my car. I had taken my key out, and I was about to unlock the door — and then I was on my patootie. I don’t remember slipping or falling. It was like a jump-cut in a film. One moment I was up, the next I was down. A few bruises aside, I was none the worse for the experience — but it got my attention. Young seniors — from 60 to 80, say — often sidestep this problem by going south. You find them all over the southern U.S., Mexico and the islands, robust and happy, sailing and golfing and swimming. But after 80, snowbirding loses its appeal. At 85 or 90, people don’t feel much like travelling, and don’t travel as comfortably. They’d rather stay home, close to friends and family and doctors. And that puts them most at risk from winter conditions at precisely the point when they’re least able to deal with such challenges. In Montreal, they’re fine. Their apartment buildings connect to the Métro, and the Métro takes them to the under-cover city downtown. They really don’t have to emerge until spring. So at 80, should I live in Montreal? Why not downtown Halifax? The city already has the beginnings of a covered downtown, with pedways and tunnels running from the Prince George Hotel to the waterfront casino, and branching into apartment buildings and office towers. We don’t have to burrow underground. We can just extend the pedway system to link the whole downtown, from Cogswell to the Via station. A large part of Calgary’s downtown is connected that way. In Montreal, I noticed, some of the covered space was captured simply by putting a roof over the space between existing buildings. What was once a back alley becomes a connecting courtyard with a Starbucks coffee shop. In other places, a short tunnel between buildings converts two musty basements into prime retail space. Halifax probably has a score of locations where connections like that would work. And, although a Métro doesn’t seem very practical in rock-ribbed Halifax, we could bring back the downtown streetcars, looping down Barrington and up Water Street, with stations right inside such major buildings as Scotia Square and the Westin. Alternatively, could we use a light elevated rail system like the one that connects the terminals at JFK Airport. I’m no planner, and these notions may be unworkable. Fine: let’s hear better ones. The point is that we’re about to have a tsunami of seniors, and it would be good for them — and for everyone else, too — if we made it possible to live a safe and active life in the middle of the city all year round. We know it can be done. Vive le Montreal! END --------------------------------------------- Funny how the article seems to imply all buildings are interlinked together in one giant underground maze, which is not the case at all. In fact we all know not too many apartment buildings are in fact linked to our underground city. Funny stuff from an outsider nonetheless.
  3. Anyone here ever have Mormons (Church of Jesus Christ of Later-Day Saints) try and recruit them? Talk about awkward. I was walking along a random street in Greenfield Park, when suddenly two young women approach me (one of them was kind of hot, LMAO). They gave me a warm greeting as if they knew who I was (I was trying to figure out who these people were). Anyways, they start asking me if I believe in God. I told them I did, and that I was a non-practicing Presbyterian. Then they tried to "build on" that. They started rambling about the modern prophets after Jesus' death up until 400 AD. Then they started talking about the Book of Mormon (claiming it to be something like a Third Testament). This sort of thing went on for a while (I was kind of smirking the whole time, but perhaps they took this as a positive sign). Then they wanted to set up an appointment to convert me to Mormonism. They wanted to meet at my house, or over coffee (I thought Mormons weren't allowed to drink coffee???). Fortunatley I did not agree to set an appointment. I compromised and took one of their cards which they wrote their phone number on, "In case I changed my mind". Talk about awkward. If it had been a two guys I might have ended the conversation sooner, but when an attractive young woman enthusiastically wants to talk to you, you don't exactly want to end the conversation then and there. Part of me wants to meet them to try and debate them, because I do find history/theology/philosophy can be a little interesting. However, the rational side of my brain is scared of being sucked into this peculiar religion, which I perceive to be something of a cult. I know I sure as hell don't want to be wandering around finding new recruits.
  4. Jeremy Searle — Reviving Montreal's 'coffee shop' economy Unfortunately for all of us, Montreal seems to have descended to the level of a coffee shop economy in which expensive cups of coffee are status symbols for people whose personal finances are often in a tight way. Recently, I wrote about the need to make the public investments to put our downtown into shape by buying up some of the more strategic empty lots and using them either for new park space or for the building of public housing. Today, I want to look at generating economic activity and wealth in the western part of town and on an island-wide level. Reviving the west end economy Commercial: Back in the bad old days of ex-mayor Jean Drapeau, our city was cut in two for the excavation of the Decarie Expressway trench and since then business to the west of the highway has largely languished. While it is not practical to cover over the Decarie Expressway, it would be relatively simple to hide it and to thus knit our city back together again. All that is necessary is to build an extra section of bridge on each side of the Decarie overpasses (especially at Sherbrooke Street) and to then either erect buildings (à-la old London Bridge) or put in park space backed by barriers high enough to make the highway invisible. Once the highway “disappeared” and the city became one again there would be no obstacle to the expansion of commerce and business activity continuing to flow west instead of hitting a wall at Decarie. Meanwhile, the businesses on and around the Decarie service roads heading north and south would also benefit from having the highway hidden. It would be a very simple matter to clamp on an extra lane of roadway (attached to the highway walls with cantilevered supports) that could be used either as bicycle path or as host to additional greenspace. Residential: In order to boost economic activity and bring down the average costs of maintaining the city it is also necessary to attract in more people — both to share the load and to support local business and commerce. The most obvious location to attract thousands of higher end taxpayers, investors and spenders would be the Glen Yard site currently earmarked for the new McGill hospital. Clearly, high value land should be used for activities that directly or indirectly generate the taxes that finance hospitals and other such publicly funded institutions. Given its superb location at the intersection of Westmount and eastern NDG the Glen Yards site, with its easy access to both the Vendome Metro station and the downtown Ville-Marie highway, is a perfect location for residential development. Ten-thousand or so new high end condo dwellers in the west end would both boost the economy and throw a massive injection of extra taxes into the Montreal public economy. The McGill hospital could be better built on the Blue Bonnets site at Jean Talon and Decarie — a site that has access to the same Metro line (Namur) and similar or better highway access. In addition, having the hospital there would force the provincial government to ante up for the much needed Cavendish/Royalmount road link which would also re-route much traffic from the Trans Canada to Decarie, thus lessening congestion at the major intersection. Boosting the island-wide economy: For any society or economy to function well, each generation has to make the effort to leave some substantial legacy for the next unless a wearing down and eventual collapse is to be accepted. Sometimes it is investments in canals or railways or roads or airports or dockyards or cultural and recreational facilities and sometimes it is simply my parents’ generation fighting to save the world. Sometimes it is simply a question of building on the shoulders that they have set us on and sometimes it is a question of rebuilding or repairing that which previous generations have already built for us. Sometimes it is simply a question of finishing the job that our predecessors failed or forgot to complete. Unfortunately, since the epoch of ex-mayor Drapeau and his establishment of the modern Montreal tradition of ignoring infrastructure maintenance in favour of frills, little has been done in terms of maintenance and our city is falling into disrepair. One way to boost the Montreal economy would be to undertake a massive program of road and water main rebuilding. This would have the same positive effect on our economy as any other kind of construction boom and would also help us to grow our tourist economy while making us generally feel better about ourselves. Obviously, our leaders would have to convince the federal and provincial governments to come up with a large chunk of the money necessary to implement such a scheme. However, the single greatest guaranteed boost for the west end and for the Montreal and regional economy would be the completion of the Decarie Expressway (15) with a direct link to the Laurentian Autoroute (15) to the north. The tunnel under Ville St. Laurent to connect the two together would get vehicles north and south without unnecessary delays related to detouring onto the TransCanada while the TransCan itself would be freed from most of its traffic congestion. The tunnel link has already been studied and approved by the Ministry of Transport but no one seems interested in actually getting it dug. The Decarie/Laurentian tunnel would eliminate uncounted lost hours in pointless idling and back-ups, lessen commuter trip times, save business money, get us all around faster and more efficiently and make our supporting road systems function more smoothly — which would in turn give our economy a much-needed shot in the arm. And, since better flowing traffic generates less pollution, making the traffic flow better would also help to achieve environmental objectives. Does anybody have a shovel? Let’s start digging. http://thesuburban.com/content.jsp?sid=34883087211204213941721025245&ctid=1000004&cnid=1015175
  5. New marché targets different market On the corner of Iberville and Ontario Sts., a neighbourhood initiative seeks to provide quality produce - and a fresh look at eating inexpensively and healthfully BRETT BUNDALE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago A new market was launched in one of Montreal's poorest neighbourhoods yesterday with the aim of increasing access to fresh food, not making profits. The Frontenac public market, on the corner of Iberville St. and Ontario St. E., is devoted to offering affordable, locally grown food as well as promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits through educational workshops . "This is a low revenue area but residents don't have access to affordable, fresh food," said Elaine Groulx, chairperson of the public consultation on local food security. Seventy-three per cent of businesses that sell food in the area are dépanneurs. There's an IGA down the street, but it's expensive and the fruit and vegetables are not good quality." Although the market is just getting on its feet, every Saturday until October residents can attend workshops on healthy eating or just stroll through the market to see what's in season. The market is supported by the Ville-Marie borough and several community organizations, including the community economic development corporation of Centre-Sud and the Jeanne-Mance health and social services centre. Community organizers hope the market will be embraced by residents of the community and will expand in future years. They also hope to get more agricultural producers who live close to Montreal involved in the project. "Most of the vendors come from the South Shore or just on the outskirts of Montreal," Groulx said. Laurie-Anne Riendeau, 17, has a fruit and vegetable kiosk at the Frontenac market that she started with the support of her parents as a summer job. She sells fruits and vegetables grown near her home in Ste. Clotilde, in the Montérégie region of Quebec. "People have a lot of questions about rural Quebec and how agriculture works," Riendeau said. "Sometimes I have to explain what certain vegetables are, like these," she said, pointing to a fresh bunch of leeks. "I give them tips on the best way to cook them too." Often people assume the price of food in markets is cheaper than supermarkets because you avoid the "middle man" and buy directly from the producer. But an investigation by the non-profit consumer magazine Protégez-Vous found that wasn't always the case. Fruits and vegetables at the Atwater market were more expensive than in small fruit stores and supermarkets, the 2005 investigation found. In addition, because markets often sell fruits and vegetables in baskets at fixed prices, it's hard to compare with supermarkets, where the price is based on weight. But the Frontenac public market hopes to change that by educating vendors on the reality of the neighbourhood and asking them to set their prices accordingly, Groulx said. Riendeau said she is keeping the prices of her fruits and vegetables low. "I know this is not the Atwater market. Some people come here with only a few coins in their hands. I'll often give people a special price if they buy a few things." Cafe Touski, a neighbourhood coffee shop and cooperative, sells coffee and baked goods at the market. In between pouring cups of coffee, Martin Mantha said the café is so far just breaking even. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=2c0c5b89-881a-4ff0-8b12-32babd6d979b
  6. Nicolas Van Praet, Financial Post · Jun. 6, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun. 6, 2013 2:23 PM ET MONTREAL • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. is revamping its Canadian manufacturing operations in Montreal as investors savour a tripling in the company’s shares over the past year. The Waterbury, Vt.-based company, which bought Quebec coffee chain Van Houtte in 2010, will announce Friday a $40-million to $50-million investment to modernize its plant in Montreal’s Saint Michel neighbourhood with new packaging equipment, two sources said. More than 100 new jobs will be created in the move. It’s all part of a larger effort by Green Mountain Canada President Sylvain Toutant to fortify and grow the company’s presence in Montreal since the $915-million takeover three years ago. Building on initial moves to purchase property around the company’s Van Houtte coffee facility in the city’s north end and to occupy a new country head office, Mr. Toutant is now expanding the Montreal manufacturing operations. “This is really a great piece of news for a neighbourhood that badly needs it,” said Frantz Benjamin, the municipal councillor representing the district, adding the company’s modernization is only the first phase of what could be a larger economic development project for the neighbourhood. Related “In the medium term, we’d really like to develop an entire Quartier du Café (Coffee District) in the area,” anchored around Green Mountain, he said. Montreal has other geographical clusters of business activity, but this one in Saint Michel’s industrial district would be among the more remote. The coffee maker sought financial support from the Quebec government for the manufacturing modernization, which it is believed to have won. The funds would be used to add a production line in Saint Michel and diversify commercial activities, the company said in a filing with Quebec’s lobbyist registry. Shares of Green Mountain rose 3% to $74.68 in Nasdaq trading Thursday. They’ve more than tripled over the past year. In December, Mr. Toutant articulated a three-year plan for Green Mountain’s Montreal site to add 50,000 square feet of production space, boost the payroll by 150 workers to 1,000, and refurbish the roasting plant. The site currently encompases the head office, a roasting factory and two distribution warehouses. Green Mountain dominates the single-serve coffee market in the United States with its Keurig-brand coffee makers and K-Cup pods, making money from most of the coffee sold for those machines. The company lost more than two-thirds of its market value during the year ending last October, but has since staged a remarkable recovery, proving that despite the expiry of its K-Cup design patents it can still generate earnings growth. Green Mountain’s product innovation will be an important performance driver in the years ahead, Imperial Capital analyst Mitchell Pinheiro said in a research note Thursday, initiating coverage on the shares with an outperform rating and $95 price target. “We believe the company’s potential on the cold beverage side of the at-home beverage category could create an opportunity that is as large, if not larger, than its current coffee, tea and hot cocoa segment,” Mr. Pinheiro said, forecasting earnings per share growth of 15-25% over the next three years. http://www.nationalpost.com/Green+Mountain+boost+Montreal+operations+with+much+investment/8490304/story.html
  7. http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/north-stars/ The Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, long a working-class Jewish enclave (and the namesake of two culty New York delis), has changed considerably in recent years, getting quietly but unmistakably hip, with dozens of restaurants, bars and boutiques now dotting its streets. Librairie Drawn & Quarterly The offshoot of a local publishing house, this shop attracts fans of graphic novels and art books with regular readings and workshops. 211, rue Bernard Ouest; (514) 279-2224; drawnandquarterly.com. Éditions de Robes The owner, Julie Pesant, believes every woman needs a good dress. She stocks mainly her own designs, many in black or white, all on-trend and priced at about $250. She’ll even alter them. 178, rue St.-Viateur Ouest; (514) 271-7676; editionsderobes.com. Royal Phoenix All are welcome at this gay bar, which also serves as an informal clubhouse for members of Montreal’s red-hot roller derby scene (mtlrollerderby.com). Other reasons to go: the music, the warm-weather terrace and the over-the-top poutine, which comes with pulled pork. 5788, boulevard St.-Laurent; (514) 658-1622; royalphoenixbar.com. Thierry Arnold Boulangerie Guillaume Boulangerie Guillaume This artisanal bakery’s bread is often described as the best in the city. Other delicious offerings include the sticky apple-caramel buns, white chocolate brioche and coffee from the local roaster Saint Henri (sainthenri.ca). 17, avenue Fairmount Est; (514) 507-3799; boulangerieguillaume.com. Les Montures A favorite of plugged-in stylists, this small shop specializes in dead stock and vintage eyeglasses and sunglasses. Though big names like Dior are represented, the owner, Nicolas Hamel, values style over pedigree, with a preference for specs from the 1960s and ’70s. 174, rue Bernard Ouest; (514) 507-8282; lesmontures.com. A version of this article appeared in print on 09/23/2012, on page M218 of the NewYork edition with the headline: North Stars.
  8. THE NAVIGATOR Where to Eat and Drink in Montreal 11:00 AM / APRIL 23, 2013 / POSTED BY Bon Appetit 29 COMMENTS (0) What Broadway is to New York City, Boulevard Saint-Laurent (or, as locals refer to it, La Main) is to Montreal: the city's main artery and the ideal way to discover some of the best old- and new-school restaurants Picnic Spot Kentucky-born chef Colin Perry cooks his grandmother's Southern recipes, like pinto beans studded with smoked hog jowls and served with cornbread and green-tomato relish. And while Dinette Triple Crown has a few seats for eating inside, most patrons get their fried chicken thighs and meat 'n' threes packed in nifty picnic boxes and take them to the Little Italy park between La Main and Rue Clark. Fried chicken thighs and meat 'n' threes at Dinette Triple Crown British Accent Looking for crazy-high-quality ingredients prepared in a straightforward, un-gimmicky way? Look no further than Lawrence. While the food is ostensibly British-style nose-to-tail cooking (as in rabbit offal tart, lamb's heart with prunes and bacon, or marinated smelt with beets), chef Marc Cohen is of the Mediterranean-inspired school, which means there's an un-remitting emphasis on seasonality. The smart cocktail and wine list is curated by rising-star sommelier Etheliya Hananova, the pastries span such French standards as tarte Tatin and praline-filled éclairs, and the weekend brunch is deservedly the most popular in town. Style-Central The cozy-chic Hotel Herman is a brand-new dinner spot in Mile End. Featuring a U-shaped bar and open kitchen, the elegant space feels as though it belongs in a 1930s train station, a place where people are coming and going and everyone is happy to be there. With its focus on natural wines, pre-Prohibition cocktails, and small, shareable plates of precise, Scandinavian-influenced dishes (including Boileau deer with beets or homemade goat cheese with crosnes, a root vegetable), it's the ideal place for a late-night bite. Pre-Prohibition cocktail at Hotel Herman in Mile EndThe Institution Celebrating its 75th anniversary this year, the legendary Jewish steakhouse Moishes is as good as ever--if not better. The wood-paneled, chandeliered room is electrifying, the chopped liver appetizer is the tastiest version this side of the Borscht Belt, and the bone-in filet mignon will convert die-hard filet haters. (Those wanting a more traditionally marbled cut will like the charcoal-grilled rib eye.) For sides, get the boiled verenikas and the Monte Carlo potatoes, and maybe an order of grilled mushrooms if you're craving something umami. Insider tip: Their new late-night menu gets you an appetizer and an entrée for only $25 after 9 p.m. The kitchen at Moishes Hidden Gem It might be surrounded by discount electronics stores and punk bars, but Bouillon Bilk offers seriously refined cuisine. The room is stylish (think Nordic modernism) and the vibe laid-back and cool. Super-talented chef François Nadon specializes in high-wire flavor combinations like bone marrow with snails. It makes for a special night out before or after a concert at the nearby Quartier des Spectacles cultural center. Pop-Up Plus Montreal's red-light district isn't exactly where you'd expect to find the city's most exciting kitchen. Société des Arts Technologique's Labo Culinaire FoodLab serves rustic meals in a high-ceilinged space on the third floor of the glitzy new-media performance center. Creative duo Michelle Marek and Seth Gabrielse are deeply knowledgeable chef-bakers who simply make whatever they're passionate about at any given moment: One month they're serving Russian Easter classics or Chinatown favorites, another they're grilling souvlakis or doing an homage to Richard Olney's Provençal menus. Trust them. A dish at Labo Culinaire FoodLab Chinese Theater For a bare-bones basement noodle-shop experience--and one of the city's best cheap eats--you can't beat Nudo at lunch. The Chinatown fixture specializes in hand-pulled Lanzhou-style noodles, which you can watch being twirled while you wait for your food. (The loud thud of dough getting pounded around makes for a unique sound track.) Their braised beef shank noodle soup is profoundly satisfying. Don't miss the surprisingly good vegetable sides, especially at $1.25 each. Go ahead and splurge $5 on the top four: radish salad, spicy shredded potato, seaweed, and soybeans with potherb mustard. It's timeless, run down, and beat up in some places but stylish and spiffy in others. It's Boulevard Saint-Laurent--Montreal's main artery, known around these parts as La Main. Running all the way from the cobblestoned Old Port waterfront in the south of town up to the island's north shore, it divides Montreal into east and west, winding through established and emerging neighborhoods including Mile End, Chinatown, and Little Italy. A walk along it is a perfect way to get a sense of the city's heartbeat and to explore its booming restaurant scene, from classic joints to the most vibrant new places in town. And there are plenty of one-of-a-kind coffee spots and bakeries to sustain you on your journey. --Adam Leith Gollner Get Your Coffee Fix The three best cafés in a city famous for its café society are just steps away from La Main. Your expertly pulled espresso awaits: Café Sardine serves up superb third wave coffees using beans by Canadian roasters Phil & Sebastian. Bonus: The hot dogs at lunch are not to be missed. Barista Chrissy Durcak operates the mobile espresso truck Dispatch Coffee, which serves out of a garage on Avenue Van Horne in winter and roams the streets in summer. (Check dispatchcoffee.ca for locations.) For a traditional Italian café with deep conversations and stylish patrons, linger over lattes at the beloved Caffé San Simeon on Rue Dante. It's also a hit with many of the city's best chefs. No Pain, No Gain Like any self-respecting Francophone metropolis, Montreal takes its boulangeries seriously. The current leader of the pack is Joe La Croûte, near the Jean Talon market. (Its chestnut-flour bread and Kamut baguettes are winners.) Good loaves can also be found at Boulangerie Guillaume in the Mile End. Some of the best croissants in the city are made at Au Kouign-Amann, a short stroll from La Main down Avenue du Mont-Royal. Be sure to try a slice of its namesake pastry, a buttery Breton cake. Where to Stay Casa Bianca is an upscale B&B in an old home in the Plateau neighborhood overlooking Mont Royal Park. The Hotel 10, formerly The Opus, is perched on the corner of Saint-Laurent and Rue Sherbrooke, making it a good base for exploring La Main. (Credit: Photographs by Dominique Lafond, Illustrations by Claire McCracken) Adam Leith Gollner is the author of The Fruit Hunters and The Book of Immortality, to be released this summer. RELATED Montreal: For Lovers of Food Sugar-Shack Cuisine from Martin Picard Mile End Sandwiches: Beyond the Brisket More from The Navigator Read More http://www.bonappetit.com/blogsandforums/blogs/badaily/2013/04/montreal-boulevard-saint-laurent.html#ixzz2RQ3MznDh
  9. The owner of Yogen Fruz, Cultures and several other food court stalwarts is adding stand-alone coffee and doughnut shops to its suite of brands. MTY Food Group Inc. said it has entered into a binding agreement to purchase all of privately held Country Style Food Services Holdings Inc. for an undisclosed price. The buy allows MTY to seize "the opportunity to strengthen its position and foothold in the Ontario quick service franchise industry and launches itself as a major player in the coffee and sandwich segment" the company said in a statement. Montreal-based MTY was already on the acquisition trail before it announced the Country Style purchase, but this latest acquisition takes it into new territory. Country Style is one of the biggest coffee and doughnut retailers in Ontario and is a household name in that province, but lags behind market leader Tim Hortons Inc. in number of stores and perceived quality among consumers. It does have significant reach however with 488 outlets, and is just the latest expansion for MTY. MTY acquired Taco Time Canada Inc. from its U.S.-based parent last November for $7.85-million. The deal gave it 117 of the quick service Mexican food restaurants, mostly in Western Canada. A couple months earlier it added 27 Tutti Frutti restaurants, solidifying its base in Quebec. Earlier this year MTY reported a 16% increase in fourth quarter net income to $2.84-million. For its fiscal year ending Nov. 30 of last year, the company earned $9.91-million, an 8% increase over a year earlier. MTY says Country Style's sales were approximately $94-million for the last 12 months, more than a third of the system-wide sales reported by MTY last year. The combined company would still be a shrimp compared with Tim Hortons, which reported sales last year of more than $2-billion and has a market capitalization of $5.9-billion. The chain is so omnipresent throughout much of the country that it has tried to expand in the U.S. with mixed results. While consumer spending has been crimped, fast food companies have been decent stock investments since the fall market crash. Shares of Tim Hortons are breakeven over the last seven months compared to a 26% drop for the S&P/TSX composite index. MTY has also proven itself a solid investment in uncertain times. Over the last seven months, the venture exchange-listed stock has dropped only 3%. http://www.financialpost.com/story.html?id=1492403
  10. After having a terrible time trying to find a good apartment Downtown that is not taken by someone in person immediately after I inquire about it, I am considering renting in Verdun, near De L'Eglise metro. Judging by street view, Wellington street is a smaller (and probably cleaner) version of Mont-Royal avenue. I basically have three questions: Are there any 24-hour coffee shops around? Is it as safe as, say, Downtown? How is commuting from there? Feel free to answer any other question that I didn't ask. Thanks a lot!
  11. Travels with Lonely Planet: Canada By Sarah Richards Salt Lake Tribune Article Last Updated:03/29/2008 12:36:47 PM MDT My favorite time of the year in Montreal is spring. As the powerful hands of winter release their tight grip on the city, its bright, cheery spirit emerges from the cold, bleak gray of winter. After months of being cooped up indoors, Montrealers wake from their slumber and roam the streets like hungry bears. The warm sunshine and sweet smells of croissants and roasting coffee bring them to Montreal's infamous sidewalk cafes. The Quebecois have a refined nose for high-grade espresso, one that has been honed with a passion for fine wines. It is a city to be honored for keeping out the coffee-chain blight that has scarred the landscape of most of the world's major cities. Of course, you'll find a fair share of Tim Hortons and Starbucks dotting the city's central commercial drags such as Rue St. Catherine and Rue St. Laurent, but independent cafes and groovy baristas emanating from the heart of alternative Montreal - the Plateau Mont-Royal - have kept the chain spread at bay. Life is slow in Montreal. Surrender to the laissez-faire lifestyle and you're halfway to becoming a local. It was within this relaxed state that I found myself quite happily drifting from cafe to cafe, searching for the ideal cup of coffee. Was I looking for a straight-up shot of jolting Italian espresso, or was my goal a perfectly frothy cafe au lait? Or were my West Coast roots secretly searching for the ideal brewed American coffee, preferably Fair Trade? For full-strength espresso, an Italian hit is Caffe Italia (6840 Boul. Saint-Laurent; espresso $1.50; 6 a.m. to 11 p.m.), which hides phenomenal beans under the guise of a humdrum décor. And since it's in the heart of Little Italy, your coffee beverage of choice comes with a view into the lives of the locals who frequent this coffee bar in droves. Shots of espresso go down as smooth as butter in Cafe Olimpico (124 Rue Saint-Viateur; espresso $1.50; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), which is popular with Mile End locals. No more than a hole in the wall, this hangout is low on chic but huge on quality and charisma. Although less traditional (think less soccer paraphernalia and more slick upholstery and trendy artwork), Caffe ArtJava (837 Ave. Mont-Royal Est; espresso $1.95; 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.) is rumored to have the best cappuccino in the whole city. Behind the beautiful foam play the notes of an espresso symphony, resonating with rich hues, creamy texture and bold flavor, while the surface is etched with an intricate leaf pattern. For the ideal steaming bowl of cafe au lait, you need a completely different sort of place - checkered tablecloths flapping in the wind, with a table overlooking charming and winding staircases. La Croissanterie Figaro (5200 Rue Hutchison; cafe au lait $3; 7 a.m. to 1 a.m.) fit the bill, both with its inviting décor inside, reminiscent of a Parisian bistro, and the ivy-covered outdoor patio, providing ample ambience to accompany the heavenly combination of chocolatine (chocolate croissant) and cafe au lait. On those days when your sweet tooth needs more attention, indulge in the sheer decadence that is Juliette et Chocolat (1615 Rue Saint-Denis; espresso $2.25). Try a selection of exotic truffles (the ones with red wine and lavender are particularly enticing) or a pot au chocolat, washed down with a shot of rich espresso for an unforgettable caffeine kick. And as for a fairly traded, brewed cup of joe? Cafe Santropol (3990 Rue Saint-Urbain; coffee $2.50; 11:30 a.m. to midnight), a friendly cooperative cafe, does it with a twist - the rim of the mug is colorfully decorated with slices of strawberries and honeydew melon. Come here for dreamy soy lattes, herbal teas and a tranquil back garden. Where to stay * Slick, post-modern Opus Hotel (10 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest; 514-843-6000; 866-744-6346; http://www.opushotel.com) is smack dab in the center of the downtown action. * To get a little more north, into the hipster hood, rent an apartment-style room at Anne ma soeur Anne (4119 Rue Sanit-Denis; 514-281-3187; 877-281-3187; http://www.annemasoeuranne.com), and overlook the picturesque storefronts and sidewalk cafes of Saint-Denis. Rooms here start at $70. Where to eat * To explore another one of life's greatest vices, try wine bar BU (5245 Boul. Saint-Laurent; 514-276-0249; http://www.bu-mtl.com), whose extraordinary wine list accompanies a relatively traditional menu of Italian slow cooking. * Assumed by many to be the finest dining experience in Montreal, Toque! (900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle; 514-499-2084; http://www.restaurant-toque.com) blends innovative gastronomic experimentation with tried-and-tested traditional French culinary art, erupting in a fusion Quebec cuisine.