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Found 16 results

  1. California Cities Face Bankruptcy Curbs By BOBBY WHITE MAY 28, 2009 As California seeks more funds from its cash-strapped cities and counties to close a $21 billion budget deficit, some state legislators are pushing a plan that could compound municipalities' pain by making it tougher for them to file for bankruptcy. The bill would require a California municipality seeking Chapter 9 bankruptcy protection to first obtain approval from a state commission. That contrasts with the state's current bankruptcy process, which allows municipalities to speedily declare bankruptcy without any state oversight so that they can quickly restructure their finances. The bill, introduced in January, has passed one committee vote and could reach a final vote by mid-July. The bill was sparked by the bankruptcy filing last year of Vallejo, Calif., just north of San Francisco. Vallejo's city leaders partly blamed work contracts with police and firefighters for pushing the city into bankruptcy, and won permission from a bankruptcy court in March to scrap its contract with the firefighters' union. That spurred the California Professional Firefighters to push for statewide legislation to curtail bankruptcy, said Carroll Willis, the group's communications director. "What we don't want is for cities to use bankruptcy as a negotiating tactic rather than a legit response to fiscal issues," he said, adding that he worries cities may work in concert to rid themselves of union contracts by declaring bankruptcy. If the bill passes, it could hurt cities and counties by lengthening the time before they can declare bankruptcy. That creates a legal limbo during which a municipality is more vulnerable to creditors. The proposed state bankruptcy commission would be staffed by four state legislators, which some critics worry could politicize the bankruptcy process. "This bill is impractical," said John Moorlach, a supervisor in Orange County, Calif., which filed for bankruptcy in 1994. "In many instances, haste is important. If you can't meet payroll but have to delay seeking protection, what do you do?" California towns and counties face a catalog of troubles. Earlier this month, voters rejected five budget measures, sending the state deficit to $21 billion. To overcome the gap, Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has proposed borrowing $2 billion from municipalities, using a 2004 state law that lets California demand loans of 8% of property-tax revenue from cities, counties and special districts. But that proposal lands as California municipalities are already facing steep declines in tax revenue because of the recession. Dozens are staring at huge deficits, including Pacific Grove and Stockton, which have publicly said they are exploring bankruptcy. Assemblyman Tony Mendoza, a Democrat who introduced the bankruptcy bill, said the initiative is needed to protect the credit rating of California and its ability to borrow and sell bonds. Mr. Mendoza added that he wants to avoid bankruptcy's repercussions on surrounding communities by offering a system that examines all of a municipality's options before filing for bankruptcy. "Municipalities should have a checks and balance system in place based on the fact that all economies are interconnected," he said. Dwight Stenbakken, deputy executive director for the California League of Cities, a nonprofit representing more than 400 cities, said the group is lobbying against the bill because "there's nothing a state commission can bring to the process to make this better." Write to Bobby White at [email protected]
  2. Trouble on The Main The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette By Irwin Block, The GazetteApril 24, 2009 The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. It’s known to generations as The Main and it’s as Montreal as smoked meat and the Habs. St. Laurent Blvd. is us, and in tribute to its Portuguese component, city officials on Friday inaugurated a dozen marble-topped benches between Bagg and Marie Anne Sts. But things are not going that well for some merchants, especially on the trendiest part of the street between Sherbrooke St. and Pine Ave. It’s still home to such fancy eateries as Buona Notte and Primadonna, but in the past months several major tenants have closed. They include an American Apparel store and a Mac Cosmetics outlet; the space formerly occupied by Sofia Grill at the northwest corner of Prince Arthur St. and St. Laurent is for rent, as are several other shops farther north. Dan Abenhaim, American Apparel’s Canadian regional director, said that after five years the firm decided not to renew the lease. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic and we decided we want to open in another location.” He also said that over five years “the street has changed and the traffic is more north of Pine Ave.” However, clothing shops are also hurting north of Pine, where Adam & Lilith has closed one of two adjoining shops on St. Laurent. According to assistant manager Carmel Pacaud, people are still attracted to the street but they are not buying as they used to. Other shop owners blame almost two years of disruptive road repairs that ended last year, as well as the recession and high rents. “The city has murdered the street,” said one real estate agent, who spoke on the condition his name not be used. People who were put off by the construction are not coming back and there is a moratorium on new restaurants and bars between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal Ave., he added. Rent at the former Mac Cosmetics store is about $7,500 a month for 1,600 square feet. Rents tend to decrease north of Pine. “It’s a little distressing, slower than usual” remarked Marnie Blanshay, who owns Lola & Emily ladies wear just south of the abandoned American Apparel. Many who were discouraged from shopping there by the ripping up and repaving of the strip have not returned, she observed. And because few retail clothing shops remain, hers is more of a “destination store” with fewer shoppers coming by to go from store to store checking out and comparing. “It reminds me of Crescent St. in the 1990s,” she said, adding that “the landlords believe it’s better than it is and need to reduce rents.” When rents go down, the creative people will return to reinject the street’s normal vitality, she said. “St. Laurent Blvd. is not a street where chains succeed.” Apart from Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix, American Apparel was the only chain outlet on the street, noted André Beauséjour, executive director of the Société de développment du Boulevard St. Laurent. He said the vacancy rate between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal is a “normal” two per cent. A stroll up the boulevard yesterday indicated that many stores that have become institutions – Bar Bifteck, Salaison Slovenia, Schreter’s, Coco Rico, Moishe’s, Segal’s grocery, Berson Monuments – are still going concerns. And there was the proverbial lunchtime lineup inside Schwartz’s. But if you have a concept, there is lots of space for rent, including the former Laurentian Bank at St. Laurent and Pine. – all 5,400 square feet. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  3. Montreal’s cash-strapped universities have a wealth of notable and famous alumni who got their start at one of our local universities before leaving their mark on this province and beyond. Across the fields of business, science, politics and the arts, there are countless examples of notable alumni who earned a degree at a Montreal university before making it big. The list from Université de Montréal reads like a veritable Who’s Who of Quebec leaders, while McGill University has an embarrassment of riches, with bragging rights to the longest list of notables across all fields and by far the most prestigious prize winners. Here are some examples of those famous alumni (with apologies to the many accomplished graduates we didn’t have space to include). We have also included Nobel Prize winners and the number of Rhodes Scholars to round out the list of distinguished alumni. Montreal universities have bragging rights to many famous alumni | Montreal Gazette
  4. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/sale+city+buildings+prime+spots/5275338/story.html By Allison Lampert, The Gazette August 18, 2011 10:08 PM The former H.L. Blachford Ltd. manufacturing building at 977 Lucien L'Allier St. was purchased for $6.8 million in 2000 MONTREAL - The real-estate arm of the city of Montreal is poised to sell two buildings in prime downtown locations that have been sitting half-empty for years, The Gazette has learned. The two buildings, located near the Bell Centre, are among hundreds of thousands of square feet of downtown Montreal real estate that has recently changed hands – or is to be sold off – for new office and residential projects, at a time when land prices have reached all-time highs. The buildings, which are to be put up for tenders this year by the Société d’habitation et de développement de Montréal, are located on sites originally destined for the third phase of Quebec’s ill-fated E-Commerce Place. Quebec’s Department of Finance mandated the SHDM to manage the buildings it bought for close to $7.9 million in 2000. “We want to put them for sale by the end of the year,” said Carl Bond, director of real estate management for the SHDM, a paramunicipal organization that owns and manages affordable housing units, along with several commercial buildings. “Those buildings will be sold, but we need an authorization from the (Department) of Finance.” Located at 977 Lucien l’Allier, and 1000-1006 de la Montagne St., south of René Lévesque Blvd., the buildings were initially slated to be demolished to make way for gleaming office towers. They were to be the last part of the 3-million-square foot Parti Québécois-supported project that was later scrapped by the Liberal government in 2003. The 24,000-square-foot site north of the Lucien l’Allier métro station was purchased from manufacturer H.L. Blachford Ltd. for $6.8 million in 2000 – far above the building’s 2011 municipal evaluation of $4.5 million. The disparity between the sales price and the current evaluation, an SHDM spokesperson explained, is because the land was to be used for a lucrative office tower, worth far more than a four-storey manufacturing plant. The two buildings have taken a long time to come to market. That’s because Blachford had a lease at the building until this spring when it ceased operations, Bond said. A travel agency is still operating at the building on de la Montagne, part of which is in a decrepit state. What’s more, the SHDM is now embroiled in legal talks with Blachford over the cost of cleaning up the building, which is contaminated. “Right now the lawyers are talking and we’re hoping to settle this out of court,” Bond said. But some commercial brokers say the SHDM lucked out in waiting. The buildings, they said, would be ideal for residential development at a time when new condos are being constructed in record numbers and downtown land is selling at a premium. “In terms of timing, it’s better to go to the market today,” said Louis Burgos, senior managing director, Cushman & Wakefield, Montreal. Today, land in the downtown area is being sold for $250 to $350 per square foot, brokers say, depending on the level of building density, or how much can be developed overall on the site. The SHDM’s two buildings won’t be coming to market alone. Another three sites have either traded hands, or are to come to market this year for the purpose of development. In late July, a site of Overdale Ave., an estimated 140,000-square-foot plot on the south side of René Lévesque Blvd, beside Bishop St., was sold by a company based out of a Sherbrooke St. West art gallery run by director Robert Landau for $28 million, provincial records show. The buyer is a numbered company owned by investor Kheng Li, who is a partner of E. Khoury Construction Inc. A worker at Khoury who didn’t want to be identified, said the site could be used for either residential or office development. And in April, Cadillac Fairview Corp. Ltd. announced a $400 million investment for an office and three condo towers to be built near the Bell Centre, on Saint Antoine and de la Montagne Sts. Yet a fifth land site near the Bell Centre is to be put on the market next week, The Gazette has learned. The price these sites will fetch will depend on a combination of zoning and market demand. The red-tape Montreal developers have historically faced in obtaining zoning changes to built higher — and more economically viable buildings — may be easier to deal with if the seller is a city agency, brokers say. [email protected] http://www.twitter.com/RealDealMtl Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/sale+city+buildings+prime+spots/5275338/story.html#ixzz1VRFi0FYh
  5. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/15-wishes-for-montreal-in-2015 15 wishes for Montreal in 2015<article itemscope="" itemtype="http://schema.org/NewsArticle" id="post-430336" class="post-430336 post type-post status-publish format-standard has-post-thumbnail hentry category-local-news tag-education tag-homelessness tag-montreal tag-politics tag-social-issues l-article" style="margin: 0px; padding: 15px 0px 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1;"><header class="entry-header" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;"> KATHERINE WILTON, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Katherine Wilton, Montreal Gazette Published on: <time itemprop="datePublished" class="entry-date published pubdate" datetime="2015-01-03T16:23:47+00:00" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">January 3, 2015</time>Last Updated: <time itemprop="dateModified" class="updated" datetime="2015-01-03T16:23:49+00:00" style="margin: 0px; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline;">January 3, 2015 4:23 PM EST</time> </header><figure class="align-none wp-caption post-img" id="post-439490media-439490" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="http://wpmedia.montrealgazette.com/2014/12/montreal-que-november-25-2014-the-skyline-in-montreal.jpg?w=1000" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255); float: none;"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text" itemprop="description" style="margin: -1px 0px 0px; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-family: inherit; font-size: inherit; font-style: inherit; font-variant: inherit; font-weight: inherit; font-stretch: inherit; line-height: inherit; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> The skyline in Montreal at dusk Tuesday November 25, 2014. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>SHAREADJUSTCOMMENTPRINT As Montrealers rang in the New Year this time last year, a gloomy cloud hung over our city. In the midst of an unforgiving winter, our social peace was being threatened by a divisive debate over the Parti Québécois’s proposed charter of secular values, which would have restricted public employees from wearing or displaying conspicuous religious symbols. With a spring election on the horizon, the fear of another referendum hung like a dead weight from many of our shoulders. Poor job prospects and political uncertainty persuaded some of our fellow citizens to leave for greener pastures in Ontario and Western Canada. No matter where we turned, it was hard to escape the bad news. The Charbonneau Commission continued to uncover tales of corruption, our road network remained in abysmal shape and commuters fretted about the safety of the Champlain Bridge. But one year later, the mood seems lighter. “Montreal is back,” insisted Denis Coderre, the city’s populist mayor who has been trying to set a new tone. Coderre is already at work planning the city’s 375th birthday celebrations in 2017. He says the festivities and related development projects will have lasting benefits for residents, such as a pedestrian link from the mountain to the river. But many wonder whether Coderre has a vision and long-term plan for a city that is still facing employment and demographic challenges. So what’s in store for Montreal in 2015? The city will get several new hospitals when the McGill University Health Centre opens this spring, and the city’s skyline is filled with cranes — but surely more needs to done to enhance our quality of life. We asked 15 Montrealers who are well-connected to their city for their suggestions on how to make the city a more enjoyable place to live in 2015. Here are their ideas, in their own words. Raphaël Fischler, director of McGill University’s School of Urban Planning <figure id="attachment_439425" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Raphael Fischler is director of the School of Urban Planning at McGill University. Courtesy of McGill University. Picasa</figcaption></figure>The new year must see progress in ongoing efforts: reducing the high-school dropout rate, helping the homeless find permanent housing, repairing old infrastructure, greening the city. It must also see two goals reach the top of the political agenda: making public spaces, facilities and buildings universally accessible; and anticipating the transformation of older suburbs. Montreal is a difficult place for people with limited mobility, be they children in prams, adults in wheelchairs or elderly people using walkers. The winter is an ordeal for them, but even the summer is difficult because of inadequate infrastructure in streets and buildings and in the transit system. Universal accessibility must become a priority. As central neighbourhoods continue to gentrify, low-income households, including immigrants, are moving away from the centre, in particular to suburbs built in the 1950s to 1970s. The residents of such suburbs will need better access to public transit and services than is currently the case there. It is imperative that we start planning to meet the challenge of suburban poverty. Yves Laroche, owner Yves Laroche Galerie d’Art <figure id="attachment_439485" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Yves Laroche in his art gallery on St. Laurent Blvd. in Montreal. Vincenzo D'Alto / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>I wish that Montreal could get its good mood, its collective happiness, back. I hope the people who are negotiating the public-sector contracts for the city of Montreal and the unions all put a little water in their wine and come to some agreement. This city has been in such a grumpy frame of mind lately. You can see it in the faces of the policemen and the firemen and the city workers. Visitors to the city tell me that they feel it, too. It is weighing on all of us. But what I wish for most of all is for the young, emerging artists who make this city what it is be left alone to create their own personal imprints without being boxed in by teachers or dealers or art-buyers who tell them what will sell, what’s in vogue, what colours are best. I wish we would begin to see outsider art from the worlds of tattooing and graffiti and comics with fresh new eyes. Matthew Pearce, chief executive officer of the Old Brewery Mission <figure id="attachment_439429" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Matthew Pearce, CEO of the Old Brewery Mission. Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>In 2015, I want Montrealers to join the Old Brewery Mission in imagining a city where every citizen has a place to call home and no large numbers of people are resorting to shelters and soup kitchens for their survival — month after month, year after year. Further, I want us all to resolve to own the social phenomenon of homelessness and each contribute in our own way to significantly reduce the amount of men and women who find themselves on the street. The city and the province have recently issued their respective action plans on homelessness and so, for 2015, I want to see … action. Specifically, solutions to homelessness exist when we act collectively to create diverse affordable housing options with the appropriate counselling supports, adapted health care services and preventive measures to ensure people remain housed. See the end of homelessness as we know it today. It will work. Coralie Deny is the director general of the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal <figure id="attachment_439431" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Coralie Deny, director general of the Conseil régional de l’environnement de Montréal, behind a staircase that was built from wood recovered from Georgian Bay in Lake Huron. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>In 2015, there will be a lot of talk about planning and development in the Montreal region. We hope that it will be done with sustainable development in mind and that the changes will improve the quality of life. Some of the important issues will be the adoption of Montreal Island land-use development plan, urban plans for each city on the island, a parking policy, an updated transportation plan and the plan for repaving Ste-Catherine St. W. These plans will provide us with guidelines on how Montreal will be shaped. The plans must be precise and visionary and take into account principles that will be followed in all parts of the island. There must be improvements in public transport service and more bike paths. We need to promote Montreal as a walkable city, develop our streams and improve access to the river. We should also establish a network of connected green spaces, revitalize neighbourhoods and spruce up their commercial streets. If we work together, 2015 can be a pivotal year for Montreal. Heather O’Neill, author <figure id="attachment_439439" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Author Heather O’Neill lives in Montreal and writes about the city. She is photographed with her dog Muppet at home on April 25, 2014, at her desk where she spends most of her time writing. Marie-France Coallier / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>There’s an unhealthy fixation on young people in our society now. We try to micromanage every minute of their day and spend absurd resources on them. And I think they should be just left in peace to lie around in the libraries and daydream and doodle strange sea creatures in the margins of their notebooks and to engage in philosophical discussions with their pet mice. On the other hand, I think that we as a city should take better care of our elderly citizens. Transportation is really difficult for many of them. There are so many elderly who are abandoned and alone and neglected, prisoners in their own homes. There is no place for them in society and they are treated as though they are burdens. I just think they need to be valued and respected more. We’ve become a little callous in our attitudes toward the elderly. Everyone needs to accept that this is a part of life and one of our basic obligations. Better aid needs to be given to home care for seniors and those family members, often only one person, who have to shoulder all the responsibility of taking care of them. Eric Dupuis, chef-owner Dominion Square Tavern and Balsam Inn <figure id="attachment_439441" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Eric Dupuis, chef and co-owner of the Balsam Inn poses for a photograph at the newly opened restaurant in Montreal, Wednesday, December 17, 2014. Graham Hughes / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>We should exploit our European side more, with its lifestyle and traditions. That way we would make our city more vivante and exciting for residents and tourists. Let’s create more vibrant neighbourhoods by letting them develop their own personalities instead of passing so many laws and rules meant to over-protect our society. And as individuals we should stop being insular and share more time with our neighbours. Montreal should have terraces everywhere, even in winter. We should have more small markets where producers come to sell their goods. These are both ways of encouraging outdoor living in winter. We should let parents bring their kids into bars (not night clubs) when they go out for a drink with their friends. We should have l’apéro every evening of the week, not just on Thursdays. Bring back that old European spirit we had back in the day! Kim Arrey, nutritionist <figure id="attachment_439442" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Kim Arrey, a dietician/nutritionist prepares a yogurt and apple snack in her home in Montreal, Wednesday December 17, 2014. Vincenzo D'Alto / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>This will be the year that we show the world that Montreal really is different from other cities in North America and that we take very seriously the challenge of providing nutritious, healthy, delicious food to all our citizens at an affordable price. We will start with our hospitals and long-term-care institutions, ensuring that the meals served to patients will play a key role in establishing better health. Budgets will be adjusted so that food is considered medicine, and an integral part of the care plan of each patient. Rooftop gardens at the superhospitals will provide the kitchens with fresh, nutritious, tasty produce. Grocery stores on site will help our patients purchase affordable, nutritious food, as prescribed by our dietitians and doctors. Insurance companies will reimburse clients for the visits that they make to the dietitian, and the government will give us a tax credit for purchasing health-promoting food. The goal would be not just to prevent nutrition deficiencies but to promote good health through good nutrition. Yves Desjardins-Siciliano, president and CEO of VIA Rail Canada <figure id="attachment_439453" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> President and CEO of Via Rail, Yves Desjardins-Siciliano in the Montreal offices, on Thursday, December 18, 2014. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>My wish for 2015 is to see more Montrealers travelling by train to Québec City, Ottawa or Toronto, and any points in between or beyond. Every time Montrealers choose the comfort and safety of the train, where they can put their time to good use — they are helping to reduce their environmental footprint, reinforce the importance of their national public transportation service and support the growth of Canada’s economy in the 21st century. Montrealers, like all Canadians whether they live in large metropolitan areas or in smaller communities in between, have in VIA Rail a reliable rail system that allows them to get wherever they need to be without the use of their cars. At VIA Rail, we believe that inter-modality is everyone’s business and, in cooperation with our public transportation partners, we offer an alternative that helps unclog our highways and makes getting in and out of our cities easier and more enjoyable. Robert Green, a history teacher at Westmount High School <figure id="attachment_439450" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Westmount High School history teacher Robert Green. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>In 2015, I would like to see an end to politicians attempting to accomplish their goals at the expense of vulnerable public-school students. Last year, it was teachers and students from various religious minorities being stigmatized by the Parti-Québécois government’s proposed charter of values; this year, it’s (Quebec Premier Philippe) Couillard attempting to balance the budget by asking vulnerable students to pay for all the tax cuts the previous Liberal government had doled out to the rich. Montreal’s public schools have a high numbers of students with special needs and students from low-income families. These are inevitably the students most affected when budgets for education and other social services are cut. When Mr. Couillard was running for election, he stated that he saw education as an investment in Quebec’s future. It would be nice if in 2015 he showed this was more than empty rhetoric by doing two things: 1) reversing the cuts to public education; 2) dealing fairly with the province’s teachers in upcoming contract negotiations. Craig Sauvé, Projet Montréal city councillor for Saint-Henri — Petite-Bourgogne — Pointe-Saint-Charles district <figure id="attachment_439457" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Craig Sauvé, Projet Montreal city councillor, at city hall. John Mahoney / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>For 2015, I hope that improving the quality of life for citizens is truly a high priority for all levels of government. I hope that Quebec seriously re-thinks its transportation strategy: the government should reconsider its plans for the $600-million Highway 19 project and instead reinvest the money in important public transit projects such as the LRT (light-rail train) on the Champlain Bridge, a West Island mobility plan and the extension of the métro’s Blue Line. At the city level, I hope that Mayor (Denis) Coderre shows some leadership on transport. In 2014, the STM has had to cut bus departures because of budget cuts; they are now in catch-up mode. Our neighbourhoods need more bus and métro service, not less. We also need more investment in bike paths to promote healthy, active transport. Affordability and economic fairness are on the minds of all Montrealers, our governments need to implant measures that will make it easier for families to make ends meet: keep housing affordable, stop hiking STM fares and hydro rates, protect affordable, quality daycare and education. I also hope that all levels of government invest in greener neighbourhoods, green energy initiatives and protecting our valuable green spaces, such as Meadowbrook Park. I hope that 2015 is a year of peace, joy, understanding and working together. John Archer, wealth adviser for RBC Dominion Securities <figure id="attachment_439465" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Financial adviser John Archer in Montreal. Allen McInnis / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>From a financial adviser’s point of view, the state of an individual city does not really impact financial markets or investment portfolios (unless, of course, you own Montreal’s municipal bonds in your investment portfolio or within your mutual fund or pension plan). However, the city does affect the adviser’s quality of life and that of his or her family. From a quality of life point of view, I have three items on my Montreal wish list: Firstly, I would like to see a drastic improvement of our homelessness issue. Just once I would like to walk freely from Atwater Ave. to Peel St. without being accosted for money every block or so. Secondly, I would like to see an improvement in programs and employment opportunities to help our youth thrive economically in the city. If our children cannot see a future here, and they continue to abandon us, then that will be our greatest loss. Thirdly, I would like to see a coordination of road construction along with our traffic flow and control. There is nothing more frustrating than driving on one of our many streets under construction than waiting for an intolerably long light and seeing that there is absolutely no work nor reason for the closed lane to be blocked off with orange construction cones. Surely our traffic flow can be better managed under these situations. Maria Liliana Madriz, co-owner of Cachitos, a Venezuelan restaurant on Ste. Catherine St. <figure id="attachment_439471" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> María Liliana Madriz in Montreal on Thursday, Sept. 5, 2013. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>I wish for the sharks not to bite so much. When you start a small business with all your savings (and countless working hours), you expect a fair amount of permits, taxes, and expenses to bite at your hard-earned income. My wish concerns the hidden taxes that keep biting at you every day: like the 30 free parking spaces that were removed in my area, only to become viciously hounded metered spots, leading clients to pay $52 for the few extra minutes they take to say goodbye. Or the added 25 cents per litre we’re charged for gas in Quebec, affecting our shopping, commute and errands. Or the hikes in rent due to raised school and property taxes. Or the felony of having an English sign that, God forbid, is close in size to the French one, even though the most profitable season is summer, which brings English speaking tourists. To name a few. And then, at the end of the day, while drinking a scotch to forget all of the above, you realize that the scotch also cost you more than it ought to, and that there’s nothing you can do about it, except to drink it slowly and hope that the bites won’t bleed you out. Geoff Molson: Owner, president and CEO of the Club de hockey Canadien, Bell Centre and Evenko <figure id="attachment_439476" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Montreal Canadiens owner Geoff Molson speaks at the funeral for former Montreal Canadiens captain Jean Beliveau at Mary Queen of the World Cathedral in Montreal, Wednesday, Dec.10, 2014. Paul Chiasson / THE CANADIAN PRESS</figcaption></figure>I think this city thrives when the Montreal Canadiens go a long way in the playoffs. I hope we can bring that to the city. And I hope that businesses start to thrive in Montreal and this becomes a destination for businesses to invest in. I can feel it coming. There’s a new wave of optimism in the city. It’s refreshing because it wasn’t always that way in the past decade or so. Just look around the city and see all the (construction) cranes. That’s one reason to be optimistic. But also look at the world economy. Compared to what’s happened in the rest of the world, Montreal and Canada survived quite well in difficult times since 2008. From where I sit, I need to equip Marc (Canadiens general manager Marc Bergevin) with a winning organization for the fans to enjoy. From a business perspective, to do my part, I just need to keep investing in our city and bringing new festivals, a winning hockey team and more business, like the condominiums around our (Bell Centre) building. I hope others do that, as well. Debbie Friedman, trauma director for the Montreal Children’s Hospital <figure id="attachment_439478" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Debbie Friedman is trauma director of the Montreal Children’s Hospital and assistant professor of pediatrics at the McGill school of medicine. </figcaption></figure>I consider it a true privilege to work in the field of health care. Collaborating with many committed individuals who have dedicated their lives to helping others is rewarding and meaningful. Diminished budgets, cuts in salaries, corruption scandals and new laws often detract from what health care should be about namely: the patients and their families. Working in the field of trauma you are reminded all too often about how precious life is and how essential it is to be able to offer timely, expert care. This year, a new chapter begins in the history of the Montreal Children’s Hospital, and the McGill University Health Centre at the Glen site. As trauma director, I am committed to seeing our Pediatric and Adolescent Trauma Centre flourish in its new home. I am confident that despite the challenges we face in health care today, the people I work alongside will be focused on what we do best: providing the highest level of specialized care to our patients and their families. As well as training a new generation of health care professionals, conducting research, and working closely with the public, the media and governing bodies to develop and implement effective injury prevention strategies. As for Montreal, I would hope that a city that has so much potential would get back to the business of thriving and embrace its unique heritage, thereby encouraging our youth to build their lives here in Montreal. Life is precious and those of us working in the area of trauma see the tragic reality of injuries all too often. Danny Maciocia, head coach of the Université de Montréal Carabins football team <figure id="attachment_439494" class="wp-caption post-img aligncenter" itemprop="associatedMedia" itemscope="" itemid="photo url" itemtype="http://schema.org/ImageObject" style="margin: 0px 0px 2em; padding: 0px; border: 0px; font-family: Helvetica, 'Helvetica Neue', Arial, sans-serif; font-size: 12px; font-stretch: normal; line-height: normal; vertical-align: baseline; text-align: center; overflow: hidden; color: rgb(255, 255, 255);"><figcaption class="wp-caption-text wp-caption" style="margin: -1px 0px 2em; padding: 10px; border: 0px; font-stretch: normal; vertical-align: baseline; zoom: 1; text-align: right; background: rgb(12, 12, 12);"> Universite de Montréal head football coach Danny Maciocia. Pierre Obendrauf / Montreal Gazette</figcaption></figure>People giving back … as far as professional athletes or even university football players (and others from) athletics. Just trying to give back to the community … getting involved, trying to make an impact, trying to make a difference, trying to influence people’s lives on a positive note. Because at the end of the day, I’m sure they look at several of these individuals as role models. So, just give back, make an impact and, like I said, try to make a difference and bring some core values in their message in 2015. </article>
  6. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today in Montreal, Canada Thanks to the involvement of the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes and the Fototeca de Cuba, and the collaboration of many collectors and museums in the United States, including the MoMA, this exhibition will draw a broad panorama of Cuban art and history. ¡Cuba! Art and History from 1868 to Today, which brings together some 400 works of art, will be the first exhibition to showcase the art of this Caribbean island, which Christopher Columbus described as “the most beautiful land eyes have ever seen.” This lively and well-conceived multidisciplinary exhibition will bring together about one hundred paintings, including a huge collective mural produced in 1967 by many artists, two hundred photographs and documents, approximately one hundred works on paper (in particular two collections of pre- and post-1959-Revolution posters), some two hundred photographs and documents, installations and videos, in addition to music and film excerpts. Exhibition Summary - This ambitious exhibition will feature the art of Cuba, an island that has witnessed the twentieth-century’s principal historical events (decolonization, the search for a national identity, wars of independence and the Revolution, the building of political utopias and ideological clashes). Located at the crossroads of Old Europe and the New World, Cuba is a rich cultural terrain: its music and literature are well known outside of the country, but the same cannot be said of its visual arts. The exhibition is divided into five sections: Depicting Cuba: Finding Ways to Express a Nation (1868-1927); Arte Nuevo: The Avant-garde and the Re-creation of Identity (1927-1938); Cubanness: Affirming a Cuban Style (1938-1959); Within the Revolution, Everything, Against the Revolution, Nothing (1959-1979); The Revolution and Me: The Individual Within History (1980-2007). The exhibition’s historical narrative will be told through a selection of significant photographs: from those that have never been shown to the iconic, these pictures will illustrate the chronology of events as recorded by remarkable photographers. Within this account will be images illustrating the major chapters in the history of Cuban art, from the nineteenth-century’s wars of independence through to the uncertainties of the future. Throughout the twentieth century, artists engaged in international discourses sought to define a national identity, Cubanidad. Intermingling a re-examination of its colonialist past and openness to the avant-garde, Cuban artists created a profoundly original art of synthesis (Baroque and academic legacies, Spanish and African roots, Catholic and traditional spirituality). Central to the century and the exhibition, with the presentation of twenty paintings, the landmark work of Wifredo Lam will embody this synthesis. At times a vehicle for collective political action and at times a personal expression vis-à-vis history, Cuban art deals with matters pertaining to a sense of place and the role of the artist in society, issues that outstanding contemporary artists continue to explore in relevant ways. The Curators - The exhibition is organized by the Montreal Museum of Fine Art (MMFA) in collaboration with the Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (MNBA) and the Fototeca de Cuba, Havana. Nathalie Bondil, director of the MMFA, is the general curator of the exhibition, in collaboration with Moraima Clavijo Colom, director of the MNBA, and Lourdes Socarrás, director of the Fototeca de Cuba. The curatorial committee also includes Hortensia Montero Méndez, curator of Cuban art, MNBA; Luz Merino Acosta, technical director, MNBA; Rufino del Valle, curator, Fototeca de Cuba; Iliana Cepero, associate curator, MNBA; Stéphane Aquin, curator of contemporary art, MMFA; and the team of curators of the MNBA. The Catalogue - Under the general editorship of Nathalie Bondil, a 370-page catalogue will be produced by the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ Publishing Department. This book, which will include some 450 colour illustrations, is the first publication covering the whole history of Cuban art. It will provide essays by Cuban and international specialists on various aspects of the subject and some 140 biographical notes. It will be published in separate French, English and Spanish editions. Sponsors - In Montreal, the exhibition is presented by Sun Life Financial, in collaboration with METRO. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts wishes to thank Cubana and media partners La Presse and The Gazette. Its gratitude also extends to Quebec’s Ministère de la Culture et des Communications for its ongoing support. The Museum would like to thank the Volunteer Association of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts for its invaluable support. It would also like to thank all its Friends and the many corporations, foundations and people who support its mission. The Montreal Museum of Fine Arts’ International Exhibition Programme receives financial support from the Exhibition Fund of the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts Foundation and the Paul G. Desmarais Fund.
  7. 52% oppose Bill C-10 Proposed change targets filmmakers. Don't censor content by refusing tax credits, slim majority of Canadians say in survey TIFFANY CRAWFORD, Canwest News Service Published: 6 hours ago A slim majority of Canadians believe it would be wrong for the government to screen the content of films and deny tax credits to projects it deems offensive, a new Ipsos Reid poll conducted for Canwest News Service and Global TV indicates. The poll, conducted from June 10 to 12, found that 52 per cent of the 1,002 Canadians surveyed disagree with Bill C-10, a proposed change to the Income Tax Act that would deny tax money to filmmakers whose content is "contrary to public policy." At 62 per cent, residents of film-industry-heavy British Columbia are most likely to say the government is "wrong" to interfere in such a way. That's followed by those living in the mostly Conservative province of Alberta at 57 per cent, indicating the reaction of Canadians is largely ideological. "(The bill) has obviously touched a nerve," said John Wright with Ipsos Reid. "If it's not going to pass the sniff test, it's going to be gagged," said the senior vice-president of Ipsos Reid. "It has a good majority in the country that are going to go against this." Although the idea to deny tax credits was raised under the previous Liberal government, Wright suggests people may be concerned about the "slippery slope" of censorship with the Conservative Party. "While it may have been acceptable under the Liberals because they were more flexible on content, this government has the trappings of moral and religious rigour," he said. "So they might wear this more than the last government." According to the poll, 45 per cent of Canadians believe it's right for the government to screen the content of films, because it involves taxpayers' money - and because government has the right to determine what's in the public interest. As the poll was released, the Canadian independent film, Young People F*****g, opened in cinemas on the weekend. The film has become the poster child for the controversial bill that has many Canadian film and TV stars, including actress and director Sarah Polley, lobbying the government to stop the bill. The reason, say opponents of C-10, such as Polley, actor-director Paul Gross and Oscar-winning director Ang Lee, is that Young People is the type of film that would have been denied funding. Young People, a movie about four couples and a threesome trying to find satisfactory sex lives, has been viewed as pornographic by some religious groups, while others say it's just a bit of fun. In any case, the film is not as raunchy as its title suggests. Although there's a lot of nudity, mostly it's just a series of sketches where the characters seek to balance their lives with love and sex. The film's director, Martin Gero, says it's a harmless comedy, but he agreed it may not have got the funding had it been judged by the title. The poll found younger Canadians aged 18 to 34 were more likely to say the government is "wrong" to censor content by refusing tax credits, followed by Canadians age 35 to 54. Those with post-secondary education and those who live in urban areas were also more likely to disagree with the bill, the poll suggests. While the poll suggests a majority of Canadians disagree with the bill, the government argues the proposed change to the federal tax-credit system does not jeopardize the creative freedom of Canadian film and TV production. Heritage Minister Josée Verner says the government is trying to make sure Canadian taxpayers' money won't fund extreme violence or pornography. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=a7f81b30-f97e-4570-84d8-dff373f9f66e
  8. Walk this way Michelle Kay, Yahoo! Canada News - Fri May 28, 4:01 PM The top-five cities -- Vancouver, Victoria, Montreal, Toronto and Halifax -- have high population densities, which affect how people interact with space and urban planning, he said. The magazine gathered its information through a number of sources, including StatsCan and individual city statistics and then developed a 12-point questionnaire on topics such as the percentage of people who walk to work, park areas, vehicle use, etc. The information was presented to a panel of judges -- author, broadcaster and director of Jane's Walks, Jane Farrow, Guillermo Penalosa, consultant, planner and executive director of the non-profit 8 ? 80 Cities, and sustainability professional Amanda Mitchell. Up! discovered a city with a higher population density embraced a visitor-centric approach when it came to urban planning. The more walkable a city, the more livable it was for its citizens (and easier for tourists to navigate). It comes as no surprise that Vancouver came out on top (see below for the complete list). The city has a number of factors in its favour, from its population density (about 5,000 people per square kilometre), pleasant climate to expansive parkland. Nearly 40 per cent of downtown residents walk to work and it's easy to see why. Vancouver is packed with attractive streetscapes and a progressive street pattern with many maps that help pedestrians find their bearings, Gierasimczuk said. The city provides ample opportunities for its inhabitants and tourists to be active. "It's got this mystique. It has built a reputation as this walkable, active, car-free paradise," he said. A walkable place means a city respects its inhabitants enough to want to provide a manageable and livable space. "All these factors that make a city walkable means that a city celebrates its citizens," Gierasimczuk said. Walking is also one of the simplest, cheapest and healthiest ways to get around. Not only is walking a great way to shed the pounds, it doesn't cost anything to use our own two feet. More often than not, when you go for a walk you discover something new. You notice things you normally wouldn't see from the vantage point of a car or even a bicycle, since walking is an activity that forces you to slow down, breathe, look around and take things in. Now, who wants to go for a stroll? Canada's Most Walkable Cities 2010 1. Vancouver 2. Victoria 3. Montreal 4. Toronto 5. Halifax 6. Quebec City 7. Ottawa 8. Calgary 9. St. John's 10. Winnipeg http://ca.travel.yahoo.com/guides/Other/891/walk-this-way
  9. MINISERIES TheStar.com | Television | Witty look at Richler's vanished Montreal Witty look at Richler's vanished Montreal var imageL= '275796_3.JPG' if(imageL) { document.write(''); } else{ document.write(''); } David Julian Hirsh plays the adult Jake Hersh in St. Urbain’s Horseman. Adaptation of beloved St. Urbain's Horseman a sophisticated TV drama Sep 19, 2007 04:30 AM JIM BAWDEN Television COLUMNIST "This was the one I wasn't sure would ever get finished," chuckles screenwriter Joe Wiesenfeld. "There were at least two previous attempts to bring (St. Urbain's Horseman) to TV. Then there was a separate treatment Mordecai Richler made for a movie, but even he wondered if it was cinematic," says Wiesenfeld, who adapted Richler's Governor General's Award-winning novel for television with Gerald Wexler and Howard Wiseman. The two-part, four-hour miniseries airs tonight and tomorrow at 8 p.m. on CBC. Considered one of Richler's best novels, if not his finest, St. Urbain's Horseman is a leisurely study of Montreal's St. Urbain St. right after World War II. At the centre of it all is teenager Jake Hersh (Max Morrow), who has an obsession with his older street-wise cousin Joey (Jacob Tierney) that he carries into his adult life. Life is dominated by his pushy, neurotic mother Sarah, played to the hilt by Andrea Martin, and his influential Uncle Abe, a warm, memorable cameo turn from Elliott Gould. Later Jake will move to England, engaging in a friendly rivalry with best friend Luke Scott (Gabriel Hogan) to determine who'll become the next great film director. Guiding his every move is his pure love for proper English lady Nancy (Selina Giles). CBC executive program director Kirstine Layfield says she could have passed on the project, "but I saw it was quality, had the Richler name, and we went ahead. We're giving it special play before the U.S. season really gets going. "Miniseries are hard to sell in this TV market with so many channels, but I think the production is compelling and it's something to be very proud of." What emerges is a witty, sometimes acerbic look at a vanished Montreal culture done with some sophistication – the kind of high-level drama rarely seen on TV anywhere these days. "Keeping everything true to Richler, that was a big order," says director Peter Moss, who guided the $7.4-million production through an intense two-month shoot last fall in Montreal. "It's really a story of two cities, Montreal and London. But we had to turn back the clock to the forties in Montreal and the fifties in London without leaving Montreal." Moss credits cinematographer Norayr Kasper and production designer Donna Noonan for many feats of illusion. St. Urbain St. had changed so dramatically (it is now one-way), a street further east in a francophone neighbourhood, Garnier St., was substituted. Scenes shot in a London TV studio had to be duplicated in Montreal – there was quite a hunt for vintage equipment. And, adds Moss, "When I redressed a street to look like London, I invited Selina to come and take a look. She's from Britain and very critical and she said she couldn't tell the difference. "It was very expensive in terms of costumes, getting the cars right, those kind of details. So I needed experienced actors, ones who liked working very hard indeed. Somebody I wanted right from the start was David Julian Hirsh as the adult Jake. For one thing he's Jewish and from Montreal so he gets Richler right away. And he's the right age, too (34)." Where else to reach Hirsh but at the Highland Gardens hotel in beautiful downtown Hollywood? The Highland Gardens is the delightfully decrepit hotel facility mainly catering to Canadians trying to make it in L.A.'s TV movie game. But it was also the site of the wacky mockumentary Camp Hollywood, which Hirsh and partner Stephen Markle shot there in 2004 – it subsequently won a Gemini as best documentary. Hirsh admits it's "a bit crazy" that St. Urbain's Horseman is the second Montreal-based project in which he's appeared in as many years. The other was the rollicking sex farce Naked Josh,which ran for three seasons on Showcase, casting him as a nervy sexual anthropologist. "I knew Jake as soon as I finished the book," Hirsh says. "I recognized so much of what I encountered growing up decades later. French Quebecers do have a love/hate relationship with Richler. So does Montreal's Jewish community. It's a sophisticated story we're telling and it requires four hours of viewers over two nights. But it doesn't have TV's usual bag of clichés." That's why we initially see Martin as Jake's mother as a comical creation – it's only in her last scene as she leaves London to return to Montreal that she reveals she knows she's an old harpy but can't help herself. And Michael Riley as Jake's "buddy," the vile but fascinating Harry Stein, runs the gamut from practical jokes to sexual antics with a willing starlet using Jake's home – until both Jake and Harry are arrested and tried as sexual perverts. "Oh, a lot of this is autobiographical," Wiesenfeld says. "Richler did go to London to make it but as a writer not a director. And I'm convinced wife Nancy, played so beautifully here by Serena Giles, really is his own wife."
  10. MONTREAL, March 29 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, is pleased to invite media representatives to the Strategic Forum of the Board of Trade, which will focus on major projects in Montréal, on Wednesday, March 30, 2011, at 7:30 a.m. With the Mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, to be on hand, along with a number of experts and nearly 500 participants, this unique event will enable to learn more about how various key and shaping Montréal projects are advancing. The major development projects will be on-hand: The Montréal of tomorrow, an overview of the city's major projects Emilio Imbriglio, Partner, Raymond Chabot Grant Thornton TOWARDS MAJOR PRIVATE PROJECTS The impact of condo development on the Montréal landscape Jacques Vincent, Co-President, Prével Urban renewal, from Angus to Quadrilatere Saint-Laurent: The need for a territorial approach Christian Yaccarini, President and CEO, Angus Development Corporation The Windsor sector: Major developments for the Bell Centre and its surrounding area Salvatore Iacono, Senior Vice President, Development, Eastern Canada, Cadillac Fairview Corporation Ltd. LARGE-SCALE HEALTH INFRASTRUCTURES Sainte-Justine UHC - Grandir en santé: Innovation in personalized medicine for mothers and children Dr. Fabrice Brunet, Executive Director, Sainte-Justine University Hospital Center MUHC Normand Rinfret, Associate Executive Director and COO McGill University Health Centre The Jewish General Hospital Dr. Hartley Stern, Executive Director, Jewish General Hospital and Philippe Castiel, Director of Planning and Real Estate Development, Jewish General Hospital CHUM Christian Paire, Executive Director, Centre hospitalier de l'Université de Montréal MAJOR INSTITUTIONAL PROJECTS A space for life Charles-Mathieu Brunelle, Executive Director, Montréal's Nature Museums The UdeM's Outremont Campus Guy Breton, Rector, Université de Montréal The Innovation District: Progress report and guidelines for its implementation Yves Beauchamp, Director General, École de technologie supérieure and Heather Munroe-Blum, Principal and Vice-Chancellor, McGill University The redevelopment of the CBC/Radio-Canada site Maryse Bertrand, Vice-President, Real Estate, Legal Services, and General Counsel CBC/Société Radio-Canada The Quartier des spectacles Jean-Robert Choquet, Director, Department of Culture and Heritage, Ville de Montréal and Stéphane Ricci, Coordinator, Quartier des spectacles project, Ville de Montréal The Silo No. 5 and the Bassins du Nouveau Havre: Major revitalization projects for Montréal Cameron Charlebois, Vice-President, Real Estate, Quebec, Canada Lands Company Date: Wednesday, March 30, 2011 Time: From 7:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Where: Palais des congrès de Montréal 1001 place Jean-Paul Riopelle Room 710 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its primary mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montréal and to provide individuals, merchants, and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is Quebec's leading private economic development organization. Contacts RSVP with Sylvie Paquette Advisor Media Relations by phone at 514 871-4000 ext. 4015 or by email at [email protected]
  11. Israeli consulate to move from downtown to Westmount JASON MAGDER, The Gazette Published: 8 hours ago The Israeli consulate is moving from its downtown location to Westmount. According to the consulate's website, the offices will move from the CIBC building on René Levesque Blvd. at the corner of Peel St. to Westmount Square by next Monday. A spokesperson for the consulate says the consulate's 10-year lease in the CIBC building had expired, so the decision was made to change locations. "This is what suited us best in terms of office space and availability and we took what we could take," said Peter Subissati, the consulate's director of public affairs. Daniel Saykaly, a director of Palestinian and Jewish Unity, called the move a victory for his group. He said the consulate has been embarrassed by weekly protests held in front of the CIBC building since Feb. 9, 2001. "We originally started the weekly vigil in the relatively early stages of the second intifada," he said. "We felt it was important to make a regular public statement against the occupation of the West Bank and Gaza." The consulate's spokesperson denied the group's claim. "The protests had been going on without any incident and I don't think it ever was a factor in our move," Subissati said. He added the offices of the Spanish and Brazilian consulates are also at Westmount Square. Saykaly said PAJU and supporters haven't missed a week since the first protest, and usually between 20 and 30 people demonstrate in front of the CIBC building on Fridays between noon and 1 p.m., waving flags, chanting slogans and handing out flyers. A counter-protest of Israel supporters has been taking place across the street for the last several years, garnering about the same number of people. Saykaly said his group will now move its weekly protests to Ste. Catherine St. at the corner of McGill College Ave., to join members of the Coalition Against Israeli Apartheid in front of the bookstore Indigo. [email protected]
  12. International Privacy Experts Meet in Montreal 9/7/2007 The privacy world will be in the spotlight as international privacy practitioners meet in Montreal to face rapidly changing technologies and heightened national security concerns. The Office of the Privacy Commissioner of Canada is hosting the 29th International Conference of Data Protection and Privacy Commissioners in Montreal from September 25 to 28th. Among the topics to be explored are: public safety, globalization, Radio Frequency Identification, nanotechnology, children and privacy, location-based tracking, data mining and Internet crime. Conference organizers say speakers include: - Michael Chertoff, Secretary of the US Department of Homeland Security, who will give a keynote address on privacy and public security. - Peter Fleischer, Google's global privacy counsel. - Bruce Schneier, internationally renowned privacy and security guru and best-selling author of books such as Beyond Fear: Thinking Sensibly about Security in an Uncertain World and Secrets and Lies. - Katherine Albrecht, widely recognized as one of the world's leading experts on consumer privacy for her work as director of CASPIAN (Consumers Against Supermarket Privacy Invasion and Numbering), an organization she founded to address retail privacy invasion. - Simon Davies, a pioneer of the international privacy arena and the founder and director of the watchdog group Privacy International. The complete program and speakers list are available at: www.privacyconference2007.gc.ca.
  13. Stinger Dome planned for Loyola campus Concordia University Vice President Services Michael Di Grappa is pleased to announce the Department of Recreation and Athletics plans to build a $4.4 million state-of-the-art dome at its Loyola campus in N.D.G. The Stinger Dome will be an air-supported structure allowing the university to run athletics and recreational activities year round on its south field. A seasonal facility, it will be in operation from November through April, beginning in 2009. “This is an exciting time for Concordia University,” said Di Grappa. “This dynamic project – only the second facility of its kind on the island of Montreal and a first for the Quebec university network– is another example of our commitment to innovation and excellence.” The dome will measure 450 by 240 feet, covering the university’s artificial field located behind Concordia stadium. It can host up to four separate activities at a time. “This project creates many exciting opportunities to engage Concordians and our friends in the community in physical activities, contributing to a healthier lifestyle,” said Katie Sheahan, Director of Recreation and Athletics. “I can’t tell you how happy I am to be in this position. I’m looking forward to the grand opening.” The university looks to Yeadon, a Guelph, Ont. company specializing in state-of-the-art, energy-efficient sports domes that incorporate the latest innovations in design, anchoring, mechanical, electrical and proprietary controls, as the supplier.