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Found 8 results

  1. It's looking like New York will follow fast on the heels of Illinois in deciding not to add a luxury tax for jewelry over $20,000. The American Watch Association sent an e-mail to members on Monday saying that while the New York State Legislature has agreed to tax increases to deal with a budget deficit, the luxury tax proposal is not part of it. The luxury tax would have also applied to aircraft costing more than $500,000, yachts over $200,000, cars that cost more than $60,000 and furs over $20,000. But don't go spending yet, high earners in New York will be feeling an increased pinch. Income taxes were raised one percentage point to 7.85 percent for couples with income over $300,000 and couples with more than $500,000 in income will pay 8.97 percent. The three-year tax increase is expected to add $4 billion to the state coffers this year.
  2. Dear all, I have been a member of MtUrb since day 1, less active with posts now than I was a few years back, but always an avid reader. So, new developments in Montreal are really surprises when I go back "home" every few years. For you see, I have been living in Hong Kong for the past 5 years, enjoying life in the most transit-efficient city in the world. But this post is not about Hong Kong, it is about re-discovering Montreal... Last time my wife and I came back to Canada was 3 years ago. As usual, we enjoyed our time and visited our friends and family in Montreal, Quebec City, Ottawa (where we lived and worked for over 12 years) and Toronto. I remember thinking back then that while Montreal was cooler, Toronto was the boom town, and Ottawa was the sleepy, quaint, moneyed high tech capital. How things changed in 3 years. Ottawa seemed to us like it went down the drain; unbearable traffic, no high-tech rumble anymore (loss of Nortel?), a feeling as it somewhat had lost its soul somewhere in suburbia... Not quite sure how to pin it down but it felt empty. Quebec City didn't change much; we never cared for it much as we always thought the old Quebec to be an island of pretty in a sea of bland. Toronto is still booming, but still looking for its heart... As I said, none of the real-estate development in Montreal should have surprised me since I was aware of every single one of them, thanks to you guys, but they did, in a big way. I could feel the vibrancy. In the new buildings, parks, squares, sure. But also in the attitude; I felt positivism and renewed joie-de-vivre. Food trucks that hasn't been allowed for decades are now back in full force, Ste-Catherine no longer felt like an unfortunate and sometimes decrepit metaphor for the two solitudes. Yeah, coming from Ottawa on the Metropolitain, or crossing the bridges made a Hong-Konger think that North-America hasn't quite gotten out of the stone-age of transportation. But I saw more people in the city of Montreal than ever before; people working, living and playing within urbanity. I also, for the first time, really saw the concept of urban villages materialize before my eyes, be it downtown in the condo environments, in NDG with its eclectic combination of tree-hugging concepts such as urban-gardens, and the sense that people truly understood that in order for sustainability to exist, it needs to be financially viable (overheard of discussion of a green entrepreneur planning how he was going to make his rooftop gardens profitable). Like it or not, one also cannot deny that Ferrandez has changed the face of the Plateau; I thought the density of people biking was a sight to behold. Maybe I was dreaming and under the influence of so much amazing food (and ok, a good amount of red wine too...) that I partially lost my mind but beyond all of the impressive public money investments (CHUM, parks, new Metro trains, etc, etc), I thought, talking to people and "feeling" the city-beat, that I could feel a paradigm-shift or the beginning of one: the private sector investing in Montreal, believing in it (naysayers just have to spend 5 minutes at the corner of René-Levesque and De La Montagne to be convinced), and residents that seem to have moved on from the rut, looking forward instead of back... I hope that continues when, hopefully, one day, I decide to move back to Canada and, maybe, settle down in Montreal. We thoroughly enjoyed our time. I leave you with 2 pictures. Hard to say that Montreal is at a standstill. The old 'Carriere Miron' is becoming one of the largest park in Montreal, here's what I would do with it. Picture was taken from the north-west corner. I'm not an artist but, you get the idea... Have a great rest of this wonderful summer! JC
  3. Read more: http://www.wired.com/autopia/2012/09/tesla-supercharger/ Tesla going to have their Supercharger stations in Canada by 2015/16. I have a feeling, when there will be more electric vehicles on the road, we might be seeing Hydro-Quebec stations.
  4. Cellcom Israel $71 USD/month (270 shekels) Unlimited incoming calls from Anywhere Unlimited incoming SMS (not sure if that includes Canada) Unlimited Data (GPRS only) could be 3G True I had no idea if this includes call display or whatever Thing is I just have to pay local rates for calls within Israel. Honestly why can't any service provider do that in Canada. We have more people for the love of god! I have a feeling I'll be using a lot of MSN Messenger on my phone. Seeing I know no one will SMS me or even call lol
  5. I came across this lovely video of a young YouTuber from France who visited Montreal for the first time, and how our city brought her a new perspective on life. At one point, recalling the experience of Montreal and Montrealers and what it did for her brings her to tears. A definite watch for us living here; it's a little long but take a moment and check it out. Too many of us take for granted how special a place this is. Skip to 2:35 if you want to get right to it. Interestingly, many of the video's comments are made by other French citizens saying they experienced the same feeling while visiting Montreal.
  6. I was wandering around Old Montreal / Griffintown last night. I noticed that only a few buildings actually have exterior lighting which is a shame. There are three buildings that actually caught my eye and I do wish that many more buildings in that area, in the next few years follow suit; Hotel St James, Canada's Custom House and Grand Trunk Railways. I do like that a handful of the buildings, are being revitalized (having their exteriors cleaned). Also seeing that Place D'Youville parking lot does not exist anymore, what would be nice if the city can manage to turn it into a space similar to Square Saint Louis with a water fountain in the middle. One thing I would like for the city to do, but they won't is rip up all the streets with asphalt and put stones back in, so Old Montreal as a whole have the old world feeling. Also use Edison bulbs in the lamp posts, I know they aren't eco-friendly but the streets would have an interesting look at night. There is also a few parking lots, west of McGill that I do wish that would be turned into green space and have high rises put in, but that would happen for a long time. Also while wandering last night, there was one street that I managed to go down, seeing all the buildings had similar architecture it felt like I was actually back in Paris which was a beautiful thing. If I do manage to go back to Old Montreal tonight, I will for sure take a picture of the street and post it here. I guess the whole area while change even more, when the Bonaventure is finally ground level.
  7. for our older forumers, what was montreal like when it was still the largest city in canada? did it have a different feeling than it does now? did it feel central to the national goings-on in a way it no longer does?