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Found 23 results

  1. For the past few weeks, my family been trying to figure out why the garage door for my mom wouldn't open. We end up getting technicians to come and check it out twice and even with a special detector to see what frequency could be blocking it. Some reason my dad wakes up today, thinking the garage door opener on the wrong way, guess what it was. The people who were fixing stuff in the garage put it the wrong way! :egads: The joke is on us for not figuring that one out sooner. --- My dad sent me downtown to get a parcel. Seeing we use to live in the city and some reason they never sent it to the new address. Today there is a huge snowstorm in Montreal. I was stuck waiting over 35 mins for the bus, and it took over an hour to get downtown and take the metro. One thing leads to another. When I get to the post office the woman didn't want to give the parcel to me, another thing lead to another and I got it. Ended coming back home and opening the parcel to find out the Canadian Government seized what was inside. Wasted 3 hours traveling in a snowstorm to find out whatever my dad ordered was seized by the government for being a health hazard. FML! update: Just found out whatever was in the box my dad never ordered LOL My life should be a sitcom
  2. Don’t tell anyone, but it’s a myth that millennials hate the suburbs It might not be as cool as living downtown, but a new survey suggests millennials might not hate suburbia all that much. Altus Group, citing its 2015 fall FIRM survey, says 35 per cent of those 35 and under disagree with the statement that they prefer to live in a smaller home in a central area than a larger home in the suburbs. The same survey found 40 per cent do agree with the statement, with everybody else neither agreeing or disagreeing. “We’ve said it before and we’ll say it again — it’s a myth that all so-called millennials are homogeneous in their desires, attitudes and behaviour,” says the report from Toronto-based Altus Group. “While there may be some tendencies that are more pronounced among today’s younger generation, when it comes to the housing sector, segmentation analysis is critical.” The survey, which only considered respondents in centres with populations of more than one million or more, found in almost every age group there was a willingness to trade off the bigger house in the suburbs for a smaller home in a central area. Among those 35-49, like millennials, 40 per cent said they would make the trade-off. <iframe name="fsk_frame_splitbox" id="fsk_frame_splitbox" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen="" webkitallowfullscreen="" mozallowfullscreen="" style="padding: 0px; margin: 0px; width: 620px; height: 0px; border-style: none; border-width: initial;"></iframe> Broken into sub categories, 19 per cent of millennials agree completely they are willing to live in that smaller home in a central area versus the larger one in the suburbs. Another 21 per cent somewhat agree. Millennials actually ranked behind those 70 years or older when it comes to strong feelings on the matter. Among those seniors, 22 per cent agreed completely with going for the tinier downtown home. “There is a prevailing view that all millennials in larger markets want to live downtown — even if it means having to settle for a smaller residence to make the affordability equation work. Our research busts that myth,” said Altus Group. The same report finds all those downtown dwellers, many of whom will be settling in high-rise condominiums, are going to need parking sports because they are not ready to ditch their cars. The FIRM survey found that in the country’s six largest markets, defined as Vancouver, Calgary, Edmonton, Toronto, Ottawa-Gatineau and Montreal, only about one in 10 owner occupants of condominiums built in the last six years does not have a vehicle. That’s close to the average of all households, but condo dwellers are far less likely to have two vehicles. twitter.com/dustywallet [email protected] http://business.financialpost.com/personal-finance/mortgages-real-estate/dont-tell-anyone-but-its-a-myth-that-millennials-hate-the-suburbs Contrepoids à la discussion: http://mtlurb.com/forums/showthread.php/23922-Bye-bye-banlieue%21
  3. This is the same building as Angela Pizza. Walked by today, noticed some heavy renovations going on at "ground" floor level. All graffitis cleaned up. Peeked inside and saw plenty of ladders and fresh new walls. I think this is a handsome rugged building that deserves a facelift. Gives me NYC vibes. It's been abandoned for as long as I can remember though I think there was a dental clinic in there at some point. Googled a bit for 1668 Maisonneuve and found this listing as well as this Altus profile. [sTREETVIEW]https://maps.google.com/maps?q=maisonneuve+at+st-mathieu,+montreal&hl=en&ll=45.494924,-73.580168&spn=0.001765,0.004106&sll=45.55097,-73.702207&sspn=0.225754,0.525627&hnear=Maisonneuve+Blvd+W+%26+St+Mathieu+St,+Montreal,+Quebec,+Canada&t=m&z=19&layer=c&cbll=45.495001,-73.58008&panoid=-CcEf2QVZaTxF67hFVvEag&cbp=12,152.08,,0,-17.9[/sTREETVIEW]
  4. Newbie

    Garbage Cans

    Hi! I hope this post is not miscategorized. Since I moved to Montreal I have been looking forward to seen these old garbage cans replaced: They are too small, break easily, are always leaking, and most of them have lots of garbage under them which looks really bad (I don't even know how it gets there though I have a few theories). Anyway, in 2007 I found out that Michel Dallaire (the BIXI industrial designer) was to design new benches and garbage cans for downtown: http://www.ledevoir.com/2007/12/17/168881.html In 2008, renderings of the new designs appeared on his website: http://www.dallairedesign.com/flash/index.html And after that nothing happened. Is there any way to know what happened to this? Are they ever going to be replaced?
  5. I made all of the generic avatars on this website. http://www.mtlurb.com/forums/profile.php?do=editavatar As my right to post in the political section has been withdrawn, I am now revoking this website's right to use the avatars I have provided. I ask that all those who are using an avatar found in the avatar gallery to stop using these avatars immediatley. They are my intellectual property.
  6. Poll Finds Faith in Obama, Mixed With Patience Article Tools Sponsored By By ADAM NAGOURNEY and MARJORIE CONNELLY Published: January 17, 2009 President-elect Barack Obama is riding a powerful wave of optimism into the White House, with Americans confident he can turn the economy around but prepared to give him years to deal with the crush of problems he faces starting Tuesday, according to the latest New York Times/CBS News Poll. The latest on the inauguration of Barack Obama and other news from Washington and around the nation. Join the discussion. While hopes for the new president are extraordinarily high, the poll found, expectations for what Mr. Obama will actually be able to accomplish appear to have been tempered by the scale of the nation’s problems at home and abroad. The findings suggest that Mr. Obama has achieved some success with his effort, which began with his victory speech in Chicago in November, to gird Americans for a slow economic recovery and difficult years ahead after a campaign that generated striking enthusiasm and high hopes for change. Most Americans said they did not expect real progress in improving the economy, reforming the health care system or ending the war in Iraq — three of the central promises of Mr. Obama’s campaign — for at least two years. The poll found that two-thirds of respondents think the recession will last two years or longer. As the nation prepares for a transfer of power and the inauguration of its 44th president, Mr. Obama’s stature with the American public stands in sharp contrast to that of President Bush. Mr. Bush is leaving office with just 22 percent of Americans offering a favorable view of how he handled the eight years of his presidency, a record low, and firmly identified with the economic crisis Mr. Obama is inheriting. More than 80 percent of respondents said the nation was in worse shape today than it was five years ago. By contrast, 79 percent were optimistic about the next four years under Mr. Obama, a level of good will for a new chief executive that exceeds that measured for any of the past five incoming presidents. And it cuts across party lines: 58 percent of the respondents who said they voted for Mr. Obama’s opponent in the general election, Senator John McCain of Arizona, said they were optimistic about the country in an Obama administration. “Obama is not a miracle worker, but I am very optimistic, I really am,” Phyllis Harden, 63, an independent from Easley, S.C., who voted for Mr. Obama, said in an interview after participating in the poll. “It’s going to take a couple of years at least to improve the economy,” Ms. Harden added. “I think anyone who is looking for a 90-day turnaround is delusional.” Politically, Mr. Obama enjoys a strong foundation of support as he enters what is surely to be a tough and challenging period, working with Congress to swiftly pass a huge and complicated economic package. His favorable rating, at 60 percent, is the highest it has been since the Times/CBS News poll began asking about him. Overwhelming majorities say they think that Mr. Obama will be a good president, that he will bring real change to Washington, and that he will make the right decisions on the economy, Iraq, dealing with the war in the Middle East and protecting the country from terrorist attacks. Over 70 percent said they approved of his cabinet selections. What is more, Mr. Obama’s effort to use this interregnum between Election Day and Inauguration Day to present himself as a political moderate (he might use the word “pragmatist”) appears to be working. In this latest poll, 40 percent described the president-elect’s ideology as liberal, a 17-point drop from just before the election. “I think those of us who voted for McCain are going to be a lot happier with Obama than the people who voted for him,” Valerie Schlink, 46, a Republican from Valparaiso, Ind., said in an interview after participating in the poll. “A lot of the things he said he would do, like pulling out the troops in 16 months and giving tax cuts to those who make under $200,000, I think he now sees are going to be a lot tougher than he thought and that the proper thing to do is stay more towards the middle and ease our way into whatever has to be done. “It can’t all be accomplished immediately.” While the public seems prepared to give Mr. Obama time, Americans clearly expect the country to be a different place when he finishes his term at the end of 2012. The poll found that 75 percent expected the economy to be stronger in four years than it is today, and 75 percent said Mr. Obama would succeed in creating a significant number of jobs, while 59 percent said he would cut taxes for the middle class. The survey found that 61 percent of respondents said things would be better in five years; last April, just 39 percent expressed a similar sentiment. The telephone survey of 1,112 adults was conducted Jan. 11-15. It has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points. The poll suggests some of the cross-currents Mr. Obama is navigating as he prepares to take office, and offers some evidence about why he has retooled some of his positions during this period.
  7. Canada ranks 2nd among 10 countries for cost competitiveness, says KPMG THE CANADIAN PRESS 03.29.2016 TORONTO - Accounting giant KPMG says Canada has proven to be second most competitive market in a comparison test of 10 leading industrial countries. In its report, KPMG says Canada lags only behind Mexico when it comes to how little businesses have to pay for labour, facilities, transportation and taxes. The report, which compared the competitiveness of a number of western countries along with Australia and Japan, found that a high U.S. dollar has helped Canada stay affordable despite rising office real estate costs and lower federal tax credits. When it comes to corporate income taxes, it found that Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands had the lowest rates overall due to tax incentives to support high-tech and research and development. KPMG also looked at the competitiveness of more than 100 cities worldwide. It ranked Fredericton, N.B., as the most cost-effective city in Canada due to low labour costs and continued low costs for property leases. Montreal topped the list among 34 major cities in North America, followed by Toronto and Vancouver. The three Canadian cities beat out all U.S. cities. Although there have been concerns over the impact of a weakening loonie on the economy, having a low Canadian dollar has actually been "a driver in improving Canada's competitiveness and overall cost advantage," KPMG said. As a result, that has made it more attractive for businesses to set up shop north of the border than in the U.S., it said. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/canada+ranks+among+countries+cost+competitiveness+says+kpmg/11817781/story.html
  8. http://network.nationalpost.com/np/blogs/fullcomment/archive/2009/07/18/robert-fulford-canada-s-anti-american-reflex.aspx
  9. jesseps

    Camera

    I am trying to decide on which Lumix to get. LX2 LX3 Comparison Hope you can help me out Malek UPDATE: Actually found something better and in the same price range Lumix FX150K, just need to find one.
  10. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Life/Girl+raised+dogs+Siberia/1636491/story.html Creepy....
  11. Source: Thrillist Sure, sure, sure. This war’s been waged a thousand times, but we found 10 reasons why Montreal trumps the “t-dot” (which is a stupid name, btw) and we didn’t even have to use low-blow examples like Rob Ford, Toronto's "sports" teams, or that shining moment when former mayor Mel Lastman called in the military that time it SNOWED IN THE WINTER. 1. Better bagels, poutine, smoked meat, and sandwiches. Let’s just start by getting this out of the way. Montreal is home to one of the best sandwiches in the world, the best bagels in the world, the greatest poutines, and the best smoked meat. Eat that Toronto. 2. You can drink anywhere in Montreal, all the time. Yes, you can legally drink in public in Montreal as long as you’re eating food. And since Montreal has the best Canadian food in the country, that technicality is pretty much a friendly reminder. Heck, you can’t even drink alcohol on a licensed patio in Toronto after 11p. 3. Obtaining alcohol to drink in public is easier. In Montreal, wine and beer are sold in dépanneurs, the greatest corner stores in the world, until 11p, the time most Torontonians are climbing into bed. Also? The beer here is better in general. 4. "Joie de vivre". People from Toronto don’t even know what this means, partly because it’s French, and partly because Montreal is legitimately one of the happiest places in the world, and Toronto isn't. And on that subject... 5. Fun isn’t illegal in Montreal. This is not hyperbole. Montrealers are often found frolicking joyously in parks whilst flying kites, having civilized outdoor dinner parties wherein alcohol is consumed, or joining a hippie drum circle on the side of the mountain. All of the above are literally illegal in Toronto. Toronto has a problem with fun (for those too lazy to follow that link, it's a Toronto newspaper describing how the city's denizens have to go to Montreal to have anything resembling a good time). 6. All the best parties happen in Montreal. People from around the world come to Montreal for the Jazz Fest, Osheaga, Just For Laughs, Igloofest, etc., or to just take in Montreal’s famously awesome nightlife scene. 7. Montreal has a mountain Sure it ain’t no Mt. Everest, but at least our mountain isn’t made of garbage (Chinguacousy Hill, I’m looking at you), and it means we have way better snow sports. 8. The cost of living will cost you almost nothing. Montrealers live in beautiful, penthouse-sized apartments with large balconies, and it costs them what a Torontonian pays for their monthly subway pass. And talking of the subway... 9. Montreal’s award-winning metro system actually makes sense. Who in the hell designed Toronto’s subway system? The impractical waste of money that is called the TTC basically amounts to a straight line running through a narrow “U” shape. And a monthly pass costs about twice as much as one in Montreal. 10. Montreal isn’t a sprawling suburban wasteland. The Greater Toronto Area is where Torontonians who have given up on life go move into cookie-cutter houses and burden themselves with the worst commute in North America.
  12. Why isn't there a directory for all the judges in Quebec? There is a directory for Judges but on Wikipedia and it is for Judges from the 19th century. They hold a job that is paid by tax dollars. Those people should have their name posted online and with their work related email address. Same goes for all other public employees. Why isn't there any transparency? I would love to see every penny of the tax dollars and where it goes. What is funny, even the politicians don't even put their email addresses online. It is so much fun, trying to find the proper inbox to send them a letter. [update]: I so far found 14 judges that serve here in Montreal. That is a small number from the 89 - 101 judges. Jean Charest National Assembly (Only one I could find) Liberal Party (I am not sure if it is the proper one) Francois Legault National Assembly (Found on Facebook) Coalition (You will most likely get an email back from their info email address.) Pauline Marois National Assembly (Found on Facebook) Parti Québécois (I am not sure if it is the proper one)
  13. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/monument+defaced/3012787/story.html Whoever did this should be sent to Guantanamo.
  14. jesseps

    McQueen dead

    R.I.P :eek::eek: (Courtesy of Huffington Post) This is a dark day.
  15. Lire les commentaires sur cette decision sur leur site Facebook qui a 250k abonnés. Nous n'avons pas commenter beaucoup ici, mais l'opinion américain est intéressant. https://m.facebook.com/hyperallergic http://hyperallergic.com/207918/woman-found-guilty-of-criminal-harassment-for-instagramming-street-art/ Woman Found Guilty of Criminal Harassment for Instagramming Street Art by Benjamin Sutton on May 18, 2015 Jennifer Pawluck (photo provided by Pawluck to Hyperallergic), and the street art photo that landed Jennifer Pawluck in hot water with Montreal police. Jennifer Pawluck (photo provided by Pawluck to Hyperallergic), and the street art photo that landed Jennifer Pawluck in hot water with Montreal police Jennifer Pawluck, the Montrealer who was arrested in 2013 for posting a photo of a piece of street art on Instagram, has been convicted of criminal harassment and, on Thursday, was sentenced to 100 hours of community service and 18 months probation. Her community service must be completed within a year. The 22-year-old college student has also been forbidden from posting any public messages on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram, and must restrict her use of the social media platforms to private communications for the next year, according to the Montreal Gazette. She had faced maximum penalties of up to six months in jail and a fine of $5,000. Reached via Facebook, Pawluck told Hyperallergic: “I am unfortunately not responding to any media questions … following my sentencing I’d prefer to keep a very low profile.” In late April Pawluck was found guilty for having posted a photo on Instagram of a piece of street art showing Ian Lafrenière, the lead officer for communications and media relations for the Montreal police, with a bullet wound in his forehead. Pawluck did not create the artwork, but merely saw it and posted a photo of it online. The image was accompanied by text that read “Ian Lafrenière” and “ACAB,” an acronym for “All Cops Are Bastards.” Pawluck had seen the piece of street art in the Hochelaga-Maisonneuve neighborhood where she lives and posted it online accompanied by hashtags including “#ianlafreniere” and “#acab,” later claiming that she didn’t know who Lafrenière was. At the time, Pawluck had 81 followers. “On the photo there were links, or hashtags, with Ian Lafrenière’s name written in different ways and allusions like (‘All cops are bastards’) and (‘One cop, one bullet’) to the point where, given the context, there was criminal harassment,” Josie Laplante, lawyer for the prosecution, told the National Post in April following Pawluck’s conviction. “I think we all have to pay attention to what we post because (some people) don’t consider the impact it can have on other individuals.” Pawluck was a participant in the 2012 student protests in Montreal, during which Lafrenière was a very visible spokesperson for the city’s police force. He said in his testimony that he and his children had found the image disturbing, and that his wife had been forced to take a leave of absence from her job because of it. “There is a limit that must not be crossed,” said judge Marie-Josée Di Lallo when delivering her verdict on April 23. “She (Pawluck) felt anger toward the police.” Tagged as: censorship, Featured, Instagram, Jennifer Pawluck, Montreal, Social Media, street art sent via Tapatalk
  16. Montreal snowplow driver suspended for burying car Vehicle's owner had been in argument over parking space Last Updated: Monday, February 2, 2009 | 11:29 AM ET CBC News A Montreal couple found their car covered with snow after an argument with a plow driver over the weekend near McGill University.A Montreal couple found their car covered with snow after an argument with a plow driver over the weekend near McGill University. (Kristy Rich/CBC) A Montreal snowplow driver has been suspended for dumping a whopping pile of snow onto a car after a dispute over a parking space. Now the couple who found their car looking more like an igloo than a sedan want an apology from the driver. "I think [he] should be sorry for what he did. He caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people," Roy Dudley, the owner of the car, told CBC News. On Friday night, Dudley parked his Volkswagen Jetta on Lorne Crescent near his home east of McGill University. A private snow-removal crew contracted by the city was clearing snow off one side of the street, so Dudley chose a spot on the other side. 'It was amazing how much snow there was on it. Obviously, it was deliberately done.' —Car owner Roy Dudley Dudley said one of the drivers ordered him to move his car because it could get in the way of their efforts to clear the narrow roadway. However, Dudley refused, saying there were no signs prohibiting him from parking there. The plow driver's boss arrived on the scene and suggested a truce: He offered to clear out a space for Dudley's car on a street nearby. Satisfied, Dudley moved his car to the new space and returned home. But he awoke Saturday to a frosty surprise. The entire street was clear except for two mountains of hard-packed, dirty snow covering his car. "It was amazing how much snow there was on it. Obviously, it was deliberately done," said Dudley. Roy Dudley found his car snowed-in on Lorne Crescent in Montreal.Roy Dudley found his car snowed-in on Lorne Crescent in Montreal. (Kristy Rich/CBC) His wife, Margaret Thompson, was dumbfounded. She said it would have been impossible for the couple to shovel out their car because the snow was so hard and compact. "Why would they do that?" she asked. "I realize their job is stressful and everyone is on their case about clearing the snow. But … where else are we supposed to park? Parking down here is really hard in the winter." City orders contractor to dislodge car The couple called police and the city, and by Saturday evening a city supervisor arrived on the scene. The supervisor ordered the contractor to clear the snow off the car. The crew returned Sunday and used a front-end loader and a tow truck to free the car from its snowy tomb. 'That is a rare problem, but it could happen. We have a very large operation.'—Yves Girard, Montreal's director of snow removal "I was happy that in front of my eyes, less than 24 hours later, the problem was being taken care of," said Dudley. Montreal's director of snow removal, Yves Girard, described the incident as an isolated one. "That is a rare problem, but it could happen. We have a very large operation," said Girard. "We have 3,000 employees, many pieces of equipment working on sidewalks and streets, and sometimes there are complaints because people don't want to move their cars." Entreprise Michaudville, a private snow-removal company, employed the driver. Gilles Gauthier, the driver's supervisor, told CBC News he'd never before seen a situation like this involving one of his employees. He said the company is taking responsibility for the incident and has suspended the driver for the rest of the season. Montreal has received near-record levels of snowfall this winter. Click on the link for pictures: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/02/02/mtl-plowrage-0202.html
  17. L'idée n'est pas de répartir le débat ici, juste de mettre en ligne ce qui s'écrit sur le Québec à l'étranger. Free lunches, please Protests against tuition fee increases could help an unpopular government May 5th 2012 | OTTAWA | from the print edition Sure beats studying IN THE past year students protesting over the cost of university education in business-friendly Chile have captured the world’s attention. In recent months their counterparts in statist Quebec have taken up the cause. Since February about a third of the province’s 450,000 university students have boycotted classes to oppose the tuition-fee increases planned by Jean Charest, the province’s Liberal premier. Some have blocked roads and vandalised government buildings. On April 25th and 26th around 115 people were arrested, following evening protests that turned into window-smashing in central Montreal. Quebeckers have long seen cheap university education as a birthright. The decision by the centrist Liberals to double fees in 1990 was one reason why they lost control of the province. Their successor was the separatist Parti Québécois (PQ), which responded to a student strike in 1996 by freezing tuition fees for 11 years. But Mr Charest is now in a fiscal squeeze. He has promised to cut a C$3.8 billion ($3.8 billion) deficit to C$1.5 billion this year. Quebec spends 4.6% of its budget on universities, mainly because its fees are the lowest among Canadian provinces. In humanities and social sciences, which have the highest share of striking students, Quebec charges C$2,845 and C$2,629 a year, a bit over half the average in all other provinces. To help close the gap, Mr Charest proposed raising annual fees by a total of C$1,625 over the next five years. When the protests began the government vowed not to negotiate. It soon backtracked, proposing making student loans easier to get, linking repayment to income after graduation, stretching the fee increase over seven years and offering an additional C$39m in bursaries. But the student groups insist on an absolute tuition freeze. Their hard line may help Mr Charest at a tough time. He would love to call an election before an inquiry into corruption in Quebec’s construction industry, which may leave his party squirming, begins in June. But his government is unpopular: an April poll found that 73% of Quebeckers are unhappy with its performance. The opposition PQ has allied itself with the protesters, even putting the students’ red-square logo on its website. That may prove unwise: a recent online poll found that 79% of Quebeckers oppose raising income taxes to pay for universities. If the Liberals can tie the PQ to the movement’s intransigence, Mr Charest might yet risk an early vote and hope to eke out a win. http://www.economist.com/node/21554254
  18. The first installment in a new Gazette series about living in Montréal. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal-az/index.html Being a Montrealer can be tough: the winters, the crumbling infrastructure, the corruption scandals ... But the start of the summer party and festival season has finally arrived, making this a perfect time to bask in all that this city has to offer, and to celebrate why we love Montreal, from A to Z. There’s so much to celebrate about living in Montreal If overcoming adversity is the secret to communal happiness, then we’re due an extra helping of joy. We ask some prominent Montrealers what they love most about our city BY RENÉ BRUEMMER, GAZETTE CIVIC AFFAIRS REPORTER JUNE 7, 2014 9:11 AM Things are looking up: Montreal’s skyline as seen from the lookout on Mount Royal. Photograph by: Megan Martin/Special to The Gazette MONTREAL — In order to truly appreciate life, a wise friend once told me, one has to suffer a little. We were descending from the peak of Mt. Algonquin in the Adirondacks after an unexpectedly harrowing five-hour hike through snow and ice that allowed ample time to ponder the question: “Why did we choose to inflict this on ourselves?” But as we descended, elated, my friend pointed out that it was the hardships we overcame that made the journey so special, and brought our disparate band of hikers closer. If overcoming adversity and suffering en masse is the secret to communal happiness, then Montrealers are due an extra helping of joy. Just as a sailor trapped in the darkness of a long storm may forget the existence of the sun, many Montrealers swamped by waves of corruption scandals and a particularly nasty political climate have lost sight that they live in one of the greatest and most vibrant cities in the world. One that manages to remain mostly harmonious in spite of, or perhaps because of, its vast diversity. More tarnished jewel than island paradise, Montreal is all the more precious to those who choose to live here — in part because of its imperfections. There are signs, finally, that Montrealers are starting to feel that glimmer of warmth again, and with it a rebirth of their pride. The shift in attitude coincides with the re-emergence of the sun, a glorious Habs playoff run, and Grand Prix weekend, what radio host Terry DiMonte refers to as “the starting gun for the summer.” It’s a time when we see our metropolis through the eyes of outsiders who see it as a special place for its unique French-English mix, harmonious multicultural melding and its expertise in the art of joie-de-vivre. The Gazette asked a handful of prominent Montrealers what they think makes our metropolis stand out. Alongside these perspectives, today we kick off a Gazette summer series on the many things that make this city a special place to live, from A to Z. We’ll run daily features — one for each letter of the alphabet. Congratulations, Montrealers, we’ve made it through some dark times. Now, it’s time to celebrate under the sun. The last many months have been hard on the soul, CHOM morning man Terry DiMonte notes. “I’ve told family and friends across the country that it has been very difficult to live in Montreal over the past 18 months, even more difficult than normal,” DiMonte said. “I had a French friend who told me, ‘Anglophones love the city so much because they have to fight so hard to stay.’ “When I first came back from Calgary, my first summer was the Maple Spring (season of student protests), which I found incredibly difficult, and that was followed by the election of the Parti Québécois (government) and all the disharmony and divisiveness (that followed), and that I found really, really soul-sapping.” In his four years in Calgary, DiMonte found that city clean, well-run and “all of those things that Montreal isn’t.” Yet he returned, for there is something about this city’s chaos that attracts. “As much as I hate to say it, part of what makes Montreal special is it demands a lot of you to live there — the construction, the politics, the closed highways, the potholes, the things we argue about, it’s all of those things that make the place in an odd way a special place. … It gives it a flavour you can’t find in any other city in Canada.” All that adversity breeds a certain toughness, said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The city has shown resiliency in the face of a slew of crises, including loss of status as Canada’s top business metropolis, the flight of head offices and a decimated manufacturing sector. “Despite all that, there is an optimism, or will, to develop the city that always comes back,” Leblanc said. “We are an ambitious city. That doesn’t mean we necessarily realize all our ambitions, but when we say Montreal will be a cultural metropolis, and we way Montreal is a city of creativity, we actually create those two Montreals, we project ourselves as an international metropolis.” After a long decline, Montreal is rebuilding its roads and bridges, and residential and commercial office towers are sprouting everywhere, and especially downtown. There are 86 building projects over $5 million underway in Montreal and its demerged municipalities, Quebec’s construction commission reported this week. That indicates a positive outlook by developers, and the banks that saw fit to finance them, Leblanc said. The challenge, however, will be putting up with 10 years of construction zones. Beyond the current building boom, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal also notes the city’s unique geography. “What I think is wonderful, somehow, is the space of the city itself,” Bumbaru said. “The architecture is not an architecture of immense landmarks, but one of streetscapes, and the connection between those, in a way. We can have a stroll on Gouin Blvd., or a stroll from the mountain down to the Lachine Canal. It is a strollable city. “It is the scale of the city, the notion of neighbourhoods and the fact that we have a living core.” (Eighty-four thousand people live in the Ville Marie borough, making for the most populated downtown core in North America after New York City, La Presse reported this week). While many cities are statistically diverse, their cultural groups are often grouped into ghettos that inhibit interaction and can create tensions. Montreal has a “mixity,” notes Bumbaru, “a porosity in the city fabric” that allows the multitudes to merge. That coming together creates a unique collectivity among people from all over the globe, says comedian Sugar Sammy. “People say there are two solitudes — I think there’s actually all these cultures that are starting to meld together,” said Sugar Sammy, whose bilingual standup shows have drawn 235,000 fans in Canada and India over the last two years, and whose new French TV show, Ces gars-là, is drawing a wide anglophone audience. It helps, he notes, that most Montrealers are bilingual, if not trilingual. The easy mixing allows Montrealers, often strongly attached to their own neighbourhoods, to visit the city’s other many varied locales and yet always still feel at home, Sammy said. “It’s not just biculturalism, but so many cultures and the fact that people know about each other here,” he said. Despite the division caused by Quebec’s proposed charter of values, Montreal’s “mixity” is actually a source of unity, Sammy said. Montreal’s city council and its mayor unanimously defied the charter, and the PQ, which proposed the charter, were trounced in the April elections. Communications strategist Martine St-Victor describes Montreal’s intermingling as harmony, as opposed to mere “tolerance.” “Harmony means not only that you have Asian friends, it’s that you love Asian restaurants — that you actively seek out other cultures and make them your own,” she said. “There is this human contact that you don’t find, for example, in New York or Paris,” she said, in part because many of Montreal’s neighbourhoods, with their local cafés and small cordonneries, maintain their village feel. “You sense you are part of a collective, that we are not just individuals, which is great.” It’s also a city where people aren’t afraid to look one another in the eye. And the city has a new champion, she said, in Mayor Denis Coderre. “He’s taking the city where it hasn’t been in a long time because he has guts. He has a big mouth, but he backs it up.” Since his election in November, Coderre has travelled to municipalities throughout Quebec, and to New York City, Paris, Lyons, and Brussels to forge bonds. And to proclaim: “We’re back.” “Our role is to make the city known, to make sure we are contagious. We have a great reputation internationally,” Coderre said. “When people come to Montreal, they fall in love with it.” At home, Coderre’s message has been: Tackle the issues, stop beating ourselves up about past transgressions and gain more power as Quebec’s major metropolis. If city council is proactive and takes decisions, the people will appreciate it, he argues. And they will forgive your mistakes, which allows for progress. “When we step back and look at ourselves in a bigger way, I think this is one of the greatest places in the world,” Coderre said. And a city that suffers as one also gets to celebrate as one. “We have this sort of sense, I think, of going through something together,” Sugar Sammy said. “We live whatever the pulse is, and if you live it together you feel it, and I think it makes you fall in love with the city even more.” [email protected] Twitter: ReneBruemmer
  19. Why duel over our dual national holidays? Split our differences and create a third! JOSH FREED, The Gazette Published: 9 hours ago We are entering the annual period of dueling national days, when Quebec's national celebration takes on Canada's in the battle of the fêtes. The action starts Tuesday with Quebec's Fête nationale, the holiday formerly known as St. Jean Baptiste Day. This was originally a holy day celebrated only by French Catholics, but the government removed religion and renamed it the Fête nationale so it would belong to all Quebecers. Our dueling holidays reveal our differences. In a recent poll, most francophones said Canada was founded by the French, while anglos named the British and immigrants said the native peoples. In reality, of course, the native peoples found our country over 10,000 years ago, the French found the natives 500 years ago and the British found the French difficult to manage and granted Canada its independence. Canada's real problem is that we have different histories, so we can't celebrate the same holidays or the same heroes. We'd probably rename Victoria Day tomorrow if we could think of someone to name it after without a national fight. John A. Macdonald is not loved in Quebec or Newfoundland. Pierre Trudeau is hated by half the country, while René Lévesque is hated by the other half. Who else is known from coast to coast - Celine Dion? Terry Fox? Mordecai Richler? Hockey is our most unifying Canadian event. Maybe we could agree on a Rocket Richard/ Wayne Gretzky National Day. But it's easier just to leave it as Queen-Victoria-Vs.-The-Patriotes-Day for another century. The good news is that our dueling holidays are becoming irrelevant relics that aren't that indicative of who we are. In the past few days, there are far more Portuguese, Italian and Turkish flags flying on cars for Euro soccer than there are Fête nationale fleurs-de-lys. Likewise, the Canadiens hockey playoffs brought out more flags than Canada Day will ever see. In fact, there is one common holiday in Montreal when millions of French, English and other nationalities all rush into the streets to celebrate together. It's the Montreal Jazzfest, our city's true "national" day. Why don't we declare a third statutory day off on June 28, halfway between the Fête nationale and Canada Day, when everyone can party together - for National Jazz Day. In fact, with three holidays in eight days, it would become just like Christmas and New Year: We could all take two weeks off. The Fête is correctly marked by waving the fleur-de-lys - France's old royalist flag - and passionately singing Gens du Pays, the sovereignist anthem, which few anglos ever sing except at birthday parties, when they mouth the words. There is also a terrific parade where revelers celebrate June 24 by symbolically drinking a two-four of beer. By contrast, next week's Canada Day is a cooler, kitschier affair marked by Mounties, maple leafs and the traditional carrying of fridges and other heavy furniture for Moving Day. Canada Day is a recently invented holiday. It was known as Dominion Day until 1982, when Ottawa decided to compete with Quebec's new Fête nationale by having a flag-waving federalist day, too. However, it turned out that real Canadians do not passionately wave flags - unless they're part of a sponsorship scandal. Most Canadians won't even sing their national anthem on July 1, because the government has changed the words so often no one has a clue what they are. In fact, O Canada only became the official English anthem in 1980 and many people still know the words to God Save the Queen better. In addition, Canadians are embarrassed by patriotism - and would be more comfortable humming the hockey song. Overall, for Quebecers La Féte is an emotional day to honour their survival. But for Canadians, Canada Day is just our National Day Off Day - a day to be thankful we live in a country so calm we can ignore our national day. St. Jean and Canada Day are not the only divided holidays in our semi-detached national duplex. Just last month, we marked Victoria Day, when Canadians celebrate a British queen who died in 1901 - even though England hasn't for decades. Until the 1980s, anglo Quebecers marked this day by holding an annual riot in Point St. Charles. But the tradition has faded and today Victoria Day is typically marked by The Opening of the Country Cottage - Or Garden. Franco Quebecers never liked the Queen's birthday and set up their own competing holiday back in the 1920s - called Dollard des Ormeaux Day. But the Parti Québécois government obviously found it embarrassing to have a holiday named after a West Island suburb, because in 2004 they renamed it the Journée nationale des patriotes. This ensured no anglo Quebecer would ever celebrate it again. In Quebec, we make war with dates, not battles. This year's big dispute is over the 400th anniversary of Quebec City's founding. French nationalists say the celebration marks the birth of the Quebec nation, but federalists say it marks the founding of Canada - and warring words have been flying over the Plains of Abraham like musket fire. [email protected] http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=8435f7ac-92cd-4790-afbb-f18cdbd40d3b&p=2