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Found 10 results

  1. Le Petit Maghreb By Joel Ceausu Little Italy and Chinatown are getting a new sibling — and since it’s just a few blocks, maybe Louise Harel won’t mind. Le Petit Maghreb is now more than just a casual moniker for a certain part of the city: it’s an official part of Montreal’s commercial destination network, and an unofficial but growing tourism draw. The area in the Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension borough has received $40,000 from the city of Montreal’s Programme réussir à Montréal ([email protected] Commerce) recognizing the efforts of the local Maghreb business association for revitalization of Jean-Talon Street between Saint-Michel and Pie-IX boulevards. “Thanks to this support, local businesspeople finally have the means to create an official new district in Montreal,” said a clearly delighted borough mayor Anie Samson. “It’s excellent news for the Maghreb community, as well as the growing attraction of our borough and Montreal.” The local Maghreb community hails mostly from North Africa, particularly Morocco, Algeria, and Tunisia. Over the years, this important stretch of Jean-Talon has become a gathering place for Montreal’s Maghreb community — estimated at about 150,000 people. The funds will be used to develop a master plan to mobilize businesses, reach targeted communities, and carry out an economic and physical strategy to define a public image for the sector. About half of the 105 area businesses are related to Maghreb culture in bakeries, butchers, Arab pastry shops, restaurants and tearooms, along with hairdressing salons and travel agencies. Malik Hadid is also happy that after three years of work the designation will become official. “I am very happy that the Association can count on the support of [email protected] Commerce,” said the travel agency owner and local association president. He was quick to add that the Maghreb association also enjoys close cooperation with the borough, the local economic development agency and Station 30 police. The city’s [email protected] program is already at work in other neighbourhoods around the island, helping spruce up commercial districts and adding appeal to important arteries using architecture, infrastructure and marketing, and helping boost investment by matching funds of local investors. Other east-end streets selected for the program include Promenade Fleury, Jean-Talon St. in Saint-Leonard, and Charleroi in Montreal-Nord.
  2. jesseps

    Happy Holidays

    All of you have a great time See you all in the New Year. Joyeuses Fêtes à tous!
  3. Montreal hotels offer escape from tourists Graeme Hamilton, National Post MONTREAL - At street level, there is an old-world charm to parts of this city, where horse-drawn caleches roll over cobblestone streets, passing buildings dating from the French regime. But then again, the smell of horse urine can get a little pungent on a steaming-hot day, the cobblestones can do a number on your ankle if you're not careful, and for every building of historic interest there's another housing a tacky souvenir shop. Montreal's year-round inhabitants have discovered a new escape route from the tourist-clogged streets, which oddly enough begins in a hotel lobby. A number of city hotels have sprouted rooftop terrasses where the (admittedly steep) price of a beer is also said to buy you a smashing view, a chance to mix with the in crowd and in one case, a dip in the pool if the spirit moves you. The trend has been fuelled by a proliferation of boutique hotels in Old Montreal, which have helped revive a neighbourhood that had been sliding. The best of a bunch sampled recently was atop the Hotel Nelligan, just up from the waterfront on St. Paul Street West. In one direction, the view was of the St. Lawrence River, Ile Notre-Dame and Moshe Safdie's Habitat '67 apartment complex, gleaming as it caught the early-evening sun; in the other, Notre-Dame basilica loomed. Dormer windows on adjacent buildings looked very Parisian, although the music -- an eclectic mix of oldies ranging from Lynyrd Skynyrd to Smokey Robinson -- screamed 1970s rec room. The terrasse, called Sky, does not exactly qualify as a best-kept secret. The rooftop was packed, and the area reserved for dining had an hour-long wait for a table. An even larger crowd awaited atop the Hotel Place d'Armes on the Aix terrasse. After wandering past hotel rooms to find the door leading to the roof, we were greeted by a bouncer recording each arrival and departure with a handheld counter. Asked how many people there were, he replied that the information was "confidential." A waiter said we had arrived on the patio's busiest night of the week, a Thursday. It was largely an after-work crowd looking to start the weekend early; a hotel guest looking for a relaxing cocktail in the sun would have been surprised to find a scene fit for Crescent Street, the city's famous nightclub strip. "It's happy hour," the waiter advised us, which seemed hard to believe after having just paid $7.50 for a bottle of beer. He clarified that the prices are unchanged during this particular bar's happy hour. It's just that people are happy. The view was not the best, hurt by the fact Montreal planners over the years have allowed an architectural jewel such as the basilica to be dwarfed by modern monstrosities such as the National Bank tower on Place d'Armes and the courthouse a block to the east. For a view, the hands-down winner was Hotel de la Montagne, in the city's downtown -- and not just because its rooftop pool is surrounded by bikini-clad sunbathers. On a recent evening, looking southeast we could see clear to the Eastern Townships. In the foreground was Montreal's skyline and behind us Mount Royal. The hotel has no pretense of "boutique" trendiness, from the ebony elephants and crocodile statues in the lobby to the party atmosphere on the rooftop. "People say that it is dated, so what, so is your girlfriend," a young Ohio man who recently stayed at the hotel wrote on tripadvisor.com last month. "The pool on the roof is as cool as it gets. We arrived on Friday afternoon, and the roof looked like a scene from spring break in Cancun." Our waitress advised us that the small pool is open to all customers whether they are staying at the hotel or not, "as long as you have alcohol." Not too much, she hastened to add, relating the story of a drunken man who had a contest with friends to see who could stay underwater the longest. He never came up, she said.
  4. Newbie

    Do you litter?

    Every morning since a few days ago I go out of my apartment relatively happy, I get on the bus, I see all the litter inside it, I get angry, I consider posting this poll to inquire about people's habits, then I decide to post it later when I'm not feeling angry, so I don't write things I will later regret. But during the day I always walk around a lot, so there is no way that I'm going to be calm enough on a normal day. Luckily today I have not gone out yet, so I'm still happy Please answer the poll!! I am not necessarily looking to understand why this happens, as I know it has been discussed many times before. I find most other cities I've been to a lot cleaner than Montreal. I know some of them are dirtier in some aspects (Toronto, for example, appears to be home to a crazy amount of careless litterbugs), but I have not had to walk on piles of newspapers inside a bus shelter (see, for example, Plamondon and surroundings) anywhere else in the world, even when I don't remain within city centers. Sometimes I feel I'm too obsessive about litter, but then I hear friends complain about how "people from here are so dirty" (I do not share these generalizations!) while looking at the ground or at newspapers flying around, and then praising other cities like Vancouver, Columbus, San Francisco or Houston while on conferences. Most of the friends who complain are professionals from South America, some of them visiting Montreal under my recommendation. Educated Latin Americans tend to be very vocal about these things, so I guess other friends have similar thoughts but do not say anything.
  5. Un article intéressant de la Gazette (que je trouve d'ailleurs riche en contenue local, architectural et urbanistique). L'urbaniste et architecte danois Jan Gelh y va de quelques propositions intéressantes (qui feront plus plaisir à Étienne qu'à Malek, je soupçonne... ), que je partage tout à fait. Je les ai mises en gras. Green Life Column: Put cyclists in the driver's seat A city that does everything it can to invite people to walk or bicycle is vibrant, healthy and more sustainable - and yes, we can do that here By Michelle Lalonde, The Gazette The key to making Montreal a more economically vibrant, healthy, safe and attractive city is for city planners and politicians to focus on making it "irresistible" for people to get out of their cars and onto bicycles, public transit and their own two feet. That is the view of Jan Gehl, a world-renowned Danish architect and urban design consultant, who spoke recently to a packed lecture hall at McGill University about the importance of designing people-oriented, rather than car-oriented, cities. "In a people-oriented city, we do everything we can to invite people to walk or bicycle as much as possible in the course of their daily doings," said Gehl, with careful emphasis on the word "invite." Gehl comes from Copenhagen, a city where only 30 per cent of residents drive to work or school and 37 per cent cycle, 28 per cent take public transit, five per cent walk. The life work of Gehl has been to research and document the incremental changes that have brought about Copenhagen's transformation from a car-oriented city in the 1960s to one of the most bike-able cities in the world today. He has been hired by dozens of cities around the world, including Melbourne, Australia, and most recently, New York, to advise them on how to do what Copenhagen did (but faster). City planners panicked back in the 1950s and '60s, Gehl says, when cars started to invade city streets. Traffic departments set about figuring out how to make cars move smoothly through cities and park easily, but forgot about all the other ways people might want to use public space. "For 50 years, the purpose of the city has been to make the cars happy, when they are moving and when they are parked. We have done our planning as if there are no other important issues in the city," he said. Back in 1966, around the time Amsterdam started introducing pedestrian streets, Gehl decided what was needed was meticulous study of how people use urban spaces. His research showed that measures to make people safer and happier on their feet or on two wheels improved the economy and the vibrancy of city life. For example, he was able to show that four times as many people come to Copenhagen's downtown now than 20 years ago, and that removing one parking space resulted in two well-used café seats, a measure of the vibrancy of the downtown core. So how did Copenhagen do it? Yes, there were measures to discourage driving, such as a gradual reduction in parking spaces, about three per cent per year. But the main tactic, Gehl said, was just making the city a very pleasant place to be on foot or bicycle. Main streets were closed to car traffic. Sidewalk cafés sprouted everywhere. Multi-lane streets were reduced in width so that sidewalks could be widened, medians added and trees planted. A seamless network of bike paths was established, separated from the parked cars and sidewalks by curbs. Special lights were installed at intersections, giving priority to pedestrians and cyclists. Bike routes were painted a brilliant blue at intersections to remind motorists to expect cyclists. And the cyclists came, in droves. (To get an idea of what Copenhagen's streets are like now, check out a promotional music video made for the city of Copenhagen's bicycle department at http://vimeo.com/4208874.) But surely none of this could possibly work in Montreal, naysayers will argue. What about Montreal's winters? And what about our love for driving fast and ignoring the rules of the road? "I've never worked in a city where somebody didn't take me aside to say, 'Jan, this is all very nice, but here we have a specific culture, because of the climate (or whatever else) we have a car culture,' " Gehl said. But even in cities like Melbourne, which Gehl noted was exactly like most North American cities just a few years ago, big changes have been possible. With wider sidewalks, better street furniture and lighting, more shade trees, etc., that city was able to bump its downtown residential population from 1,000 to 10,000 residents in just over 10 years (1993 to 2004). Imagine what could happen to Old Montreal, or Griffintown, if Montreal followed Gehl's advice? Gehl was in Montreal only for a few days, and at first, he was not impressed. "I had the feeling of a city that has stood mainly still for 30 years. At some point in the '60s or '70s, the parking lots were all laid out, and streets filled with traffic and the widths of the sidewalk were decided and they just kept it like that." But after a closer look, Gehl had this to say: "The more I see of this city, the more I realize that much has been done. I have seen more cyclists here than any other city in North America." Gehl was impressed with Montreal's bike routes, but said they should be between the sidewalks and the parking lanes, not next to moving traffic. The parked cars should protect the cyclists from moving traffic, he said, not the other way around. And Montreal's new Bixi short-term bike rental service is a good way to "get the bike culture rolling." But he said the city should make streets like The Main and Ste. Catherine two-directional, and remove a couple of lanes from larger streets to make room for medians, bike lanes, trees and wider sidewalks. Montreal seems to be moving in the right direction, Gehr said, but much more can be done. "We have to see the city as existing not to make cars happy, but to make people happy. The people in the cars can be happy, too; they just might not be able to drive so fast." And when they get out of their cars, he added, they could enjoy a more attractive, livelier, safer, healthier, more sustainable city.
  6. Read more: http://www.canadiangrocer.com/top-stories/first-iga-express-c-store-outlet-opens-in-quebec-35314 I hope to see more of these. I am happy to see that they are working on something like this
  7. Stéphane Gendron, who is mayor of the town about 70 kilometres southwest of Montreal, said he's unrepentant about his brash tone. :rotfl: :rotfl: :rotfl: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2008/02/18/qc-huntingdon0217.html?ref=rss That guy has big balls!
  8. http://web.worldbaseballclassic.com/index.jsp Anyone following it? Canada plays the United States on Saturday and beat the New York Yankees 6-0 in exhibition.
  9. Cataclaw

    2010 World Cup

    The WC has been going on for a while now and no thread? I just watched USA beat Algeria 1-0.. dramatic win! Goal at 91st minute by Donovan! Crazy stuff! Happy for USA who had a fair goal incorrectly disallowed in the previous game (which would have allowed them to advance)
  10. Bonne fête du Canada! Happy Canada Day to everyone!