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Found 8 results

  1. Montreal does it. Why can’t we? TheChronicalHerald.ca SILVER DONALD CAMERON Sun. Feb 8 - 8:20 AM Pedestrians shelter from the weather in one of downtown Halifax’s pedways. (Staff) ‘THE GUY never went outside at all," said my friend. "Not for a month or maybe two months. The story was in one of the papers here. He went to the theatre, shopped for food and clothing, did his banking, ate out, all kinds of stuff. He even went to Toronto and New York — and he never went outdoors." "He went to New York without going outdoors?" "He went by train. The Gare Central is underground, right under your hotel. " We were in Montreal, strolling along the underground passageways which are said to constitute the second-largest underground city in the world, after Moscow. I had been working in Montreal for a week. I was staying at Le Reine Elizabeth, on the Boulevard Rene Levesque, and most of my meetings were on Sherbrooke Ouest, 20 minutes’ walk away. The streets were choked with snow and lethally slick with ice — but I wore just a sweater as I walked past coffee shops, jewellers and haberdashers in perfect comfort. It occurred to me that the underground network made Montreal a safer city than any other in Canada, particularly for senior citizens. Walking outdoors in the winter is a hazardous activity for seniors. Every year, hundreds fall and break their arms and legs and hips — a significant factor in the Orange Alert at the Halifax Infirmary ER last month. Old bones don’t knit quickly, and many never really recover. The danger was brought home to me a year ago, when I suddenly found myself lying on the ice beside my car. I had taken my key out, and I was about to unlock the door — and then I was on my patootie. I don’t remember slipping or falling. It was like a jump-cut in a film. One moment I was up, the next I was down. A few bruises aside, I was none the worse for the experience — but it got my attention. Young seniors — from 60 to 80, say — often sidestep this problem by going south. You find them all over the southern U.S., Mexico and the islands, robust and happy, sailing and golfing and swimming. But after 80, snowbirding loses its appeal. At 85 or 90, people don’t feel much like travelling, and don’t travel as comfortably. They’d rather stay home, close to friends and family and doctors. And that puts them most at risk from winter conditions at precisely the point when they’re least able to deal with such challenges. In Montreal, they’re fine. Their apartment buildings connect to the Métro, and the Métro takes them to the under-cover city downtown. They really don’t have to emerge until spring. So at 80, should I live in Montreal? Why not downtown Halifax? The city already has the beginnings of a covered downtown, with pedways and tunnels running from the Prince George Hotel to the waterfront casino, and branching into apartment buildings and office towers. We don’t have to burrow underground. We can just extend the pedway system to link the whole downtown, from Cogswell to the Via station. A large part of Calgary’s downtown is connected that way. In Montreal, I noticed, some of the covered space was captured simply by putting a roof over the space between existing buildings. What was once a back alley becomes a connecting courtyard with a Starbucks coffee shop. In other places, a short tunnel between buildings converts two musty basements into prime retail space. Halifax probably has a score of locations where connections like that would work. And, although a Métro doesn’t seem very practical in rock-ribbed Halifax, we could bring back the downtown streetcars, looping down Barrington and up Water Street, with stations right inside such major buildings as Scotia Square and the Westin. Alternatively, could we use a light elevated rail system like the one that connects the terminals at JFK Airport. I’m no planner, and these notions may be unworkable. Fine: let’s hear better ones. The point is that we’re about to have a tsunami of seniors, and it would be good for them — and for everyone else, too — if we made it possible to live a safe and active life in the middle of the city all year round. We know it can be done. Vive le Montreal! END --------------------------------------------- Funny how the article seems to imply all buildings are interlinked together in one giant underground maze, which is not the case at all. In fact we all know not too many apartment buildings are in fact linked to our underground city. Funny stuff from an outsider nonetheless.
  2. Record heat forces closure of Canada Arctic park David Ljunggren, Reuters Published: 3 minutes ago OTTAWA (Reuters) - A major national park in Canada's Arctic has been largely closed after record high temperatures caused flooding that washed away hiking trails and forced the evacuation of tourists, an official said on Friday. Every year around 500 people visit Auyuittuq National Park, which covers over 19,000 square km (7,340 square miles) on Baffin Island and is dominated by the giant Penny ice cap. The park is popular with hikers and skiers. The combination of floods, melting permafrost and erosion means that the southern part of the park will remain shut until geologists can examine the damage, said Pauline Scott, a spokeswoman for Parks Canada. "We've lost huge proportions of what was formerly the trail in the park. It's disappeared -- gone," Scott said by phone from Iqaluit, capital of the Arctic territory of Nunavut. Most visitors walk through the park -- which is slightly smaller in area than Israel -- starting from the southern edge, near the town of Pangnirtung. The problems started last month with two weeks of record temperatures on Baffin Island that reached as high as 27 Celsius (81 Fahrenheit), well above the July average of 12 C (54 F). This, Scott said, triggered massive melting which sent "a huge pulse of water through the park," washing away 60 km (37 miles) of a trail used by hikers and destroying a bridge over a river that is otherwise impassable. Earlier this week, once the extent of the damage had become clear, 21 visitors had to be evacuated by helicopter. "We're not as worried about the flash flooding as we are about the instability of the ground and the slumping and the cracks appearing all along that entire 60 km length (of the trail)," said Scott. Temperatures in large parts of the Arctic have risen far faster than the global average in recent decades, a development that experts say is linked to climate change. Last week, giant sheets of ice totaling almost 20 square km (8 square miles) broke off an ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic and more might follow later this year, scientists said. Scott said more problems could be in store for the park. "We've had lots of hard rain in the south part of Baffin Island in the last five days so we don't know what this is doing to further destabilize melting permafrost, because this is what is causing the erosion," she said. In June, Pangnirtung declared a state of emergency for three weeks after flash flooding cut off the town's water supply and sewage system. (Reporting by David Ljunggren; editing by Rob Wilson)
  3. Beth Nauss: In Montreal on spring break, mom and daughter chill out In a blinding display of “what was she thinking?” brilliance, I went to Montreal for spring break. The first problem was that I went with my oldest daughter. I love my daughter. She is an excellent traveling companion. But no one with a body my age should ever try to keep up with someone who is more than a decade younger and actually runs for a hobby. The second problem was that it was in Canada. For anyone who hasn’t been there, Canada is the huge mass of ice between the United States and the North Pole. In addition to ice, it is occupied primarily by Canadians, many of whom speak fluent Canadian. For reasons that seemed perfectly logical at the time, my daughter and I decided spring break was the perfect time to go to there. After all, it would be spring. Spring is warm. Therefore, Montreal would be warm. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought. This was the first time I’d ever traveled to Canada as a destination. I’d flown over it a few times, looking down at the snow and thinking it was probably pretty cold there in the winter. After I landed, I realized it’s pretty cold in the springtime, too. In fact, based on the 10 feet of snow still on the ground at the end of March, Canada is probably pretty cold most of the time. When we checked the forecast and learned what the actual weather would be, I told my daughter not to worry, the locals must have adapted by now. I was sure that because Montreal is a major metropolitan area and tourist destination, the attractions would be open year round and would be readily accessible, clear of snow and ice. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought as well. What I didn’t know was that their way of adapting to the snow was packing it down and walking over it, possibly because they have no choice. After a certain point, clearing snow becomes futile because you have no more places to put it. The result is that the streets are clean and dry, while balconies, vacant lots, parks, playgrounds and parking lots are buried under large mounds of snow that, in many parts of the U.S., would support multiple ski resorts. [url=http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135#][/url]Fortunately, Montreal has an excellent underground public transportation system called the “Metro” (Canadian for “excellent underground public transportation system”). We found that many of the snow-covered attractions were readily visible from a Metro station so we could at least take scenic photographs before retreating back underground into an area that was warm and dry. Unfortunately, we couldn’t live in the Metro, so occasionally we had to brave the elements. One of those times involved a trip up Mont Royal, the snow-covered mountain in the middle of Montreal. The pedestrian walkway up the mountain was (of course) covered with snow, ice and numerous hardy Canadians who were walking, running, skiing and biking their way to and from the top. One even drove by, oblivious to the wrong turn that took her off the pedestrian-free road a mile behind her. These hardy Canadians were probably fortified by the local dish called “Poutine,” a pile of french fries and cheese drowning in a lake of thick brown gravy. I felt that in the interest of Canada-U.S. relations, I should try some. When I did, I found that it would have been better if I hadn’t. We did, however, make it up Mont Royal without falling. If any Canadians are reading this, before you accuse me of exaggerating, let me say that I love Canada. We had a great time there. Montreal is a beautiful city even if it is always covered with snow. Let me also say that I know that sometimes Montreal has a warm season and, at least once a century, all the snow melts. And when that happens, I hope to return. Even if you’re still serving Poutine. http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135
  4. http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Montrealers+need+heated+sidewalks/4387020/story.html
  5. http://forum.skyscraperpage.com/showthread.php?t=179543 Not sure how the "Tour Centre-Ville" ended up on that list. I guess that the guy who posted this listing thought it was real (i.e. A city the size of Montreal has to have at least one project in the 20 tallest proposals)
  6. J'ai eu le grand plaisir de dejeuner avec quelqu'un tres proche de la scene hoteliere a Montreal. Il m'a appliquer que debut 2013 rien ne va plus et que plusieurs petit/moyen foire (conventions) ont decider de demanger a d'autre ville a cause de la perception de probleme sociale au Quebec. Anyway pas ici pour faire la politique (meme que je souhaite des elections demain!), but apparently a few hotels are considering closing doors as they are no longer profitable. A few projects are also on the ice (Waldorf being one). Apparently a 5 star chain was seriously considering a spot in Montreal up until last year. Tourism and convention related activities are apparently substantially down. Take it for what it's worth.. but not a good sign.
  7. Goodbye, Canada As Canada Day approaches, a self-described 'Connecticut Yankee' reminisces about living and working north of the border Dave Burwick, National Post Published: Monday, June 30, 2008 Last U. S. Independence Day, I was listening to CBC Radio One and heard U. S. ambassador David Wilkins offer his views on life in Canada. As an American in Canada (at the time, I had been living and working in Toronto for about 18 months), I was curious to hear what he had to say. When asked what Americans can learn from Canadians, Wilkins responded with a resounding thud of an answer: "Canadians really know how to dress for the cold weather." I think I can do better than that. Now, I won't get political, other than to say that I grew up in Boston and my political loyalties clearly lie outside of Mr. Wilkins' sphere. But the shock I felt hearing his answer had nothing to do with politics, and everything to do with the passion I felt for what Americans can learn from their northern neighbours (besides how not to freeze to death in their own driveways). As I reluctantly prepare to move back to the U. S. with my family, I'd like to build on the ambassador's answer with my own. Having had another full year to reflect on the differences of our two seemingly similar cultures, I feel qualified to answer the question of what Americans can learn from Canadians. To me, it's simple: Our differences are embedded in our genetic codes. While the U. S. Declaration of Independence promotes "Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness," the British North America Act talks about "Peace, order and good government." One led directly to "manifest destiny" and aggressive individualism, the other to "manifest tolerance" and one of the most accepting societies the world has known. It's easy to be open when you live in a homogeneous society like Denmark (no offence to the Danes). It's far tougher in immigrant-rich, multicultural Canada, where diverse cultures must learn to live harmoniously. And Canada's successful cultural connectiveness has produced many wonderful things: A global perspective, a willingness to compromise and social benefits like universal health care (yes, even though it's not perfect). Some Americans would say, "That's all very nice, but the result is that Canada is a bland society with little edge." I say they are wrong. There's plenty of edge here -- just look to the ice. It took me a while to figure this out, but one day, as I watched my 8-year-old, skating with his Leaside Flames teammates, I had an epiphany: Hockey is not just the national pastime and passion, it's the embodiment of Canadian values. It's about work ethic, team play, physical conditioning and mental toughness. It's also about knowing when to leave all of that on the ice and move on. Which leads me to the most important thing Americans can learn from Canadians: How to know when enough is enough, when it's time to just be content with your life. Family and personal passions are more important to Canadians than work. People seem to know when the balance of life is just right. Their moral compass seems to always point to "true north." So, I thank my Canadian friends for teaching this Connecticut Yankee how to better appreciate others, my family and my co-workers. You have made me a better person, and hopefully, a better American. As I head south, I will miss many things beyond the lessons I've learned and the friendships I've made. Here is my top-10 list of irreplaceable Canadiana that I'll have to find a way to smuggle past customs: 1 Tim's: What more can I say? It's 110% Canadian (even if it's owned by Americans now). Real coffee for real people, started by a real hockey player. 2 The sheer beauty and diverse geography of the country. From St. John's to Vancouver, with a long stopover in Banff. 3 Sweeter ketchup -- and sweeter Diet Pepsi. 4 Terminal one at Pearson International Airport in Toronto: Nothing's more civilized. 5 The National Anthem: How can you beat the lyrics, "The true north strong and free"? 6 Hockey Night in Canada: One of the last communal TV events left anywhere. 7 Eating a peameal sandwich every Saturday at 7 a. m. during my son's hockey practice. That ritual became Pavlovian. 8 Raising a family right in the middle of the city, and knowing they're safe. 9 Surviving a minus-30-degree day in downtown Winnipeg, and how it made me feel more alive. 10 CBC's coverage of international news. You just can't get that in the U. S. And the list could go on and on. I'd like to close with one last thought. This might seem crazy, but I think Canada as a country should do away with those cheesy provincially unique license plate tag lines -- like "Yours to Discover" or "Je me souviens" -- and replace them with one thought that sums up this great country: Live and let live. [email protected] - Dave Burwick is the former president of Pepsi-QTG Canada.