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  1. A sampling tour of Vermont and Montreal Miami Herald BY LIZ BALMASEDA This is the trip you take when you can't decide what trip to take. You want country-style serenity, but you also want big-city fabulous. You want glorious lake views and rolling green hills, but you also want cosmopolitan boutiques, downtown bustle and jazz. A tour through the soul-soothing Lake Champlain region of northern Vermont and the stimulating thoroughfares of Montreal is a best-of-both-worlds trip you can enjoy in just five easy days. But here's a word to the overly ambitious traveler who wants to see it all on every journey: Think of this tour as a gourmet sampling, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. COUNTRY: VERMONT'S WEST COAST Our tour began in Burlington, Vt., an easily accessible destination for South Florida travelers, since JetBlue has affordable, frequent flights from Palm Beach and Fort Lauderdale, with a short layover at JFK airport in New York. For big-city escapists hoping to capture a few days of peace, the gentle signs that you've arrived are noticeable right away. I saw them just moments after my flight landed in Burlington, as I walked along an airport corridor to the rental car parking lot. There they were, perfectly white, wooden rocking chairs. Not generic airport seating, but rocking chairs. The quaintness continued on the 25-mile drive south toward Vergennes, on the shores of Lake Champlain, or Vermont's ''West Coast,'' as they call it here. Along carefree U.S. 7, we passed farms and creameries, vintage New England fa?ades, sloping country roads and even one of Vermont's vintage covered bridges. This road takes you past some of the area's most popular attractions. There's the Vermont Wildflower Farm, the Vermont Teddy Bear Company and the Shelburne Museum. There are plenty of teddy bears to hug, cheeses to taste, hiking trails to explore and folk art to buy along this route, depending on your time and interests. As for us, we were in a hurry to reach Lake Champlain and check into our lakefront hotel, the Basin Harbor Club. It was close to 5 p.m. and we didn't want to miss the daylight views. But as we turned on to Basin Harbor Road, we watched the sky blacken across the sprawling farmlands. Lightning streaked the sky in the distance. The sudden darkness along this solitary road gave me the creeps, but I tried to put up a good front for my travel companion, my 16-year-old niece, Natalie Alatriste. ''We're almost there,'' I reassured her, straining to read the passing road signs. But then, like some kind of joke from the universe, one sign called out to me: ''Sleepy Hollow Lane,'' it said. Natalie and I looked at one another and burst into laughter. I stepped on the gas and sped toward the hotel. We joked about what it might be like -- the Bates Motel, maybe? And when we had to dash into the resort lobby under a thunderstorm and take an old wooden staircase to our room, we wondered what kind of adventure awaited us. Indeed, as I opened the door, I gasped. It wasn't the room that stunned me, for it was ample and nicely appointed in a charming New England style, with a quiet balcony overlooking the leafy landscape. No, what stopped my suburban South Florida heart cold was what wasn't there: There was no TV. No TV? How could I survive Wednesday night without ``Top Chef Miami''? But moments later, we walked outside to find the sun had returned, casting a magical light on the trees, the lovely walking paths, the sturdy collection of cottages and the main attraction: the shimmering lake. We sat on brightly colored Adirondack chairs and gazed at the mountains that inspired their name. The sun shone well past 9 p.m., illuminating the landscape of mountains and lake. It was simply gorgeous. The resort sits on 700 rolling acres on the eastern shore of Lake Champlain, the sixth-largest lake in America. The historic resort, which is open from mid-May to mid-October, has been welcoming families for 120 years. It offers its guests a laid-back ambience and activities that include golf, tennis, swimming, boating, water sports and hiking. There's even a museum on the grounds, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum, devoted to the lake's history. In early October, this is a prime spot to take in northern Vermont's spectacular foliage. For up-to-date reports on leaf coloration until late October, travelers can call Vermont's 24-hour foliage hot line (for details, see below). About 7 miles from downtown Vergennes, the Basin Harbor Club embraces its remote setting, beckoning visitors to relax and forget big-city stress. That explained our missing TV set: In fact, there are no TVs in any of the resort's 74 cottages, 24 rooms or 14 suites. (I did spy a small television and two computers in a den tucked beside the bar in the main lodge. And there is telephone Internet access in the rooms.) The resort also embraces another tradition: All gentlemen over age 12 must wear a coat and tie after 6 p.m. during July and August. That first night, my niece and I dined at the Red Mill, the more casual of the two places that serve dinner at the Basin Harbor. With its funky red facade, its lively bustle and eclectic menu, the renovated sawmill quickly became our favorite place. We were hooked after our first taste of the house specialty, Basin Harbor Cheddar Ale soup: a creamy, lightly spicy tribute to one of Vermont's great gifts to the world -- cheddar. We paired it with a wonderful plate of crispy calamari tossed with scallions, pepperoncini and hot cherry peppers in a garlicky sauce. And because one can never have enough cheese, we ordered a plate of local cheeses for dessert. Our server kindly wrote down the names of our two favorites: Grafton Young cheddar and Crowley Reserve (both cow milk cheeses). The menu, varied and tempting, kept us coming back throughout our stay. Just check out the menu's description of the Champlain Valley Rabbit Papardelle: ''Braised rabbit, chocolate, espresso, brandy, paprika, raisins and hazelnuts,'' tossed over pasta. You get the idea. For breakfast, however, we preferred the Main Dining Room, an elegant, gourmet restaurant that really dresses up at night. In the morning, guests can get the same quality food and service without having to put on their fancy threads. If the cheese soup kept us coming back to the Red Mill, the French toast kept us coming back to the Dining Room. I should be more specific here: The prime Vermont maple syrup on the French toast kept us coming back. Good Vermont maple syrup, we learned, is not the sticky, overly sweet stuff they serve you at I-Hop. It's a perfectly balanced elixir that never overpowers your palate. More local delicacies awaited us in downtown Vergennes, Vermont's oldest city, established in 1788. The heart of this small, Victorian city is a great place to walk and take in the essence of Vermont. The streets are dotted with cafes and shops, along with a couple of bed-and-breakfasts. At the suggestion of locals, we stopped in at Vergennes' sweetest shop. Daily Chocolate is no regular candy store: It's a chocolate shop par excellence. Tucked below street level on a side street, it would be hard to find if not for the aromatic wafts rising from its kitchen. There, owner Floery Mahoney makes fresh batches of uniquely flavored chocolate each day. We found her behind the counter, arranging truffles and hand-formed chocolate barks. Natalie scooped up a bag of her favorite dark chocolate for the road. I was tempted by the wide selection of flavors, which included far-flung combinations like lemongrass/sake, maple/chipotle/pecan and green tea infused mint. But I resisted -- well, only because Mahoney told me the shop has a Web site, dailychocolate.net, and she gladly takes orders for shipment. TOWN: MONTREAL Fortified with Vermont chocolate, it was time to make a run for the border. Montreal is just 90 miles north of Burlington. The AAA Web site routes travelers west across the lake into New York state, where they can pick up I-87 into Canada. But that route would add at least one hour to our travel time, thanks to the Burlington-Port Kent, N.Y., ferry crossing. (There's also another crossing between Charlotte, Vt., and Essex, N.Y, a 20-minute sail along a particularly lovely part of Lake Champlain. But that crossing is farther to the south.) After conferring with Vermont locals, I decided to skip the ferry and the New York detour altogether and take I-89 north from Burlington, a breezy highway that turns into Canada's Route 133, a slower, but perfectly fine country highway that guides you into Montreal. The best part about it is there was no traffic at the border. We showed Canadian border guards our U.S. passports -- don't leave home without a passport or other valid immigration documents -- and we were on our way. While the landscape remains rural, the French signs remind you that you've entered another country, another culture. An hour from Burlington, and you can stop for French pastry and a cafe au lait -- or more maple syrup, if you wish. But once you've entered Montreal, with its skyscrapers and churning traffic, you're snapped into another reality, a world away from the rural pastures. The city carries the heart-pumping, electric charge of a big-time metropolis. We found our way to Rue Sherbrooke, a vibrant boulevard that anchors some of the city's best hotels. There, we spotted ours, the Omni Mont-Royal, a favorite of business travelers and weekend shoppers. The hotel is just off the main shopping drag, Rue Sainte-Catherine, and the entrances to the network of subterranean shopping malls that makes up Montreal's Underground City. Also within walking distance are some of the city's major museums, including the Musee des Beaux-Arts and the Musee d'Art Contemporain. But we -- meaning Natalie -- had decided this trip was not nearly long enough to squander on museum-hopping. Not when we could be shopping. We dropped off our luggage and headed for the shops. Back in Vermont, Natalie had looked up the locations of her favorite store, H&M, and didn't waste too much time directing me to the nearest one. Unfortunately, this one was not within walking distance. It was at the Rockland mall about 20 minutes north of the hotel. But the drive there gave us the chance to see the busy streets and storefronts of city's immigrant communities, a mix of cultures sharing blocks and buses. That night we met friends, transplants from South Florida, for dinner in the Vieux-Montreal quarter. They gave us a tour of the charming, Old World streets of old town. ''Doesn't this feel like we're in a tiny corner of France?'' one of my friends asked. Indeed. The narrow, cobblestone streets, quaint shops and bistros set off all sorts of French culinary cravings. Lucky thing my friends' favorite restaurant couldn't have been more French. Its name alone speaks to its specialties and no-nonsense nature: the Steak Frites. The restaurant, which anchors a corner of Rue Saint-Paul, is a cozy place where the menu is handwritten on a chalkboard. Of course, none of us needed menus -- we ordered steaks and fries all around, followed by a shared dish of profiteroles. The neighborhood is a great place to stroll at night, or listen to good jazz. After all, this is the city that each year gives us one of the best jazz festivals in the world. A perfect place to indulge in the live jazz sounds of Montreal is directly across from the Steak Frites restaurant. The Modavie is a restaurant, wine bar and jazz club featuring live music nightly. But you must dine there to watch the show. Later, as we toured the city at night, we stopped in at the sleek W Hotel, at 901 Square Victoria, for a Perrier. It was a fitting end to a great evening. The next morning, we breakfasted at Anton & James, on nearby Stanley Street, a chic coffee shop that bills itself as a ''cafeteria urbaine.'' Then we hit the Underground City, walking the malls from one end to another. As we made our way out of the city, we stopped to walk around the Plateau neighborhood, perusing the shops and storefronts along Rue Saint-Denis. I found a great music shop called L'Atelier Grigorian -- http://www.grigorian.com -- with an extensive collection of jazz. A few doors down, we also found a casual spot for lunch at La Brioche Lyonnaise, a pastry shop with outdoor seating. I could have spent hours on Rue Saint-Denis, but I knew we had to head back to Vermont. It was already afternoon, and we had a morning flight. Our drive to Essex Junction, Vt., was easy and relatively quick. We checked into the Inn at Essex, a cute 120-room country hotel that houses the New England Culinary Institute. And we arrived just in time for a spectacular dinner at Butler's, the inn's finest restaurant. There, a multi-course gourmet feast is prepared each night by the culinary students. This inn is perhaps the area's best bargain. For what you might pay at a Holiday Inn Express, you can stay at a charming, well-appointed inn with gourmet touches, spa services and culinary classes. Even the toiletries, sweet-smelling and organic, are yummy. And the place is only 7 miles from the Burlington airport -- there's an airport shuttle, too. The next morning came all too quickly as we packed our bags for our return flight. Outside, in the gardens of the inn, it was a glorious, Vermont morning, the kind that nudges you to stay a little longer. We couldn't, of course. But we did stop at the gift shop for a souvenir: a bottle of Vermont maple syrup.
  2. http://www.aircanada.com/en/offers/air/newroutes_rouge/newroutes_rouge.html?icid=fl|achome|newroutes_rouge|caen|151208|txt#YUL-NA Always wanted to see Miami go year round! Mexico City now goes 5x weekly instead of 4.
  3. List of restaurants Hanoi provided and evaluated on EatOut.vn: 1. Pots'n Pan Restaurant Style cuisine is Pots'n Pans innovative blend of style Asian cuisine combined with modern techniques of Europe. Address: 57 Bui Thi Xuan 2. Ly Club Restaurant Situated in the city center with walking distance from Grand Opera House near Hanoi, Hoan Kiem Lake, the Sofitel Metropole, Hilton and Old City Quarter. Built in the late 19th century, the same time with the legendary Long Bien Bridge, French colonial property has undergone tremendous changes phase represents the character, history and charm of the city capital. This building is currently being redesigned style fashion and elegance with a wine cellar, cocktail bar, a gourmet restaurant and a theater. Ly Club Hanoi is a cozy, elegant, where you can forget about the outside world unrest and seeking facilities for basic senses of humans with attractive flavors of Vietnam cuisine and Western, pleasant music, ethereal scent, harmonious atmosphere and impeccable service. Address: 4 Le Phung Hieu 3. Wild Rice Restaurant At Wild Rice, we wish to invite you to feel the opposite of modern Hanoi in eating places quite serene contrast to the bustling street where there are many activities and noise, touches centuries tradition of hospitality with modern views and ambitions. Wild Rice - inspired by the sense of Hanoi to give you the flavor of contemporary Vietnamese cuisine. Address: 6 Ngo Thi Nham 4. Saigon Restaurant Unlike the two remaining restaurant, Saigon restaurant put on a calm and nostalgic with dark wood furniture with luxurious decorations in warm colors. The restaurant's chef will introduce guests to traditional Vietnamese dishes attractive, blends traditional culinary culture with modernity. Along immersed in a warm space with beautiful views of West Lake and an outdoor swimming pool, or you can also choose to observe the dishes prepared under the talented hands of chefs in the kitchen open. Address: Hotel Intercontinental Hanoi Westlake, 1A Nghi Tam 5. Restaurant Indochine 1915 Indochine 1915 is the first restaurant of the chain's restaurants Alphanam Food Corporation, which was built with the exchange of culinary culture 3 Indochina, with the arrival of European cuisine in general and France in particular cuisine the early twentieth century. Located in the heart of the capital, in 1915 Indochine carrying the breath of an origin - a land of culinary cultures that subtly elegant and luxurious, classic but cozy space with the ancient villa is Indochinese architecture, an embodiment of the French school of architecture. We hope to bring customers the meals with bold flavor Eurasian tradition through the buffet dinner at the hands and hearts of talented Chef André Bosia from France. Indochine restaurant in 1915 promises to you sincere atmosphere, warm with new experiences in each dish. Address: 33 Ba Trieu
  4. http://www.lapresse.ca/sports/autres-sports/olympisme/201604/19/01-4972713-jeux-de-2026-les-e-u-ferment-la-porte-a-une-candidature-quebec-lake-placid.php?utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_les-plus-populaires-title_article_ECRAN1POS2&utm_categorieinterne=trafficdrivers&utm_contenuinterne=cyberpresse_Autres%20contenus%20populaires_article_ECRAN1POS2 Publié le 19 avril 2016 à 06h49 | Mis à jour à 06h49 Jeux de 2026: les É.-U. ferment la porte à une candidature Québec-Lake Placid En plus d'avoir le dénivelé skiable le plus important... (PHOTO BERNARD BRAULT, ARCHIVES LA PRESSE) En plus d'avoir le dénivelé skiable le plus important à l'est des Rocheuses, la montagne de Whiteface, située à quelques kilomètres de Lake Placid, dans le nord de l'État de New York, compte plusieurs infrastructures pouvant accueillir les Jeux d'hiver, notamment des tremplins de saut à ski. Jean-François Bégin La Presse Le Comité olympique américain (USOC) dit non à une participation de Lake Placid à une éventuelle candidature de Québec pour les Jeux olympiques d'hiver de 2026, écartant ainsi d'emblée l'un des scénarios envisagés publiquement par le maire Régis Labeaume. Utilisée comme base d’entraînement par les athlètes américains... (Photo Shaun Best, Archives Reuters) - image 1.0 Utilisée comme base d’entraînement par les athlètes américains après avoir été l’hôte des Jeux d’hiver à deux reprises (1932 et 1980), Lake Placid détient plusieurs atouts qui font défaut à la candidature de Québec comme le site potentiel des Jeux d’hiver. On retrouve notamment dans la région une piste de luge-bobsleigh-skeleton (notre photo). « Le Comité olympique américain est concentré à 100 % sur notre candidature pour attirer les Jeux [d'été] à Los Angeles en 2024 et nous n'envisageons pas de candidature pour 2026 », a écrit le porte-parole du USOC, Patrick Sandusky, dans un courriel envoyé à La Presse. Relancé, M. Sandusky a précisé qu'aucune ville américaine ne peut être partie à une candidature d'une ville étrangère sans l'assentiment du USOC - et que cela constituait une fin de non-recevoir à la participation de Lake Placid aux projets de Québec, qui restent d'ailleurs à confirmer. Plus de 20 ans après l'échec de la tentative de Québec d'obtenir les Jeux de 2002, la Capitale nationale a de nouveau attrapé la fièvre olympique, le mois dernier, quand le maire Labeaume a fait savoir que le président du Comité international olympique (CIO), Thomas Bach, l'avait invité à Lausanne. M. Labeaume s'est rendu en Suisse la semaine dernière. Au terme d'une rencontre de cinq heures, il s'est dit convaincu du sérieux de la volonté du CIO de réformer les Jeux pour les rendre plus « modestes » et moins coûteux. Selon l'Agenda 2020, que le CIO a adopté en décembre 2014, il est désormais possible pour deux villes de présenter une candidature conjointe. «Ce n'est plus une hypothèse, c'est acquis. Il n'y a aucun problème pour qu'on tienne ça dans deux villes, même deux pays différents. C'est majeur.» Régis Labeaume Maire de Québec, discutant avec les médias qui l'avaient accompagné lors de sa visite en terre helvétique la semaine dernière Le maire avait évoqué la possibilité que Québec, s'il décide de plonger, fasse cause commune avec Calgary ou Vancouver, qui ont organisé les Jeux en 1988 et 2010 respectivement, ou encore avec Lake Placid. La petite localité du nord de l'État de New York, située à 400 kilomètres de Québec, a été l'hôte des Jeux d'hiver à deux reprises, en 1932 et en 1980. Le mois dernier, le maire Craig Randall avait confirmé au Soleil avoir eu des « discussions très préliminaires » avec Régis Labeaume au sujet d'une participation de sa ville à une possible candidature. Le maire de Québec a indiqué la semaine dernière qu'il comptait rencontrer M. Randall à son retour d'Europe. Il n'a pas été possible de parler à M. Labeaume au terme de la séance du conseil municipal, hier soir. Joint au téléphone, son attaché de presse, Paul-Christian Nolin, a réitéré le message répété récemment par son patron : « On n'est pas en mode olympique, on est en mode exploratoire. On regarde les possibilités. » Dans ce contexte, « il n'est pas question de déception » malgré le veto exprimé par le USOC - d'autant plus, a-t-il ajouté, que c'est le maire de Lake Placid qui avait relancé l'idée d'une collaboration lors d'une entrevue avec Le Journal de Québec, l'hiver dernier. DES ATOUTS Toujours utilisée comme base d'entraînement par les athlètes américains, Lake Placid détient plusieurs atouts qui, dans l'hypothèse d'une candidature conjointe, auraient permis à Québec de ne pas avoir à construire des éléphants blancs potentiels comme une piste de luge-bobsleigh-skeleton et des tremplins de saut à ski. La région compte aussi sur la montagne de Whiteface, dont le dénivelé skiable de 1045 mètres est le plus important à l'est des Rocheuses. L'absence dans les environs de Québec d'une montagne suffisamment haute pour tenir la descente masculine était jusqu'ici considérée comme un handicap fatal pour les chances de Québec de devenir ville olympique. Le maire de Calgary, Naheed Nenshi, n'a pas commenté jusqu'à présent la possibilité d'une candidature conjointe avec Québec. Son homologue de Whistler, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden, s'est pour sa part dite « très intéressée ». Il reste qu'avant même que le USOC ne signifie hier son refus, certains observateurs doutaient du réalisme d'un partenariat entre Québec et d'autres villes nord-américaines. Pour Robert Livingstone, éditeur du site spécialisé gamesbids.com, qui se consacre aux candidatures olympiques, le concept « est plus approprié sur le continent européen, où les distances sont plus courtes et les frontières à l'intérieur de [l'espace Schengen] sont ouvertes ». « Les vastes distances proposées en Amérique du Nord et une frontière surveillée si ce sont des Jeux Canada-États-Unis auraient un impact sur la qualité de l'expérience des Jeux et réduiraient de manière significative les chances de succès de Québec », a-t-il écrit sur son blogue la semaine dernière. Tant le maire Randall que les dirigeants de la New York State Olympic Regional Development Authority (ORDA), qui gère les installations olympiques de Lake Placid, ont refusé d'accorder une entrevue à La Presse, hier. Jeux olympiques de 2026: pas de référendum à 6 millions Si Québec se lance dans une candidature pour les Jeux d'hiver de 2026, pas question de faire un référendum évalué 6 millions, dit Régis Labeaume. Le maire de Québec assure du même souffle que la population sera consultée « en bonne et due forme ». Dans un monde idéal, les citoyens pourraient voter sur une candidature olympique en même temps que le scrutin municipal de novembre 2017, estime M. Labeaume. Or, la loi québécoise ne le permet pas. « Je ne dépenserai pas 6 millions pour un référendum, oubliez ça. C'est-tu clair ? Ce que j'aimerais est qu'on puisse consulter le monde en même temps que les élections. Ce serait bien moins compliqué et ça ne coûterait pas une cenne de plus », a-t-il lancé, hier, en mêlée de presse avant le conseil municipal. L'autre option pourrait être la signature de registres, qu'avait privilégiée l'ancien maire Jean-Paul L'Allier pour la candidature de 2002. « Mais ce que la population doit savoir est qu'elle sera consultée », a tranché le maire. - Le Soleil
  5. Oooooh, Canada A French entry opened the Montreal international fireworks competition this year. Article Tools Sponsored By By HENRY FOUNTAIN Published: June 27, 2008 LATE last Saturday evening, La Ronde, an amusement park that’s just a stone’s throw from downtown Montreal on an island in the St. Lawrence River, seemed an unlikely venue for a world-class competition. Teenagers with the giggles and other signs of roller-coaster overexposure contemplated yet another ride on the Super Manège or Le Monstre. Younger children, slowed by too much barbe à papa (cotton candy) and poutine (that Québécois concoction of French fries, cheese curds and gravy), were willed along by weary parents. The occasional large Fred Flintstone or Scooby-Doo plush doll appeared among the midway crowd, bounty from booths like Frappez la Taupe (Whack the Mole) and Roulé-Boulé (a form of skeeball). GENERATIONS Some families haven’t missed any of the shows for years. But just a few feet away at La Ronde’s small lake, before a grandstand filled with about 5,000 people, with thousands more waiting in anticipation elsewhere in the park, along the riverbanks and on a nearby highway bridge that had been closed to traffic for the occasion, a tuxedoed master of ceremonies introduced Fabrice Chouillier, a French pyrotechnician, and his team. The 24th International des Feux Loto-Québec, the international fireworks competition that runs for two months every summer in Montreal and draws millions of viewers, was about to begin. Mr. Chouillier, whose company, Prestatech-Artifices, is the first of nine competitors this year, walked through the crowd to a control booth at the top of the grandstand, ready to start his computer-controlled extravaganza, built around the theme of space exploration and synchronized with orchestral passages from “2001: A Space Odyssey” and other works. He’d designed the 30-minute show at his office near Paris, had shipped thousands of shells and other fireworks across the Atlantic, and had been preparing them the last five days at a series of bunkers and platforms in an off-limits section of the park. Across the lake, the lights on the park’s Ferris wheel flickered off. Among the crowd, the hawkers selling beer and blinking devil’s horns grew silent. As the opening strains of “The Blue Danube” waltz filled the air, a series of pyrotechnic strobes went off on the far side of the lake. The Strauss faded out, replaced by the “10...9...8” of an Apollo-era countdown, each number embellished by a comet, a shell that leaves a glittering trail in its wake. At zero, a line of fountains started spewing fire, and a loud rumbling began. It was as if the whole lake was about to lift off. For the public, the competition is a chance to see 10 grand pyromusical displays — including a noncompeting show that closes the festivities — throughout the summer. In a city known for its festivals, the fireworks are exclamation marks that punctuate many Saturday nights, and a few Wednesday nights as well. Officials at La Ronde, which was built for the 1967 World’s Fair and is now owned by Six Flags, estimate that last year more than three million people watched the displays. A jury of 19, chosen from the public, evaluates each performance and at the end awards golden, silver and bronze trophies to the top three. There’s no prize money, but that doesn’t really matter: for Mr. Chouillier and the other pyrotechnicians, just being invited to participate in the competition, generally regarded as the industry’s most prestigious, is an honor. “It’s a sort of consecration in the life of a fireworks artist,” Mr. Chouillier said last Friday as his team, aided by La Ronde’s own crew, loaded aerial shells up to a foot in diameter into firing tubes. Or as Stephen Vitale, president of Pyrotecnico, the American entrant in the event this year, put it, “It’s like the Olympics for us.” It’s also a chance for these companies to design a show just for themselves, rather than carrying out some client’s vision. “What’s great about this competition is you have total freedom,” Mr. Chouillier said. OF the hundreds of thousands of people who see each show, only a fraction are paying customers in the park. Many are like Marcel Gareau, a construction worker who with his family had driven from the suburbs and was installed in a lawn chair on the Montreal side of the St. Lawrence a full five hours before the fireworks began. The Gareaus have hardly missed a show in a dozen years, watching over the trees and listening to the soundtrack on their car radio. They’ve seen the work of some of the best fireworks companies worldwide — from China, Australia, Italy, Portugal and elsewhere — but Mr. Gareau has a clear favorite. “The Americans,” he said. “They make the most noise.” The competitors and the jury like a good racket as much as anyone, but for them the shows are more about conveying emotion through kamuro shells, go-getters, tourbillons, Chinese cakes and other pyrotechnic effects, all intricately synchronized with the music. “You have to have a lot of emotion to think about the soundtrack and the colors and everything,” said Martyne Gagnon, who has directed the competition since 1998 and is herself a licensed pyrotechnician. “It comes from the heart.” VANTAGE POINT Fireworks displays are generally best viewed straight ahead from ground level. The recent French show, above, used a lot of surface effects. Enlarge This Image Yannick Grandmont for The New York Times WAIT UNTIL DARK Part of the pre-fireworks entertainment at La Ronde. Enlarge This Image Yannick Grandmont for The New York Times FAIR PLAY La Ronde, on Île Ste-Hélène, initially part of Expo 67. Ms. Gagnon is in charge of choosing the competitors, and she keeps tabs on possible candidates within the small community of professional fireworks companies. She almost always invites teams from Canada, the United States and Australia, a couple from among Europe’s big three — France, Italy and Spain — and usually another European team or two. She tries for one from Asia, and this year she got two, from South Korea and China. Competitors are given a fixed amount of money for materials, but some pay for extra shells and effects out of their own pockets — which may be one reason the Americans make the most noise. The jurors get a day of training in the science and art of pyrotechnics. Magalie Pilon, a doctoral student in physiology who was among those chosen for the jury from 550 applicants this year, was taking the job seriously. “This is a big party here,” she said as dance music thumped in the grandstands a few hours before the show. “But we have to concentrate because it’s important.” “But if they wanted a professional jury they would have asked for it,” she said. “As a member of the public, I know I’m good.” That confidence comes from having seen almost every display for the last six years. But she used to watch from the bridge, where her family had a special spot each week. As a jury member, she now has a prime seat for every show for herself — and for one guest. “Let’s just say that now I am very popular,” she said. “I could ask for anything. Maybe I’ll ask for somebody to wash my car.” THE grandstands offer certain advantages over the view from the bridge or the riverbanks. Many of the low effects can’t be seen from far off. And the shows are designed to look best from straight on. Mr. Chouillier used plenty of low effects, starting with the fountains that, accompanied by the rumble of a rocket engine, seemed to simulate the launching of a Saturn V. Then it was on to “Also Sprach Zarathustra,” with exploding mines and other effects piercing the sky, choreographed to the piece’s famous kettledrum passages. The “Star Trek” theme followed, with glittering showers of tiny stars looking for all the world like what Captain Kirk disintegrates into when Scotty beams him up. There were brilliant flashes, head-throbbing bangs, huge groups of flares in red and green, chrysanthemums in red, white and yellow and, during passages from “Mars, the Bringer of War” by Gustav Holst, dozens of small green flares that seemed to dance on the water like little green men. More comets crisscrossed the sky in perfect time with the music. And at 30 minutes the whole thing ended in a barrage of pale gold-and-white shells, accompanied by more music from “Star Trek.” As the smoke drifted, the final sounds were heard: the five-tone alien signal from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind.” Afterward the verdict among some of the veterans was that the show was probably not a trophy winner — that the choice of theme and music was a bit clichéd, that the effects weren’t startling enough, that the all-white finale, though elegant, lacked a certain drama. But back at a makeshift beer hall where team members and others relaxed and discussed the show, Mr. Chouillier looked happy and relieved. “My big fear was that something would go wrong, and it didn’t,” he said. And judging from the hoots and hollers in the grandstand, the show was a crowd pleaser. “It’s the best we’ve ever seen,” said Mark Jeffries, a Floridian who with his family had come to Montreal to visit his mother. “There’s some fireworks we’ve never seen before.” His 11-year-old daughter, Carlin, had no problem with the finale. “In Florida they shoot off all of them,” she said. “They kind of overwhelm you. This was different. Just nice and white.” VISITOR INFORMATION L’International des Feux Loto-Quebéc continues every Saturday through Aug. 2 and on three Wednesdays — July 23 and 30 and the closing show, on Aug. 6. The countries represented include Australia, Austria, China, Italy, Portugal and South Korea; the United States entry’s show is on July 30. Fireworks begin at 10 p.m. Grandstand tickets, which include all-day park admission, range from 44.90 to 56 Canadian dollars (about the same amount in American dollars) for people over 4-foot-6; it’s less for those under that height. After 5 p.m. tickets are about half price. La Ronde is best reached by public transportation. The Papineau Métro station, on the Orange Line, connects with the 169 bus, which goes to the park’s front gate. Alternatively, the Yellow Line stops in Parc Jean-Drapeau on the other side of the Île Ste-Hélène; it connects with the 167 bus to La Ronde, or a 15-minute walk will get you there (and you’ll pass the geodesic dome designed by Buckminster Fuller for Expo 67; it now houses an environment museum). After the show, walking to the Yellow Line is the best way off the island. Free places to watch the shows include the Jacques Cartier Bridge, which closes to traffic at 8 p.m.; the Old Port of Montreal; and around Boulevard René-Lévesque north of the bridge. http://travel.nytimes.com/2008/06/27/travel/escapes/27fireworks.html?pagewanted=2&hp
  6. Toronto et Montréal, vues par des touristes anglais.... http://www.mirror.co.uk/advice/travel/north-america/2010/12/18/the-big-maple-lawrence-goldsmith-samples-the-delights-of-a-canadian-adventure-115875-22791873/
  7. La scierie cessera ses activités le 19 décembre prochain. Une soixantaine de travailleurs sont touchés par cet arrêt des opérations. Pour en lire plus...
  8. Water plan for St. Lawrence unpredictable, critics charge Joint commission hearings. River levels might have to be artificially elevated, environmental coalition fears CHRISTOPHER MAUGHAN, The Gazette Published: 7 hours ago The environmental and economic impact of a proposed plan to change how water flows into the St. Lawrence River is potentially disastrous and in many ways unpredictable, critics said last night. The International Joint Commission - which manages how much water passes into the river from Lake Ontario - held public hearings in Montreal last night to discuss concerns about their proposal to allow water levels to rise and fall more sharply than they now do. The IJC is an independent, bi-governmental organization that manages the Great Lakes. It controls water flow to Quebec via the Moses-Saunders dam, which runs across Lake Ontario from Cornwall, Ont., to Massena, N.Y. Their commissioners have argued that more drastic changes in water levels would allow for the establishment of more diverse flora and fauna along Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence. But at the hearings last night, critics seemed far from convinced that the proposal would result in a net environmental gain. "We haven't put enough effort into forecasting the different climate change scenarios," said Marc Hudon, a director at Nature Québec, an environmental coalition that represents 100 smaller groups. Hudon worried that the IJC plan would allow water levels on the St. Lawrence to drop so low that Quebecers would be forced to artificially elevate the water, which could cause major environmental problems. "If you have less water, you concentrate the contaminants in it," said Hudon, adding that even if the issue were addressed, the St. Lawrence would still suffer. "We would have to keep the levels up artificially by slowing the water down. That makes the water hot. When the water's hot, fish flip upside down - they can't survive." That's why Hudon is dead-set against the IJC's proposal, which is known as Plan 2007. A slightly modified proposal that takes wetland restoration into account shows promise, he said, but is too short on details to be adopted now. "We like the idea, but we don't want to go into it blind." Montreal executive committee member Alan DeSousa echoed Hudon's concerns about a lack of specifics. "We want to make sure we know what we're getting into and at this point we're not entirely sure we can say that," he told members of the IJC. "There remain many questions as to the potential impact of the various plans, especially downstream." DeSousa wondered whether the IJC had environmental contingency plans in place to deal with any serious environmental impact. "We don't have any information at this time as to the scope of the (IJC's) mitigation measures," he said. Marine transportation officials also expressed concerns, worrying about the potential impact on the economy. "Just a 10-per-cent loss of the (volume of) the seaway would result in 28 more days a year the seaway would have to be closed," said Kirk Jones, director of transportation services at Canada Steamship Lines. "Ten percent or 28 days could add up to $250 million in losses." Source http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=a37baa36-107d-4bc0-a482-78c6e52c158b
  9. Triste événement, mais c'est pour fermer la gueule à ceux qui aiment nous rappeler qu'il y a juste au Québec que ces incidents arrivent. Source: La Presse Les autorités ont confirmé dimanche qu'au moins deux personnes sont coincées sous les débris d'un centre commercial d'Elliot Lake, en Ontario, après l'effondrement partiel du toit, la veille. Selon un porte-parole de la Police provinciale de l'Ontario, des images de la scène permettent de voir une main et un pied parmi les débris, mais les équipes de secours ne peuvent accéder à l'endroit en question parce que les lieux ne sont pas suffisamment sécuritaires. Des responsables du Service de protection des incendies ont par ailleurs dit avoir entendu de petits coups provenant de derrière des blocs de béton et de métal qui se sont écroulés et qui jonchaient le sol. En fin d'après-midi dimanche, des membres d'une équipe spéciale d'urgence s'affairaient à stabiliser la scène de la tragédie au Centre commercial Algo, une besogne qui, selon les autorités, pourrait prendre une douzaine d'heures. L'opération est encore considérée comme une mission de secours et les responsables espéraient toujours, dimanche, retrouver des gens sains et saufs. Les autorités policières détenaient une liste de neuf personnes manquant à l'appel, mais elles ont précisé que ce chiffre varie selon que des résidants confirment avoir retracé des proches ou que d'autres signalent ne pas avoir de nouvelles de membres de leur famille. Les équipes de secours ont continué à fouiller dans les débris afin de retrouver des personnes manquant à l'appel, dimanche, après le drame, qui a fait au moins 22 blessés. Une section du toit, qui sert aussi de stationnement aux clients et employés du Centre commercial Algo, s'est affaissée vers 14 h 30, samedi, pour atterrir deux étages plus bas. L'effondrement a laissé un trou de 12 m par 24 m et provoqué des pannes de courant ainsi qu'une fuite de gaz. Deux stands vendant des billets de loterie, des cigarettes et des magazines étaient situés dans la zone où le plafond s'est effondré et étaient ouverts juste avant l'incident, ont raconté des témoins. Une équipe de recherche et de sauvetage en milieu urbain de Toronto a été envoyée à Elliot Lake, une ville de 11 000 habitants qui se trouve à quelque 160 km à l'ouest de Sudbury dans le nord de l'Ontario. Une porte-parole du centre commercial, qui est géré par Eastwood Mall Incorporated, a déclaré que l'entreprise référait toutes les questions sur l'incident ou l'état du bâtiment à son avocat, qui n'était pas disponible dimanche pour commenter.
  10. 'Iconic' park will rise from former St-Michel dump Kevin Mio, Montreal Gazette More from Kevin Mio, Montreal Gazette Published on: August 28, 2015 | Last Updated: August 28, 2015 3:32 PM EDT What was once a quarry and garbage dump that has marred the city’s St-Michel district for decades will soon become one of Montreal’s — if not the world’s — most iconic parks, Mayor Denis Coderre said on Friday. The St-Michel Environmental Complex will be transformed into the city’s second-largest park, behind Mount Royal, beginning with several new sections that are to be opened to the public for the first time in 2017, in time for the city’s 375th birthday. The whole project is slated to be completed by 2023, Coderre said. “New York has its Central Park, Paris has its Luxembourg Gardens, London has its Hyde Park. If it is true that the major cities of the world can be recognized by their legendary green spaces, Montreal has certainly not been left out,” the mayor said as he made the announcement standing in front of what will become a 12.5 hectare wooded area and lookout in a few years. “We already have Mount Royal Park, our largest park, and in a few years we will soon have another equally iconic (park) right here,” he said. “This transformation represents one of the most ambitious environmental rehabilitation projects ever undertaken in an urban environment in North America,” Coderre said. “We are building a park out of a site that contains 40 million tonnes of garbage.” The cost of this phase of the project is $33.7 million, which the city is paying for from its capital works budget. The final price tag for the remainder of the work is not known. However, Coderre said whatever money is needed will be made available to complete the project. Once finished, the park will include thousands of trees, a lake, wooded areas, pathways, rest spots, an outdoor theatre and more. Anie Samson, the mayor of the Villeray — Saint-Michel — Park Extension borough and member of the executive committee, said the transformation shows that the impossible is possible. “Today is a big day for us and it is one more step forward toward the realization of our dreams (for St-Michel),” she said. “For the past 20 or 30 years, (residents) had a dump over there. Now it is going to be one of the biggest and nicest parks in the world,” Samson said. By 2017, just over 17 hectares of park space will be open to the public. In all, the park will occupy 153 hectares of the 192-hectare site. “A lot of people are talking about sustainable development, but what does it mean? I think we have a living proof here,” Coderre said. “We are providing today a new definition of how to revitalize an area. Frankly, at the end of the day … a lot of people are inspired by other cities. Trust me, this one will be an inspiration for the rest of the world.” Journalists were given a bus tour of the site Friday morning, which included a drive into the lowest point of the former quarry, which will eventually become the lake. It will be five times as big as Beaver Lake on Mount Royal. The lake will be filled with run-off water from the park and will be treated to make it safe to be used for boating and kayaking, but not for swimming. The second major project is a new entrance way to the park along Papineau Ave. that will include, among other things, a sliding area for winter activities, public spaces and areas where people can rest or play outdoor games such as Frisbee or flying kites. Two other sections already opened to the public will be reconfigured and new entrances constructed. There is already a pathway that rings the entire complex, but this is the first time the public will be allowed onto the landfill site. But how they will get to the park, near the corner of Papineau Ave. and Jarry St., is another question since public transit to the area is far from ideal. Coderre said they are working on a plan to address that issue. “We can have the nicest park, but it has to be accessible,” Coderre said. “We want Montrealers to be able to take advantage of the park so there will be an action plan for public transit, a mobility plan.” One challenge city officials face is how to camouflage the more than 500 wells that dot the site. They serve as monitoring stations for the biogas which is emitted by the buried garbage and the city must find a way to hide them while still allowing them to be accessible to workers for repairs. At the same time, they must prevent vandalism. The biogas is recovered and used as fuel on site by Gazmont, producing enough electricity for 2,000 homes. The company signed a new deal this year to recuperate the gas for 25 years once renovations are completed in 2016. The electricity is sold to Hydro-Québec, with the city getting 11.4 per cent of total sales per year. [email protected] http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/iconic-park-will-rise-from-former-st-michel-dump
  11. (By Roger K. Lewis For The Washington Post) Enlarge Photo Real Estate Search By Roger K. Lewis Saturday, October 17, 2009 Chicago's 2016 Olympics bid was rejected, but the city hardly needs the Olympics. Chicago 2009 is already uniquely "Olympian" thanks to its soaring urban architecture and architectural legacy, its skyscraper-flanked downtown river, its Lake Michigan waterfront and its beautiful public parks. Chicago is "my kind of town" and a kind of Mecca for many architects. Even if you are not an architecture aficionado, you can't help appreciating the Windy City's size and scale, bustling street life, aesthetic bravado and innovative design traditions. And Chicago is not just a magnet for architects. Unlike residents of most other American cities, Chicagoans generally seem more knowledgeable about and more proudly respectful of their well-publicized architectural heritage. A conversation topic on a par with politics, sports and weather, Chicago's old and new buildings, along with the city's architectural heroes, get star billing and are among the city's top attractions. Horizontal and vertical size is the most visible of Chicago's unique urban and architectural characteristics. The Chicago metropolitan area stretches for dozens of square miles north, south and west of the lakefront. Like metropolitan Washington, Chicago is a sprawling mosaic of diverse municipalities, villages and neighborhoods. Fortunately, they are woven together by extensive networks of roads and transit. Chicago's downtown is huge, and during the past 20 years it has grown even larger. High-density commercial and residential real estate development has spread along scores of blocks to the north and south. Chicago's well-known Loop, the central business district encompassed by the century-old elevated transit line, today constitutes a small percentage of downtown. Central Chicago is blessed with a rational grid plan of north-south and east-west streets forming comfortably walkable city blocks. And many east-west Chicago streets, perpendicular to the lakefront, afford views of the lake and lakefront parks. ad_icon But it's Chicago's vertical dimensions that are most awe-inspiring. The city is famous for tall buildings, although its urban fabric is layered in height. The oldest layer of buildings, constructed after the 1871 fire that destroyed the city, are only a few stories high. With the advent of Otis's elevator, America's first skyscrapers -- short by today's standards -- appeared in Chicago. Instead of thick masonry-bearing walls, multi-story buildings were structured using steel skeletons to which non-bearing curtain walls of glass, terra cotta, brick, stone and metal could be attached. Chicago lays claim to inventing the skyscraper, with authorship attributed to local engineers and architects. Their turn-of-the-century designs and aesthetic language became known around the world as the Chicago School. Subsequently, buildings grew larger and soared higher as construction materials and structural technology advanced, and as land values and real estate market opportunities increased. The Sears Tower (recently renamed the Willis Tower), built in 1973 and reaching over 100 stories, was for many years the tallest building in the world. Half a century earlier, Chicago's Merchandise Mart was briefly the world's largest building in floor area. Varying greatly in height, mass, geometric composition and materials, Chicago's buildings exhibit every architectural style and decorative motif: neoclassic, Victorian gothic, Romanesque, art nouveau, art deco and limitless varieties of 20th-century modernism. Observing the city via the Chicago River is equally memorable. Threading through the heart of downtown, the river is one of America's most extraordinary urban spaces, a veritable architectural fiord. Countless historic and modern buildings rise next to the river. Whether on a boat or riverside promenade, you can readily perceive the city's fabric of streets and blocks, in part thanks to the iconic steel-truss drawbridges spanning the river at each street. It's easy to understand why architects are such heroes in Chicago. Recall some of the talents who produced original work there during the late 19th and the 20th century: Louis Sullivan, Frank Lloyd Wright, Daniel Burnham and landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted. Architects following in their footsteps include Ludwig Mies van der Rohe as well as Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, designers of more Chicago skyscrapers than any other firm. A few years ago, Frank Gehry arrived on the lakefront scene with his trademark stainless steel shingles to design the curvaceously exuberant Jay Pritzker Pavilion, a band shell, in fabulous Millennium Park, along with the BP Bridge snaking its way from the park over a road and eastward toward the lake. Celebrated architect Renzo Piano recently designed the latest addition to the Art Institute of Chicago, immediately adjacent to Millennium Park. The museum's new wing is rectilinear and rational, glass and pure white metal, elegantly composed and immaculately detailed. Its cool, controlled geometry contrasts sharply with the exploding form of Gehry's visually hot pavilion rising in the park a few hundred yards to the north. The museum addition and Millennium Park, completed five years ago after substantial delays and huge cost overruns, reaffirm a Chicago tradition: Architecture and architects deserve to be front and center. Roger K. Lewis is a practicing architect and a professor emeritus of architecture at the University of Maryland. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/10/15/AR2009101504559.html
  12. She and her Montreal-born boyfriend Gabriel Aubry have reportedly bought a house in the Laurentians. The 42-year-old actress is said to have closed the deal on a $1.6 million mansion on a private lake in St. Hippolyte about 60 kilometres north of Montreal.