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Found 7 results

  1. I will post pics when I get more of them. Leaving in about 30 hours for almost 3 weeks Only reason I have this thread open so I have some sort of foundation.
  2. http://blogs.montrealgazette.com/2014/03/28/leaving-the-gazette/ Leaving The Gazette March 28, 2014. 6:48 pm • Section: Real Deal I started this blog in 2010 with a story very few of you read about the priciest home for sale in Quebec – that $27 million mega-mansion in Île Bizard. Nearly four years later, I’m writing my final post as The Gazette’s real estate reporter. I am leaving the paper today. Thanks to the many of you over the years who’ve sent me ideas, photos and tips that turned into front page stories. We had a good run. I used this blog to break the story when the famous Schwartz’s Deli went up for sale. Then there was the listing of Brian Mulroney’s Westmount home, zebra print rugs and all. I’ll still be writing occasionally about finance and real estate. Find me on twitter: @RealDealMtl , or send me an email: [email protected]
  3. MONTREAL — Monday’s CBC-Ekos poll found that 42 per cent of 1,001 Quebec anglophone respondents have considered leaving the province following last September’s Parti Québécois election victory. Promising them anonymity, I asked two anglos who are exceptionally familiar with this attitude for their thoughts. One of them, a natural-resources executive, is himself leaving Quebec this month. This born-and-bread Montrealer earns $300,000 to $500,000 most years, which puts him in top one per cent of income earners. He’s the sort of person whom students wearing the red square regard with suspicion while demanding that he pay higher taxes to help finance their entitlements. But they won’t get his help any more. His furniture is being shipped next week. Several months ago — after the PQ victory — he turned down an offer to become president of a natural-resources company working in Labrador. The reason: “The owners wanted me to live in Montreal.” What’s wrong with that? Primarily the taxes, he says. The fiscal crunch was bad enough when the Liberals were in power — Quebec in 2012 ranked second in Canada (after Newfoundland and Labrador) for combined local, provincial and federal taxes. When he earned half a million dollars in stock options several years ago, Quebec took 39 per cent in taxes. Ontario would have taken 30 per cent. So that’s where he’s moving — eastern Ontario. He’ll wave goodbye to the sovereignty threat and the income-tax hike that the Marois government imposed on Jan. 1. (It brings the rate for people earning $100,000 or more to 25.75 per cent from 24 per cent.) Was language also factor? No and yes, he says. No because he’s fluently bilingual — he’s a fan of French TV. “The anglos who left Quebec for language left a generation ago,” he says. “The rest of us learned French.” But, yes, the linguistic climate is still aggravating. The vigorous 60-year-old owns a modest natural-resources firm in Africa, and hates having to communicate to the Quebec government on corporate matters in French. What also rankles is how ordinary people — a cable technician visiting his West Island home, for example, or a security scanner at Trudeau — sometimes refuse to speak in English. “I feel like a foreigner in my own country.” Also weighing in his decision to leave is the PQ’s hesitation to push forward quickly with Plan Nord. His company’s employees are in Africa, not here, so no one is losing a job. But this most indebted of provinces is losing his considerable tax revenue — and that of others whom, he says, are likewise trickling into Ontario or into northern New York State. His parting thoughts. “The government needs to cut expenditures, cut tax rates and mean it when it says it is open for business.” It also has to grasp that the Internet makes for mobility. “Members of my board of directors live on different continents, and I hold board meeting from my home on Skype. Nothing keeps me in Quebec.” Moral: “The government has to make people want to live here.” Now there’s a radical thought. Sharing it is my second interviewee. He’s a partner in the Montreal office of a headhunting firm with operations in dozens of countries. This veteran recruiter of executive talent for local companies says, “Montreal has a shallow talent pool, and it’s become shallower since the PQ’s election. “The problem is not just that anglos are leaving Quebec — they’ve been leaving for years and years. The problem is also that we’ve built a great big fence around Quebec that effectively keeps outside talent out. Any dynamic economy has to cross-fertilize with other cities and bring in new talent.” The election has made that tougher. He estimates that 20 to 30 per cent of Americans whom his firm approaches now consider the city, at least at first view. Yet only 10 per cent of Canadians from other provinces do. Why the difference? “Canadians are more aware of conditions here.” He sighs: “I try to put a positive spin on coming here — I talk about the opportunity to learn French and the joie de vivre.” But the barriers to entry are imposing. Like the Ontario-bound executive, he says that, despite the low cost of living here, taxes are the No. 1 deterrent. No. 2 is Bill 101’s restriction on access to English schools. Other handicaps: the difficulty in obtaining social services in English, the shrinking size of the English community (which reduces the options on where some newcomers want to live) and, not least, the problems that two-income families encounter. Many executives’ spouses are lawyers, doctors, accountants or dentists, for example, and they cannot pursue their careers without passing French-proficiency tests. To be sure, these problems existed before the election. “But,” he says, “before the vote we had a government that at least was pro-business and sought political stability. Now we have a government that’s pro-socialism and is in effect pro-instability.” The bottom line: “Quebec is being starved for intellectual capital.” It’s a vicious circle: As Quebec loses talent it becomes more difficult to attract talent, and so more businesses leave and there is less demand for talent. It’s déjà vu: We saw far more intense versions of this scenario after the 1976 election of the PQ and the 1995 referendum. And if that history is any guide, we know that PQ sees the starvation of that capital as a worthwhile price to pay when pushing for sovereignty. Expect no relief. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Henry+Aubin+Taxes+Bill+drive+people+away/7981947/story.html#ixzz2LMmH4Xdi
  4. Même si notre hôtel de ville actuel est très beau, l'ancien était splendide. Construction on the building began in 1872 and was completed in 1878. The building was gutted by fire in March 1922, leaving only the outer wall and destroying much of the city's historic records. Source : http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/archives/democratie/democratie_en/expo/reformistes-populistes/construction/piece1/index.shtm Source et texte entier : http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Montreal_City_Hall Après l'incendie : http://www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/archives/democratie/democratie_en/expo/reformistes-populistes/construction/piece12/index.shtm
  5. Half of Quebec's anglophone and allophone population have considered leaving the province in the past year, a new EKOS poll commissioned by the CBC suggests. While only 10 per cent of francophone respondents said they had considered leaving, the top reasons why people said they have considered leaving weren't centred on language. Most people across all groups named taxes, jobs, political uncertainty and the economy as the most significant reasons they had contemplated a departure. As part of an exclusive two-week series, CBC Montreal will look at what is pushing people to consider relocating out of Quebec, what is keeping them in the province, and what hopes they have for their future in Quebec. A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. More information about the survey methodology appears at the bottom of this story. Asserting 'English-ness' Marc Stamos is a native Quebecer, but he is planning to move his family elsewhere after the birth of his second child. Stamos said his bilingualism used to be a source of pride, but language has become so politicized again in the province that it's become a point of contention. "For the first time since the '90s, I feel like I have to assert my anglophone-ness, my English-ness," he said. "You know, things have been dormant and so calm for so long that my brother and myself and my friends were comfortable speaking French." He said Bill 101 had a significant impact on his life, but the economy picked up and things looked better. "All of a sudden, our friends, our bilingual friends and even some of our French friends … are starting to want to leave again, starting to think, do they want to go through the whole roller-coaster again. Because of that, I don't want to speak French in public anymore." Stamos, who has lived outside of the province but chose to return to raise his family, said the access to education, health care and social services that initially brought him back to Montreal isn't enough to keep him here anymore. Economic factors In total, 16 per cent of respondents cited the economy as their main reason for considering a move out of province. It was tied with political uncertainty as the top reason for potentially leaving Quebec. Brett House, senior fellow at the Jeanne Sauve Foundation and the Centre for international Governance Innovation, says the economic picture in Quebec isn't as bleak as some of the perceptions, but the province is underperforming. "We're mediocre right now — we're not doing great, but we're not a disaster either," he said. "We're improving a bit, but we could do a lot better. "Quebec has the potential to be one of the two economic engines of this country, in addition to Ontario and yet, it's still performing far below what it should be." About the survey A total of 2,020 Quebec residents were interviewed by phone between Feb. 10 and 18, 2014, as part of this CBC-commissioned EKOS study. The margin of error for a sample of 2,020 is plus or minus 2.2 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Those surveyed included 782 anglophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time), 1,009 francophones (with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.1 percentage points 95 per cent of the time) and 223 allophones (with a margine of error of plus or minus 6.5 percentage points 95 per cent of the time). Anglophones are respondents who identified their mother tongue as English; francophones are people who identified their mother tongue as French; and allophones identified their mother tongue as "other." http://www.cbc.ca/news/canada/montreal/half-of-quebec-non-francophones-consider-leaving-1.2549484
  6. The Myth of Montreal Posted 12 Feb 2008 at 12:18 PM by Bill Archer There are a great many of you who will stop reading at the above title and skip right to the comments section which Huss thoughtfully provides in order for all and sundry to heap abuse on poor ink-stained wretches like Dan and I. Fair enough. We can take it. (Just lay off of 10Shirt. He's a sensitive, New Age guy.) So in the spirit of goodwill, mutual respect and bonhomie for which I am justifiably famous, herewith some "Inconvenient Truths" regarding Montreal fielding a team in MLS. First off, let's look at Montreal's geographical dilemma, because lost somewhere in the discussion about whether Montreal is leaving USL1 is the fact that USL1 seems to be leaving Montreal. This concept is illustrated perfectly by the history of the "Can-Am Cup" competition, which was a competition between Montreal, Toronto, Rochester and Syracuse. A nice little regional tournament which added a little drama to the season by highlighting natural rivalries. Except that Syracuse folded in 2004, Toronto left the league in 2007 and there's a good chance Rochester will cease to exist in 2008. So much for natural rivalries. In fact, USL1 used to have quite a few teams within a quick plane flight, and all of them - save the teetering Rochester Rhinos - are now just memories: Long Island collapsed in 2002. Pittsburgh and Indiana in 2003. Syracuse was gone in 2004. Virginia Beach in 2006. Toronto skipped to MLS in 2007. And what new cities have taken their place? Well, there was Portland Oregon in 2001, followed by Puerto Rico in 2003 and Miami in 2005. In other words, if Rochester really does go the way of all things, the shortest road trip and closest "regional rival" will be the Carolina Railhawks, in Cary, NC, a mere 871 miles away. If home and home grudge matches between those two don't light you up, your next choices would be Charleston, SC (1134 miles) St Paul (1240 miles) and their friendly neighbor Vancouver, which is a staggering 3000 miles from the stinky cheese of home. And the league is welcoming a new member this year: Austin Texas (the obnoxiously named "Aztex"). Apparently the Dark Side of the Moon still has some stadium issues to sort out, but look for them in 2009. In short, if you're a travel agent, the Impact is the Mother lode, Holy Grail, put-down-a-deposit-on-oceanfront-property of clients. By the end of 2008 they'll have racked up more frequent flier miles than Barack Obama. Compare this planeride/hotel existence competing against a bunch of far distant cities the average Quebecois couldn't care less about with membership in Major League Soccer East: Toronto anybody? How about New York? New England? DC? Possibly Philadelphia? Think maybe you could gin up a little fan interest in any of those games? Talk about a no-brainer: step up to a Division 1 league offering readymade rivalries with major North American cities and have your travel expenses go down? Where do I sign? Get Garber on the horn! Plus, as everyone knows, because it gets repeated on BigSoccer 50 times a day, Montreal is a) moving into a gleaming new Soccer Specific Stadium this April, b) Draws 12,000 fans a game in a minor league and c) is owned by a scion of the deep-pockets Saputo family, worldwide cheese purveyors. What else could you possibly want? What kind of idiot is Don Garber, wasting time playing footsie with Philly and St Looey while this golden opportunity is just a quick hop across the border? Well, to paraphrase Havey Keitel (Mr Wolf) in Pulp Fiction, let's not start "congratulating ourselves" quite yet, gentlemen. There are a couple of issues getting lost in the confetti here, to wit: First of all, the Impact is not owned by team President Joey Saputo. After the team went bankrupt in 2002 (something nobody ever seems to mention) the team was resurrected as a non-profit organization owned by Saputo, the Quebec Government and Hydro-Quebec. It's charter is to serve as a representative for Montreal tourism and as an incubator for Quebec-born soccer talent. So leaving aside the question of just how Phil Anschutz might feel about being partnered with a bunch of French-speaking politicians, and just how this ownership structure translates to MLS (and, honestly, it doesn't) there's the fact that a good deal of the Impact's success at the box office is due to the fact that they field as many Quebed-born players as they can find, another thing which won't likely translate well into MLS unless their goal is to lose all the time. Furthermore, Saputo, who would have to be the one to take over ownership and become and MLS partner, has been bad mouthing MLS for the better part of a decade, very publicly disparaging the caliber of play and scoffing at any hint that he might be interested in joining up. Back when MLS was desperate for someone - anyone - to step up and buy a team, Saputo ridiculed the idea that it was worth the $10 million asking price. A year or two later, when he could have bought in for $15 million, he announced that it just wasn't worth the money. But maybe, as the USL has migrated away from Montreal, and after seeing Toronto's success last season, maybe he's changed his mind and, being the gracious, good-hearted, forgiving types that we are, why wouldn't we simply forgive and forget and - assuming he's changed his mind, a proposition for which there is but scant evidence - roll out the red carpet and welcome him with roses and champagne? Short answer: his stadium. Now, on any day of the week you can read dozens of BigSoccer expansion experts raving about the wonderful new stadium in Montreal. They'll tell you how, although it only seats 13,000, it is "expandable" to 18,000 (officially it was 17,000 but 18 sounds better, apparently) and if that's still a little small, well, why let that get in the way of a good story? I would suggest to those of you who are dying to put MLS in that building to look at a couple facts. Starting with the cost of construction: Among recent stadium projects, Red Bull Park will come in somewhere between $180-200 million. If memory serves, Bridgeview was built for around $100 million. Sandy Stadium is projected to wind up at roughly $115 million. Chester (Philadelphia) and the proposal in Miami both call for $100 million buildings. Saputo Stadium (Stade Saputo for you Francophones) will be completed this April at a total cost of $15 million. Canadian. By comparison, Columbus Crew stadium, which a lot of MLS fans denigrate as being a cheaply built galvanized erector set high school stadium cost Lamar Hunt over $28 million. Ten year ago. So let's have a look at the gleaming soccer palace which so many of you insist ought to become an MLS venue immediately if not sooner, shall we? The small cement block building in the corner is the combination restroom and concession stand. Just like your local high school only smaller. The expansion to 17,000? They'll put another set of bleachers in the open end, where the consruction trailers are. It'll make all the difference, I'm sure. Now this is a very nice little stadium for USL1. Works very well. But for MLS? Seriously? I mean, the place makes Crew Stadium look like Anfield. Sorry, Montreal. It's just not going to happen. http://www.bigsoccer.com/forum/blog.php?b=277
  7. Barcelona, from the beach to my apartment, what I see when I go to the beach. Olympic beach / port:
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