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Found 29 results

  1. http://www.thestar.com/travel/northamerica/article/805447--echoes-of-montreal-in-louisville
  2. 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.
  3. as much as Aubin is a loud mouth - he;s not far from the truth. A wake up call to forum members.. we all love Montreal but we need to seriously wake up. 2011/2012 was a bad 2 years - we need to improve MONTREAL — SNC-Lavalin Inc. — founded by francophone Montrealers, headquartered in Montreal and active in engineering and construction projects in more than 100 countries — has long been the proud symbol of Québec Inc. Now, however, it risks becoming a symbol of something else — the decline of Montreal’s place on the world stage. The company announced last week that it is creating its largest corporate unit (one focused on hydrocarbons, chemicals, metallurgy, mining, the environment and water) and locating it not in Quebec but in London; heading it will be a Brit, Neil Bruce. As well, the company also said it was creating a global operations unit that would be based in the British capital. To be sure, SNC-Lavalin denies speculation by a La Presse business columnist that the company might be slowly moving its head office from Montreal. The two moves to London must be seen as reflecting “our healthy expansion globally,” says a spokesperson. “The corporate headquarters and all its functions still remain in Montreal.” Nonetheless, this unmistakable shift of authority abroad takes place within a broader context of fewer local people atop the SNC-Lavalin pyramid. In 2007, six of the top 11 executives were francophone Quebecers; last year, three. Note, too, that only two of 13 members of its board of directors are francophone Quebecers. When the company last fall replaced discredited Pierre Duhaime of Montreal as president, CEO, and board member, it picked an American, Robert Card. What’s happening to the company based on René-Lévesque Blvd. is the latest sign of the erosion of Montreal’s status as a major business centre. Of Canada’s 500 largest companies, 96 had their head offices in this city in 1990; in 2010, says Montréal International, only 81 remained, a 16-per-cent decline. It’s true that Toronto, too, has seen a decrease (with some of its companies heading to booming Calgary), but it’s only of six per cent. As well, because Hogtown has more than twice as many head offices as Montreal, the trend there has far less impact. Anyone with a stake in Montreal’s prosperity should care about what’s happening here. Head offices and major corporate offices, such as the SNC-Lavalin’s units, bring more money collectively into the city than do big events — the Grand Prix and the aquatics championship — whose threatened departures cause political storms. Such offices employ high-spending, high-taxpaying local residents and attract visiting business people year-round — people who represent income for cabbies, hoteliers, restaurateurs, computer experts, lawyers and accountants. Indeed, this week’s controversy over the absence of direct air links from Trudeau International Airport to China and South America is pertinent to this trend. It’s not only federal air policy over the decades that’s responsible for this isolation. It’s also that Montrealers have less money, and one reason for that is, as Trudeau boss James Cherry notes, “there are far fewer head offices in Montreal.” Keep losing them and we’ll be a real backwater. But how do we avoid losing these offices? We don’t need more studies. Tons of studies — good ones — already exist. The No. 1 factor for a company when choosing a head office location is corporate taxes, according to a Calgary Economic Development study. Quebec’s are the highest in Canada and the U.S. Thirty-four per cent of the executives at 103 local companies say that Montreal’s business climate had “deteriorated “ in the previous five years, Montreal’s Chambre de commerce found a year ago. The main reason: infrastructure (not only roads but also the health system). A study called “Knowledge City” that Montreal city hall commissioned in 2004 is still relevant. Its survey of 100 mobile, well-educated people (some of whom had already left Montreal) found that their top three biggest complaints with the city were, in descending order, high personal taxes, decaying infrastructure and political uncertainty from sovereignty. All studies agree that the quality of Montreal’s universities helps attract companies. Weakened universities would lower this power. The Parti Québécois government’s minister for Montreal, Jean-François Lisée, declared before Christmas that he was “Montréalo-optimiste.” He did not, however, spell out concrete steps for addressing the above-listed problems. Too bad that his government on Jan. 1 imposed higher personal taxes for people with high incomes — which hits business people. Too bad it has reduced spending on infrastructure by 14 per cent. Too bad that it has not only reduced funds to universities by $124 million over the next three months but that it says it might cut their funding in other years as well — in effect weakening them. And, finally, too bad that Premier Pauline Marois said this week her party would soon launch a campaign to promote sovereignty and that her government would step up its strategy of wresting powers from Ottawa. In the next few says, she’ll further promote Quebec independence with a meeting in Edinburgh with Scotland’s sovereignist leader. Staunch the hemorrhage of corporate offices from Montreal under this government? The very idea is Montréalo-irréaliste. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/life/Henry+Aubin+avoid+losing+head+offices/7862525/story.html#ixzz2IrXbVaOH
  4. Per this article in The Gazette: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Montreal+picked+five+hubs+Future+Earth+project/10008798/story.html Montreal has been selected as one of five global hubs for a United Nations project called Future Earth, an ambitious 10-year initiative to build and connect international research on the environment and sustainable development — and to find ways to intensify and accelerate the impact of that research. It is a united, international effort to create sustainability and advance scientific study on questions of environmental impact, to merge science and public policy — and to address urgent environmental challenges. Future Earth’s globally distributed secretariat will also have hubs in Paris, Tokyo, Stockholm and Boulder, Colo. Those involved in petitioning to get the hub here — there were at least 20 competing bids — believe that Montreal’s star will definitely shine brighter on the international stage now. While the project will involve all of Montreal’s universities, Concordia University will house the local hub that will bring together Quebec researchers to contribute to this major scientific initiative. It is news that has Concordia president Alan Shepard smiling these days, although he is primarily focused on what a coup this is for Montreal and the opportunities he believes will emerge from it. “This is great for Montreal and very good for Concordia,” Shepard said in an interview on Monday. “We’ll be the host but it’s collaborative, an intersection for all the universities in Montreal to work together on climate change and the health of the Earth.” The universities came together to work on a joint proposal to lobby for the hub at the urging of Montréal International, which acts as an economic driver for Greater Montreal. Montréal International vice-president Stéphanie Allard is also convinced that Montreal’s involvement in the project can only be a boon to its universities and to the city itself. “It’s a very big opportunity for all the universities and for Montreal,” said Allard, who oversees international organizations. “It will increase our visibility in the world, it will establish us as an international city and it will certainly make us more attractive to researchers.” Future Earth is the result of a commitment made in 2012, at the United Nations conference Rio+20, to develop a new international network to advance sustainability. It is being overseen by the International Council of Science, a non-governmental association with a goal to strengthen international science for the benefit of society. The project is committed to developing the knowledge for responding effectively to the risks and opportunities of global environmental change and for supporting transformation towards global sustainability in the coming decades. It will mobilize tens of thousands of scientists while strengthening partnerships with policy-makers and other stakeholders in the quest for a sustainable planet. “Solutions to the major sustainability challenges facing humanity require integrated science and a closer relationship with policy-makers and stakeholders than we have seen to date,” said Yuan-Tseh Lee, president of the ICSU. “Future Earth has been designed to respond to these urgent needs, and I am impressed by the innovative consortium that has come together to drive the program forward.” In making its pitch, Montréal International cited that Montreal has a rich, diverse and high quality research network already in place, that it is multicultural and multilinguistic, that it is very well-positioned to be a hub and that office space is cheaper here than in many cities. Shepard said it’s hard to say what financial benefits there could be for the city, but he said having the secretariat will certainly bring UN resources, international visitors, research opportunities, graduate students and lots of attention. “Montreal becomes a neuronetwork and it’s glowing really bright,” he said, adding that the project meshed well with Concordia’s “intellectual values” of integrating different academic disciplines. An added bonus is that it also fits well with a preoccupation of the university’s students, namely sustainability and environmental science. “Future Earth clearly recognizes Montreal’s research capacity and the valuable contribution we will make in developing solutions to global environmental challenges,” said Shepard. “It’s a beautiful thing to have in your city; it will bring great intellectual leadership and passion and opportunity.” [email protected] Twitter: KSeidman
  5. http://gehlarchitects.com/blog/hurray-for-smart-montrealers/ HURRAY FOR SMART MONTREALERS! Over the last couple of months I have written about the different aspects of smart cities, the pros and cons, the dos and don’ts. The outcome of these musings suggests that we ought to discard the idea of a smart city for the sake of promoting smart communities, in which smartness is a tool for benefitting and improving the local social sustainability. However, within this approach lies a fundamental challenge: how do we actually make communities engage with and take responsibility for the shaping of the public realm, using tools and methods they have never known before? Enter Montreal. Montreal uses pilot projects to kick-start the regeneration of the urban spaces. A vacant parking lot on the outskirts of Downtown was turned into an urban beach thanks to the local organization l’ADUQ. Public Life in Montreal To understand the social life of Montrealers, one must first understand the basic history of the city’s public spaces. During the era of modernisation, more than 1/3 of the downtown core was demolished to make way for massive super-complexes embodying offices, car pars, underground malls and cafes. In the industrial suburbs, thousands of housing units were torn down to allow vehicular traffic an easy access into the city. These “renovations” were carried out in less than two decades, but they still managed to methodically get in the way of public life. Since then, the city has taken a completely different approach to urban planning, superseding even today’s hype for attractive, green and lively metropolises. “My colleagues and I, we based our entire careers around reconstructing the city from where it was left after the 1970’s and 1980’s demolitions (…) we want Montreal to be a network of public spaces.” – Wade Eide, Montreal Urban Planning Department, private interview July 15, 2014 Throughout the year, Montreal hosts hundreds of events that all contribute to a lively and active public life. Today, the effects of Wade Eide and his colleagues’ efforts are absolutely visible in the streets and squares of Montreal, which have indeed been transformed into a coherent experience of activities and life. The most remarkable part of this transformation is the effect that it has had in the mentality of the citizens (or maybe it was the other way around?): in Montreal, the city truly is for its people, and people care for and participate in public matters to a degree that I have rarely seen. I believe, because of this mentality, Montreal has a serious chance of actually fulfilling the vision of a smart city built for and by communities. The steps of Place des Arts serve as a public space, popular with everyone on a sunny day. The Montreal Model Montreal’s outstanding mentality for public participation has – luckily – also been recognized by the current smart Montreal’s front-runners, mayor Denis Coderre and Vice-President of the Smart and Digital Office, Harout Chitilian. In their campaigns for a smarter Montreal, they enthusiastically encourage the citizens to voice their opinions and share their ideas: “This ambitious project of making a smart and digital city will take advantage of new technologies, but above all it will draw on the collective intelligence to create a specific Montreal model. I count on you, Montrealers to give your opinions on the various forums that are available to you. I invite you to participate today. The floor is yours!” – (translated from French) Denis Coderre, Mayor of Montreal, 2014 Focus on citizens is visible in the public space. In this project residents of Montreal share their unique stories in a virtual exhibition. As part of the public participation process, the city has developed a web portal, “Faire MTL” (Make Montreal), where Montrealers are offered the chance to contribute to, comment on, collaborate with and follow 180 tangible projects that are to be implemented over the next couple of years. The ambitious plans also include the creation of physical spaces for innovation and co-creation, along with the use of public spaces as living laboratories for the growing smart communities. The fusion of a genuinely open and inclusive government and the natural participatory spirit of the Montrealers, makes Montreal a key player to follow in the game of defining how future (smart) cities could be shaped and function at the hands of the citizens. Every summer Sainte-Catherine Street (the city’s commercial high street) transforms into a pedestrian street, allowing citizens to walk, shop, eat and enjoy the city life. Find more about Montreal’s projects here. August 25, 2015 __ Camilla Siggaard Andersen sent via Tapatalk
  6. Urban shift is reshaping Montreal Montreal will be a much greyer city 20 years from now, and the aging of our populace will influence everything from home design to urban architecture to public transportation. It will also be a more multi-coloured city, measured in terms of skin tone, and multi-linguistic, too, as new legions of immigrants flow in, altering its face, flavour and sound. It will be more condensed, with condominiums overtaking expensive single-family homes as the lodging of choice for first-time homebuyers. And it will be a poorer city mired in a heavily indebted province, forcing it to focus on necessities like rebuilding roads and paring down bureaucracies and services rather than investing in grand designs like megaprojects or metro extensions. Economic imperatives will force Montreal to focus on what it’s good at to survive — namely, being itself. The city will endure by hosting festivals and conferences, promoting its flourishing arts scene, throwing successful, peaceful street parties for hundreds of thousands at a time and inviting the world to come. It will market itself as a vibrant, fun, creative place to live, and a coveted vacation destination for legions of retired baby boomers with time on their hands and savings to burn. This in turn will lead the city to become more accommodating to pedestrians and cyclists, with stretches of thoroughfares like Crescent and Ste. Catherine Sts. becoming pedestrian-only enclaves. This is the Montreal 2033 vision of McGill University architecture professor and housing expert Avi Friedman. Author of 12 books on housing and sustainable development, he is called on by cities throughout the world to consult on urban development and wealth generation. He sees in Montreal’s future a metropolis that will be poorer, still paying for past transgressions of inept infrastructure design and inadequate maintenance. But at the same time, it will be buoyed by its four major universities and its cachet as one of the cool hangouts in the vast North American neighbourhood, a magnet for tourist dollars, immigrants and creative minds. “Montreal is a brand. We’re not talking about Hamilton or Markham or Windsor. Montreal is a brand. But we need to learn how to use our brand better,” he said. Statistics Canada released figures in the fall that indicated Montreal was becoming a city of singles. Nearly 41 per cent of its residents who reside in a private dwelling live on their own, as compared to 30 per cent in most large Canadian cities. Our aging population, large number of university students, exodus of families to the suburbs, low immigration numbers and high percentage of apartments are largely the cause. The numbers spurred Friedman to ponder where the city he’s lived in for more than three decades will be in 2033. Major urban shifts, he notes, generally take about 20 years to evolve. “I wasn’t looking for pie-in-the-sky ideas, not Jetsons-type futuristic predictions, just reasonable assumptions based on trends we are already seeing today.” The greatest influence will come from the aging of the huge demographic wave that is the baby boomer generation, which will be between 70 and 87 years old in 20 years. Most will no longer be working, or paying as much in taxes. “Montreal, like other eastern cities, is going to be a poorer city than it is today, which is likely to force greater efficiency of all operations and institutions,” Friedman said. “We will have to learn to do more with less.” As families shrink (the average family size has gone from 3.5 individuals in 1970 to 2.5 in 2006), and house prices rise, demand for smaller living units will increase. The era of the single-family house as a starter home within the city limits will be a thing of the past for most, as it has been in many European cities for a long time, Friedman said. First-time buyers, many of them young families, will move into the many condominium projects sprouting downtown. Older boomers will shift from their suburban homes to condominiums. The ratio of family homes to condominiums, now at a roughly 60-40 split, will probably reverse during the next two decades, he predicted. Already densely populated neighbourhoods like Notre Dame de Grâce will see residents and developers building upward, putting additional floors on houses or commercial buildings to add residential space. (In congested Vancouver, developers have already started stacking condominium complexes on top of big-box stores like Walmart and Home Depot.) Homeowners will transform their basements into separate apartments, and the division of single-family homes into separate units to take in two or more families will proliferate. Houses will be transformed as more people opt to work out of home offices, or as retirees alter their living spaces to pursue their hobbies or their work. And seniors will make room for live-in nannies and nurses to help care for them. There will also be more grab-bars, ramps and in-house escalators. Technological advances will allow many routine hospital procedures to be done at home via computer. Patients will be able to check their blood pressure and other health indicators at home and send the information to their caregivers over the Internet, all the while chatting with nurses or doctors face-to-face via Skype. “Aging in place will be on the upswing,” Friedman said. “There will be less and less reason for hospital visits.” The new superhospitals going up downtown and in N.D.G. will also spur residential development as thousands of hospital workers seek housing nearby. Condominiums have started sprouting already near the hospitals, and close to the métro stations and train stations that serve them. Private medical clinics, for locals and foreigners alike, will be built around and even in hospitals, as the cash-strapped government off-loads more services to the private sector for wealthier clients not willing, for example, to wait three years for a hip replacement. The condominium boom, well underway in Montreal and reaching the saturation point, will continue, although at a slower pace. Montreal is on the verge of a condo crash, Friedman predicted, part of the normal ebb and flow of residential construction that regenerates every five years. “You will hear about bankruptcies, about people going under, all sorts of bad stories. This is common. Then there will be a burst of energy and another wave.” Condominium developers will start incorporating more family-friendly features like larger units, terrace gardens and parks on their properties. Condo towers with shops and restaurants on the ground floor will become more common, as will the SOHO concept (Self-Office, Home Office) common in China, where residences are located on upper floors and small offices on lower floors, and people commute by elevator. Many boomers, liberated from their children and their jobs, will give up their suburban homes to live closer to services and entertainment and downtown. Their influx will spur elderly-friendly changes seen in other cities, such as automatic doors at unwieldy metro entrances. Métro stations will become poles of residential development, followed closely by commercial properties to serve the influx of people. Suburbs like the West Island will see more low-level condominiums of four to six storeys, and available land between municipalities will be slowly colonized, making for one continuous metropolis. The densification, with housing projects like those in Griffintown bringing tens of thousands of residents into the downtown core, will result in an even more active and vibrant city, with offshoots of more shops, restaurants, services and life downtown. Neighbourhoods like St-Henri, Rosemont and Park Extension, relatively close to downtown and well-served by public transit, will be the next regions to see a slow gentrification, Friedman predicted. In a sense, we will mirror Toronto’s growth, but on a smaller scale and with a Montreal twist. “In 20 years, downtown Montreal will be populated by many more people who will bring their flavour, their lifestyle and their unique Montreal brand, with things like after-hours clubs, which is not Toronto,” Friedman said. “This is a fun city, with restaurants and pubs and clubs. I believe it will be a fun place.” Friedman sees Montreal’s four major universities and an increase in immigration quotas to make up for low birthrates as other major drivers of change, with immigrants coming from burgeoning regions like Asia and Latin America and settling in the north and east of the city. Already, roughly 10 per cent of the students in Friedman’s bachelor’s-level architecture classes are from mainland China. Montreal needs to do more to attract the droves of computer engineers from places like China, India and Pakistan who currently see California as their first choice. And tourism, with the many jobs it brings, will be Montreal’s bread and butter. At this phase in its history, Friedman sees Montreal as a city bogged down by the sins of its past, fixated on corruption and mismanagement and with no sense of a grand vision coming from city hall. Things will get more difficult from an economic standpoint, and “poorer cities do nothing. If you have wealth, you can change things,” he said, pointing to bike and public-transit friendly European cities like Copenhagen, Helsinki, Amsterdam and Berlin as examples. There is hope for Montreal’s future, Friedman said. It is articulated in the plethora of condominium towers and cranes on its skyline, in Montreal’s reputation for its joie-de-vivre attitude, open-mindedness and its artistic energy, a magnet for the young, adventurous and creative. But the hope is tempered with this caveat: the successful cities that Friedman has observed, are those whose citizens are willing to enforce change, as opposed to hoping city councillors will do it for them. “Do-it-yourself cities are the successful cities. We have to ask ourselves ‘Are we a forwards city, or a backwards one?’ ” Developments already underway provide an indication of the answer. “The densification of the core we’re seeing here will bring life,” he said, gazing up at the condominium towers growing like mighty redwoods of metal and glass in Griffintown. “This city will be a hopping place.” Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/Urban+shift+reshaping+Montreal/8071854/story.html#ixzz2NF8glXu5
  7. Un article du New York Time sur un penthouse à Vendre à Montréal. à Source: New York Time Album Photo INTERNATIONAL REAL ESTATE For Sale in ... Montreal By CLAIRE McGUIRE WHAT A one-bedroom penthouse apartment with industrial details and panoramic views of Montreal HOW MUCH 1,995,000 Canadian dollars ($1,866,400) SETTING This 10-story former factory was built in 1912 in the Paper Mill District near the financial district and Old Montreal. It shares the top floor with two other apartments, and overlooks several museums, the old port and the Chinatown neighborhood. Montreal is situated on several islands at the point where the Saint Lawrence and Ottawa rivers merge. It is about 325 miles north of New York City. Montreal is known internationally for its architecture and design, its strong arts scene and its vibrant gay community. INSIDE The apartment has an open layout; only the bedroom, bathrooms and a sitting room are enclosed. It would be easy to create an additional bedroom. The bedroom has an en suite bathroom and a walk-in closet with one wall made of opaque glass. There is a double-sided fireplace between the living room and the kitchen. The floors are of blue-stained hardwood in some places and slate tile in others. The high ceilings, painted brick walls and textured concrete pillars recall the building’s industrial history. The apartment’s seven arched windows overlook the city, three at the front of the building and four along one side. OUTSIDE A skylight in the kitchen could be enlarged to provide roof access, and the apartment’s owners have the right to create a private rooftop garden. The ground floor of the building has a restaurant, and all building entrances have electronic security doors. The apartment comes with two indoor parking spaces. Next door, the grounds of St. Patrick Church offer the nearest green space. The area has many bicycle paths, and the building is within walking distance of the city’s financial district, as well as cafes, museums and art galleries. HOW TO GET THERE The apartment is 25 minutes by car from the airport, and two blocks from Montreal’s main train station. WHO BUYS IN MONTREAL Louise Latreille, a real estate agent with Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec, said that she had seen an increase in buyers from Morocco, Lebanon, United Arab Emirates, China and Japan — and that many foreigners were buying condos for their college-age children. Most of the city’s American buyers spend winters in Florida or California and summers in Montreal, she added. European buyers tend to look for homes in the mountains, not in Montreal itself. Meanwhile, many Canadian empty-nesters are moving back to the city, looking for “something chic and exclusive,” she said. MARKET OVERVIEW Sandra Girard, senior analyst of the Montreal market for the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation, says the market has been less active this year than it was in 2007. According to Ms. Girard, the number of transactions in the first half of 2008 was 3 percent lower than in the same period last year. However, 2007 broke records for the number of real estate transactions, making a slight slow-down inevitable, because “the activity registered in 2007 is difficult to sustain.” Meanwhile, sales prices continue to increase at a slower rate. Ms. Girard said overall prices for residential real estate increased 4 percent in the first half of 2008, compared to 8 percent in the same period last year. Ms. Latreille says condominiums continue to be popular among buyers in Montreal. A report by the Canadian Mortgage and Housing Corporation and the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board shows that prices for single-family detached homes increased less than 2 percent in the 12-month period to June 2008, while condo prices increased more than 7 percent over the same period. BUYING BASICS Stéphane Hardouin, a notary and partner in the law firm Sylvestre Lagasse in Sherbrooke, Quebec, says legal fees in Quebec are usually 1,200 to 1,800 Canadian dollars ($1,146 to $1,719). If the property is financed, he said, buyers usually pay an additional 750 Canadian dollars ($716) to the notary, and a mortgage registration fee of 137 Canadian dollars ($131). Buyers pay for an inspection, costing 600 to 1000 Canadian dollars ($573 to $955). Mr. Hardouin says the seller pays around 1,000 Canadian dollars ($955) for a surveyor’s certificate, and also the real estate agent’s commission of 5 to 7 percent. A goods and services tax, or sales tax, is assessed on new homes and on real estate agent commissions, he said. This tax is 12.875 percent. Land transfer taxes in Canada are different for each province. In Quebec, transfer taxes are paid directly to the municipality, Mr. Hardouin said. Montreal’s transfer tax, commonly called the “welcome tax,” has a graduated structure based on the purchase price. The first 50,000 Canadian dollars ($47,800) is taxed at 0.5 percent. The next 200,000 Canadian dollars ($191,100) is taxed at 1 percent, and amounts over 250,000 Canadian dollars ($238,900) are taxed at 1.5 percent, he said. USEFUL WEB SITES Official portal of Montreal: ville.montreal.qc.ca Official tourism website of Montreal: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org Divers/Cité, Montreal’s gay and lesbian arts festival: http://www.diverscite.org Old Montreal official site: http://www.vieux.montreal.qc.ca Greater Montreal Real Estate Board: http://www.cigm.qc.ca LANGUAGES AND CURRENCY French is the official language of Quebec, while English and French are the official languages of Canada; Canadian dollar (1 Canadian dollar=$0.93) TAXES AND FEES Maintenance fees are 907 Canadian dollars ($865) a month. Municipal property taxes for this apartment are estimated at 11,800 Canadian dollars ($11,255) a year. Ms. Latreille says this figure is 25 percent lower than the normal tax rate because the building is historical. Additionally, school tax is 2,535 Canadian dollars ($2,372) per year. CONTACT Louise Latreille, Sotheby’s International Realty Quebec (514) 287-7434; http://www.sothebysrealty.ca Mon bout préféré:
  8. I wonder what some will have to say about this Henry Aubin: Can our city gain influence? By Henry Aubin, The Gazette January 2, 2013 0 Story Photos ( 2 ) Henry Aubin: Can our city gain influence? Henry Aubin MONTREAL — A study by U.S. intelligence predicts that the power of the world’s major cities will continue to grow in coming decades. Meanwhile, the power of most countries will wane. “The role of cities will be an even more important feature of the future as urban areas grow in wealth and economic power,” says the study by the National Intelligence Council, which reports to the U.S. intelligence czar James Clapper and which has made its study public to “stimulate strategic thinking” by decision-makers everywhere. “Increasingly, cities are likely to take the initiative on resource management, environmental standards, migration, and even security.” Meanwhile, countries in general “will struggle to keep up with the rapid diffusion of power.” So, can Montrealers count on their city wielding more clout? Sadly, no. The intelligence study does not deal with many cities individually, and it does not mention Montreal. But the study’s assertion that a city’s growth in influence hinges on its growth in “wealth and economic power” points to Montreal’s disadvantage. According to the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal’s calculation based on 2010 data, the Montreal area ranks dead last among the 32 largest Canadian and U.S. cities for per-capita GDP. On current form, it’s hard to imagine Montreal moving up very far. The Canadian constitution gives far less autonomy to cities than does U.S. law: In Canada, provinces control municipalities. That doesn’t hurt Toronto: The provincial legislature is located in that city, legislators know the city’s needs first-hand and there is no Ontario nationalism to distract them. Montreal has no such luck. The emergence of strong Quebec nationalism means the dominant political discourse is to gain more power for l’état québécois (either as a province or as a republic). Montreal mayors keep asking Quebec for more autonomy, but that would mean less power for l’état — and the mayors never obtain it. It’s all the easier for Quebec legislators to ignore Montreal’s needs because the city is a) far from the legislature geographically, b) far from the rest of the province socially because of its large non-francophone population and c) far from the levers of influence because it has so few swing ridings. Here, in no special order, are six ways in which the Quebec government, deliberately or not, adversely affects Montreal’s economic development. In a study of the Montreal metropolitan area, the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development says a “tangled muddle” of institutions is harming the area’s development. The respected think tank recommends that Quebec — the institutions’ ultimate master — chop many of them. That was in 2004. Quebec has done nothing, The Montreal area thus has more bureaucracies dealing directly or indirectly with economic development — and often working at cross purposes — than other North American metropolitan areas. Count’ em: Five administrative regions, seven conferences of elected officials, 12 counties (MRCs), 20 local development centres (CLDs) and 20 public transit boards. Studies show that immigrants, including those with solid credentials, find the labour market harder to crack here than in Toronto and Vancouver — where newcomers help fuel those cities’ economies. Quebec gained the power to help Ottawa select immigrants 17 years ago; it wanted to choose people who could best fit in here. Yet it has been too passive about fighting private-sector bias, too stuck in its ways to serve as a role model by hiring a more diverse public service. Universities have been the city’s best hope for success in the knowledge economy. Now the Parti Québécois government has cut their already subpar funding. Entrepreneurs also fuel cities’ economies. As it is, Montreal has too few of these job creators. Now a PQ plan would in effect make Montreal less hospitable to them by extending Bill 101 to companies with 26 to 49 employees. This could impede the recruiting of non-French-speaking knowledge workers from out of province. Much of Bill 101 is necessary for the health of French. This is not. Quebec is, to be sure, not consciously anti-Montreal. Its coercive merger of the city with many of its suburbs was in part an attempt to make Montreal a player on the world stage. But the premise — that bigger means better — was naive. After 11 years, the enlarged city has become unmanageable, more corrupt, more marginalized. At the heart of much of the city’s economic decline is the perpetuation of political uncertainty, thanks to the PQ’s goal of sovereignty. Yet much of the political class — including two mayoral aspirants, sovereignists Louise Harel and Richard Bergeron — won’t acknowledge the self-evident: that another referendum would further harm Montreal’s economic interests. Sad. The U.S. intelligence study might predict that cities’ power will grow as countries’ power declines, but Montreal is unlikely to be part of this trend. The rise of nationalism has coincided with a decline in the political class’s sensitivity to the city’s interests. No change is the wind. Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/Henry+Aubin+city+gain+influence/7768030/story.html#ixzz2Gwu4GC4l
  9. (Courtesy of Enroute Magazine) More Info (français) Schedule Marino Tavares Ferreira 4 juillet S'Arto Chartier-Otis Enfants terribles 11 juillet Marie-Fleur St-Pierre Tapeo 18 juillet Richard Bastien Leméac 25 juillet Dany St-Pierre Auguste (Sherbrooke) 1er août Laurent Godbout Chez L'Épicier 8 août Jérôme Ferrer Andiamo, Beaver Hall 15 août Daren Bergeron DECCA 77 22 août Gilles Herzog Le F Bar 29 août
  10. via The Gazette : German magazine shines spotlight on Montreal’s Bernard St. BY JESSE FEITH, THE GAZETTE JULY 30, 2014 The biannual Flaneur Magazine dissects and features one street per issue. Photograph by: Flaneur Magazine , . Two years ago when Berlin-born Ricarda Messner moved back to her hometown after having lived in New York City, everything seemed a little different as she walked around, wandering from block to block and trying to get a feel for the once-familiar streets. She started thinking about those streets, about how they’re the fabric of any city: each one representing a different aspect of its neighbourhood. Wanting to put that idea into print, she founded the biannual Flaneur Magazine, which dissects and features one street per issue. Manfred Stoffl, director at Montreal’s Goethe Institut, which promotes German culture in Montreal, happened to be in Berlin when he read about Flaneur in Germany’s national daily newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine. He contacted Messner to find out where he could get a copy of the first issue. The two met over a coffee and Stoffl left her with the idea of the magazine featuring a street in Montreal. In October of last year, Messner found herself wandering around again, but this time in Montreal. She hopped on a Bixi bike and followed her gut, ending up on Bernard St. “Bernard is one of those streets which might not seem so obvious at first, but it made sense for us,” she said in an email. “Still to this day, there was no other street which gave us the same feeling — representing Montreal in a hyper local microcosm.” Messner says she was aware of what she called the special role Montreal’s bilingualism plays in Canada, but didn’t have a real picture of it until spending time on Bernard. She was intrigued by the stark contrast between the street’s Outremont and Mile End sides, as well as the francophone, anglophone and Jewish communities that populate its sidewalks, restaurants and shops. Messner and two editors moved into an apartment on Hutchison St. for two months, and together with local talent, got to work talking with shop owners, approaching people on the street and turning as many stones as possible. The result, published earlier this month, is a 136-page issue of Flaneur, written in English, that “embraces the street’s complexity, its layers and fragmented nature with a literary approach.” There’s a spread profiling Tammy Lau, of Dragon Flowers, who’s had different shops open on the street for the last 25 years, selling handmade sweaters, Chinese porcelains and eventually settling on flowers. Another two pages feature Dominic Franco Kawmi, who owns a shoe shop on the street. And yet another section speaks of Peter Hondros of Loft 9, an antique boutique in the Mile End. “Outsiders who come in and stay briefly are bound to see things differently than those who live here,” said Hondros after seeing the magazine. “So it was interesting to read their take.” When Flaneur worked on its second issue, featuring Georg-Schwarz-Strasse in Leipzig, the team faced a lot of skeptical people who wished the magazine would pick a different street. In Montreal, said Messner, the opposite happened. “The people we came across didn’t react like that at all. People were enthusiastic, debated with us if Bernard was the best choice or not, and at our launch party, those present seemed genuinely interested and excited about the magazine,” she said. “I can’t believe how quickly the team clicked with Montreal,” Stoffl added. “The issue gives a real authentic view of the city. They were here in the cold of the winter, but the issue is still very lively.”For the 52-year-old Hondros, Bernard is a street that’s in a state of flux, becoming younger, trendier and a little less “laid back” than it used to be — changes the magazine couldn’t necessarily pick up on during its two month stay. “To us, it was a compliment to have someone come here and like what they see,” he said. “But now we’ve moved on, and we’re just back to our daily routines.” The magazine’s Montreal issue was financed in part by the Goethe Institut and is on sale at Drawn & Quarterly on Bernard St. It can also be ordered online at flaneur-magazine.com. The Flaneur team is now setting up shop in Rome to work on its next issue. [email protected] Twitter: jessefeith © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  11. Montréal - Cool with a French accent 4 June 2008 Lewis might be driving this weekend in Montreal - but what does the city have to offer for a weekend break? Forget the “Paris of North America” cliché — Montréal, QC has always sashayed to its own unique Latin beat. Roaring back to life after more than a decade of economic woes and separatist turmoil, the 21st century has seen the city’s distinctly Québécois melange of the traditional and the hip blossom. There are buzzy new bohemian enclaves. The fashion, food and music scenes are on fire. Chic boutique hotels have upped the romantic ante. What hasn’t changed is Montréalers’ focus on leisure and their penchant for long afternoons and evenings over wine or coffee. Sound like a population hankering for endless weekends? Mais oui! Summer’s the time to visit, when the city is unleashed from a long winter and shifts into overdrive with a frenzied outdoor itinerary. Downtown sidewalks are crowded till the wee hours as the annual Festival International de Jazz de Montréal (montrealjazzfest.com) spills free jazz onto the sweltering pavements, and Just for Laughs, the world’s biggest comedy festival, lets you yuk it up in both official languages (justforlaughs.ca). Add a side trip to Québec City, celebrating its 400th anniversary with great fanfare throughout 2008. Celine Dion is scheduled to be there, as well as Cirque du Soleil. And the world’s biggest outdoor multimedia architectural projection — dreamed up by Robert Lepage and Ex Machina — will be splashed across giant grain elevators nightly at the Old Port. myquebec2008.com But back to Montréal. Start your weekend with a bowl of café au lait and a croissant or a bagel with cream cheese and lox — Montréal’s cross-cultural breakfast specialties — on an outdoor terrace while you make your plan.In Montréal, it’s all about neighbourhoods, and each has its own distinct character. Pick a boulevard, pick a theme (traditional, hip, funky, chic, ritzy, sporty, gay), then explore the collage of villages that make up Canada’s second-largest city. Old Montréal Ignore the touristy overtones and head for the gas lamps and classic cornices of Old Montréal. It’s a cobblestoned warren of tiny galleries and boutiques. Get your history at the stylish Pointe-à-Callière Museum of archaeology and history perched atop the original settlement’s ruins: 350 Place Royale, pacmusee.qc.ca. Linger outdoors to enjoy the buskers and painters or head indoors for wearable art at the eclectic Reborn: 231 rue Saint-Paul West, reborn.ws. A fave for casual lunch is Olive et Gourmando, an inspired deli/bakery gone affordably gourmet: 351 rue Saint-Paul West, oliveetgourmando.com. St. Denis Montréal is a walking town in the true European sense, and the best stroll is down French-flavoured rue Saint-Denis. Eavesdrop on the locals’ twangy, slangy peppered-with-English lingo at the very Left Bank L’Express over steak frites or duck confit salad: 3927 rue Saint-Denis. Shop at hip Dubuc, HQ for Montréal’s high-profile men’s and women’s wear designer, Philippe Dubuc: 4451 rue Saint-Denis, dubucstyle.com; or hunt the latest French styles at bargain prices at Paris Pas Cher: 4235 rue Saint-Denis. Arthur Quentin’s is the mother of all lavish French kitchenware stores: 3960 rue Saint-Denis, arthurquentin.com; and Bleu Nuit across the street stocks decadent bedroom and kitchen linens from France: 3913 rue Saint-Denis. Plateau Pub crawl through the fashionable Plateau District by following Mont-Royal Boulevard. Start at Billy Kun, with live music from classical to jazz, in an unpretentious “tavern chic” environment that includes stuffed ostrich heads mounted on the walls: 354 Mont-Royal East, bilykun.com. Dine at one of the city’s popular BYOB (bring your own wine) neighbourhood bistros; for example, intimate La Colombe, where chef Moustapha cooks up a fabulous French chalkboard table d’hote menu with influences from his native North Africa: 554 Duluth East. St. Laurent Boulevard/Mile End Funky Saint-Laurent Boulevard is the city’s east/west, French/English divide. This busy lifeline between Chinatown and Little Italy is a jumble of Old World and edgy side by side. It runs north into once-decrepit real estate undergoing a renaissance called Mile End, a vaguely defined area of everything from retro furniture to local designer boutiques. Wallpaper magazine recently dubbed it Montréal’s hottest neighbourhood. The Ex-Centris theatre is a hotbed of Indie film screenings where ticket agents’ heads are surreally projected onto video screens: 3536 boulevard Saint Laurent, ex-centris.com. Casa del Popolo is a vegetarian café that morphs into an indie music Mecca at night: 4873 boulevard Saint-Laurent, casadelpopolo.com. Then there’s down-to-earth Schwartz’s Montreal Hebrew Delicatessen, the high temple for lined-up devotees of Montréal smoked meat: 3895 boulevard Saint-Laurent, schwartzsdeli.com. Old Port/Lachine Canal Want to burn off all those foie gras and crème brulée calories? Rent a bike at the Old Port at Montréal on Wheels: 27 de la Commune East, caroulemontreal.com. Follow the leafy bike path along the Lachine Canal that has gone from gritty-industrial hub to red-brick, factory-loft-lined park. Pass the geodesic dome and block-shaped Habitat 67, vestiges of Montréal’s Expo 67, and watch for one of the city’s best farmer’s markets, the 1930s Atwater Market, where you can pick up a baguette and cheese for a canal-side picnic. Overnighting: Old Montréal has, in recent years, become the city’s hotspot of boutique hotels with some of the most original accoms in town. Hotel Nelligan 106 Saint-Paul West, hotelnelligan.com. The classic feel of Old Montréal lingers in the very modern, brick-wall, loft-style rooms, each unique. Hôtel Gault 449 Sainte-Hélène, hotelgault.com. Minimalist, spacious and very de rigeur. Concrete and modern designer furniture make this a hipster magnet. Le Petit Prince 1384 Overdale, montrealbandb.com. A B&B with quirky style in a renovated house, each room colour themed. Funky and different with a great breakfast included. Dining: Le Club Chasse et Pêche: 423 Saint-Claude, leclubchasseetpeche.com. High-end French cuisine, one of the city’s best in what The New York Times called a “Gothic-minimalist hunting lodge.” Toqué: 900 place Jean-Paul-Riopelle, restaurant-toque.com. Chef Normand Laprise has become a Montréal icon thanks to his market-based contemporary cuisine. Au Pied de Cochon: 536 Duluth East, restaurantaupieddecochon.ca. Hardcore Québécois cuisine from pigs’ feet to poutine, taken upmarket by renegade chef Martin Picard. For more information on Montreal, go to Canada.travel. http://www.easier.com/view/Travel/Travel_Guides/article-182940.html
  12. Montreal Real Estate Pushes Ahead By DORN TOWNSEND Published: June 11, 2010 MONTREAL — When Patrice Groleau began selling a proposed condo development this spring, he thought it would take about a year to sell all 100 units — even though the site is in Montreal’s historic old city and the project will have all the latest amenities. Half the apartments sold in the first month on the market. “The last few years have been mostly good for real estate, but this year has been phenomenal,” said the 33-year-old broker, who works for McGill Immobilier. “Some of the buyers are from elsewhere but 95 percent are local young professionals. A lot of them will buy several units or whole blocks of apartments.” Real estate markets in many cities around the world are still in the doldrums, but in Montreal, Canada’s second largest city, with 1.9 million residents, the downtown area is experiencing a boom and buying frenzy last seen more than a generation ago. Brokers say that new listings in desirable central neighborhoods can receive multiple offers within hours of going up for sale. Since 2003, when the present rush began, 5,500 to 7,000 new condo units have been hitting the market each year. Many of these homes are downtown in new mid-rise developments. According to the Montreal Real Estate Board, the median price of downtown condos has risen about 9 percent over the period, to 210,000 Canadian dollars, or about $198,000. While some downtown addresses can command as much as 1,000 dollars a square foot, in May the average price per square foot in the central city was about 350 dollars. “A lot of the new units downtown are for people in the suburbs looking to downsize, but you also get about 8 percent of sales going to foreigners,” said René Lépine, president of Groupe Lépine, one of the largest developers of downtown residential housing in the city. “I haven’t seen this kind of activity in the city center since the 1970s, when we had the Olympics.” Montreal’s real estate board reported that prices were up 8 percent in the first quarter from a year earlier, with sales up 54 percent. While there is disagreement over whether such growth is sustainable, demand is being driven by historically low interest rates, with a five-year fixed-rate mortgage going for about 3.8 percent. In an attempt to pop what many fear is an expanding housing bubble, the Bank of Canada in April began requiring purchasers to put down 20 percent on investment properties. Brokers, however, say such rules are easily skirted with interim financing. And in the two years since the global economic downturn, Canada’s big-five banking oligopoly has continued granting loans for real estate. But, like in the United States, these banks seldom hold on to the mortgages, instead passing them on to a government entity called the Canada Mortgage and Housing Corp., which insures buyers against defaults. Since 2005, the agency’s liabilities have grown to around 400 billion dollars from about 80 billion dollars. But many of the new homes insured by this national agency are the tiny studios and one-bedroom units like those in Montreal’s downtown towers. That easy financing helped turn Montreal’s real estate scene into something of a Sleeping Beauty story. For decades the city had a lot of real estate for sale, partly because of the departure of several hundred thousand English-speaking residents from 1976 to 1978 because they feared Quebec might become an independent French-speaking country. Afterward, prices rose slowly, and then took off in recent years. “I’m not one of those annoying people who say that Montreal is the best city,” said Ariane Truong, 30, a Montreal native who spent several years in London working as an architect for SOM. “But there’s this intangible, aesthetic quality here these days and when you’re in other cities, you notice that quality is missing.” Two years ago Mrs. Truong returned to her hometown, paying about 350,000 dollars for a refurbished 950-square-foot, or 88-square-meter, one-bedroom condo in the old city. The building incorporates part of the stone fortifications built from 1717 to 1738 to protect Montreal from native Indians and English attackers. Until recently many residents had spurned the area as a tourist magnet. These days the tourists still are ever-present, but the old warehouses have been converted into apartments with ground-floor cafes and restaurants. A mix of young professional residents has returned to live and work. A small but important part of the market is composed of foreign clients who buy into the city for its particular rhythm. Diane Urbain, 28, a transplant from Paris, is typical of the group. She and her husband spent about 520,000 dollars on a 1,600-square-foot cottage in the Plateau, a large neighborhood of row houses known for its public squares and cafes. The French consulate says about 100,000 French citizens are living in Montreal. “When I first arrived here as a student, I thought I’d never leave Paris,” Mrs. Urbain said “But I’ve come to love the way of life of this city.” She talked about the nearby parks where her children play and about biking to work. Vélo Québec, a cycling advocacy group, says that nearly 20 percent of downtown residents use bicycles as a primary means of transport. Yet the French are not the only people who choose Montreal. This year, almost all the units in one new high-end condo tower downtown were sold to Lebanese. The developer marketed heavily in Beirut, and many purchases were made as investments or as homes for children attending universities in Montreal. Source: http://www.nytimes.com/2010/06/11/greathomesanddestinations/11iht-remon.html
  13. Première page de Bloomberg ce matin. Oct. 31 (Bloomberg) -- Montreal got the nickname Sin City during Prohibition, when Americans crossed the border into Canada to drink, gamble and buy sex. The epithet is making a comeback this month. Allegations of price fixing, kickbacks and ties to organized crime are marring tomorrow’s election for mayor of Canada’s second-biggest city. Almost two-thirds of respondents in an Angus Reid poll released yesterday said the scandals will influence their vote. “This is Sin City all over again,” said Harold Chorney, a political science professor at Concordia University in Montreal. “Corruption is part of the history here.” Gerald Tremblay, the mayor since 2001, in September canceled a C$356 million ($330 million) pact to install water meters after La Presse newspaper reported that a city councilor vacationed on a yacht owned by the contractor who led the winning bid. Challenger Louise Harel, who leads in the polls, ousted her deputy this month after he admitted that his staff took improper cash donations. The corruption allegations are diverting attention from economic challenges facing the city of about 1.7 million people. The winner of the election faces rising costs for mass transit, policing and water, according to a May 21 Moody’s Investors Service report. Montreal has the highest debt load of any Canadian city, and ran a deficit of about C$330 million in 2008, compared with a surplus the previous year, said Ryan Domsy, senior financial analyst in Toronto at DBRS Ltd., a debt-rating company. Close Race The mayoral race is too close to call, according to an Angus Reid poll published yesterday in La Presse. Tremblay, 67, a Harvard Business School graduate, trails with 30 percent support. Harel, 63, a non-English-speaking lawyer and former minister in the separatist Parti Quebecois provincial government, leads with 34 percent. Richard Bergeron, 54, an architect who says the Sept. 11 attacks were carried out by the U.S. government and wants to ban cars from Rue Saint Catherine, the city’s busiest shopping street, is second at 32 percent. About 25 percent of respondents in the Angus Reid poll singled out transparency and the fight against corruption as the city’s No. 1 priority. Angus Reid polled 804 Montreal residents Oct. 28 and 29, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3.5 percentage points. “It’s one of the first really open races for years in Montreal,” Julie Belanger, 32, a Montreal office worker, said after an Oct. 27 candidates’ debate. “Usually you can guess who’s going to win, but this time it could be anybody.” Yacht Trips Tremblay canceled the water-meter contract, won by a group of local engineering firms, and fired two top bureaucrats after a report from Montreal’s auditor general found that elected officials lacked the necessary information before approving the project. The probe was sparked this year by a La Presse report that Frank Zampino, formerly head of the city’s executive committee, vacationed in January 2007 and February 2008 on a yacht owned by Tony Accurso, who led the group that won the water-meter order, the city’s biggest contract. Zampino retired from politics last year. Accurso’s lawyer, Louis Demers at De Grandpre Chait, didn’t return a call seeking comment. According to the auditor general’s report, the water-meter project was estimated in 2004 to cost C$36 million, about a 10th of the final contract’s price. “All of these allegations of corruption certainly don’t help Montreal’s reputation,” said David Love, a trader of interest-rate derivatives at Le Group Jitney Inc., a Montreal brokerage. “The city looks bad right now.” Sweeping Clean Harel’s Vision Montreal party based its platform on ridding city hall of its “culture of secrecy and collusion” and restoring trust in the municipal administration. Harel has called for public inquiries into the allegations of corruption at city hall, as has Bergeron’s Project Montreal party. “At first I thought a broom would be useful to clean this mess, but now I think I will need a very large vacuum cleaner,” Harel said in a television interview Oct. 28. Harel’s credibility was undermined after she forced the resignation on Oct. 18 of the head of her executive committee, Benoit Labonte, for ties to Accurso. Three days later, Labonte told Radio-Canada television in an interview that people close to him took money from Accurso, owner of Simard-Beaudry Construction Inc. Labonte said kickbacks and corruption are rampant in city hall. Maclean’s, Canada’s weekly news magazine, ran this headline on its cover this week: “Montreal is a corrupt, crumbling, mob-ridden disgrace.” “There’s an underground system,” Alex Dion, economic development officer for the borough of Montreal, said after a candidates’ debate. He said the allegations hurt Montreal’s reputation in the rest of Canada. Home of Ponzi Still, Howard Silverman, chief executive officer of CAI Global Inc., a consulting firm that helps foreign companies invest in Quebec, doesn’t think the allegations will deter investors from Montreal, the city that Charles Ponzi called home for almost a decade a century ago. Ponzi was charged in 1920 for using new funds from investors to pay redemptions by other investors, a type of fraud that now bears his name. “It’s not good for the city, it looks bad, but it won’t have much of an impact,” said Silverman, who counts investors such as London-based miner Rio Tinto Group among his clients. “Every North American or global city has its scandals or its problems.”
  14. Ça Ressemble à du copié-collé de plusieurs autres textes "vu d’ailleurs" mais au moins, ils parlent de Montréal. Source: BBC Edgy, unapologetic, seductive, nonconformist… these words often spring to mind when talking about Montreal. The city is Canada’s epicentre of fun and fabulousness, a cultural chameleon with a unique sense of style, jumping nightlife and amazing food. There is always something happening here – even on Sundays, when you can rock to the rhythm of the Tam Tams (a legendary weekly drumming festival) or groove to the hottest electro beats at Piknik Électronik (an outdoor dance party). Plateau du Mont Royal Congenial and charming, the Plateau is one of Montreal’s hippest districts. Once a run-down, blue-collar neighbourhood, it now boasts arty residents, great bars and restaurants, and a bohemian vibe. The distinctive architecture, characterized by spiral staircases and colourful old Victorian houses, is what makes this area so cool — a refreshing change from cookie-cutter homes in the ‘burbs. Montreal’s favourite son Leonard Cohen still keeps an apartment right in the Plateau, just steps away from St Laurent Boulevard (known as “the Main” to locals). The best way to explore the ‘hood? Grab a bixi bike and take a random tour, cruising its tree-lined streets (Gilford and Esplanade are pretty scenic options) and picturesque boulevards. If you are on the Main and need a pick-me-up, be sure to join the locals at Euro Deli for an espresso or an allongé. Culinary treats Montreal’s lively foodie culture and culinary scene are famous across North America. Whether you are seeking haute cuisine, or keen to sample local specialities such as smoked meat, maple syrup, bagels and poutine (fries smothered in cheese curd and gravy), you will be well catered for. Dining options are endless, and the food is both tasty and reasonably priced. The iconic Schwartz’s Deli on St Laurent Boulevard is Montreal’s mainstay for smoked meat. But Montreal is a city of contrasts, and it is no surprise to find popular vegan restaurant Aux Vivres just up the road. Permanently packed with veggie lovers, this place is so good that even die-hard carnivores will not miss their meat. Of course, after fuelling up on a healthy meal here, you will be in the mood to indulge. For the ultimate in sweet decadence, La boutique Grandbois offers high quality, handmade chocolates with some unforgettable flavour combinations… ganache and Monte Cristo cigar leaves, anyone? Vieux-Montreal Montreal is known for its European charm, which is especially evident in the cobblestone streets of the Old Port. Meander along the river or stroll down St Paul, before stopping for a croissant at celebrated café and bakery, Olive & Gourmando. Feeling un peu fatigué after all your sightseeing? Take a soothing break in the eucalyptus steam bath at Scandinave les Bains. After some pampering here, you will be refreshed, relaxed and ready to continue exploring the stunning architecture of this historic area.
  15. Montreal’s economic development lags behind that of other Canadian cities and it needs greater political and economic powers to turn around its sagging fortunes, says a new study. It’s time to realize that Montreal is a motor of the Quebec economy that contributes more than it gets back, said BMO President L. Jacques Ménard, the chancellor of Concordia University. He unveiled the 162-page study by BMO Financial Group, in collaboration with the Boston Consulting Group, on Tuesday. “Montreal finances more than half of the public spending across Quebec, even, in fact, the Colisée,” said Ménard, referring to controversial plans to build a new arena in Quebec City. Yet Canada’s second-biggest city has no more powers than small towns like Ste-Adèle or Mascouche, Ménard said. Forced to rely on property taxes to finance repairs to its crumbling infrastructure, Montreal needs to be recognized and promoted as Quebec’s metropolis, he said. “We have to get away from the unfortunate idea, I think, that wrongly presents the development of Montreal as being antithetical to that of the regions,” he said. With slow population growth, stagnating personal income and sagging economic growth, Montreal has lost 20 per cent of its major head offices in 20 years, the report noted. A comparison with five other Canadian cities shows that Montreal’s GDP grew by only 37 per cent over the past 15 years, compared to 59 per cent on average for Toronto, Calgary, Ottawa, Edmonton and Vancouver. Montreal’s population only grew by 16 per cent compared to 33 per cent for the other cities. Unemployment remains at about 8.5 per cent in Montreal compared to 6.3 per cent in the other cities. And Montrealers’ disposable income has risen by only 51 per cent in 15 years, compared to 87 per cent for residents of the other five cities. “It has to do with the lack of us trying to create a milieu where ideas, people and technology conjugate to create innovation and to contribute to what you could call the new economy,” Ménard said. “One has to try and imagine what is Montreal going to look like 10 years from now? What are the new things we’re going to be doing and exporting that we’re not doing today?” he asked. For solutions, the report looked to seven world cities that have successfully regenerated their economies after going through periods of decline. They are Boston, Manchester, Melbourne, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh, San Diego and Seattle. Researchers identified strategies all of the successful cities used to become more competitive in the global economy, Ménard said. They included strong municipal leadership, support from higher levels of government, centres of excellence that acted as catalysts for growth, improved quality of life and transportation, a focus on human capital at universities and colleges, and development of a strong identity or brand for the city. With its effervescent cultural scene, cultural diversity, cheap rents and key industries like aerospace, technology and medical research, Montreal has enormous potential to thrive, the report said. Ménard said one way to achieve that potential is to unleash the talent and expertise concentrated in its five universities (including the Longueuil campus of the Université de Sherbrooke) instead of treating institutions of higher learning simply as service centres. “Montreal is a revolving door,” he said, noting the city loses as many residents as it gains. Even though the city has a huge student population, it retains few graduates because most leave in search of better opportunities, the report found. Corruption scandals and the divisive debate over the charter of values also make the city a less attractive and welcoming place, it said. Researchers interviewed more than 50 community leaders from a variety of fields, including cultural industries, education, finance, industry, health, community organizations, politics and technology to delve into challenges facing the city. Ménard emphasized the initiative is non-partisan and said it was only a coincidence that the report, which was 18 months in the making, is coming out just before a provincial election campaign. Premier Pauline Marois is expected to call an election in the coming days or weeks. “They say coincidences can be lucky. If the revitalization of Montreal is part of the debate in the coming weeks, I think it will be good for Quebec,” he said. Ménard said Montreal is sorely neglected by other levels of government. “When you look at the Champlain Bridge, the Turcot Interchange, the state of our roads, I don’t think they would have tolerated that in Ottawa, or in Quebec City, or even in Toronto,” he said. He said he hopes Montreal will be front and centre in the coming election campaign. “If they mention the word Montreal more than 100 times, I’m going to break out the champagne because it doesn’t happen very often,” he said. Ménard said he hopes to rally citizens from all walks of life to join the effort to revitalize the city. A public meeting is planned for June 13 at the Palais des Congrès and will include people from business, higher education, social agencies, the arts and youth organizations. Mayor Denis Coderre said he fully support the initiative and will do all he can to achieve the dream of putting Montreal back on the road to prosperity. “I’m inspired today,” he said. [email protected] You can download the report, in French, here: http://www.bmo.com/ci/files/Creer_un_nouvel_elan_a_Montreal.pdf « PREVIOUS 1 2 View as one page NEXT » © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  16. Toronto tops Montreal for global career? Not really KARL MOORE AND DANIEL NOVAK From Friday's Globe and Mail Published Friday, Aug. 13, 2010 6:00AM EDT http://www.theglobeandmail.com/report-on-business/careers/career-advice/on-the-job/article1671292.ece Many students fall in love with Montreal during their years at McGill, yet feel they must move to Toronto if they want a career with an international firm. However, our analysis of the largest companies in Canada suggests that Montreal and Toronto offer about the same level of opportunity for a global career. Toronto is home to the national headquarters of most foreign multinationals with subsidiaries in Canada. However, it is important to note that these Canadian headquarters are satellites of their foreign parents and usually not engaged in international management. Worldwide headquarters, on the other hand, are centres for global strategic decision making. They not only maintain an international outlook in their day-to-day operations, but also open doors for people seeking global careers. The global head office of a firm is simply the more important node in the network of a multinational. So how do Montreal and Toronto stack up on being home to global multinational enterprises? To determine the attractiveness of each city, we first selected the top 150 companies in Canada in terms of revenues earned in 2009. We then kept only those publicly listed firms with substantial foreign revenues (at least 20 per cent) and international headquarters in either the Toronto or Montreal regions. We put to the side privately held companies because it is very difficult to find accurate data on them. We ended up with a dozen Canadian multinationals in each of the two cities. Among those firms in Toronto, three quarters are in the financial industry. They include major banks like RBC, Scotiabank and TD, and other financial services giants like Manulife, Sun Life, Brookfield Asset Management and Fairfax Financial Holdings. So it’s clear that Canada’s largest city is also its financial capital. In fact, the Greater Toronto Area’s financial and investment services sector employs more than 230,000 people, making it the third largest in North America after New York and Chicago. And you will often hear finance students in the halls of McGill refer to Toronto as “where the action is” when discussing their future careers. In the financial sector, Montreal is well positioned as a low-cost number two city with some 100,000 jobs – no slouch, but Toronto is clearly the winner here. Though Montreal’s portfolio of Canadian multinationals is slightly more modest in terms of total revenues, it is more diversified. Montreal’s major international headquarters include those of Power Corp., Bombardier, CN, SNC-Lavalin, CGI and Molson Coors (headquarters split between Montreal and Denver). Altogether these firms offer strategic access to a wide range of industries and many of them have emerged as leaders on the international stage. Bombardier has more than 70,000 employees in over 60 countries. Its aerospace division is the world’s third largest civil aircraft manufacturer and its transportation division is a major player in the thriving rail equipment manufacturing and servicing industry. SNC Lavalin also stands out from Montreal’s list as one of the world’s engineering and construction giants, with over 21,000 permanent employees running projects in over 100 countries. Half of the company’s business takes place outside North America, with projects throughout five continents. CGI group, an expert in IT services, is also worthy of mention. It has gone from being purely local two decades ago to successfully venturing into the U.S., establishing a widespread presence in Europe, and positioning itself in the booming Indian IT market. Hey, even Barack Obama praised the company during one of his campaign speeches. So Montreal offers some interesting opportunities in a number of industries, but one issue students raise is that you really should speak a reasonable amount of French to work in Montreal. It’s a fair enough point, but if you want to have a global career, doesn’t it make sense to pick up a second language? In fact, how could you have an international career with just one language? If you want to learn French it is much easier to learn in Montreal, where the two languages flow naturally. Besides, most students from across the country who come to McGill already have a steady base of French to work with, so it’s just a matter of improving it. In our experience, our French-speaking colleagues are delighted to help their peers with their French. So when you look at the stats, Toronto is the crown city of Canadian business, but when it comes to a global career Montreal is not far behind. Karl Moore is an associate professor and Daniel Novak is a BCom student, both at the Desautels Faculty of Management, McGill University.
  17. Le Gourmand: Montréal’s Best Restaurants and Eats: http://theculturetrip.com/north-america/canada/quebec/articles/le-gourmand-montr-al-s-best-restaurants-and-eats/
  18. 8. Montréal Mélange of cultures marries brains and beauty Best for: Culture, events, value for money Having recently gained a high rank on city lists including the world’s happiest (Lonely Planet, 2010) and hippest (New York Times, 2011), this year Montréal’s angling for a top spot, showing off in Stephen Spielberg’s summer release Robopocalypse, and inviting everyone for drinks at the new urban beach. But Montréal’s got brains as well as beauty. Spring 2013 marks the launch of the new Rio Tinto Alcan Planetarium, rounding out the ambitious ‘Space for Life’ project. And Montréal’s social calendar is also bubbling over with the unveiling of the Grévin wax museum at the Eaton Centre, the 50th-anniversary celebrations of the Place des Arts, and the new Point Zero hotel, owned by the eponymous fashion label. Read more: http://www.lonelyplanet.com/themes/best-in-travel-2013/top-10-cities/#ixzz2AEqsnbIO