Search the Community

Showing results for tags 'montreal’s'.



More search options

  • Search By Tags

    Type tags separated by commas.
  • Search By Author

Content Type


Forums

  • Real estate projects
    • Proposals
    • Going up
    • Completed
    • Mass Transit
    • Infrastructures
    • Cultural, entertainment and sport projects
    • Cancelled projects
  • General topics
    • City planning and architecture
    • Economy discussions
    • Technology, video games and gadgets
    • Urban tech
    • General discussions
    • Entertainment, food and culture
    • Current events
    • Off Topic
  • MTLYUL Aviation
    • General discussion
    • Spotting at YUL
  • Here and abroad
    • City of Québec
    • Around the province of Québec.
    • Toronto and the rest of Canada
    • USA
    • Europe
    • Projects elsewhere in the world
  • Photography and videos
    • Urban photography
    • Other pictures
    • Old pictures

Calendars

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.

Blogs

There are no results to display.

There are no results to display.


Find results in...

Find results that contain...


Date Created

  • Start

    End


Last Updated

  • Start

    End


Filter by number of...

Joined

  • Start

    End


Group


About Me


Biography


Location


Interests


Occupation


Type of dwelling

Found 10 results

  1. Avec quelques commentaires architecturaux pour vous tous. Source: Dallas News “This,” says Martin Robitaille, “is the Old Sulpician Seminary. It dates to 1685 and is the oldest building still standing in Old Montreal. And this,” he goes on, sweeping his hand at a building across the street from the seminary, “is Mistake No. 1.” The more formal name of the latter edifice is the National Bank of Canada Tower. It was finished in 1967 and is done in the International Style: 52 concrete pillars rising 32 stories, covered in black granite, framing black-tinted windows. “Its elegant, sober appearance was intended to harmonize with the rest of the historical quarter of Old Montreal,” according to a panel in the nearby Centre d’histoire de Montréal museum, but many, including Robitaille, think it most certainly does not. Robitaille could be considered biased: He’s a professional tour guide, and his beat today is the section of Montreal just north of the St. Lawrence River, roughly a dozen blocks long and three blocks wide, that is the city’s historic center. The quarter’s small, crooked streets are filled by handsome buildings of dressed limestone, some somberly Scottish and plain, some effusively Italian, with intricate carvings and terra cotta ornamentation. Stand at any of a dozen intersections — Sainte-Hélène and des Récollets is a good example — and you are transported, architecturally at least, back in time. Which is why Robitaille finds the incursion of something in the International Style so grating. It really ruins the mood. His tour begins at Place d’Armes, in the shadow of a statue of one of the people who founded the city in 1642, Paul de Chomedey de Maisonneuve. “They came here to convert the natives,” Robitaille says. “Not so successful. After about 20 years, it became a commercial center. The fur trade.” As European demand for fur grew, so did Montreal. Its success as the funneling point of pelts from Canada’s vast forests to the Continent made it the obvious spot to locate head offices when settlers began to pour into the west. “The Golden Age was from 1850 to 1930,” Robitaille says. “That’s when Montreal was at its best.” And that’s when most of the buildings in Old Montreal were constructed. Robitaille’s tour takes us along Rue Saint-Jacques, once the heart of Montreal’s — and Canada’s — financial district. At the corner of Rue Saint-Pierre he points out four bank buildings, two of which, the CIBC and the Royal, still perform their original function. The Royal’s banking hall, built in 1928, is “a temple of money,” our guide says: soaring stone, coffered ceiling, echoing and imperious. The other two banks have been turned into high-end boutique hotels . LHotel is the plaything of Guess Jeans co-founder Georges Marciano. Marciano has sprinkled its lobby and hallways with $50 million worth of art from his private collection, including works by Roy Lichtenstein, Joan Miró, Robert Rauschenberg , Marc Chagall, David Hockney, Jasper Johns and Andy Warhol. Across the road, the former Merchants Bank is now the St. James, “considered the most luxurious hotel in town,” says Robitaille. The top floor is where folks like Elton John, U2 and the Rolling Stones stay when they’re in town. We twist and turn through Old Montreal’s narrow streets. Hidden away at 221 Saint-Sacrement is one of the few old houses left, three stories, solid stone. Today, it houses offices. “Most of the architecture surrounding us is commercial, not residential,” Robitaille says. The banks were the most lavish in design, but the warehouses, many now renovated as condominiums, were nearly as spectacular. When Robitaille was a child, his parents never brought him to Old Montreal. Then, as now, it was a bit cut off from the present-day downtown, further north, by the auto route Ville-Marie. After the banks decamped in the 1960s, Old Montreal spent the next several decades in decay. At one point, much of it was to be torn down for yet another freeway. A slow-swelling preservation movement finally gained traction in 1978 when the grain elevators blocking the view of the St. Lawrence River were demolished and a riverside walk opened. Over the next three decades, investors began to see the value in resuscitating the neighborhood. Now, more than 5,000 people call Old Montreal home, living mainly in converted warehouses. Restaurants, cafes, small hotels and plenty of art and clothing stores keep the area bustling. A tour like Robitaille’s is a fine way to be introduced to Old Montreal. For those who want to know more, two museums, the Centre d’histoire de Montréal, in a 1903 fire hall next to Place d’Youville (the site of the two Canadas’ parliament until rioters torched it in 1849), and the Pointe-à-Callière Montreal Museum of Archaeology and History, are the places to go. In the basement of the latter are the ruins of buildings that previously stood on the site, along with part of the tunnel that Little Saint-Pierre River once ran through and the city’s first graveyard, filled largely with the bodies of those killed by Iroquois attacks in the settlement’s earliest days. For those who prefer to strike out on their own, Discover Old Montreal, a well-illustrated booklet published by the provincial government, provides a detailed self-guided walking tour and is for sale in both museums. For those who just want to soak in the ambience, the simplest thing is to start in Place Jacques Cartier and stroll first east and then west along Rue Saint-Paul, Montreal’s oldest street. (Its rough paving stones make comfortable walking shoes a necessity.) Robitaille’s final stop is at the Château Ramezay. Built in 1705 as a home for the governor of Montreal, it served several other purposes through the years, including sheltering Benjamin Franklin in 1776, before it became a museum in 1895. “It’s one of only six buildings from the French period, before 1763, still standing,” says our guide. A block away is the modern courthouse complex, finished in 1971 and designed by the same people who did the National Bank tower. “That,” says Robitaille with a final flourish, “is Mistake No. 2.” And so Old Montreal comes to an end.
  2. Opinion dans la Gazette. Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ BY CELINE COOPER, SPECIAL TO THE GAZETTE APRIL 8, 2013 Revellers at this year’s Nuit Blanche warm up by the fire at Montreal’s Quartier des spectacles. In his new book A History of Future Cities, Daniel Brook writes: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” Can Montreal be one of these? Photograph by: Tim Snow , The Gazette MONTREAL — What is Montreal’s place among the world’s future global cities? I recently picked up Daniel Brook’s new book A History of Future Cities. In it, he skilfully braids together historical detail, journalism and storytelling to trace the impossible rise of Shanghai, Dubai, Mumbai and St. Petersburg from developing world “instant-cities” into four of the world’s most influential global hubs. Brook looks at how these cities in China, the United Arab Emirates, India and Russia were forged. His description of how soaring cityscapes were planned and erected out of deserts, frozen marshland, oceans and rice paddies through both the ambition of visionaries and the cruelty of despots gives us some context for the emerging Asian era that we are witnessing today. We learn a bit about how the economic development of the world’s nations has come to be inextricably linked to the development of global cities. So what does this have to do with Montreal? As it happens, I started reading this book about future cities on the same day that a sinkhole swallowed two cars at Montreal’s Trudeau airport. On top of the crumbling bridges, man-eating potholes and mould-infested public schools, there was also news that day about Bill 14, the Parti Québécois’s bid to bolster the province’s language laws and further regulate who can speak what, when and where. Much of this discussion focuses on the fear that Montreal is becoming “anglicized.” Which brings me back to the question: what is Montreal’s place in this new world landscape that is no longer necessarily one of nations, but of cities? For many of us who live here, Montreal occupies a special place on the global grid and in our imaginations. We often think of it as a metropolis that straddles old and new, French and English, Europe and North America. But thankfully Montreal and its inhabitants are much more complex than that. As Columbia University sociologist Saskia Sassen and other scholars who study global cities have argued, cities are where new norms and identities are shaped. Despite the fact that it has been hemorrhaging economic clout since the late 1970s and the 1980s, and that its infrastructure is falling apart at the seams, Montreal remains an inspiring, dynamic city. Montreal’s creativity — its colourful population and the ideas they bring to life — is without a doubt the city’s greatest asset. And yet while other urban hubs are leveraging their cultural and linguistic diversity to build intellectual and economic corridors that connect them to the rest of the world, here in Quebec we are told (by our government, no less) that Montreal’s diversity is not an asset but a problem to be managed. There is too much pasta and caffè in our restaurants. Our artists are composing songs in the wrong languages. Our children are learning too much English in the classroom. These things must be regulated with new bills, laws and decrees. It reminds me of a line by urban thinker and activist Jane Jacobs in her book The Death and Life of Great American Cities, published in 1961. Jacobs wrote: “There is a quality even meaner than outright ugliness or disorder, and this meaner quality is the dishonest mask of pretended order, achieved by ignoring or suppressing the real order that is struggling to exist and to be served.” And so it is. A History of Future Cities attests to the fact that a built urban environment is important. Dazzling feats of engineering, architectural brilliance, skylines of human-made steel and glass stalagmites are meant to be both inspiring and functional, a draw for the world’s financially and intellectually ambitious people. But one of the most compelling lines in the book — and the one that resonated with me as I pondered Montreal’s future in the world — was this: “The true city of the future is not simply the city with the tallest tower or the most stunning skyline but one that is piloted by the diverse, worldly, intelligent people it assembles and forges.” In other words, a fancy cityscape matters, but the people who live there matter more. For Quebec to succeed as it moves into the future — whether as a sovereign country or as part of the Canadian federation — it needs Montreal to thrive. Montreal’s place among future global cities will depend on not only attracting the world’s best and brightest, but allowing them the freedom to be diverse, to be themselves, and to be brilliant. [email protected] Twitter: @CooperCeline © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette Original source article: Cooper: Can Montreal become a ‘future city?’ Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Celine+Cooper+Montreal+become+future+city/8202375/story.html#ixzz2Puw40uY7
  3. https://medium.com/@transitapp/the-mini-villages-of-montreal-s-metro-6900e158b2a The metro is the backbone of Montreal. Besides New York City and Mexico City, Montreal’s annual ridership is higher than every other subway system in North America. It’s a feel-good story if you’re from Montreal. But there are lots of big cities in North America. Why has the STM — Montreal’s transit authority — been so successful in getting us to ride the metro? One big reason: Montreal’s metro stations are incredibly well-integrated within the city’s densest neighbourhoods. Would you take the metro if it took you an hour to get there? Probably not. That’s why when urban planners design transit systems, they try to optimize transit station walksheds: the area around a transit station accessible by foot. Just because your grandpa walked seven miles to school (uphill both ways) doesn’t mean you should. Having a metro station within walking distance makes it more likely that you’ll actually use public transit, and not have to rely on a car. This visualization shows the population that lives within walking distance of each Montreal rail station: Montreal rail station walksheds’ population within 800m of stations. The sizes of the circles and the numbers inside them correspond to the population in 1,000 people (24 = 24,000). How does your station compare? In other words, if you were to shout really loudly outside most metro stations, there are lots of people who will hear you. There are thousands — and often tens of thousands — of people living within 800 metres of Montreal’s rail stations. And this is in a city with almost no skyscrapers! To create this graphic, we found the number of people in Montreal who live within 800 metres of the nearest rail station, which represents a 10 minute walk for a fully-grown human with average-sized legs. The Côte-Sainte-Catherine station has the most people living in its walkshed (about 28,000 people), followed by the Mont-Royal and Guy-Concordia stations (about 26,000 each). Mont Royal metro on the left (26,000 people), Montmorency on the right (6,000 people). Where would you rather live? Funnily enough, the metro station with the most foot traffic (Berri-UQAM) actually has less people living around it than the areas around the adjacent Beaudry, St. Laurent, and Sherbrooke stations. This is because many people going through Berri-UQAM don’t actually live there — they’re just stopping to transfer between the Orange, Green, and Yellow lines. Tweet at us!On the whole though, areas around metro stations are much more densethan the rest of Montreal: the population density within metro walksheds is more than 10,000 people/km², while population density outside of them is a mere 3,700 people/km². By giving Montrealers cheap, rapid, and reliable access to the rest of the city, metro stations encourage people to live nearby. But when people can’t live near stations (due to zoning or other reasons) you don’t see as much development, and neighbourhoods become much more car-reliant and “suburbified”. Consider Montreal’s AMT stations, which generally don’t have as many people living nearby as metro stations. AMT stations are often next to highways and surrounded by a sea of parking, while others are smack-dab in the middle of nowhere. The lack of dense housing nearby is one reason that the ridership numbers for the AMT (80,000 daily trips) pale in comparison to the mammoth numbers of the STM Metro (1,250,000 daily trips). When people live further away from stations, they have to rely on feeder buses or park-and-ride’s. To avoid that inconvenience, many people simply choose to use cars instead of taking public transit. Altogether, we’re proud that Montreal’s car cravings are comparatively light. When stacked up against similarly-sized North American cities, our public transit mode share is very high. Take a look: Originally posted by transit planner extraordinaire Jarret Walker on humantransit.orgLargely because of our city’s metro, over 20% of Montrealers take public transit to work, which is more than double the share in the metropolitan areas of San Francisco, Washington DC, and Seattle. Still, we can do better. In the STM’s Strategic Plan for 2020, one of the primary goals is to reduce the share of car trips from 48% of total trips down to 41%. To make up the difference, they hope to encourage more Montrealers to take public transit. There are many ways to acccomplish this goal: congestion pricing or better parking policies to discourage driving, increased service to boost transit’s convenience, and real-time customer information (iBUS anyone?). In particular, our walkshed graph shows that denser development should be an important part of the STM’s toolkit — notwithstanding the usual political hurdles. Our team at Transit App is also doing its part to make public transit more convenient in Montreal, and in many other cities around the world. From our Mile End office, our team is giving millions of people the flexibility and reliability of a car — without the burdens of actually owning one. Find out how we can help make your transit experience better: You can download Transit App for free on iPhoneand Android
  4. (Courtesy of Urban Photo) Its an old article from 2008. Plus I found an another article about the grocery chain.
  5. The only area we did well in, was Transport and we came in 4th. Transport (Courtesy of Smart Planet) (Courtesy of EIU) Report
  6. Lawyer’s Survival Guide to Montreal By Larry Markowitz Montreal is the most European of North America’s cities, blessed with a joie de vivre that makes a visit worth your while at any time of the year. Although the majority of Montrealers are French-speaking, English-speaking visitors will have no problem getting by, especially if those visitors begin their conversations with a courteous “bonjour.” Entertainment Montrealers enjoy life. Lunches are longer, foods are tastier, and the seasons are filled with festivals of all sorts. In the summer, Montreal is renowned for its international jazz festival, featuring hundreds of free outdoor shows, as well as its comedy festival, known as the “Cannes of comedy.” Many a Hollywood sitcom star has been discovered by the talent scouts who frequent the Just for Laughs comedy fest. Even during its cold and snowy winters, Montreal holds festivals such as February’s Montreal High Lights Festival, which features performances, gastronomy, and activities for the whole family. Of course, one cannot ignore Montrealers’ passion for their Montreal Canadiens hockey club, which sells out the 21,000-seat Bell Centre for nearly every home game. Hockey is like a religion for the people of this city. Many local drivers fly a Canadiens’ flag from their automobile, as they encourage the “Habs” to win their twenty-fifth Stanley Cup. During the summer, the hometown 2009 Grey Cup-champion Alouettes of the Canadian Football League play their home games in the open-air Percival Molson Stadium located on the slopes of Mount Royal, the mountain in the center of this island city, from which Montreal takes its name. Visitors who are less interested in sports can visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal museum of contemporary art (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal) or the leading-edge Canadian Centre for Architecture. Alternatively, visitors may simply go for a stroll atop Mount Royal, along tree-lined pathways designed in the 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, who is best known for designing New York’s Central Park. The pathways of the Old Port along the Saint Lawrence River and the narrow cobblestone streets of adjacent Old Montreal are also pleasant places for a walk, especially when the weather is warm. Visitors from the United Sates should remember to bring their passports, as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency now requires a passport to be presented by all those entering (or re entering) the United States. A taxi ride to downtown Montreal from Trudeau Airport costs C$38 (approximately US$36 at the current exchange rate of C$1 = US$0.96) and usually takes less than 30 minutes. Once you’ve arrived in the city center, you’ll discover that Montreal is a very walkable place, with its “underground city” that links numerous office towers, shopping malls, and hotels and provides shelter from inclement weather. Because of its four major universities, three of which are located in the downtown area, and the fact that many residents both live and work downtown, the central core retains an active vibe at all hours of the day and night. The city also features a safe and visually appealing subway (metro) system. For those in a rush, taxis are plentiful, readily available, and quite affordable. Montreal is one of the oldest cities in the “new world.” Old Montreal, the area adjacent to the Old Port, has the largest concentration of 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture in North America. Those buildings are well-maintained and in them, one can find quaint boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants. Accommodations In addition to the boutique hotels, downtown Montreal also has all the usual chain hotels that meet the needs of business travelers and are located in proximity to the office towers that house Montreal’s law firms and corporate head offices. For a trendy boutique hotel in Old Montreal with exposed brick walls in your room, try the Hotel Nelligan (http://www.hotelnelligan.com). If you wish to be pampered in the same chateau-like surroundings as Madonna and the Rolling Stones, try the ultra sumptuous Hotel Le St-James (http://www.hotellestjames.com). For a major downtown business hotel, try the Queen Elizabeth. As an added bonus, 1960’s pop-culture history buffs will be interested to learn that room 1742 of the “Queen E.” was the site of 1969’s famous “Bed-in for Peace” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, during which they recorded their timeless song “Give Peace a Chance” (http://www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/Property/QEH/). Farther uptown and closer to the shopping of Sherbrooke Street (Montreal’s “Fifth Avenue”), and not far from Sainte-Catherine Street, Canada’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, is the luxurious Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile (http://www.sofitelmontreal.com). Dining For cuisine, Montreal’s multiethnic population, combined with its residents’ propensity for going out to dinner, has resulted in a multitude of high-quality restaurants, featuring every imaginable type of food. In fact, Montreal lays claim to having the most restaurants per capita of any North American city. At the basic end of the food spectrum, some local dishes that you might want to sample include poutine, a surprisingly tasty artery-blocking concoction of French fries and melted cheese curds doused in thick brown gravy. You should also sample a smoked meat sandwich with a side-order of kosher dill pickle at Schwartz’s on “The Main” (aka Saint-Laurent Boulevard, which is the traditional dividing line between the more anglophone western half of the city and the more francophone eastern half). Montreal smoked meat is a uniquely spiced and tender smoked brisket that is hand-sliced and served on rye bread with mustard. After sampling a smoked meat sandwich, stop by either Saint Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel for a uniquely Montreal tender hand-rolled bagel, cooked to perfection in a traditional wood-burning oven. There’s no rush to buy your bagels, as both of these institutions remain open 24/7. For more sophisticated cuisine, the absolute top of the top include Toqué! and Club Chasse et Pêche. A top-rated genuine French bistro experience may be had, without the need to fly to Paris, by dining at L'Express, located on Saint Denis Street, a broad avenue lined with numerous eateries. It has been said that Montrealers work to live, rather than the other way around. Hopefully, your travels will give you the opportunity to experience some of the joie de vivre of this “Paris on the Saint Lawrence” sometime soon! Larry Markowitz ([email protected]) is a partner in the Montreal office of McMillan LLP. His practice focuses on securities law and competition/antitrust law. http://www.abanet.org/intlaw/pubs/Montreal/montrealLSG10.html Drôle de hasard : je ne connaissais pas le restaurant Club Chasse & Pêche jusqu'à ce que j'y reconduisse huit de mes clients pour la première fois il y a deux jours !!
  7. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/Saputo+cent+stake+Life+building+reports/10195809/story.html Ivanhoe Cambridge, the real-estate arm of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, apparently has found a buyer for the 50 per cent stake in the Sun Life building that it put on the market earlier this year. Published reports Thursday identified the buyers as Montreal’s Saputo family and partners, and the transaction price at $140 million. The Caisse’s real-estate division reportedly acquired its stake for $64 million. Ivanhoe Cambridge has shared ownership of the Metcalfe St. building with insurer Sun Life since 2000. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  8. via Architectural Digest : True North With its magnetic mix of rugged individualism and European flair, Montreal exudes an irresistible French-Canadian joie de vivre Text by Mitchell Owens Tourists and travel guides often tout Montreal asa North American version of Paris. Pas vrai. Though the two cities’ abundant historic façades are predominantly limestone, Montreal’s are ash-gray, a rough-hewn contrast to Paris’s soufflé-gold luminosity. As for their all-important food scenes, Montreal’s muscular, hearty cuisine offers a robust counterpoint to the French capital’s refined traditions. And while the Québécois vernacular may have a sharper twang than what is spoken in France today, it’s actually more closely connected to French’s roots. Melissa Auf der Maur, the Montreal-born former guitarist for Hole and Smashing Pumpkins, once dismissed the provincial tongue as “hillbilly French”—only to have her mother, literary translator Linda Gaboriau, defend it as “the original French, the French of the kings.” In an increasingly globalized world, Montreal venerates its deep-seated local culture. French colonists settled Quebec in the early 1600s, and their descendants have never forgotten that intrepid foray, hence the province’s enduring separatist movement and its motto, Je me souviens—“I remember,” rendered pointedly en français. As Los Angeles–based AD100 architect Richard Landry, a University of Montreal alumnus, explains, “When you see those words on every license plate, it’s hard not to think about the patrimoine all the time.” Indeed, this city of 1.7 million, set on an island at the confluence of the St. Lawrence and Ottawa rivers, is infused with a pioneer spirit and an unpretentious pride in the homegrown. Cuisine is integral to this rich heritage—and a major reason Montreal remains a compelling destination long after summer’s festivals (most famously the International Jazz Festival) and carnivals have ended. “Montrealers reportedly spend more of their disposable income on eating out than on anything else,” says Andrew Torriani, the CEO and co-owner of the Ritz-Carlton Montréal hotel, a 1912 Beaux Arts landmark graced by the impeccable Maison Boulud restaurant, where executive chef Riccardo Bertolino plates suave international fare. The city is well-known for poutine, a tangle of frîtes topped with cheese curds and gravy. Auf der Maur swears by the version at Patati Patata (514-844-0216), a microscopic café close to Mount Royal Park, a 494-acre oasis designed by Frederick Law Olmsted. Diners craving more sophisticated menus can head to chef Normand Laprise’s hushed Toqué!, opposite the glittering business district’s colorful Palais des Congrès convention center and around the corner from the sleek W Montréal hotel. Chef-owners Hubert Marsolais and Claude Pelletier’s surf-and-turf mecca, Le Club Chasse et Pêche, on the other hand, is set amid the colonial gray-stone buildings of Old Montreal. Marsolais and Pelletier also collaborate with chef Michele Mercuri on the Italian-inflected brasserie Le Serpent, at the Ville-Marie arrondissement’s visual-arts center Fonderie Darling. Last year in the working-class Little Burgundy section—not far from the Old Port, where warehouses have been turned into cafés and inns, like the lofty Auberge du Vieux-Port hotel—chef-restaurateurs David McMillan and Frédéric Morin opened Le Vin Papillon, a charming wine bar. The new boîte is on the same block as the celebrated pair’s Liverpool House, a bistro with antler-bedecked walls, and Joe Beef, a tchotchke-filled gastropub that was recently ranked as Canada’s top restaurant, thanks to its lively confections like parfait of foie gras with Madeira jelly. Other daring chefs invigorating the city’s scene include François Nadon of the Latin Quarter’s Bouillon Bilk and Guillaume Cantin at Old Montreal’s Les 400 Coups. The city has a riveting collection of locally designed architecture as well. Starting with Moshe Safdie and his 1967 Habitat housing complex, a number of Canadian and Québécois talents have produced notable contemporary projects, including those in the Quartier des Spectacles, a network of performance halls, restaurants, galleries, fountains, and squares in the Latin Quarter. One of the district’s stars is the Grande Bibliothèque, a joint venture between Croft-Pelletier Architectes and Gilles Guité, both of Quebec City, and Vancouver’s Patkau Architects. The green-glass behemoth, containing multistory rooms walled with yellow-birch louvers, was hailed as “simple but wonderful” by Phyllis Lambert, Montreal’s architecture doyenne. The same could be said of Lambert’s own Canadian Centre for Architecture, which occupies an elegant 1989 building attached to a historic mansion in the Shaughnessy Village neighborhood. (The city does have a few outsider icons, namely Ludwig Mies van der Rohe’s 1967 Westmount Square mixed-used complex, I. M. Pei’s 1962 Place Ville Marie skyscraper, and Roger Taillibert’s futuristic Olympic Stadium, a 1976 structure Landry calls “a very, very cool white elephant.”) Québécois art offers major-league delights, too. The works of powerhouse midcentury geometric painters Claude Tousignant and Guido Molinari are highlighted at the multivenue Montreal Museum of Fine Arts. And things are only looking up for current local talents, according to Lesley Johnstone, a curator at the Musée d’Art Contemporain de Montréal, which hosts the Montreal Biennial from October 22, 2014, to January 4, 2015. “Today the wealthy younger crowd whose families supported hospitals and the symphony are focusing on Canadian artists,” she observes. Among this new generation are Anne-Marie and Pierre Trahan, the maestros behind the two-year-old Arsenal Montréal, a contemporary art complex housed in a former shipyard in the Griffintown neighborhood. The 83,000-square-foot space is also home to the couple’s Division Gallery, which focuses on domestic talents such as multidisciplinary artists Nicolas Baier and Bonnie Baxter. After taking in Arsenal’s exhibitions, one can visit another Griffin-town magnet, a stretch of rue Notre-Dame Ouest known as Antiques Alley, where cafés alternate with treasure troves like Milord Antiquités and Antiquités L’Ecuyer (514-932-8461). Stylish Montrealers also dress Canadian, heading to Boutique Unicorn and Philippe Dubuc for fashions by their compatriots, while apparel star Marie Saint Pierre operates an eponymous flagship in downtown’s Golden Square Mile area. Boho-chic women—including Sharon Johnston, the wife of Canada’s governor general—step out in fascinatingly funky jewelry that designer Charlotte Hosten makes in her tiny appointment-only Mile End atelier. And at nearby Clark Street Mercantile, the brands primarily come from far beyond the province but share an earthy authenticity that feels absolutely Canadian. It’s a quality worth keeping in mind when exploring a city where roots and remembrance are everything. See more of Montreal's can't-miss destinations.
  9. The first installment in a new Gazette series about living in Montréal. http://www.montrealgazette.com/news/montreal-az/index.html Being a Montrealer can be tough: the winters, the crumbling infrastructure, the corruption scandals ... But the start of the summer party and festival season has finally arrived, making this a perfect time to bask in all that this city has to offer, and to celebrate why we love Montreal, from A to Z. There’s so much to celebrate about living in Montreal If overcoming adversity is the secret to communal happiness, then we’re due an extra helping of joy. We ask some prominent Montrealers what they love most about our city BY RENÉ BRUEMMER, GAZETTE CIVIC AFFAIRS REPORTER JUNE 7, 2014 9:11 AM Things are looking up: Montreal’s skyline as seen from the lookout on Mount Royal. Photograph by: Megan Martin/Special to The Gazette MONTREAL — In order to truly appreciate life, a wise friend once told me, one has to suffer a little. We were descending from the peak of Mt. Algonquin in the Adirondacks after an unexpectedly harrowing five-hour hike through snow and ice that allowed ample time to ponder the question: “Why did we choose to inflict this on ourselves?” But as we descended, elated, my friend pointed out that it was the hardships we overcame that made the journey so special, and brought our disparate band of hikers closer. If overcoming adversity and suffering en masse is the secret to communal happiness, then Montrealers are due an extra helping of joy. Just as a sailor trapped in the darkness of a long storm may forget the existence of the sun, many Montrealers swamped by waves of corruption scandals and a particularly nasty political climate have lost sight that they live in one of the greatest and most vibrant cities in the world. One that manages to remain mostly harmonious in spite of, or perhaps because of, its vast diversity. More tarnished jewel than island paradise, Montreal is all the more precious to those who choose to live here — in part because of its imperfections. There are signs, finally, that Montrealers are starting to feel that glimmer of warmth again, and with it a rebirth of their pride. The shift in attitude coincides with the re-emergence of the sun, a glorious Habs playoff run, and Grand Prix weekend, what radio host Terry DiMonte refers to as “the starting gun for the summer.” It’s a time when we see our metropolis through the eyes of outsiders who see it as a special place for its unique French-English mix, harmonious multicultural melding and its expertise in the art of joie-de-vivre. The Gazette asked a handful of prominent Montrealers what they think makes our metropolis stand out. Alongside these perspectives, today we kick off a Gazette summer series on the many things that make this city a special place to live, from A to Z. We’ll run daily features — one for each letter of the alphabet. Congratulations, Montrealers, we’ve made it through some dark times. Now, it’s time to celebrate under the sun. The last many months have been hard on the soul, CHOM morning man Terry DiMonte notes. “I’ve told family and friends across the country that it has been very difficult to live in Montreal over the past 18 months, even more difficult than normal,” DiMonte said. “I had a French friend who told me, ‘Anglophones love the city so much because they have to fight so hard to stay.’ “When I first came back from Calgary, my first summer was the Maple Spring (season of student protests), which I found incredibly difficult, and that was followed by the election of the Parti Québécois (government) and all the disharmony and divisiveness (that followed), and that I found really, really soul-sapping.” In his four years in Calgary, DiMonte found that city clean, well-run and “all of those things that Montreal isn’t.” Yet he returned, for there is something about this city’s chaos that attracts. “As much as I hate to say it, part of what makes Montreal special is it demands a lot of you to live there — the construction, the politics, the closed highways, the potholes, the things we argue about, it’s all of those things that make the place in an odd way a special place. … It gives it a flavour you can’t find in any other city in Canada.” All that adversity breeds a certain toughness, said Michel Leblanc, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. The city has shown resiliency in the face of a slew of crises, including loss of status as Canada’s top business metropolis, the flight of head offices and a decimated manufacturing sector. “Despite all that, there is an optimism, or will, to develop the city that always comes back,” Leblanc said. “We are an ambitious city. That doesn’t mean we necessarily realize all our ambitions, but when we say Montreal will be a cultural metropolis, and we way Montreal is a city of creativity, we actually create those two Montreals, we project ourselves as an international metropolis.” After a long decline, Montreal is rebuilding its roads and bridges, and residential and commercial office towers are sprouting everywhere, and especially downtown. There are 86 building projects over $5 million underway in Montreal and its demerged municipalities, Quebec’s construction commission reported this week. That indicates a positive outlook by developers, and the banks that saw fit to finance them, Leblanc said. The challenge, however, will be putting up with 10 years of construction zones. Beyond the current building boom, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal also notes the city’s unique geography. “What I think is wonderful, somehow, is the space of the city itself,” Bumbaru said. “The architecture is not an architecture of immense landmarks, but one of streetscapes, and the connection between those, in a way. We can have a stroll on Gouin Blvd., or a stroll from the mountain down to the Lachine Canal. It is a strollable city. “It is the scale of the city, the notion of neighbourhoods and the fact that we have a living core.” (Eighty-four thousand people live in the Ville Marie borough, making for the most populated downtown core in North America after New York City, La Presse reported this week). While many cities are statistically diverse, their cultural groups are often grouped into ghettos that inhibit interaction and can create tensions. Montreal has a “mixity,” notes Bumbaru, “a porosity in the city fabric” that allows the multitudes to merge. That coming together creates a unique collectivity among people from all over the globe, says comedian Sugar Sammy. “People say there are two solitudes — I think there’s actually all these cultures that are starting to meld together,” said Sugar Sammy, whose bilingual standup shows have drawn 235,000 fans in Canada and India over the last two years, and whose new French TV show, Ces gars-là, is drawing a wide anglophone audience. It helps, he notes, that most Montrealers are bilingual, if not trilingual. The easy mixing allows Montrealers, often strongly attached to their own neighbourhoods, to visit the city’s other many varied locales and yet always still feel at home, Sammy said. “It’s not just biculturalism, but so many cultures and the fact that people know about each other here,” he said. Despite the division caused by Quebec’s proposed charter of values, Montreal’s “mixity” is actually a source of unity, Sammy said. Montreal’s city council and its mayor unanimously defied the charter, and the PQ, which proposed the charter, were trounced in the April elections. Communications strategist Martine St-Victor describes Montreal’s intermingling as harmony, as opposed to mere “tolerance.” “Harmony means not only that you have Asian friends, it’s that you love Asian restaurants — that you actively seek out other cultures and make them your own,” she said. “There is this human contact that you don’t find, for example, in New York or Paris,” she said, in part because many of Montreal’s neighbourhoods, with their local cafés and small cordonneries, maintain their village feel. “You sense you are part of a collective, that we are not just individuals, which is great.” It’s also a city where people aren’t afraid to look one another in the eye. And the city has a new champion, she said, in Mayor Denis Coderre. “He’s taking the city where it hasn’t been in a long time because he has guts. He has a big mouth, but he backs it up.” Since his election in November, Coderre has travelled to municipalities throughout Quebec, and to New York City, Paris, Lyons, and Brussels to forge bonds. And to proclaim: “We’re back.” “Our role is to make the city known, to make sure we are contagious. We have a great reputation internationally,” Coderre said. “When people come to Montreal, they fall in love with it.” At home, Coderre’s message has been: Tackle the issues, stop beating ourselves up about past transgressions and gain more power as Quebec’s major metropolis. If city council is proactive and takes decisions, the people will appreciate it, he argues. And they will forgive your mistakes, which allows for progress. “When we step back and look at ourselves in a bigger way, I think this is one of the greatest places in the world,” Coderre said. And a city that suffers as one also gets to celebrate as one. “We have this sort of sense, I think, of going through something together,” Sugar Sammy said. “We live whatever the pulse is, and if you live it together you feel it, and I think it makes you fall in love with the city even more.” [email protected] Twitter: ReneBruemmer