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Found 19 results

  1. Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks | Cities | The Guardian Cities Lots to lose: how cities around the world are eliminating car parks It’s a traditional complaint about urban life: there’s never anywhere to park. But in the 21st century, do cities actually need less parking space, not more? Paris has banned traffic from half the city. Why can’t London? Houston, Texas Parking lots dominate the landscape in downtown, Houston, Texas. ‘Though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is often different,’ says Hank Willson. Photograph: Alamy Cities is supported by Rockefeller Foundation's logoAbout this content Nate Berg Tuesday 27 September 2016 12.23 BST Last modified on Tuesday 27 September 2016 15.51 BST With space for roughly 20,000 cars, the parking lot that surrounds the West Edmonton Mall in Alberta, Canada, is recognised as the largest car park in the world. Spread across vast expanses of asphalt and multi-storey concrete structures, these parking spots take up about half the mall’s 5.2m sq ft, on what was once the edge of the city of Edmonton. A few blocks away, a similar amount of space is taken up by a neighbourhood of nearly 500 homes. Despite its huge scale, the West Edmonton Mall’s parking lot is not all that different from most car parks around the world. Requiring roughly 200 sq ft per car plus room to maneuvre, they tend to be big, flat and not fully occupied. Often their size eclipses the buildings they serve. Even when they’re hidden in underground structures or built into skyscrapers, car parks are big and often empty: parking at homes tends to be vacant during the workday, parking at work vacant at night. A 2010 study of Tippecanoe County, Indiana found there was an average of 2.2 parking spaces for each registered car. The US has long been the world leader in building parking spaces. During the mid 20th century, city zoning codes began to include requirements and quotas for most developments to include parking spaces. The supply skyrocketed. A 2011 study by the University of California, estimated there are upwards of 800m parking spaces in the US, covering about 25,000 square miles of land. Nobody goes to a city because it has great parking Michael Kodransky “As parking regulations were put into zoning codes, most of the downtowns in many cities were just completely decimated,” says Michael Kodransky, global research manager for the Institute of Transportation and Development Policy. “What the cities got, in effect, was great parking. But nobody goes to a city because it has great parking.” Increasingly, cities are rethinking this approach. As cities across the world begin to prioritise walkable urban development and the type of city living that does not require a car for every trip, city officials are beginning to move away from blanket policies of providing abundant parking. Many are adjusting zoning rules that require certain minimum amounts of parking for specific types of development. Others are tweaking prices to discourage driving as a default when other options are available. Some are even actively preventing new parking spaces from being built. A typical road in San Francisco. A road in San Francisco. Photograph: Getty To better understand how much parking they have and how much they can afford to lose, transportation officials in San Francisco in 2010 released the results of what’s believed to be the first citywide census of parking spaces. They counted every publicly accessible parking space in the city, including lots, garages, and free and metered street parking. They found that the city had 441,541 spaces, and more than half of them are free, on-street spaces. “The hope was that it would show that there’s actually a lot of parking here. We’re devoting a lot of space in San Francisco to parking cars,” says Hank Willson, principal analyst at the San Francisco Municipal Transportation Agency. “And though the perception is always that there’s never enough parking, the reality is different.” Knowing the parking inventory has made it easier for the city to pursue public space improvements such as adding bike lanes or parklets, using the data to quell inevitable neighbourhood concerns about parking loss. “We can show that removing 20 spaces can just equate to removing 0.1% of the parking spaces within walking distance of a location,” says Steph Nelson of the SFMTA. The data helps planners to understand when new developments actually need to provide parking spaces and when the available inventory is sufficient. More often, the data shows that the city can’t build its way out of a parking shortage – whether it’s perceived or real – and that the answers lie in alternative transportation options. Parking atop a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. A parking lot on a supermarket roof in Budapest, Hungary. Photograph: Alamy With this in mind, the city has implemented the type of dynamic pricing system proposed by Donald Shoup, a distinguished research professor of urban planning at the University of California, Los Angeles. In his book The High Cost of Free Parking, Shoup explains that free or very cheap on-street parking contributes to traffic congestion in a major way. A study of the neighbourhood near UCLA’s campus showed that drivers cruised the area looking for parking for an average of 3.3 minutes. Based on the number of parking spaces there, that adds up to about 950,000 extra miles travelled over the course of a year, burning 47,000 gallons of gasoline and emitting 730 tons of CO2. After San Francisco implemented a pilot project with real-time data on parking availability and dynamic pricing for spaces, an evaluation found that the amount of time people spent looking for parking fell by 43%. And though there’s no data available on whether that’s meant more people deciding not to drive to San Francisco, various researchers have shown that a 10% increase in the price of parking can reduce demand between 3-10%. Sometimes, the supply of parking goes down because nobody needs it. Since 1990, the city of Philadelphia has conducted an inventory of parking every five years in the downtown Center City neighbourhood, counting publicly accessible parking spaces and analysing occupancy rates in facilities with 30 or more spaces. Because of plentiful transit options, a walkable environment and a high downtown residential population, Philadelphia is finding that it needs less parking. Between 2010 and 2015, the amount of off-street parking around downtown shrank by about 3,000 spaces, a 7% reduction. Most of that is tied to the replacement of surface lots with new development, according to Mason Austin, a planner at the Philadelphia City Planning Commission and co-author of the most recent parking inventory. Philadelphia Planners in Philadelphia have noted the decrease in demand for parking, and reduced spaces accordingly. Photograph: Andriy Prokopenko/Getty Images “At the same time, we’re seeing occupancy go down by a very small amount. So what that’s telling us is the demand for this public parking is going down slightly,” Austin says. “And that could be alarming if we were also seeing some decline of economic activity, but actually that’s happening at the same time as we’re seeing employment go up and retail vibrancy go up.” And though many cities in the US are changing zoning and parking requirements to reduce or even eliminate parking minimums, cities in Europe are taking a more forceful approach. Zurich, has been among the most aggressive. In 1996, the city decreed that there would be no more parking: officials placed a cap on the amount of parking spaces that would exist there, putting in place a trading system by which any developer proposing new parking spaces would be required to remove that many parking spaces from the city’s streets. The result has been that the city’s streets have become even more amenable to walking, cycling and transit use. Copenhagen has also been reducing the amount of parking in the central city. Pedestrianising shopping streets raising prices of parking and licences and developing underground facilites on the city’s outskirts has seen city-centre parking spaces shrink and the proportion of people driving to work fall from 22% to 16%. Paris has been even more aggressive. Starting in 2003, the city began eliminating on-street parking and replacing it with underground facilities. Roughly 15,000 surface parking spaces have been eliminated since. A world without cars: cities go car-free for the day - in pictures View gallery But progress is not limited to Europe. Kodransky says cities all over the world are rethinking their parking policies. São Paulo, for instance, got rid of its minimum parking requirements and implemented a maximum that could be built into specific projects. Beijing, Shenzhen and Guangzhou are hoping to emulate San Francisco’s dynamic pricing approach. And as cities begin to think more carefully about how parking relates to their urban development, their density and their transit accessibility, it’s likely that parking spaces will continue to decline around the world. “Ultimately parking needs to be tackled as part of a package of issues,” Kodransky says. “It’s been viewed in this super-narrow way, it’s been an afterthought. But increasingly cities are waking up to the fact that they have this sleeping giant, these land uses that are not being used in the most optimal way.” Follow Guardian Cities on Twitter and Facebook to join the discussion.
  2. Pas certain que retirer la gestion de stationnement des arrondissements est souhaitable. Je comprends le vouloir de simplifier les règles du jeu stationnement mais les fuis de trafique, le nombre et genre de commerces (bar, restaurent, boutique), rue résidentielle etc. sont très différents d'un arrondissement a l'autre voir a l’intérieure même d'un arrondissement. This will no doubt tickle Luc Fernandez. http://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/montreal/201512/16/01-4931755-revision-en-profondeur-du-stationnement-a-montreal.php
  3. Ahead: A brighter horizon for Cabot Square Plans due; Downtown area in search of an identity Source: The Gazette Cty councillor Karim Boulos is standing in the Canadian Centre for Architecture, airing his optimism over a scale model of what is known as "the Cabot Square area" - a part of the Peter McGill district he represents. But the Cabot Square area is also a stretch of Ste. Catherine St. that makes many Montrealers wince. The thoroughfare between Lambert Closse and Chomedey Sts. has been this city's version of a picture of Dorian Gray, a pastiche of boarded-up storefronts, crumbling facades and grafitti that seems to have spread while other neighbourhoods renewed themselves. However, by this time next Monday, Boulos and the rest of the city will get a bigger glimpse of what might happen to the piece of downtown that's been in search of an identity for nearly a generation. That's when three teams of architects and urban planners will submit their versions of what should be done to revive the Cabot Square area. Boulos, Ville Marie borough mayor Benoit Labonté and members of an alliance of neighbourhood businesses and residents met the press yesterday to detail the attempts to revitalize the neighbourhood. The planning teams were formed after a collection of 25 business, property owners and residents' associations started the Table de concertation du centre-ville ouest. "The properties may be empty but the owners are still paying taxes," Boulos said. "They haven't left, they're waiting to see what's going to happen." The plans submitted by the teams will be judged by a jury that includes architect and Harvard professor Joan Busquest, Dinu Bumbaru of Heritage Montreal and founding director Phyllis Lambert of the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The successful submission will form the basis for an urban plan that will produced by the borough and submitted to public consultations. Boulos suggests that if everything goes well, changes in the district might begin "by this fall." And for Lambert, whose architectural centre sprawls across the neighbourhood's southern edge, change is what's needed for a district that spent decades losing more than it's gained. "Over the last years, this area has deteriorated miserably," she said. "There used to be the Forum and all those stores where the Faubourg (Ste. Catherine) is. ... But it just goes down the drain further and further. "Then there's the block ... just to the east of the Forum with the (Seville) theatre on it, which has been boarded up for years. "And this just destroys the whole area. People have no respect (for the neighbourhood), and why would you? People just walk down the street and it's so miserable." Lambert's nephew, Stephen Bronfman, is chairman of Claridge Inc., an investment company that owns the Seville Theatre block. Asked in October about the condition of the block, Lambert told The Gazette: "It is coming along. Slowly, but we are working closely with the city and other landlords in the area. It takes time to do properly." Labonté says a development project for the Seville block is under study by the borough's urban committee. Boulos has said in earlier interviews that a private investor plans to turn the block into student residences. "What I can tell you about this project," Labonté said, "is that that there will be lots of room for students - especially for Concordia University - and the design of the building will be quite impressive. ... I'm pretty confident this project at the Seville Theatre will start the renewal of this leg of Ste. Catherine St." A decision by the borough on which development plan will be used is expected in May. But final approval will rest with the city's executive committee. In the meantime, Montrealers and the people who own the storefronts that make them wince wait to see what's going to happen.
  4. Middle-class communities disappearing Big increase in poor neighbourhoods in Toronto and more rich districts, according to U of T study February 08, 2009 Daniel Dale STAFF REPORTER "PRIMO PIZZA," the sign reads. "SINCE 1965." Like the store's walls, it is green and white and red, the colours of the Italian flag, and, on the left, there is a cartoonishly mustachioed man carrying a pepperoni pie above his head. This could be any Italian-owned pizza joint in the city. It was indeed Italian-owned until last year. Then a man named Rocky sold it to a man named Abdul. Abdul Malik, a 43-year-old Indian immigrant, kept its name and its oven and its sauce and its dough. He made just one addition to the top right corner of the sign, easy to miss if you're darting in from the cold, above the shop's phone number. "Halal 100%." "Some people, when they see the sign `halal,' they don't come," said Malik, who also drives a taxi. "We're losing some customers. But we're gaining other types of customers." The neighbourhood known to Statistics Canada as Census Tract 354 is changing. A community of 1950s red-brick bungalows, sturdy front-lawn maple trees and long, narrow driveways, it seems the very embodiment of white middle-class suburban Canadiana. But like the rest of Scarborough, it is decreasingly white. And by University of Toronto Professor David Hulchanski's definition, it is no longer middle-class. Later this year, Hulchanski – associate director for research at the U of T's Cities Centre – and a team of researchers will release an update of their 2007 report The Three Cities within Toronto. Their new analysis of data from the 2006 census confirms a trend they found in the first study: the income gap between Toronto's rich areas and poor areas is growing, while its middle-income neighbourhoods are disappearing. Hulchanski's findings, in aggregate, are dramatic. At the micro-level of this individual neighbourhood, however, the impact of relative economic decline is not unlike Malik's change to the pizza shop's sign. Significant, certainly, but subtle. Between 1995 and 2005, the 5,225-person census district, roughly bordered by Lawrence Ave. E. to the north, Knob Hill Park to the south, Brimley Rd. to the west and McCowan Park to the east, gained 1,020 members of visible minority groups. They now comprise more than 55 per cent of the population, up from about a third in the 1990s. Most of the newcomers came to Canada this decade or last from South Asian countries – predominantly India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka. Like recent immigrants of all types, many of them struggle to make an adequate living. The area's average individual income in 2006 – $29,929 – was 25 per cent lower than the average for Toronto census districts: $40,074. Hulchanski classifies areas 20 per cent or more below the city-wide average as low-income; according to him, this area has been low-income since at least 2000. Yet ask long-time white residents to classify their neighbourhood and they will inevitably call it middle-class. Ask them to describe recent demographic changes and they will think for a moment, then point down the street to a house an Indian family bought from a British couple, or around the corner to another now owned by Sri Lankans. "When we moved in almost 30 years ago – we moved in '79 – there were more Anglo-Saxon people," said Filomena Polidoro, 53. "Now there are more ethnic people. It's more mixed. And it's nice, still nice. We like it." The old-timers' shrugs about its low-income status reflect a key caveat to the discussion of the disappearance of the city's middle-class census tracts: to fall from "middle-income" to "low-income," in relative terms, a neighbourhood need not get significantly poorer. Since the city's high-income neighbourhoods are getting richer, a middle-class neighbourhood that maintains its income level will be relatively poorer. The influx of South Asians has not made this one destitute; it remains largely populated, said Polidoro, by people who work as teachers, nurses, and factory and construction workers, among other unpretentious jobs. But the new arrivals contributed to a decline of about $1,000 in the neighbourhood's inflation-adjusted average individual income between 2000 and 2005. Two local real estate agents said about 70 per cent of people now inquiring about houses in the neighbourhood are South Asian. Many recent buyers, said Coldwell Banker agent Raffi Boghossian, are large extended families who have pooled limited incomes, sometimes "not much more than minimum wage," to acquire property. Local businesses have adjusted accordingly. At Reliable Parts, an appliance parts shop beside Primo Pizza, employee Warren Lastewka has a polite "the price is the price" speech he delivers when cash-strapped customers reared in haggling-friendly countries ask for unadvertised discounts. The Paperback Exchange, a bookstore in the plaza since the 1970s, now stocks elementary educational books with titles like Basic Learning Skills and Parts of Speech near its sci-fi novels. "I'll get a family of Pakistanis in when the teacher says to them, `Your kid's not going to make it if they can't read English.' From now through to June, that's when they usually get the notice," said Joy Ritchie, 64, the mother of owner Troy Ritchie. "I keep those books on the wall there. And I do very good business on that from now to June." Low-income areas sometimes lack proximity to social services and other essential conveniences. This one is served by Scarborough General Hospital, a Royal Bank, a Shoppers Drug Mart, a library and a Price Chopper. "Everything is convenient for us in this area," said Kaushik Maisuria, 28, an India-born auto garage employee who lives with his two uncles and two young cousins. "We can get whatever we want." Including, increasingly, products and services targeted to them, like Malik's halal pizza or the plaza's JD's Market and Halal Meat, where large bags of basmati rice line the aisles and a butcher works out back. Once a Becker's Milk, the location was a standard convenience store until October, when Jaffer Derwish's Afghanistan-born family converted it into a small grocery. In a tough economy, business is slow, said Derwish, 23. So is demand for local real estate. "The market is sort of dead in the area," Boghossian said. Many prospective buyers, he said, "are people with income that is not certain." "Typical Scarborough," said Royal LePage Signature realtor Joan Manuel. "You're not getting multiple offers. And if you do, you're not getting them over (the listed price)." Those people still making offers, however, are drawn to the neighbourhood's increasing ability to meet distinct South Asian needs. About 800 metres from Brimley Rd. is the large new Jame Abu Bakr Siddique mosque, a gleaming white facility whose minarets loom over another halal pizzeria. Prospective buyers have cited the mosque as a key lure to the area, said Manuel. And other attractions abound. Down the street is the bustling Bombay Bazaar grocery store in a Lawrence Ave. plaza so busy people park their cars in the middle of the parking lot, preventing those lucky enough to find spots from backing out. Nearby are a Hindi video rental store-slash-hair salon and a fish market. It is, for some, a sight to behold. "Where there used to be an old mom-and-pop operation," said Joy Ritchie, a touch of wonderment in her voice, "now they're selling saris." http://www.thestar.com/News/GTA/article/584203 Poor neighbourhoods growing across Toronto RENÉ JOHNSTON/TORONTO STAR Newspapers in South Asian languages serve the city's many new immigrants. Toronto's middle class is disappearing. Since 2001, 15 of the city's middle-income neighbourhoods have vanished, according to a yet-to-be released University of Toronto report. The majority became low-income areas, where individual earnings are 20 to 40 per cent below the city average. Hardest hit are the suburbs. Declines in Scarborough and north Etobicoke have continued. Falling income is also affecting parts of Brampton, Mississauga and Durham. In 1970, 86 per cent of 905 neighbourhoods were middle class. In 2005, that number had tumbled to 61 per cent. From 2000 to 2005, the number of city neighbourhoods with very low earnings – more than 40 per cent below the Toronto-area average – grew by almost 50 per cent. Residents in these neighbourhoods live on welfare-level earnings, says U of T researcher David Hulchanski. The report, due out this year, is an update of the groundbreaking 2007 The Three Cities within Toronto report by Hulchanski and a team of university researchers. It analyzed and mapped Statistics Canada census data from 1971 to 2001, finding that not only were middle-class neighbourhoods disappearing, but Toronto was divided into three distinct geographic areas: City 1, which consistently gained income; City 2, which maintained its income but shrunk in size; and City 3, whose residents saw their earnings fall over the 30-year period. Hulchanski says municipal governments are not to blame. "The people of Toronto did not do this to themselves. This is a national trend. What we're showing on these maps is the way federal and provincial policies, as well as the economy, have played out in Toronto's neighbourhoods." He says policies such as universal health care and social assistance helped build the middle class. Cutbacks, including downloading of social services from the province to cities and a lack of affordable housing and job protection, are leading to its destruction. "You didn't talk about McJobs in the 1970s, or even part-time jobs without benefits. Whoever heard of a job that wasn't full-time without benefits?" he asks. "That would be shocking 25 years ago. Now it's normal." Hulchanski's updated study, with another five years of data from the 2006 census, confirms the decline of the middle class and the continued polarization of rich and poor neighbourhoods. From 2001 to 2006, individual incomes in wealthy areas grew 14 per cent, while residents of low-income neighbourhoods made only modest gains. During the 1970s, Toronto was a predominantly middle-class city, with 341 of its 520 census tracts – neighbourhood areas determined by Statistics Canada so that they have roughly 4,000 residents each – in the middle-income category. Poverty was contained in the city's urban core. Thirty years later, it's a city divided. Richer residents live along the Yonge St. corridor, close to services and transit. Individual incomes average almost $90,000 a year. The proliferating poorer communities are located in Toronto's pre-amalgamation suburbs, the middle-class bastion of the 1950s. In 2006 that area included 40 per cent of the city's census tracts. Sixty-one per cent are immigrants. There is little rapid transit and an average income of $26,900. Sandwiched between the two areas is a shrinking City 2, neighbourhoods with static income where the average income is about $35,700. Hulchanski began his research in 2005 with a $1 million grant (spread over five years) from the Social Science Humanities Research Council of Canada. He teamed with St. Christopher House, an omnibus social service agency in the city's west end, to examine how gentrification was changing the neighbourhood. The data was difficult to analyze. Within the 30-year period, census boundaries had changed and some of the information wasn't available electronically. A U of T data analyst took more than a year to get it into shape. By the time Hulchanski began his work, Toronto and the United Way had completed research showing the city's poverty was highest in 13 priority neighbourhoods. "The trend line was clearly there. Researchers saw it and the city's work with the United Way was going on," says Fiona Chapman, manager of social research and analysis for Toronto. "What David's work has done is absolutely confirmed the concerns. And I think why everybody doffs their cap to David is (that) he's been very good at helping the public understand these concerns." BY THE NUMBERS How the income decline affects the outer suburbs $40,074 Average 2005 individual income, all Toronto census districts 61 Percentage of population comprising immigrants in districts where incomes have declined more than 20 per cent since 1970 34 Percentage of population comprising whites in such districts 19 Number of subway stations within 300 metres of such districts, versus 40 for biggest-gaining districts 54 Percentage of 2005-07 homicides in such districts, versus 12 per cent for biggest-gaining districts Source: University of Toronto Cities Centre U of T analysis of census data shows middle class shrinking, especially in Scarborough, Etobicoke February 08, 2009 Patty Winsa STAFF REPORTER http://www.thestar.com/Article/584204 interactive map: http://www3.thestar.com/static/Flash/map_middleclass.html PDF:http://multimedia.thestar.com/acrobat/51/c7/2cc835a5403d8d76478fae97bba0.pdf
  5. http://www.icisource.ca/commercial_real_estate_news/ When NIMBYism is warranted, and when it isn’t Of course, the question is whether a proposed development, infill project or new infrastructure build really does pose a risk to these cherished things. Developers and urban planners must always be cognizant of the fact that there is a segment of the population, a fringe element, who will object to just about anything “new” as a matter of principle. I’ve been to many open houses and public consultations for one proposed project or another over the years. There is almost always that contingent of dogged objectors who invariably fixate on the same things: Parking – Will there be enough if the development increases the population density of the neighbourhood or draws more shoppers/workers from elsewhere? Traffic – Will streets become unsafe and congested due to more cars on the road? Transit – Will this mean more busses on the road, increasing the safety hazard on residential streets, or conversely will there be a need for more? Shadowing – is the new build going to leave parts of the neighbourhood stuck in the shade of a skyscraper? These are all legitimate concerns, depending on the nature of the project in question. They are also easy targets for the activist obstructionist. Full and honest disclosure is the best defence Why? Because I see, time and again, some developers and urban planners who should know better fail to be prepared for objections rooted on any of these points. With any new development or infrastructure project, there has to be, as a simple matter of sound public policy, studies that examine and seek to mitigate impacts and effects related to parking, traffic, shadowing, transit and other considerations. It therefore only makes sense, during a public consult or open house, to address the most likely opposition head on by presenting the findings and recommendations of these studies up front in a clear and obvious manner. But too often, this isn’t done. I’ve was at an open house a few years ago where, when asked about traffic impact, the developer said there wouldn’t be any. Excuse me? If your project adds even one car to the street, there’s an impact. I expect he meant there would be only minimal impact, but that’s not what he said. The obstructionists had a field day with that – another greedy developer, trying to pull the wool over the eyes of honest residents. This is a marketing exercise – treat it like one This is ultimately a marketing exercise – you have to sell residents on the value and need of the development. Take another example – a retirement residence. With an aging population, we are obviously going to need more assisted living facilities in the years to come. But in this case, the developer, speaking to an audience full of grey hairs, didn’t even make the point that the new residence would give people a quality assisted-living option, without having to leave their community, when they were no longer able to live on their own. I also hear people who object to infill projects because they think their tax dollars have paid for infrastructure that a developer is now going to take advantage of – they think the developer is somehow getting a free ride. And yet, that developer must pay development charges to the city to proceed with construction. The new build will also pay its full utility costs and property taxes like the rest of the street. City hall gets more revenue for infrastructure that has already been paid for, and these additional development charges fund municipal projects throughout the city. Another point, often overlooked – when you take an underperforming property and redevelop it, its assessed value goes up, and its tax bill goes up. The local assessment base has just grown. City hall isn’t in the business of making a profit, just collecting enough property tax to cover the bills. The more properties there are in your neighbourhood, the further that tax burden is spread. In other words, that infill project will give everyone else a marginal reduction on their tax bill. It likely isn’t much, but still, it’s something. Developers must use the facts to defuse criticism Bottom line, development is necessary and good most of the time. If we didn’t have good regulated development, we would be living in horrid medieval conditions. Over the last century and a bit, ever growing regulation have given us safer communities, with more reliable utilities and key services such as policing and fire. Yes, there are examples of bad development, but if we had none, as some people seem to want, no one would have a decent place to live. It just astonishes me that developers and urban planners don’t make better use of the facts available to them to defuse criticism. It’s so easy to do it in the right way. Proper preparation for new development public information sessions is the proponent’s one opportunity to tell their story, and should not be wasted by failing to get the facts out and explaining why a project is a good idea. To discuss this or any other valuation topic in the context of your property, please contact me at [email protected] I am also interested in your feedback and suggestions for future articles. The post Why do public planning projects go off the rails? appeared first on Real Estate News Exchange (RENX). sent via Tapatalk
  6. http://spacingmontreal.ca/2010/05/25/parc-lahaie-transformation-underway/ Résultat du parc Lahaie: C'est très laid ! deux tables dans le milieu, c'est le seul truc qu'ils ont trouvé à installer ? Je crois qu'il serait mieux de détruire la rue si ont veut vraiment la transformer en place publique. Je laisse Étienne vous présenter ses rendus qui sont extra !
  7. I don't really foresee the volume of foreign capital required coming in to Mtl. and thus upsetting its affordability. There are too many vacant locations as is, and not enough population and economic growth to massively reverse the situation. The one-in-six rule: can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants? | Cities | The Guardian The one-in-six rule: can Montreal fight gentrification by banning restaurants? A controversial law limiting new restaurant openings in Montreal’s Saint-Henri area has pitted business owners against those who believe they are fighting for the very survival of Canada’s ‘culture capital’. Who is right? In downtown Montreal, traditionally low rental rates are coming under severe pressure amid a deluge of new restaurants and cafes. Matthew Hays in Montreal Wednesday 16 November 2016 12.30 GMT Last modified on Wednesday 16 November 2016 12.31 GMT In Montreal’s Saint-Henri neighbourhood, the hallmarks of gentrification shout loud and clear. Beautiful old brick buildings have been refurbished as funky shops, niche food markets and hipster cafes. Most notably, there are plenty of high-end restaurants. More than plenty, say some local residents – many of whom can’t afford to eat in any of them. Earlier this month, the city council agreed enough was enough: the councillors of Montreal’s Southwest borough voted unanimously to restrict the opening of new restaurants. The bylaw roughly follows the “one-in-six” rule, with new eateries forbidden from opening up within 25 metres of an existing one. “Our idea was very simple,” says Craig Sauvé, a city councillor with the Projet Montreal party. “Residents need to be able to have access to a range of goods and services within walking distance of their homes. Lots of restaurants are fine and dandy, but we also needs grocery stores, bakeries and retail spaces.” It’s not as though Saint-Henri is saturated with business: a number of commercial and retail properties remain empty. In that environment, some residents have questioned whether it’s right to limit any business. Others felt that something had to be done. Tensions boiled over in May this year, when several restaurants were vandalised by a group of people wearing masks. At the grocery store Parreira Traiteur, which is attached to the restaurant 3734, vandals stole food, announcing they were taking from the rich and giving to the poor. “I was really quite shocked,” says co-owner Maxime Tremblay. “I’m very aware of what’s going on in Saint-Henri: it’s getting hip, and the rents are going up. I understand that it’s problematic. They were under the impression that my store targets people from outside the area, which isn’t really the case. I’ve been very careful to work with local producers and artisans. Why would you attack a locally owned business? Why not a franchise or chain?” Not everyone is sure the change in regulation will work. “The bylaw seems very abstract to me,” says Peter Morden, professor of applied human sciences at Concordia University who has written extensively on gentrification. “I wonder about the logic of singling out restaurants. I think the most important thing for that neighbourhood would be bylaws that protect low-income and social housing.” Alongside restaurants, chic coffee shops have become emblematic of Montreal’s pace of change. As the debate rages, Montrealers are looking anxiously at what has happened to Canada’s two other major metropolises, Toronto and Vancouver. Both cities have experienced huge spikes in real-estate prices and rents, to the point where even upper-middle-class earners now feel shut out of the market. Much of Vancouver’s problem has been attributed to foreign property ownership and speculative buying, something the British Columbia government is now attempting to address. This has led to concern that many of the foreign buyers – mainly Chinese investors – could shift their focus to Montreal. For now, the city’s real estate is markedly cheaper than that of Vancouver or Toronto: the average residential property value is $364,699, compared with Toronto’s $755,755 and Vancouver’s $864,566, according to the Canadian Real Estate Association. And rent is cheaper, too: the average for a two-bedroom apartment in central Montreal is $760, compared with Toronto’s $1,288 and Vancouver’s $1,368. Montrealers have little desire for their city to emulate Vancouver’s glass-and-steel skyline. The reasons for this are debatable – the never-entirely-dormant threat of Quebec separatism, the city’s high number of rental units and older buildings, its strict rent-control laws and a small-court system seen to generally favour the rights of tenants. But regardless of why it’s so affordable, many Montrealers want it to stay that way. There is widespread hostility towards the seemingly endless array of glass-and-steel condos that have come to dominate the Vancouver and Toronto skylines. If Montreal does look a bit grittier than other Canadian cities, it owns a unique cultural cachet. The inexpensive cost of living makes it much more inviting to artists, which in turn makes the city a better place to live for everyone; its vibrant musical scene is the envy of the country, and its film, dance and theatre scenes bolster the city’s status as a tourist attraction. In this context, Montreal’s restaurant bylaw is designed to protect the city’s greatest asset: its cheap rents. “I would argue this is a moderate bylaw,” says Sauvé. “We’re just saying one out of every six businesses can be a restaurant. There’s still room for restaurant development.” He says the restaurant restriction is only part of Projet Montreal’s plans, which also include increased funding for social housing. “Right now, the city sets aside a million dollars a year to buy land for social housing. Projet Montreal is proposing we spend $100m a year. The Quebec government hasn’t helped with its austerity cuts: in the last two budgets, they have cut funding for social housing in half. There are 25,000 people on a waiting list.” Perhaps surprisingly, the provincial restaurant lobby group, the Association des Restaurateurs du Quebec, doesn’t have an issue with the bylaw. “We understand the impact gentrification can have,” says spokesperson Dominique Tremblay. “We understand the need for a diversity of businesses. Frankly, if there are too many restaurants on one street, it’ll be that much harder for them to stay open. There won’t be enough customers to go around.” Even despite having been robbed, Tremblay says he recognises the anxiety that swirls around the subject of gentrification. “People feel a neighbourhood loses its soul,” he says. “I get that. I’d rather we find a dialogue, not a fight.”
  8. Via The Gazette Lachine Canal was once Canada’s industrial heartland BY PEGGY CURRAN THE GAZETTE MAY 16, 2014 As midnight approached on New Year’s Eve, mothers and fathers in St-Henri, Little Burgundy and Point-St-Charles opened their doors to let in the roar of neighbouring factories. At Redpath Sugar, Belding Corticelli, Stelco, Dominion Textile and Northern Electric, on passing CN trains and freight barges, horns honked and whistles blew to welcome another year in southwest Montreal. For St-Henri natives Suzanne Lefebvre and Thérèse Bourdeau-Dionne, the clarion call is one of those “mysterious and fascinating” memories that pull them back to childhood and the traditions of a time not so very long ago when the neighbourhoods bordering the Lachine Canal were Canada’s industrial heartland. Today, construction cranes dominate the landscape as long dormant factories are converted into luxury condominiums. The canal, upstaged in 1959 with the opening of the St. Lawrence Seaway, has become a rambling waterfront park dotted with walkways and bike paths, a favourite of pleasure boaters and urban fishermen. Every year, more traces of the area’s working-class origins vanish. “This whole zone along the canal is an area of tremendous change,” says Steven High, who holds the Canada Research Chair in Oral History at Concordia University. “Of course, that brings controversy. For the working-class neighbourhoods of Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy and St-Henri, there are a lot of questions.” Two years ago, High and the team at the Centre for Oral History and Digital Storytelling began interviewing about 50 people who grew up, lived, or worked in the area — the first phase in a major project examining local history and the consequences of post-industrial transformation in the working-class neighbourhoods that flank the canal. The first phase of their research, prepared in conjunction with Parks Canada, features an audio walking tour that allows users to listen to some of those stories as they loop back and forth on a winding 2.5-kilometre trail between Atwater Market and the Saint Gabriel Locks. “The canal was the industrial heart of Canada,” High said during a recent tour. “When the factories started closing when they built the Seaway, this became redundant. So what do you do with this thing? It had a slow death from ’59 to about ’72. They finally closed it. They opened up all the gates and it became basically a big ditch that was a dumping ground for all the factories that were still here.” After debating several options — including a plan to fill in the canal and build another highway — Ottawa handed over control to Parks Canada, which reopened the canal for small vessels and built cycle paths, paving the way for gentrification. “We are looking at the loss of jobs and the old industrial story, but also the subsequent story of rebirth and change, and what that means to the neighbourhoods around the canal,” High said. “The population of the southwest was cut in half between 1960 and 1991. You see how dramatic the change was here and how quickly jobs were lost and factories were closed. It didn’t help that the government was demolishing neighbourhoods, whether it was Little Burgundy for public housing, or making way for the Bonaventure and Ville-Marie Expressways.” Speaking in their own words, some residents recall forbidden joys, such as a furtive swim in the canal or “tours de pont,” which involved jumping on the Charlevoix Bridge as it swung in half to make way for a passing boat. For others, memories are painful. One man who reflects on the racism experienced by black families in Little Burgundy unable to secure work at the factories in their backyard. Then there’s the chilling tale of the prolonged labour conflict at the Robin Hood Flour Mill in summer 1977, where eight unarmed strikers were shot. A man hired as a replacement worker during the eight-month dispute describes the daily journey into the plant by train. Security guards with the physique of wrestlers wore fingerless gloves packed with brass knuckles. “It was an important moment in Canadian labour history,” High said, standing beside the train tracks just beyond the fence surrounding the Robin Hood plant. “Out of that confrontation, we had the first law in North America against replacement workers — the so-called anti-scab law.” While the audio guide is available with narration in English or French, a decision was made to use the oral testimonials in both languages. “People speak in their own language. So when we walk into Little Burgundy, it is more English, in other parts it is more French.” Interview subjects include a broad cross-section of ages, backgrounds and perspectives. “One of the issues in these kind of tours is that there is often a focus on community — that community is good. But how do you get at these stories that maybe divide people, where you haven’t got consensus? “We tried as much as possible to be true to our interviews, in a sense that people were saying different things. One person would say: ‘I live in this condo and they are making a real contribution.’ Another would say: ‘Those condos have their back to the neighbourhood.’ You get to hear these different voices.” High said the structure of a walking tour adds another dimension. “When you are actually listening on site, you are hearing what was, you are seeing what is — and it ain’t the same thing. There is a friction there. It’s political.” This summer, the Concordia team will venture deeper into Point-St-Charles, Little Burgundy, Griffintown and Goose Village, where they will walk around the neighbourhood with interview subjects. “It is another way to get people to remember. You can remember just by sitting down over a table, but sometimes that is more chronologically organized, more family-based memories. But if you are out in the neighbourhood, it brings out more community stories.” High expects those interviews to form the basis for a second audio tour. Meanwhile, Concordia drama and art history students will be working on companion projects for neighbourhood theatre and visual arts events. As an historian who also happens to live in the Point, High said he is interested in the way people have responded to the dramatic changes that continue to shape these post-industrial districts. “In Point-St-Charles, what we saw was a lot of community mobilization. It is very much associated with community health movements, social economy movements. So there was a lot of mobilization. Whereas in other neighbourhoods, you have community demobilization and fragmentation. I want to know why. Why is it like this here and like this there?” But High is also drawn to the simple, compelling truth of people telling their stories. “Ordinary people live extraordinary lives. We forget that.” To learn more about the canal project, or to download a copy of the audio guide and accompanying booklet, go to http://postindustrialmontreal.ca/audiowalks/canal [email protected] Twitter: peggylcurran © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  9. 10 MINUTES FROM DOWNTOWN NEW PROJECT FEATURING OVER 200 TOWNHOUSE 3 BEDROOMS + BASEMENT, GARAGE, PRIVATE BACK YARD DELIVERY Summer 2010 STEPS FROM MONTREAL-WEST TRAIN BUSSE, SCHOOLS, SERVICES CHOICE OF COLORS, STYLES & OPTIONS NO CONDO FEES BASE PRICE: $ 339,900 (incl all taxes) http://www.lescourspominville.ca The reason why I chose to highlight this project is because of its location and that it lends itself to a much greater discussion. Firstly, it is an example of yet another quality project in an area that is known for being low-income and aesthetically sub-par. Secondly, this project is located in the section of Ville Saint Pierre that is very much ‘Montreal West Adjacent’. In fact if it wasn’t for municipal borders it would make a lot more sense for this area of Ville Saint Pierre in particular to be part of Montreal West as opposed to Lachine. That being said, Montreal West has actually closed off vehicular access to the area from Chemin Broughton making a neighbourhood that should be a theoretical extension of Montreal West into a neighbourhood closed off from it. It is now only accessible from Chemin Avon the street that leads into the rest of Ville Saint Pierre (west of the train tracks).
  10. Step aside Toronto, the next housing boom is in Montreal Karen Mazurkewich, Financial Post Published: Friday, January 11, 2008 Gordon Beck/Canwest News Service What sets Montreal apart from other urban centers is the fact that it has retained its neighbourhood mosaic. When Montreal architect Henri Cleinge purchased an old wine depot in Montreal's Little Italy district in 2002, he transformed it into a contemporary three-unit condo with polished wood and concrete floors, iron staircases and stainless steel kitchens. He then flipped two of the units for seven times the original investment of $200,000. Mr. Cleinge had a few sleepless nights wondering whether the units would sell. He didn't have to worry. In Montreal, there's big demand for contemporary-design living. Much has been made about Toronto's big museum projects and condo lineups, but Montreal is also changing its shape. Toronto housing prices have experienced 58% growth since 2000. The island of Montreal, however, has seen housing sales jump 50%, but the city itself has gone up 94%. In addition, a new concert hall and 28-storey condo tower is being erected atop Place des Arts metro, two mega hospitals are under construction and Sotheby's International Realty recently entered the market. As well, the largest private real estate investment in decades, involving 4,000 dwellings and a shopping plaza, is scheduled to get a green light from city hall. Montreal's mojo is back. But its not the big urban projects that are redefining this city. What makes Montreal distinct from other urban centres is the fact it has retained its neighbourhood mosaic. The most famous is the northeastern district known as Plateau-Mont-Royal. The Plateau has become the most expensive address in the city, with its average housing price jumping 105% in the past seven years. It's also one of the reasons Montreal consistently ranks among the top 25 cities in the world for quality of life. Like Greenwich Village in New York or Haight-Ashbury in San Francisco, the Plateau is where culture and haute couture intersect. In the 1980s, the Plateau was a string of shabby row houses. Owners lived on the main floor and rented the walk-ups. But the working-class enclave changed dramatically in the 1990s, when new legislation made it possible to subdivide duplexes and triplexes into condo apartments. "Instead of a single owner, who would rent one or two of the other floors, now each apartment is owned individually and people are now willing to invest," says Susan Bronson, a Montreal heritage conservationist. The artists and architects that moved into the area with nothing in their pockets can now afford to invest. The hood became hip because it maintained "high bohemian index," she says. Montreal's Mile End, a subsection within the Plateau immortalized by Canadian author Mordecai Richler, has seen the greatest upheaval. Gone are the icons: the discount grocery store Warshaw's, Simcha's Fruit Market and St. Laurent Bakery have closed. Instead, a slew of new high-concept design stores, including Interversion and Latitude Nord, have staked out Boulevard Saint-Laurent, turning it into the new fashion Mecca. Even the old rag-trade factories, religious buildings and empty lots have received a radical facelift. Architect Eric Gauthier, who created the landmark Espace Go on Saint-Laurent, is currently constructing the all-new Théâtre de Quat'Sous on formerly grungy Avenue Pins. The firm Lepointe Magne has also made its mark on the Plateau, redesigning the public swimming pool Bain Lévesque and converting an old fire hall into the high concept Théâtre Espace Libre. In Plateau's housing, one of the first innovations was Atelier Big City's 1989 Sept-Plex condominium project on Clark Street, which made creative use of the narrow street fronts and back lanes. Atelier Build reinvented the notion of infill with its 2004 "thin house" project along Avenue L'Hotel-du-ville. When she started her architectural company with partner Michael Carroll 12 years ago, Danita Rooyakkers of Atelier Build, says few others were betting on the Plateau. Political instability in the province was a deterrent for developers, but it was the perfect time for a young architect with modest means and big dreams. Ms. Rooyakkers biked around Plateau in search of cheap empty lots and made her mark by eschewing the traditional walk-ups, where every family gets a floor, and subdivided the property so each owner has a front door, backyard and terraces. By opening up the walls and adding skylights, the architectural firm created a vertical loft. It won awards because it offered another prototype for high-density Montreal living, she says. The design aesthetic in Montreal has been tempered by activism. The Plateau is not only governed by a planning advisory committee stacked with architects and landscapers, it has community watchdogs galore, including the Mile End Citizens Committee and Urban Ecology. Every architect working here has had to face fierce town hall forums before building begins. "As educated local residents, we have both a sense of entitlement and empowerment," says Owen Rose, an architect and head of the Urban Ecology group, which focuses on urban green spaces. "It's easy to get involved in issues because we are constantly bumping into each other on the street in this urban village," he says, adding that community involvement has permeated the local culture. As one of the first architects to help reshape the plateau, Mr. Gauthier was frequently forced to marry old facades with his slick contemporary style to meet the borough's strict guidelines. With Théâtre de Quat'Sous, he's been given an exemption: the historic synagogue in which the theater is currently housed didn't meet safety codes so it will be replaced by a showy new architectural structure. Mr. Gauthier is concerned about a public outcry, but he's excited about the new design. "If you want to keep the city alive, you need to add new buildings and new layers." While the strict development guidelines built a "cohesive" neighbourhood, he says, "we've passed the point where conservation should now trump freedom." Mr. Cleinge, the architect, is trying to exercise that freedom. In recent years he has revamped in his sleek industrial design look a microbrewery on Duluth Street as well as the Les Chocolats de Chloe of Roy Street East. He avoids wood stairs and plastered ceilings, preferring concrete and steel for urban living spaces. The look reflects the city's history, he says. "Montreal is an industrial city with a large garment industry so it's appropriate language to use in a residential context," he says. Luckily for him, clients such as Stéphane Dion and Éloïse Corbeil, typical Plateau dwellers, are looking to restyle their 1880s duplex. Ms. Corbeil's father purchased the building on Christophe Columb Street in 1996 when she and her brother needed a place to live while they attended university. Ms. Corbeil's brother has since moved to the United States, but the 33-year-old writer-filmmaker and her lawyer husband still love the mixed neighbourhood. They looked in the swank neighbourhoods of Westmount and Outremont after the birth of their two children, but decided to stay put. "We didn't want to go to the suburbs because we like the diversity here," says Ms. Corbeil. Conscious of their limitations but eager for a contemporary style, they hired Mr. Cleinge after seeing his work in a magazine. His mandate was to keep a portion of the "stacked wood" interior shell of the house, but rebuild the place from top bottom. He proposed a mezzanine open-style approach to filter more light into the home and create more space. Concrete floors and iron railings are part of the new plan. For most young buyers, the Plateau is now untouchable - meaning overpriced. Its evolution, however, has created a ripple effect across the city and intensive gentrification is happening in the shabby districts of Point St. Charles and the Jean Talon market area. "The Plateau has matured," says Mr. Cleinge. But the condoization of Montreal has only begun. Financial Post [email protected] http://www.financialpost.com/magazine/family_finance/story.html?id=231679
  11. New marché targets different market On the corner of Iberville and Ontario Sts., a neighbourhood initiative seeks to provide quality produce - and a fresh look at eating inexpensively and healthfully BRETT BUNDALE, The Gazette Published: 10 hours ago A new market was launched in one of Montreal's poorest neighbourhoods yesterday with the aim of increasing access to fresh food, not making profits. The Frontenac public market, on the corner of Iberville St. and Ontario St. E., is devoted to offering affordable, locally grown food as well as promoting healthy eating and lifestyle habits through educational workshops . "This is a low revenue area but residents don't have access to affordable, fresh food," said Elaine Groulx, chairperson of the public consultation on local food security. Seventy-three per cent of businesses that sell food in the area are dépanneurs. There's an IGA down the street, but it's expensive and the fruit and vegetables are not good quality." Although the market is just getting on its feet, every Saturday until October residents can attend workshops on healthy eating or just stroll through the market to see what's in season. The market is supported by the Ville-Marie borough and several community organizations, including the community economic development corporation of Centre-Sud and the Jeanne-Mance health and social services centre. Community organizers hope the market will be embraced by residents of the community and will expand in future years. They also hope to get more agricultural producers who live close to Montreal involved in the project. "Most of the vendors come from the South Shore or just on the outskirts of Montreal," Groulx said. Laurie-Anne Riendeau, 17, has a fruit and vegetable kiosk at the Frontenac market that she started with the support of her parents as a summer job. She sells fruits and vegetables grown near her home in Ste. Clotilde, in the Montérégie region of Quebec. "People have a lot of questions about rural Quebec and how agriculture works," Riendeau said. "Sometimes I have to explain what certain vegetables are, like these," she said, pointing to a fresh bunch of leeks. "I give them tips on the best way to cook them too." Often people assume the price of food in markets is cheaper than supermarkets because you avoid the "middle man" and buy directly from the producer. But an investigation by the non-profit consumer magazine Protégez-Vous found that wasn't always the case. Fruits and vegetables at the Atwater market were more expensive than in small fruit stores and supermarkets, the 2005 investigation found. In addition, because markets often sell fruits and vegetables in baskets at fixed prices, it's hard to compare with supermarkets, where the price is based on weight. But the Frontenac public market hopes to change that by educating vendors on the reality of the neighbourhood and asking them to set their prices accordingly, Groulx said. Riendeau said she is keeping the prices of her fruits and vegetables low. "I know this is not the Atwater market. Some people come here with only a few coins in their hands. I'll often give people a special price if they buy a few things." Cafe Touski, a neighbourhood coffee shop and cooperative, sells coffee and baked goods at the market. In between pouring cups of coffee, Martin Mantha said the café is so far just breaking even. http://www.canada.com/montrealgazette/news/story.html?id=2c0c5b89-881a-4ff0-8b12-32babd6d979b
  12. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010 Expropriate Overdale! Demolition: within minutes pulleys, chains and trucks can transform a visual touchstone, place of fabulous living bricks and mortar and vibrant history and memories into a pile of junk to be trucked off. This is the fate that the city has decreed for the Lower Main and one of its most unique and liveliest of spots - the Cafe Cleopatra. What's more shocking is that the city plans to expropriate the properties and simply hand them over to another owner, a practice that's considered ethically dubious at best. If indeed the city proposes to tread in those murky waters, we propose that they set their sights further west. Over two decades ago the city of Montreal allowed landowners Douglas Cohen and Robert Landau to demolish a neighbourhood of about seven buidings buildings housing about 100 people at the corner of Mackay and René-Lévesque. The city could easily have refused them permission to demolish the structures, as most suggested that the buildings be integrated into the larger project that the duo proposed. But Cohen and Landau insisted that their $500 million condo project could never happen unless the entire block was razed. The city blinked and ordered the tenants out and demolished the buildings. Mayor Dore and his assistant John Gardiner suffered a major blow to their credibility and their powerful MCM party started a downhill spiral that ended when they were voted out of power. Meanwhile the owners never kept their promise to build condos on the property. Two decades later the owner Robert Landau has not only failed to build anything on the land but he's created an urban parking hell eyesore where a vibrant neighbourhood once stood. Robert Landau also runs Landau Fine Art Gallery at Mackay and Sherbrooke. Landau's family money comes from the fur business. He opposed the greening of Mackay last year. He has sought to demolish the last remaining structure on the property, which has considerable historic value. Landau has some sort of British accent even though he's a Montrealer. He said in an interview "you know that you can trust us." Get the picture? Landau looks like he'll be alive for a few more years and he seems unable or unwilling to get anything done on the precious downtown block. The city should expropriate and resell the land to someone to build on the land. An indoor parking lot could be incorporated so even those who like to park their cars there could still be accommodated. Montreal's city administration was tricked and betrayed and burnt by the Overdale affair but it can now make things right by some forceful action that it has claimed to be willing to take in much less justifiable circumstances. Mayor Tremblay claims he's willing to use this tool, he should use some wisdom to discern the proper place to use it. http://coolopolis.blogspot.com/2010/02/expropriate-overdale.html
  13. I wish I was able to take pictures of the Alexander McQueen exhibit at the MET, but security was like rabid pit bulls The second day I was there, I ended up walking the Brooklyn and Manhattan Bridges. From there did downtown, filmed Obama motorcade walked on the West side along the Hudson back to my hotel in Time Square (zigzagging down different streets). After that walked from the hotel all the way along the Hudson River up to 96th, to 110th (Oh yah, around this time some women had her wallet stolen, luckily 20 guys from that neighbourhood ended up chasing the kid down.). Walked through the park back to the MET, which is at like 82nd. From there went back to the hotel which was at 47th. Since all that walking, my knees are screwed up One thing, this trip to NY was a disaster but it was still fun.
  14. http://montreal.ctvnews.ca/vandal-rampage-targets-shops-on-notre-dame-in-st-henri-1.2388586 Vandal rampage targets shops on Notre Dame in St. Henri CTV Montreal: Bandits smash windows in St. Henri Vincent Powell, Jesse Bowden and Corey Shapiro had their shops on Notre Dame attacked by 10 masked vandals last night. 'It's going to escalate for sure,' - Storeowner Storeowner Jesse Bowden says that the attacks on his and other businesses on Notre Dame in St. Henri are worrisome. St. Henri entrepreneur on the attacks Entrepreneur Corey Shapiro describes the attacks on his property on Notre Dame near Delinelle. CTV Montreal Published Sunday, May 24, 2015 12:16PM EDT Last Updated Sunday, May 24, 2015 7:01PM EDT Police are investigating after at least eight stores in St-Henri were vandalized at 11:30 p.m Saturday night as a group of masked individuals wearing hoods went on a violent destructive rampage on Notre Dame St. W. near Delinelle St. in the Southwest borough. The masked vandals came equipped to smash windows. "There were about 10 guys all dressed in black and they came with pool balls and crow bars and broke the windows and 30 minutes later everything was broken everywhere," said Vincent Powell. Several witnesses called 9-1-1, but when the suspects fled the scene before police arrived. The Saturday night attacks came one night after an opening night party for a juice bar was targeted by what appeared to be the same attackers. Entrepreneur Corey Shapiro said that smoke bombs were tossed into his newly-opened juice bar Friday. When he went out to look at what was going on, he was hit in the face by pepper spray. “I ran outside to see what the story was and I got pepper sprayed by people dressed all in black with masks, who had made a strategic attack on a crowd of a couple of hundred people,” he said. “This was an attack potentially endangering people’s lives.” Jesse Bowden, who is a co-owner of the Campanelli boutique, was on hand Sunday evaluating the damage. He told CTV Montreal that there has been a history of such attacks on the strip. "They came through about eight months ago spray painting the whole front of the storeface and a group then put out a manifesto on a website saying it was a politically motivated attack to stop the gentrification of this neighbourhood. These are people who are unhappy with the neighbourhood has changed, but the people that are changing it are all from this neighbourhood," he said. Bowden said that he lives nearby and has several businesses. "I don't think anybody has ever come through and talked to us to understand what we're trying to bring. sent via Tapatalk
  15. Where to buy now We tell you exactly which neighbourhoods are set to skyrocket in value. MONTREAL A small slice of Europe on this side of the big pond, Montreal has been dubbed Canada’s sexiest city. With a jam-packed festival season that includes the highly rated Just For Laughs comedy festival and the Festival International de Jazz, along with an array of local boutiques, restaurants and bistros, Montreal offers something for everyone—as long as you can find a job. While the national unemployment rate hovers at around 7%, Montreal’s unemployment rate sits at 8.2%. Still, the city saw a 4% rise in its population from 2011 to 2012 and announcements of inner-city rejuvenation—including the new McGill University Health Centre—are helping bolster property prices. Real estate is still cheap compared with other major Canadian cities—the average price of a home on Montreal Island is $481,386, and if you broaden the boundaries and look at the Greater Montreal Area, including the North and South Shores, the average home price is $324,595. “It’s comparatively cheaper than say Toronto or Vancouver, but we also battle to attract jobs,” explains Jeffrey Baker, a realtor with Royal LePage Dynastie. The best real estate opportunities right now are on the island itself. First on our list is the Rosemont/La Petite Patrie area, known locally as Little Italy. “This area is very, very hot,” says Baker. A big reason is that the neighbourhood is on the northern border of the Le Plateau/Mont-Royal area—a vibrant, popular and expensive place located near downtown. “Rosemont/La Petite Patrie isn’t a Plateau want-to-be,” says Baker. “It has its own distinct character. But many people who start out renting in Plateau end up buying here.” In fact, this is what Matthew Taylor, 50, and his 40-year-old Rosa De Leon did earlier this year. “We bought in mid-December after living and renting for 20 years in Plateau-Mont-Royal,” says Taylor, a CEGEP teacher at Dawson College. While the couple originally wanted to purchase in Plateau, they found they were priced out of the market. “Everything we looked at within our budget was far too small for a family of four,” says Taylor. That’s when the couple started looking at other neighbourhoods, eventually settling on a duplex in La Petite Patrie. “We really love checking out the local restaurants,” says Taylor. They aren’t the only ones. In the last three years, as the neighbourhood has become popular with buyers, prices have zoomed up 23%. “This is a high density area with lots of picturesque homes,” Baker says. In recent years many older textile buildings were converted into lofts, explains Amy Assaad, a Royal LePage Heritage realtor. This provided great first-time buyer opportunities, while helping to gentrify the neighbourhood. If the average property price of $468,000 is a bit daunting, consider our next top neighbourhood of Villeray/Saint Michel/Parc-Extension. Directly to the north, this large area has a population of 142,000 residents. The main draw is the neighbourhood’s affordability. Average property prices are more than $100,000 cheaper than neighbouring communities and the area is experiencing dramatic growth. “Lots of condo conversions are taking place in this community,” Assaad says. David Schneider, a Sutton Group Immobilia realtor and history-buff, explains that historically the neighbourhood has been one of the poorest urban communities in Canada. “Cheap rents meant students have been living here for decades. This, in turn, has made the area cool.” The third neighbourhood in our Montreal ranking was South-West (also known as Sud-Ouest). Homes in this area are 11% cheaper than the average Montreal Island home, but area prices have appreciated 40% in the last three years. “I’ve been buzzing about this neighbourhood for the last five years,” says Schneider. “Property values here are undervalued.” It’s an opinion shared by Nikki Tsantrizos, 29, and her partner, Steve Lavigne, 34. Two years ago, the couple started looking in the St. Henri district of South-West for a place to buy. “We’d rented in the area for 10 years and despite being a rough area, just loved it.” That was two years ago. Now, a full reno later, the value of their home has risen 40%. “When we bought there were strip clubs, hotdog stands and poutine shops,” says Tsantrizos. “Now these have been replaced by trendy cafes and boutiques.” But despite being close to downtown, the canal and the Atwater Market, this area’s reputation has been marred by social housing projects. Even so, recent developments are starting to put the community on the map. For instance, a high-tech hospital—slated to open in 2015—is prompting speculation on future home prices. Two other neighbourhoods to consider are Verdun and LaSalle—both on the southern tip of the island. While Verdun is an older neighbourhood (originally settled by the Irish) it’s got a lot of potential. Despite a three-year appreciation of 22%, families may be leery of the area, given its high crime rate. Still, with its close proximity to the canal, downtown, the Métro (Montreal’s subway system) and Concordia University, it’s only a matter of time before the area experiences true gentrification. Homes in LaSalle are also rising, with an 11% increase in the last year alone. “Though it’s much more suburban than the other four neighbourhoods—and not as well-served by transit—it provides a less dense community that’s very family-oriented,” Schneider says. It’s also a place known for having some of the best shopping in the city. http://www.moneysense.ca/property/buy/where-to-buy-now-2
  16. Nicolas Van Praet, Financial Post · Jun. 6, 2013 | Last Updated: Jun. 6, 2013 2:23 PM ET MONTREAL • Green Mountain Coffee Roasters Inc. is revamping its Canadian manufacturing operations in Montreal as investors savour a tripling in the company’s shares over the past year. The Waterbury, Vt.-based company, which bought Quebec coffee chain Van Houtte in 2010, will announce Friday a $40-million to $50-million investment to modernize its plant in Montreal’s Saint Michel neighbourhood with new packaging equipment, two sources said. More than 100 new jobs will be created in the move. It’s all part of a larger effort by Green Mountain Canada President Sylvain Toutant to fortify and grow the company’s presence in Montreal since the $915-million takeover three years ago. Building on initial moves to purchase property around the company’s Van Houtte coffee facility in the city’s north end and to occupy a new country head office, Mr. Toutant is now expanding the Montreal manufacturing operations. “This is really a great piece of news for a neighbourhood that badly needs it,” said Frantz Benjamin, the municipal councillor representing the district, adding the company’s modernization is only the first phase of what could be a larger economic development project for the neighbourhood. Related “In the medium term, we’d really like to develop an entire Quartier du Café (Coffee District) in the area,” anchored around Green Mountain, he said. Montreal has other geographical clusters of business activity, but this one in Saint Michel’s industrial district would be among the more remote. The coffee maker sought financial support from the Quebec government for the manufacturing modernization, which it is believed to have won. The funds would be used to add a production line in Saint Michel and diversify commercial activities, the company said in a filing with Quebec’s lobbyist registry. Shares of Green Mountain rose 3% to $74.68 in Nasdaq trading Thursday. They’ve more than tripled over the past year. In December, Mr. Toutant articulated a three-year plan for Green Mountain’s Montreal site to add 50,000 square feet of production space, boost the payroll by 150 workers to 1,000, and refurbish the roasting plant. The site currently encompases the head office, a roasting factory and two distribution warehouses. Green Mountain dominates the single-serve coffee market in the United States with its Keurig-brand coffee makers and K-Cup pods, making money from most of the coffee sold for those machines. The company lost more than two-thirds of its market value during the year ending last October, but has since staged a remarkable recovery, proving that despite the expiry of its K-Cup design patents it can still generate earnings growth. Green Mountain’s product innovation will be an important performance driver in the years ahead, Imperial Capital analyst Mitchell Pinheiro said in a research note Thursday, initiating coverage on the shares with an outperform rating and $95 price target. “We believe the company’s potential on the cold beverage side of the at-home beverage category could create an opportunity that is as large, if not larger, than its current coffee, tea and hot cocoa segment,” Mr. Pinheiro said, forecasting earnings per share growth of 15-25% over the next three years. http://www.nationalpost.com/Green+Mountain+boost+Montreal+operations+with+much+investment/8490304/story.html
  17. (Courtesy of The Montreal Gazette) This is the first part of three. Plus you get more visuals in the paper today.
  18. J'ai failli tomber de ma chaise...venant du Globe I’m in love. Montreal has always reminded me of an unapproachable crush – it’s arty and sophisticated, and, to me, seems to possess an impenetrable coolness. In recent years, the rise of its indie music scene, trendsetting street fashion and unapologetically rustic comfort cuisine has only added to its mystique. On previous visits, I had felt every bit the awkward outsider. I’d wander the streets of Old Montreal or take in the view from atop Mount Royal, keenly aware that those who lived here were going to the better bars, eating fabulous food and participating in all sorts of amazing activities that I couldn’t even begin to imagine. This time, I wanted to crack that barrier. So I joined a tour. Guided tours are typically the antithesis of cool. But Shea Mayer’s Fitz & Follwell Co. is a different kind of tour company. As the Montreal resident explains, his cycling tours aren’t just meant to take visitors to the most popular tourist attractions. Rather, they’re based on his idea of a perfect day in the city. “That’s how I designed the routes: What’s my favourite bagel place? Where do I think the best coffee is? What do I do when I go down to the market?” he says. His Bike & Yoga tour, for example, takes visitors through the bohemian neighbourhood of Le Plateau, with a break along the way for smoothies at his favourite juice bar and stops for yoga sessions in three of the area’s tranquil parks. His all-day Mountainside to Riverbank package offers a more challenging ride for seasoned cyclists up to the top of Mount Royal, then down along the St. Lawrence River to Saint-Helen’s and Notre Dame Islands. I chose to tag along on his ’Hoods and Hidden Gems tour, lured by the promise I would be immersed “in the local hangouts of the city’s hippest habitants.” Upon my arrival at his Mount-Royal West Avenue shop, Mr. Mayer sets me up with a sleek black city cruiser, which he has christened “Jeanne,” after the pioneering Montreal nurse Jeanne Mance. (All of the bikes at his shop are similarly named after the city’s historic figures, like “Molson” after the beer tycoon, and “Lili” after the legendary burlesque dancer Lili St Cyr.) Montreal is renowned for being a bike-friendly city, with designated cycling lanes throughout the side streets and thoroughfares. It’s also the launching pad for the now-famous Bixi, a bike-sharing system that allows users to rent a vehicle from one of the many stations scattered around town and deposit it at another station when they’re finished riding. The system has proved so popular that cities around the world, from Toronto to Melbourne, have adopted it. But because Bixi bikes are meant for only short commutes, they’re not ideal for longer, leisurely trips. My Jeanne offers a smoother ride. Mr. Mayer leads our small group through the tony francophone enclave of Outremont and Le Plateau. Along our route, he stops to point out quirky details, not always found in guide books, such as where larpers (live action role players) gather to enact their fantastical battles or where resident bohemians hold their “tam tams,” or drum sessions. We stop to pick up freshly baked bagels at the Montreal institution St. Viateur Bagel, and tote them across the street to Mr. Mayer’s neighbourhood hangout, Café Olympico, where he orders us the café’s specialty espresso coffees. La suite ici: http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/travel/destinations/travel-canada/how-i-fell-in-love-with-montreal/article2192143/