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  1. Montreal's restaurants fluent in French BY RAPHAEL SUGARMAN Saturday, December 1st 2007, 4:00 AM Europea's chef, Jerome Ferrer, prepares a fine French meal. New Yorkers looking for the perfect destination to tantalize their palates needn't spend hours traveling overseas to Paris. They should instead make the relatively short jaunt to Montreal and enjoy a culinary tradition that is just as passionate and arguably more exciting than that of France. "The food [in France] is very good and very classic, but here we are more open-minded," says Normand Lapris, executive chef of Toque, a highly rated Montreal restaurant. "When I am cooking, I don't think to myself, 'I can't use this recipe or this spice because it is not French,'" adds Lapris. "If I like curry, I put curry in my food." Fostering classic French cuisine - while remaining open to North American eclecticism - makes Montreal an ideal city for food lovers. More than half the city's 20 top-rated restaurants are classified as French or French-Canadian, and the cuisine - and its Quebecois influences - undeniably inspires the greatest passion in Montreal's kitchens. A very good case can be made that the city's top French restaurants - including Chez L'Epicier, L'Express, Au Pied de Cochon and Toque - offer every bit as delectable and memorable a dining experience as any spot in Paris. Because Montreal is, by nature, a French city, dining in a bistro here offers a much more authentic experience than similar establishments in New York or other North American cities. "When you are dining at L'Express, you feel like you could be in Paris, like you are in another world," says Lesley Chesterman, restaurant critic for the Montreal Gazette. Much like France, the quality of restaurants in Montreal is driven by the superb food markets. At the Atwater Market in the Saint-Henri district, and at the Jean-Talon Market adjacent to Little Italy, locals and tourists alike marvel at the bounty of luscious, home-grown products. At Jean-Talon, make sure to visit Le Marche Des Saveurs du Québec (The Market Flavors of Quebec), a pair of shops that feature a staggering 7,000 delicacies produced in the province. "The small producers make all the difference here in Quebec," says Carl Witchel, a local food historian. "The difference between Montreal and New York is that here you can go into a really inexpensive bistro with 20 or 25 seats and have something really remarkable." IF YOU GO ... Where to stay: Le Saint-Sulpice: Cozy boutique hotel in the heart of Old Montreal, a block from Notre Dame. (877)-SULPICE. Hotel Le Germain: A gem in the city's downtown business district. (514) 849-2050. Where to eat: Nuances: Jean-Pierre Curtat's wonderful French fare, irreproachable service and ethereal sunsets. (514) 392-2708. Club Chasse Et Péche: You have to love a place that lists "Six Oysters with Charisma" on the menu. (514) 861-1112. Europea: The Lobster Cream Cappuccino with truffle oil is just one of chef Jerome Ferrer's inventive offerings. (514) 398-9229. Beaver Club: Located in the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel, this opulent stalwart has been serving classic French cuisine for decades. (514) 861-3511.
  2. Tensions build over Roxboro high-rise project by Raffy Boudjikanian Article online since November 24th 2009, 13:00 Holly Arsenault shows the property line dividing her land from that of a developer whose potential project leaves many on Fifth Avenue North in Roxboro unhappy. Chronicle, Raffy Boudjikanian. Tensions build over Roxboro high-rise project Even as some residents of Fifth Avenue North in Roxboro, a dead-end street lined with single-unit bungalows, are concerned over the possible development of a multiple-storey condo at the end of their street, Pierrefonds officials at a lively public meeting last Wednesday night were at pains to explain nothing could move ahead yet. "Before the project can be accepted or acceptable, the developer must present plans that conform to our legislation. For now, that isn't the case yet," said Pierre Rochon, urban planning and business services department director, in answer to citizen questions. However, residents are concerned after seeing land surveyors walk into the swampy wooded area over the last few weeks. Holly Arsenault, who lives in a home right on the property line of the area, even said one of them told her the owner, Jacob Wolofsky, has already acquired all necessary permits and construction will begin in February. "If that's true, he's dreaming in colour," Rochon replied. When The Chronicle went to visit the street last Thursday, Arsenault showed a row of rocks that separates her yard from Wolofsky's property. Planted alongside both sides of that makeshift border are 45 trees, which Arsenault said play a large role in keeping her home from flooding when nearby Rivière des Prairies rises in the spring. "He said he's going to cut them down," Arsenault said, adding about half of them are on the developer's side. Another Fifth Avenue North resident, France Marsant, voiced her displeasure at the Wednesday meeting too. "Our street had a very peaceful, very calm character," she said. "We find it unthinkable to have a big block of eight floors on the street, which could lead to 300 cars going into the street by the summer." Borough Mayor Monique Worth insisted Pierrefonds was doing all in its power to ensure legal norms force the developer to create a reasonable project. "Our norms are getting higher and higher," she said. Rochon said previous bylaws allowed a 12-storey high project on the site, but the borough's revisions have already cut that size down to eight. At least one resident of the street was skeptical anything could be built at all. "I wouldn't even invest a cent into that land, it's a swamp," said Michel Davuluy, who has been living there for several years. After the meeting, Worth conceded the city of Montreal would, in an ideal world, like to buy up that land and turn into green space. "I think, in a way, we would like it to be a part of green space that would start, let's say, west of the Rapides du Cheval Blanc and end with that piece of property," Worth said. "But we can't force him to sell at a lower price because we would like to. It's up to him, it's his decision," she said. Though the land is valuated at about $188,000, a purchase by Montreal would cost millions because it is a public body, Worth said. Montreal had a right of expropriation on the property in question up to last May, but did not renew it after it expired, Marsant mentioned at the meeting. Wolofsky did not return calls for comment.
  3. Un autre article intéressant du Telegraph de Londres. Ils publient régulièrement des articles touristiques sur Montréal et le Québec, toujours très flatteurs, d'ailleurs. Montreal: a thrilling collision of cultures Part French, part English and a lot more besides, Montreal is stylish, intriguing, and full of joie de vivre, says Kathy Arnold. On a sunny Saturday morning, we stroll through the Quartier Latin. Apart from a few dogwalkers and the occasional cyclist, the streets are quiet. We take a table at an outdoor café, order café au lait and read through La Presse, the local newspaper. It is all oh-so French, but when an American sits down nearby, the waitress slips effortlessly into English. We are in Montreal, the third-largest French-speaking metropolis in the world (after Paris and Kinshasa) – and one of the most intriguing cities I know. Montreal is proud of its Gallic roots. From its founding in 1642 until 1763, when the British took over, this island in the St Lawrence River was an important outpost of France. Down by the harbour, 19th-century banks and warehouses testify to the wealth generated by the port. It still ranks as one of the largest in North America, despite being 1,000 miles from the Atlantic. Traditionally, the Anglophones lived on the west side, the Francophones to the east. The dividing line was - and still is - the boulevard Saint-Laurent, referred to as “The Main” in English or “La Main” in French. The look of the city reflects this mixture of cultures, as if, in an architectural game of tit-for-tat, classic French designs are matched by traditional British. In front of the Hôtel de Ville, we crane our necks to look up at columns and porticoes as grandiose as any on a 19th-century town hall in France. By contrast, at Christ Church Cathedral, Anglican Gothic rules, from arches to spire. Then there are the street names: Saint-Jacques and Victor-Hugo share the map with Sherbrooke and Queen-Mary. And where else boasts a rue Napoléon and a rue Wellington? Canada’s second city may rest on European foundations, but its mirror-windowed skyscrapers are pure North America. So is the grid system of streets that spreads from the St Lawrence up to Mont-Royal, the hill for which the city is named. But unlike many US cities, Montreal is very walkable. We saunter along cobbled streets and lanes in the oldest part of the city, the Vieux-Port, where harbourside seediness has given way to galleries, trendy hotels and restaurants. Up the hill, in the Plateau area, we photograph the escaliers - the outdoor staircases that are a feature of the century-old duplex townhouses. Some insist that the curved steps reduced building costs; others say they created space for a front garden. Local lore suggests otherwise. “We are very Catholic,” a friend explains. “To ensure propriety, the church insisted on exterior entrances so everyone on the street could always see who was going in and out of each apartment.” Many Montrealers still live downtown, so the urban bustle continues after work and at weekends. Thanks to a passion for the arts, there is always plenty going on. Over the years, we have been to the Montreal Symphony Orchestra and the Grands Ballets Canadiens, enjoyed jazz and comedy at small clubs. And we have always eaten well. Like their cousins in the Old World, Montrealers love good food. As well as four busy, European-style markets, piled high with local produce, there is a huge range of well-priced restaurants. Some offer hearty Québec favourites such as smoked meat, tourtière (meat pie) and, thanks to the Jewish community, arguably the best bagels in North America. My favourite restaurants are those offering a modern take on traditional recipes; the most famous is Toqué!, whose chef, Normand Laprise, was in the vanguard of the foodie revolution. Still others reflect the influx of immigrants from Italy and Greece, Spain and China. These newcomers have spiced up the pot-au-feu that is Montreal: Vietnamese-run flower stalls look like mini-garden centres and red-shirted Benfica supporters celebrate the Portuguese club’s victory. Although locals still talk about the “French” and the “English”, meaning Francophone and Anglophone, Montreal today embraces so much more than just these two cultures. It all adds up to a city that is vibrant, confident and forward-looking, with a joie de vivre that is impossible to resist. As the franglais slogan for a local radio station puts it: “Plus de hits! Plus de fun!” Essentials Montreal is five hours behind UK time; the international dialling code for Canada is 001; the current exchange rate is C$1.88 to the pound. Where to stay Luxury The city is dotted with designer-cool hotels, such as the 30-room Hotel Gault at 449 rue Sainte-Hélène (514 904 1616, http://www.hotelgault.com; from £90), on the edge of Vieux-Montreal. Behind its elegant 1871 façade are bare brick and modern art. Traditionalists should opt for the Auberge Bonaparte at 447 rue Saint-François-Xavier (514 844 1448, http://www.bonaparte.com; £80), with its romantic ambience, excellent restaurant and 30 comfortable rooms. In fine weather, take in the views over Vieux-Montreal from the sixth-floor roof terrace. Mid-range The 60-room Hôtel XIXe Siècle at 262 rue St-Jacques Ouest (877 553 0019, http://www.hotelxixsiecle.com; from £70) scores for price and location – on the edge of Vieux-Montreal and an easy walk from downtown. The lobby and bar still have the high ceilings from the building’s origins as a 19th-century bank. Budget When the Auberge Les Passants du Sans Soucy at 171 rue St-Paul Ouest (514 842 2634, http://www.lesanssoucy.com) opened as an art gallery-cum-b&b some 15 years ago, Vieux-Montreal had yet to be revived. Today, guests staying in this 1723 stone house are steps away from galleries, shops and restaurants. Nine rooms only, so book early; Daniel Soucy’s breakfasts are lavish. What to see Museums For a quick history lesson, visit Pointe-à-Callière, built right on top of the city’s first Catholic cemetery (1643-1654). Look down through glass to the graves of Iroquois Indians buried near people named Tessier, Thibault and Hébert, family names that are still in the local phone book. On the top floor, L’Arrivage restaurant has great views over the port (514 872 9150, http://www.pacmusee.qc.ca). As well as the obvious European Old Masters, the Musée des Beaux-Arts (514 285 2000, http://www.mbam.qc.ca) has fine Canadian works. Paintings by the renowned Group of Seven capture the ruggedness of the country in the early 20th century; more contemporary are Quebecois talents such as Jean-Paul Riopelle and Serge Lemoyne . The Olympic Park From the 1976 Olympic Stadium, the Montreal Tower rises 537 feet (164m) - at an incline of 45 degrees. Take the funicular up to the Observatory for spectacular views across the city. Another legacy of the Games is the pool. For £2, you can swim where David Wilkie of Scotland took gold in the 200m breaststroke, breaking the world record in the process (514 252 4737, http://www.rio.gouv.qc.ca). Then there is the velodrome, recycled as the Biodôme. Under a vast roof, this space is divided into four eco-systems, which are always in season. Sloths hide in the Tropical Rainforest, cod and salmon swim in the St Lawrence Marine Eco-system, beavers build dams in the Laurentian Forest, but the biggest crowd-pleasers are the penguins, which torpedo into the icy waters of the Antarctic (514 868 3000, http://www.biodome.qc.ca). Montreal Botanical Garden An easy walk from the Olympic Park is the city’s answer to Kew Gardens (514 872 1400, www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/jardin). Within its 180 acres are 10 giant greenhouses and 30 themed gardens. Learn all about toxic and medicinal plants; compare Chinese and Japanese horticultural styles. Montreal Insectarium Across from the Botanical Garden is the Insectarium (514 872 1400, www2.ville.montreal.qc.ca/insectarium), a must for children. This is a world of creepy-crawlies, with dung beetles, stick insects, cochineals, bees and more. There is even a set of scales that registers your weight, not in pounds or kilos but in ants. A 10-year-old weighs in at about 1.5 million. What to buy Shopping With sterling riding high, shopping is a pleasure. All the international brand names are here, but most fun are the boutiques featuring the work of stylish local designers. Downtown, head for rue de la Montagne, between Boulevard de Maisonneuve and rue Sherbrooke; up on the Plateau, check out rue Saint-Denis, chock-a-block with shops, and the funky boulevard Saint-Laurent. The three big department stores are Holt Renfrew, La Baie (Hudson’s Bay Company) and La Maison Ogilvy, where noon is still marked by a kilted piper playing the bagpipes. Markets Join locals shopping for produits du terroir at the art deco Marché Atwater, with its cheeses and maple syrup, and, next to Little Italy, the Marché Jean-Talon, ringed with busy bistro tables. The Marché Bonsecours in Vieux-Montreal no longer sells fruit and veg: the handsome 1847 building is now devoted to arts and crafts. Where to eat Toqué! Back in the early 1990s, Normand Laprise startled locals with his flavour combinations and the dramatic look of his dishes. As inventive as ever, his seven-course, £45 “mystery menu” could include scallops marinated in strawberry and bell pepper jus and suckling pig with a curry glaze (900 Place Jean-Paul-Riopelle; 514 499 2084, http://www.restaurant-toque.com). La Porte At this family-run operation, Pascale Rouyé looks after front of house while her husband, Thierry, and their son cook. They do what the French do best (local ingredients, classic techniques), and the five-course, £22 menu would be hard to beat in their native Brittany (3627 Boulevard Saint-Laurent; 514 282 4996) . Olive + Gourmando Wood floors and chairs and young, cheerful staff make this a pleasant place to start the day with steaming café au lait and a blueberry brioche (351 rue Saint-Paul Ouest; 514 350 1083, http://www.oliveetgourmando.com). Garde-Manger The disco beat gets louder as the evening progresses in this brick-walled restaurant. Get stuck in to ribs and platters piled with crabs, mussels and shrimp from Québec’s Iles de la Madeleine. Finish with maple-pecan pie (408 rue Saint-François-Xavier; 514 678 5044). Aszú In this basement oenothèque, David Couture’s modern cuisine is matched with 50 wines by the glass (212 rue Notre-Dame Ouest; 514 845 5436). Night owls During Prohibition, Americans escaped to Montreal for whisky and jazz. There is still no shortage of clubs and bars. Join the fun on rue Crescent, boulevard Saint-Laurent and rue Saint-Denis in the Quartier Latin. One of the best jazz clubs is The Upstairs (1254 rue MacKay; 514 931 6808, http://www.upstairsjazz.com). Getting there Canadian Affair has return flights from London Gatwick and Manchester to Montreal Trudeau International from £198; flights and six nights’ three-star accommodation from £396, based on two sharing (020 7616 9184 or 0141 223 7517, http://www.canadianaffair.com). Getting about No car is needed. The STM three-day tourist pass (£9) offers unlimited travel on the fast, safe metro and bus system. Metro stops are part of RÉSO, the network of cheerful, brightly lit underground walkways that stretches for some 20 miles, linking shops and apartment blocks, restaurants and museums. Getting in The Montreal Museums Pass gets you in to the 30 principal museums, and includes the three-day travel pass (£23, http://www.museesmontreal.org). More information Tourism Montreal: http://www.tourisme-montreal.org. At Tourism Québec, talk to a real person on 0800 051 7055 (http://www.bonjourquebec.com/uk). In the know Three of the best events on the city’s calendar include: Canadian Grand Prix, June 6-8 (http://www.grandprix.ca). International Jazz Festival, June 26-July 6 (http://www.montrealjazzfest.com). Just for Laughs Comedy Festival, July 10-20 (http://www.hahaha.com).
  4. Montreal's Jews aren't going anywhere By Yoni Goldstein The history of Russian Jews in Montreal, Canada, began more than a century ago, when a coalition of Jews and Christians in the city raised funds to help Jews escape from the Russian empire in the wake of an onslaught of pogroms triggered by the assassination of czar Alexander II, in March 1881. There are widely varying estimates on the current size of the Russian Jewish community in Montreal: The local Jewish federation believes there are fewer than 10,000 Russian-speaking Jews in the city, while Russian community officials claim the actual number is more than double that figure. In either case, a community center and a Russian-language biweekly newspaper attest to the fact that Russian Jews have established a vibrant community in the city (whose total Jewish population is about 100,000). Of course, as in virtually every city outside Israel where there is a Jewish presence, life for the Jews of Montreal is not without challenges. The city has been home to some minor-league anti-Semitism in the past, and the province of Quebec is proving to be mildly hostile to anyone who can't speak in French and isn't willing to learn how. But the biggest threat to Montreal Jews, the Quebec sovereignty movement of the 1970s and then later, in the early-1990s, has more recently lost favor in the eyes of more Quebecois than ever before. Now is a good time to be a Jew in Montreal. Apparently, Nativ, the formerly clandestine organization that since the 1950s has shared responsibility for bringing Jews from what is now the Former Soviet Union to Israel, and Israel's minister of strategic affairs, Avigdor Lieberman, don't agree. According to recent stories in Haaretz and the European Jewish Press service, having apparently run out of Jews still living in the FSU to bring to Israel, Nativ is planning to make a new push in North America to recruit Russian Jews there to make aliyah. Target No. 1: Montreal. It's a peculiar strategy: aiming to do business in a country that has two significant, settled communities of Russian Jews (the other being Toronto, where some 90,000 live); a country that is safe for Jews and where Jewish communities have long prospered; and a country, moreover, to which disadvantaged immigrants flock and where they are welcomed in droves, where they can experience multiculturalism and inclusiveness. When you're trying to convince people to leave peaceful, thriving Canada for a better life in the Middle East, you know you're in trouble of some kind. The only ones that look bad in this story are Nativ and Lieberman. The decision to recruit in Montreal is, at best, misguided. Worse, it demonstrates that the brand of covert immigration missions that were Nativ's bread and butter between the 1950s and 1990s is no longer needed. For 30 years, the organization was solely responsible for assisting countless Jewish escapees from the Soviet scourge, but that very important work is now finished. Jews who, under the hammer and sickle, were unable either to express themselves Jewishly, or to leave for someplace else where they would be free to do just that, are now at liberty to choose where they want to live, including Israel. In fact, Nativ's decision to choose Montreal's as its first stop in North America proves just how out of touch the organization is. (Already in Germany, Nativ has provoked a protest from Jewish communal leaders because of similar efforts there to lobby Russian-immigrant Jews to depart for Israel.) According to estimates from the city's Jewish federation, 80-85 percent of Russian Jews living in Montreal actually moved there from Israel. These people have already been the beneficiaries of Nativ once, and yet, at some later point, they decided that Israel wasn't the right place for them after all. There's no reason to think that they would consider moving back now, no matter how hard aliyah-liaison officers try to convince them. Nativ's venture into Montreal is doomed to fail because the organization's brand of cloak-and-dagger aliyah recruitment simply isn't suited to today's Jewish global village. Its employment of old-style Zionist tactics, which depict the State of Israel as representing the final stronghold against a world of Jew-haters doesn't connect with people anymore. There are, after all, other perfectly suitable homes for Jews. Montreal is one of those places. Perhaps the time has come for Israel in general to reevaluate its relationship with Diaspora Jewry and acknowledge that there are other places in the world perfectly suited to Jewish living. Once it takes that first step, the next job would be to recognize that the overall relationship between Israel and the Diaspora must change. Instead of looking at the Diaspora as a temporary home for those Jews who can't or aren't ready yet to make aliyah, Israel should invest in forming bonds with Jewish communities around the globe. Nativ, which has been reorganized and reportedly has a fat new budget, might even consider investing some of its cash in making those communities healthier, much in the same way those communities have long invested in the welfare of Israel. Montreal's Russian Jews aren't going anywhere and neither are the vast majority of Jews - Russian-speaking or otherwise - in North and South America and Europe. The sooner the Israeli government realizes that fact, the sooner it can begin to forge a new, symbiotic relationship with all the Jews outside Israel who are quite content to stay right where they are. Yoni Goldstein is an editorial writer at Canada's National Post, and a columnist at the Canadian Jewish News.
  5. Sterling Truck éliminera 720 postes 17 juillet 2008 - 09h27 Presse Canadienne Le constructeur de camions Sterling Trucks de St. Thomas, en Ontario, éliminera 720 postes au sein de son personnel à compter du mois de novembre. Cette décision portera à plus de 1300 le nombre total de mises à pied au sein du constructeur de camions. Le ralentissement économique aux États-Unis a affecté la demande pour les camions, a expliqué le président de la section local du syndicat des employés de Sterling, Dave MacArthur. De son côté, le directeur de la chambre de commerce de St. Thomas, Bob Hammersley, croit que ces mises à pied affecteront des milliers d'autres emplois, notamment dans le secteur des pièces, dans la région. Les travailleurs touchés doivent recevoir leur avis de licenciement ce jeudi. Sterling Trucks a son siège social à Redford, dans l'État du Michigan. L'entreprise est une filiale de Daimler Trucks North America, autrefois connue sous le nom de Freightliner. Daimler Trucks North America est basée à Portland, dans l'État de l'Oregon.
  6. Trouble on The Main The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. Photograph by: John Mahoney, The Gazette By Irwin Block, The GazetteApril 24, 2009 The former home of American Apparel on St. Laurent Blvd. now carries a For Rent sign. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic,” says Dan Abenhaim, the chain’s Canadian regional director. Other shop owners say the recession and high rents have hurt business on along the strip. It’s known to generations as The Main and it’s as Montreal as smoked meat and the Habs. St. Laurent Blvd. is us, and in tribute to its Portuguese component, city officials on Friday inaugurated a dozen marble-topped benches between Bagg and Marie Anne Sts. But things are not going that well for some merchants, especially on the trendiest part of the street between Sherbrooke St. and Pine Ave. It’s still home to such fancy eateries as Buona Notte and Primadonna, but in the past months several major tenants have closed. They include an American Apparel store and a Mac Cosmetics outlet; the space formerly occupied by Sofia Grill at the northwest corner of Prince Arthur St. and St. Laurent is for rent, as are several other shops farther north. Dan Abenhaim, American Apparel’s Canadian regional director, said that after five years the firm decided not to renew the lease. “I won’t deny that the construction on the street did affect traffic and we decided we want to open in another location.” He also said that over five years “the street has changed and the traffic is more north of Pine Ave.” However, clothing shops are also hurting north of Pine, where Adam & Lilith has closed one of two adjoining shops on St. Laurent. According to assistant manager Carmel Pacaud, people are still attracted to the street but they are not buying as they used to. Other shop owners blame almost two years of disruptive road repairs that ended last year, as well as the recession and high rents. “The city has murdered the street,” said one real estate agent, who spoke on the condition his name not be used. People who were put off by the construction are not coming back and there is a moratorium on new restaurants and bars between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal Ave., he added. Rent at the former Mac Cosmetics store is about $7,500 a month for 1,600 square feet. Rents tend to decrease north of Pine. “It’s a little distressing, slower than usual” remarked Marnie Blanshay, who owns Lola & Emily ladies wear just south of the abandoned American Apparel. Many who were discouraged from shopping there by the ripping up and repaving of the strip have not returned, she observed. And because few retail clothing shops remain, hers is more of a “destination store” with fewer shoppers coming by to go from store to store checking out and comparing. “It reminds me of Crescent St. in the 1990s,” she said, adding that “the landlords believe it’s better than it is and need to reduce rents.” When rents go down, the creative people will return to reinject the street’s normal vitality, she said. “St. Laurent Blvd. is not a street where chains succeed.” Apart from Jean Coutu and Pharmaprix, American Apparel was the only chain outlet on the street, noted André Beauséjour, executive director of the Société de développment du Boulevard St. Laurent. He said the vacancy rate between Sherbrooke and Mount Royal is a “normal” two per cent. A stroll up the boulevard yesterday indicated that many stores that have become institutions – Bar Bifteck, Salaison Slovenia, Schreter’s, Coco Rico, Moishe’s, Segal’s grocery, Berson Monuments – are still going concerns. And there was the proverbial lunchtime lineup inside Schwartz’s. But if you have a concept, there is lots of space for rent, including the former Laurentian Bank at St. Laurent and Pine. – all 5,400 square feet. [email protected] © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  7. Air Algerie Expands Montreal Service in S16 Posted at 0300GMT 19APR16 Air Algerie during summer peak season plans to expand Algiers – Montreal operation, which sees the addition of 8th weekly service. The additional flight operates on Thursdays, from 23JUN16 to 15SEP16, with Airbus A330-200 aircraft. AH2702 ALG0645 – 1045YUL 330 4 AH2700 ALG1240 – 1640YUL 330 D AH2703 YUL1245 – 0135+1ALG 330 4 AH2701 YUL1840 – 0730+1ALG 330 D
  8. http://mentalfloss.com/article/72661/detroit-named-americas-first-unesco-design-city
  9. some of you might have already seen this, but a friend posted this on facebook and thought it was funny: YOU KNOW YOUR FROM MONTREAL WHEN : • You pronounce it "Muntreal", not "Mahntreal". • You have ever said anything like "I have to stop at the guichet before we get to the dep." • Your only concern about jaywalking is getting a ticket. • You agree that Montréal drivers are crazy, but you're secretly proud of their nerves of steel. • The most exciting thing about the South Shore is that you can turn right on a red. • You know that the West Island is not a separate geographical formation. • You bring smoked meat from Schwartz's and bagels from St-Viateur if you're visiting anyone. • You refer to Tremblant as "up North." • You know how to pronounce Pie-IX. • You greet everyone, you meet with a two-cheek kiss. • You're not impressed with hardwood floors. • You can watch soft-core porn on broadcast TV, and this has been true for at least 25 years. • You were drinking café-au-lait before it was latte. • Shopper's Drug Mart is Pharmaprix and Staples is Bureau en gros, and PFK is finger lickin' good. • You really believe Just For Laughs is an international festival. For two weeks a year. • Everyone, – drivers, pedestrians, and cyclists – think they're immortal, and that you'll move first. • You're proud that Montréal is home of the Great Antonio... • You know that Rocket Richard had nothing to do with astrophysics. • You've seen Brother André's heart. • No matter how bilingual you are, you still don't understand "île aux tourtes." • You know the difference between the SQ, the SAQ, and the SAAQ. • You measure temperature and distance in metric, but weight and height in Imperial measure. • You show up at a party at 11 p.m. and no one else is there yet. • You know that Montréal is responsible for introducing to North America: bagels, souvlaki, smoked meat. • You don't drink pop or soda, you drink soft drinks. • You have graduated from high school and have a degree, but you've never been in grade 12. • There has to be at least 30 cm of snow on the ground in 24 hours to consider it too snowy to drive. • You remember where you were during the Ice Storm. • You used to be an Expos fan, but now all you really miss is Youppi. • You know that your city's reputation is for beautiful women. • You discuss potholes like most people discuss weather. • "The Futuristic City" is actually Habitat '67. • You find it amusing when people from outside Québec compliment you on how good your English is. • You have yet to understand a single announcement made on the Métro PA system. • You think of Old Montréal as nothing but a bunch of over-priced restaurants, old buildings. • You understand that La Fête Nationale is not a celebration of "Québec's birthday" • You don't find American comedians speaking "gibberish" French even remotely funny. • You don't find it weird that there's a strip club on every corner downtown. • You know the words to the national anthem in French. • You often switch from "heat" to "A/C" in the same day. • You use a down comforter in the summer. • Your parents drive at 120km/h through 13 feet of snow during a blizzard, without flinching. • You carry jumper cables in your car and your girlfriend knows how to use them. • You design your kid's Halloween costume to fit over a snowsuit. • Driving is better in the winter because the potholes are filled with snow. • You know all 4 seasons: almost winter, winter, still winter, and construction. • You don't understand anyone from Lac-St-Jean, but you can fake the accent.
  10. (Courtesy of CNW) It should be open in the Spring of this year. I drove passed it, honestly it doesn't look at like it at all ready. They are setting up shop in the old Ferrari-Maserati dealership. At least now people don't have to go to Toronto or John Scotti to get their Rolls
  11. 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.
  12. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/little-trace-remains-of-montreals-glamorous-theatre-era Little trace remains of Montreal's glamorous theatre era LINDA GYULAI, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Linda Gyulai, Montreal Gazette Published on: February 27, 2015 Last Updated: May 13, 2015 9:27 AM EDT Undated photo of theatres lining downtown Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal. Undated photo of theatres lining downtown Ste-Catherine St. in Montreal. There are imaginary ghosts dancing behind the plywood that’s temporarily concealing a vacant storefront on Ste-Catherine St. W. as it undergoes renovation. They’re the spirits of vaudeville and Hollywood, of stars of first silent and then talking movies, of singers, dancers and “manufacturers of mirth,” as one newspaper reviewer described a pair of vaudeville entertainers, and of generations of Montrealers who flocked to live shows and movie premieres while the location was known as Loew’s Theatre. You wouldn’t know it today, but the skinny, towering storefront a few metres west of Mansfield St., which most recently housed a Foot Locker shoe store, was once the entrance of a majestic theatre that served as Montreal’s principal vaudeville house and one of its main movie theatres for many years after it was built in 1917. Then: A print from about 1910 of His Majesty's Theatre, which was located on Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine St. Then: A print from about 1910 of His Majesty's Theatre, which was located on Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Guy St., just north of Ste-Catherine St. Now: His Majesty's Theatre was demolished in 1963, where today stands Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts complex. Now: His Majesty's Theatre was demolished in 1963, where today stands Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts complex. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The York Theatre opened in 1938 on the northwest corner of Ste-Catherine and Mackay Sts. Then: The York Theatre opened in 1938 on the northwest corner of Ste-Catherine and Mackay Sts. Now: The York Theatre was demolished in 2001 to make way for Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts building. Now: The York Theatre was demolished in 2001 to make way for Concordia University's engineering, computer science and visual arts building. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A 1972 photo of the Loews Theatre, on Ste-Catherine just west of Mansfield St. Built in 1917 by architect Thomas W. Lamb. With more than 3,000 seats, it was the largest in Montreal when it opened, and for years was the principal vaudeville stand in the city. Then: A 1972 photo of the Loews Theatre, on Ste-Catherine just west of Mansfield St. Built in 1917 by architect Thomas W. Lamb. With more than 3,000 seats, it was the largest in Montreal when it opened, and for years was the principal vaudeville stand in the city. Now: The Loew's Theatre was subdivided into five cinemas in 1976. Boarded up today, the building most recently housed a Foot Locker store. Now: The Loew's Theatre was subdivided into five cinemas in 1976. Boarded up today, the building most recently housed a Foot Locker store. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Strand built in 1912 on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Mansfield Sts., and the first major movie theatre in Montreal's downtown. Then: The Strand built in 1912 on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Mansfield Sts., and the first major movie theatre in Montreal's downtown. Roméo Gariepy / collection Cinémathèque québécoise / Roméo Gariepy / collection Cinémathèque québécoise Now: The Strand Theatre ended its days as the Pigalle before being torn down in 1973, with the neighbouring Capitol Theatre, to make way for an office tower. Now: The Strand Theatre ended its days as the Pigalle before being torn down in 1973, with the neighbouring Capitol Theatre, to make way for an office tower. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Capitol Theatre, about 1925. The Capitol opened in 1921 on the south side of Ste-Catherine, just west of McGill College Ave. Then: The Capitol Theatre, about 1925. The Capitol opened in 1921 on the south side of Ste-Catherine, just west of McGill College Ave. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A print of the Colonial Theatre from about 1915. The theatre was renamed the Regal in 1920. Then: A print of the Colonial Theatre from about 1915. The theatre was renamed the Regal in 1920. Then: The Palace Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. between McGill College Ave. and University St. The Palace Theatre was built as the Allen Theatre for movies in 1921. Then: The Palace Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. between McGill College Ave. and University St. The Palace Theatre was built as the Allen Theatre for movies in 1921. Now: The site of the old Regal (and Colonial) theatres is now the SuperSexe strip club, and the former Palace Theatre, next door, is a restaurant. Now: The site of the old Regal (and Colonial) theatres is now the SuperSexe strip club, and the former Palace Theatre, next door, is a restaurant. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Gaiety Theatre, on the northeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Aylmer Sts., became a movie house in 1909. Renamed the London Theatre around 1912, later renamed The System, renamed Le Cinéma 539 in the 1970s and showed X-rated films. Then: The Gaiety Theatre, on the northeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Aylmer Sts., became a movie house in 1909. Renamed the London Theatre around 1912, later renamed The System, renamed Le Cinéma 539 in the 1970s and showed X-rated films. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette files Now: The exterior of the former Gaiety Theatre remains recognizable. Building most recently housed a store. Now: The exterior of the former Gaiety Theatre remains recognizable. Building most recently housed a store. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: Bennett's Theatre opened in Montreal in 1907, on the north side of Ste-Catherine at City Councillors St. Then: Bennett's Theatre opened in Montreal in 1907, on the north side of Ste-Catherine at City Councillors St. Now: The former Bennett's Theatre, renamed the Orpheum in 1910, is now the site of an office tower. Now: The former Bennett's Theatre, renamed the Orpheum in 1910, is now the site of an office tower. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. The former Princess Theatre was later renamed Le Parisien, and is now a newly renovated retail outlet up for rent. The former Princess Theatre was later renamed Le Parisien, and is now a newly renovated retail outlet up for rent. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Imperial Theatre in 1913, the year it opened ion Bleury St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Imperial Theatre in 1913, the year it opened ion Bleury St., just north of Ste-Catherine. Now: The Cinéma Impérial. Now: The Cinéma Impérial. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: An undated photo of Montreal's Nickel Theatre at the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine St. W. and Bleury St. After 1912, it became known as The Tivoli Theatre. It was destroyed in a 1923 fire. Then: An undated photo of Montreal's Nickel Theatre at the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine St. W. and Bleury St. After 1912, it became known as The Tivoli Theatre. It was destroyed in a 1923 fire. Now: There's no trace now of the old Tivoli Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. at Bleury St. Now: There's no trace now of the old Tivoli Theatre on Ste-Catherine St. at Bleury St. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Gayety Theatre, in 1957, at the corner Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain Sts. It was the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal in its day, later transformed into the home of the Comédie Canadienne theatre company. Then: The Gayety Theatre, in 1957, at the corner Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain Sts. It was the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal in its day, later transformed into the home of the Comédie Canadienne theatre company. The site of the former Gayety Theatre today is the Théâtre du nouveau monde. The site of the former Gayety Theatre today is the Théâtre du nouveau monde. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Ouimetoscope at the corner Ste. Catherine St. E. and Montcalm St., was inaugurated in 1906. Then: The Ouimetoscope at the corner Ste. Catherine St. E. and Montcalm St., was inaugurated in 1906. Now: Condos and a commercial space now occupy the site of the former Ouimetoscope, but a privately erected plaque draws attention to the site's historical significance. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then: The Théâtre National, was built in 1900 on the south side of Ste-Catherine at Beaudry St. Considered the oldest French professional theatre in North America. Now: The Théâtre National, built in 1900, is now Le National, a music and live entertainment venue. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette Then and now: The grand old theatres of Ste-Catherine St. From west to east, here are some of the old theatres that once lined the street, along with what the sites look like now. By the end of its reign in the 1990s, the once glorious Loew’s was a five-screen cinema that had been eclipsed by even larger multi-screen movie theatres. The Loew’s was just one of more than a dozen lost movie and live entertainment palaces that once lined Ste-Catherine, long before Gap and Second Cup made their debuts. And you wouldn’t know that, either, because the story of Ste-Catherine’s role as a theatre row cannot be found on the street. Unlike Sherbrooke St. W. to the north, downtown Ste-Catherine boasts no historic plaques to point out its landmarks and recount the street’s history. “It was the Quartier des spectacles before there was Quartier des spectacles,” Heritage Montreal policy director Dinu Bumbaru said of the downtown stretch of Ste-Catherine. He was referring to the name of the entertainment block the city and the provincial government are building around Place des Arts between Ste-Catherine and De Maisonneuve Blvd. east of Bleury St. On its own initiative, Heritage Montreal installed 19 interpretative plaques along Sherbrooke in 1992 for Montreal’s 350th anniversary. It was an ambitious undertaking for a private, non-profit organization as it sought the cooperation of building owners to put up the plaques. The funding was provided by philanthropist Liliane M. Stewart and a number of foundations. Stewart, who presided the Stewart Museum and the Macdonald Stewart Foundation, died in May. The downtown theatres were the most important theatres in town. — Dane Lanken Heritage Montreal also installed 15 plaques around Dorchester Square in 2004. Stewart and the owners of some of the buildings in the area provided the funding. Now, with Montreal’s 375th anniversary coming in 2017, Bumbaru suggested that the city install historic plaques along Ste-Catherine. Coincidentally, city hall is in the midst of developing a revitalization plan for Ste-Catherine between Atwater and Bleury, which creates an opportunity and a budget for such an improvement, he said. Ste-Catherine began life as a residential street. It was transformed starting 120 years ago into an artery of grand stores, churches and theatres. In 1907, the city of Montreal boasted 53 cinema and concert halls and theatres, notes the Répertoire d’architecture traditionnelle, published by the former Montreal Urban Community in 1985. By 1911, the number had grown to 63. Two years later, in 1913, the city had 77 cinemas, concert halls and theatres. The most popular among them were concentrated on the downtown portion of Ste-Catherine. Today, almost all of Ste-Catherine’s early-20th-century theatres have vanished. Even the buildings that housed the theatres are mostly gone. Among the only traces of the street’s past are the Imperial theatre, still showing movies on Bleury just above Ste-Catherine, and the theatre hub formed by such venues as Club Soda, the Metropolis, the Société des arts technologiques and the Monument National at Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent Blvd. “The corner of Ste-Catherine and St-Laurent is the only place where you can still feel the concentration of theatre,” Bumbaru said. Another hint of Ste-Catherine’s connection to old cinema and live theatre is a discreet bronze plaque – again, privately erected – on a building on the southeast corner of Ste-Catherine and Montcalm St., east of the downtown core. A commemorative plaque recognizes Le Ouimetoscope in Montreal. A commemorative plaque recognizes the site of the historic Ouimetoscope theatre on Ste-Catherine St. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette The plaque pays tribute to Léo-Ernest Ouimet, an engineer and projectionist who erected on the street corner what is widely considered to have been the first theatre in Canada built specifically for movies. Ouimet opened the Ouimetoscope in 1906 out of a former recital hall. Soon after, he tore down the building and built a new and fancier Ouimetoscope dedicated to movies, which opened on the same spot in August 1907. The Cinémathèque canadienne (later renamed the Cinémathèque québécoise) put up the plaque in 1966. A commercial and condominium building sits on the site today. Ouimet, meanwhile, sold the Ouimetoscope in 1915 and moved to Hollywood. In 1920, he produced a feature film called Why Get Married? that played at Loew’s Theatre in Montreal, author Dane Lanken writes in his 1993 book Montreal Movie Palaces, a seminal work on the history of Montreal’s grand theatres. Lanken’s book also notes the Ouimetoscope may have been the first fancy movie palace in the world, and not just in Montreal. Lanken was working as a film critic at the Montreal Gazette in the early 1970s when the downtown theatres started to get demolished or have their grand interiors chopped up into multiple cinemas. Palace theatres were going the way of silent movies decades earlier. “It was really the end of the line for the big old theatres,” Lanken said in an interview. He spent 20 years gathering photos and conducting research and interviews on the city’s movie palaces for his book. People by and large lived in very dreary, cold-water flats. But for a quarter, you could go out and sit in this palace. And the doorman would open the door for you, and there would be an usher who would show you to a seat. You were treated royally for 25 cents. — Dane Lanken Lanken wasn’t the only theatre buff to lament the loss of the palace theatres. Montrealer Janet MacKinnon, who fought to preserve historic theatres in Canada, documented the significance of this city’s theatres with her organization, Historic Theatres Trust. MacKinnon died in 2011, but the Historic Theatres Trust collection is now housed at the Canadian Centre for Architecture. The theatres’ history, architecture, ownership and size may be recorded, but Lanken says he agrees with Bumbaru’s suggestion to erect plaques at Ste-Catherine’s landmarks to help keep the history alive. “The downtown theatres were the most important theatres in town,” Lanken said, adding that Montreal’s principal theatres for decades were the Loew’s, the Capitol, the Palace and the Princess, all located within a few blocks of each other on Ste-Catherine. “From the early days of the movies, probably 1920 or so, until the the system broke down around 1970, movies would play first at one of these four downtown theatres,” Lanken said. “And then they would go out on what were called double bills at what were called the neighbourhood houses, like the Monkland in N.D.G., or the Rialto up north (on Parc Ave.). There were a couple dozen of these theatres in the neighbourhoods, but the prestige place to see a movie or for a movie to open in Montreal was at one of these four theatres. That’s why they were so important. And those blocks (along Ste-Catherine) certainly were the Quartier des spectacles of that time.” Most of the early 20th century theatres, such as the Loew’s, offered both films and live theatre. The decorative style of those theatres was classically inspired, based on ancient Greece and Rome, Lanken said. As a result, theatres like the Loew’s boasted columns and plaster low-relief decoration. “The grandeur of these theatres was an important selling point for them,” Lanken said. “People by and large lived in very dreary, cold-water flats. But for a quarter, you could go out and sit in this palace. And the doorman would open the door for you, and there would be an usher who would show you to a seat. You were treated royally for 25 cents.” If the theatres had sprouted somewhat organically on Ste-Catherine in the early 20th century, their destruction was in large part due to an under-appreciation of their architecture, decoration and history, Lanken said. Emblematic of the palace theatres’ plight in the 1970s was the Capitol, on Ste-Catherine just west of McGill College Ave. Lanken calls the Capitol “the greatest theatre ever built in the city.” “It was the grandest, the most spectacular and just about the biggest,” he said. “It’s so rare to walk into a room anywhere where there’s 50 feet of space over your head. But you could certainly get that in a theatre like the Capitol. “A lot of theatres would have walls or columns made of plaster painted to look like marble, but in the Capitol there was real marble. It was a very expensive theatre to build.” The Capitol was built in 1921 by Thomas W. Lamb, the master theatre architect of New York. Lamb who also built the Loew’s and hundreds of theatres across North America, for the then-new Famous Players Canadian Corp., which would become the largest chain in Canada. RELATED A bitter farewell to the Capitol Theatre Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Now: The Capitol Theatre, along with the neighbouring Strand Theatre, was torn down on this block in 1973, to the chagrin of many Montrealers. Dave Sidaway / Montreal Gazette In 1973, the Capitol and its neighbour, the Strand, also owned by Famous Players by then, were demolished to make way for an office tower. “They thought there was more money to be made tearing down the theatres and putting up buildings,” Lanken said of Famous Players. It was the era of mayor Jean Drapeau, to boot, so the demolition of the city’s old theatres didn’t seem to bother city officials, he added. However, they were tearing down Montreal’s collective memory. In the early 20th century, the city was on a North American circuit for touring vaudeville acts, Lanken said. Vaudeville shows were a collection of unrelated acts. “It was family entertainment and anybody could go to it,” Lanken said. The Loew’s in its heyday was the main vaudeville venue in Montreal, putting everything from skaters to acrobats to “comedy dancers” on its bill, along with movies. Ste-Catherine also boasted burlesque shows, notably at the Gayety, the leading burlesque theatre in Montreal that was built in 1912 at Ste-Catherine and St-Urbain St. Stripper Lili St. Cyr made her Montreal debut here in 1944, Lanken’s book explains. It has been home to the Théâtre du nouveau monde since 1972. “Burlesque was vaudeville, except that it had a stripper in it and maybe a chorus line,” Lanken said. “And a dirty comedian was a hallmark of it, as well.” Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal's Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin's "Modern Times". Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett's Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Then: A large crowd gathers outside Montreal’s Princess Theatre in 1936 during the opening of Charlie Chaplin’s “Modern Times”.<br />Original Princess was built in 1908, on Ste-Catherine at City Councillors, across the street from Bennett’s Theatre. Original theatre burned down in 1915. Montreal Gazette files Vaudeville disappeared with the advent of “talkies” around 1929, but the Loew’s continued its program of vaudeville and movies for another decade, Lanken said. The Loew’s brought American comedic entertainer Red Skelton to Montreal before his rise from vaudeville to radio and television. Another performer to hit the stage at the Loew’s was Sally Rand, whom Hollywood filmmaker Cecil B. DeMille put in silent movies in the 1920s and who was billed as the world’s most famous fan dancer when she appeared on the bill at Loew’s in 1935 with her vaudeville act. It was said to be tamer than her burlesque act, in which she would use two ostrich feathers to playfully reveal parts of her body – minus the naughtiest parts — as she danced to Claude Debussy’s Clair de Lune. By the time Leonard Schlemm was taking his first dates to the Loew’s as a McGill University commerce undergrad in the early 1970s, the theatre was strictly showing movies. But the grandeur and elegance of the theatre hasn’t faded for Schlemm, who opened the Mansfield Athletic Club inside the belly of what used to be the Loew’s in 2005. The Loew’s had been built for Marcus Loew, who by 1917 already owned 100 theatres across the U.S. and Canada and would later be a co-founder of Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer in Hollywood. With over 3,000 seats, the Loew’s was the city’s largest theatre when it opened. In 2001, Club Med World spent $8 million to renovate the then-vacant space and turn it into an entertainment complex. When the venture failed, the property was divided into two lots, one for the former entrance of the theatre on Ste-Catherine, which was rented to a shoe store, and the other for the interior belly, which opens on Mansfield. The Mansfield side remained empty until Schlemm’s real-estate agent scouted it in 2004 as a potential downtown location for the international fitness centre operator to open a new club. Schlemm had opened a gym in a smaller theatre in Madrid, Spain, and says he saw the potential for the former Loew’s. He bought the nearly 50,000-square-foot lot from a real-estate company that had bought the entire property from Club Med World. The storefront portion on Ste-Catherine, still owned by the real-estate company, has long since lost the old theatre facade. The construction work going on behind the plywood now is on the modern glass exterior, the borough of Ville-Marie says. The work is being done to make way for a new commercial tenant. However, the interior of the former Loew’s is still evident inside Schlemm’s Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. Four of the original architectural drawings for the theatre adorn a wall that leads into the workout space. While many of the grand theatres have been razed, the classically-inspired interior of the former Loew's is still evident inside the Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. While many of the grand theatres have been razed, the classically-inspired interior of the former Loew’s is still evident inside the Mansfield Athletic Club, including the high ceilings and a mural. Peter McCabe / MONTREAL GAZETTE “Club Med had done an excellent job of refurbishing it,” Schlemm said, adding that the company preserved the decorations from the old theatre. (Lanken credits architect Mandel Sprachman for his “sensitive” renovation when he was hired in 1975 to split the Loew’s into a five-cinema theatre. Sprachman saved the dome in the ceiling and decorative elements on the walls to make it possible to one day restore the interior to its former glory.) Schlemm says he likes the idea of erecting plaques for the theatre landmarks along Ste-Catherine. At the same time, he says he recognizes that the city may have other pressing financial needs. So for now, the preservation of Montreal’s theatre row on Ste-Catherine – its history, its spirits and its few remaining fragments, anyway – relies on the will of individuals such as Schlemm and Lanken. A more concerted effort is needed, Bumbaru says. After all, it’s a street where an important piece of Montreal’s story may be lurking behind any ordinary-looking storefront sent via Tapatalk
  13. Everyone is aware that Montreal has been performing at an unacceptable level according to virtually every measure. The challenges that lay ahead are not simple, or easy, but they can be pursued successfully. Significant change appears to have commenced, and may be gathering strength. At the outset, let’s be clear about something. If Montreal is to become a great city again, it will either need to get some sort of real “special status” within Quebec, become a special economic zone or, later, a city state. As we see it, the fundamental question we face is: Can Montreal become a city of global importance, or is it destined to be a provincial metropolis? We are currently a provincial metropolis not much higher in status than other important provincial metropolises, such as Halifax or Winnipeg. We need to become more important, like Toronto or Barcelona. Under existing constitutional arrangements, municipalities are controlled largely by the provinces. Provincial governments pass most of the enabling legislation that affects the powers cities have. Mayor Denis Coderre has entered into talks with two provincial cabinet ministers, Pierre Moreau and Robert Poëti, regarding some kind of special status for Montreal that would see the city get more responsibilities and funding — but for small things like transport and services for the homeless. Bravo and kudos, but is that enough? No. A recent Bank of Montreal/Boston Consulting Group analysis of Montreal outlined 10 distinct proposals to turnaround the city’s sagging fortunes. If these 10 propositions were to become actionable, they would be implemented within one of the two broader contexts we see for Montreal: evolving provincial metropolis or evolving global city. First of all, Montreal needs to be able to attract and retain the best talent. That is a clearly defined goal to which to aspire. To do this, Montreal must control its own destiny, and that means it must be open to diversity and become a beacon of opportunity. In order to reconnect with the larger North American and offshore business world, Quebec’s restrictive language laws need to be reviewed, and reworked to fit with Montreal’s global ambitions and identity. The thinking should be as follows: Montreal is a French city, first of all. It is also a North American city. It should become a global city. Global cities are defined by their openness to diversity and creativity. And so all students, regardless of ancestry or origin, need to be bilingual at the end of primary school, and trilingual at the end of secondary school. Anglophones and allophones (including immigrants) should be free to choose any school they want, as long as those schools offer a bilingual or trilingual education. Businesses and institutions should be able to use their language of choice. The public should have access to all services in either official language: anywhere, anytime. All of this is possible; we just have to do it. The time is now. Michel David is a business strategist and author of The Genius Is Inside. He is also a director of Fondation Montréal: City-State. He lives in Westmount. Morton Grostern is a consultant to small- and medium-sized businesses in Montreal. He is also a director of Fondation Montreal: City-State. He lives in Hampstead. Michel Lozeau, a strategic consultant and executive coach in Paris, contributed to this commentary. He lives in Montreal and Paris. © Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
  14. Very interesting video of a rapidly expanding transport that few people are aware of. Lac-Mégantic was a wake-up call:
  15. http://www.townandcountrymag.com/leisure/dining/a5818/montreal-restaurant-scene/ Asked to name the best restaurant city in America—meaning the United States—I offered the only reasonable answer: Montreal, a city with the culture, the cooks, the restaurants, the provisions, and the hospitality. (Also of significance is Canada's nicely diminished dollar, which makes dining a deal.) Such a welcome package was neatly summed up by a Canadian pal, Mike Boone, who worked with me at the Montreal Star in the 1970s. He said, "We're not just nice, we're cheap." Of course, Montreal isn't exactly in the United States, should you be hung up on such details as international borders. (Obviously, I am not.) The city is in the province of Quebec, a part of Canada as long as there has been a Canada. My belief that Montreal is really a lost colony of the United States is strengthened by the indisputable fact that our Continental Army captured and briefly held it in 1775. One need only glance at a map from those days, when the province of Quebec was nestled just north of the 13 colonies, to admire the logic. Allow me to add this: The citizens of Quebec practically exhausted themselves trying to secede from Canada in the latter half of the 20th century, only to fail when a 1995 referendum lost by a few thousand votes. To me Montreal is spiritually a part of the U.S., a kind of New York City in miniature, although it's even more like an independent city-state. OLD MONTREAL AT NIGHT. DENNIS TANGNEY JR./GETTY IMAGES The restaurants of Montreal are the attraction. Their evolution, which started in this century, has been swift. They are modest in size and technically proficient, and they provide a sense of casual fine dining that is embraced more wholeheartedly here than anywhere in the U.S. The dining culture is descended from those of both France and England— thankfully, more from France—leaving Montreal a sort of culinary orphan, free to seek its own path. New York, which was considered the best American dining city in most eras, but no longer, has become ground zero for casual dining. (A restaurant critic for the New York Times recently announced his top dish of the year: a sticky bun.) Montreal has developed an engaging dining personality at the same time that New York has been losing the one it had. Famed Montreal restaurateur David McMillan (Joe Beef, Le Vin Papillon) says, "I'll tell you why Montreal is the best restaurant city, and it's not about the skill of our cooking. We have the most advanced dining public in North America. I serve lamb liver cooked rare to 17-year-old girls. I sell tons of kidneys and sweetbreads. Manhattan is one giant steakhouse. Everybody there wants steak, or red tuna. I don't want to know how much red tuna is sold every day." Chef Normand Laprise, the grand old man of Montreal chefs (even if he is only 54), adds, "I visit pastry shops in the States, and I know Americans are not open- minded customers. It's hard to sell any- thing other than cupcakes and macarons." Montreal has had multiple culinary revolutions in the past 50 years. When I worked for the Star the restaurants primarily served French cuisine, albeit not quite what you'd find in Larousse Gastronomique. The Beaver Club at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel featured such fantastical dishes as Le Coeur du Charolais Soufflé aux Splendeurs du Périgord. The top chefs, who came to Canada from France following World War II or stayed in Montreal after working at Expo 67, were a little too fixated on flambéing and melting cheese. After the financial debacle of the 1976 Olympics, which almost bankrupted Quebec, the restaurants declined precipitously. The only noteworthy and enduring establishment was Toqué!, operated by Laprise. In 2001 came Au Pied du Cochon, which was informal and inventive. Chef Martin Picard embraced local products and reinvented old, somewhat primitive dishes such as jellied pig's head and poutine, an ungodly assemblage of french fries, cheese curds, and gravy that arose in rural Quebec in the 1950s. Picard created a regional cuisine and, more important, prized local products as few before him had. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW Joe Beef, the next great restaurant, did away with tablecloths and menus (using blackboards instead). That was followed by Les 400 Coups (in the French tradition) and Lawrence (quite Anglo), establishments embracing either side of the local language divide. They were among the places that made Montreal the best for restaurants in this hemisphere, one where fine dining has been transformed into a modern ideal. No other city does it as well. DAY 1: FARM FRESH MEETS CRAZY GENIUS Daniel Boulud, who has a restaurant in the Ritz-Carlton Montreal, tells me that a visitor can grasp the essence of the dining culture before arriving, simply by looking out an airplane window. "Twenty minutes before you land, you pass over the farms, the greenhouses. This isn't California. Here you have really small farms next to each other, not industrialized." So as I fly in I peer out the window. First I see mountaintops and lakes, then silos and barns. Boulud is right. After we land, my traveling companion and I head to Les 400 Coups for lunch. The room is primarily in shades of charcoal and black, understated. The clientele, like most people in this city, dresses stylishly. The food is auspicious. Our squash soup is not like other squash soups. No bulk. No boredom. It's speckled with drops of olive oil, as though they had floated down from a cloud. The duck croquette is precisely as duck should be: rich, savory, skinless, and easy to eat. If there were such a thing as a wagyu duck burger, this would be it. AN ARRAY OF DISHES FROM LE MOUSSO, WHICH FEATURES A NEW TASTING MENU EVERY DAY. @ONDEJEUNE Les 400 Coups also has a pastry chef, a category of professional disappearing from American restaurants. I don't mean to overdo the compliments, but the desserts are notable as well: delicious and artistic, a little Georges Braque, a little forest tableau; the lemon cream dessert includes sea buckthorn. I would not be surprised if the pastry chef forages when off duty. I feared that our choice for dinner, Le Mousso, an all-tasting-menu restaurant that had just opened, would be like all the tasting-menu joints in America, the chef desperately seeking to express himself. Such food is occasionally brilliant. Too often it's awful. My friend was intrigued, certain it would be different here. She was correct. The restaurant is very Brooklyn, with an array of seating options at tables and counters, plus hanging lightbulbs and a chef, Antonin Mousseau-Rivard, who sports a short beard, a knit cap, tattooed arms, and Adidas shower sandals. He is self-taught, mostly via Instagram, and he says, "I didn't even work at a good restaurant in my life." We are handed a printed menu. It looks weird, but tasting menus always do. We eat seven dishes, all marrying ingredients never previously combined. But the wagyu beef from Quebec accented with slightly salty sturgeon caviar is masterful, as is the cool arctic char nestled in what appears to be a paint box of colors and flavors. Even the desserts are arresting, and desserts prepared by savory chefs are rarely that. The first is labeled sang, which means blood. I'm frightened, as I'm sure the chef means me to be, but it's blood sausage ice cream as Häagen-Dazs might make it, plus Quebec cheddar crumble in an apple-vinegar reduction. (Yes, Quebec has a flourishing cheese industry.) I suggest to Mousseau-Rivard that he might be a crazy genius, and he replies, "I like the word crazy more than genius." DAY 2: LOCAL HEROES A few blocks from the Parc du Mont- Royal, a revered green space designed by Frederick Law Olmsted, sits Beauty's, a luncheonette owned by Hymie Sckolnick, 95. He is always there. Hymie bought the shop in 1942 for $500. He is nice enough not to brag about his investment prowess. BREAKFAST AT BEAUTY'S, A LOCAL FIXTURE SINCE 1942. MICKAEL BANDASSAK Breakfast at Beauty's followed by a park stroll serves two vital purposes: The park provides visitors with an aware- ness of the physical glory of the city, as it's built on the slopes of the multitier hill Mount Royal, and Beauty's remains a notable example of Montreal's enduring (and somewhat inexplicable) fascination with Jewish food, most famously its bagels—smaller, sweeter, and superior to New York's—and its pastrami-like smoked meat. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW At Beauty's, bagels from the St.-Viateur bagel shop (officially La Maison du Bagel) accompany the "famous mishmash," a kind of omelet that would be scorned by French chefs, inasmuch as it is not golden yellow or elegantly contoured. It consists of eggs, scrambled and browned a bit, the way my grandmother made hers, plus hot dog, salami, green pepper, and fried onion. You will sigh. You will burp. Unmatched in Montreal (or anywhere) is Le Vin Papillon, owned by David McMillan. The food is casual, mostly vegetables. The place takes no reservations and for a long time was nearly impossible to get into, although recently it doubled in size and the struggle has subsided. I recommend arriving at 3 p.m., when it opens, although take care not to wait by the wrong door, the permanently closed one, or you'll feel as if you've been locked out. We have celery root ribbons bathed in bagna cauda, a Piedmontese sauce made with garlic and anchovies; charcoal-roasted white turnips with housemade pomegranate molasses; and the best dish of all: a curiously savory hummus of hubbard squash with homemade focaccia. LE VIN PAPILLON'S CHALKBOARD MENU. RANDALL BRODEUR We don't leave until 6 and decide to skip a formal dinner, choosing instead a late smoked meat sandwich at Schwartz's, which seems to be open day and night. Schwartz's never changes, although the ownership has. The original proprietor, a Jewish immigrant from Romania, is long gone, and Schwartz's is now the property of a consortium that includes Céline Dion. I order my smoked meat fatty—most customers request medium or lean—and the waiter says, "Good for you." Maybe the place has changed: That's a long speech for a Schwartz's waiter. The rye bread continues to be tasteless, the smoked meat is still really good, the cole slaw reminds me of North Carolina, and the fries aren't as great as they used to be, but they're not bad. DAY 3: OLD FRENCH, NEW BRITISH Maison Boulud is admirable for who owns it (Daniel Boulud), for where it resides (in the historic Ritz-Carlton), and for its lovely location adjoining a small garden and duck pond (request a table overlooking both). The restaurant is among the last of its kind, a French one (well, mostly French) in a city where French cuisine is vanishing. (This is happening everywhere in North America; it just seems more baffling in Quebec, where more than half the population is French-speaking.) I order a lunch that spins me back in time: housemade pâté of startling freshness and eminent richness, and confit of guinea fowl leg in a miraculously silken foie gras sauce. The kitchen sends out lovely ravioli stuffed with sheep's milk cheese. It doesn't taste French, and shouldn't—the executive chef, Riccardo Bertolino, is from Bologna. THE MAISON BOULUD KITCHEN. Dinner that evening is entirely anglophile, at Maison Publique, an appealing tavern that offers only Canadian wines (and somehow pulls it off) and plates of mostly meaty foods that sound peculiar, as British cuisine almost always does. I never miss a chance to eat here. We order andouille sausage (reddish, dreamy, and fiery) spread on toast, and tender lonza, or salumi, made from free-range piglets raised for the restaurant in the Eastern Townships of Quebec. The main room has an old wooden floor, dark paneling, and mounted deer heads with soccer scarves wrapped around their necks. The menu is a well-lit corkboard to which is pinned a list of food and drink. Folks gather around it to discuss the dinner choices, a sign of changing times. When I lived in Montreal in the 1970s, during the separatist movement, concerned young people gathered in bars and pubs to sing protest songs demanding freedom from Canada. Now they chat about the origins of local meats and vegetables. DAY 4: A POUTINE CHALLENGE We have made no lunch plans, but when desperate I always call the nearest hot dog joint. On Saint Lawrence Boulevard is the Montreal Pool Room, which opened in 1912 in a different location not far from the current one. (Other changes have occurred: no more pool tables.) In case you have trouble finding it, directly across the street is the garish marquee of Café Cléopatre, which features stripteaseuses and danseuses à gogo. ADVERTISEMENT - CONTINUE READING BELOW My friend calls the Pool Room and asks, "Are you open? Are you serving food?" A sweetheart of a counterman replies, "Yes, madame. Hot dog, hamburger, cheeseburger. You come, you eat." She has her first Montreal hot dog. They're famous, even if they're bland compared with New York's. Here they're served correctly: steamed and topped with mustard, relish, and mild chopped onions. She also insists on poutine. I await her disappointment, but she loves it, saying, "It filled my every poutine expectation." If you're from New Jersey and enjoy disco fries, you might love poutine too. Hot dogs followed by poutine can be filling, which makes Hôtel Herman—it's not a hotel and there is no Herman—an excellent option for dinner. It offers small plates that are unusually small. The food is unexpectedly elegant, given the rough-hewn decor (wide plank floors that look as old as Montreal itself, tin ceiling, bare lightbulbs). Little logs of housemade foie gras are brilliantly composed, topped with crumbs and cranberries. The chef, Marc-Alexandre Mercier, bakes his own bread, dark and earthy and easily worth the $2 surcharge. The sweetbreads come with mashed potatoes from a variety called Ozette, grown in Quebec. They are mesmerizing, and it's not just the added buttermilk and cream. Mercier tells me his way with vegetables is a result of childhood trauma: His mother made him eat a bowl of rutabaga so awful it made him cry. DAY 5: GENTRIFICATION FLAMBEE Lawrence, among the most Anglo of the Anglo establishments, is blessed with big windows that allow in an abundance of light, a major reason I love to have lunch there. The staff is sweet, the wine list just right, the crockery seemingly from a church basement sale, and the menu filled with dishes you might never have eaten before. Fried endive topped with snowy crab, an unlikely concoction, is crunchy and juicy, impeccably fresh. The desserts are simple but superlative, the "burnt" chocolate pudding much like an all chocolate crème brûlée, and the warm ginger cake is topped with a crème anglaise that I'm tempted to drink. In the evening we set out to see two new restaurants with unusual appeal. Both feature wood-burning ovens, which are unusual in Montreal, and both are in newly gentrified sections of the city. A TRAY OF OYSTERS AT HOOGAN & BEAUFORT. ALISON SLATTERY PHOTOGRAPHY Hoogan & Beaufort is in a former industrial park in Rosemont where the Canadian Pacific Railway once built locomotives. An excellent consequence: It has stunningly high ceilings. William Saulnier, one of the partners, says that in the restaurant's opening days many of the calls they received started out, "Where are you?" Foxy is in a neighborhood once largely populated by Irish immigrants. Both of these spots are following an established American trend, moving away from midtown to more remote locations where rents are cheaper and space more generous. We weren't able to eat at Hoogan & Beaufort, only peek in, because we were dining with Lesley Chesterman, a friend who is the restaurant critic for the Montreal Gazette, and she was reviewing Foxy. She seemed to like my theory that Montreal belonged to the U.S. She said, "Montreal has never felt less Canadian to me." I leave the analysis of Foxy to Chesterman, enthusiastic about everything except the two dishes prepared in the wood- burning oven. About my favorite she wrote, "I loved the flatbread we ordered. Covered in melted raclette cheese, red onions, potatoes, and house-smoked ham, it was reminiscent of an Alsatian tarte flambée. We scarfed it back in minutes, the only problem being that one of the pieces of ham popped off my slice and, as I discovered the next morning, fell into my purse under the table." DAY 6: END ON A SWEET NOTE For me, departure days begin with a trip to the St.-Viateur bagel shop, where I buy a few dozen to take home. The price these days is 80 cents each. Hymie Sckolnick told me they used to cost two cents. When I complain to the counterman, he laughs and tosses in a few extra. Hymie's is a good name to drop in Montreal. PATRICE DEMERS WORKS HIS MAGIC AT PATRICE PÂTISSIER. MARC KANDALAFT Our getaway meal is lunch at Toqué!, which is run by Laprise, that most essential of Montreal chefs. His new establishment is a member of Relais & Châteaux, and his kitchen is a marvel, overflowing with cooks. The food isn't what I think of as new Montreal cuisine—it's too precise and luxurious—but it's up there with the best haute cuisine in North America. An appetizer of arctic char is creamy and silky, tasting of smoke and lemon. My Montreal Star pal Boone, joining us, calls it "the cotton candy of fish." Chicken, prepared sous-vide, is so moist there's beading on the breast. My friend has what the waitress calls "a perfect egg," cooked slowly, with a sauce made from a long-simmering duck reduction. Dessert is so ethereal—mostly honey, jelly, and cream—that on the way to the airport we stop at Patrice Pâtissier so I can pick up a few stuffed-on-the-spot chocolate-banana cream puffs. Patrice Demers, the owner of this new shop on Notre Dame West, was the first pastry chef at Les 400 Coups and thus is a hero of mine. But then, so many Montreal chefs are. Alan Richman is a 16-time winner of the James Beard Award for food writing.
  16. Canada ranks 2nd among 10 countries for cost competitiveness, says KPMG THE CANADIAN PRESS 03.29.2016 TORONTO - Accounting giant KPMG says Canada has proven to be second most competitive market in a comparison test of 10 leading industrial countries. In its report, KPMG says Canada lags only behind Mexico when it comes to how little businesses have to pay for labour, facilities, transportation and taxes. The report, which compared the competitiveness of a number of western countries along with Australia and Japan, found that a high U.S. dollar has helped Canada stay affordable despite rising office real estate costs and lower federal tax credits. When it comes to corporate income taxes, it found that Canada, the U.K. and the Netherlands had the lowest rates overall due to tax incentives to support high-tech and research and development. KPMG also looked at the competitiveness of more than 100 cities worldwide. It ranked Fredericton, N.B., as the most cost-effective city in Canada due to low labour costs and continued low costs for property leases. Montreal topped the list among 34 major cities in North America, followed by Toronto and Vancouver. The three Canadian cities beat out all U.S. cities. Although there have been concerns over the impact of a weakening loonie on the economy, having a low Canadian dollar has actually been "a driver in improving Canada's competitiveness and overall cost advantage," KPMG said. As a result, that has made it more attractive for businesses to set up shop north of the border than in the U.S., it said. http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/canada+ranks+among+countries+cost+competitiveness+says+kpmg/11817781/story.html
  17. Mark Pacinda: How do you say ‘Boston Pizza' in French? BERTRAND MAROTTE Globe and Mail Update November 16, 2007 at 6:19 PM EST When Boston Pizza International Inc. decided it wanted to crack the Quebec market four years ago, the B.C.-based chain's executive team was warned by industry veterans that they shouldn't even bother. Outsiders have had a notoriously tough time winning over Quebec consumers, and the eatery business is particularly difficult, given the sometimes puzzling culinary preferences of the francophone majority, they were told. No doubt about it, La Belle Province presents its own challenges as an island of predominantly French language and culture in North America. THE LANDSCAPE Companies keen on making a foray into Quebec with their product or service need to be alert to the differences and respect the predominance of the French language. To cite one recent case of what can happen when you fail to heed Québécois sensibilities: Coffee chain Second Cup sparked public protests and complaints last month when it dropped from some of its signs the two French words – “Les cafés” – that appeared before its English name. BOSTON PIZZA'S ENTRÉE Boston Pizza president Mark Pacinda decided his company was ready to expand into Quebec, but not before it built a credible base in the province. The results so far indicate that the bet on Quebec is a winner. After just 21/2 years, Boston Pizza will have 24 restaurants in the province by the end of the year and is on track to have 50 by 2010. The chain boasts more than 280 Canadian locations and sales last year of $647-million. “We really took our time going in,” Mr. Pacinda says. “The first thing is that we wanted a Quebec team on the ground.” A separate regional head office for Quebec was opened in the Montreal suburb of Laval 18 months before the first outlet was opened, in 2004. Quebec City native Wayne Shanahan was hired to spearhead the Quebec strategy. GOING QUÉBÉCOIS Once the button on a Quebec launch was pressed, no detail was overlooked. For example, research was conducted into whether a French version of the brand name was warranted. “There's obviously no translation for Boston or for Pizza and we decided the name as it is would work,” Mr. Pacinda said. A key discovery was that Quebeckers want to have the option of a multicourse lunch, not just the more packaged “combo plate” offering. “They want a ‘table d'hôte,' in other words an entrée, a salad and desert,” he said. Also, because wine has more of presence in the province than in the rest of the country, Boston Pizza's wine list in Quebec was expanded from the standard eight choices to 25 labels, Mr. Shanahan says. The fine-tuning was even extended to the pizza pie: In Quebec, the cheese goes on as a final layer, not underneath the toppings. The Boston Pizza version was dubbed “La Québécoise Boston.” And two Quebec standards – poutine and sugar pie – were included on the menu. LE FRANÇAIS, TOUJOURS LE FRANÇAIS Making sure that all business is conducted in French was also important, Mr. Shanahan said. Many companies that move into Quebec, and even some local anglophone firms, don't bother to ensure that legal and business paperwork, and even day-to-day communications, are in French, he said. “What you want to do is essentially be a francophone company.” In another first for Boston Pizza, a local advertising agency was hired. A separate ad campaign was created, including billboards that displayed a Quebec vanity licence plate with the words “Boston, QC” on it. LESSONS LEARNED Boston Pizza's carefully plotted wooing of the Quebec market is a strategy increasingly practised by retailers eager to make inroads in the province or consolidate their position. Wal-Mart Canada Corp., for example, went on the offensive in the wake of the outcry over its decision two years ago to shut its Jonquière store after it became the first outlet in North America to be unionized. Wal-Mart insisted the closing was because the store wasn't meeting its financial targets. The retail behemoth nonetheless was portrayed as a cold corporate outsider that cared not a whit about Quebec society. A “Buy Quebec” campaign was launched last year, aimed at sourcing more homegrown products and groceries while playing to the province's regional tastes and local pride. Outfits like Boston Pizza and Wal-Mart will obviously never be known as true Québécois companies. But as Normand Turgeon, a marketing professor at the business school HEC-Montréal, wryly notes: “If you're going to be a bottle blond, you're better off choosing the right shade.”
  18. Petite création que je viens de faire pour un ami qui s'en vient ici de la France et connait rien a propos de notre peuple. Ceci va l'aider un peu! Qu'est ce que je devrais ajouter a la carte? P.S. this is meant to be satirical/sarcastic representation of north america as seen through the eyes of a 'typical' quebecer. This is a joke. If you're easily offended, as many on mtlurb seem to be, don't look here!
  19. Vibrant Montreal brings new Canadian rock sound to world scenes Posted on Thursday, May 10, 2007 (EST) Montreal, the Canadian city known for its fierce winters, has become an international hotspot for a new wave of indie bands. The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance © AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter PARIS (AFP) - Led by trailblazers Arcade Fire, guitar-wielding groups have been touring overseas, winning fans and have everyone wondering about the secret of the city’s sudden success. Alongside the rock scene, electronic acts such as DJ Champion, Kid Koala and Tiga have made "based in Montreal" a fashionable stamp of quality. In the process, the image of Canadian music, once dominated by pop crooners Bryan Adams and Celine Dion, has been redefined. "Montreal is an extremely cosmopolitan and open city," said homegrown singer Pierre Lapointe, giving his reasons for the new vibrancy. "We couldn’t care less about origins. What we look for is good music and interesting ways of doing things," he added during a stop in Paris. Montreal is home to about two million people, making it the biggest city in the French-speaking eastern province of Quebec. Music journalist and commentator for Canadian cable channel MusiquePlus, Nicolas Tittley, puts the vitality of the guitar scene down to North American influences. The Montreal band "Arcade Fire" during a performance © AFP/GettyImages/File Kevin Winter "Rock, country, blues, folk. Basically, all the music movements linked to North America are not foreign for 'les Montrealais'," he said in an interview. Indie rockers Arcade Fire have sold a million albums worldwide, according to their record label, and fellow groups Wolf Parade, The Bell Orchestre, Patrick Watson, Stars, The Besnard Lakes or The Dears are following in their footsteps. The francophone movement includes Ariane Moffatt, Karkwa, Ghislain Poirier, Les Trois Accords and Malajube. Malajube is threatening to cross the language divide and break into English-speaking markets after the group’s new album "Trompe-l'oeil" won plaudits from US reviewers. Although Montreal is a majority francophone city, most people can speak (and sing in) both languages and the city is also home to a large, well-integrated ethnic population. "The openness that we have in Montreal is quite unique," said Laurent Saulnier, programmer for the Montreal International Jazz Festival and Francofolies de Montreal event. "Few cities in the world have access to so many sorts of music from everywhere: France, USA, Europe, South America, or Africa." The cross-over of influences and culture is also seen in the music collaborations. Pierre Lapointe, The Dears, Les Trois Accords and Loco Locass, a rap group similar to the Beastie Boys, make guest appearances on the Malajube’s album. Critics snipe that the hype will not last, but for the moment at least, a new, fresh face has been put on Canadian music overseas. ©AFP
  20. Voir document: http://www.fdimagazine.com/cp/13/Cities%20of%20the%20Future%20%20April%2023rd%20press%20release.doc Voici les tableaux comprenant des villes du Québec: NORTH AMERICAN CITIES OF THE FUTURE Top ten major cities of the future 1 Chicago Illinois United States 2 Toronto Ontario Canada 3 Pittsburgh Pennsylvania United States 4 Atlanta Georgia United States 5 Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico 6 Baltimore Maryland United States 7 Montreal Quebec Canada 8 Mexico City Federal District Mexico 9 Boston Massachusetts United States 10 Miami Florida United States Major cities - best economic potential 1 Chicago Illinois United States 2 Guadalajara Jalisco Mexico 3 Atlanta Georgia United States 4 Mexico City Federal District Mexico 5 Montreal Quebec Canada Major cities - quality of life 1 Toronto Ontario Canada 2 New York New York State United States 3 Chicago Illinois United States 4 Boston Massachusetts United States 5 Montreal Quebec Canada Large cities - quality of life 1 Quebec Quebec Canada 2 Charlotte North Carolina United States 3 Philadelphia Pennsylvania United States 4 Orlando Florida United States 5 Richmond Virginia United States Small cities - best development and investment promotion 1 Huntsville Alabama United States 2 Windsor Ontario Canada 3 Durango Durango Mexico 4 Sherbrooke Quebec Canada 5= St. Johns New Foundland and Labrador Canada 5= Waterloo Ontario Canada Small cities - best infrastructure 1 Halifax Nova Scotia Canada 2 Gatineau Quebec Canada 3 Huntsville Alabama United States 4 Waterloo Ontario Canada 5= Matamoros Tamaulipas Mexico 5= Windsor Ontario Canada
  21. Jeremy Searle — Reviving Montreal's 'coffee shop' economy Unfortunately for all of us, Montreal seems to have descended to the level of a coffee shop economy in which expensive cups of coffee are status symbols for people whose personal finances are often in a tight way. Recently, I wrote about the need to make the public investments to put our downtown into shape by buying up some of the more strategic empty lots and using them either for new park space or for the building of public housing. Today, I want to look at generating economic activity and wealth in the western part of town and on an island-wide level. Reviving the west end economy Commercial: Back in the bad old days of ex-mayor Jean Drapeau, our city was cut in two for the excavation of the Decarie Expressway trench and since then business to the west of the highway has largely languished. While it is not practical to cover over the Decarie Expressway, it would be relatively simple to hide it and to thus knit our city back together again. All that is necessary is to build an extra section of bridge on each side of the Decarie overpasses (especially at Sherbrooke Street) and to then either erect buildings (à-la old London Bridge) or put in park space backed by barriers high enough to make the highway invisible. Once the highway “disappeared” and the city became one again there would be no obstacle to the expansion of commerce and business activity continuing to flow west instead of hitting a wall at Decarie. Meanwhile, the businesses on and around the Decarie service roads heading north and south would also benefit from having the highway hidden. It would be a very simple matter to clamp on an extra lane of roadway (attached to the highway walls with cantilevered supports) that could be used either as bicycle path or as host to additional greenspace. Residential: In order to boost economic activity and bring down the average costs of maintaining the city it is also necessary to attract in more people — both to share the load and to support local business and commerce. The most obvious location to attract thousands of higher end taxpayers, investors and spenders would be the Glen Yard site currently earmarked for the new McGill hospital. Clearly, high value land should be used for activities that directly or indirectly generate the taxes that finance hospitals and other such publicly funded institutions. Given its superb location at the intersection of Westmount and eastern NDG the Glen Yards site, with its easy access to both the Vendome Metro station and the downtown Ville-Marie highway, is a perfect location for residential development. Ten-thousand or so new high end condo dwellers in the west end would both boost the economy and throw a massive injection of extra taxes into the Montreal public economy. The McGill hospital could be better built on the Blue Bonnets site at Jean Talon and Decarie — a site that has access to the same Metro line (Namur) and similar or better highway access. In addition, having the hospital there would force the provincial government to ante up for the much needed Cavendish/Royalmount road link which would also re-route much traffic from the Trans Canada to Decarie, thus lessening congestion at the major intersection. Boosting the island-wide economy: For any society or economy to function well, each generation has to make the effort to leave some substantial legacy for the next unless a wearing down and eventual collapse is to be accepted. Sometimes it is investments in canals or railways or roads or airports or dockyards or cultural and recreational facilities and sometimes it is simply my parents’ generation fighting to save the world. Sometimes it is simply a question of building on the shoulders that they have set us on and sometimes it is a question of rebuilding or repairing that which previous generations have already built for us. Sometimes it is simply a question of finishing the job that our predecessors failed or forgot to complete. Unfortunately, since the epoch of ex-mayor Drapeau and his establishment of the modern Montreal tradition of ignoring infrastructure maintenance in favour of frills, little has been done in terms of maintenance and our city is falling into disrepair. One way to boost the Montreal economy would be to undertake a massive program of road and water main rebuilding. This would have the same positive effect on our economy as any other kind of construction boom and would also help us to grow our tourist economy while making us generally feel better about ourselves. Obviously, our leaders would have to convince the federal and provincial governments to come up with a large chunk of the money necessary to implement such a scheme. However, the single greatest guaranteed boost for the west end and for the Montreal and regional economy would be the completion of the Decarie Expressway (15) with a direct link to the Laurentian Autoroute (15) to the north. The tunnel under Ville St. Laurent to connect the two together would get vehicles north and south without unnecessary delays related to detouring onto the TransCanada while the TransCan itself would be freed from most of its traffic congestion. The tunnel link has already been studied and approved by the Ministry of Transport but no one seems interested in actually getting it dug. The Decarie/Laurentian tunnel would eliminate uncounted lost hours in pointless idling and back-ups, lessen commuter trip times, save business money, get us all around faster and more efficiently and make our supporting road systems function more smoothly — which would in turn give our economy a much-needed shot in the arm. And, since better flowing traffic generates less pollution, making the traffic flow better would also help to achieve environmental objectives. Does anybody have a shovel? Let’s start digging. http://thesuburban.com/content.jsp?sid=34883087211204213941721025245&ctid=1000004&cnid=1015175
  22. Alors vos réponse aux 6 questions ? Source, The Gazette the hochelaga archipelago, a montreal islands trivia quiz By Andy Riga 07-06-2009 COMMENTS(0) Metropolitan News Filed under: Montreal, ferries, waterways, hochelaga archipelago, boucherville islands, montreal archipelago, Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville, st. lawrence river, boat tours, iles de boucherville I can’t swim. Even in a pool, I panic when I momentarily can’t feel solid ground under my feet. Yet, I love being on the water, especially the St. Lawrence River. Over the past couple of weeks, I spent time on a touristy Old Port cruise ship and on the east end Montreal/Boucherville islands bicycle/pedestrian ferry (seen in the above Gazette photo, taken Saturday by Peter McCabe). I was doing research for a story to be published in Saturday’s Travel section. I’ve also been researching the Hochelaga archipelego (also known as the Montreal archipelago). Fortuitously, John Woolfrey, a Montreal editor/writer/translator and Metropolitan News' unofficial Chief Triva Officer, sent me an email with some fun archipelago questions. Here they are (I’ll post the answers and sources next week): We live on an island surrounded by several islands with whom Montreal Island forms the Hochelaga Archipelago. How about some island trivia? 1) Name the main natural islands on which Expo 67 and La Ronde were built. 2) What's the original name of Nuns' Island? 3) Name the large island (245 km2)due north of Montreal. 4) Céline Dion built a mansion on what island she owns in the Mille-Îles River? 5) Name the island that's home to North America's oldest golf club. 6) Name the island that is also the smallest municipality in Canada, with only two permanent residents. Good luck! Speaking of water, below are photos I took on my June 24 trip to the Parc national des Îles-de-Boucherville in the middle of the St. Lawrence. (Voir la source)