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Found 12 results

  1. Very very cool story. The building was constructed in 1929 for the Laurentian Bank. In 1975, the bank covered the building with chunky cladding made of metal and white stucco. Then, last spring, the overlay was torn off, revealing a striking stone building built in a Beaux Arts style, made of Scottish red sandstone. - The new owner plans to set up his son’s veterinary clinic in one of two ground-floor commercial spaces. - A third floor will be added to the building to accommodate 15 residential condo units. http://montrealgazette.com/news/local-news/montreal-diary-new-life-for-parc-ave-building http://histoireplateau.org/architecture/architectures_traditionnelles/facades/ancienneFacadeBeauxArts.html
  2. World poutine-eating contest to be held in Toronto. Yes, that's right. T.O. By Andy Blatchford (CP) – 20 minutes ago MONTREAL — One of Quebec's cultural symbols has been called everything from disgusting, to heart-attack inducing, to delectable. But can the increasingly popular Quebecois dish known as poutine -that messy mix of french fries, sauce and cheese curds -now be considered a gooey source of Canada-wide pride? When a gang of professional "eaters" from the United States and a handful of Canadian amateurs battle for the world poutine-eating championship, it won't go down in Montreal, Quebec City, or anywhere else in la belle province. It will be held in, of all places, Toronto. And due to provincial contest rules, Quebecers hoping to eat their way to the title won't be allowed to even take part. No longer seen as just working-class grub from small-town Quebec, poutine now has fans across Canada and beyond. The concoction has been integrated into haute cuisine and has secured niches under the bright lights of the Big Apple and Los Angeles. "I think it shows that poutine has become a national meal," Charles-Alexandre Theoret, author of the 2007 book "Maudite poutine!" ("Damned poutine!") said of the upcoming all-you-can-eat showdown on May 22 at BMO Field in Toronto. "It was once a Quebec meal, but now it's everywhere." A dozen stars of Major League Eating, a circuit best known for its stomach-turning, rapid-fire hot dog eating contests, will have 10 minutes to wolf down as much poutine as they can. "You must use a fork, so there's going to be certainly some skill involved," said Mike Antolini, a spokesman for the International Federation of Competitive Eating. "It's going to test their capacity, but also their hand speed and technique." The champ wins a modest sum of $750 and bragging rights. Antolini said organizers considered poutine-serving joints in Montreal to serve the fare, but eventually chose Smoke's Poutinerie, a Toronto-based chain. "I know that Montreal maybe feels like poutine is theirs, but we are going to be crowning a champion in Canada, and I think that's the most important thing because poutine certainly is Canadian first and foremost," he said. Of course, that hasn't always been the case. For years, the towns of Warwick and Drummondville have duelled over the true birthplace of poutine, but one thing has never been questioned: it's from Quebec. Warwick claims the dish was invented by local restaurant owner Fernand LaChance in 1957, while Drummondville insists that restaurateur Jean-Paul Roy blended the first poutine in 1964. To help cement its claim, Drummondville started holding an annual poutine festival in 2008. Regardless of its exact origins, poutine has long had a complicated bond with Quebecers, many of whom have looked down their noses at what some have called a culinary abomination. "It's a love-hate relationship, there are younger generations who feel fine with it, and almost make it a cool icon," said Theoret, whose book takes a historical look at poutine. "But older generations didn't grow (up) with it and think that it's low class, low life. They're really ashamed about it." For the poutine-eating contest, three Canadians will be selected through a sweepstakes to join the race. In an ironic twist, Quebec laws don't allow its residents to apply. "I don't argue with lawyers," said Smoke's Poutinerie owner Ryan Smolkin, who has five restaurants and one mobile kitchen in his growing poutine empire. All of them are in Toronto, but he's expanding to other parts of Ontario and plans to eventually open up shops across the country and around the world. The Ottawa native imports cheese curds from Quebec's Eastern Townships and tops his poutines with authentic chicken-based sauce. But he said he's never tried to pretend he's a Quebecer. "I know where the roots are, I know what it's all about and I'm trying to maintain that heritage for sure, and the Quebec influence," said Smolkin, who opened his first restaurant 15 months ago. "I respect and want to take that heritage and culture into my brand and help spread that across the world." With poutine's popularity spreading in the United States, he wanted to make sure the dish was "Canadianized" before an American restaurant tried to claim it. "It's been too isolated to Quebec," he said. "Nobody's just tried to take it big outside Quebec, so I'm trying to do that."
  3. Can Richard Baker reinvent The Bay? MARINA STRAUSS From Monday's Globe and Mail NEW YORK — Richard Baker, the new owner of retailer Hudson's Bay Co.,mingled with the New York fashion elite as the lights dimmed for designer Peter Som's recent show, offering opinions and taking a close look at the latest in skirts and dresses. It's a stark contrast to previous HBC owner Jerry Zucker, who HBC insiders had a hard time picturing with fashionistas in New York. But Mr. Baker, who made his name in real estate, knows it is time for a new approach at the struggling retailer. “As an entrepreneur I'm not necessarily fixated on how things were done in the past,” says Mr. Baker. “We function and we think much more like a specialty retailer rather than a department store retailer. A specialty retailer is much more nimble and willing to adjust to the environment than department stores, historically. Department stores, frankly, haven't changed a whole lot in 100 years.” His Purchase, N.Y.-based equity firm, NRDC Equity Partners, has snapped up a string of dusty retailers, among them HBC's underperforming Bay and Zellers. The Bay operates in the department store sector which is on the wane, squeezed for years by specialty and discount chains. Zellers struggles in a low-priced arena dominated by behemoth Wal-Mart Canada Corp. The need for a makeover is clear: The Bay's sales per square foot are estimated at merely $142, and Zellers', $149 – a fraction of the estimated $480 at Wal-Mart Canada. At Lord & Taylor, which also lags some of its key U.S. rivals in productivity, Mr. Baker has had some success in its efforts to return to its high end Americana roots. But the 47-store chain is feeling the pinch of tight-fisted consumers and, late last month, he unveiled a shakeup at the top ranks of his firm's $8-billion (U.S.) a year retail businesses to try to shave costs. Still, he is pouring money into the chains in other ways, quickly distinguishing himself from Mr. Zucker, who died last spring. While the former owner had named himself CEO despite his lack of merchandising experience, the new owner has handpicked a team of seasoned merchants at the senior levels of his retailers. And while Mr. Zucker shunned publicity and focused on more mundane, although critical, matters, such as technology to track customer demand, Mr. Baker enjoys the limelight. Now he is betting on the fragile fashion sector as an engine of growth. Last fall he set up Creative Design Studios (CDS) to develop designer lines for Lord & Taylor, now, HBC and, eventually, retailers around the world. Mr. Baker is “looking at every one of the properties with a different viewpoint,” says Walter Loeb, a former member of HBC's board of directors and a consultant at Loeb Associates in New York. “He has new ideas. He doesn't want to keep Hudson's Bay in its present form.” Nevertheless, “this team has taken over a not particularly healthy business,” says Marvin Traub, a former executive at Bloomingdale's who runs consultancy Marvin Traub Associates in New York. “They know and understand the challenges. It will take some time to fix them.” What Mr. Baker looks for in retailers is faded brands that have the potential to be revived. Early this year, NRDC acquired Fortunoff, an insolvent jewellery and home décor chain. The synergies among NRDC's various retailers are tremendous, says Gilbert Harrison, chairman of New York investment bank Financo Inc., which advises Mr. Baker. So is the value of the real estate. At HBC, it is estimated to be worth $1.2-billion, according to industry insiders. That's just a little more than the equivalent purchase price of the retailer itself. Lord & Taylor's real estate was valued at $1.7-billion (U.S.) when Mr. Baker acquired the company in 2006 – about $500-million more than he bought it for. “Initially I thought, good luck,” says Mr. Gilbert. “He's bought this in one of the most difficult retail environments that we've seen for 20 or 30 years. … “But he's protected his downside because the basic real estate values of Lord & Taylor and, now Hudson's Bay, certainly help prevent tragedy.” Mr. Baker likes to tell the story of buying Lord & Taylor for its real estate, and then on the way to signing the deal noticed how well the stores were performing. Like most other U.S. retailers, Lord & Taylor has seen business slow down recently. But its transformation to appeal to the well heeled had begun even before Mr. Baker arrived. It had dropped an array of tired brands, such as Tommy Hilfiger and Nautica, and picked up trendier labels, among them Coach and Tracy Reese. Mr. Baker encouraged the strategy of expanding and upgrading higher margin designer handbags and footwear. Ditto for denim wear and funky styles in the women's “contemporary” section under hot labels such as Free People and Diesel. “My job is to understand that we need to get the best brands in the store.” But he also saw the opportunity to bolster margins by stocking affordable lines in the form of CDS brands, with a focus now on Black Brown 1826 men's wear line. “I thought there was a void in the market for exactly the kind of clothes that my friends and I wear, at a right price. Why should we pay $150 for a dress shirt?” he asks, holding up one for $69. Now Mr. Baker wants to borrow a leaf from the Lord & Taylor playbook for HBC. He wants to introduce better quality products with higher margins, and plans to add his design studio merchandise to the stores early next year. Besides the details, he sees a whole new concept for the big Bay department stores. It would entail shrinking the Bay, possibly introducing Lord & Taylor within the stores, and adding Zellers in the basement and Fortunoff jewellery departments upstairs, with office space at the top. Lord & Taylor would serve to fill a gap in the retail landscape between the Bay and carriage trade Holt Renfrew, he says. For discounter Zellers, he seems to take inspiration from Target Corp., the fashionable U.S. discounter, by putting more focus on branded apparel. But he's not averse to selling parts of the business, or real estate, if the right offer came along either. “We're always available to sell things at the right price, or buy things at the right price.”
  4. Posted Apr 13th 2009 6:02PM by Jared Paul Stern Filed under: Estates A mansion in London's posh Belgrave Square has hit the market for £100 million, or about $150 million, tying it with Candy Spelling's The Manor in Beverly Hills for the title of the world's most expensive estate (in terms of current listings). The six-floor, 21,000-sq.-ft. white-stucco-fronted building has 12 bedrooms, 20-ft. ceilings, a basement swimming pool, gym, media room, and every imaginable luxury fitting. The property has been gutted and revamped by Lebanese developer Musa Salem, the London Times reports. Across the Square another house has recently come on the market for £80 million, or about $120 million. The eight-bedroom, 20,000-sq.-ft. house is being sold by Saudi Arabia's Juffali family, following the death of its owner. Belgrave Square is also home to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska and Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al-Maktoum, the Emir of Dubai, as well as several embassies. The Square was built for the 2nd Earl Grosvenor, later the 1st Marquess of Westminster, in the 1820s and is one of the grandest in London. http://www.luxist.com/
  5. FRIDAY, FEBRUARY 19, 2010 Expropriate Overdale! Demolition: within minutes pulleys, chains and trucks can transform a visual touchstone, place of fabulous living bricks and mortar and vibrant history and memories into a pile of junk to be trucked off. This is the fate that the city has decreed for the Lower Main and one of its most unique and liveliest of spots - the Cafe Cleopatra. What's more shocking is that the city plans to expropriate the properties and simply hand them over to another owner, a practice that's considered ethically dubious at best. If indeed the city proposes to tread in those murky waters, we propose that they set their sights further west. Over two decades ago the city of Montreal allowed landowners Douglas Cohen and Robert Landau to demolish a neighbourhood of about seven buidings buildings housing about 100 people at the corner of Mackay and René-Lévesque. The city could easily have refused them permission to demolish the structures, as most suggested that the buildings be integrated into the larger project that the duo proposed. But Cohen and Landau insisted that their $500 million condo project could never happen unless the entire block was razed. The city blinked and ordered the tenants out and demolished the buildings. Mayor Dore and his assistant John Gardiner suffered a major blow to their credibility and their powerful MCM party started a downhill spiral that ended when they were voted out of power. Meanwhile the owners never kept their promise to build condos on the property. Two decades later the owner Robert Landau has not only failed to build anything on the land but he's created an urban parking hell eyesore where a vibrant neighbourhood once stood. Robert Landau also runs Landau Fine Art Gallery at Mackay and Sherbrooke. Landau's family money comes from the fur business. He opposed the greening of Mackay last year. He has sought to demolish the last remaining structure on the property, which has considerable historic value. Landau has some sort of British accent even though he's a Montrealer. He said in an interview "you know that you can trust us." Get the picture? Landau looks like he'll be alive for a few more years and he seems unable or unwilling to get anything done on the precious downtown block. The city should expropriate and resell the land to someone to build on the land. An indoor parking lot could be incorporated so even those who like to park their cars there could still be accommodated. Montreal's city administration was tricked and betrayed and burnt by the Overdale affair but it can now make things right by some forceful action that it has claimed to be willing to take in much less justifiable circumstances. Mayor Tremblay claims he's willing to use this tool, he should use some wisdom to discern the proper place to use it. http://coolopolis.blogspot.com/2010/02/expropriate-overdale.html
  6. http://tmagazine.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/09/18/north-stars/ The Montreal neighborhood of Mile End, long a working-class Jewish enclave (and the namesake of two culty New York delis), has changed considerably in recent years, getting quietly but unmistakably hip, with dozens of restaurants, bars and boutiques now dotting its streets. Librairie Drawn & Quarterly The offshoot of a local publishing house, this shop attracts fans of graphic novels and art books with regular readings and workshops. 211, rue Bernard Ouest; (514) 279-2224; drawnandquarterly.com. Éditions de Robes The owner, Julie Pesant, believes every woman needs a good dress. She stocks mainly her own designs, many in black or white, all on-trend and priced at about $250. She’ll even alter them. 178, rue St.-Viateur Ouest; (514) 271-7676; editionsderobes.com. Royal Phoenix All are welcome at this gay bar, which also serves as an informal clubhouse for members of Montreal’s red-hot roller derby scene (mtlrollerderby.com). Other reasons to go: the music, the warm-weather terrace and the over-the-top poutine, which comes with pulled pork. 5788, boulevard St.-Laurent; (514) 658-1622; royalphoenixbar.com. Thierry Arnold Boulangerie Guillaume Boulangerie Guillaume This artisanal bakery’s bread is often described as the best in the city. Other delicious offerings include the sticky apple-caramel buns, white chocolate brioche and coffee from the local roaster Saint Henri (sainthenri.ca). 17, avenue Fairmount Est; (514) 507-3799; boulangerieguillaume.com. Les Montures A favorite of plugged-in stylists, this small shop specializes in dead stock and vintage eyeglasses and sunglasses. Though big names like Dior are represented, the owner, Nicolas Hamel, values style over pedigree, with a preference for specs from the 1960s and ’70s. 174, rue Bernard Ouest; (514) 507-8282; lesmontures.com. A version of this article appeared in print on 09/23/2012, on page M218 of the NewYork edition with the headline: North Stars.
  7. (Courtesy of CBC News) I would love to see a tougher law be put into place here in Quebec. 1st time you get caught or caught again you lose your license for life or you can spend life in prison. These idiots should not get any chances.
  8. Gretzky confirms Coyotes in trouble MATTHEW SEKERES January 16, 2009 VANCOUVER -- Phoenix Coyotes head coach Wayne Gretzky confirmed yesterday that the troubled NHL franchise requires financial assistance and is seeking an investor who could help keep the team in Arizona. The Coyotes could lose as much as $45-million (all currency U.S.) this season, including interest payments, and owner Jerry Moyes is looking for a partner. He also is speaking to city officials in Glendale about the lease arrangement at the community-owned Jobing.com Arena. Yesterday, when Gretzky was asked whether the owner could continue to operate the club, given its losses, he deferred queries to Moyes. But Gretzky, the club's coach and managing partner, also signalled that Moyes requires investment in the franchise and financial relief from the city of Glendale. "I don't think it is any big secret that Mr. Moyes has asked for new partners or investors," Gretzky said. "Mr. Moyes is doing the best he can in working with the city and city officials. Our responsibility is to come, show up and play, and play the best we can." Since The Globe and Mail began documenting the Coyotes' economic woes last month, no one from the club's management had confirmed that it was seeking financial help. A TSN report on Wednesday said that as much as 80 per cent of the team is expected to be sold in the next two months, and that Moyes would retain as much as 20 per cent. Barring a sale, the club could be forced into bankruptcy proceedings. It is possible the Coyotes could be disbanded or moved out of Phoenix before next season. The Coyotes entered a game against the Vancouver Canucks last night in seventh place, a playoff spot, in the Western Conference. The team is trying to snap a seven-year postseason drought behind a youth movement that features seven players who are 22 or younger. "The older players definitely don't let [the financial trouble] be a distraction, but the younger players don't understand it, maybe," said defenceman Derek Morris, the team's union representative. "We realize that things aren't good, but they are still treating us first-class here. They're allowing us to play hockey."
  9. Montreal snowplow driver suspended for burying car Vehicle's owner had been in argument over parking space Last Updated: Monday, February 2, 2009 | 11:29 AM ET CBC News A Montreal couple found their car covered with snow after an argument with a plow driver over the weekend near McGill University.A Montreal couple found their car covered with snow after an argument with a plow driver over the weekend near McGill University. (Kristy Rich/CBC) A Montreal snowplow driver has been suspended for dumping a whopping pile of snow onto a car after a dispute over a parking space. Now the couple who found their car looking more like an igloo than a sedan want an apology from the driver. "I think [he] should be sorry for what he did. He caused a lot of trouble for a lot of people," Roy Dudley, the owner of the car, told CBC News. On Friday night, Dudley parked his Volkswagen Jetta on Lorne Crescent near his home east of McGill University. A private snow-removal crew contracted by the city was clearing snow off one side of the street, so Dudley chose a spot on the other side. 'It was amazing how much snow there was on it. Obviously, it was deliberately done.' —Car owner Roy Dudley Dudley said one of the drivers ordered him to move his car because it could get in the way of their efforts to clear the narrow roadway. However, Dudley refused, saying there were no signs prohibiting him from parking there. The plow driver's boss arrived on the scene and suggested a truce: He offered to clear out a space for Dudley's car on a street nearby. Satisfied, Dudley moved his car to the new space and returned home. But he awoke Saturday to a frosty surprise. The entire street was clear except for two mountains of hard-packed, dirty snow covering his car. "It was amazing how much snow there was on it. Obviously, it was deliberately done," said Dudley. Roy Dudley found his car snowed-in on Lorne Crescent in Montreal.Roy Dudley found his car snowed-in on Lorne Crescent in Montreal. (Kristy Rich/CBC) His wife, Margaret Thompson, was dumbfounded. She said it would have been impossible for the couple to shovel out their car because the snow was so hard and compact. "Why would they do that?" she asked. "I realize their job is stressful and everyone is on their case about clearing the snow. But … where else are we supposed to park? Parking down here is really hard in the winter." City orders contractor to dislodge car The couple called police and the city, and by Saturday evening a city supervisor arrived on the scene. The supervisor ordered the contractor to clear the snow off the car. The crew returned Sunday and used a front-end loader and a tow truck to free the car from its snowy tomb. 'That is a rare problem, but it could happen. We have a very large operation.'—Yves Girard, Montreal's director of snow removal "I was happy that in front of my eyes, less than 24 hours later, the problem was being taken care of," said Dudley. Montreal's director of snow removal, Yves Girard, described the incident as an isolated one. "That is a rare problem, but it could happen. We have a very large operation," said Girard. "We have 3,000 employees, many pieces of equipment working on sidewalks and streets, and sometimes there are complaints because people don't want to move their cars." Entreprise Michaudville, a private snow-removal company, employed the driver. Gilles Gauthier, the driver's supervisor, told CBC News he'd never before seen a situation like this involving one of his employees. He said the company is taking responsibility for the incident and has suspended the driver for the rest of the season. Montreal has received near-record levels of snowfall this winter. Click on the link for pictures: http://www.cbc.ca/canada/montreal/story/2009/02/02/mtl-plowrage-0202.html