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Found 19 results

  1. MONTREAL - It’s the talk of downtown: big changes are said to be coming to Ogilvy’s and Holt Renfrew. The buzz is that Holt’s will close in its current location, move into Ogilvy’s, and the Art Deco Holt building will become condos. Sales staff in the area worry about their jobs, while merchants wonder what effect the loss of a retail anchor on Sherbrooke St. W. would have on the foot traffic for boutiques on Crescent and de la Montagne Sts. The rumours come after Selfridges Group Ltd., owners of Holt Renfrew, acquired Ogilvy’s this summer. Terms for the sale, which closed on Sept. 8, were not disclosed. The sale came just a year after a consortium of Quebec real estate investors bought the historic department store. “As of now, it’s business as usual for both,’’ said Jean-Sébastien Lamoureux, a spokesman for SGL, part of the billionaire Weston family’s empire. The Toronto family also owns Selfridges department store in the United Kingdom, stores in Ireland and the Netherlands, and controls Canada’s Loblaw grocery chain. An Ogilvy’s branch at Quartier Dix30 had been set to open next August. SGL still plans to open a store in Phase 3 of the South Shore mall, but no date for the opening has been set, said Lamoureux of National Public Relations. “Rumour is rumour,’’ said Ogilvy president Michel Théroux. “There’s no way to kill a rumour.” “The owners are studying a lot of scenarios,’’ Théroux said, emphasizing he has no information on any changes. He, too, tells employees it’s business as usual. A retail analyst, as well as executives speaking off the record, say that merging Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy’s stores is logical. The big question, said one source, is the future of Ogilvy’s as a heritage brand. “They’re not looking to walk away from it as brand, but it won’t be the name on the door,’’ the source said, adding that Ogilvy’s has great recognition and appeals to many people who don’t shop at Holt’s. “Heritage and tradition is worth something, but at the end of the day – I don’t know. We’re all waiting.” Holt’s has about 64,000 square feet of selling space compared with Ogilvy’s 120,000 square feet. About 80 per cent of Ogilvy’s is leased to boutiques, including Louis Vuitton, Ports, Les Chaussures Ogilvy (actually run by Jean-Paul Fortin shoes) and the large Design Louis George boutique on the fourth floor. Holt’s, with 11 stores across Canada, leases space to Hermès, Chanel, Links, Max Mara and the fur boutique. The future of many of those leased boutiques is at risk, a source said, wondering how the brands from the two stores will be merged. The source said Holt Renfrew has to face up to competition across Canada and in Montreal, with U.S. chains moving in and with the online shopping onslaught . “It’s time for a wow store in Montreal,’’ the source said. “I don’t know where the bagpipes will be.” Whatever is in store is years away, observers say. Asked whether Montreal can afford two high-end department stores, consumer analyst Neil Linsdell said there is definitely enough money here. “But when you get on that very high end, you’re not competing with everyone else in Montreal, because you probably have more travelled customers,’’ said Linsdell, of investment bank Versant Partners. “To a certain extent, you’re probably competing with London, New York.” In every sector, the selection is greater in the U.S., he added. “You can be very successful at either end of the market, high end or low end. Everybody is being squeezed in the middle,’’ Linsdell said. “High end is probably a better place to be.’’ To Théroux, Montreal has had room for the two high-end stores in the past, so he sees no reason that should not be in the case in the future. That said, Montreal is a small market and not a shopping destination for well-heeled tourists. “It’s not Toronto, it’s not New York. So you have to be a little bit different – offer things that people enjoy and like. We have to be humble,’’ he said. “Let’s address quality for the Montreal market.’’ He said the Louis Vuitton boutique at Ogilvy’s does very well; its accessories are affordable for many people. “But can we have a Prada boutique (with a) full assortment, etc., etc.? I’m not sure.” Real estate agent Liza Kaufman, who sells the adjacent Ritz condos, had heard the rumours, too. She said she thinks nobody really knows the plan. “There is going to be a Holt Renfrew,’’ she said. “Holt’s is a national brand. Ogilvy’s is only local. I do love Holt Renfrew. I love the location, obviously. Having said that, the store is small.’’ She and her clients travel and do a lot of their shopping elsewhere, she said, for the greater selection and the better prices. Kaufman said she thinks it’s business as usual for five years. As for possible changes to the real estate on Sherbrooke St. W., she suggested storefronts could remain on Sherbrooke St. W. even if the building becomes condos. “I would hope that other retailers take over that space if Holt’s does move,’’ Kaufman said. Linsdell noted that the demographics of an aging population favour the construction of more condos in the downtown area. And on the city council side: “There seems to be a war on the commuter.” Linsdell does not predict a major backlash from Montrealers by a move to Ogilvy’s by Holt Renfrew. It could be considered just a real estate play, he said, with Holt’s moving to the much roomier Ogilvy quarters and not losing that much in the availability of product.“There’s the immediate payoff on the real estate, selling it to a condo developer,’’ he said. Last week, the Quartier du Musée association staged a fashion show featuring designers in the area. Marie Rouzaud, coordinator of the group, said the goal is to keep designers and artisans – be it fashion or chocolate – and small businesses in the area. “We suffered because of the construction. Everywhere downtown is difficult, because parking is expensive, taxes are high,’’ Rouzaud said. “It’s hard to survive. Boutiques close, and big chains come in. Downtown must keep its authenticity,’’ she said. “If Holt Renfrew moves, it will be sad for the quartier.’’ The arrival of Montreal’s first Anthropologie, a U.S. chain store with a devoted following, and Tiffany’s jewellers is seen as good news in the short term. Both are expected to open early next year, Anthropologie next to Holt’s on de la Montagne, Tiffany’s in the new Ritz condo project on Sherbrooke. Designer Michel Desjardins, who opened a bright atelier-boutique on Crescent St. two years ago, said he likes the shopping corridor created by Holt’s and Ogilvy’s from Sherbrooke to Ste. Catherine St. “The circuit would be broken,’’ he said, if Holt’s were to wind up on Ste. Catherine, which he characterizes as less luxe than Sherbrooke. For Sally Yep, a boutique owner on de la Montagne, it’s difficult to imagine the merging of the two stores. “You always think of them as being separate fashion visions. I have the impression that Holt’s is going to stay strong,’’ she said. “Holt is the dominant brand. Ogilvy has more tradition.” Another merchant, not wishing to be named, also spoke of the different characters of the two stores. “It would be terrible without a free-standing Holt Renfrew and Ogilvy,’’ she said. “There is a clientele that is loyal to these stores.’’ http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/changes+predicted+Ogilvy+Holt+Renfrew/5756714/story.html
  2. Urbanites want an urban, Sainte-Catherine style, shopping experience, complete with walk along to consecutive and contiguous storefronts lining the street. Suburbanites want the freedom and accessibility of just driving to the mall with their car, parking and going in and finding everything in one place. Why don't we see shopping centres that truly combine both? Obviously, there are malls that kind of do, but i've yet to encounter a mall that fully implements both sides of the coin. So introducing.. my vision for a mall: -Not a single exterior surface parking spot. -The mall is meant to be located in a dense part of a grid patterned city. -There are wide sidewalks going all around, with stores lining the streets. -For those who want to park, there are roads leading through the mall, directly into a massive indoor parking garage, which is surrounded by the mall itself. Ta-da! Everybody's happy!
  3. Wanted to build a second downtown and wanted to have the metro line to go further west for this section. Proposed by Robert Campeau. Would have been known as New City Center 1.5 million sqft shopping center - total 2.2 million sqft retail space 75 floor office tower - total 5 million sqft office space 2 hotels (1750 rooms) 8000 unit condo tower
  4. Toronto : The downside of up TENILLE BONOGUORE Globe and mail Old Toronto is booming, thanks to a flood of new condo dwellers. So why are prime retail strips awash in 'for lease' signs? Tenille Bonoguore recently counted 54 empty storefronts on one stretch of Queen alone. With rents soaring, is it only cashed-up chains that can survive? The garlands were up, the Christmas songs were playing, but inside the Danforth Avenue store Paper and Presents, the mood was anything but merry. It was December, 2007, and instead of spreading good cheer, customers were hurling abuse about cross-border price discrepancies. Store owner Grace Wong was facing her second year without drawing a paycheque, and she was fed up with skyrocketing business costs. After 15 years as an independent retailer, she finally realized that it was time to go. "The Danforth has really changed. It's not as vibrant," Ms. Wong said this week from the store that will close this summer. "Stores are flipping, and nobody wants to take a chance. I wouldn't choose a place where stores keep flipping over. ... That's not a good sign." Like many tenant retailers, Ms. Wong pays both rent and part of the property taxes. The combination had reached $5,500 a month for her 800-square-foot storefront, a hike of 40 per cent in five years. Meanwhile, insurance had risen to $1,800 a year, up 50 per cent in 10 years, and other costs were soaring. She was caught in the unprecedented blaze of interest in downtown retailing that is reshaping Toronto's shopping strips, and threatens to turn the city into a whitewash of chain stores. Ms. Wong's is one of seven stores that have closed, or are preparing to close, this year in the Danforth Business Improvement Area. Thirty shut up shop last year, 10 of which had been open for less than two years. The empty storefronts don't reflect a lack of demand - just the opposite. Demand for downtown retail on hot strips like Queen Street, Bloor Street, Yonge at Dundas, and now Yonge at College, has driven up rents, speeding up turnover and forcing out the independent shops that made the strips vibrant in the first place. "A lot of landlords are making the rent so high because they're hoping for a Starbucks or a major chain to come in. They're waiting for the big guys," said Ms. Wong, who is opening an online Japanese paper store. Or storefronts turn into what Charlie Huisken, of This Ain't the Rosedale Library, calls "retail hotels" - a building that hosts a continuing rotation of short-lived ventures. "I don't know if that's a problem of [the retailers] lacking capital, or whether it's because the rents are too high. It might be a combination of the two. They pop up and just disappear," said Mr. Huisken, who recently moved his bookstore from Church and Wellesley to Kensington Market, partly because of escalating rent. Mr. Huisken believes that independent business can survive in the city centre only if retailers are given a mandatory option to buy property. Others wonder if the independents can survive at all. BIG BOX, BRAND OR BUST All of the factors that appear to help business - an influx of residents, increasing demand for downtown property - are sending independents running for shelter. John Crombie, senior managing director and national retail director for Cushman & Wakefield LePage, said he has never seen such demand for downtown retail space. Yorkville now commands rents of $300 per square foot, making it the third-priciest retail space in North America. Storefronts at Queen West and Spadina now cost $125 to $150 a square foot, and a ripple effect is washing across the city. The hot residential market of the past few years has had an impact too: Mushrooming condo developments seem poised to produce ready-made customer bases, which landlords can use as a basis for rent hikes. The condos can increase competition too, because of the retail spaces included in such developments. Meanwhile, Toronto businesses are paying some of the highest property-tax rates in North America, and subsidizing relatively lightly taxed residents. The City of Toronto has pledged to even that out over the next 15 years by shifting more of the tax burden from businesses to homeowners. But that could prove little comfort when new property valuations are issued this fall for the 2009 tax year, says the Canadian Federation of Independent Business's Ontario vice-president, Judith Andrew. "If there are really trendy spots that are seeing values go way up ... their share of the total assessment pie goes up and their share of the tax bill goes up too. That's bad news for retailers, even if they're renting," Ms. Andrew said. As independents are being priced out of hot neighbourhoods, cashed-up chains and luxury or trendy brands are moving in, Mr. Crombie said. "There's no question that there's a [residential] filling-in, and they're saying it's more of an affluent consumer coming down," he said. That's an irresistible prospect for big-brand players Queen Street West is a perfect example of the cycle. The city's best-known shopping strip is full of chains, such as Gap, H&M, Zara, Billabong and HMV, that use cheaper, globally homogeneous product to nab the city's disposable income. Brand flagships are getting in on the action too, with Mexx opening its own storefront and Crocs about to do the same. As they move in, the displaced stores seek cheaper locations. Historically, that has meant moving farther west. Now, Queen Street is threatening to run out of western succour. Just look to Parkdale's speedy transformation from blighted hovel to boho-chic haven. "I think there's a frustration for the smaller ma-and-pa regional players, but what can you do? It's really only following consumer behaviour," Mr. Crombie said. "... I've never seen such an interest in downtown street properties." At the start of last year, the Greater Toronto Area had almost 185 million square feet of retail real estate, more than two-thirds of which was in shopping centres and big-box stores. Until now, suburban malls held the most appeal to retailers. But that changed for Toronto in 2007, according to Cushman & Wakefield LePage's annual report. Vacancies on retail strips dipped to 8.4 per cent in 2007, down from 8.5 per cent the previous year and 9.7 per cent five years previous. Meanwhile, vacancies in shopping centres rose to 7.4 per cent, up from 6.7 per cent in 2006. Danforth BIA president Glyn Laverick said it's essential that small businesses be given a helping hand if they are to survive. "There's not an awful lot of support from an institutional or governmental level for small business. There's really not a plethora of grants available if you're not opening a manufacturing company," Mr. Laverick said. One hopeful note is that there are still plenty of people bellying up for the challenge. While the Danforth BIA has lost 37 businesses since January, 2007, 29 others have opened up. NICHE IS THE WORD Studio Brillantine owner Ferdinand Suzara spent last Christmas doing a bit of shopping of his own. Eleven years after establishing the retail beachhead on West Queen West, the design boutique owner was on the hunt for a new 'hood. Not that there was anything wrong with his spot just west of Ossington: He had hoped to buy the building from his landlord, as they had discussed, but his landlord was in no rush to sell. And who could blame him? That part of town will soon welcome hundreds of new residents as part of the City of Toronto's Queen West Triangle densification plan. Mr. Suzara started looking elsewhere, snapping up a more affordable building in Parkdale instead. Studio Brillantine and its inventory of leading-edge design products had opened long before Ossington's hipster influx. So the posters announcing the move shocked the neighbourhood. "Our whole block is up for sale. It's just in the air for this block," Mr. Suzara said as he started preparing for the August move. The south-Roncesvalles area his store is moving to still holds the edgy appeal of Queen West's earlier days, he said, but the clock is ticking. By his reckoning, the chain stores will start arriving in five or 10 years. As the cycle gains speed, independents scramble to seek out the last shrinking oases of affordability. The Danforth's Carrot Common is one such hub. Roncesvalles Avenue where it meets Queen West is quickly becoming another. Shannon Doyle moved her gourmet nook The Mercantile to "Roncy" in May, despite having a legion of loyal customers on College Street. But the rental of her tiny College storefront was about to jump 45 per cent, by her calculations (a figure with which her landlord disagrees), and there was no way she could keep up. Plus, the College strip she had entered in 1999 had disappeared in a slew of bars. It was time to go. "You're really watching businesses move or close," said the diminutive Ms. Doyle, now happily serving her new regulars. " ... They're just flipping every year. You want to say to a landlord, 'Why not just have a good tenant and work with them?' "It has to stop eventually, or everything's a Gap." Space: the final frontier Source: Cushman & Wakefield LePage Toronto Retail Strips: Average Overall Vacancy 2002 - 9.7% 2006 - 8.5% 2007- 8.4% Retail Strip Examples: Vacancy Over 5 Years Yorkville 2002 - 10% 2007 - 7.7% Chinatown 2002 - 8.6% 2007 - 8.2% Pape & Danforth 2002 - 15% 2007 - 9% Yonge & Wellesley 2002 - 8.3% 2007 - 9.1% Dundas & Dufferin 2002 - 13.7% 2007 - 12.9% Source: Cushman and Wakefield LePage
  5. Dana FlavelleBusiness Reporter Dana Flavelle Business Reporter There’s a bill before the U.S. Congress that would allow Americans to bring back $1,000 worth of Canadian goods duty-free after just a few hours of shopping across our border. Meanwhile, Canadians can’t bring back anything from the U.S. duty-free until they’ve been away for 24 hours. Even then the limit is $50. This protectionism is one of the reasons U.S. retailers who open up shop in Canada can charge higher prices here than in their home market, an economics professor says. “There are two reasons prices are higher in Canada,” said Ambarish Chandra, a professor with the University of Toronto’s Rotman School of Management. “It is more expensive. Retailers here have to pay higher taxes and have somewhat higher costs. But a larger part of it is because they can get away with it.” Canadians can complain all they like but unless they do more cross-border shopping, retailers here will charge whatever the market will bear, Chandra said. The same barriers exist online: Canadians are charged duty on items shipped across the border. The Consumers Association of Canada says it has lobbied Ottawa to raise the limits, noting the maximum exemption - $750 after a week-long stay - hasn’t changed in more than 15 years. But the consumer group says its efforts are always opposed by Canadian retailers. The Retail Council of Canada denies it has lobbied the government on this issue. “In an age when you can shop around the world, travellers’ exemptions would be the least of our concerns,” said council president and chief executive Diane Brisebois. “We have not had any conversations with the government about exemptions.” Ottawa doubled the exemption for 48-hour trips outside the country to $400 from $200 in 2007, but has no plans to make further changes at this time, said a spokesperson for federal Finance Minister Jim Flaherty. “We continually monitor the adequacies of the travellers’ exemption for Canadians. This includes taking into consideration the impact of any further modifications on the government’s budgetary balance and the impact on Canadian retailers,” the minister’s office said in a written statement. The U.S. currently allows $200 for same-day shopping. The issue of retail price parity arose again this week after some Canadian customers complained U.S. retailer J. Crew is charging higher prices in its new Canadian store and on its Canadian website than in its U.S. stores and on its U.S. website. The difference in the stores averages 15 per cent; the difference online is up to 40 per cent, once taxes and shipping are included. Canadians have been railing about price differences between the two countries ever since the Canadian dollar rose to parity with the U.S. greenback in 2007 after years in the doldrums. “It’s come to the fore again because the Canadian dollar is so strong and so many U.S. retailers are coming here,” said Lynn Bevan, a partner with the consulting firm RSM Richter in Toronto. Bevan said retailers who bring their operations north of the border face a slew of higher costs, from duty and freight to real estate and labour. Overhead costs in Canada are spread across fewer stores, and in some cases the Canadian business is separately owned and must pay royalty and other fees to the U.S. parent. “It’s not like Canadian retailers are making out like bandits,” she said. Prices were on average 20 per cent higher in Canada than in the U.S. on a broad range of goods from DVDs to luxury cars to golf balls, according to a survey last April by Doug Porter, deputy chief economist at BMO Capital Markets. The only times the price gap has closed in the past four years are when the Canadian dollar has dropped below the U.S. greenback, Porter said. http://www.thestar.com/business/article/1043928--canadians-need-higher-duty-free-limits-prof-says
  6. http://www.montrealgazette.com/Fire+forces+evacuation+Hyatt+hotel/1546853/story.html The smoke was visible all the way from Concordia at around 5:30.
  7. Full article can be found here: http://business.financialpost.com/2011/05/26/target-unveils-canadian-stores/ List of Quebec Stores • Galeries d,Anjou, Anjou • Faubourg Boisbriand, Boisbriand • Carrefour Angrignon, Lasalle • Mega Centre Notre-Dame, Laval • Galeries Chagnon , Levis • Place Longueuil, Longueuil • Place Alexis Nihon, Montreal • Place Vertu, Montreal • Terrarium Shopping Centre, Pointe Claire • Les Galeries De La Capitale, Quebec City • Place Fleur De Lys, Quebec City • Place Laurier, Quebec • Le Carrefour Rimouski, Rimouski • Promenades Saint-Bruno, Saint-Bruno-de-Montarville • Carrefour Saint-Georges, Saint-Georges • Carrefour Richelieu, Saint- Jean sur-Richelieu • Carrefour du Nord, Saint Jerome • Carrefour de L,Estrie, Sherbrooke • Les Rivieres Shopping Centre, Trois Rivieres
  8. Lawyer’s Survival Guide to Montreal By Larry Markowitz Montreal is the most European of North America’s cities, blessed with a joie de vivre that makes a visit worth your while at any time of the year. Although the majority of Montrealers are French-speaking, English-speaking visitors will have no problem getting by, especially if those visitors begin their conversations with a courteous “bonjour.” Entertainment Montrealers enjoy life. Lunches are longer, foods are tastier, and the seasons are filled with festivals of all sorts. In the summer, Montreal is renowned for its international jazz festival, featuring hundreds of free outdoor shows, as well as its comedy festival, known as the “Cannes of comedy.” Many a Hollywood sitcom star has been discovered by the talent scouts who frequent the Just for Laughs comedy fest. Even during its cold and snowy winters, Montreal holds festivals such as February’s Montreal High Lights Festival, which features performances, gastronomy, and activities for the whole family. Of course, one cannot ignore Montrealers’ passion for their Montreal Canadiens hockey club, which sells out the 21,000-seat Bell Centre for nearly every home game. Hockey is like a religion for the people of this city. Many local drivers fly a Canadiens’ flag from their automobile, as they encourage the “Habs” to win their twenty-fifth Stanley Cup. During the summer, the hometown 2009 Grey Cup-champion Alouettes of the Canadian Football League play their home games in the open-air Percival Molson Stadium located on the slopes of Mount Royal, the mountain in the center of this island city, from which Montreal takes its name. Visitors who are less interested in sports can visit the Montreal Museum of Fine Arts, the Montreal museum of contemporary art (Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal) or the leading-edge Canadian Centre for Architecture. Alternatively, visitors may simply go for a stroll atop Mount Royal, along tree-lined pathways designed in the 19th century by Frederick Law Olmsted, who is best known for designing New York’s Central Park. The pathways of the Old Port along the Saint Lawrence River and the narrow cobblestone streets of adjacent Old Montreal are also pleasant places for a walk, especially when the weather is warm. Visitors from the United Sates should remember to bring their passports, as the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Agency now requires a passport to be presented by all those entering (or re entering) the United States. A taxi ride to downtown Montreal from Trudeau Airport costs C$38 (approximately US$36 at the current exchange rate of C$1 = US$0.96) and usually takes less than 30 minutes. Once you’ve arrived in the city center, you’ll discover that Montreal is a very walkable place, with its “underground city” that links numerous office towers, shopping malls, and hotels and provides shelter from inclement weather. Because of its four major universities, three of which are located in the downtown area, and the fact that many residents both live and work downtown, the central core retains an active vibe at all hours of the day and night. The city also features a safe and visually appealing subway (metro) system. For those in a rush, taxis are plentiful, readily available, and quite affordable. Montreal is one of the oldest cities in the “new world.” Old Montreal, the area adjacent to the Old Port, has the largest concentration of 17th, 18th and 19th century architecture in North America. Those buildings are well-maintained and in them, one can find quaint boutique hotels and fine dining restaurants. Accommodations In addition to the boutique hotels, downtown Montreal also has all the usual chain hotels that meet the needs of business travelers and are located in proximity to the office towers that house Montreal’s law firms and corporate head offices. For a trendy boutique hotel in Old Montreal with exposed brick walls in your room, try the Hotel Nelligan (http://www.hotelnelligan.com). If you wish to be pampered in the same chateau-like surroundings as Madonna and the Rolling Stones, try the ultra sumptuous Hotel Le St-James (http://www.hotellestjames.com). For a major downtown business hotel, try the Queen Elizabeth. As an added bonus, 1960’s pop-culture history buffs will be interested to learn that room 1742 of the “Queen E.” was the site of 1969’s famous “Bed-in for Peace” by John Lennon and Yoko Ono, during which they recorded their timeless song “Give Peace a Chance” (http://www.fairmont.com/EN_FA/Property/QEH/). Farther uptown and closer to the shopping of Sherbrooke Street (Montreal’s “Fifth Avenue”), and not far from Sainte-Catherine Street, Canada’s busiest shopping thoroughfare, is the luxurious Sofitel Montreal Golden Mile (http://www.sofitelmontreal.com). Dining For cuisine, Montreal’s multiethnic population, combined with its residents’ propensity for going out to dinner, has resulted in a multitude of high-quality restaurants, featuring every imaginable type of food. In fact, Montreal lays claim to having the most restaurants per capita of any North American city. At the basic end of the food spectrum, some local dishes that you might want to sample include poutine, a surprisingly tasty artery-blocking concoction of French fries and melted cheese curds doused in thick brown gravy. You should also sample a smoked meat sandwich with a side-order of kosher dill pickle at Schwartz’s on “The Main” (aka Saint-Laurent Boulevard, which is the traditional dividing line between the more anglophone western half of the city and the more francophone eastern half). Montreal smoked meat is a uniquely spiced and tender smoked brisket that is hand-sliced and served on rye bread with mustard. After sampling a smoked meat sandwich, stop by either Saint Viateur Bagel or Fairmount Bagel for a uniquely Montreal tender hand-rolled bagel, cooked to perfection in a traditional wood-burning oven. There’s no rush to buy your bagels, as both of these institutions remain open 24/7. For more sophisticated cuisine, the absolute top of the top include Toqué! and Club Chasse et Pêche. A top-rated genuine French bistro experience may be had, without the need to fly to Paris, by dining at L'Express, located on Saint Denis Street, a broad avenue lined with numerous eateries. It has been said that Montrealers work to live, rather than the other way around. Hopefully, your travels will give you the opportunity to experience some of the joie de vivre of this “Paris on the Saint Lawrence” sometime soon! Larry Markowitz ([email protected]) is a partner in the Montreal office of McMillan LLP. His practice focuses on securities law and competition/antitrust law. http://www.abanet.org/intlaw/pubs/Montreal/montrealLSG10.html Drôle de hasard : je ne connaissais pas le restaurant Club Chasse & Pêche jusqu'à ce que j'y reconduisse huit de mes clients pour la première fois il y a deux jours !!
  9. Source: Taylor Noakes Je ne suis pas souvent d'accord avec ce type, mais ce billet est intéressant. Cliquez le lien pour y voir les photos nécessaire pour bien comprendre l'article. Came across an interesting conversation on Montreal City Weblog that started out about a bit of news that the Hilton Bonaventure is up for sale but ended up on the subject of some of our city’s ugliest buildings. The question was whether the entirety of Place Bonaventure was on the block or just the Hotel (and what the Hotel’s stake in the building was, by extension), and one commentator stated he’d prefer to see the building destroyed and replaced with a ‘proper European-styled train station, a worthy Southern Entrance to the city’ (I’m paraphrasing but that was the gist of it). Ultimately it is just the hotel that is for sale. Of note, the Delta Centre-Ville (another building I have mixed feelings about) recently announced it is closing in October, putting some 350 people out of work. The University Street building, co-located with the Tour de la Bourse is to be converted into – get this – high-end student housing. I don’t know if the rotating restaurant on the upper floors is still operational, but I’m going to find out. I can imagine a high-priced and slightly nauseating meal with a fantastic if intermittent view awaits… The Hilton Bonaventure occupies the top floors of Place Bonaventure, a building designed from the inside-out that was originally conceived as an international trade centre and convention space. When opened in 1967 it boasted an immense convention hall, five floors of international wholesalers, two floors of retail shopping, a collection of international trade mission head offices and the aforementioned hotel. The building was heavily modified in 1998, losing its wholesale and retail shopping component as it was converted into office space. The exterior is in the brutalist style of poured, ribbed concrete, some of which has cracked and fallen off. Though an architecturally significant building, it’s far from a beauty. The rooftop hotel is perhaps the building’s best feature, involving a sumptuous interior aesthetic heavy on earth tones interacting with plenty of natural sunlight, bathing the hotel’s multiple levels while simultaneously exposing the well-cultivated rooftop garden and pool. In any event, the discussion on Montreal City Weblog brought up general disinterest in Place Bonaventure’s looks, but commentators had other ideas about what they considered to be our city’s truly ugliest building. Montreal Forum, circa 1996. Montreal Forum, circa 1996. Weblog curator Kate McDonnell’s pick is the Cineplex Pepsi AMC Forum Entertainment Complex Extravaganza (brought to you by Jonathan Wener at Canderel Realty). I won’t disgrace the pages of this blog by showing you what it looks like – just go take a waltz around Ste-Catherine’s and Atwater and when you start dry heaving you’ll know you’re looking at one of the worst architectural abominations to ever befall a self-respecting society. The above image is what the Forum looked like pre-conversion, probably shortly after the Habs moved to the Bell Centre (formerly the Molson Centre, formerly General Dynamics Land Systems Place). This would’ve been the Forum’s second or third makeover since it was first built in the 1920s, and as you can see, a strong local Modernist vibe with just a touch of the playful in the inter-lacing escalators deigned to look like crossed hockey sticks is pretty much all there is to it. Simple, straightforward, even a touch serious – a building that looked like the ‘most storied building in hockey history’. But today – yea gods. Frankly I’m surprised we haven’t formed a mob to arson it all the way back to hell, where the current incarnation of the Montreal Forum aptly belongs. From what I’ve heard Satan needs a multiplex on which to show nothing but Ishtar. All that aside, I agree that the Forum is awfully ugly, but it’s not my choice for ugliest city-wide. Other suggestions from the conversation included the Port Royal Apartments on Sherbrooke and the National Bank Building on Place d’Armes, though commentators seemed to agree this was mostly because they felt the building was out of place, and rendered ugly more by the context of its surroundings, or its imposition upon them, than anything else. The Big O was mentioned, as was Concordia’s ice-cube tray styled Hall Building. La Cité was brought up as an ultimately failed project that disrupts a more cohesive human-scale neighbourhood, and so were some of McGill’s mid-1970s pavilions. Surprisingly, the Chateau Champlain wasn’t brought up, though I’ve heard many disparage it as nothing but a fanciful cheese-grater. 1200 McGill College - Centre Capitol 1200 McGill College – Centre Capitol But after all that is said and done, I’m not convinced we’ve found Montreal’s ugliest building. My personal choice is 1200 McGill College, the building above, a drab and dreary brown brick and smoked glass office tower of no particular architectural merit or patrimonial value that I personally believe is ugly by virtue of marring the beauty of the buildings around it, notably Place Ville Marie and just about everything else on McGill College. Worse still, it replaced what was once a grand theatre – the Capitol – with something that would ultimately become a large Roger’s call centre. Ick. However much corporate office real estate our city happens to have, we could all do without whatever this puny out-of-style building provides. Suffice it to say, I would gladly sell tickets to its implosion. But in writing this article I remembered a building even more hideous and out of place than 1200 McGill College: This monstrosity… Avis Parking Garage on Dorchester Square - credit to Spacing Montreal Avis Parking Garage on Dorchester Square – credit to Spacing Montreal There is simply no excuse for a multi-level parking garage conceived in such ostentatiously poor taste to occupy such a prime piece of real estate as this, and so I can only infer that the proprietor is either making a killing in the parking game or, that the proprietor is waiting to try and get building height restrictions relaxed. It’d be a great spot for a tony condo complex, but given that it’s wedged between the iconic Sun Life and Dominion Square buildings it’s likely the lot has some significant zoning restrictions, making a tower – the only really viable residential model given the size of the plot – highly unlikely. I can’t imagine a tower on this spot would do anything but take away from the already hyper precise proportions of the square. Personally, I think the spot would be ideal for a medium-sized venue, especially considering it’s adjacent to the preserved former Loews Theatre, currently occupied by the Mansfield Athletic Association. In better days the city might have the means to redevelop the former Loews into a new performance venue; a gym can go anywhere, an authentic turn of the century vaudeville-styled theatre is a precious commodity these days. Think about it – a medium-sized theatre and performance complex in the middle of a pre-existing entertainment and retail shopping district. I think that might work here. Either way – boo on this parking lot. And come to think of it, I wouldn’t mind seeing just about every single modernist apartment tower built in the McGill and Concordia ghettoes in the 1960s and 1970s removed from the skyline as well. But I leave it to you – what do you think is the single ugliest building in Montreal? Feel free to send pics if you have them.
  10. Ce projet va renaitre de ses cendres (en partie), via un autre promoteur Simon Property Group, Calloway REIT, and SmartCentres Announce Second Premium Outlet Center® in Canada to Serve Montreal Area INDIANAPOLIS, May 21, 2012 /PRNewswire/ -- Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG), the world's leading retail real estate company, Calloway Real Estate Investment Trust ("Calloway") (TSX: CWT-UN) and SmartCentres announced plans to develop their second Premium Outlet Center® in Canada. The center will be located in the Town of Mirabel, Quebec, approximately 20 miles north of Montreal. The project, called Montreal Premium Outlets®, is a joint venture between Simon, Calloway and SmartCentres. Simon will own 50% of the project. The Mirabel site is located on Highway 15 at Notre Dame Street. Phase 1 will be comprised of 350,000 square feet of gross leasable area and 80 stores. Construction is expected to begin in 2013. The first Simon and Calloway project, Toronto Premium Outlets, located in the Town of Halton Hills, is currently under construction and on schedule for a summer 2013 opening. "Due to the strong response to our first announced project in the Toronto area, we are excited to now bring the Premium Outlets branded concept of upscale outlet shopping to the Montreal area," remarked John R. Klein, President of Simon's Premium Outlets platform. "We are pleased to quickly expand our presence in Canada and our partnership with Calloway and SmartCentres to develop another first-class project." "Opening a new Premium Outlet Center in the Montreal area will help fulfill the merchant demand for growth in Canada while providing economic benefits in and around Mirabel," said Al Mawani, CEO of Calloway. "With more than four million residents in the area, we look forward to bringing a high-quality outlet shopping experience to the region." "We're pleased to be partnering with Simon Property Group, the world leader in the shopping and outlet center business. We are excited about bringing many new international designer brands to the Canadian consumer at affordable prices," said Mitchell Goldhar, CEO of SmartCentres. "I am delighted with this decision to develop a portion of the Lac Mirabel lands and welcome Premium Outlets to our city," said Hubert Meilleur, Mayor of the City of Mirabel. "They can count on the City's full cooperation in seeing this new project through to its successful completion. Being the first in Quebec to have a Premium Outlets concept is something for us to be very proud of." Simon Property Group's outlet portfolio comprises 70 Premium Outlet Centers® including 57 in the United States, one in Puerto Rico, eight in Japan, two in Korea and one in Malaysia and Mexico. Premium Outlet Centers in the United States are located primarily in or near major metropolitan markets such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston and Chicago and visitor markets such as Orlando, Las Vegas and Palm Springs. Premium Outlets properties are distinguished by their unparalleled mix of leading designers and name brands selling direct to consumers at significant savings with each being an architecturally distinct village setting with charm and ambiance. About Simon Property Group Simon Property Group, Inc. (NYSE: SPG) is an S&P 100 company and the largest real estate company in the world. The Company currently owns or has an interest in 337 retail real estate properties in North America and Asia comprising 244 million square feet. We are headquartered in Indianapolis, Indiana and employ approximately 5,500 people in the U.S. For more information, visit the Simon Property Group website at http://www.simon.com. About Calloway Calloway is one of Canada's largest real estate investment trusts with an enterprise value of approximately $6 billion. It owns and manages approximately 26 million square feet in 118 value-oriented retail centres having the strongest national and regional retailers, as well as strong neighbourhood merchants. Calloway's vision is to provide a value-oriented shopping experience to Canadian consumers. For more information on Calloway, visit http://www.callowayreit.com. About SmartCentres A privately held Canadian company, SmartCentres has developed more than 200 shopping centres in communities big and small, and operates in every province. SmartCentres is committed to bringing value to Canadian communities through the efficiencies of unenclosed shopping centre formats each adapted to the market in which it is located. For more information on SmartCentres, visit http://www.smartcentres.com. http://phx.corporate-ir.net/phoenix.zhtml?c=113968&p=irol-newsArticle&ID=1698130&highlight= SOURCE Simon Property Group, Inc.
  11. THE CANADIAN PRESS MONTREAL–Cadillac Fairview has announced a $52-million investment to "bring elegance and luxury to the shopping experience" at Carrefour Laval in suburban Montreal. The renovation, starting immediately and set for completion by the autumn of next year, includes relocating the shopping centre's food courts into a new 1,200-seat complex, adding more stores and ``harmonizing the common areas with the garden court." Cadillac Fairview, owned by the Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan, said Wednesday the design is "inspired by the urban trend seen in shopping centres of leading international cities." The upgrading of the 34-year-old mall, now with about 300 retailers in its 1.3 million leasable square feet, will include new flooring, ceilings, lighting and soft seating areas, with construction planned to minimize inconvenience for shoppers. Other properties in Cadillac Fairview's $16-billion portfolio include the Toronto-Dominion Centre and Eaton Centre in Toronto and the Pacific Centre in Vancouver
  12. Another review of montreal published in various newspaper last weekend http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/html/travel/2016137252_trmontreal11.html
  13. Vive Montreal! It may not be Paris, but city is awash with Old World charm, warmth for Christmas By Mary Milz Special to The Courier-Journal Some say if you can't afford Paris, try Montreal, the most European city in North America. Not quite. Montreal is no Paris. And thanks to the strong Canadian dollar, it's not the bargain it once was, either. But it's still well worth the trip even on those nippy December days when temperatures hover in the 20s. With its strong French Catholic heritage, Montreal dresses in its Christmas finest and lights up for the holidays, encouraging visitors to join in the revelry. Montreal transported this Midwesterner worlds away without jumping time zones, without confusion over currency and without need of a pocket translator. It's just a two-hour fight from Chicago, Canadian coins pretty much mirror American, and while French is the primary language, everyone we encountered spoke English too. Montreal is Canada's second-largest city. More than 3.6 million people call the greater metropolitan area home. At first glance, Montreal stands out as a modern city with its gleaming skyscrapers, upscale shopping and internationally known restaurants. But bundle up and stroll its vibrant and varied neighborhoods and you find Montreal oozes Old World warmth and charm. Montreal provides the perfect three- to five-day getaway for travelers wanting big-city excitement without big-city hassles. Culturally diverse and rich in history, Montreal offers everything from top-notch museums and centuries-old churches to fabulous food and lively night life. Travelers intent on holiday shopping may feel giddy at the options. Saint Catherine Street, one of the longest streets in North America, is home to scores of trendy boutiques as well as the city's most prominent retailers, including Ogilvy. The landmark department store is famous for its bagpipers, who announce the noon hour each day; and its legendary Christmas windows, which come alive with animated toy animals. Shoppers wanting edgier, funkier gifts will enjoy browsing Saint Laurent Street. And if it's too frigid outdoors, shoppers can escape to the underground city. Twenty-two miles of subterranean walkways link shopping centers, boutiques, restaurants, cinemas, hotels and the subway. No need for a rental car. The Metro is fast, cheap and easy to navigate. Underground trains make stops every five to 10 minutes, taking passengers to 68 stations across the city. A single fair is $2.75; a three-day pass, $17, is also good for buses. Several police officers assured us it was safe at all hours. Montreal also enjoys a reputation for being well-kept. A recent survey by Mercer Human Resources Consulting rated it the 10th cleanest city in the world. Beware; this city takes its clean image seriously. As of last spring, anyone caught flinging trash on the ground faced a fine of up to $1,000! In addition to its cleanliness, Montreal prides itself on diversity, reflected in its assorted ethnic neighborhoods ranging from Chinatown to the Latin Quarter (also great areas for finding fun and unusual gifts). One afternoon, we wandered into the Mile-End neighborhood and stopped in the Fairmount Bagel Bakery where it's nothing but bagels and matzahs. It has been in business since 1919. Employees roll the bagels by hand, boil them and then bake them in wood-burning ovens. Scrumptious! No wonder they turn out more than 1,500 a day. We walked across the street to a small market selling imported cheeses, marinades, olive oil and specialty chocolates, striking up a conversation with owner Luigi DiVito. When we asked what he thought distinguished Montreal from other Canadian cities, such as Toronto, he said, "People are very open, very friendly, very welcoming. There's more life here. We like to live. The food and restaurants are amazing." Our stomachs agreed. Montreal is known for its fine cuisine, and with close to 6,000 restaurants, the choices are daunting. While French-style restaurants and bistros were once the mainstay, diners now find a hearty selection of Middle Eastern, North African, Asian and Latin-American eateries, to name a few. Our hotel's concierge proved especially helpful in narrowing the choices. While we found prices comparable with large metropolitan cities, many Montreal restaurants offer table d'hote or fixed-price meals. You can get a three- or four-course meal for slightly more than the price of an a la carte main course. After a week of experiencing Montreal and its popular attractions, we left enamored and singing a decidedly different tune: Even if you can afford Paris, try Montreal. http://www.courier-journal.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20071028/FEATURES05/710280350
  14. MONTREAL - A battle is brewing for Quebec arts and crafts shoppers as North American giant Michaels prepares to enter the province Friday with the opening of seven stores. The move by the Texas-based retailer will put it in closer competition with homegrown DeSerres, which is opening its 18 location in the province and 28th across Canada. After three years of planning, Michaels will open stores in suburban locations in Gatineau, LaSalle, Lachenaie, St-Jean-sur-Richelieu, St-Jerome, Vaudreuil-Dorion, and Laval. The move comes 17 years after it expanded into English Canada. "We wanted to make sure we were 100 per cent compliant to the rules and regulations of the Quebec government and we wanted to make sure that we were going to provide an unbelievable shopping experience to our customer," Tom Making, president of Michaels Canada, said in an interview from St-Jean-sur-Richelieu. He said Michaels translated 2.5 million words to ensure that its packaging and signage was trilingual in English, French and Spanish to service customers in Quebec and the United States. Michaels has invested $20 million in the Quebec stores, hired 500 workers and developed a new store prototype that includes better lighting, wall graphics and wider aisles. It has also signed up four Quebec vendors to supply books, stamping and scrapbooking materials. The Quebec stores will offer the same merchandising as its 92 other stores in Canada, but it will target the Quebec consumer with a larger yarn department, beading area and expanded framing section. "The Quebec public is a very creative customer in crafts, in fine arts and we offer that unique shopping experience in all of our stores." Making said the arrival of Michaels will "enhance" the market along side the 104-year-old DeSerres chain. "We offer a different product line. Our objective is to bring a whole new crafting experience to the Quebec consumer and I think we will enhance one another." DeSerres president Marc DeSerres said Michaels will only have a short-term impact on a few of its nearby stores. "You always have to be concerned when someone with large means comes in your territory but I feel we are prepared," he said in an interview from Paris where he was shopping for new products. "We have a different offer, we're based here, we're Canadian-owned, we know the market and we adjust our stores based on the market." As a smaller company, DeSerres said it can bring in new products and follow trends much quicker than Michaels. While Michaels is strong in crafts, DeSerres said his stores excel at fine arts. They sell canvases made in Montreal, notebooks manufactured in Toronto and artist paints made in Canada. "(Michaels is) putting themselves close to Walmart so the selection is probably close to Walmart's and they will probably compete more with Walmart and the dollar store than us." Michaels operates more than 1,070 big box stores averaging 1,800 square metres and plans to add more stores in Quebec in the next five years. About nine per cent of its more than US$4.2 billion of sales in fiscal 2011 came from Canada. The stores carry more than 35,000 products. Nearly half its sales are in general products and children's crafts, according to its 2011 annual report. The rest is divided among home decor and seasonal, framed and scrapbooking goods. Opened in 1983, it was purchased in 2006 by private equity firms Bain Capital, founded by U.S. presidential candidate Mitt Romney, and The Blackstone Group. Michaels employs about 45,300 workers, including 34,600 who are part-time and nearly 5,000 in Canada. Note to readers: This is a corrected story. An earlier version said Michaels had 89 other stores in Canada Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/all/Arts+crafts+retailer+entering+Quebec+market+with+seven/7229361/story.html#ixzz26J95n6OG
  15. The Shopping Mall Turns 60 (and Prepares to Retire) The Atlantic Cities EMILY BADGER JUL 13, 2012 The enclosed suburban shopping mall has become so synonymous with the American landscape that it’s hard to imagine the original idea for it ever springing from some particular person's imagination. Now the scheme seems obvious: of course Americans want to amble indoors in a million square feet of air-conditioned retail, of course we will need a food court because so much shopping can’t be done without meal breaks, and of course we will require 10,000 parking spaces ringing the whole thing to accommodate all our cars. The classic indoor mall, however, is widely credited with having an inventor. And when the Vienna-born architect Victor Gruen first outlined his vision for it in a 1952 article in the magazine Progressive Architecture, the plan was a shocker. Most Americans were still shopping downtown, and suburban "shopping centers," to the extent they existed, were most definitely not enclosed in indoor mega-destinations. At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006. Gruen’s idea transformed American consumption patterns and much of the environment around us. At age 60, however, the enclosed regional shopping mall also appears to be an idea that has run its course (OK, maybe not in China, but among Gruen’s original clientele). He opened the first prototype in Edina, Minnesota, in 1956, and the concept spread from there (this also means the earliest examples of the archetypal American mall are now of age for historic designation, if anyone wants to make that argument). At the mall’s peak popularity, in 1990, America opened 19 of them. But we haven’t cut the ribbon on a new one since 2006, for reasons that go beyond the recession. As we imagine ways to repurpose these aging monoliths and what the next generation of retail should look like, it’s worth recalling Gruen’s odd legacy. He hated suburbia. He thought his ideas would revitalize cities. He wanted to bring urban density to the suburbs. And he envisioned shopping malls as our best chance at containing sprawl. "He said great quotes on suburbia being 'soulless' and 'in search of a heart,'" says Jeff Hardwick, who wrote the Gruen biography Mall Maker. "He just goes on and on with these critiques. And they occur really early in his writing as well. So it’s not as if he ends up bemoaning suburbia later. He’s critiquing suburbia pretty much from the get-go, and of course the remedy he offers is the shopping mall." Gruen wanted to create better versions of the American downtown in the suburbs. He wanted these places to be civic centers as much as commercial ones, with day cares, libraries, post offices, community halls and public art. He wanted the shopping mall to be for suburbia what the public square was to old European cities. In fact, that mall in Edina, called Southdale, was supposed to be the centerpiece of a 500-acre master plan to include houses, apartments, office buildings, a medical center and schools. In his book, Hardwick unearths a great quote from the president of Dayton’s, the downtown Minneapolis department store that developed Southdale. He, like Gruen, believed that all of this could happen at no expense to the city. "We do not believe," he said, "we or anybody else will lose any business because of the suburban move." • • • • • Gruen’s creations did an amazing job of luring customers (and holding them captive in the shopping bliss now known as the Gruen Effect). The day Southdale opened, 75,000 happy shoppers streamed in. And it’s hard to imagine now where Gruen thought these people were coming from, if not in an exodus from downtown. He also built a series of satellite shopping centers around Detroit for the department store J.L. Hudson. When the first of them opened in 1954, Detroit was the fifth largest city in the country and the fastest growing in the East or Midwest. Of course Gruen’s shopping centers aren’t solely to blame for Detroit’s decline. But his idea helped set off a chain reaction that recurred in cities everywhere. Suburban malls drew consumers who found shopping and parking in the city too difficult. They contributed to a boom in development that enabled not just shopping dollars, but whole households to relocate to suburbia. Cities, eying this exodus, tore down buildings and tried unsuccessfully to recreate the ease of parking and the shopping experience people found in the suburbs. And this only further hastened their decline. "Gruen will often go on about how they’re going to push each other, 'what we’ve created in the suburbs can now be a model for downtown,'" Hardwick says. "But he doesn’t imagine that what we created in the suburbs is going to bankrupt downtown." In Edina, those plans for a whole town anchored around the mall were never executed, and perhaps Gruen was naïve to think the developers of shopping malls would also be interested in developing entire communities. At the time, Gruen believed that by locating all of a community’s shopping needs in an enclosed mall, with a nondescript exterior, we could do away with the "commercial blight" of scattered hot-dog stands and gas stations and neon storefronts that made America, in his eyes, so ugly. But the property value around Southdale quickly went up. And instead of developing the full 500-acre site, Dayton’s sold off chunks of it for what would become the kind of "anonymous mass housing" Gruen detested, and precisely more of the commercial sprawl he wanted to eradicate. Repeatedly, his plans did not turn out as he had imagined them, and later in life he bitterly lamented that Americans had debased his ideas. In one of the strangest legacies of his career, just as he was building these suburban shopping malls, Gruen was trying to revitalize urban downtowns with pedestrian-friendly master plans for cities like Fort Worth, Texas, and Kalamazoo, Michigan. He wanted to bring people back into the city even as he was trying to bring city-like amenities to the suburbs that lured so many people away. "They’re totally at odds," Hardwick says. "He never is able to explain that, or justify it. It’s a fundamental contradiction of his career." And then there was the problem in the suburbs of all that mall parking. How do you make a mall the civic heart of a community when it is, by definition, isolated in a sea of asphalt? "Even if we had realized Gruen’s ideas," says Georgia Tech professor Ellen Dunham-Jones, "if it’s just this self-contained pod surrounded by berms that you drive to, I don’t think the suburbs would actually look or function all that differently [today]." • • • • • By Dunham-Jones' count, today about a third of our existing malls are "dead" or dying. That’s not to say they’re mostly vacant. But they have dreadful sales per square foot. High-end dress stores have moved out, and tattoo parlors have replaced them – "things," Dunham-Jones says, "that would normally be considered way too déclassé for a mall." About a third of our malls are still thriving, and those are the biggest, newest ones. But America is no longer building many new highways, which means we’ve stopped creating prime new locations for mall development. Some of the earliest amenities of the enclosed mall – air-conditioning! – no longer impress us. And the demographics of suburbia have changed dramatically. Malls draw the largest share of their customers from teenagers, and the baby boomers who largely populate suburbia no longer have teenagers at home. For all these reasons, the suburban mall of Gruen’s plan appears to be victim of more than just the recession. Dunham-Jones, who has tracked this trend in her book Retrofitting Suburbia, estimates that more than 40 malls nationwide have been targeted for significant redevelopment. And she can count 29 that have already been repurposed, or that have construction underway. In 2010, Columbus, Ohio, tore down the dead mall in its downtown for a park. Voorhees, New Jersey, demolished half of its dead mall, built a new main street and relocated its city hall into the remaining building. In Denver, eight of the area’s 13 regional malls now have plans for redevelopment. One of them, in suburban Lakewood, was converted from a 100-acre super block into 22 walkable blocks with retail and residences. "It’s the downtown that Lakewood never had before," Dunham-Jones says. Ironically, this is what Gruen had been aiming for. "Except that now it’s open-air." Americans haven’t particularly outgrown the consumer impulse that Gruen detected. We still love to flock to dense agglomerations of Body Shops and Cinnabuns and Brookstones. But now those places look increasingly like open-air "lifestyle centers," with condos above or offices next door. Some of these places are just the old mall in a new Main Street disguise. But when you add residences, and cut Gruen’s mega-block into what actually looks like a downtown street grid, that begins to change things. "You’ve got to get a mix of uses, but the connectivity is probably even more important," Dunham-Jones says. "The uses will come and go over time, but if you can establish a walkable network of streets, that’s when you’re really going to establish a ripple effect in changing suburban patterns."
  16. We ended up with the Hotel De la Montagne instead. This monstrocity would have had first 4 floors of shopping, next 5 floors of parking, the 4 floors of office space and then 4 floors of apts.
  17. Here are some examples that show US based companies that have retail stores in Québec, but don't rush (if at all) to translate their online sites, probably because of the relatively small population base in Quebec vis à vis North America. In the meantime we are cut off from ordering online. http://montrealgazette.com/business/local-business/retail/blocked-in-quebec-u-s-stores-shut-down-english-only-web-sites-when-they-open-here Blocked in Quebec: U.S. stores shut down English-only web sites when they open here EVA FRIEDE, MONTREAL GAZETTE More from Eva Friede, Montreal Gazette Published on: November 12, 2014Last Updated: November 12, 2014 5:20 PM EST Many retailers have closed their sites to Quebec traffic due to language restrictions. As the invasion of U.S. retailers continues and as the Internet increasingly becomes the marketplace and the research centre of consumers, some Quebecers are getting unpleasant surprises: some companies have blocked access to their websites here either because they have voluntarily complied with the French Language Charter or because they have received a notice from the Office québécois de la langue française. The latest sites to shut down are Williams-Sonoma, West Elm, Pottery Barn and Pottery Barn Kids, all part of the same San Francisco-based company and all arrived in Quebec within the last two years. The sites shut down on Oct. 22, according to a company spokesperson. But a quick survey shows many prominent U.S. retailers with brick-and-mortar stores in Quebec continue to operate English-only shopping sites here. The probable reason: the Office québécois de la langue française, charged with ensuring that Quebec’s French Language Charter is respected, sends notices to retailers only if complaints are filed, said spokesman Jean-Pierre Le Blanc. The Williams-Sonoma spokesperson confirmed in an email that the brands have ceased e-commerce activities in Quebec for an undetermined period in order to comply with Quebec language regulations. The home pages and other information pages are available in English only, but clicking on the shopping link takes you to a redirect loop. “We are actively working with the stores in order to find ways to continue to make the shopping experience memorable for our Quebec customers,” the spokesperson wrote. BCBG, Club Monaco and Urban Outfitters are among other retail brands that block access to shopping or to their entire sites in Quebec. Urban Outfitters and Anthropologie, part of the same Philadelphia-based company, blocked access to their websites when they opened stores here. Anthropologie, which opened in Montreal in late 2012, launched its French website 13 months later. Urban Outfitters remains blocked. But Free People, also part of the chain, does not have a store here and the site is accessible, either for research or Internet sales. Similarly, Club Monaco shut its site in Quebec when it launched an online shopping site. A visit to its home page invites customers to visit its store, which is soon to expand and move to a prominent location at Ste-Catherine St. W. at Metcalfe, from Les Cours Mont-Royal. Founded by Canadian Joe Mimran in Toronto in 1985, Club Monaco is now owned by Ralph Lauren and headquartered in New York. sent via Tapatalk
  18. MAGNIFIQUE MONTREAL VISIT THE FRENCH CANADIAN CITY WITH A TOUCH OF OOH LA LA… Posted: Tuesday 22 Jan 2008 COMMENTS (0) Above: Hotel St James Located on an island in the St Lawrence River, Montréal, in the French-speaking province of Québec, offers an intriguing mix of North American culture and European heritage – you’ll find Parisian Metro signs and a statue of Queen Victoria in the main square. Canada’s second city is compact, clean and efficient and has a dynamic entertainment scene. The shopping isn’t bad either – you can stroll from the designer boutiques on elegant tree-lined streets to the specialist shops of Little Italy or China or the antique stores strung along the cobbled streets of Old Montréal. WHEN SHOULD I GO? It’s punishingly cold in winter, but you won’t get cold if you head below ground to Underground City – the vast entertainment and shopping mall. Also, the freezing temperatures mean you can head to a nearby ski resort, such as Mont Tremblant, for a short break. Summers are warm but you can cool off with a cruise down the river or a jet boat ride through the Lachine rapids. The international jazz festival (www.montrealjazzfest.com) is held June 26-July 6, while the Just For Laughs comedy festival (www.justfourlaughs.ca), where Jimmy Carr and Billy Connolly have performed, takes place July 10-20. ABOVE: Montreal at night WHERE SHOULD I STAY? If you’re a boutique hotel fan, look no further than 61-room Hotel Le St James (www.hotellestjames.com), housed in a former bank in Old Montréal. It blends traditional upper crust decor in its public rooms with modern furnishings and technology in its bedrooms. Madonna, U2, the Rolling Stones and Sir Elton John have all stayed and we hear that Paris Hilton checked in the night after OK!. The hotel also has private access to the Underground City, which stretches for nearly 19 miles and connects with Metro stations. WHERE SHOULD I EAT? OK! loved the ’50s-style drive-in experience at the Orange Julep (7700 Decarie Blvd). For a relaxed lunch, try Olive et Gourmando (351 St-Paul West) or go one notch up and book a table at the French eatery L’Epicier (311 St-Paul East) in Old Montréal. For people watching, head to a city institution, the chic Café Cherrier (3635 St-Denis), which has a fantastic outdoor terrace. In the evening, try local favourite Les Deux Pierrots (104 St-Paul East), an intimate French-style cabaret, or for fine dining Bonaparte (447 St-Francois-Xavier). And make sure you try the Québecois speciality poutine – chips with melted cheese curds and gravy. It tastes a lot better than it looks! WHAT MUST I SEE? There are two highlights you shouldn’t miss. For panoramic city views take the bus (number 11 from Mont-Royal Metro station) to the summit lookout. Depending on the time of year, you can walk, snow-shoe in the park or hire a pedalo on Beaver Lake. Next up, Old Montréal. Tour it in a horse-drawn carriage or wander on foot taking in the Pointe-à-Callière museum, which presents Montréal’s history in a fascinating interactive way. Or you can pop into the ornate Notre-Dame Basilica, where Céline Dion was married, or pick up some souvenirs at the Bonsecours market. WHERE SHOULD I STOP? Montréal is a cornucopia of shopping opportunities, with 1,200 boutiques in a nine-block area. The best can be found along Rue St-Denis, Laurier Avenue or in Old Montréal for arty finds. In the downtown core you’ll find department stores Ogilvy (1307 Ste-Catherine) and Holt Renfrew (1300 Sherbrooke West), which house international designers and smaller celeb-coveted labels. Given the exchange rate, there are some fantastic bargains to be had. For shops on St-Denis, head to Moly Klute – not for the shy, retiring type! The funky, recycled clothes and accessories, such as a tote bag made from records, will certainly be talking points. Almost next door is Muse, where designer Christian Chenail offers some fab casual dresses. Dubuc is one label that’s causing ripples internationally. His clothes focus on tailored menswear with slight quirks, like the suit jacket with a vest stitched on top. Foodies will salivate in Arthur Quentin, which has every kitchen gadget imaginable. Finally, Revenge has been at the forefront of Canadian design and brings 25 smaller eclectic labels under one roof. WHICH STARS MIGHT I SEE? Montréal is a hot favourite with filmmakers. Last year alone you could have bumped into Brad Pitt and Cate Blanchett filming The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, Jason Statham shooting Death Race, or Evangeline Lilly in Afterwards. Meanwhile, Kate Beckinsale was in they city to film Whiteout and Anne Hathaway for Get Smart. WHAT'S THE NIGHTLIFE? There’s plenty to do at night. The best bars and clubs are located on Crescent Street and Blvd St-Laurent above Sherbrooke Street, the latter being more upmarket. It takes 25 minutes to walk between the two streets or it’s a five-minute cab ride. For the best views, head to the sleek lounge bar Club 737 (1 Place Ville-Marie) atop one of Montréal’s tallest skyscrapers, or to Pullmans Wine Bar (3424 Avenue du Parc), a chic-minimalist joint with a lengthy wine list. HOW DO I GET THERE? British Airways (0870 850 9850; www.ba.com/montreal) is currently offering a three-night Montréal Sweet Escape package from £479 per person including flights from London Heathrow and accommodation in a four-star hotel. http://ok.co.uk/travel/view/314/Magnifique-Montreal/
  19. (Courtesy of The Globe and Mail) I am quite surprised Montreal and Honolulu were so close together. Plus Oahu quite expensive, but I guess compared to other islands its cheaper. Honolulu has way more high end boutiques. Even Ala Moana shopping mall full of high end stores. The most predominate tourist in these high end boutiques are Japanese or were. Seeing I haven't been to Honolulu in quite a while. Last time I was there. There was more and more Russians. Could have changed, more Chinese could have been coming also. Plus I am also surprised Montreal and Toronto were tied. I would have thought Toronto would have been a few hundred bucks more expensive.