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Found 18 results

  1. Details on first page here: http://www.westmountindependent.com/WIv7.6a.pdf Essentially: Demolish building, build condos Developer: EMD Construction 2 story underground parking 57 unites, six stories
  2. Nom: Altoria Hauteur: 35 étages/120 mètres Coût du projet: 100 000 000,00$ Promoteur: Kevric Architecte: DCYSA Emplacement: Côte du Beaver Hall/Viger Ouest Début de construction: 2011 Fin de construction: 2013 (bureaux) et 2014 (condos) En date de septembre 2013, selon le rapport suivant : http://www.cbre.ca/AssetLibrary/MontrealOfficeDevelopment_Sep2013.pdf Class: A Size: 234,476 SF Floors: 10 Available Space: 136,098 SF % Leased: 41.9% Average Floor: 23,000 SF Completion: 1Q 2014 Status: Under Construction LEED Status: Registered LEED Gold Developer: Kevric Real Estate Corporation http://www.kevric.ca Owner: Kevric Real Estate Corporation Underground Connection: Yes Tenant: AIMIA (98,378 SF)
  3. St. Catherine Street: the changing of the guard Remember that little boutique where you bought the leather jacket 15 years ago? It’s gone. If you have not visited St.Catherine Street in Montreal since the early 1990s, you would not recognize it. Of the stores that were located in the prime area between Bishop and University, not more than fi ve are still in existence. The locallyowned stores are gone, replaced at first by national retail chains, which in turn are giving way to international chains. Storefront retail throughout North America has been in decline for many years. St. Catherine Street is the exception. Rental rates have quadrupled. Vacancies are nonexistent. It is not just any street. Fifteen kilometres long, St. Catherine comprises 1,200 stores, making it the largest concentration of retail outlets in Canada. The street is witness to 3,500 pedestrians per hour, 250,000 offi ce workers at lunchtime, and 100,000 students per day, keeping the street alive at all hours. Furthermore, eight subway stations, 30 kilometres of underground walkways with 178 entrances, and 2,000 underground stores totalling 36 million square feet (sq. ft.) of floor space are used by 500,000 people on a daily basis. In street front retail, if you don’t have a store on St. Catherine Street, you have not made it. There are two strategies for retail chains entering Quebec: 1) open a fl agship store on St. Catherine Street; or 2) open four or five stores in major malls around Montreal, and a flagship store on St. Catherine Street. At the corner of Peel and St. Catherine, three of the four corner stores have changed in the past year. The newcomers are H&M (Hennes & Mauritz of Sweden) with 20,000 sq. ft; Guess with 13,000 sq. ft; and American Eagle, with 17,000 sq. ft and Apple Store. In the last five years, more than 20 flagship stores have opened here, mostly multinationals, such as: Lululemon, Oakley, American Eagle, Esprit, Garage, Guess, Khiels, Geox, GNC, Ecco Shoes, H&M, Mango, French Connection, Quicksilver, Marciano and Adidas. The shortage of space forces stores to take minimal frontage on the ground floor, and more space on the second and third fl oors. Ground fl oor space that leased in the early 1990s for $50 net per sq. ft. (psf ), with the landlord offering $25 per sq. ft. for leasehold improvements, now leases for $200 net psf and up, plus $30 psf for operating costs and taxes. And some of the stores spend $5 million renovating the space. But as they say in Rolls Royce dealerships, if you have to ask the price, you can’t afford it. Some of these stores are not making money, but they are here for image and marketing purposes. All the other banners are here, so they have to be here too. Whereas the mixture of stores constantly evolves, most of the landlords have been here for 30 or 40 years. They have seen the market go up and down. In this market, they will turn down all but the best. For one vacancy last year, there were four multinational chains trying to outbid each other for the space. http://www.avisonyoung.com/library/pdf/National/Fall-Winter_2008_AY_National_Newsletter.pdf
  4. monctezuma

    Apple new HQ

    Foster’s Apple Headquarters Exceeds Budget by $2 Billion © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The estimated cost of Apple’s Cupertino City headquarters has escalated from an already hefty price of $3 billion to $5 billion (more than $1,500 per square foot), reportedly pushing back the original completion date to 2016. According to Bloomberg, Apple is working with lead architect Foster & Partners to shave $1 billion from the “ballooning budget”. Most of the cost is seemly due to Steve Job’s “sky-high requirements for fit and finish”, as the tech legend called for the 2.8 million square foot, circular monolith to be clad 40-foot panes of German concave glass, along with its four-story office spaces be lined with museum-quality terrazzo floors and capped with polished concrete ceilings. Although lambasted for his ambitious plans and “doughnut-shaped” design, Steve Jobs wanted to create a masterpiece that looked as good as it functioned, just like his products. During a 2011 presentation to the Cupertino City Council, Jobs stated, “This is not the cheapest way to build something… there is not a straight piece of glass in this building.” He continued, “We have a shot… at building the best office building in the world. I really do think that architecture students will come here to see it.” © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple The spaceship-like headquarters, as Jobs would describe, is intended to accommodate more than 12,000 employees. It will be one of six visible structures planned for the 176 acre parcel - including the headquarters, a lobby to a 1000-seat underground auditorium, a four-story parking garage near Interstate 280, a corporate fitness center, a research facility and central plant - all of which will be accessed by a network of underground roads and parking lots, hidden by 6,000 trees. In addition, Jobs envisioned the campus to achieve “net-zero energy” by offsetting energy use with 700,000 square feet of rooftop solar panels (enough to generate 8 megawatts of power), along with additional contracts for solar and wind power, climate responsive window dressings, and more (additional project information, including plans and images, can be found here). © Foster + Partners, ARUP, Kier + Wright, Apple Despite the cost, Bloomberg states, “There’s no indication that Apple is getting cold feet.” Site excavation is planned to commence in June. In related news, Facebook’s quarter-mile-long West Campus by Frank Gehry was just awarded approval from city council. All the details here. Reference: Bloomberg
  5. Montreal: Affordable Winter Base for Families The blackboard menu is in French and all around the little cafe, people are chattering in French, nibbling on croissants and sipping cafe au lait. But we're a lot closer to home than Paris. Welcome to Montreal, just a scant hour-long flight or a 370-mile drive from New York, or an hour's drive from the border of Vermont. Most everyone, it seems, speaks English, as well as French, so there's no need for my 16-year-old daughter, Melanie, to practice her French, she says happily. Another plus: Though there are no bargains here for Americans anymore now that the Canadian "loonie" is about the same value as a U.S. dollar, at least we can soak up the foreign ambiance without spending so much in Europe where the dollar is so weak against the Euro. Especially this time of year, you can find hotel rooms starting at $135 a night (http://www.findyourmontreal.com). Mel and I have come to Montreal for a mother-daughter weekend getaway and a look at McGill University, one of four in this oh-so-cosmopolitan city, which visitors can't help but love. Even our taxi drivers wax eloquent about their city - the restaurants! (There are more than 6,000 offering everything from French to Ethiopian to Montreal's famous bagels.) The museums! (There are more than 30. Visit http://www.museemontreal.org for the Montreal Museums Pass.) The theater, dance companies and festivals that go on all year! (There are more than 90, including the popular la Fete des Neiges de Montreal in January.) The shopping! (Simons, http://www.simons.ca, on Montreal's famous Ste-Catherine Street, we discover, is a good bet for young fashionistas on a budget. Such a clean city! So many parks; there are 1,009 of them and scores of green spaces. Let's not forget the 21-mile Underground Pedestrian Network that connects everything from metro stations to restaurants to skating rinks, office buildings, hospitals, libraries and nearly 1,000 retail shops. With ski areas just an hour away, I think, Montreal would prove a good, affordable winter base for families whose members aren't equally passionate about the slopes. Mel and I are ensconced in one of the city's many boutique hotels, the 59-room HotelXIX Siecle (http://www.hotelxixsiecle.com), which was built in a 19th-century bank building just a short walk from the historic cobble-stoned streets of the Old Port on the St. Lawrence River where this city began. And I love that breakfast is included. I promise Mel if she goes with me to the Pointe-a-Calliere, the Montreal museum of Archeology and History that tells the story of this city from its first Native-American settlers - our next stop will be Ste-Catherine Street where she can shop till she drops at street level and at the three interconnected malls underground. She liked the museum more than she expected - thanks to the terrific multimedia show and its excellent introduction to Montreal, from the first North Americans to the arrival of French settlers in 1642 and then later, the British. The museum is actually built atop authentic archeological remains, enabling visitors to take an underground archeological tour. Models set in the floor reveal how Place Royale evolved through the centuries and the exhibits include displays of artifacts found here, including dice, crockery, old combs and beer caps. Virtual historic figures also pop up to chat about their era. Even kids who hate museums can't help but be intrigued - and leave with a much better understanding of the cultures that have melded to make this city what it is today. Last modified: October 07. 2007 9:33AM
  6. Excess wind energy to be stored underground for future use Posted Oct 5th 2007 8:57PM by Darren Murph Filed under: Misc. Gadgets We've seen some fairly impressive uses of wind power, but a group in Iowa is looking to actually capture and preserve excess wind energy for use when demand peaks. At the Iowa Stored Energy Park, a number of local utilities is "building a system that will steer surplus electricity generated by a nearby wind farm to a big air compressor," which will be held deep below the ground for future use. The project is being backed by the Energy Department, but more than a hundred municipal utilities in surrounding states are shelling out $200 million to construct the 268-megawatt system. As it stands, Iowa's compressed air energy storage (CAES) installation will be the first of its kind when it's completed in 2011, but there's already work being done in Texas to build a similar unit.
  7. Montreal does it. Why can’t we? TheChronicalHerald.ca SILVER DONALD CAMERON Sun. Feb 8 - 8:20 AM Pedestrians shelter from the weather in one of downtown Halifax’s pedways. (Staff) ‘THE GUY never went outside at all," said my friend. "Not for a month or maybe two months. The story was in one of the papers here. He went to the theatre, shopped for food and clothing, did his banking, ate out, all kinds of stuff. He even went to Toronto and New York — and he never went outdoors." "He went to New York without going outdoors?" "He went by train. The Gare Central is underground, right under your hotel. " We were in Montreal, strolling along the underground passageways which are said to constitute the second-largest underground city in the world, after Moscow. I had been working in Montreal for a week. I was staying at Le Reine Elizabeth, on the Boulevard Rene Levesque, and most of my meetings were on Sherbrooke Ouest, 20 minutes’ walk away. The streets were choked with snow and lethally slick with ice — but I wore just a sweater as I walked past coffee shops, jewellers and haberdashers in perfect comfort. It occurred to me that the underground network made Montreal a safer city than any other in Canada, particularly for senior citizens. Walking outdoors in the winter is a hazardous activity for seniors. Every year, hundreds fall and break their arms and legs and hips — a significant factor in the Orange Alert at the Halifax Infirmary ER last month. Old bones don’t knit quickly, and many never really recover. The danger was brought home to me a year ago, when I suddenly found myself lying on the ice beside my car. I had taken my key out, and I was about to unlock the door — and then I was on my patootie. I don’t remember slipping or falling. It was like a jump-cut in a film. One moment I was up, the next I was down. A few bruises aside, I was none the worse for the experience — but it got my attention. Young seniors — from 60 to 80, say — often sidestep this problem by going south. You find them all over the southern U.S., Mexico and the islands, robust and happy, sailing and golfing and swimming. But after 80, snowbirding loses its appeal. At 85 or 90, people don’t feel much like travelling, and don’t travel as comfortably. They’d rather stay home, close to friends and family and doctors. And that puts them most at risk from winter conditions at precisely the point when they’re least able to deal with such challenges. In Montreal, they’re fine. Their apartment buildings connect to the Métro, and the Métro takes them to the under-cover city downtown. They really don’t have to emerge until spring. So at 80, should I live in Montreal? Why not downtown Halifax? The city already has the beginnings of a covered downtown, with pedways and tunnels running from the Prince George Hotel to the waterfront casino, and branching into apartment buildings and office towers. We don’t have to burrow underground. We can just extend the pedway system to link the whole downtown, from Cogswell to the Via station. A large part of Calgary’s downtown is connected that way. In Montreal, I noticed, some of the covered space was captured simply by putting a roof over the space between existing buildings. What was once a back alley becomes a connecting courtyard with a Starbucks coffee shop. In other places, a short tunnel between buildings converts two musty basements into prime retail space. Halifax probably has a score of locations where connections like that would work. And, although a Métro doesn’t seem very practical in rock-ribbed Halifax, we could bring back the downtown streetcars, looping down Barrington and up Water Street, with stations right inside such major buildings as Scotia Square and the Westin. Alternatively, could we use a light elevated rail system like the one that connects the terminals at JFK Airport. I’m no planner, and these notions may be unworkable. Fine: let’s hear better ones. The point is that we’re about to have a tsunami of seniors, and it would be good for them — and for everyone else, too — if we made it possible to live a safe and active life in the middle of the city all year round. We know it can be done. Vive le Montreal! END --------------------------------------------- Funny how the article seems to imply all buildings are interlinked together in one giant underground maze, which is not the case at all. In fact we all know not too many apartment buildings are in fact linked to our underground city. Funny stuff from an outsider nonetheless.
  8. Beth Nauss: In Montreal on spring break, mom and daughter chill out In a blinding display of “what was she thinking?” brilliance, I went to Montreal for spring break. The first problem was that I went with my oldest daughter. I love my daughter. She is an excellent traveling companion. But no one with a body my age should ever try to keep up with someone who is more than a decade younger and actually runs for a hobby. The second problem was that it was in Canada. For anyone who hasn’t been there, Canada is the huge mass of ice between the United States and the North Pole. In addition to ice, it is occupied primarily by Canadians, many of whom speak fluent Canadian. For reasons that seemed perfectly logical at the time, my daughter and I decided spring break was the perfect time to go to there. After all, it would be spring. Spring is warm. Therefore, Montreal would be warm. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought. This was the first time I’d ever traveled to Canada as a destination. I’d flown over it a few times, looking down at the snow and thinking it was probably pretty cold there in the winter. After I landed, I realized it’s pretty cold in the springtime, too. In fact, based on the 10 feet of snow still on the ground at the end of March, Canada is probably pretty cold most of the time. When we checked the forecast and learned what the actual weather would be, I told my daughter not to worry, the locals must have adapted by now. I was sure that because Montreal is a major metropolitan area and tourist destination, the attractions would be open year round and would be readily accessible, clear of snow and ice. I’m sure people in Montreal get a hearty laugh at that thought as well. What I didn’t know was that their way of adapting to the snow was packing it down and walking over it, possibly because they have no choice. After a certain point, clearing snow becomes futile because you have no more places to put it. The result is that the streets are clean and dry, while balconies, vacant lots, parks, playgrounds and parking lots are buried under large mounds of snow that, in many parts of the U.S., would support multiple ski resorts. [url=http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135#][/url]Fortunately, Montreal has an excellent underground public transportation system called the “Metro” (Canadian for “excellent underground public transportation system”). We found that many of the snow-covered attractions were readily visible from a Metro station so we could at least take scenic photographs before retreating back underground into an area that was warm and dry. Unfortunately, we couldn’t live in the Metro, so occasionally we had to brave the elements. One of those times involved a trip up Mont Royal, the snow-covered mountain in the middle of Montreal. The pedestrian walkway up the mountain was (of course) covered with snow, ice and numerous hardy Canadians who were walking, running, skiing and biking their way to and from the top. One even drove by, oblivious to the wrong turn that took her off the pedestrian-free road a mile behind her. These hardy Canadians were probably fortified by the local dish called “Poutine,” a pile of french fries and cheese drowning in a lake of thick brown gravy. I felt that in the interest of Canada-U.S. relations, I should try some. When I did, I found that it would have been better if I hadn’t. We did, however, make it up Mont Royal without falling. If any Canadians are reading this, before you accuse me of exaggerating, let me say that I love Canada. We had a great time there. Montreal is a beautiful city even if it is always covered with snow. Let me also say that I know that sometimes Montreal has a warm season and, at least once a century, all the snow melts. And when that happens, I hope to return. Even if you’re still serving Poutine. http://www.readingeagle.com/article.aspx?id=87135
  9. Montreal's metro featured for it's architecture amongst stations from the networks of Washington, Paris, Frankfurt, and Stockholm to name a few: Unreal Underground: the World’s 10 Coolest Subway Systems In urban life, the subway is synonymous with the spirit of the city. It frees the city dweller from the automobile, it moves from point to point with speed while capturing the curiosity of its passenger. From Moscow to Montreal, Paris to Pyongyang, these 10 transit systems house truly stunning subway stations across all aspects of design. So grab your transit card and head underground– get ready to explore the 10 coolest subway systems in the modern world. ... Montreal Metropolitain Another great French-speaking city is home to another great subway, the Montreal Metropolitan subway system. The Montreal Metro was born in 1966, in time for the world expo held the following year in this city. This was a vibrant time in Montreal, and the subway stations that dot this system reflect that vibrancy. Like the stations of the Moscow Metro and the Taipei Metro, this subway system is host to a collection of art galleries throughout its network. Public art ranging from fine to performance is welcomed here, far below the city it services. And with 1,100,000 riders a day, that makes it one of the most popular art galleries in the world. From the design of its subway stations to the culture it embraces, the Montreal Metro is high on our list for the world’s most beautiful subway systems. ... http://www.thecoolist.com/the-worlds-10-coolest-subway-stations/
  10. I.H.T. SPECIAL REPORT: SMART CITIES http://www.nytimes.com/2011/11/18/business/global/hip-cities-that-think-about-how-they-work.html?pagewanted=1&_r=1&sq=montreal,%20auckland,%20berlin&st=cse&scp=1 By CHRISTOPHER F. SCHUETZE Published: November 17, 2011 The story of young people, full of ambition, energy, skill and talent, moving to enticing cities that call to them like a siren’s song is as old as modern civilization. And in a world where national borders are easier to traverse, where more countries are joining the prosperous global middle class and where the cost of a one-way plane ticket is more affordable, young professionals probably have more cities to choose from than ever before. This survey is not based solely on quality of life, number of trees or the cost of a month’s rent. Instead, we examine some cities that aim to be both smart and well managed, yet have an undeniably hip vibe. Our pick of cities that are, in a phrase, both great and good: Montreal With its hearty French and North American mix, this city of 3.6 million has a real soul thanks to low living costs and long winter evenings. And it is no slouch when it comes to good food, hip culture, well-appointed museums and efficient transportation. Related With four major universities and plenty of bars, the nightlife in this bilingual city has a well-deserved reputation. Because the winters tend to be long and cold, the city possesses an extensive underground network connecting several downtown malls and a subterranean arts quarter. When spring finally does arrive, and snow is cleared from the many bike paths, the city puts out its 5,000 short-term-rental bicycles, known as Bixi. City-sponsored community gardens are sprouting around town, giving urbanites a chance to flex their green thumb. Montreal is an incredibly active town where festivals celebrating everything from jazz to Formula One dominate the city’s calendar during the summer. Thanks to Mount Royal, a large central park and cemetery that serves as cross-country, snowshoe and ice-skating terrain in the winter and becomes a verdant picnic ground and gathering spot in the summer, Montrealers never have to leave city limits.
  11. Just south of the Metropolitan in a 3 building mall where Zellers, an old Maxi and the infamous Millenium Club were doing business for years is now completely vacated and is just waiting for the wrecker's ball. This is a huge site that can easily accomodate 10 or more condo towers like the Villa Latella on Boul. des Galleries d'Anjou. Just south on Jean Talon near Provencher the 6 storey Bellavista condo building is having it's underground garage carved out. This great to see!! the whole island is rocking with development!!
  12. (Courtesy of KDVR Fox 31) The previous topic was written by a woman from here but was published from the Globe and Mail. I found that out when I did some research on the writer.
  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. Via Coolopolis on Facebook http://coolopolis.blogspot.ca/2017/04/condo-buyers-propel-expansion-of.html Condo buyers propel expansion of Montreal's underground city: what to expect next What sane person would want to live with screaming hockey fans and rock concert scalpers outside their window? Many wondered just that when condos at the Bell Centre went on sale. But not only were the units snapped up quickly, they sold at a price far higher than others in the area. The difference between those units and others in nearby Griffintown or at Mountain and Dorch? The Bell Centre is connected to the underground city, Montreal's downtown pedestrian network. Condo shoppers have voted with their dollars and they want a home that permits them to stroll to their cubicle at Place Ville Marie without donning a sweater, jacket, raincoat or long undies. Red lights, smog, slush, icy sidewalks, puddles, cold winds, rain, snow and sleet be damned! People want to walk in climate-controlled, safely to one's destinations past countless shiny boutiques en route. Now that consumers have proven that they want to live downtown connected to the underground city, expect the floodgates to open. *** So where will the next tunnels migrate? Presumably the tunnels are already headed under St. Antoine Street in the upcoming development across from the Bell Centre, so that will likely expand the ant farm south. The showers in the Canadiens Towers aren't its big attraction But the those who know the invisible mood borders of downtown understand why Peel and St. Catherine is not only downtown's signature intersection, but it's also a border from the smaller structures to the west to the big boys east. Peel and St. Catherine is where the underground city needs its grand entrance. One would be able to enter around the recently-closed HMV record shop at the southeast corner. The tunnel would slip diagonally to another famous structure, the Sun Life building, which really needs to be represented in this tunneltastic undertaking. The tunnel from the Sun Life would go diagonally to Central Station, with another foot tunnel going east to the building across Metcalfe and then onto Place Ville Marie. For years the underground city was plagued by a lack of connection under St. Catherine Street. It's time to get another one going as well and Peel and St. Catherine would be just the place to do it. Expanding such networks would come cost for construction, maintenance and security surveillance but those expenses could be more than compensated by increased revenues from residential construction, thereby increasing the residential density of the downtown area. *** Another oft-overlooked underground tunnel network has been a cash cow, not for Montreal but for Westmount, as the Alexis Nihon / Westmount Square network has recognized from the start that home dwellers want to get in on the tunnel action. That tunnel system now travels from Green all the way to the southeast corner of Atwater and St. Catherine. Now a major new project is slated at the site of the former Children's Hospital and yeah, that's just a stone's toss away from a tunnel at Cabot Square. Extending that tunnel under Cabot Square to the development would create another substantial underground city. The old Montreal Forum will inevitably be demolished or redesigned and another tower at the southwest corner of St. Catherine and Atwater would give some impressive critical mass to that area and the building at that stands where the Seville Theatre long thrilled moviegoers, could also be connected to the underground. The area has become a hub of activity, as all those rebel kids of Bill 101 have jammed Dawson College CEGEP to finally get an English education. Increased development at Atwater and St. Catherine is a cause all can support, as it would rejuvenate the long-beleaguered stretch of St. Catherine to Guy, where street commerce has long suffered from a lack of population density on the western edge of the strip. *** Construction at St. Lawrence and De Maisonneuve is also inevitable, as the southwest corner is already being built. A project has long been slated for the St. Lawrence metro station but has yet to happen. Those projects, when they materialize, could get hooked up with the Place des Arts tunnel system. The massive, sprawling and dubious Jeanne Mance public housing project, which - unless redesigned - remains an obstacle to further tunnel development to the east of the Main. *** And finally the Vendome metro superhospital has become a sort of tiny newborn tunnel network but it has yet to make that push beyond its narrow facility. The nearby busy intersection of De Maisonneuve and Decarie offers considerable potential for office or condo tower or commercial development, as thousands of staffers would love a way to live nearby. That in turn could be linked into a new network of tunnels. Posted Yesterday by Kristian Gravenor Labels: bell centre Bell Centre condos Cours Mont Royal montreal condos montreal development Place Ville Marie pvm reso Sun Life Building underground city
  15. Photographer Chris Forsyth on the Montreal Metro, Going Underground, and Overlooked Architecture Montreal-based photographer Chris Forsyth doesn’t see his city the way others do — that much is evident from his body of work, which includes rooftop photos of the Montreal skyline, nocturnal shots taken from the arm of a crane and now, images from the underground. The Montreal Metro Project is Forsyth’s latest series, documenting the often overlooked architecture of the urban subway since October 2014. Composed of 68 stations, each designed by a different architect between the 60s and 70s, the Montreal Metro system is as diverse and idiosyncratic as the city it underpins. Forsyth captures the stations empty of passengers, highlighting their architecture and reframing them in a manner rarely experienced. ArchDaily spoke to Forsyth about the series and the creative process behind it. Read his responses and view selected images from The Montreal Metro project after the break. Is there a reason for capturing these usually crowded urban environments without people? I often avoid having people in my photos for a few reasons. Firstly, due to the nature of my photos, the length of the exposure rarely works with people. When shooting with shutter speeds around 1 second, you either have to get lucky and hope people stand still enough, or avoid people all together. But people do make spaces much more interesting in certain situations. They offer a sense of scale that’s necessary for certain images, and unnecessary for others. Secondly, photographing on private property, I have to be conscious of others. I’m not allowed to photograph STM employees strictly, and out of general consideration, I avoid photographing people to avoid disruption. What message about this overlooked architecture do you hope to convey through the Montreal Metro Project? I hope to show that beautiful architecture and design is accessible and present in all spaces (with exceptions of course). In the metros, even the tiling of each station and the spacing of the signage was meticulously considered. The color of the trains, which were at one point supposed to be red, the city’s color, went through much debate too. I just want to show how beautiful it can be if you take the time to really look at the stations. Just take a moment to walk around and look every once in a while. How much is your perception of a city altered by experiencing it from underground? My sense of space and distance is drastically altered when taking the metro. I can hop on the metro in one neighborhood, travel the distance of 5 stations in a matter of minutes, and find myself disoriented at another station in a completely different part of the city. When traveling underground in dark tunnels, you lose a sense of time and distance. It’s not like driving at street level where you can connect A to B by streets and landmarks. When you’re underground, you only have the design of stations to tell you where you are. For how long has this project been ongoing, and what sparked your initial interest in metro stations? The project has been ongoing for about 6 months now. Taking the metro every day for several years now, I developed an obsession of sorts. I found the story behind the system interesting, from the planning and construction, to the reason behind why the metros ride on rubber tires as opposed to steel wheels. The more I learn about it, the more I’m intrigued. Not to mention, during the winter it’s a great place to hide from the cold and find inspiration. Is there any other “overlooked” architecture that you hope to explore in the future? I just love architecture, design, and urban spaces. I’m interested in photographing everything from the interiors of factories, to the architecture of holdout buildings as well as more commonplace architecture of course. The Montreal Metro Project can be viewed here.
  16. Source: http://www.economist.com/news/britain/21611086-why-building-worlds-most-popular-city-so-difficult-and-expensive-bodies-bombs-and London’s costly construction Bodies, bombs and bureaucracy Why building in the world’s most popular city is so difficult and expensive Aug 9th 2014 | From the print edition CROSSRAIL, a new underground railway line, is the main engineering marvel near Tottenham Court Road station in London. Few passers-by realise that another immensely complex construction project is under way nearby. At Rathbone Place, an old postal sorting office is being demolished to make way for a new block of offices and apartments. The entire building must be removed through one narrow exit onto busy Oxford Street. Beneath the site lies a disused underground railway once run by Royal Mail, which must not be disturbed. Even as your correspondent visits, the developer, Great Portland Estates, discovers an ancient electricity cable buried under the foundations. Much of central London is being knocked down and rebuilt. Some 7m square feet of office space is due to be added this year—the most since 2003. Relative to the existing stock, more offices are going up in the capital than in any western European or North American city. Yet building offices (and homes) near the middle of the capital is shockingly expensive. Even before the cost of land is considered, it costs roughly a fifth more than erecting similar stuff in New York or Hong Kong, according to Turner and Townsend, a consultancy firm. The challenges at Rathbone Place help to explain why. London’s history throws up many problems. Unexploded bombs dropped by the Luftwaffe still turn up surprisingly often, as do interesting medieval bodies. The opening of Bloomberg’s new headquarters in the City was held up by the discovery of thousands of Roman artefacts, including a rare phallic good-luck charm. London’s underground networks—including the Tube, but also sewers, various government tunnels and oddities such as the Royal Mail railway—must be negotiated. The city’s medieval street pattern means that buildings cannot always have straightforward 90-degree corners. Narrow streets make moving vehicles and machinery around construction sites far more expensive than in other cities. Typically, construction begins with a small crane, which lifts in vehicles and in turn erects a bigger tower crane. These cranes cannot operate from roads or overhang existing buildings, which explains why so many of the ones in London are elaborate, multi-jointed things. Sometimes they must be custom-built. The planning system then adds all sorts of expensive complexities. In Westminster more than 75% of land is covered by 56 conservation areas protecting the historic appearances of streets, right down to the colour of paint on doors. At another Oxford Street site, Great Portland Estates must lift up an old façade and scoop out the rest of the building from behind it. During this process, neighbouring buildings must be protected—not only structurally but also from noise and dust. Taller buildings are trickier still. They must not block designated views of various landmarks, which explains why some of the skyscrapers in the City of London are oddly shaped. The curious wedge-shaped Leadenhall Building, known as “the cheesegrater”, is intended to protect a view of St Paul’s Cathedral from a pub in Fleet Street. The design also means that the building cannot have a central concrete core, as in most skyscrapers. Instead, the floors are held up by an innovative steel exoskeleton. This makes for a thrilling journey up the building’s glass lifts. But it does add somewhat to the cost. Developers have adapted to these constraints as best they can. Construction is modelled by computers long before the first crane is installed. Each day’s work is planned almost to the minute and materials delivered when they are needed, much like the “just-in-time” methods long used in car factories. Many parts are brought in ready made: fully 85% of the Leadenhall Building was manufactured in the Midlands and Northern Ireland. But the sheer complexity of building in the capital makes for a small, specialised industry with high barriers to entry. Outsiders who try to negotiate London’s planning system often get in trouble, notes Toby Courtauld, Great Portland’s boss. Getting projects approved requires more than mugging up on planning regulations: plenty of rules are unwritten, while political objections can be unpredictable. Incumbent developers know the vagaries of the system. Newcomers do not. All this raises costs, which are passed on to business tenants. And the slowness of building in the capital means that offices are often finished at the wrong time, at the low point in an economic cycle: a slump in construction starts three years ago means supply will crash next year. Putting up buildings is far quicker and easier in other cities, such as Birmingham and Manchester, and also in London suburbs such as Croydon. But developers persist with inner London anyway. Office rents and land values are high enough to support even some outrageously complicated projects. Leasing office space in the West End is twice as expensive as in Madison Avenue in New York. For all that the city’s skyline is dominated by cranes, were developers given free rein much more of central London would be being rebuilt. For firms struggling with high rents, that is frustrating. For Londoners who live and work next to construction sites, it may come as some consolation. From the print edition: Britain
  17. Westmount needs you! With this mailing, we are appealing to your civic duty. We need your input on the most important project the City of Westmount has put forward in its long history: the rebuilding of the Westmount arena and pool. Council would like to proceed with this project, but only if a majority of taxpayers is behind it. It is your money, after all, that will help pay for it. I shall not pretend that the history of this rebuilding project so far has been a smooth one. Mind you, nor was the struggle to restore and expand the Westmount Library in the 1990s, but it was a project most citizens became very proud of. Your Council feels this same success can be repeated with the arena/pool project. But only if it is a rallying point and not a focus of division and rancour. There were two separate designs suggested for the arena/pool project by the previous Council during 2009. A great deal of work went into these proposals, but they received mixed reviews in a series of public meetings. The whole of Westmount, however, was never canvassed. The new Council, since its election in November 2009, has been working on ways to address the objections raised by citizens to the prior proposals. Objectors fell into two broad camps: people in the neighbourhood saw the new arena as a massive intrusion, a wall 30 feet high by 500 feet long from St Catherine Street to de Maisonneuve, jutting into Westmount Park; meanwhile, the pool itself ate up precious green space. For the rest of Westmount, concerns had more to do with the cost: do we really need to go from one-and-one-half to two rinks? Why can’t we just fix up the existing arena? Others felt we needed an indoor pool more than a replication of our current sports mix. The cost concerns were substantially mitigated by the crowning achievement of my predecessor Mayor Karin Marks: she managed, by dint of incredible perseverance - and the help of Jacques Chagnon, our local MNA - to get $20 million of infrastructure grants for the project. It is Canada’s and Quebec’s contribution that allows us to build a $37 million arena/pool complex that will cost Westmounters $17 million. In fact, the cost to taxpayers will probably be closer to $12 million, thanks to contributions from Westmount schools, foundations, and private donors. This cost translates into an additional $200 a year in taxes for the average single-family dwelling. What about the neighbours and the sheer bulk of the arena? Well, if we had to describe the essence of our city, we would surely be torn between invoking Westmount’s unique architectural heritage and Westmount’s prized greenspace. This Council wants a project that respects both. We want the park to win the battle between it and the arena. We do not wish to plunk a massive piece of architecture down in an established greenspace. So we have gone underground. Council’s plan is to bury the ice rinks, putting tennis courts and grass on top of them - creating the ultimate green roof. Skylights will bring in natural light. Only the entrance pavilion and Teen Centre will be above-ground. more pics and full desc. http://www.westmount.org/pdf_files/ArenaPool_Proposal.pdf
  18. http://www.virgin-vacations.com/site_vv/11-top-underground-transit-systems-in-the-world.asp When you're traveling around the world, it's good to know that there are public transit systems available to help you get where you want to go. Underground subway systems offer the convenience of getting where you want when you want without the hassle of having to flag down a taxi or rent a car. In just about all cases, it's the most cost effective option. There are some beautiful, modern, and vast rapid transit systems throughout the world. The most popular and diverse international underground transit systems are listed below, but are merely a sample of the quite eye-catching transit systems that exist throughout the world. 1. London, England The London Underground is Europe's largest metro subway system and is the world's oldest underground system (it was inaugurated in 1863). It covers 253 miles of track and transports 976 million people yearly. The Underground is also connected to a variety of rail services to London's surrounding areas (including the Eurostar to Paris). Among these services is the Docklands Light Railway (DLR), a popular driverless light rail extension, which offers many scenic views of the Thames river and surrounding areas. Highlights: Cushioned seats. LED time displays hanging from the ceiling in stations indicate the number of minutes you need to wait before the next train. Eclectic station artwork (such as this January 1st photograph of the Gloucester Road station). Oyster cards allow you to touch against a subway turnstile and go -- and you can pay as you ride. The London Tube. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. The Docklands Light Rail by Canary Wharf, London. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. [Photo montage of a typical, yet scenic, commute on the London tube stystem.] 2. Paris, France The Paris subway system is the second oldest in the world (the initial system was completed in 1900) and aids roughly 1.365 billion people with their daily commutes. Running over 133.7 miles of track and stopping at 380 stations, it has a great amount of coverage throughout the city. Highlights: Excellent coverage: every building in the city is within 500 meters (1600 feet) of a subway station. Many stations were designed with the distinctive unique art noveau style. Modest fares. underground symmetry II. Photo taken by phil h. Making choices. Photo taken by manu_le_manu. [Family video of Paris views of Paris and subway coverage.] 3. Moscow, Russia The Moscow subway system has the biggest ridership of all metro systems throughout the world, with 3.2 billion riders annually traveling on 12 subway lines to 172 stations. In total, the Moscow Metro covers approximately 178 miles. On an average weekday, the subway itself carries about 8.2 million passengers. While most of the Moscow trains run underground, some lines cross bridges and provide scenic views of the Moskva River and the Yauza River. Highlights: Ornate architecture (at least 44 of these stations are rated as architectural sights). The system has many trains that stop frequently (trains stop at stations approximately every 90 seconds during peak hours). Fastest worldwide system (120km/h or 75mph). Moscow Metro. Photo taken by borya. Platform Novoslobodskaya metro station in Moscow. Photo taken by davesag. [informational video about the Moscow subway system, with English subtitles] 4. Madrid, Spain The Madrid Metro is the second largest underground system in Europe and the sixth largest system in the world. It has 141.7 miles of track and an additional 27.5 miles are expected to be completed by the end of this year. The Madrid Metro is the densest metro network in the world. Highlights: Very clean and is implementing an ecologic cleaning system. Fast rides. Affordable fares. Great progress in system expansion (47 miles of new subway lines were built between 1999 and 2003). Modern stations. nuevos ministerios metro station. Photo taken by davidkane. moooove. Photo taken by _guu_. [An advertisement for the Madrid Metro] 5. Tokyo, Japan The Tokyo subway system carries approximately 2.8 billion people per year to 282 subway stations. In addition to underground subways, the Tokyo transit system consists of the Toden Arakawa light rail line and the Ueno Zoo Monorail. Highlights: Extremely clean. Trains are on time. The seats are heated. Trains always stop in the same place alongside markers. Subway stops are announced in both Japanese and English. Modern system. The system has underground malls and customer amenities. Tokyo, Japan. Photo taken by CW371. Shimbashi from Dai-Ichi hotel. Photo taken by garyhymes. [Video of the overcrowding on Tokyo trains.] 6. Seoul, Korea The Seoul Metropolitan Subway is one of the most heavily used subway systems in the world with more than 8 million daily trips. It is also one of the biggest subway stations worldwide, running 179.4 miles in length. The trains mostly run underground, but 30% of the system is above ground. Highlights: Beautiful architecture. Growth of the system has been incredible over the past few years. Utilizes T-money, a prepaid transportation card for transport throughout the city. Koreans apart Subway. Photo taken by jeremyallen35. Korean subway tunnel. Photo taken by mikeswe. [A view of a commute as a train travels from one station to another in Seoul.] 7. New York City, USA The New York City rapid transit system is one of the most extensive public transit systems worldwide. It has grown from 28 stations when it was founded in October of 1904 to 462 stations presently. The subway carries 4.9 million people daily. Highlights: Offers express services that run on separate tracks from local trains. The MTA is currently testing out LED displays in subway stations to let commuters know when the next train is expected to arrive. 24 hour service. Unique and distinct artwork (mosaics) throughout the system. NYC Platform Subway. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. Modern L Train. Photo taken by Brian Weinberg. [On-subway Elvis entertainment.] 8. Montreal, Canada The Montreal Metro is a modern system that was inaugurated in 1966. It is a small (37.8 miles reaching 65 stations on four lines) yet unique and modern system that was inspired by the Paris Metro. Highlights: Diverse, beautiful architecture and unique station art (each station is designed by a different architect). Pleasant riding experience (smooth rides: the trains run on a rubber surface to reduce the screech of train cars). Trains are frequent and fairly comfortable. Montreal Metro. Photo taken by F-i-L. metro tunnel 1. Photo taken by Flowizm. [Musicians playing within a modern Montreal Metro station.] 9. Beijing, China The Beijing Subway is a relatively new subway system that opened in 1969 and serves Beijing and the surrounding suburbs. It is currently being expanded upon in a 7.69 billion USD (63.8 billion yuan) project to prepare for the 2008 Olympic Games. The expansion project is expected to bring the current length of the subway station from approximately 71 miles to nearly 300 miles. Highlights: Fairly easy subway to navigate (especially if you're a foreigner). Cheap fare (3 yen for most trips). Interesting architecture on the newer subway lines. A very ambitious expansion project is in the works. Next stop, Torino. Photo taken by xiaming. xie yan. Photo taken by jiankun. 10. Hong Kong The Hong Kong subway, also known as the Mass Transit Railway (which translates to "underground railway" in English), was established in 1979. Despite its relatively small size compared (56 miles) to other transit systems, the MTR transports an average of 2.46 million rides per day. The Hong Kong system is based on a British design. Highlights: Efficient. Frequent service, High-capacity cars. Extremely affordable. Clean and modern system with air-conditioned cars. Uses the Octopus contactless smart card for subway currency, allowing travelers to swipe their card near the turnstile for easy access to train platforms. Disney MTR Station. Photo taken by ianong. Hong Kong MTR 2007. Photo taken by Michael Kwokstyle. [A view of a modern-style Hong Kong train from outside and then inside.] 11. Sao Paulo, Brazil The Sao Paulo Metro is the first underground transit system in Brazil. It works alongside a larger company called the Companhia Paulista de Trens Metropolitanos (CPTM) and together they cover 187 miles of track and transport approximately 3.7 million people daily. Highlights: Known as one of the cleanest and safest systems in the world. Affordable fare. R. Pamplona, Al. Casa Branca. Photo taken by Elton Melo. Untitled. Photo taken by Rubira Bookmark this article and share