Est-ce que quelqu'un sait à qui appartient le terrain au sud de René-Lévesques au coin de Bleury? Il me semble qu'il s'agit d'une localisation de choix... Y-a-t-il des projets en vu (genre une expansion de SNC-Lavalin qui est en diagonale)?
Juste par curiosité. Je passe régulièrement à côté.
The upscale new face of Old Montreal
More laid-back scene smacks of sophistication
Maxine MendelssohnFor Canwest News Service
Sunday, March 09, 2008
First came boutique hotels and condos, then yoga studios and shops. Now it's bars, supper clubs and a vibrant nightlife: Old Montreal has become a party destination in its own right.
And its more laid-back scene is attracting some of the club kids who once clambered to get into the city's hot spots.
While these places still pack in the crowds, a bit of fete fatigue has set in on Montreal's two traditional party streets -- Crescent St. and St. Laurent Blvd.
The lineups that don't move, some as long as 100 people, the hefty price tag on drinks; it can be a bit much.
Now, chic partiers co-exist nicely with tourists in horse-drawn caleches winding their way through the cobblestone streets. New resto-bars like Santos, Wilson and Cherry are becoming popular destinations, offering their own brand of chic decor, fancy drinks and a party atmosphere.
On the weekends, smaller bars in Old Montreal are often filled to capacity, but the larger ones have plenty of breathing room.
"In the Old Port, if they don't let you in it's not because you're not having bottle service, it's because there's no room."
Some party places on St. Laurent Blvd. have become so in demand that they only let in customers who order bottle service, which can cost upwards of $300. The 20- and 30-somethings who flock to Old Montreal want intimate dinners and drinks, not teens flaunting cash and downing rows of vodka shooters.
There are occasional, small lineups and only one club has a cover charge in Old Montreal. It's definitely easier to get your foot in the door.
"They make it easy and appealing to party here," said 27-year-old Maria Toumanova. "Everything is getting a facelift and people are coming down to check it out. It's a great alternative to the common party places downtown."
Dimitri Antonopoulos has been betting heavily on Old Montreal for the last eight years. His company, the Antonopoulos Group, owns a number of Old Montreal hot spots including Suite 701, Mechant Boeuf and the Place d'Armes Hotel, which opened in 2000.
"The W Hotel (which opened four years later) also helped bring people down here, then restaurants and nice shops started opening up, too. All these businesses attracted a savvier customer and hipper tourists," said Antonopoulos, VP of marketing.
Mechant Boeuf is Antonopoulos's newest venture. There is always a place to sit, and conversations don't require yelling, something that's standard at the downtown clubs.
"These are discerning partiers," Antonopoulos said.
"They know the ins and outs of clubbing, but they're growing up and maybe they want something different. It's a new market in Montreal."
© The Vancouver Province 2008
In Montreal, a civilizing effect
April 29, 2008
MONTREAL -- Once upon a time in Montreal, public-transit strikes seemed as common as Stanley Cup parades. They occurred almost annually, with devastating results.
There was a month-long walkout during Expo 67; another in 1974 that dragged on for 44 days. In 1977, workers walked off the job for four days, then walked out again during Grey Cup festivities. Each time, Montrealers fumed.
These days, strikes have become almost as rare as hockey playoff victories and when conflicts arise, the effects are diminished, thanks to Quebec's Essential Services law.
Basic transit service is guaranteed in Montreal during strikes, a fact that brings a measure of civility to the city's turbulent labour relations.
"The Montreal system, with predictable essential-services rules, has been a good system," said Allan Ponak, professor emeritus at the University of Calgary who has co-authored a book on the subject. "Predictable rules like you have in Montreal are better than ad hoc rules created in an urgent situation."
The justification used by the Quebec government for declaring public transit an essential service in 1982 went like this: If everyone drove cars during a strike, traffic jams would threaten the safe passage of emergency vehicles.
The law not only had a dissuasive effect on strikes - there have been only two in the past two decades - but it softened their impact when they did occur.
Last May, for example, 2,200 maintenance workers went on strike to press for a new contract. The Essential Services Council ordered full bus and subway service during morning and afternoon peak hours, as well as late at night.
"There's no question that public transit is an essential service just like hospitals," said Reynald Bourque, director of the School of Labour Relations at the University of Montreal. "The system is beneficial because it balances the rights of the striking workers with the rights of users."
Unions have also come around to realizing they need public opinion on their side during conflicts - Quebec has floated the idea of restricting or abolishing the right to strike for public transit unions. So unions, too, have come to live with essential-services rules, a specialist says.
"We really have succeeded in civilizing the right to strike in public transit," said Michel Grant a professor at the University of Quebec in Montreal. "It's a model, and if they'd had had it in Toronto there wouldn't have been a problem and they wouldn't have needed a special law."
Maintenance employees and drivers in Montreal belong to separate unions. Montreal's bus and subway drivers, who belong to the Canadian Union of Public Employees, voted overwhelmingly in February for a new five-year contract. As for maintenance workers, their strike last May ended in only four days. They voted to return to work to dodge the threat of a government-imposed settlement, but remain without a contract.
(Courtesy of Luxist)