Montreal’s Renaissance As A Business And Luxury Center Of Canada

Feature photo by ©Bonnie Meisels

Montreal’s Renaissance As A Business And Luxury Center Of Canada

Montreal’s renaissance as a business and luxury center of Canada is referenced in the recent New York Times article “A Luxury Building Boom Hits Montreal” by Aili McConnon. One can’t help notice the transforming downtown core with all the construction cranes and new development projects underway.  “The largest of the developments is the new Four Seasons Hotel and Private Residences Montreal, a more than $200 million hotel and condo project that highlights the city’s renaissance as a business and luxury center of Canada. This current revitalization of the Golden Square Mile mirrors the larger comeback of Montreal.”

For many years, and much political instability, Montreal paid a great price as many companies and talented people migrated to other Canadian cities like Toronto and Vancouver. But, over the past few years, as Montreal has returned to political stability, businesses have begun to return.

Montreal As A World Leader In Artificial Intelligence

Montreal has become a hub for technology. In fact Montreal now has a reputation for being one of the world’s emerging AI advanced research centres and top talent pools in the suddenly very hot tech trend. Facebook just announced it is creating an artificial intelligence research lab in Montreal, and last fall Google said that it would open a similar facility there.

Read more about Montreal and AI

Facebook follows Google, Microsoft to Montreal with new AI research lab | The Star

MONTREAL-Facebook has become the latest technology company to dig into Montreal’s burgeoning artificial intelligence sector, announcing the opening of a research lab in the city Friday. The lab, known as FAIR Montreal, is headed by Joelle Pineau, a professor in McGill University’s computer science department and co-director of Reasoning and Learning Lab.

“The stable political environment in Montreal these last years, especially when we take into consideration the more unstable global environment created by Brexit and other elections in Europe, has made Montreal more attractive to business and leisure visitors,” said Denis Coderre, Montreal’s mayor

“The Montreal economy is booming,” Mr. Coderre said, adding that the unemployment rate had reached one of its lowest levels since 2010, the labor force was growing and investments were increasing. New taxes on foreign investors in Toronto and Vancouver also appear to have played a part.”

There are big plans for Montreal’s Four Seasons Hotel. The project includes a 166-room hotel and 18 condos priced from nearly $3 million to over $12 million. The location of the hotel will be directly connected to the 250,000 square foot-luxury Ogilvy/Holt Renfrew department store. The condos, which went on sale this June and range from 2,886 to 6,910 square feet. The largest penthouse includes a home gym and 2,060-square foot terrace with a fire pit and the option of a pool. According to J. Allen Smith, the Four Seasons chief executive: aside from business, the city of Montreal has “cultural sophistication, European influences and storied history.”

Another hotel in the downtown core, the Fairmont Queen Elizabeth Hotel just reopened its doors this summer after a $114 million renovation.

With a recent surge of visitors, Montreal is on track to hit 11.2 million tourists by the end of 2017, up 20 percent from 2013, according to the Conference Board of Canada and Tourisme Montreal.

Read the New York Times article here

A Luxury Building Boom Hits Montreal

Square Feet Along the main shopping street in the area of downtown Montreal known as the Golden Square Mile, Sonya Szczygiel and her husband, John Guinto, have sold beaded bracelets made of semiprecious stones for the last five years.

Montreal Is A Rising Star In The Luxury Real Estate Market

Feature photo by Jason Briscoe

Montreal Is A Rising Star In The Luxury Real Estate Market

Montreal is a rising star in the luxury real estate market, according to Sotheby’s International Realty Canada, which just published their forecast for the 2017 Fall Market. The luxury market in Montreal is poised for continued growth as sales increase and prices increasingly reach the 1 Million plus range. Summer sales of properties of one million and over surged 60%, while the city’s luxury condo sales increased by 40% over the same period last year.

Brad Henderson, President and CEO of Sotheby’s International Realty Canada is optimistic:

“The country’s exceptional economic performance is expected to elevate top-tier real estate market confidence and performance this fall. Montreal, in particular, is emerging as an unexpected bright light on Canada’s luxury real estate horizon, but the reality is that improvement in economic productivity, wages and job gains will be positive for all of our metropolitan markets in the coming months”.

Market projection for the rest of the year:

Montreal’s top tiered real estate market is competitive and offers much value compared to markets in other major Canadian city centres,  which is why Montreal’s luxury real estate market is projected to accelerate to the end of the year

        The markets strength is attributed to these four key influences:

  • Strong Canadian economy. The economy is at its fastest annualized rate in 6 years between March and June
  • Falling national unemployment rates and job gains in the country’s major real estate markets. Canada’s unemployment rate dropped to 6.2% in August 2017,
  • Foreign demand for Canada’s top-tier real estate remains high, despite the strengthening CAD, which was around 80 cents to the USD in September 2017.
  • Two consecutive key interest rate hikes by the Bank of Canada – in July and September, positioned the key interest rate at 1.00% leading down 

Read the full report here

First Organic Rooftop Farm Atop IGA Duchemin

First Organic Rooftop Farm Atop IGA Duchemin

The first organic rooftop farm atop IGA Duchemin is the largest and first grocery store in Canada to sell produce grown on its own roof. Store owners Richard, Daniel, and Francis Duchemin own and run the IGA extra Famille Duchemin store located in the borough of Saint-Laurent. Required by St-Laurent to install a green roof, Richard Duchemin, decided to treat that as an opportunity, instead of a constraint. He teamed up with urban farmers from La ligne verte (Green Line: Green Roof) to make the vision of an urban farm project a reality.

I recently had the pleasure to meet Daniel Duchemin at the Famille Duchemin store. He kindly, gave me a brief tour of the rooftop garden. I found the store itself not only extensive and beautiful, but it also happens to be LEED Gold Certified. The rooftop gardens exceeded my expectations. Over 30 different varieties of organic vegetables are being grown atop this 25000 sq ft roof. Amidst the Arugula, eggplant, lettuce and peppers, views of urban homes and condos rise above the horizon plane. The juxtaposition of the concrete and brick buildings alongside the sea of green, quickly reminds us that we’re in the city, and above a supermarket!

The beautiful thing about this operation, is that it’s vertical and sustainable. The store can offer it’s customers the best quality, and freshest produce. This is a great example of a local, urban, farm to table system! Without the need for trucks or fossil fuels for transport the only real footprints here are the ones that lead from the stairs between the roof to the store. The green roof reduces energy consumption by providing an extra layer of insulation and the plants are irrigated with water collected from the store’s dehumidification system. They even have seven bee hives on the roof, managed by urban beekeepers Alvéole, and the honey will be sold in-store.

I hope that this store will serve as an inspiration to other local grocery stores to follow suit. All I know for sure is that we need to build alternative sustainable food systems along side our traditional ones, sooner, rather than later!

Here’s a link to the store’s location and map

Alveole managed bee hives

Learn more about The Alvéole Bee Project


Cool Home Repair Videos

Featured Photo by Jesse Orrico

Cool Home Repair Videos And Other Stuff

Cool home repair videos and some others that I thought you’d like! If you’re like me, you prefer to watch a video to better understand how to do stuff. Here are a few videos that you might find interesting.


Subscribe to 5-Minute Crafts: For copyright matters please contact us at: —————————————————————————————- Our Social Media: Facebook: Instagram: The Bright Side of Youtube: —————————————————————————————- For more videos and articles visit: Music: 1. Cool Rock – Take the Lead by Kevin MacLeod is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution license ( Source: Artist: 2.

Be inspired by this compilation of beautiful homes from around the world;

The Most Beautiful Houses in the World HD

Let us take you on a trip around the World. Take a deep breath and enjoy the most beautiful houses around the world.

And Some Other Fun Stuff:

100 Cool Ideas! BED’S!

100 Cool Ideas! ..Beds Edition! Would you like to make money? Have you heard about Bitcoin and Cryptocurreny in general? What is Bitcoin? Click here What is Cryptocurrency? Click here League table of Cryptocurrency – Click here Compare website for everything Cryptocurrency – Click here Lending Bitcoin to earn daily interest Bitconnect (Lending Platform) – Click here Where to buy Bitcoin / Ethereum / Litecoin?

How I Made My Sliding Barn Door | Rustic Modern

I made this barn door to solve a problem in my bedroom. This door is very unique to my space. I made this sliding door because I have a glass door in my bedroom. We were lacking privacy, I installed tint on the window but at night that’s no good.


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Check out this website for more do it yourself, handyman tips:

For some fast fixes:

Another site for do it yourself projects for home improvement stuff is





Canada’s Rising Interest Rates

Canada’s Rising Interest Rates

Canada’s rising interest rates come after a prolonged period of extremely low rates.  According to an article on The Financial Post;

“Dana Peterson, Citi Research

The BoC hiked today catching markets off guard, once again … The stronger-than-expected Canadian economic performance largely influenced the decision to hike.
The Bank cautioned that while the “removal of some of the considerable monetary policy stimulus in place [was] warranted,” policy is not on a predetermined course. Nonetheless, we believe the action sends a powerful signal to markets that the Bank is likely initiating a tightening cycle, not simply engaging in oil shock “insurance” removal.
We must reassess our interest rate forecast path, but assume that an October hike is possible if the favorable conditions that supported the last two hikes persist and downside risks are not realized. Fed policy decisions will also factor into the Canadian rates path.” Real the full article here:

Bank of Canada raises interest rate to 1% – and that’s not the end of it, economists say

The Bank of Canada raised its key interest rate by another quarter of a percentage point, up to 1 per cent from 0.75 per cent, on Wednesday. The decision, which follows a first hike in July, could be just the second in a string of rate increases to come, some economists predicted in light of the announcement.


Canada Rate Increase September 2017

On September 6th 2017, the Bank of Canada increased their lending rate by 0.25%, from 0.75% to 1%. This increase means the Canadian banks and financial institutions will increase their prime rate, and this means…higher lending rates on mortgages, line of credits, and student debt.

Canada’s Rising Interest Rates And The Outlook For 2018:

Rate hike: Will Bank of Canada now pause until 2018?

The Conference Board of Canada’s Craig Alexander discusses the rate hike and why there may not be another increase this year.

Good News! Montreal Real Estate Trends August & September 2017

Montreal Real Estate Trends August And September 2017

Montreal real estate trends August and September 2017 – The numbers are looking good! Download the latest Montreal real estate trends for August and September 2017, via the QFREB, RBC, BMO, Quebec Stats

The Latest Economic Stats for Quebec

BMO Economic Forcast September 8th 2017

RBC Provincial Trends September 2017

RBC Canadian City Trends

On the Quebec Economy;

“Last month, Standard & Poor’s announced that it was raising Quebec’s credit rating from A-plus, to AA-minus, the highest rating the province has enjoyed since 1993, and again, better than Ontario’s.”


Yoga In Montreal

Yoga In Montreal

Yoga in Montreal is awesome. I started doing yoga in Montreal almost 15 years ago. When I began doing yoga, it wasn’t quite popular here yet. Now, there’s a yoga studio in almost every neighborhood. The studio I go to in Le Plateau is called Equilibrium Yoga. It’s not exactly next door to me, but I often think about how great it would be to live within a 5 – 10 minute walk to the studio.

If you haven’t tried yoga yet, I recommend that you experiment with different types to find the style that works for you and your body. I thought I would share some yoga resources with you. Check out the Montreal Yoga Directory.

Another excellent resource for locating the different yoga studios around Montreal by location is Yoga Tribes.

Lolé Women put out a blog post covering some of their favorite yoga studios in Montreal & Toronto,

An interesting real estate project being developed in Montreal is the Humaniti Project. The project will be WELL Certified with a focus on heatlh and wellness for it’s occupants. Read my article about the Humaniti Project

On The Importance Of Doing Yoga

This is a fabulous video on the biological effects and purpose of doing yoga;


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Popular Types of Yoga

Here are a few videos to check out on not only the different types of yoga, but some yoga workouts. Enjoy!

Top 10 Different Types of Yoga

Subscribe for more videos : (New Video Everyday) Follow us on: Facebook: Twitter: Our Second Channel (Spanish) : Top 10 Different Types of Yoga 10. Ashtanga 9. Jivamukti Yoga 8. Hatha 7. Kundalini 6. Iyengar 5. Anusara Yoga 4. Restorative 3. Kripalu 2. Vinyasa 1.


Yoga Types | What are the Types of Yoga?

Yoga Types | What are the Types of Yoga Yoga, derived from the Sankrit word “yuj” which means to unite and integrate, is a Hindu spiritual and ascetic discipline, a part of which, including breath control, simple meditation, and the adoption of specific bodily postures, is widely practised for health and relaxation.

Different Yoga Styles: Hatha Vinyasa Yin Restorative – Which One Should You Practice?

Yoga Upload with Maris Aylward – In this video, we talk about 4 of the common yoga styles you’ll find in yoga studios, gyms, and online classes. These four are Hatha Yoga, Vinyasa or Vinyasa Flow Yoga, Yin or Deep Stretch, and Restorative Yoga. Learn about the benefits each style has to offer.

Yoga Basics Explained Ashtanga, Bikram, Kundalini, and Power Yoga Monday Fit tip: Learning about Five Different Types of Yoga Wednesday: Power Three Yoga Workout Friday- Aspire Higher! – On Mind-Body Connection Plus get the answer to Mondays Question! About EYB: Empower Your Body is a Health Fitness Consulting company. Our mission is to contribute to the overall wellness of humanity.

Yoga to Calm Your Nerves

Yoga To Calm Your Nerves. Use the powerful tools of yoga and breath to balance out the energy of the body. Balance and calm your nervous system so you can experience a happy and healthy life. In order to be your best and do your best you must take care of yourself.

If you find yourself needing some yoga clothing or accessories check out my online store,

Send me an email if you’re interested in some private yoga courses either corporately or personally, I know of some great teachers that I can recommend.

Condo Sales Drove An 8-per-cent Increase In Residential Sales

Condo Sales Drove An 8-per-cent Increase In Residential Sales

Condo sales drove an 8-per-cent increase in residential sales and Montreal remains a relative bargain even though the average real estate price increased 4.1 per cent to $374,333 in August! Montreal’s real estate market proved to be red hot in August with record sales and rising prices.  Condo sales surged 19% and single family homes, 4%.  While the island of Montreal posted a 12% increase in sales, Toronto’s sales of detached, semi-detached, condos and townhouses fell between 25.7 and 41.6 per cent in August. The The average sales price in the Greater Toronto Area dropped for a fourth-straight month, falling 1.8 per cent to $732,292.

While Toronto’s housing market melts down, Montreal’s sizzles

Montreal’s hot real estate market continued to sizzle last month with record August sales and rising prices. The Greater Montreal Real Estate Board says booming condo sales drove an eight per cent increase in residential sales across the Montreal region. There were 2,899 sales, with condo transactions surging 19 per cent.

Although the Montreal market has been performing exceptionally well, one thing’s for certain, the two recent hikes in mortgage rates and a tightening or changing of rules could make things cool down a bit.

Informative Podcast on some Real Estate Advice

Aside from market news I came across a great podcast from Concordia University where they interviewed Concordia real estate alumni experts on whether it’s best to buy or rent, and other good real estate advice. The podcast is called “Real Estate, Real Advice”.  Have a listen here:

Feature Photo by ©Bonnie Meisels

Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal

Photo Credit: Nasa

Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal

Are Hurricanes Harvey & Irma The New Normal? David Helvarg, the executive director of Blue Frontier, an ocean conservation organization, in an interview with Amy Goodman from “Democracy Now”, had this to say;

“As we see sea level rise in certain areas, like the Texas and Louisiana coast, South Florida, the tidelands of Virginia. You’re projecting now three to six feet or more of sea level rise in the century.

Maybe it has only been ten inches today. People are going to go, “Well, what’s ten inches?” But it could be the difference between floodwaters on your porch and in your living room. But it’s not just the tidal surge and sea level rise. It’s what we’re seeing—these rain events. With the warming ocean and atmosphere, you have more moisture in the atmosphere, which rains out more intensive pulses of rain. These rain events that we see massive flooding even disconnected with hurricanes and storms.

So last year, for example, Baton Rouge had massive rain pulses and storms. And when rain comes down so torrentially, the ground cannot absorb it. It backs up. And you had a flooding event right there in Houston last year that the Houston flood control district said was a one in 10,000-year rain event. Well, it’s a year later, and you’re having another one.

So clearly, what we’re seeing—I remember back in 2000, I was with—a scientist from the NASA Ames laboratory at Columbia was touring me through lower Manhattan with some folks from some island nations—Kiribati and the Marshalls—explaining the big 1993 nor’easter. And she said that yeah, one-in-a-century storms like that are now going to become decadal, happen every decade or more frequently. And since then, I was down at Katrina. We had Sandy. Now we have this hurricane. We are seeing the impacts.

Where back in the 1990s, there would be maybe four or five multibillion-dollar extreme weather events every year, NOAA is now recording 20 and 30 multimillion-dollar weather events happening in this country, and just this country alone. So that you’re seeing—luckily—with Katrina—the storms are different. The nature of the storms. Katrina, you had huge casualties. Over 1,800 killed. I think we will see luckily less casualties because of the slow and persistent rate of this storm. But probably much more damage.

This is going to be a $100 billion-plus storm. And not to—a lot of times you say, “Well, you’re taking advantage of people in distress by talking about the causes of why they are in distress.” The reality is, when you have two 10,000-year rain events in two years, this is the new normal. This is the new reality. And the challenge is how we address it. How rapidly we’re going to transition from fossil fuels to clean energy.”

Read the full article here

The storm in Texas is historic, with it’s 9 trillion gallons of water that fell on the state making it the worst flooding disaster in U.S. history. Just on the heels of Harvey, a “potentially catastrophic” Hurricane Irma, a category five and monster of a storm, nears the Eastern Caribbean Islands.

While Irma’s exact path is uncertain, Florida residents are bracing for the storm where Irma is expected to make landfall over the weekend.
Now for some of the science behind hurricanes and the link if any to climate change as explained in this article by this Newsweek article,

Did climate change cause Hurricanes Harvey and Irma to be so dangerous?

Despite what President Trump and his appointees say, the scientific evidence keeps pouring in that climate change is real, is really caused by humans, and will cause real impacts on our lives. There’s even evidence suggesting that many of the tiny proportion of studies that do undermine climate change research are deeply flawed.

What will it take for the president of the United States to believe that climate change is real and needs to be addressed.  We ignore nature at our own peril and the planet is having it’s say. The president took the U.S. out of the Paris Accord on the basis that it was a job killer…but the current reality is how many jobs are lost now in Texas, what is the cost to the fourth largest state in the U.S. and it’s people. How much of the U.S. will need to be under water before people wake up and take the necessary action…I only hope that it won’t be too little too late.

First Harvey, now Irma. Why are so many hurricanes hitting the U.S.?

Science Less than a week after Hurricane Harvey tore through Texas and Louisiana, causing at least 60 deaths and billions of dollars in damages, Hurricane Irma appears ready to make U.S. history. Irma on Tuesday grew into a Category 5 storm – with wind speeds exceeding 156 miles per hour – as it moved toward the Caribbean and southern Florida.

hurricane list on twitter by philip klotzbach
                                                                   Twitter post by Philip Klotzbach @philklotzbach

If you want to read a book about what you can do to get involved and add your voice to the movement to save the planet read the book “We Rise”, just released today.

Challenge the status quo, change the face of activism, and confront climate change head on with the ultimate blueprint for taking action.

Xiuhtezcatl Martinez is a 16-year-old climate activist, hip-hop artist, and powerful new voice on the front lines of a global youth-led movement. He and his group the Earth Guardians believe that today’s youth will play an important role in shaping our future. They know that the choices made right now will have a lasting impact on the world of tomorrow, and people-young and old-are asking themselves what they can do to ensure a positive, just, and sustainable future. We Rise tells these stories and addresses the solutions.

Beginning with the empowering story of the Earth Guardians and how Xiuhtezcatl has become a voice for his generation, We Rise explores many aspects of effective activism and provides step-by-step information on how to start and join solution-oriented movements. With conversations between Xiuhtezcatl and well-known activists, revolutionaries, and celebrities, practical advice for living a more sustainable lifestyle, and ideas and tools for building resilient communities, We Rise is an action guide on how to face the biggest problems of today, including climate change, fossil fuel extraction, and industrial agriculture.

If you are interested in creating real and tangible change, We Rise will give you the inspiration and information you need to do your part in making the world a better place and leave you asking, what kind of legacy do I want to leave?


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