One Good Earth Blog

The Resurgence of Walkable Neighborhoods

The Resurgence of Walkable Neighborhoods

From the youngest generation to the oldest generation, there’s consensus that walkability is a shared amenity that needs even more attention in our cities. In fact, walkability is the feature of cities that holds promise to reduce the sprawl that we all hate. People want to be able to walk to get food, visit a restaurant, get a cup of coffee—or just walk to walk.

That drive to increase walkability requires a unique mix that’s often found in rejuvenated downtowns. There are schools and workplaces, as well as sidewalks and parks. People gather in open, public spaces, and they move from private functions (home) to other spots (work).

Want to learn more about the changing nature of our walkable cities? Check out this graphic courtesy of https://renttoownlabs.com

 

Urban Sprawl to Urban Stay

 

Montreal Real Estate Stats 4th Quarter 2016

Montreal Real Estate Stats 4th Quarter 2016

After a healthy and strong Montreal real estate market in 2016, this last quarter is looking to be a bit weaker here in the last quarter. Here are some of the preliminary numbers courtesy of the QFREB Market Analysis Department:

Housing Starts Decreased in Québec in the Fourth Quarter of 2016

According to preliminary data from the Canada Mortage and Housing Corporation (CMHC), there were 8,783 housing starts in Québec centers with 10,000 or more inhabitants during the fourth quarter of 2016. This represents a drop of 5 per cent compared to the same period in 2015. However, the census metropolitan area (CMA) of Gatineau, Saguenay and Trois-Rivières posted an increase in housing starts.

 

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017!

Happy 2017 and farewell to 2016!  By many accounts, 2016 has been unprecedented…well we won’t rehash the election…the loss of some of our revered icons like David Bowie, George Michael and just the other day, both Carrie Fisher and Debbie Reynolds, the list is far too long for the length of this post. The insane fire of Fort McMurray, the photos of which stay etched in my mind. In my lifetime, I don’t ever recall seeing such an all consuming, deadly fire that literally ate an entire place.  Horrible acts of terrorism that appeared all over the world, from the U.S., France, Berlin, Turkey, Syria etc, dominated the headlines…what strange times we’re living in…

My hope for 2017 is that we can somehow heal our differences. That our world has learned valuable lessons from our past so history cannot repeat itself. How wonderful it would be if we could come together to live in peace. To protect this most beautiful, wonderful planet that we all share and call home. For the non believers and skeptics of climate change, I say what if you’re wrong? What do we as a species stand to lose if the planet continues to heat up?

According to Viktor Schauberger, water is the blood of the earth. For those who don’t know who Schauberger was, he was an Austrian forester born in the late 1800’s who by his observation of nature and water, had some truly insightful understandings about the nature of water. His predictions about water shortages and climate change prove precient today. For Schauberger, water was a living substance and had both a healthy and unhealty temperature. If water would reach above a certain temperature, it would lose it’s health and vitality. If the waters of the planet heat up too much this will have huge ramifications for our planet and the earth’s ecosystem. You can read more about Viktor Schauberger here.

Last night I had the pleasure to watch Bon Iver – Live at the Pioneer Works Warehouse in Brooklyn NPR (Full Concert HD). Their latest album 22, A Million is awesome.  You can watch the full concerts from Eaux Claire and NPR below, happy 2017, wishing you all the very best:)

Montreal’s Best Restaurants of 2016

Montreal’s Best Restaurants of 2016

By Lesley Chesterman for the Montreal Gazette

With rising interest rates in both the U.S. & Canada and much uncertainty in the world on the political front, this holiday season is a good time to turn to one of my favorite topics, “food”, When it comes to food, Montreal is certainly one of the best cities! I fear it’s no longer a well kept secret, in fact the word is out! There are so many delicious tastes and places to discover and savor, spread out throughout our many neighborhoods. What’s really special is the local neighborhood fare that is sometimes located on your own street! I recently tried this super healthy and yummy curcumin, kamut, almond bread, made by Arhoma, one of my favorite bakeries in the city, located in the Hochelaga Maisonneuve district.  Montreal has become a food lover’s paradise… and to make the point, check out Gazette editor, Lesley Chesterman’s list of Montreal’s best restaurants of 2016!

Read the article here;

https://montrealgazette.com/life/food/local-food-reviews/lesley-chestermans-best-montreal-restaurants-of-2016

Links to Montreal Gazette restaurants reviews;

Lesley Chesterman review: Toqué! is as sublime as ever

Toqué! has had a monumental impact on the Québécois food scene since it first opened in Montreal 23 years ago under the stewardship of Normand Laprise. Faultless cooking keeps it on a par with many of the world’s top restaurants.

Restaurant review: Maison Boulud's cuisine is cause for celebration

1/2 out of 4 stars $$$$ 1228 Sherbrooke St. W. (At de la Montagne St., in the Ritz Hotel.) Phone: 514-842-4224Website: maisonboulud.com Open: Breakfast, daily 7 to 10:30 a.m.; lunch, Mon.- Fri. noon to 2 p.m.; dinner, daily 5:30 to 11 p.m.; brunch, Sat.-Sun. noon to 2:30 p.m.

Restaurant review: Graziella is worth gushing over

1/2 out of 4 stars $$$$ 116 McGill St. (Corner Wellington St.) Phone: 514-876-0116 Website: restaurantgraziella.ca Open: Lunch, Mon.-Fri. noon to 2:30 p.m.; dinner, Mon.-Sat. 6 to 10 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: No Vegetarian-friendly: Yes Reservations: Essential Parking: On surrounding streets with meters; several lots in the neighbourhood.

https://montrealgazette.com/life/food/local-food-reviews/dining-review-hoogan-et-beaufort-is-firing-on-all-cylinders

Restaurant review: At Hvor, the chef works without a safety net – and that's a thrill

1/2 $$$ 1414 Notre-Dame St. W. (corner Lucien L’Allier St.) Phone: 514-937-2001 Open: Wed.-Sun.: 6 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: No Parking: on the street with meters and valet Vegetarian friendly: Yes Reservations: Recommended Price range: Three-course tasting menu $45 (wine pairings $30); five course tasting menu $65 (wine pairings $45).

Restaurant review: It's an honour to be served at Moleskine

Phone: 514-903-6939 Website: moleskine-mtl.com Open: Tues.-Sat.: 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: No Parking: On the street, metered Vegetarian friendly: Not especially Reservations: Essential Price range: Appetizers: $10-$16; main courses $24-$30; desserts $6-$10.

Restaurant review: Relish every moment at L'Express

Four stars out of four $$-$$$ 3927 St-Denis St. (near Duluth Ave. ) Phone: 514-845-5333 Website: restaurantlexpress.com Open: Weekdays 8 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat. 10 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sun. 10 a.m. to 1 a.m.

Restaurant review: Leméac gets better with age

1045 Laurier Ave. W. (near Durocher St.) Phone: 514-270-0999 Website: restaurantlemeac.com Open: Monday-Friday, noon to midnight; Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to midnight. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major Wheelchair access: Yes Reservations: Essential Parking: On the street with meters Price range: Starters $8-$27; main courses $23-$54; desserts $9-$14.

Accords le Bistro in the Quartier des spectacles is a delicious turnaround story

Larrys, a Lawrence offshoot, raises the bar

out of **** stars (three out of four stars) $$-$$$ 9 Fairmount Ave. E. (near St-Laurent Blvd.) Phone: None Website: larrys.website Open: Mon.- Sat. 8 a.m. to 1 a.m.; Sun. 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major cards Wheelchair access: No Reservations: Not taken Vegetarian-friendly: Yes Parking: on the street with meters Price range: Small plates: $6-$14.

Restaurant review: Foiegwa has a sense of humour and a French twist

1/2 out of 4 stars $$-$$$ Address: 3001 Notre-Dame St. W. (Corner Atwater Ave.) Phone: 438-387-4252 Website: foiegwa.com Open: Mon.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m.; Sat.-Sun. 10:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Wheelchair access: Yes Reservations: Essential Cards: Major cards Vegetarian friendly: Not especially Parking: On surrounding streets Price range: Snacks $4.25-$6.95; appetizers $7.75-$25; main courses $15.25-$35; desserts $6.50-$9.95.

Restaurant reviews: Extraordinary Escondite elevates Mexican scene

out of 4 stars $$ 1206 Union Ave. (Corner Cathcart St.) Phone: 514-419-9755 Website: escondite.ca Open: Tues.-Fri. 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., 5:30 to 10 p.m. (Fri. to 11 p.m.); Sat. 5:30 to 11 p.m.

Dining review: Foxy

1638 Notre-Dame St. W., Phone: 514-925-7007 Website: foxy.restaurant Open: Tues. – Sat. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: Major cards (no Amex) Wheelchair access: No Reservations: Essential Vegetarian-friendly: Yes Parking: On the street, difficult on busy nights Price range: Starters $9-$16; mains $25-$35; sides $7-$9; flatbreads $15-$17; desserts $10-$12 Ask a Montrealer to name one of the city’s top chefs and chances are he or she will come up with at least one name.

Fiorellino is a cheery, casual offshoot of Buonanotte

Fiorellino 470 de la Gauchetière St. (corner St-Alexandre St.) Phone: 514-878-3666 www.fiorellino.ca Open: Weekdays 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.; Sat. – Sun. 5 p.m. to 11 p.m. Licensed: Yes Credit cards: All major cards Wheelchair access: Yes Reservations: Essential Vegetarian-friendly: Yes Parking: On the street with meters Price range: Appetizers: $11-$16; main courses $17-$26; desserts $7-$10.

Montreal's best restaurants of 2015

If I were to compile an all-around best restaurants in Montreal list, I could choose 50 terrific restaurants right off the bat. Perhaps not three-Michelin-star level, but is Montreal even a three-Michelin-star kind of town? To that list, I could add dozens more worth recommending. And this year we have many more to enjoy.

 

 

More Downtown Condos In Montreal?

 Do We Really Need More Downtown Condos In Montreal?

Last night, it was announced in Montreal, that the land and building for the old Montreal Children’s Hospital would now be revitalized as a development project for new condos, green spaces and affordable housing. With an over abundance of small condos for sale, we don’t need any more 700 – 800 square foot units in the downtown region. There is an interest to attract more families to live downtown which is fantastic. But, in order to do so, developers need to construct townhouse type of condos that can provide families with much needed SPACE!  Growing families need room to expand and access to parking. Most moms or dads end up shuttling their little ones to school or daycare making safe and affordable places to park essential. Could these townhouses be affordable in price and attainable for families? Building them green would certainly help families with their energy costs and environmental footprint.

Canadian Home Ownership 2017 – The Bank of Canada Sounds The Alarm

Interesting article from the Huffington Post which shows the Bank of Canada Heat Maps show risky debt levels spreading across Canada. With house prices rising faster than incomes for many years now, Canadians have been taking larger and larger loans to afford homes. We are now the most indebted people among G7 countries. Also of note, is a growing number of housing market experts saying that the rapid house price run up seen in Canada, Britain in Australia and parts of the U.S. are happening because of a shortage of the types of homes people want to buy.

Read the article below:

Bank Of Canada Heat Maps Show Risky Debt Levels Spreading Across Canada

The Bank of Canada is really, really worried about house prices and how much debt Canadians have taken on to cover those prices. How do we know? Because the bank won’t stop harping about it. It’s almost as if governor Stephen Poloz is campaigning to get people to stop taking on crazy amounts of mortgage debt.

 

 

 

Condo Buyers Should Beware Of New Inspection Rules

Today’s Press Review from the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board is a nice complilation of interesting articles. One in particular is an article by the Montreal Gazette “Condo Buyers Should Beware of New Inspection Rules”, what you need to know.

14/12/2016

Condo buyers should beware new inspection rules

Condo inspection alert: Before purchasing a condo, potential buyers should find out if the building is subject to inspection under 2015 amendments to the Quebec building act, the CMHC advises. CMHC estimates about 1,400 condo and rental buildings in the Montreal area are subject to the regulations that were amended in the interests of public safety.

How my agent found the perfect home in a hot seller’s market

Selling my home was, of course, just the first of two chapters. In part one of this series, I wrote about my experience listing my home and the many ways that our agent helped make the selling process easier and more successful. When my wife and I woke up the next morning, we found ourselves buyers in the red-hot Vancouver housing market.

Château Vaudreuil hotel to be sold

After 27 years of ownership by the Migliorati family of St-Lazare, the luxury waterfront hotel built by Benito Migliorati is being sold.

Canada’s cooling housing market will soon start dragging the economy down, watchdog warns

Canada’s housing sector will soon become a drag on growth as the number of new homes decline, according to the country’s budget watchdog.

Rotterdam’s eye-popping cube houses

It takes a certain type of person to live in one of Rotterdam’s cube houses. First there’s the unusual shape that takes getting used to – each dwelling consists of a tilted cube on a hexagonal column. Then there’s the constant stream of tourists traipsing through the property and its courtyard, gawking and taking photos.

 

Time For Music

Time For Music!

As the holidays approach and things start to wind down, I thought I’d share a music stream that a friend shared with me this evening. Did you know that this year, Hanukkah and Christmas fall on the same night. Does anyone know when this last happened….In any case,  it’s bringing back some old memories, and Chris Botti on the trumpet is giving me goosebumps!

Enjoy this video featuring Chris Botti, Sting, Yo-yo Ma, and Dominic Miller – How Fragile We Are

 

 

Hallelujah

 

Alexandr Misko – ‘Billie Jean’

A tribute to Stevie Wonder

 

And totally unrelated, last but not least a video on how to set up your own greenhouse and grow your food all year round.

Canadian Homeownership

Canadian Homeownership

For today’s blogpost, I’d like to share with you the press review from the Greater Montreal Real Estate Board. The review consists of a few interesting articles about Canadian homeownership and real estate.

 

12/12/2016

The doomsday scenario: Why you’re more tied to real estate than you think and what you can do about it

Canadian real estate prices only have three main directions they can go: Up, flat or down. Now that we have gotten that out of the way, this article is about what happens if they go down. It is not a prediction, but just trying to paint a picture of just what might be in store for Canadians — and outlining things you can do today to protect yourself.

The dark side of the boom

Rock-bottom interest rates have made big mortgages look less expensive, lighting a fire under house prices. But for many homeowners, when rates start rising, it won’t end well.

How six Canadian households are coping with the high cost of home ownership

Back in October, The Globe invited Canadians to share their biggest financial concerns with us. Hundreds of responses rolled in. We spoke with six households about how they’re coping with the high price of home ownership. Here are their stories.

How tighter rules are pushing homebuyers toward riskier mortgages

Would-be buyers are finding it ever more difficult to get a mortgage from mainstream financial institutions. Is greater regulation driving them into the shadows?

 

Montreal Eater Awards 2016

Montreal’s Eater Awards for 2016 is out!

This year there are two sets of selections for each category. One set was determined by the Eater Awards editorial team, the other, the people’s or reader’s choice vote.

I really like the way they chose to do the awards this year, it’s refreshing to have the people get their say and vote! What I also like about the article below, is the visual presentation of how the voting panned out in the final selection.

The awards feature the picks for best restaurant, chef, design, bar or wine program of the year, and cheap and casual. To see how the voting went and look at the numbers, you can read the article below.

Eater Awards 2016: Montreal’s Readers’ Choice Votes by the Numbers

The winners of the 2016 Eater Awards were announced yesterday, but in one key change this year, there were two winners in each category. Eater’s editorial teams selected one winner for each category, and Eater readers had an opportunity to vote for a Readers’ Choice winner from among five nominees in each category.

To read “The Hottest Restaurants In Montreal December 2016”

The Hottest Restaurants in Montreal, December 2018

More often than not, tipsters, readers, friends and family of Eater have one question: Where should I eat right now? While the Eater 38 is a crucial resource covering classics and neighbourhood essentials across the city, it is not a chronicle of the “it” places of the moment.