Archive for the ‘Life’ Category

Get Your Yoga On

200122894-001[1]Here is a great and healthy idea for a holiday gift or even as part of the inevitable post-holiday feasting new year’s resolution for oneself: $30 for a yoga passport all around the city. This pass entitles you to one visit (bookable online) per yoga studio, up until September 30, 2010 (expiry date for Montreal), which gives you plenty of time to sample classes.

Seeing as Montreal has as many yoga studios as it has churches, the list of participating studios is quite extensive and even if you go to only two classes, you will have pretty much made up for the cost of the card. It’s a ridiculously great deal, and will give you the chance to try out studios you might not have otherwise tried out!

Passport to Prana
Last day today for free shipping!

Co-op Bookstore now hiring

Wanna work at a bookstore? Well, kid, it’s your lucky day! The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore (aka Co-op Bookstore) is currently looking for a Finance and Administrative Coordinator, so if you’ve got the skills to pay the bills, have a look at the requirements for the position below (which has been cut ‘n’ pasted from the job posting on the Co-op’s Facebook page, in its entirety):

cooplogoFinancial and Administrative Coordinator / Coordonnatrice-eur financière et administrative

The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is currently hiring a Financial and Administrative Coordinator. / La Librairie coopérative de solidaritéde l’Université Concordia est à la recherche d’un-e Coordonnatrice-eur financière et administrative.

The Concordia Community Solidarity Co-op Bookstore is pleased to offer a viable alternative to the corporate structure, putting students’ best interests above and beyond our own bottom line. As a not-for-profit alternative to corporate bookstores, we are conveniently located right on Concordia’s downtown campus at 2150 Bishop. Offering both new and used books, in addition to a wide variety of artisan consignment, we also boast the largest selection of sex and gender studies titles anywhere in Montreal.

Find us on the web at, or on Facebook at

Tasks and Responsibilities


  • Organizing and maintaining all financial documents
  • Liaising with Co-op’s co-coordinator on the daily operations of the store
  • Administrating publisher accounts
  • Overseeing monthly and annual budgets
  • Reporting monthly to the Board of Directors & acting as a resource person on financial and administrative matters
  • Liaising with the Co-op’s accountant
  • Ensuring that receipt trails and paper trails are organized and in order
  • Communicating with federal and provincial governments regarding financial and administrative matters, including submitting government declarations and remittances
  • Overseeing operations of the Concordia University internal Banner account
  • Researching and preparing proposals to update our bookkeeping systems
  • Liaising with Concordia administrative bodies and services
  • Liaising with the Concordia community and the community-at-large
  • Maintaining and developing office systems with other staff including archiving, filing, computer and communication systems
  • Ensuring the upkeep of the office, order and organize supplies with other staff
  • Working with other staff and Board to maintain a clean, organized and welcoming space


  • Making adjustments to the budget in accordance with Board decisions
  • Liaising with Co-op’s co-coordinator on seasonal and general book orders and ongoing publisher relations
  • Making month-end adjustments, including inventory adjustments
  • Reconciling accounts
  • Completing and presenting month-end financial reports to the Board
  • Invoicing


  • Coordinating year-end inventory
  • Completing all year-end adjustments
  • Completing year-end transactions and reports
  • Preparing year-end for auditor
  • Liaising with auditor
  • Presenting our year end financial report at our Annual General Meeting (held in November)
  • Interpret and make recommendations regarding the auditor’s report to the Board and at our Annual General Meeting

Job Requirements and Assets:

  • Experience in finance within Non-Profits and/or Not-for-Profits
  • Understanding of bookkeeping in a retail (inventory and sales-based) context
  • Excellent time management skills, self-motivation and self-direction
  • Knowledge of MYOB or similar accounting software
  • Ability to work with a computer (PC and Mac), proficiency in Word, Excel, and File Maker Pro
  • Bilingualism (French and English, spoken and written)
  • Strong communication skills
  • Ability to problem solve
  • Ability to work under pressure
  • Ability to work in a chaotic environment
  • Interest in community-based groups and non-corporate, self-managed environments and principles is an asset
  • Experience in a bookstore is an asset
  • Experience in community outreach, marketing or external relations an asset

Application Details:
Deadline to apply is Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 6 p.m.
Interviews will be held from September 29th to October 1st 2009.
Please note that only applicants selected for an interview will be contacted.

The position is set to begin on Friday, October 12th, 2009, and it is a one-year renewable contract. Candidates must be available 10am-4pm Monday to Friday (30 hrs per week), including some occasional evening and weekend work. The position includes two weeks of paid vacation.

The ideal candidate is eligible for an Emploi Quebec salary subvention program.

The Co-op Bookstore has a commitment to employment equity in our hiring practices. We encourage applicants to describe the unique contributions they, as individuals with diverse experiences, would bring to the Co-op in their cover letter or resume. Please indicate clearly in your cover letter that you would like to be considered for Employment Equity.

Please submit your CV and cover letter by Friday, September 25th, 2009 at 6 p.m. Unfortunately applications without a cover letter will not be considered!

By email:
Subject line: “FA Coordinator Hiring Committee”

By Mail or in Person:
2150 Bishop
Montreal, QC.
H3G 2E9

For more information you can contact us at 514-848-7445 or email us at

Please feel free to circulate this posting to any job-hunters you may know!

Last chance for WordCamp Montreal tickets

wcmtl-badge-attendee-en-326If you’ve been hemming and hawing, it’s time to get off the fence! Less than 24 hours are left to buy your tickets to WordCamp Montreal, a 2-day conference on WordPress for nerds, geeks, hackers, crackers, code monkeys, designers and plain old ordinary folks who use the web’s most beloved of free blogging software. That’s YOU! That’s ME! Yes, I will be there, live and in the flesh, taking notes and (hopefully) making use of a wifi connection to share the latest and greatest with readers over on my blog.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. You’re thinking, “But Laura, aren’t conferences EXPENSIVE?” And yes, dear Montreal Metblogs reader, you are right; most conferences are expensive. But not WordCamp! No way, dudes. This one is only $30 a person ($25 if you’re a student), and that gets you two whole days of WordPress action AND a t-shirt AND a free lunch! Who says there are no free lunches in this world? Not the peeps at WordCamp.

So maybe you’re thinking, “But Laura, I don’t know anything about WordPress. I’m just a blogger with a free template. I am a total n00b; won’t they make fun of me?” Well, I can’t guarantee that someone won’t, because let’s face it: some people are just jerks. However, the goal of WordCamp is to bring new and experienced users together, to teach you some tricks, and to share information. So even if you’re the newbiest of n00bs, you’re welcome to attend. Hell, I’m not the tech-savviest gal on the planet, and I’m going, so you should too!

But like I said, there’s less than 24 hours left to make up your mind! WordCamp is this Saturday and Sunday, July 11-12, at the SAT (1195 St-Laurent). You can find the schedule online here, and a list of your fellow attendees here. To buy tickets, just click here!

Red-light district demolition project greenlighted

UPDATED: May 25, 2009, 4:44 pm

Cause for concern or mere progress? Montrealers will be interested to know that our so-called red-light district of lower St-Laurent is currently slated for some controversial renovations by a group called Angus Development Corp.

The scoop: The stretch of St-Laurent slated for reno is between Ste-Catherine and René-Lévesque, and according to a March 6, 2009 article in The Gazette, has been purchased by Angus, a “non-profit development corporation that wants to transform that part of the red light district into an eco-friendly showcase of art and socially responsible retail.” Sounds good, so far. Problem is, this developer is also trying to acquire the building that is currently home to such colourful (and historical) businesses as Café Cléopatra and the Montreal Pool Room.

Though the Gazette article also notes that “The report says the street level on St. Laurent would become an avenue dedicated to ‘responsible retail,’ lined with stores selling fair-trade and bio- and eco-friendly products that promote Quebec design,” and that although the company plans to put in a “restaurant, lounge or café,” no fast-food restaurants will be allowed, nor any chain stores.

Ambitious plans for Montreal’s storied Main, but some citizens are protesting these changes as signs of gentrification and the destruction of local history. Montreal-based burlesque troupe, the Dead Doll Dancers, are fighting to save this stretch of St-Laurent, as most of their shows take place at Café Cleopatra. In fact, a Facebook user named Amy Hudston has been circulating information about upcoming planning meetings, suggesting that “anyone who is concerned about cultural elitism, gentrification, sex workers rights, travesty theatre, historical architecture, expropriation, etc.” attend to voice their opinions.

The next meeting is slated for May 25 at 7 PM at 2-22 Ste-Catherine the Holiday Inn (95 Viger West). The meeting’s topic will be “Architectural concept and urban insertion and heritage.” There is another meeting scheduled for May 26 at 7 PM at the Quadrilatère Saint-Laurent same location on the same topic, for those who can’t make the first.

Further reading:

I Never Cared Whether They Won Or Not

The crack of the bat. Crowd chatter and cheers. The honest smell of hot-dogs and leather mitts ready to snap up bleacher-bound balls like Venus flytraps. Salt assaults from the fresh pretzel on my tongue.

I miss the Expos.

Verdun and I (or, Fripperie: Part Un)

I’ve always been budget-concious, even before the current economical clime cast a pall on our collective plastic. A former freelance lifestyle, with the fiscal rollercoaster that often accompanies it, have etched an indeliable restraint on my spending habits. To wit, I’ve nosed out some pretty good bang-for-your-buck eateries and shops over the years. They’ve become a part of me, and I’d like to share them with you.

The “downtown” core of  Verdun is, in my humble O, one of our city’s most under-rated shopping destinations. This Sud-Ouest borough isn’t the self-important trend whore that many soi-disant Montréal hotspots are. Despite encroaching gentrification, it has managed to keep some good ol’ fashioned working-class grit intact.  There is very little facade, nothing shiny and sleek. And I wouldn’t have the place any other way. The charm of the area – what makes me feel more at home there than any other neighbourhood in Montréal – is its hidden niches. Granted, you have to explore a little to find them, something I had ample opportunity to do when I resided there.

I remember with fondness the large flat I lived in for a mere $325.00 a month. ($325.00!)  Naturally I don’t need to outline the fact that was quite a while back. The density of businesses in Verdun is incredible, and makes owning a car almost laughable. I could bank, get my hair cut, rent a flick, pick up some sausage, spices and a bottle of plonk at the SAQ for the evening meal, meet a friend for tea, buy some paperbacks or pair of gloves – all within a few blocks. There was a law passed long ago prohibiting bars in the district, but what you must know is that in Verdun, summer and balconies were made for beer. I was hard-presssed to walk down 3rd Avenue without someone offering me a sweating cold one (why, straight from the handy porch fridge of course!). On residential streets, especially The Avenues north of De Verdun, balconies are the hub of social (and wild) life, particularly livening up at 3 a.m., if memory serves. I also recall a more welcomed feature; a dep on every corner.  Also, an amazing waterside bike path and three métro stations to choose from made getting around a breeze.  I regret moving from Verdun, and I’m clearly not the only one who recognizes the area’s primeness as a good spot to live, as soaring rents can attest to. I miss that flat. True, the ceiling caved in on me, I was once offered the friendly (discounted!) services of the resident hitman, and the intermittently employed downstairs neighbour couldn’t be arsed to share the weed he was growing, but really, good times overall.

Recent years have brought in waves of new ethnic groceries, tea-houses and specialty boutiques, all glazed with “me-too” hip, without pretentious Plateau prices.  Variety abounds. Wellington Street, the bit roughly bounded by Woodland and Regina ( formally branded as “Promenade Wellington“)  is an almost perfect shopping strip. Sadly, I’ve noticed some boarded up windows and “For Sale” signs peppering store fronts – no doubt the inevitable victims of the recession. By contrast, thrift-oriented businesses are naturally thriving these days.  I will be devoting an entire series to those, and other neat aspects of Verdun in the coming weeks.

Hello Montreal

My name is Rayna and I usually post on the New Orleans metblog. I am in Montreal for the week and thought I would stop by to make a few posts here while I am in town. We flew in to Burlington, VT yesterday, the drive through the coutryside was nice. The GPS device we got with our rental car took us through a lot of back roads to get to the main highway into Montreal. I am pretty sure we did not have to go that way but it worked out because we got to see farm land and little suburbs that we would not have seen otherwise. We could really tell when we were getting close to the city. It is as if the land begins to sprout buildings. First one or two and then ten and then twenty and then you are in the city. I love the view you get of the city when driving in from the South. The city rises up behind the river. During this time of year it is hard to tell which parts of the river are frozen and which are not, it is just a blanket of white leading up to these tall skyscrapers.

We are staying at the Embassy Suites which is right on the cusp of both Old Montreal and the downtown area. It is the perfect location for us. My husband will be working here this week and I will be keeping myself busy with all the wonderful things there are to do in the city. Being in this hotel puts us right on a large road making it easy for my husband to drive to work and it is easy for me to walk around. Also, it is right on the Orange line of the metro so I should be able to get where ever I want/need to go during the day without having to worry about not having a car. I am so excited to be here.

March for Montreal

The Griffintown development issue sure is on everyone’s mind, these days. In brief, Griffintown is now a hot topic for Montreal. It’s a great up-and-coming area between University and Guy (some say all the way to Georges-Vanier) from Notre-Dame to the waterfront. Imagine a bustling and friendly new neighbourhood right south of the downtown core. Unfortunately developers have come in and are keen to make it into another short-sighted Dix30 eyesore, fraught with gigantic condo buildings and big-box stores, alienating residents. This decision was taken with no real public consultation whatsoever.

There will be a march to from Griffintown to the Hotel de Ville organized this Sunday April 27 at 3pm starting at the horse palace at 1220 Ottawa, down by the canal. I personally, have never been one to rally for causes, deferring to other more zealous individuals to fight for common beliefs. However, the Griffintown cause is one that affects all of us in this city, and more importantly, I’m convinced that the strength of the people actually might just make a difference. So if you’re interested in keeping Montreal beautiful with well-thought out urban planning and attention paid to those of us who love and live in this city, come join us on the march!

Griffintown march

Sites of interest:
Save Griffintown
Facebook event

Help support the cause!

Une promenade après le travail

La semaine dernière, la journée où la température était environ 11C, plutôt que d’aller chez moi après le travail, j’avais fait une promenade d’une heure sous le beau soleil. Ça faisait énormément de bien.

Aujourd’hui, j’ai presque fait la même chose; la promenade a duré 30 minutes plutôt qu’une heure. Il y a un beau soleil avec un petit vent bien doux.

Ce n’est pas comme si je n’avais pas autres choses à faire avec des échéances à respecter, mais en bon québécois, je dirais “Je me calisse du reste! Je veux faire une promenade!”

Le dernier coup de l’hiver

What happened today, yesterday actually, was beautiful. That snow could have been the same one for Christmas. I consider it the last blow of winter. It’s like a losing boxer who has enough energy left to do a little significant damage, but after the blow, there is no way he can recover. For the next 6 months, I don’t think the temperature will be lower than today, I mean yesterday, April 4.

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