Connect with us

Anglais

El Mocambo sign lights up the night as snow tumbles down

Published

on

[ad_1]

You can keep your jokes about politicians who will show up to the opening of an envelope. In this town, the mayor will show up to the flipping of a light switch. If it’s the right switch, for the right lights.

On Thursday night on Spadina Avenue, the velvet ropes were set up on the sidewalk just south of College, and a crowd of people had started to form in clusters of three or four. A steady parade of Cadillac Escalades and Porsche Carrerras pulled to the curb — and some Honda Civics and a Dodge Grand Caravan too — to drop off women in short sparkly skirts and men in cowboy boots and velvet jackets.

The El Mocambo sign on Spadina is lit up again after a ceremony during last night’s snowfall.
The El Mocambo sign on Spadina is lit up again after a ceremony during last night’s snowfall.  (RenÉ Johnston / Toronto Star)

Speakers set up on the sidewalk played a 35-year-old U2 song. “I saw them here!” one woman said.

Another man, with a woman and young child, was walking by and asked who was playing tonight. “No one’s playing,” he was told. They were just planning to relight the neon sign.

“Ah,” he said, smiling and nodding that it was an obvious enough reason for the buzz. Then he said, to his own child as much as to the stranger in front of him, “This is a legendary music venue, The El Mocambo.”

The music historian Nicholas Jennings posted on Facebook this week that the first band to play at the El Mocambo when it opened on March 23, 1948 was a “light jazz combo” called the Ambassador’s Trio. He posted early ads for the bar when it was billed as “a bit of Mexico in Toronto,” a bill from the late 1950s featuring an all-girls singing group called “The Coquettes Quartet” and a “Big Irish Night” lineup from 1965.

The new façade of the under-renovation venue says “Keeping live alive since 1948,” and clearly the history goes way back. The legend most Torontonians under about age 80 are more familiar with is a bit more rock ’n’ roll. This is the place the Rolling Stones recorded a live album — not just them, but Elvis Costello, Stevie Ray Vaughan, April Wine. The Ramones played here. Tom Waits. And U2, like the lady says.

In the 1980s and 1990s, it was also a place a where your buddy from English class might have a gig with his punk band. And the night after you saw him, you might see the hottest local indie act. There was something special in exactly that mix: it hosted legends, yes, but was also home to local scenesters and wannabes and never-weres.

It was shuttered in 2014, a broke bar in a broken down building that was going to become a computer store or something. But Eccentric Billionaire Michael Wekerle bought it, promising to restore it to its former glory.

Four years later, it isn’t ready to reopen yet. But the sign is back.

We love our old signs in this city. I’m old enough to remember the outcry when it briefly seemed Fairmont was planning to take the words “Royal York” off the front of the then-skyline-defining hotel. We have a connection to the neon and the bulbs that spell out our memories of the places that have defined our neighbourhoods.

Lately there’s been a trend to save signs from the trash bin: I reported live from the dismantling of the thousands-of-points-of-lightbulbs at Honest Ed’s, to be reinstalled later on a different building. I wrote about the relighting of the Sam The Record Man spinning discs in January this year, now high above Dundas Square.

But this one is special: The palm tree spelling out EL MOCAMBO in yellow neon along its trunk, the flashing white leaves surrounding purple coconuts and a crescent-moon that may be a banana.

It’s special because of that legendary history. And because it’s actually back here in its original spot at 464 Spadina. But mostly because its restoration and reinstallation anticipates the reopening of the El Mo, renovated and soundproofed and ready to rock again, sometime next spring.

The crowd on the street Thursday night had swelled to more than a hundred as the falling snow accumulated. Everyone laughed when a car collided with a parked police car at the curb. Then, shortly after 7 p.m., Eccentric Billionaire Michael Wekerle himself appeared behind the velvet ropes, wearing a green fur coat and pink gloves and sunglasses. He was bouncing up on the balls of his feet and beaming, shaking hands with the crowd and shouting about how great it all was. He pointed and called out to people in the crowd — “Andy Kim!” — and called the boxer George Chuvalo up to stand next to him. And then, speaking a mile a minute into the microphone, he promised a new great beginning for Canadian music artists, and then introduced the mayor.

“Thank you,” John Tory said to his host, and to the crowd. “If Michael Wekerle hadn’t had the determination, and frankly the money, we wouldn’t be here,” he said. Music is important, he said, bringing people together in a city where they may not share the same language, but can dance to the same beat. “Here’s to the El Mo,” he said, “and to many years of success.”

Then the crowd there on the street counted down from 10, as if it were New Year’s Eve. When they reached one, they all shouted “El Mo!” and the lights came on, purple and green and yellow and white. The familiar opening guitar chords of the Rolling Stones “Start Me Up” came through the speakers. Everyone cheered, many took photos.

A few in the crowd even started dancing in the snow, while others began to make their way around the corner to a private party being held in a back alley to celebrate. A man in a parka and toque smiled and jumped in the air, and shouted. “Rock and roll, baby!”

Edward Keenan is a columnist based in Toronto covering urban affairs. Follow him on Twitter: @thekeenanwire

[ad_2]

Source link

قالب وردپرس

Anglais

‘Business as usual’ for Dorel Industries after terminating go-private deal

Published

on

By

MONTREAL — Dorel Industries Inc. says it will continue to pursue its business strategy going forward after terminating an agreement to go private after discussions with shareholders.

« Moving ahead. Business as usual, » a spokesman for the company said in an email on Monday.

A group led by Cerberus Capital Management had previously agreed to buy outstanding shares of Dorel for $16 apiece, except for shares owned by the family that controls the company’s multiple-voting shares.

But Dorel chief executive Martin Schwartz said the Montreal-based maker of car seats, strollers, bicycles and home furniture pulled the plug on a deal on the eve of Tuesday’s special meeting after reviewing votes from shareholders.

“Independent shareholders have clearly expressed their confidence in Dorel’s future and the greater potential for Dorel as a public entity, » he said in a news release.

Dorel’s board of directors, with Martin Schwartz, Alan Schwartz, Jeffrey Schwartz and Jeff Segel recused, unanimously approved the deal’s termination upon the recommendation of a special committee.

The transaction required approval by two-thirds of the votes cast, and more than 50 per cent of the votes cast by non-family shareholders.

Schwartz said enhancing shareholder value remains a top priority while it stays focused on growing its brands, which include Schwinn and Mongoose bikes, Safety 1st-brand car seats and DHP Furniture.

Dorel said the move to end the go-private deal was mutual, despite the funds’ increased purchase price offer earlier this year.

It said there is no break fee applicable in this case.

Montreal-based investment firm Letko, Brosseau & Associates Inc. and San Diego’s Brandes Investment Partners LP, which together control more than 19 per cent of Dorel’s outstanding class B subordinate shares voiced their opposition to the amended offer, which was increased from the initial Nov. 2 offer of $14.50 per share.

« We believe that several minority shareholders shared our opinion, » said Letko vice-president Stephane Lebrun, during a phone interview.

« We are confident of the long-term potential of the company and we have confidence in the managers in place.”

Continue Reading

Anglais

Pandemic funds helping Montreal businesses build for a better tomorrow

Published

on

By

Many entrepreneurs have had to tap into government loans during the pandemic, at first just to survive, but now some are using the money to better prepare their businesses for the post-COVID future.

One of those businesses is Del Friscos, a popular family restaurant in Dollard-des-Ormeaux that, like many Montreal-area restaurants, has had to adapt from a sit-down establishment to one that takes orders online for takeout or delivery.

“It was hard going from totally in-house seating,” said Del Friscos co-owner Terry Konstas. “We didn’t have an in-house delivery system, which we quickly added. There were so many of our employees that were laid off that wanted to work so we adapted to a delivery system and added platforms like Uber and DoorDash.”

Helping them through the transition were emergency grants and low-interest loans from the federal and provincial governments, some of which are directly administered by PME MTL, a non-profit business-development organization established to assist the island’s small and medium-sized businesses.

Konstas said he had never even heard of PME MTL until a customer told him about them and when he got in touch, he discovered there were many government programs available to help his business get through the downturn and build for the future. “They’ve been very helpful right from day one,” said Konstas.

“We used some of the funds to catch up on our suppliers and our rents, the part that wasn’t covered from the federal side, and we used some of it for our new virtual concepts,” he said, referring to a virtual kitchen model which the restaurant has since adopted.

The virtual kitchen lets them create completely different menu items from the casual American Italian dishes that Del Friscos is known for and market them under different restaurant brand names. Under the Prasinó Soup & Salad banner, they sell healthy Greek options and their Stallone’s Sub Shop brand offers hearty sandwiches, yet the food from both is created in the same Del Friscos kitchen.

Continue Reading

Anglais

Downtown Montreal office, retail vacancies continue to rise

Published

on

By

Some of downtown Montreal’s key economic indicators are heading in the wrong direction.

Office and retail vacancies in the city’s central core continued to climb in the fourth quarter of 2020, according to a quarterly report released Thursday by the Urban Development Institute of Quebec and the Montréal Centre-Ville merchants association. The report, whose first edition was published in October, aims to paint a socio-economic picture of the downtown area.

The survey also found office space available for sublet had increased during the fourth quarter, which may foreshadow even more vacancies when leases expire. On the residential front, condo sales fell as new listings soared — a sign that the downtown area may be losing some of its appeal to homeowners.

“It’s impossible not to be preoccupied by the rapid increase in office vacancies,” Jean-Marc Fournier, the former Quebec politician who now heads the UDI, said Thursday in an interview.

Still, with COVID-19 vaccinations set to accelerate in the coming months, “the economic picture is bound to improve,” he said. “People will start returning downtown. It’s much too early to say the office market is going to disappear.”

Public health measures implemented since the start of the pandemic almost a year ago — such as caps on office capacity — have deprived downtown Montreal of more than 500,000 workers and students. A mere 4,163 university and CEGEP students attended in-person classes in the second quarter, the most recent period for which figures are available. Border closures and travel restrictions have also brought tourism to a standstill, hurting hotels and thousands of local businesses.

Seventy per cent of downtown workers carried out their professional activities at home more than three days a week during the fourth quarter, the report said, citing an online survey of 1,000 Montreal-area residents conducted last month.

Continue Reading

Chat

Sex2 semaines ago

Dix films avec des scènes de sexe non simulées qui ont fait polémique

Sex2 semaines ago

Sexe et cannabis : mélange miraculeux ou poison pour le couple ?

Sex2 semaines ago

Chantage émotionnel, dénigrement, harcèlement sexuel : Une jeune scientifique écrit aux comités nationaux d’éthique

Sex2 semaines ago

10 films sur le sexe et le plaisir pour oublier la distanciation sociale

Sex2 semaines ago

Les meilleurs sextoys pour le clitoris

Sex2 semaines ago

Dua Lipa, la reine du melting-pop qui allège le quotidien confiné de ses millions de fans

Sex2 semaines ago

Une série d’ici primée à l’étrange

Technologie3 semaines ago

TELUS adopte une nouvelle promesse de marque

Technologie3 semaines ago

La tech agricole Farmers Edge entre en Bourse à 18 fois ses revenus

Technologie3 semaines ago

NEC Canada accueille Combat Networks en tant que revendeur officiel de UNIVERGE® BLUE CLOUD SERVICES

Technologie3 semaines ago

La relance économique sera verte dans le Bas-Saint-Laurent

Technologie3 semaines ago

Ottawa injecte 2,75 milliards $ pour électrifier la flotte d’autobus au pays

Technologie3 semaines ago

L’entreprise montréalaise Native Touch fait l’acquisition du studio Candy Banners

Actualités3 semaines ago

Lionbridge conclut la vente de sa division d’intelligence artificielle (IA) à TELUS International

Actualités3 semaines ago

Le rôle stratégique et essentiel des métaux rares pour la santé

Actualités3 semaines ago

«Crypto-art» : l’œuvre numérique de la chanteuse Grimes vendue 6 millions de dollars

Actualités3 semaines ago

Un rapport révèle des inégalités pour les femmes de couleur dans les postes de direction canadiens qui font écho au secteur de la technologie

Actualités3 semaines ago

La demande de main-d’œuvre des startups canadiennes montre des signes de reprise au quatrième trimestre: rapport

Actualités3 semaines ago

En attendant la fibre optique

Affaires4 semaines ago

L’Alberta demande à Ottawa d’investir des milliards dans la capture du carbone

Anglais2 années ago

Body found after downtown Lethbridge apartment building fire, police investigating – Lethbridge

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Salon du chocolat 2018: les 5 temps forts

Anglais2 années ago

This B.C. woman’s recipe is one of the most popular of all time — and the story behind it is bananas

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

Gluten-Free Muffins

Anglais2 années ago

27 CP Rail cars derail near Lake Louise, Alta.

Anglais2 années ago

Man facing eviction from family home on Toronto Islands gets reprieve — for now

Santé Et Nutrition2 années ago

We Try Kin Euphorics and How to REALLY Get the Glow | Healthyish

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario’s Tories hope Ryan Gosling video will keep supporters from breaking up with the party

Anglais2 années ago

A photo taken on Toronto’s Corso Italia 49 years ago became a family legend. No one saw it — until now

Anglais3 années ago

Condo developer Thomas Liu — who collected millions but hasn’t built anything — loses court fight with Town of Ajax

Styles De Vie3 années ago

Renaud Capuçon, rédacteur en chef du Figaroscope

Anglais2 années ago

This couple shares a 335-square-foot micro condo on Queen St. — and loves it

Mode2 années ago

Paris : chez Cécile Roederer co-fondatrice de Smallable

Anglais2 années ago

Ontario Tories argue Trudeau’s carbon plan is ‘unconstitutional’

Styles De Vie2 années ago

Ford Ranger Raptor, le pick-up roule des mécaniques

Affaires2 années ago

Le Forex devient de plus en plus accessible aux débutants

Anglais2 années ago

100 years later, Montreal’s Black Watch regiment returns to Wallers, France

Technologie2 années ago

YouTube recommande de la pornographie juvénile, allègue un internaute

Anglais2 années ago

Trudeau government would reject Jason Kenney, taxpayers group in carbon tax court fight

Anglais2 années ago

Province’s push for private funding, additional stops puts Scarborough subway at risk of delays

Trending