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Posts Tagged ‘la prairie’

Would you normally associate the SAAQ with dancing? The SAAQ mandataire at La Prairie donates all of its profits to a local organisation that organises dancing classes for children.

Isn’t that nice?

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I was watching a video from TED.com the other day from a guy who was building a skycar. It’s a facinating video, but I expect it to be quite a few years until we’re all riding over the Saint Lawrence in such a vehicle.

One slide that Paul Moller, the head of Skycar, showed involved the cycle of transport infrastructure and he came to the conclusion that no more highways would be built.

This led me to think about the transport situation in Montréal. Essentially there are not enough roads for all of the cars that need to use them. Most of the bridges suffer congestion at peak times, so commutes can be long.

Public transport is growing at a good rate and there are some excellent initiatives such as reserving a lane for buses at peak times on the Champlain bridge. The island itself has reasonably good transit, there is the metro and buses are quite regular. However, many of the highways block frequently, the Metropolitain, the Trans-Canadian (known as the T-Can on the radio) and Décarie. So the buses get stuck in the traffic too.

Going out further into the suburbs are the AMT trains. This week there has been a terrible fuss about the poor service offered by the AMT who have responded well in my opinion to make quick improvements. There are 150 new railcars on the way to help improve the service too.

One of the big problems the AMT has is that it uses tracks that are owned by the two freight rail companies, CN and CP. Thus it has little control over the lines and can only run trains when CN and CP don’t need to. 

Frequencies tend to be alright at rush hour, but at other times there are very few trains running.

Suburbian buses are similar too. South shore services are offered by different companies depending upon the territory. Longueuil and Brossard are served by the RTL, La Prairie by CIT Le Richelain. Buses run reasonably often at rush hour, but outside these times there are very few services.

So coming back to Paul Moller’s presentation – he suggests that in order to cope with increasing traffic, the only thing that we can do is to use a skycar. I would suggest that the trend in Montréal is towards public transport, the need is understood and will probably be met before the skycar arrives at a driveway near you.

Here is the TED video of Paul Moller:

http://www.ted.com/index.php/talks/paul_moller_on_the_skycar.html

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This week we had our first major snow fall of the season here in Montréal. First it snowed, then it rained and then it snowed again. The rain turned to ice, so you have tree branches incased in ice and on the ground a layer of snow, ice and then more snow.

Here are some photographs:

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claire-savardIf you’re looking to buy or sell a house on the South-Shore of Montréal, especially in the La Prairie, Brossard or Candiac areas it’s worth getting in touch with Claire Savard. She really helped us out and was highly professional: she listened carefully to what we needed, learnt what we liked and disliked as we visited houses and areas and we found her to be always honest.

One word of caution though if you’re interested in La Prairie. Claire does sell a lot of houses in La Prairie – it’s normal she has a very good reputation – so if you aren’t comfortable with your Realtor acting for the other party you may want to raise this up front with Claire.

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What can I say but wow! If you’ve never seen Hallowe’en in North America you’re in for a pleasant surprise! It’s really taken seriously here.

La Prairie in suburban Montréal organises a Hallowe’en party in it’s 340 year old historical centre. Amongst the old buildings a haunted graveyard was set up, one of the municipal buildings became an asylum for demented demons, locals stood on their porches giving out candies, sweets drinks to the children. There was even a live band playing music.

Adults and kids were all dressed up in Hallowe’en and other costumes. The atmosphere was great, everyone was enjoying the fun. Children were collecting their treats and examining the costumes of others.

Contrary to Europe, there was no alcohol served which really gave the place a nice family friendly atmosphere that really surprised me too.

Congratulations and thanks to everyone at La Prairie for organising such a super evening. We’ll definitely be back next year.

In the residential streets in Montréal, many houses are extensively decorated with Hallowe’en‘s key characters. Front lawns become graveyards, giant spiders spin their webs, and hords of children roam the streets ready to trick you if you don’t give them a treat! Actually I can’t imagine any of the very polite kids I gave sweets to wanting to play a trick.

Enjoy Hallowe’en North American style!

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We’ve been backa few times to La Prairie and it we’ve seen the light! It’s a nice small town, with generallly very nice areas and very, very little poverty. That means that when you send your children to school the kids are in the most part well supported by the parents and achievement should be high.

We spoke to the principal of one of the primary schools (Emilie-Gamelin) and he was very helpful, explained how the school works and would support the development of our children. 

So we’re looking now at La Prairie as one of our top locations to buy a house.

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Vieux la Prairie (www.maison-laprairie.com)

Vieux la Prairie (www.maison-laprairie.com)

Today we passed through La Prairie to have a quick look. The town is on the bank of the Saint Laurent just east of Brossard. The old centre is quite pretty with a few shops, the rest is standard strip malls. We saw some suburbs that looked pretty good, very similar to Brossard, although we noticed that the gardens seemed slightly less well kept than those of Boucherville.

 

Another item of note was the market that looked really interesting on Chemin Saint-Jean

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