Archive for the ‘local business’ Category

Exploring Enterprise is a series featuring new local businesses in the Southwest. Here we interview Mathieu Forte, founder of Chez-Vous Fashion Exchange.

1. What is Chez-Vous?

Chez-Vous is gently used second hand clothing store. It’s for men and women, but the women’s section is a bit bigger, as they tend to be. It’s located at 515 Atwater, on the corner of Notre-Dame, one block away from Lionel Groulx metro and the Atwater Market.

The concept is to reuse and recycle clothing. It’s buy/trade/sell. So there’s an incentive to bring your clothes here. You’re not just ‘getting rid’ of stuff or donating it to a place that knows nothing about clothing or fashion. You’ll know that your clothes will have a second home here. That also makes us pretty picky about the pieces we take. Everything is high quality. It’s rare that you’ll find something from H&M, although sometimes they make quality pieces.

2. Why did you start Chez-Vous?

I started Chez-Vous for many reasons. I knew I was the entrepreneur type and I had been looking for an idea that serves a need, contributes to the community and reduces waste. I found what I was looking for in New York last year, which is the buy/trade/sell concept for clothing. It was exactly what I was looking for. Not for business initially, but for myself. I used to skateboard – a lot – and had a couple of sponsors, so I had a tun of great clothes I didn’t wear. In fact most of the men’s section initially was from my wardrobe, and it’s almost all gone now.

Everything about this business made sense to me. So I did my research, met with a coach and things lined up seamlessly, so I said “screw it – let’s do it”. I never thought I’d open a clothing store, but thing’s just worked out that way. If I didn’t start this business I’d be working for someone else, earning a lot more for a cause I probably didn’t care for. I think for more than anything I started this for the experience. 2 months in and what I’ve learned so far has been priceless. I knew that coming in.

3. How is Chez-Vous of value to the people of the southwest?

The south west is a diverse area. There’s still a ‘poorer’ population, but there are also wealthier districts – and everything in between. McGill has an entire residency a few blocks away and St-Henri is filled with students.

That being said Chez-Vous’ priority is to reuse and recycle clothing. The business’s bloodstream is providing affordable and high quality clothing. It’s a fashion exchange. We get clothes from all types of people and people get to make a couple of bucks from their clothes, rather than donating them. So everybody wins.


Address: 515 Atwater, on the corner of Notre-Dame

Tuesday-Friday: 11-6; Saturday: 11-5; Sunday+Monday: Closed

Check out their Facebook page to keep up to date on new merch, sales and upcoming events.

Exploring Enterprise is a series featuring new local businesses in the Southwest. If you’ve recently opened a business in the Southwest or know someone who has, email us at lesudouestmtl@gmail.com for a feature.



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Habitat for Humanity is a housing organization that builds affordable housing in partnership with people in need. Montreal’s chapter is centred in Sud-Ouest, where they have built several houses in the area, and in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. This year they start building a duplex on St-Clothide in St-Henri.

In addition to building houses, they also run the Re-Store.  The Re-Store is a building material liquidation centre whose profits go towards Habitat for Humanity’s mission and projects. The Re-store carries new merchandise donated by distributors, retailers, manufacturers, and construction companies, and sells it at reduced rates. This is a cheap alternative to your local renovation store!

The Montreal Re-Store will be moving this August from 1177 Newman boulevard to the old IGA building at 4399 Notre Dame St. West in St-Henri.  The re-opening of the store should be on September 1st wlll be on September 8th. Until August 15th there is a big liquidation sale at the Newman Boulevard location.  For more info go to the Restore blog at: http://www.restoremontreal.blogspot.com/.

Montreal’s Habitat for Humanity needs volunteers to help out with the relocating of their Re-Store and renovating their new store. To help out, contact construction@habitatmontreal.qc.ca.  They will be appreciative of any help they can get!

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In the presence of Transport Quebec, a public meeting will take place this Tuesday to discuss MTQ’s Turcot Interchange/Autoroute project.

The objectives of the meeting are:

  • to clearly communicate the information available about the MTQ project
  • to hear the questions, complaints, and opinions of residents, business owners, and experts in the field
  • to reply to these questions and complaints that evening, if not:
  • to collect the unanswered questions/complaints/opinions and ensure that the experts will answer, and follow up
  • to have an open discussion about alternatives to the proposed project
  • to form a working committee about the MTQ project. The committee would have representatives from a wide range of viewpoints and expertise

Date/Time: Tuesday November 20th 2007. 7 pm.
Location: Marie de l’Incarnation School. 5446 Angers. Map. Bus: 37 or 78.
Host organisation: Opération Galt and Concertation Ville-Émard/Côte St-Paul

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The Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) has agreed to have a public consultation meeting in NDG. For some reason they “forgot” NDG when they held their consultations in October.The last consultation was in St-Henri with over 250 residents present, many of whom had the opportunity to ask the representatives from MTQ questions.

If this project goes according to plan, there will be a lot of changes in our part of town. Businesses and homes will be expropriated. There will be increased traffic in residential areas. Lower NDG will be essentially cut off from the rest of the city until the construction is finished. The already fragile St-Jacques escarpment/park would be threatened.

The Green Party of Quebec has posted three questions they would like to have addressed, to read them visit: neath.wordpress.com

Transport Quebec has a website about the project at: www.mtq.gouv.qc.ca/portal/page/portal/regions/montreal_ile/projet_reconstruction_complexe_turcot
The public consultation meeting in NDG is open to anyone who wants to learn more about the project and ask questions. So if you live in St-Henri, Cote-St-Paul, NDG, Ville-St-Pierre, Verdun…please go to the meeting, it is important.

Date/Time: Monday Nov 19th at 7pm
Location: St-Raymond center. 5600 Upper Lachine road. Map.
Public Transportation: Bus 90 or 104, or a 10 minute walk from Metro Vendome.

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17 local microbreweries will gather in and around Atwater market for Montreal’s version of Oktoberfest.

The microbreweries featured are: Vieux-Montréal, Barberie, Le Lièvre, l’Alchimiste, Grimoire, Nouvelle-France, Boréale, Train du nord, Bier Brier, Brasseurs et frères, RJ, Trois mousquetaires, Maître brasseur, Mc Auslan, Unibroue, Le Chaudron et Saint-Sylvestre.

Location: Atwater Market. 155 Greene Avenue. Map.
Dates: October 5 (10:00 to 19:00), October 6 & 7 (10:00 to 17:00)

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At the corner of Saint-Patrick and Shearer stands the impressive Nordelec Building (formally the Northern Electric building). Map it! This complex will be undergoing a major redevelopment in the months and years to come. At present it houses over 235 businesses (1300+ employees). The redevelopment plans includes the construction of the further conversion of the Nordelec building and the construction of two new buildings on adjacent blocks.
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Source: Le Nordelec: rapport de consultation publique

Recent time line

  • Under the direction of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal, two consultation meetings were held on October 16th, 2006 and November 6, 2007 at Église St-Charles.
  • On December 16, 2007, the Office de consultation publique de Montréal released, Le Nordelec: rapport de consultation publique. [PDF, 50 pages, in French].
  • On April 18, 2007 the executive committee of the City of Montreal unanimously adopted the “projet entente de développement” for the Nordelec redevelopment project.
  • This past June, the Sud-Ouest arrondissement published Depliant Nordelec [PDF, In French], an information pamphlet outlining the facts of the project.

The Controversy

The controversy and issues surrounding the Le Nordelec project is summarized in the 2006 Annual Report of the Office de consultation publique de Montréal.

Le Nordelec is a large eight-storey building located in Pointe Saint-Charles in the Sud-Ouest Borough. Since 2003, it has belonged to the Goupe El-Ad, which also owns other properties and buildings in the area. The group has submitted a proposal to the borough regarding the expansion and conversion of the Nordelec. The proposal, which also calls for the development of several neighbouring lots, involves the creation of some 1200 housing units.

According to the majority of public consultation participants, the development project under review promises improvements for the Sud-Ouest borough in general and for the Pointe Saint-Charles sector in particular. The project seems attractive because it significantly increases the sector’s housing stock, notably by reserving almost one third of the projected units for affordable or social housing. Local economic activity, green spaces and the quality of the environment are also likely to benefit from the project.

However, certain features were brought into question during the consultation. The density of certain areas was challenged, as some participants felt that it should be lowered to provide for constructions whose height would better fit in with the height of existing buildings in Pointe Saint-Charles. The commission also believes that the borough should have paid more attention to traffic, parking and public transit problems, as it did with social housing.

A couple of opinions and editorials….

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La Gaillarde is wonderful cooperative that is a one stop shop for those who like to shop fair trade and ecologically.  The sell a variety of merchandise including: clothing made out of recycled/recovered textiles, used clothing, and fair trade/ecological products (chocolate…coffee etc.)

La Gaillarde is a cooperative of clothing designers who make clothes out of recycled/reused fabrics and textiles.  Since each designer has a unique eye for fabric, texture and form, you can find clothing for any occasion. Each month there is a fashion show highlighting a designer’s new collection.

In addition their products and services include:

  • Fair Trade Clothing from Peru
  • Locally produced accessories (cloth bags, jewerly, purses….)
  • Organic cotton clothing
  • Workshops Galore ! How to recycle your wardrobe, Sewing 101, Jewelery creation and much more. (Workshops in French)
  • Vintage clothing and accessories

Location:4019 Notre-Dame Ouest
Hours: Consult their website
Tel: 514-989-5134
e-mail: gaillar@cooptel.qc.ca
Website: http://www.friperielagaillarde.com/

Next Fashion Show: Love Thy Winter. Designer: Harmony Walker. August 22, 2007. Cocktails: 6:30 pm. Show: 7:30 pm. 

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