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V I C TO R I A • VA N C O U V E R • C A L G A RY • E D M O N TO N • W I N N I P E G • K I T C H E N E R • TO R O N TO • OT TAWA • M O N T R É A L • Q U É B E C

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ÉCLAIRÉS Au Canada et aux États-Unis, Sistemalux de Montréal illumine bureaux, édifices, parcs et patios avec ses produits d’éclairage architectural.

[ PAGE 8 ] Sava Transmédia : la nouvelle vague de jeux mobiles et sociaux

[ PAGE 12 ] Les Évadés : placement de produit, contenu personnalisé, pub imprimée ou Web, tous les médias sont bons pour cette agence de publicité de Montréal


• À Toronto : même après plus de 30 ans, High-tech reste branchée sur les dernières tendances en ameublement • À Winnipeg : une firme d’ingénieurs entend répondre à la demande mondiale de distributeurs de gaz naturel • Allied Properties à Ottawa

HIVER 2012

Le magazine des locataires du Fonds de placement immobilier Allied Properties

INCOMING... Fin 2011, premier investissement d’Allied à Ottawa : un immeuble historique au coin de Sparks et Elgin


Juste à l’ouest de la Place de la Confédération et légèrement au sud des édifices du Parlement, The Chambers, au 40-46 rue Elgin, est le premier immeuble d’Ottawa à entrer au sein du portefeuille canadien d’Allied. Situé à l’intersection d’Elgin et de Sparks, une des rues les plus anciennes d’Ottawa et de loin la première rue piétonne extérieure d’Amérique du Nord, cette acquisition constitue la plus grande opération dans le secteur de l’immobilier commercial à Ottawa l’année dernière. Constitué de quatre structures contiguës, dont trois sont des édifices du patrimoine et le quatrième est un immeuble de bureaux de 14 étages, cet ensemble hybride est similaire au projet d’intensification à grande échelle à QRC West qu’Allied développe à Toronto. Le complexe est en majeure partie occupé par la Commission de la capitale nationale. Le deuxième occupant par la taille est Shaw Communications. Il comprend également un parc de stationnement souterrain. Trois des structures du 40-46 Elgin sont des édifices du patrimoine : l’Édifice Scottish Ontario, l’Édifice-Central et l’Édifice Bell. Ils ont été construits entre 1867 et 1891, puis complètement rénovés en 1994 au moment où la tour adjacente de 14 étages a été édifiée.

Deux nouveaux immeubles à Calgary Allied a acquis deux autres bâtiments à Calgary : Le Leeson and Lineham Block (au 209 – 8th Avenue.W.) construit vers 1910 et restauré entre 1998 et 2000 et le Westcoast Building (au 522 – 11th Avenue S.W.), ancien entrepôt construit en 1912 situé près du Roberts Block et acheté par Allied en début d’année.


Avez-vous une histoire à raconter? Écrivez-nous au Rédacteur en chef: Yvan Marston Graphisme: Gravity Design Inc.



Need service? Just ASK.

Nouveau dispositif qui « gobe » les ampoules fluocompactes

Do you need more heat in your office? Do you need help with a light that doesn’t work or a door that’s sticking? ASK (which stands for Allied Service Kiosk) is the name of Allied’s web-based maintenance reporting system. Using ASK means a record of your request is immediately logged and followed up on. You will receive periodic updates – or you can check in and track your request yourself. All tenants should register for this system if you have not done so already. For more information contact your assigned property administrator.

Les ampoules fluocompactes consomment moins d’énergie, mais comme elles contiennent du mercure, elles doivent être détruites de la bonne façon. C’est ici qu'intervient le gobe-ampoule : un appareil conçu pour broyer en toute sécurité les ampoules fluocompactes éteintes de toute longueur pour les transformer en un matériel recyclable à 100 % et pour capter 99,99 % des vapeurs libérées. Allied utilise déjà cet appareil dans certains de ses immeubles à Toronto et s’apprête à en étendre l’utilisation dans ses immeubles partout au Canada.

Besoin d’un service? Faites appel à AIDE. Vous aimeriez qu’il fasse plus chaud dans votre bureau? Vous avez des problèmes avec un luminaire? La porte de votre bureau reste coincée? AIDE (pour « Allied, Information et Demande Électronique ») est le système mis en ligne par Allied pour s’occuper de vos demandes de service. AIDE enregistre immédiatement votre demande pour en assurer le suivi. Il vous envoie des mises à jour périodiques ou vous permet de vérifier vous-même le cheminement de votre demande. Nous encourageons tous les locataires à adhérer à ce système. Pour plus d’information, communiquez avec votre administrateur de propriété.

New device eats CFL bulbs While compact fluorescent light bulbs are energy efficient, their mercury content means they must be disposed of properly. Enter the Bulb Eater: a machine designed to safely crush spent fluorescent lamps of any length into 100% recyclable material while capturing over 99.99% of vapors released. Allied is using this machine in some of its Toronto properties and work is underway to bring these into operation across Canada.

What can be recycled in Allied buildings?

Tetra paks

No coffee cups

Aluminum and steel cans

No wax paper

Milk and juice cartons Plastic and glass bottles

No yogurt containers No plastic bags No take-out food packaging

Que peut-on recycler dans les immeubles Allied?

Les emballages Tetra Pak Les boîtes et canettes d’aluminium et d’acier Les cartons à lait et à jus Les bouteilles de plastique et de verre

Pas de tasses à café Pas de papier ciré Pas de contenants à yogourt Pas de sacs de plastique Pas de contenants pour les mets à emporter FSC LOGO HERE

Send your company info, events and story ideas to Editor: Yvan Marston • Design: Gravity Design Inc.

3 • WINTER 2012


A HISTORY OF CONTEMPORARY FURNISHINGS Long a ‘go-to’ for euro-styled kitchen gadgetry, High-Tech is also recognized for its expertise in small space solutions By Yvan Marston

“King Street East has a lot of furniture stores, so we stand out because we offer a lot of the smaller more practical things.” • 4

ST. LAWRENCE MARKET AREA, TORONTO / - Stainless steel is a relatively new finish in the appliance industry, having become a common sight in the last ten years. But High-Tech has been a devotee of stainless steel for some 33 years, and all of them from its 3,300 square feet in the St. Lawrence market neighbourhood. Named for the industrial design movement of the 1960s that ushered in a sensibility for commercial grade chrome and steel to the residential realm, High-Tech continues to be the go-to retailer for Euro-styled kitchen accoutrements and restaurant shelving (they were the first in Toronto to carry Metro shelving, the original chrome wire shelves designed to hold up to 800 lbs.) “King Street East has a lot of furniture stores, so we stand out because we offer a lot of the smaller more practical things,” says store manager Scott Griffin. Indeed, the store has a long tradition of offering clever and stylish kitchen gadgetry, but since the mid-nineties has moved steadily into offering bath accessories, shelving and small kitchen appliances.


ISLAND DREAMS The John Boos Elegante Kitchen Island has a 1.75-inch-thick maple top with two extendable leaves to max out the prep space. Fully extended, it’s 50-inches wide, has a stainless steel base and a dovetail drawer. ($1300)



FIRE FOR EFFECT Sold as decorative fireplaces or tabletop accents, Quebec-made Eco-Feu units burn odourless and smokeless bioethanol. They offer a gentle heat and create a great ambiance in a home, condo or on a terrace. ($100-$1200)



Leaving your open wine to ferment is just plain crazy. Preserve a bottle for days with the Swissmar wine saver set that pumps the air from the bottle to prevent further fermentation. Comes with two stoppers. ($15)

5 • WINTER 2012

4 COFFEE STYLE The die-cast aluminum and zinc body of the Breville Espresso Machine makes it sexy, but it’s the fact that it handles larger cups that makes it ideal for Americanos, Cappuccinos, and Lattes. ($500)

GOVERN YOUR BOARDS Cooks worried about crosscontamination look to this chopping board categorization system with four colour-coded boards to safely prep veggies, fish, raw meat and cooked food separately. ($90)


“We have a lot of regulars, as well as people who find us online looking for a particular brand and realize we’re just downtown so they stop in,” says Griffin, explaining that online sales have grown consistently and its web site features a thorough offering of more than 3,000 products. Given the glut of condominiums that have come online in the neighbourhood these last few years, High-Tech has also positioned itself as a small space solutions provider. Downstairs, beyond the stock rooms is a small workshop for cutting and drilling the metal and wood components that make up the shelving selections. For several years now, explains Griffin, the store has been building custom kitchen islands, topping those chrome wired Metro shelving units and components with chunky John Boos cutting boards or custom-ordered stainless steel tops – all made to fit the exact specifications of a customer’s condo kitchen. “It’s not a fee-for-service thing, that’s just how we sell our product. We combine different manufacturer’s product to make what people want,” says Griffin, explaining that this level of service also extends to closets. With closet designers on staff, High-Tech often arranges home consultations to sort out specific solutions to the space problems that plague every condo dweller. Using systems like ClosetMaid, whose modular components are affixed to the wall with a rail, closets can be configured for current needs and reorganized as the space or lifestyle changes. High-Tech also began supplying fireplaces – or fire elements – for condos and homes without the means to have a wood or gas-burning fireplace. These ethanol burning appliances can be free-standing, wall-mounted or even table top. “It’s a condo alternative to a real fireplace,” explains Griffin. What truly attracts customers here is not only the attention to innovative products and design, but also the mix. From organizing and accessories, to décor and style, High-Tech has a keen eye for the contemporary. ■



Five snacks that might not be as healthy as you think We love snacks. At least that’s what a 2010 consumer research study found with Canadians having eaten just over 300 snack meals per person compared to Americans whose numbers totaled approximately 230. Although we're snacking more often than our American counterparts, the study from New York-based NPD Group explained, the real difference lies in


what's being consumed. It seems Canadians are more conscious of the nutritional value of their food choices. Apparently, in the U.S., those choosing snack-oriented foods are more likely to gravitate towards salty options, while Canadians tend toward foods that are typically ‘considered’ to be better for you. That’s where Sarah Maughan joins the conversation. The registered holistic nutritionist with Totum Life Science on King Street West says there are a lot of snacks people think are healthy, but indeed are not. Here are her top five:


1. YOGURT: If it is low fat, it generally will have more artificial sugar (chemicals) or sugar (which will store as fat) to compensate for flavour. Rather than low fat sweetened yogurts, try plain yogurt and sweeten it yourself with fruit or honey, which contribute to nutrient intake. Ideally, you’ll want 8 to 15 grams of protein per serving.

Once synonymous with wholesome, something said to be granola is no longer necessarily something good for you. “They can be loaded with corn syrup and refined grains – even transfats,” says Maughan, “so eating a granola bar can actually deplete your energy instead of giving you energy because those things will lead to a blood sugar crash.” Instead, look for bars where the sugar content is NOT more than a third of the carb content. Likes: Kashi and Nature’s Path

3. JAPANESE FOOD: While some can be good for you, it’s not a universal truth, says Maughan whose clients often report a healthy Japanese meal as one that includes deep fried vegetable tempura, sushi pizza and teriyaki chicken. “It’s a matter of choosing properly. Yes, there are good options but teriyaki has a lot of sugar in it and vegetable tempura has had most of the goodness fried out of it.”

Likes: Liberté and Siggi’s because these have higher protein since they are strained to become thick like Greek yogurt.

Likes: Sashimi, Edamame, Seaweed Salad

4. DRIED FRUIT: Given the option, you should always go for fresh fruit, but drying is a really good way to preserve the fruit’s nutrients. It’s the powdered sugar you have to be careful of, warns Maughan. Mangoes, pineapples, cranberry and banana chips all generally tend to be sweetened with powdered sugar unless labeled otherwise. Likes: Unsweetened dried fruit or cranberries sweetened with fruit juice

5. SMOOTHIES: This once awesome source of nutrients and protein has been usurped by the fruit content. “A lot of them now are just fruit in fruit juice – which is just sugar in a concentrated form,” says Maughan. A good smoothie will have fruit and protein or healthy fat such as yogurt, protein powder, nuts/ seeds, or avocado. Even better is one that has fiber and vegetables like flax and leafy greens. Before ordering, find out what’s in it. If syrup is an ingredient, you are likely getting more sugar than you want. Likes: Any smoothie containing a protein source and that doesn’t have added sugar.

Go to to learn more or to book an appointment with Sarah Maughan. And anyone booking with Sarah after reading this will receive a 10% discount on a Bod Pod fitness assessment at our Totum Performance location in Rosedale. 7 • WINTER 2012


in PLAY Independent Montreal firm designs mobile and social games at the forefront of a second phase of gaming industry entrepreneurialism in Quebec By Yvan Marston ST. LAURENT BLVD., MONTREAL / - Alain Tascan is used to being surprised, but when the veteran gaming executive walked into a working meeting to discuss avatars, there was something very different about the woman depicted on the screen. “Then I realized: I’d never seen a woman drawn for a woman by a woman,” he says, explaining that his industry is one where 95% of the designers are men. But SAVA Transmedia is different. In this 10,000 square-foot downtown Montreal studio, easily 50% of the faces bathed in the incandescent blue of monitors are female, and that is a key strategy behind the positioning of Tascan’s year-old company, one of the newest of Canada’s 348 game development firms. “Fifty to 60 percent of people playing games on Facebook are women over 40, but many of the gaming companies are used to building experiences for 15-year-old boys to 30-year-old men,” says Tascan. “We’re building an expertise here that just doesn’t really exist right now.”

REDEFINING GAMING While most of the large game development studios in Canada design for consoles, SAVA Transmedia is one of the first independent studios to design exclusively for social media and mobile platforms, and it is hoping to redefine gaming as a multi-screen experience. Working on games for Facebook, iOS, Android and Windows Mobile, SAVA’s team in May last year counted 40 people and has room to expand quickly to an estimated 200 staffers within the next few years. Of the games his team is developing, all Tascan will divulge is that they will provide the user with a “sharing” experience where players learn about each other as they play. He is understandably secretive: game development is big business. ECONOMIC POTENTIAL As a core member of the team dispatched from Paris to start Ubisoft’s first Canadian studio in Montreal in 1997 Tascan has been a part of gaming long enough to recall the sideways looks he would get when explaining his chosen field. But provincial governments were ready enough to recognize the economic potential of encouraging knowledge-based businesses. And gaming was a good deal: no upfront infrastructure costs the way manufacturing investment requires; and salary subsidies that brought employees’ incomes into higher tax brackets, pushing some of that money back into the public coffers.

Still, attracting foreign owned studios is a double-edged sword, says Tascan. Companies can use Canadian resources and tax breaks but the intellectual property and the profits don’t stay in the country.

COMPETING INCENTIVES Canada has been responsible for a large number of best-selling games (Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Mass Effect) bringing it into a virtuous loop where its successes attract new studios and new work that increase the experience level and numbers of developers. But if its regions continue to compete using incentives, he warns, studios could pull out as soon as the economic climate is more favourable somewhere else. “I just think we need to rebalance things,” he says, explaining that his firm, backed by Canadian investors, is part of a second phase of entrepreneurialism in the Quebec gaming industry, one that seeks to keep the profits and expertise inside a country whose studio network has become the world’s third largest employer in the gaming industry (after the U.S. and Japan*). “Not a week goes by that I don’t get a call from a potential investor,” says Tascan, explaining that the skills are here and there is a community of willing investors. “We just have to do our job, make quality product that makes sense for the platform, and the sky’s the limit.” ■ @savatransmedia • 8

sava transmedia

Alain Tascan a l’habitude des surprises, mais quand ce vétéran de l’industrie du jeu arrive un jour en réunion pour parler d’avatars, la femme qu’il voit à l’écran a quelque chose d’inhabituel.


« Alors je me suis aperçu que je n’avais jamais vu de femme dessinée par une femme et pour des femmes », explique-t-il en ajoutant que dans son secteur d’activité, 95 % des concepteurs sont des hommes. Mais SAVA Transmédia est différente. Dans ce studio de 10 000 pieds carrés situé au centre de Montréal, tout près de 50 % des visages éclairés par le bleu incandescent des écrans sont ceux de femmes et c’est une de ses principales stratégies de positionnement. Fondé par Alain Tascan il y a tout juste un an, il est l’un des plus récents studios de création de jeux sur les 348 que compte le Canada. « De 50 à 60 % des personnes qui jouent sur Facebook sont des femmes de plus de 40 ans, mais la plupart des concepteurs ont l’habitude de créer des expériences pour une catégorie d’utilisateurs allant des garçons de 15 ans aux hommes de 30 ans », affirme Alain Tascan. « Nous nous forgeons une expertise que d’autres n’ont pas vraiment pour l’instant.» Alors que la plupart des grands studios au Canada créent des jeux pour consoles, SAVA Transmédia est un des premiers studios indépendants à créer exclusivement pour les médias sociaux et les plateformes mobiles et il espère redéfinir les jeux électroniques en créant une expérience sur écrans multiples. L’équipe de SAVA, qui travaille sur des jeux pour Facebook, iOS, Android et Windows Mobile, comptait en mai dernier 40 personnes et dispose de l’espace nécessaire pour une expansion rapide – le total de l’équipe est estimé à 200 personnes pour les prochaines années. C’est au Canada que sont créés de nombreux jeux à grand succès (Assassin’s Creed, Prince of Persia, Mass Effect) et le pays profite par conséquent d’un cercle vertueux, qui lui permet, grâce à ce succès, d’attirer de nouveaux studios et de nouveaux emplois, qui font, à leur tour, augmenter le niveau de savoir-faire et le nombre de créateurs de jeux dans le pays. Mais les régions attirent principalement les créateurs de jeux électroniques grâce à leurs mesures incitatives, et elles pourraient rapidement perdre des studios si la conjoncture économique devenait plus favorable ailleurs, lance Alain Tascan comme un avertissement.

Fifty to 60 percent of people playing games on Facebook are women over 40, but many of the gaming companies are used to building experiences for 15-year-old boys to 30-year-old men.”

L’équipe de SAVA, Transmédia qui travaille sur des jeux pour Facebook, iOS, Android et Windows Mobile, comptait en mai dernier 40 personnes et dispose de l’espace nécessaire pour une expansion rapide.

« Je pense simplement qu’il faut rééquilibrer les choses », ajoute-t-il en expliquant que sa société, soutenue par des investisseurs canadiens, fait partie de la seconde phase d’un mouvement d’entreprenariat dans l’industrie du jeu électronique au Québec, qui cherche à conserver à la fois les bénéfices et le savoir-faire dans un pays où le réseau de studios est devenu le troisième employeur au monde dans le secteur de jeu électronique (après les États-Unis et le Japon*). ■

*Entertainment Software Association of Canada / *Association canadienne du logiciel de divertissement

9 • HIVER 2012


Une expérience sur écrans multiples

Vancouver’s Kalev Fitness Solution uses a team of experts and half-hour sessions to help clients make lasting lifestyle changes CROSSTOWN, VANCOUVER / - Most of the people who first walk through the doors at Kalev Fitness Solution want to get fit fast. At street level, they can see a cardio kickboxing class through the studio windows and imagine a few quick sessions might be all it takes. “But really it just takes consistency, time and effort – a lot of effort for not a ton of short term results,” says Kalev Jaaguste whose operation looks at fitness not as a quick fix but rather as a lifestyle that includes both short-term and long-term goals. And to get there, Kalev Fitness Solution offers several strategies. Classes, of which there are plenty, include a series of boot camps, from Tabata-based routines to beach body readiness; as well as pilates, yoga, stretching, core conditioning and spin sessions. You could opt simply to join the gym and use the 4,000 square-foot lower level stocked with Italian-made Techno Gym equipment (browse the web, charge your ipod and/or watch HDTV all while doing your cardio on an air-conditioned machine). But what sets Kalev Fitness Solution apart is its 3Dimensional training model, where you sign up to work with a team of trainers rather than just one. Each trainer on your team will have a particular expertise, like kickboxing or nutrition, and they work together to give you a varied workout and scheduling flexibility (with sessions as short as half an hour). “It’s more dynamic,” says Kalev, “and it’s more about the client getting what they want when they want it.” Since motivation is a big factor when getting into a fitness routine, Kalev Fitness Solution also offers partner training where you can have a friend (or two) share the experience and the cost of working with a trainer. Kalev has been in the fitness industry for over a dozen years, having worked throughout the world and earning an exercise science diploma in Australia before eventually making it back to Vancouver to build a clientele for his personal training business. While he had cultivated an interest in physical fitness since his teens, it would take a motorcycle accident, three months in a wheelchair and a year in rehab to set him on his current path as a known and respected Vancouver trainer. “I think the reason most people are unfit is because they have not been able to make life choices that allow their bodies to be in good shape,” he says, adding, however, that people also can’t be expected to make every single right choice either. “You have to create sustainable change.” ■ • 10

[ H E A LT H ]


VANCOUVER Joining a gym? Here are two things to consider: GET A CERTIFIED TRAINER. A degree in kinesiology is great but also look for other designations like canfitpro.



Be sure you are assessed and are set up with a program you understand and that has both shortand long-term goals.

The gym's 4,000-square-foot lower level is stocked with cardio gear that let's you charge your iPod, browse the web or watch HDTV.

11 • WINTER 2012


Penseurs et créateurs Selon son client, Les Evadés navigue dans le monde des médias : conception d'un contenu de marque, services de placement de produits, médias sociaux

Foyer du siège social sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent

BOUL. SAINT-LAURENT, MONTRÉAL / - Ayant pignon sur rue sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent à Montréal, l’agence de publicité Les Évadés est reconnue pour sa créativité et sa capacité à générer des résultats concrets pour ses clients. Depuis près de 10 ans, l’agence s’est taillé une réputation solide grâce à son approche novatrice qui rapproche les entreprises des consommateurs. À l’instar de la plupart de ses concurrents, l’agence Les Évadés offre à ses clients des stratégies de communication qui dépassent le simple message publicitaire traditionnel. « Avec la montée de l’importance de l’Internet et des médias sociaux, il est important de personnaliser nos stratégies entre les médias traditionnels et les nouveaux médias. C’est pourquoi nous n’accordons pas de valeur plus grande à un média ou un autre. Nous préférons être confrontés aux problématiques de nos clients et de répondre à ces dernières en déployant des actions qui produisent des résulats, » explique Hans Laroche, Co-président chez Les Évadés. Offrant des services de communication intégrée, l’agence se démarque grâce à des créations pertinentes et percutantes maintes fois récompensées. L’agence compte parmi ses clients des entreprises reconnues comme: Les Rôtisseries Saint-Hubert, Proprio Direct, Première Moisson, Recyc-Québec, Belron Canada, Reitmans, Espace pour la vie, Complexe Les Ailes et Astral Média.

UNE OPÉRATION MONSTRE Parmi leurs réalisations, Les Évadés a notamment créé une opération monstre sur le Web l’an dernier pour Air Transat. Hans Laroche nous raconte : « Air Transat venait tout juste de réaliser un sondage révélant que 77% des Canadiens quitteraient leur emploi pour avoir l’occasion d’être payé pour voyager pendant un an. Nous avons réagi rapidement en créant une vaste opération sur le Web afin de trouver le futur grand vacancier Transat ». La campagne « Vacancier recherché », où deux participants ont été engagés et payés pendant un an pour voyager et produire des capsules vidéo, a été l’une des plus importantes campagnes/médias sociaux au Canada en 2011 avec plus de 60 millions d’impressions, assurant au transporteur aérien un retour sur son investissement 5 fois plus élevé que s’il avait fait appel à des médias traditionnels. L’agence est également partenaire avec Zad Communications, spécialisée en intégration de marques au contenu. Depuis 2001, l’agence a contribué au développement de diverses séries télévisées, productions cinématographiques et spectacles grâce à des initiatives de commandites et d’intégrations de marques au contenu. Parmi ces propriétés : La Franchise de St-Hubert, Ma Maison Rona (Zone 3), 19-2 (Écho-média), Les Boys (Melenny Productions), Le Bonheur de Patrick Huard (Jessie Films), Les Filles de Caleb (Tandem), Funkytown (Caramel Films), Café de Flore (item7) et plusieurs autres. LE JUSTE ÉQUILIBRE L’agence Les Évadés est toujours à la recherche du juste équilibre entre les médias traditionnels, le déploiement de campagnes interactives et la création de contenu original, personnalisant leur approche selon les besoins spécifiques de leurs clients. Cette recherche d’équilibre se reflète également dans leur façon de gérer leur entreprise. Chez Les Évadés, le coin salon est surdimensionné comparé à la salle de réunion et la cuisine à des allures de bistro où il fait bon passer son heure de lunch. « Nous sommes privilégiés d’avoir une équipe aussi professionnelle et engagée et le souci de leur offrir un environnement de travail agréable est un reflet de notre engagement à s’assurer de leur bien-être. » conclut Hans Laroche. ■ • 12

BOUL. ST. LAURENT, MONTREAL / - When an Air Transat survey in 2010 revealed that 77% of Canadians would leave their job for a once-in-a-lifetime paid opportunity to travel for a year, Hans Laroche’s team posted a position in the social media ether. “Wanted: Vacationer.” It was one of the largest social media campaigns that year and involved public relations efforts, billboards in Toronto and Montreal, and an ongoing internet campaign with an interactive web site and Facebook page. For a year, two contest-winners-turned vacationer/ bloggers (one French, one English) would spend two weeks of every month in one of Air Transat’s European destinations, filming entries for a campaign that would ultimately yield 60 million impressions.

Air Transat’s “Vacationer Wanted” (below) was one of the top social media campaigns of 2010 and Les Evades content development team worked with Zone3 Productions for this winter’s La Franchise (above) on V-channel. « Vacancier recherché » de Air Transat (ci-dessous) a été l’une des campagnes de médias sociaux l’une des plus importantes de 2010. Les Evadés a collaboré avec Production Zone 3 à la conception de la série-vérité La Franchise, un concours du genre de L’Apprenti pour la franchise d’une rôtisserie Saint-Hubert qui passe sur V-tele cet hiver.

It also gave the air carrier a return on investment five times greater than anything traditional media could have produced, says Laroche, the co-president of Les Evadés, a mid-sized Montreal advertising agency that, over the last 10 years, has built a reputation for its streamlined business model and innovative approaches. With the rising importance of internet and social media, you have to personalize strategies and find a balance between traditional media and new media, Laroche says. “That’s why we don’t subscribe to one media over another. We just work to solve our clients’ problems with solutions that get results.” Offering a range of integrated communications services, Les Evadés work with a number of well-known brands, including: Les Rôtisseries Saint-Hubert, Proprio Direct, Première Moisson, Recyc-Québec, Belron Canada, Reitmans, Espace pour la vie, Complexe Les Ailes and Astral Média. ■

13 • HIVER 2012


Laden with strategic thinkers and creatives, Les Evadés favours no single medium over another


THE OTHER BEAN One of only a handful in Canada, Toronto artisanal chocolate maker Soma builds its reputation for flavor and fair trade By Yvan Marston KING WEST CENTRAL, TORONTO / - Staring out the large factory-style windows of her King Street West storefront, Cynthia Leung revels in the pent up energy of the city traffic as frustrated drivers negotiate their way through a clutter of road work while streams of pedestrians march to unseen destinations. “We don’t have this at our Distillery District location,” she says with an interested smile. “There, it’s more serene, more calm.” This is the second space Soma Chocolatemaker has opened since its 2003 start in a 400-square-foot corner at the Distillery. The King Street locale’s long narrow space starts with a handful of tables and display shelving across from a brown Algonquin Limestone-topped service counter. The bakery and truffle making facility at the back are glassed-in to make spectators of the nearby patrons.

Most chocolate comes from one of the top chocolate makers listed below, but not at Soma. It is one of a handful of artisanal chocolate makers in the world who source their own beans and make their own chocolate. Company Kraft Foods Inc (USA) Mars Inc (USA) Nestlé SA (Switzerland) Ferrero Group (Italy) Hershey Foods Corp (USA) Chocoladefabriken Lindt & Sprüngli AG (Switzerland)

Net Sales 2010 (US$ millions) 16,825 15,000 11,265 8,763 5,703 2,602

Source: International Cocoa Association’s list of top global confectionery companies that manufacture some form of chocolate by net confectionery sales value in 2010. • 14

It is 3,000 square feet in a bustling corner of the city and it is the next stage in what began as a small and simple need to “stop working for the man”. Leung, a former architect (she designed the new space) and her husband, former pastry chef David Castellan, wanted something they could do together. A common love for chocolate led them to learn how to make one of the world’s most popular foods. A chocolate maker, of which there are only a handful of artisanal ones in Canada, is someone who starts with raw cacao beans, roasts them, and grinds them into chocolate. Most of Soma’s chocolate is made at the Distillery location while truffles and other confectionery are crafted at King Street. Billing themselves as pioneers of microbatch chocolatemaking, Leung and Castellan source small quantities of beans from plantations in the Dominican Republic, Madagascar, Costa Rica, Panama, Ghana, and a handful of other Central American countries, all the while seeking Fairtrade, organic sources (much of the world’s chocolate comes from West Africa where child labour is common). “I think people want to know where their food is coming from,” says Leung. Beans arrive fermented and dried but still in raw form. They must be hand sorted, where twigs, stones and other debris are removed. They are then roasted, winnowed (dehusked), refined and conched. The finished chocolate is then tempered, a process that ensures a shiny finish and good snap. From here, the chocolate takes on its various forms, from the unique qualities of single-source bars like Madagascar 70%, Wild Bolivian, and Chuao chocolate (a rare cacao bean sourced from Venezuela), to lightly salted Pistachio truffles, to the velvety richness of Mayan hot chocolate – a thick brew with a spicy aftertaste. “It’s one of the most complex compounds on the planet,” says Leung. “There are some 500 different compounds in it and it’s not really known how they combine and what flavours do what. That’s what’s so interesting about working with chocolate.” Mad chocolate science experiments are underway for Valentine’s Day and Easter, adds Leung, and the team is also lovingly refurbishing vintage chocolate-making machinery which it hopes to showcase soon. ■


The King Street West location is the second space Soma has opened since its 2003 start.

Pioneering microbatch chocolate making, owners Cynthia Leung and David Castellan source small quantities of beans from plantations in Africa, South America and Central America.

15 • WINTER 2012 • 16

Photos: Margaret Mulligan


With an updated interior, an à la carte menu, bigger portions and the largest selection of half bottles in the city, Toronto’s Lucien is feeling...


By Micayla Jacobs

ST. LAWRENCE MARKET AREA, TORONTO / Long and narrow with high ceilings and art nouveau flourishes, Lucien still offers its regulars the upscale ambiance that has helped make it one of the city’s top dining destinations as named by Toronto Life magazine. But some things have changed for the four-and-ahalf-year-old Wellington Street East restaurant that earned a spot on EnRoute magazine’s top ten list. Over the bar, designer copper pendant lights cast a warm glow and cream-coloured tiles cover some of the space in the main dining room. Indeed, a number of other touches have served to liven the space considerably (a large Art Deco mural in the upper dining area creates an inviting yet eclectic space), but that’s not the change owner Simon Bower is most excited about. A 25-year veteran of Toronto’s dining scene, Bower knows the value of a fresh offering and that’s what new Chef Guy Rawlings (Brocton General, The Hoof Cafe, Cowbell, L'enclume) has managed with a revised menu that focuses on generous helpings of farm-fresh fare. Regulars need not fear the loss of signature dishes like the tuna crudo and the Black Angus Ribeye, but the new carte, Bower promises, “will continue to be very creative, featuring only the best quality products and ingredients.” Main dishes are priced between $24 to $29 (with the Black Angus AAA 10oz ribeye an exception at $36) and will be more approachable with larger portions.

While the menu will be updated frequently depending on what is fresh, it currently features entrées ranging from Lake Huron Whitefish, British Columbia Jumbo Scallops and Fenwood Farms Chicken with buttermilk potatoes. Responding to customer requests for a midday menu, Lucien will also be open for lunch Monday to Friday starting March 5th. “Given our ambience and reputation, I think this will be a great destination for the financial district,” says Bower, adding that like the dinner menu, lunch will feature local, organic and artisanal fare – and all reasonably priced. Some dishes to look forward to include the daily house-made pasta, a few pristine seafood selections, some vegetarian options as well as healthy and ‘light’ choices. Patrons will also always have the option to enjoy a premium cut of meat sourced from a local farm. For the after-work crowd looking for a comfortable atmosphere and a good wine selection, the 15-seat bar makes for an attractive venue. What’s more there are 25 half-bottles of wine on offer – the largest half bottle selection in the city. Open for dinner seven days a week, Lucien has a private dining room that seats up to 14 guests and is the perfect spot for an intimate event. For larger-scale events, the restaurant can accommodate 60 sit-down dinner guests or a cocktail party for as many as 110 guests. ■

17 • WINTER 2012



FAST FACTS • In the U.S., there were approximately 300,000 vehicles on the road that used either compressed natural gas (CNG) or liquefied natural gas (LNG) for power in 2009. • The only mass-market Natural Gas Vehicle (NGV) in North America is the Honda Civic GX. • Pakistan currently has about 2.7 million NGVs on the road. Iran has 1.95 million, and Argentina has 1.9 million on the road. “This means that these same countries can sell their oil to energy-hungry nations like the U.S.,” notes alternative fuels consultant Scott Bailey. • The Asia-Pacific region boasts about 6.8 million NGVs on the road, while Latin America counts for 4.2 million vehicles. Source: International Association for Natural Gas Vehicles, 2010 • 18


Winnipeg engineering firm’s designs can be found in natural gas refuelling equipment around the world EXCHANGE DISTRICT, WINNIPEG / - Scott Bailey thinks a lot about oil prices, but unlike many of us, he’s trying to do something to stop depending on fuel every day. Bailey is an alternative fuels consultant and president of a design engineering firm and consultancy that specializes in serving the alternative fuels market. Establishing widely available refuelling stations is key if any alternative fuel is to compete against established oil and diesel fuels, and his company, Rogue Machines, is trying to make that happen. “We help companies by developing components necessary to operate an effective natural gas fuel dispenser,” explains Bailey, from his office on Arthur Street in Winnipeg. “This allows our client to develop their own dispenser while also saving money because they aren’t buying components from a third party. While we design the products, such as high-pressure valves or electronic controllers, the customer can then manufacture them wherever they want to keep their costs low.”

CLEAN BURNING Natural gas burns cleaner than any other fossil fuel, can be harvested from a variety of sources, is much cheaper than oil, and lowers dependence on foreign oil (a big concern for U.S. consumers). Some transportation companies and public transit operators have converted to natural gas vehicles (NGV), but because the infrastructure has been expensive to introduce, wider-spread adoption hasn’t been forthcoming. By making development of fuelling stations less expensive, companies like Rogue Machines may change that. Rogue Machines designs the valve work and similar components, alongside an electrical controller for the dispenser. “It’s somewhat of a two-phase project,” says Bailey, who hesitates to offer too much detail on this critical business partnership. He does offer that that the client is a global player, and that the product is destined for the U.S., Europe and “some emerging markets.” GROWING GLOBAL DEMAND While consulting work has been good for the company, Bailey expects that piece of the business to shrink as his team develops more of its own products for the market. The products are basically spin-offs of the R&D invested in the fuel dispenser work they have done thus far. “We would like to have our own line of products for mass consumption down the road,” says Bailey. This market could be a cash cow for Rogue Machines internationally, but Bailey would like to see more encouragement in Canada. “Globally, it’s a market on the rise,” he says. “But in

FAQs Can I convert my car to natural gas? Yes, but not for less than $7,000, and you’ll lose trunk space to the fuel tank, though newer tanks are being designed to lay flat beneath the rear of the car.

Is natural gas more dangerous than regular diesel or gasoline? It depends on the type of natural gas fuel. Liquefied petroleum gas (LPG) and compressed natural gas (CNG) are the two most common types of fuel used in NGVs. • LPG-fuelled vehicles are cheaper, but it takes 20 minutes to refuel them. Also, the fuel is heavier than air so if there’s a leak, it can collect under a vehicle and explode on ignition. • CNG-fuelled vehicles require tanks with higher compression and therefore thicker walls. While the fuel and fueling stations are more expensive to build than those for LPG vehicles, they are still less expensive than gasoline. CNG is also lighter than air, making it much safer than LPG during leaks.

Canada, it has been on the decline since the mid-‘90s. There was a fair amount of legislation introduced in the ‘90s that actually spurred on alternative fuel companies in Canada and the U.S., but that legislation got watered down and companies were forced to focus outside of North America.”

NEED FOR CHANGE Bailey sees changes now, however, particularly in the U.S., with many raising the spectre of peak oil and the need for radical change in our fuel consumption habits. “Natural gas is abundant in Canada and the US, especially with the shale gas we now have access to, so why don’t we use it? Let’s reduce our costs now, and reduce our dependence on foreign oil.” And Rogue Machines is in a good place to take advantage of growth in this market. “Not a lot of people have this knowledge in the marketplace,” he says. “We’re filling a void in supply for natural gas refuelling equipment right now.” To date, Rogue Machines have handled consulting and supply contracts in five countries and with strong interest in this technology abroad (see sidebar opposite page), Bailey is likely to be travelling more internationally than domestically as his company continues to grow. ■ 19 • WINTER 2012


KING STREET’S BIG CHEESE Eat simple everyday Italian fare at BarMozza or buy what it takes to make it yourself at Alimento. This resto-market hybrid offers the full culinary experience.

Separated from Alimento’s marketplace by a frosted glass wall and the deli counter’s glassed-in cheese vault, BarMozza’s long marble table is the space’s main feature. Other tables dot the space and a standing bar makes a convenient spot for lunch-timers who just want to grab and go.

KING WEST CENTRAL, TORONTO / - The notion of stopping by a café to pick up your morning brew and pastry is about to change in one downtown Toronto neighbourhood if Andrea Mastrandrea has his way. The food director at BarMozza and Alimento Fine Food Emporium, and owner of Forno Cultura bakery is bringing an authentic, everyday Italian way of eating to King Street West, which means having a freshly baked cornetto or a thin crusted crostata with your cappuccino instead of a croissant. “French baking is well represented in the city but Italian really isn’t,” says Mastrandrea, explaining that for his pastries, he tends to use olive oil or lard instead of butter, “so there’s a little more crust.” Crust indeed: Witness Chef Fabrizio DeCicco’s selection of Pizza Croccante from a simple tomato cheese and basil to the namesake four cheeser featuring Fior de latte, Ricotta, aged Caciovallo and Strachino.

MARKET-RESTO-BAKERY And while the zig-zagging marbletopped communal table offers seating for a dozen or so patrons, where wine can be sipped and selections of fresh cheeses savoured, BarMozza, is as much a full service restaurant as it is a lunch counter, and it shares its vibe with specialty grocery store Alimento (bakery Forno Cultura is downstairs). From a design perspective, the space has three key elements, explains Marcella Romita-Contardi, Alimento's creative director, who conceptualized the project and was part of the design team. The long communal table brings people together, the market gives customers access to a range of imported and • 20

domestic products and the cheese vault connects the two spaces, she explains. It is the brainchild of the Contardi family, whose Grande Cheese Co. is a well-known suburban retailer that specializes in Italian grocery and in making cheese from the old country like mozzarella, ricotta, provolone and parmesean rigatta.

FOOD VALUE In fact, it produces almost three million kilos of cheese that is distributed through its network of six stores as well as supplying retailers and restaurants. For the Contardis, the Alimento concept is an opportunity to introduce a downtown population to authentic Italian eating, and to bring it some food value. “Customers are always surprised by our prices, but we don’t compromise on quality of the product, we just simplify the process,” explains Mastrandrea. LOCAL & SIMPLE “The core of Italian food is that it is local and simple – no more than three ingredients,” says the longtime friend of the Contardi family who was originally brought in to consult on Alimento but eventually became more involved. As it is connected to this major cheesemaker, the Alimento deli counter and the BarMozza menu can feature exceptionally fresh Fior di latte, served on a plate with a drizzle of olive oil. While 90% of the space’s cheeses are imported directly from Italy, the fresh varieties are featured in a daily selection. Full service is available and evenings after work, customers can stop in for a glass of wine and enjoy free appetizers. ■



Sistemalux : une importante source canadienne d’éclairage de style italien By Yvan Marston

DE GASPÉ, MONTRÉAL / - Lorsque Michel Foti s’est présenté pour discuter avec un de ses clients de la modernisation d’un système d’éclairage extérieur, il n’en croyait pas ses yeux. Dix ans après leur installation, par l’entreprise d’éclairage architectural Sistemalux, dans la balustrade de la terrasse d’un restaurant, des ampoules DEL de la première génération répandaient toujours leur lumière. « Je leur ai demandé si je pouvais éteindre la lumière afin de procéder à des tests, » se souvient-il, « et ils m’ont répondu : “On peut les éteindre?” » À part quelques diodes brûlées, les lumières avaient bien résisté à l’usure du temps après avoir éclairé cet endroit pendant toute une décennie. Selon M. Foti, la DEL est ce qui a été produit de mieux dans l’industrie de l’éclairage au cours des 20 dernières années. « Ça nous a fait l’effet d’un tsunami, » déclare le vice-président de la prospection de Sistemalux, société en pleine expansion dans le marché de l’éclairage architectural de Montréal.

UNE DEMANDE CONSIDÉRABLE « Les médias n’ont cessé de vanter les avantages économiques et écologiques de la DEL, ce qui a créé une demande considérable que nous n’étions pas vraiment en mesure de satisfaire, » ajoute M. Foti, expliquant qu’en se précipitant pour offrir des produits DEL, la plupart des fabricants, sa propre entreprise y compris, se contentaient tout simplement de remettre à niveau les produits de conception actuelle. En réalité, explique-t-il, on devrait concevoir son produit en se fondant sur la source de lumière. Ce n’est que maintenant que de nouveaux produits sont entièrement conçus dès le début en tenant la DEL à l’esprit. Et s’en servir pour éclairer des édifices, des sentiers, des parcs et des terrasses, c’est exactement ce que fait Sistemalux dans des marchés partout au Canada et même aux États-Unis. En 1997, M. Foti était un autre architecte impressionné par la qualité de la gamme des produits Sistemalux. De nos jours, 14 ans plus tard, il a transformé cette entreprise qui compte 26 années d’existence et était cantonnée dans le segment résidentiel chic pour en faire une source canadienne très réputée d’éclairage architectural intérieur et extérieur de style italien.

D’ITALIE MAIS MODIFIÉ Comment est-ce que ses produits italiens peuvent-ils être canadiens? En effet, tous les produits d’éclairage extérieur vendus par l’entreprise sont importés d’Italie, mais chaque modèle doit être modifié pour se conformer aux spécifications nord-américaines de 120 volts et aux normes de Underwriters Laboratories. Si on tient compte par-dessus le marché du fait que Sistemalux conçoit et fabrique tous ses propres produits d’éclairage intérieur, on commence à comprendre comment l’entreprise en est venue à occuper un espace de 100 000 pieds carrés au 5455, de Gaspé et pourquoi jusqu’à 10 camions par jours passent par ses aires de chargement. Sistemalux, qui compte des bureaux à Toronto et à Vancouver et représente la gamme de produits iGuzzini aux États-Unis dans un bureau de New York, est devenue ce que M. Foti appelle une entreprise de taille moyenne dans l’industrie de l’éclairage avec plus de 100 salariés à son siège social de Montréal. CONSACRÉE À L’ÉCLAIRAGE ARCHITECTURAL Tout cela a commencé pour de bon il y a 26 ans lorsque Salvatore Folisi et Marie-Josée Dufresne ont commencé à importer des produits d’éclairage de marque d’Italie. Lorsque des produits de conception moderne sont devenus plus accessibles à des prix abordables, c’était le moment de se faire une réputation dans un marché spécialisé, et c’est alors que Sistemalux s’est consacrée à l’éclairage architectural. Son premier gros projet fut le Cinéma Excentris sur le boulevard Saint-Laurent qui a été construit en 2000. « Notre image de marque s’en est trouvée complètement transformée, » ajoute M. Foti, expliquant que c’est ce qui a permis à Sistemalux de mettre en vedette ses capacités dans le domaine de l’éclairage architectural. De nos jours, de nombreux édifices de Montréal sont éclairés à l’intérieur comme à l’extérieur avec des produits de Sistemalux, tout comme le sont les sentiers et le paysage du Quartier des spectacles, la Promenade Champlain à Québec, le YMCA de Montréal, l’extérieur du Musée royal de l’Ontario ainsi que des centaines d’autres projets de moindre importance, y compris les locataires d’Allied Properties REIT Sid Lee à Montréal et Totum Life Science à Toronto. ■ • 22

MONTRÉAL Sistemalux is widely regarded as a top domestic source of Italian-designed indoor and outdoor architectural lighting In 1997, Michel Foti was just another architect impressed by the quality of the Sistemalux product line. Now, 14 years later, he has helped guide the 26-year-old company from the fanciful residential category it once occupied to become a highly regarded domestic source of Italian-designed indoor and outdoor architectural lighting. How are its Italian designs domestic? Indeed, all of the outdoor lighting sold by the company is imported from Italy, but every model must be retrofitted to North American 120-volt specifications and to Underwriters Laboratories standards. And when you add to this the fact that Sistemalux makes and designs all of its own indoor lighting, you can begin to understand how they come to occupy some 100,000 square feet at 5455 de Gaspe and how it is that the loading docks here see as many as 10 trucks come and go each day. With offices in Toronto and Vancouver, and representing the iGuzzini line of lighting products in the U.S. through a New York office, Sistemalux is what Foti refers to a mid-sized player in the lighting industry, and one that employs over 100 people at its Montreal headquarters. Things began in earnest 26 years ago when Salvatore Folisi and Marie-Josée Dufresne began importing Italian designer lights. But when contemporary designs became more accessible at lower price points, it was time to build a reputation in a more focused market so Sistemalux turned to architectural lighting. The first big project was Excentris, the performing arts centre on St. Laurent built in 2000. “That really changed our image,” says Foti, explaining it helped Sistemalux showcase its architectural lighting capabilities.

Its first big commercial project was Excentris, on St. Laurent (top), and now many Montreal buildings are lit, inside and out, with Sistemalux product, as are projects across Canada and in the U.S. (Arts Institute of Chicago, middle; LACMA Museum Los Angeles, above).

Now many Montreal buildings inside and out are lit with Sistemalux product, as are the paths and landscapes at the Cartier du Spectacle, the Promenade Champlain in Quebec City, the Montreal YMCA, the exterior of Toronto’s Royal Ontario Museum, as well as hundreds of other smaller projects, including Allied Properties REIT tenants Sid Lee in Montreal and Totum Life Science in Toronto. ■

23 • HIVER 2012

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