Screen shot 2021-08-31 at 9.15.38 AM.pngIf you are already employed in the IT field or are trying to start out with a new career in networking then getting certified in these fields is your primary step. Cisco certifications are such a boost to your resume and career and here are a few reasons why you should pursue it.

  1. Cisco is one of the most trusted names in the industry. They are one of the leading providers of networking and IT solutions and this gives them an immense amount of credibility. Employers know that you have been given an excellent education when they see that certification on your resume.
  2. There are dozens of specializations to choose from. No matter what your information technology interests are, you can bet there is a specialization that fits your career path perfectly.
  3. Cisco has seven distinct career paths for certification. Network security, service provider, routing and switching, voice, storage networking, wireless and design. Each path incorporates a specific set of certifications that help prepare you for the increased responsibility in your field.
  4. Starting at the bottom and obtaining a lower level certification helps prepare you for certifications that are higher up the ladder. This will open up doors for you should you continue to specialize your skills.

Now that you know why you should get Cisco certified, you should prepare yourself for the exams you will face. Use all resources at your disposal to study for the tests. You can even find information online at sites like testsforge, which will help ready you to earn your certification. [paid advertisement]

Future Leaders Face Off in Business Case Competition



Every year in February, when Montreal is a cold, dark and snowy place, the city plays hosts to the brightest students from the top 24 universities of the world. The students come to the John Molson School of Business to compete and to prove their school to be the best in the world. They take the knowledge they've gleaned from their classrooms and apply it to real-life business challenges. This is the John Molson Undergraduate Case Competition (JMUCC).

Case competitions are nothing new to business schools. The case method is a popular teaching tool where students learn to apply their knowledge by applying it to business cases, from real-life past business challenges. This allows them to learn by doing. Case competitions allow for students to do this with live business cases. They work in teams to solve the business challenge and then present their recommendations to a panel of judges who are business executives.

Screen shot 2021-10-03 at 10.47.04 AM.pngHave you asked yourself what the impact of the shutdown and the resulting hit to the US economy will be in Canada. Economist calculate that if the shutdown lasts up to a month, the GDP decline in Canada will translate to a quarter percentage loss in Canada, according to Craig Wright as cited in the The Star.  Delays at the border and processing visas are other possibilities that could affect us in the short term.

It's not the short term impact that we need to be concerned about. If the US fails to come to a satisfactory resolution, the big issue is that a continual crisis management of one of the world's largest economies will destabilize markets. In essence, if the Republicans intend to make this legislative power, akin to bullying and blackmail, a normal procedure, the irresponsibility and capriciousness will destroy the credibility of the US government and markets, thereby, bringing down the economy.

The shutdown is already likely to raise the value of the Canadian dollar, slowing down overall growth in a stagnate economy, by lowering demand for exports. Basically, economists are claiming that we are moving no where fast in terms of the economy, no thanks to the irresponsibility of leadership in the U.S.

Craig Alexander, chief economist at TD Bank group, warned that investors to need to heed the ceiling negotiations underway in the US congress.  The potential of the shutdown to destabilize markets will hit investors hard as it has in the past.  "An accident could happen," Alexander wrote. "If it does, and America has to start prioritizing its bills, I suspect the financial market reaction will be ... severe."

Perhaps, the average Canadian can benefit from the rising Canadian dollar. In the coming months, if the Canadian dollar gains strength, it will buy more goods and services south of the border. Canadian and U.S. customers might want to open an account online in Canada. It's time for the average Joe to gain some ground while the markets churn.


Screen shot 2021-10-01 at 12.01.52 PM.pngWhen corporations pay attention to their eco footprint, it's time to pay attention.

When the weekend hits, many Montrealers head out to their cabins in rural Quebec and Ontario. Situated near lakes and forests, these retreats provide affordance to escape a cemented urban landscape.

Aside from housing weekend Montrealers, the forests also provide habitat to an abundance of wildlife, ranging from bears to boars and beyond. And what most people miss is the valuable resource that the forest provides, not in terms of harvesting timber for wood and pulp, but the invisible gas that allows the planet to breath and the tonic that sooths our urban minds, fresh air. Not only that, but a recent study suggests, natural environments actually increase your intelligence by mitigating stress. 

wigs.pngIn business and in general, we often get complacent with routine. We are fearful to venture off into new and innovative projects, because status quo is so comfortable; and when we experience rocky periods, we tend to endure the storms instead of diverting paths for more lucrative possibilities, as the fear of entering unchartered territories hinders the possibilities of greater successes.

I was such a person. Two decades ago, I started a wig company. Since a large percentage of clients require wigs for medical reasons, I wanted to offer the most natural wigs available in the market. After extensive research in this industry, I found a supplier that manufactures remarkable wigs, unlike any others I have examined. They purchase the raw hair from Russia and send it to China for manufacturing. Over the course of years, I have developed an excellent rapport with this supplier and a loyal clientele base.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Stop the Oligopoly!

By: Elean Olguin

Rogers.pngHow many times have you faced the dilemma of not knowing which cellphone provider to choose from? I know it is a tedious process because when it comes to cell phone providers in Montreal, we as consumers are limited to very narrow options to choose from: Rogers, Bell, Telus, Solo, Videotron, Public Mobile, Koodo, Chatr, etc. At this point I am sure that I have already raised a lot of eyebrows since I just listed eight providers. However, the truth is that Fido and Chatr belong to Rogers, Solo and Virgin Mobile to Bell, Koodo to Telus, and Public Mobile is partnered with both Bell and Telus. As the Seabord Group- a telecommunications and technology consulting firm- has stated "The number of players doesn't mean anything; it is the type of players with their particular interests which dictates the shape and the future of the mobile market" (TechVibes). Based on personal experience and the constant emergence of customer complains on the Internet, I believe it is time for the Canadian government to decrease the current cap structure even further to allow other companies to enter the market in order to improve wireless services and offer better prices to the Canadian public.

Throughout the years and thanks to technological advancements, companies like the big three (Rogers, Bell and Telus) have benefited from offering the public overpriced plans and extra monthly fees on commodities; unlike American companies like Sprint and T-Mobile, for example, which offer affordable unlimited plans. Despite the recent change in policies to allow more foreign investment into the Canadian Market, Anthony Lacavera, chairman and CEO of Wind Mobile -a recent start-up company- said "he was pleased by the decision to lift the foreign ownership limits, but said that the cap system handicaps the smaller companies because there isn't enough of the valuable 700 MHz spectrum available." (


By: Selim T.Screen shot 2021-06-05 at 11.02.22 PM.png
Image source: Flickr

American companies such as Wal-Mart, Sears, and Best Buy within the past twenty years have entered the Canadian market, an attractive one to US companies due to the similarities in the market structures. Recently, Target, a US retail giant, announced that the company will enter the Canadian market in early 2013. Target acquired Zellers six months ago, accelerating the American retailers speed to dig into the Canadian market. One of the major challenges the company will face is the bias that Canadian customers have for Canadian products. Target can overcome these biases by establishing a strong customer loyalty, engaging the local producers within their chain to promote Canadian products, and providing organic product lines.


Enhanced by Zemanta

Buying a home in Montreal


Help Robyn and Allan buy a home in Montreal

Screen shot 2022-04-12 at 12.23.55 AM.png
The Davied's, a family of four, immigrated to Montreal in 2009 from Wilksbury, Pennsylvania. Robyn works as a nurse in the JGH and Allan as an I.T. manager in an electronic company in downtown Montreal. Their combined gross income is $130,000. They enrolled their two children- Kyle 4; David 2 in a Monkland daycare.

The couple is in the market to buy a home. They face the challenge of buying a home similar to their Wilksbury one, but Montreal real estate is significantly more expensive. Whereas their 4-bedroom detached PA cottage on a 7000 sqf lot cost $169,000, such a home in the city of Montreal would be between 600,000 and 800,000, unless they decide to buy in the suburbs which would decrease the price by about $300,000.

Image source: Flickr

Screen shot 2022-04-04 at 3.32.15 PM.png reviews community & family-owned businesses in NDG, Montreal.
Multicultural backdrop music (very quickly) created and produced by local musical legend Alan Springer. Merci mon ami!

Montrealites on Sherbrooke Ouest.jpg
The reviews in this publication all take place on Monday, February 20th, 2011.

I spent the day From 9 a.m. to midnight, shopping and interviewing family or community run businesses on Sherbrooke Street Ouest in NDG. 

The idea to review local businesses came from my City Councillor who, during an interview about saving the Empress Cultural Centre, mentioned that stimulating the local economy by revitalizing Sherbrooke from Decarie to Cavendish with community projects and small businesses would capture the attention of developers.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Café * Bistro MATE LATTE
5837 Sherbrooke St. Ouest (Close to Melrose)

They've only been open for about 3 weeks, so it's a bit early to give a definitive review. There's no regular menu as of yet as the ladies in charge are still sussing out the hood's cravings. I'm served by Andrea Senchey, an easy on the eye veteran in the service industry who owns the café bistro with her charming mum Susana, and with Susana's husband. They're a bit hesitant to be filmed this early in the game, but allow me to take pictures of the bistro. You can see some of them here:

Papeterie Harvardx500.jpg

PAPETERIE HARVARD 5856 Sherbrooke Street Ouest

The personable Markaryan Brothers, Arsak and Sahan have run their family print-shop PAPETERIE HARVARD for the past 29 years. They live in NDG, walking distance from their workplace.

MICRO-JET Technologies and Supplies
5484 Sherbrooke Street Ouest

Bassem Saman is usually behind the counter with helpful tips and suggestions about what paper is best to use for various professional or academic projects. He's always steered me in the right direction.


McWhinnie's Cycles 6010 Sherbrooke Street Ouest

The Mastantuono brothers from oldest to youngest are Nicola, who has worked at the bike store for over 52 years; Giuseppe, who has been doing repairs at the shop for the last 40 years, and Bruno, who has worked there for 30 years. That's collectively 132 years of experience selecting, fitting, repairing, and selling bicycles and accessories right here in NDG. Don't let their godawful website fool you - these guys have it together.

Screen shot 2022-03-10 at 9.43.14 PM.pngShäika Café is a home away from home. It's a twenty second walk from my front door, and the faces of faithful regulars is a comforting sight. In the evenings there's usually free live music, or an open mic for local talent to (hat donations are welcome).

In fact, from morning to night, whether live musicians or choice recordings over the sound system, the music is always right on. The staff, mostly comprised of artists, students, and local residents, invariably selects amazing blends of music from almost every genre and era, but the volume is moderate, which allows students to study and patrons to chat.

Image source Flickr

Enhanced by Zemanta

Screen shot 2022-03-10 at 9.48.26 PM.pngKavanagh Vintage and Décor 5922 Sherbrooke Ouest

The leather coat I've been wearing for the past 2 and a half years, aka my skin, is like my unofficial trademark. I wear it all year long, with or without some form of lining. It is distinctly reddish brown with a pointed 70's style upturned double-breasted lapel collar. We are easily spotted from great distances; if I had any natural predators I'd be an easy target. If I were a hunter, I'd never catch a damn thing, but I still wouldn't take it off. It is easily 30 years old, but it doesn't look a day over 2.

I've had it since moving back to NDG. I'll have it as long as my house stands because they used to manufacture things to last, and the guy who sold it to me knows that's true. His name is Kavanagh, owner of Kavanagh Vintage and Décor. His first name is Beau, and according to my wife, "he sure is."

5866 Sherbrooke Ouest

The worst thing about teaching in large business offices is that I can't just throw my suits into the wash with my jeans and undies. Dry cleaning is very expensive and inconvenient, and uses substances like Tetrachloroethylene, a toxic contaminant that leeches into the soil, seeps into groundwater, and destroys whatever marine and plant life it contacts. It can also severely irritate your skin as badly as picking-up dry-cleaning irritates me. Dry-cleaning fluid depresses the central nervous system and increases the chance of developing Parkinson's disease by sixfold. If you don't care about any of that, it's also a Group 2A carcinogen, meaning it causes cancer in humans. If you don't use dry-cleaning, but know people who do, tell them that tetrachlor...oeth...y...lene...
Ah, just tell them that dry-cleaning fluid seeps into our water and food supply; whenever we eat or shower, our skin and organs get a little taste of the dry-cleaning process.

ROYAL NETTOYEUR ECOLOGIQUE uses cutting-edge water and steam tech that has little to no environmental impact. They don't just dry-clean, the also do repairs and alterations, and offer other services like natural preservation of keepsakes (wedding dresses, etc), and sterilization of sporting equipment.

Enhanced by Zemanta


Café 92 (degrees)
6703 Sherbrooke Ouest

We N.D.G.ers can't seem to get enough of that rich brown stuff. It's not just addiction, either. There's a whole social element to getting a coffee, even if you're face down in your novel or laptop. We often crave company, even from a distance, and music and ambiance, and eye-candy. Shaika and Café 92 aren't close enough to be directly competing, though many of the regulars at one are seen just as regularly at the other. Both places offer elegant and comfortable surroundings, but their levels of coziness aren't comparable.

Enhanced by Zemanta

coop la maison verte x500.jpg

Sprouts are one of nature's healthiest, least expensive, and tastiest whole foods. During my active spring and summer months, about half of my daily nutrition comes from grains, seeds, and beans sprouted at home in simple mason jars. It's cool to know that just one handful of my assorted sprouts contains twice the amount of completely bioavailable enzymes, protein, nutrients, vitamins, and fiber than any daily supplements, and literally costs pennies to produce. It is also tons of fun for kids to watch them transform. Best of all, If you buy the grains, seeds, and beans (Rowan and I call them 'dry-babies') from an organic provider, there is no negative environmental impact... well, other than the side-effect of your new regularity.

Coop La maison Verte
5785 Sherbrooke ouest

The only pain in the ass about sprouting is time wasted picking out pebbles or broken pieces of seed or other forms of debris that can cause your batch to rot if you're not hyper-vigilant about rinsing. Thankfully, I haven't had that problem since I started buying all my dry goods and Eco-friendly detergents at COOP La Maison Verte. Wow, does that ever sound like a commercial. No matter, it's completely true.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Screen shot 2022-03-10 at 10.08.11 PM.pngEncore Books
5670 Sherbrooke Street Ouest

This is my all-time favourite used book and music store. They sell everything from classical music and literature to the pulpiest fiction to VHS and DVDs to vintage PB mags to milk-crates full of old comic-books to educational fridge magnets...etc. I'll be doing a full review of them once school and work let up, in the spring. 

Image source Flickr

encore books x500.jpgThe romantic image on their business card / bookmark reminds me that my wife and I let Valentime's (I just call it that, ok?) slip by unnoticed this year.  When she got home from work today, exhausted as usual, she was relieved that my older son Cameron offered to babysit so that we could go out to dinner.

Enhanced by Zemanta


So, breakfast at Mate Latte; lunch at Shäika; coffee and desert at Café 92; but where for supper?

Being surrounded by so many great restaurants makes choosing difficult, especially when we have precious little time for just the two of us. I decide to follow the Markaryan brothers' advice from earlier this morning. They insisted I review STAR OF INDIA, which is a local burger shop. Just kidding. It's our cozy trove of Indian delicacy right next door to Papeterie Harvard between Regent and Clifton. Star of India  5860 Rue Sherbrooke Ouest

My wife spent a few months traveling through India, so she's no pushover when it comes to authenticity. I leave it to her to express how it holds up to the real thing, or in comparison to other Indian restos. Apparently, the facilities are way to spotless here to remind her of trekking through India.

Scrumptous scents of curried stews and spicy grilled vegetables seduce my appetite. The lighting is very subtle yet still accentuates the alluring hues of both the décor and the various platters. Before ordering, I speak with Kabir who, since 1999 has co-owned the Star of India with other family members from Bangladesh. He agrees to say a few things on camera.

Enhanced by Zemanta

Screen shot 2022-02-03 at 8.47.49 PM.pngBy: Sara Bojarsky

"The arrow, you don't see it?" my graphic designer asked. No, I replied. "Turn the logo sideways, don't focus on the letters," he insisted. Still no arrow. "Look between the E and X." And there, nestled brilliantly between the negative spaces, the arrow in the FedEx logo surfaced.

Screen shot 2022-01-21 at 9.30.35 PM.png
A Profile of Sol Polachek
By: Sarah Bojarski

If I did not know Sol Polachek, or if I had not reviewed his portfolio, our interview alone would not have informed me that Sol is a real estate mogul. He spoke instead of a few Cote St Luc developments; but his achievements relay a far greater success story - a Sol Polachek who led the company that built the Bell Center, the famous underground Promenades Cathedrale, 1250 Boul. Rene Levesque, Place Montreal Trust, Tour McGill College, Tour Scotia, 500 Boul. Rene Levesque, Complexe du Fort and Hotel du Fort; and the list goes on to over 50 buildings in Downtown, Montreal. Sol learned humility from his father and appreciation of business from his father-in law who were among his great mentors.

Image source: Flickr

Enhanced by Zemanta

Choosing a Wig

Screen shot 2022-01-21 at 9.11.30 PM.png

Visit our community forum!


OpenID accepted here Learn more about OpenID