The Daniel Malka Photo Project

Sniffing around the neighbourhood as usual, I catch the scent of something vital about to happen. I track its source to Café Bistro Mate Latte where local photographer Daniel Malka sits stressing over his umpteenth cup of coffee. He's working hard on something, and it's obvious he hasn't slept much lately. I pull up a chair to see what's what, and this article is born, the headline of which, by the way, does not mean "in exchange for..." 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.

There are many vacant sites, and many small businesses calling it quits along this strip. High rents and lack of foot traffic are culprits. Huge chains like Bureau en Gross and Dollormania are also messing with our neighbourhood's Eco-system. Who buys a $15.00 porcelain vase at the corner flower shop when they can get one for 2 bucks at Dollarmania? It doesn't matter that it's toxic with lead and will crack or melt within a few months, and that these disposable product stores are strangling our oceans with plastic. It's just so cheap to buy more.

The endangered breed of family and community businesses should be preserved.
But no, I don't mean at any cost. Being a businessman myself, I bargain hunt and demand extra value for my coin. Getting shortchanged or taken for a ride by any size business is a damnable offense. My consumer mandate is simple: I want to spend as little money as possible for the best, most sustainable, equitable products or services, period.

Enough preamble. I have a lot of shopping to do today. Off to bring Rowan, my 2 year old son, to the NDG Daycare.

Who is this N.D.G. Raccoon?