The SRPAA Presents Le Grand Weekend in the Beautiful City of Montréal
The Schulich Real Property Alumni Association (SRPAA) presented Le Grand Weekend in the beautiful city of Montréal from September 14th to September 16th. Alumni, guests, faculty and staff enjoyed an action-packed weekend featuring a real estate and infrastructure conference with local real estate experts, an opening reception at the Tour des Canadiens Sales Centre, a Quad Windsor and Griffintown walking tour, and the Grand Gala dinner wrapped up a memorable weekend. Thank you to our platinum sponsor: Pomerleau, our gold sponsors: Cadillac Fairview, Canderel, Kevric, Borden Ladner Gervais, and LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design, and to our silver sponsors: Divco and GHD, for making this weekend possible.
Le Grand Weekend kicked off with the “Old World – New City,” a real estate and infrastructure conference hosted by Borden Ladner Gervais (BLG) LLP. As one of Canada’s oldest cities, Montréal is known for its culture, spirit and architectural diversity—seamlessly blending old world style with modern day design. Hence, the theme for this conference, “Old World – New City.” This unique environment creates both opportunities and challenges for leaders behind the city’s real estate and infrastructure renaissance. At the beautiful facilities of BLG, attendees enjoyed an interactive half-day conference learning from industry leaders who are working to create the Montréal of the future, while ensuring that the past is not forgotten.
Conference Co-Chairs Michael Faustini (MBA ’16) and Anthony Yu (MBA ’16) opened the conference session with personal anecdotes, the impact of the Schulich Global Alumni Network, and the good work that the Master of Real Estate and Infrastructure program is doing to prepare students for a career in the real estate sector. Following were remarks from Jim Clayton, Professor and Chair, Brookfield Centre in Real Estate & Infrastructure. Jim introduced us to the new Brookfield Centre that will become the hub of real estate and infrastructure at Schulich. The keynote by Mario Lefebvre, Vice President, Research, Global Real Estate Markets, Ivanhoé Cambridge addressed the topic on “Montréal —A History with a Future”. Mario provided us with an overview of Montréal’s history as a city and his perspectives and thoughts behind Montréal being Canada’s hottest market for investment. The conference ended with a dynamic panel titled “Meet the Builders,” co-moderated by Avis Devine, Associate Professor, Brookfield Centre in Real Estate & Infrastructure, and Sherena Hussain (BBA ’08, JD/MBA ’12), Assistant Professor, Brookfield Centre in Real Estate & Infrastructure. Panelists included Terry Fraser-Reid, Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview, Daniel Peritz, Senior Vice President, Montréal and Ottawa, Canderel, Robert M. Vineberg, Director, Real Estate Development, Broccolini, and Cameron Charlebois, Executive Director, Campus Planning and Development Office, McGill University who focused part of their discussion on the driving factors behind the construction boom of Montréal’s downtown core, specific projects shaping this wave, and what their lasting impact will be to the city.
After the conference, delegates enjoyed “A Votre Santé” the opening reception for the weekend, sponsored by Canderel. Michael Di Grappa, Senior Vice President of Canderel delivered welcome remarks and invited everyone to celebrate what really drives real estate—people! Guests enjoyed a variety of cocktails, culinary creations and great conversations while learning about the Quad Windsor Project. After the reception, alumni and friends enjoyed an evening of great food and company at various local restaurants capturing the evening’s theme of “Eat, Drink, and Be Merry.”
Saturday morning, alumni, guests, faculty and staff met at La Tour Deloitte to begin “La Promenade,” a walking tour around two of Montréal’s hottest neighbourhoods: Quad Windsor and Griffintown. Tour guides, Terry Fraser-Reid, Vice President, Development, Cadillac Fairview, Myriam Belanger, Associate, Development, Canderel, Louise Dupont, Partner, LEMAYMICHAUD Architecture Design, Alexandra Serafini, Director, Sales & Product Dev, DevMcGill, and Julie Brisebois, General Manager, Alt Hotel made for an experience that was enjoyable and informative. The beautiful Saturday afternoon weather allowed attendees to discover the wonders of Montréal while learning about the impact of urban planning in these two neighbourhoods.
No visit to Montréal would be complete without indulging in its award-winning cuisine and the city’s unmatched night life. “Le Super Souper,” a grand gala was enjoyed by all.
The weekend of activities solidified the comradery of our Real Estate and Infrastructure alumni and deepened the connection with the School. Thank you and congratulations to our organizing committee for making Le Grand Weekend possible, to our sponsors, speakers, the Schulich Real Property Alumni Association, alumni, guests, faculty and staff who contributed to the success of an incredible weekend.