Montreal's Ritz-Carlton Hotel has been under fire on Instagram for the past few days because of a viral post that promised to donate one toy to children of the CHU Sainte-Justine for every share it received. The post, which has since been edited to remove the "one toy per share," was shared over a million times.
Katia Piccolino, spokesperson for the Ritz-Carlton Montreal told MTL Blog that in hindsight, it's clear the wording on the post was a mistake.
She said the hotel should have put a cap on the number of toys it would donate in the post, explaining that they never expected the post to go so viral.
For the Ritz-Carlton, the intention was always pure, said Piccolino.
"The problem is that people are looking at it as one share equals one toy so I get where the frustration lies," she explained.
"Even if we had a million toys, they don't need a million toys — they need a million dollars in donations."
The hotel is still committed to donating toys for the children of Sainte-Justine.
Jade Gratton, a spokesperson for the Fondation CHU Sainte-Justine told MTL Blog that it was unaware that the Ritz-Carlton would make the one-toy-for-one-share promise in its Instagram post.
"We were aware that the Ritz-Carlton team was interested in getting toys to the children of Sainte-Justine for the holidays. Unfortunately, we were not informed of their Instagram post asking the community to share the Tree of Lights video in exchange for toy donations," Gratton said.
"An initiative of this nature must be planned carefully and collaboratively in advance to ensure that the needs of Sainte-Justine are met and to honour our commitments to our other partners."
"Accordingly," Gratton continued, "out of respect for our partners, and in an effort to ensure compliance with public health protocols and the needs of Sainte-Justine, we contacted the Ritz-Carlton, asking them to change their post and to stop publicizing their offer."
Montreal's Ritz-Carlton has been working with the foundation for six years, hosting holiday events and fundraising drives, according to Piccolino, who was appalled by responses accusing the Ritz-Carlton of running a marketing scheme.
"If our platform can benefit [Sainte-Justine] by getting more people on their site, that's the silver lining," she said.
Considering this ultra-lavish two-level residence comes with three bedrooms, three bathrooms, two garages, a private walk-out terrasse, and the prettiest windy stairs I've ever seen, it's safe to say that you get what you pay for.
Montreal's Ritz-Carlton Hotel was ranked number one in a list of the "Best City Hotels in Canada" in a recent Travel & Leisure survey, beating out iconic hotels in Vancouver, Quebec City and Toronto.
Montreal's Ritz-Carlton ranked high among readers, Travel & Leisure says, for its exclusive amenities, "tremendous views" of the city, and its access to activities around downtown Montreal. But if you want to spend a night at the Ritz-Carlton, be prepared to fork out a lot of money.
As of the time of writing, the most basic "deluxe room" with a king-sized bed for Thursday, September 9, will run you between $495 and $715 per night.
If you wanted to book a room with a king-sized bed for this upcoming weekend (September 11), the Ritz-Carlton has a "staycation promotion" that comes with breakfast, a bottle of sparkling wine, a $50-dollar food and beverage credit and 30% off at the spa for $715 per night.
This same promotion is available for a one-bedroom suite with a fireplace and a king-sized bed, as well, which will cost $1,135 per night.
"Overall, the City of Montreal saw 990 $1 million–plus residential real estate transactions," including condos, attached and single-family homes, "in the first half of 2021, an increase of 112% from the same period in 2020," the report states.
Though sales in $2 to $4 million homes in Montreal rose by 138%, sales in $1 to $2 million homes made up the largest share of sales overall, with 807 Montreal properties sold in the first half of 2021, Sotheby's says.
Sales in properties over $4 million more than doubled between 2020 and 2021 — just six were sold in the first half of 2020, compared to the 14 properties sold in the same period in 2021.
The report said that according to the Quebec Professional Association of Real Estate Brokers, on average, selling a residential property in Montreal during the first quarter of 2021 took approximately 44 days, compared to the 68 it took to sell a home less than a year prior.
The City of Montreal and Formula E organizers have finally reached a settlement after five long years of deliberations and arguments. The saga, which involved a lawsuit against the city and Mayor Valérie Plante following a cancelled 2018 race, is finally over thanks to the out-of-court agreement.
In a press release, Benoit Dorais, chairman of the executive committee responsible for finance and legal affairs, said that the city "authorized an out-of-court settlement in the amount of capital, interest and costs of $3 million payable by the City to Formula E Opérations Limitée (FEO) in full and final settlement of the case."