VANCOUVER- It was last winter that I began planning a family vacation to Vancouver, circling one date when I would be free to see the minor league baseball Canadians play a home game at picturesque Scotiabank Field at Nat Bailey Stadium. So what were the odds that this game would turn out to be a Montreal Expos tribute night, with the home team even wearing knockoff Expos uniforms before a not so uncommon capacity crowd of 6,413 seats?

The Canadians are a short season Class “A” Rookie Ball affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays. There are a few Montreal connections associated with this team. Former Expo legend Tim Raines makes regular visits as a minor league instructor for the Blue Jays. Team president and partner Andy Dunn was the Expos vice-president of Florida operations from 2001 to 2005. Assistant General Manager Allan Baileyhas been with the team in a number of roles since 2007. From 2001 to 2006 he studied European and Military History, with a Minor in International Relations at McGill University. During that time he was also a member of the McGill Baseball team. And speaking of McGill, their legendary sports information director Earl “The Pearl” Zukerman of West Island Roxboro was at the game with his brother Brad, a season ticket holder who moved here 20 years ago. For my complete report on the experience please see my blog.

STEINMAN STEPS UP: TMR native Neil Steinman, now a Vancouver-based trial lawyer, made headlines here recently when he stepped up to assist a Burnaby couple facing “renoviction” on a pro bono (volunteer) basis. Steinman came to the conclusion there were no grounds to evict them. Renoviction involves a landlord jacking up the rent to cover renovations. “These situations present the potential for landlords to take advantage of tenants,” said Steinman, who had a contractor walk through the apartment and noted many of the proposed renovations had already been completed. Steinman has reached out to former Hampstead resident Jason Takefman to serve as his communications and marketing consultant. Takefman previously served as general manager of the Vancouver Canadians.

RESTAURANT CONNECTIONS: Imagine my surprise when we went for dinner at The Sandbar Restaurant and were shown to our table by one the managers, Nouria Gagne, who happens to have grown up in NDG. The Villa Maria High School grad has been in Vancouver for seven years now…Vancouver’s iconic Gotham Steakhouse and Bar has Jean Claude Douguet as their executive chef. He worked in Montreal more than two decades ago, spending six years at Le Soubise, before moving to Vancouver “I moved to Montreal from France in 1992 and the city was easy to fall in love with—such a vibrant atmosphere and so much diversity,” he said.”Living there was an unforgettable time and Montreal will always have a place in my heart.”

DAYLITE VAMPIRES: Local hotel executive Stewart Rubin, who is actually a Montreal vice-president for Vancouver-based Aquilini Properties, will be at the Katacombes Coop (1635 St. Laurent) on Sun. Aug. 26 ( 7 pm) to benefit the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, in collaboration with the Night to Walk the Light. Performing will be Rubin’s Daylite Vampires, Friends with Benefits. The Montreal Suspects, Durty Sumthin. “Three years ago my father Bram passed away from Leukemia,” he said. “Since then I have participated in the Light the Night Walk to Battle blood cancers. This year I started the Night to Rock The Light event to both honour my dad and help a very worthy cause.” The event is sold out.

By Mike Cohen The Suburban, August 22, 2018.