YOUR ONLINE MAGAZINE FOR LUXURY REAL ESTATE & ART DE VIVRE

Home / 2020

After 34 years in dentistry, Dr. Émile Finan, DDS is as lit-up by his career as ever. What began as a suggestion from his father—himself a dentist—grew into a passion he has transmitted to his own daughter, who recently began her specialty in periodontics at the University of Toronto.

 

Dr. Finan completed his dentistry studies at St. Joseph’s University, in his natal country of Lebanon, going on to pursue a specialty in prosthodontics at Boston University. He relocated to Montreal in 1993, teaching intermittently at the Université de Montréal between 1994–2015. In 1999, Dr. Finan established his own private practice in Côte-des-Neiges, where he continues to work. He is recognized today as one of Montreal’s most skilled and respected prosthodontists.

 

Dr. Finan specializes in the rehabilitation of the mouth through the use of prosthetics. He approaches his work as would an architect: assessing the buccal landscape of his patients to rebuild and restore what has been damaged by accident, disease, or previous failed dental work. Patients also seek out Dr. Finan’s expertise for purely aesthetic reasons.

 

Over the decades, Dr. Finan has witnessed the evolution of dental technology. Beautiful results have become easier to achieve through the development of new materials. Digital x-rays, paperless charts, and cameras that render 3D models of the mouth not only allow for a more reliable, predictable, and efficient way to track patient history, they also reduce material waste. This is a welcome development for Dr. Finan, who cares deeply for the environment.

 

Caring comes naturally to Dr. Finan. When asked what amazes him most about his field, the reply is immediate and unequivocal: “helping people”. Indeed, prosthodontics help increase quality of life; a well-kept mouth benefits good digestion and overall health, as well as a positive psychological outlook and ego. Dr. Finan notes the progression of his patients’ mindset, from initial consult to final outcome: individuals with oral problems often present with poor self-esteem and self-care. Once the first adjustments to their smile are made, patients already begin to perceive themselves differently. By the next visit, they are visibly more confident, with some expressing their gratitude with a spontaneous hug.

 

Caring comes naturally to Dr. Finan. When asked what amazes him most about his field, the reply is immediate and unequivocal: “helping people”.

 

Dr. Finan attributes his success to his ability to empathize with and listen to his patients, always asking what he can do for them. Dr. Finan asserts, “Patients are nervous sometimes; you have to understand them. It is important not to rush, and to take the time to let them know that everything will be alright.” Dr. Finan carefully reviews each case he treats, which allows his practice to improve with every patient. This ongoing growth is underpinned by his curiosity, love of reading, and insatiable pursuit of knowledge.

 

When asked about his future, Dr. Finan admits to wanting to take more time for himself, to pursue other interests such as skiing and biking. Dr. Finan says he has no intention of stopping his life’s work, “It’s like asking a painter when he will retire. My career is also my hobby, my passion. It is not just a job.”

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Photo: © Angeliki Argyrakos

Urology is an unexpectedly exciting medical field, attending to patients who suffer from conditions affecting the most intimate parts of their bodies. LUXE turns to urologist Dr. Andrew Steinberg to learn about some of the different urological concerns affecting men and women. Dr. Steinberg is the recipient of multiple awards and author of several publications in his field. He was an associate part-time member of the McGill Division of Urology and is founder of Steinberg Urology, a leading private clinic in Montreal.

A COMPREHENSIVE APPROACH

Steinberg Urology provides a multifaceted and patient-centred approach to care. Its extensive areas of expertise include male and female sexual health, kidney stone disease, and urological oncology.

This cutting-edge practice combines top-tier physicians with the most advanced therapies, diagnostic tools, and treatments for patients living with urological and sexual health issues. A nursing team is also on site to provide paramedical services for a truly comprehensive experience in clinical urological care.

Q & A WITH DR. ANDREW STEINBERG

What are some of the health conditions that require a visit to the urologist?

Men and women experiencing problems with the urinary system, pelvic pain, incontinence, and sexual dysfunctions can benefit from a consultation.

What is the prostate, and when should a patient book an examination?

The prostate is a male fertility and sex organ that contributes to ejaculation. It is also one of the most common sites of cancer in men. Prostate cancer is silent, so screenings are important. Although their frequency is controversial, annual screenings are generally recommended as of 50 years old—as of 40 years old if there is a family history. Male patients should book a visit if they are peeing unusually frequently, waking up to pee, experiencing burning, or finding blood in their urine.

Erectile dysfunction (ED) is at the forefront of many discussions regarding male sexual health. What are the latest treatments available?

There are two restorative, investigational treatments that can improve tissue and restore blood flow to the penis. We’ve been offering them at the clinic for three or four years now. The first is Shockwave Therapy, using low-intensity acoustic waves that feel like vibrations. The second is Platelet-rich plasma (PRP), where platelets extracted from a blood sample are injected into the penis. Combining the two might provide added benefits. They are very safe.

Which other urological concerns are most prevalent among your male patients?

Besides ED, we most often see cases of premature ejaculation and low testosterone. The urinary issues we most often treat involve patients with difficulty peeing, and overactive bladders, where a person might have to pee every 30 minutes. We also consult with many patients with cancer of the prostate, kidneys, testicles, and bladder.

Steinberg Urology offers services specific to women’s health. Which issues are most common in your female patients?

Urinary incontinence, bladder infections, and overactive bladder are what we see most in women. We’re able to treat these conditions through pelvic physiotherapy, as well as non-surgical procedures like diVa Laser Vaginal Therapy and Emsella treatment. DiVa stimulates vaginal tissue, and can target specific or broader areas. Emsella uses electromagnetic waves to strengthen the pelvic floor.

Name one surprising treatment offered in your clinic.

We sometimes use Botox injections for urinary incontinence. Just as Botox is used cosmetically to paralyze facial muscles, it is also used to relax over-contracting bladder muscles.

 

 

 

Text : Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Italian designer Boarini Milanesi has created a USD 7 million handbag—the most expensive in the world—as an urgent call to protect our oceans from the ever-increasing threat of plastic waste. The cause is close to the heart of co-founder Matteo Rodolfo Milanesi, who describes his happiest moments of childhood as summers spent navigating the waters between Greece and Turkey with his late father.

 

Together with brand co-founder and designer Carolina Boarini, Milanesi conceived of a unique way to raise awareness in defence of the marine environment. Three bags, the only ones in existence, honour the memory of a father who would dive into the sea to retrieve plastic rubbish, as well as the Boarini Milanesi vision of minimizing environmental impact through sustainable practices.

 

Made of semi-lustrous alligator in an aquatic hue, the Parva Mea model bag is embellished with gemstones channelling the different facets of water. Ten white-gold butterflies encase blue sapphires that mirror the ocean’s depths, Paraiba tourmalines that symbolize the uncontaminated Caribbean seas, and diamonds that recall the lucidity of raindrops. The handbags each come with a certificate of authenticity and serial number. Reservations for purchase are currently open. Of the proceeds, USD 950,000 will be donated to fund marine cleaning and advocacy efforts.

 

 

 

Text: Jennifer laoun-Rubenstein

Photos: © Francesco Rucci

Nothing entices like a carefully chosen gift. SOCIÉTÉ BOX thoughtfully curates items for all ages and occasions, nestled in the perfect box. This personalized online gifting service offers build-a-box options and worldwide shipping for limitless possibilities that surpass all expectations.

A TANGIBLE GIFT WITH SUBSTANTIAL IMPACT   

Tongue-in-cheek names capture the essence of the 36 boxes featured on the company’s online boutique. MADE IN QC is a locavore’s dream, while SPRITZ O’CLOCK evokes Ernest Hemingway at cocktail hour.

 

Tactile objects provide a refreshing antidote to the digital world. A little black notebook mingles with a gold-plated Viski corkscrew and artisanal cola syrup in DEEP DARK SECRETS, while an infant blanket and bonnet from Elegant Baby pair with playful Sugarfina candy in BABY SHARK. Every gift is a flawless match for its recipient.

 

Showcased in a luxurious keepsake box, each package is carefully assembled in Montreal and topped with a personalized printed or handwritten note.

CORPORATE CONCIERGE SERVICE AND WEDDING BOXES TO THANK AND TO HONOUR

The SOCIÉTÉ BOX concierge works with customers to recognize the work and partnerships of clients, colleagues, and employees. Signature and custom boxes can be adorned with a logo or brand image, and are crafted from a lineup of 10,000 local and international products.

 

SOCIÉTÉ BOX also offers wedding options to show appreciation to bridesmaids and groomsmen. The bride and groom might also consider honouring one another with a celebratory box of their own.

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Photo: © Christina Esteban Photography

Holt Renfrew first opened its doors in 1837 as a hat shop in Québec City. Today it is recognized as a nexus of the specialty fashion retail experience in Canada, bringing together top designers and beauty brands from around the globe. On June 18, 2020, in Montreal, Holt Renfrew Ogilvy—the network’s largest store—opened in its entirety, with 250,000 square feet of floor space spread across six floors.  

 

Louis Vuitton, Hermès, CHANEL, Balenciaga, Gucci, and Saint Laurent are only a few of the top designer brands shown throughout the store’s 99 boutiques. Prêt-à-porter and contemporary collections are presented alongside upscale leather goods and footwear, offering even more possibilities for shoppers to explore.

 

Men and women looking for an unmatched personalized experience can turn to Holt Renfrew Ogilvy’s array of bespoke services in Canada’s most extensive personal shopping department, featuring five personal shopping suites as well as The Apartment.

 

The Holt Renfrew Ogilvy environment also offers dedicated spaces for revolving activities. Programming at L’espace Holt on the first floor and in Tudor Hall on the fifth floor includes pop-up shops, curated collections, and special collaborations. Concerts, exhibitions, and other events will also be hosted here. Dining is located at Café Holt on the second floor.

 

The shopping experience unfolds in a completely redesigned space that integrates sustainable materials and natural light. Historic nuances punctuate the modern interior, paying homage to the inaugural 1912 Montreal storefront.

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

To get a better idea of how the interaction between aesthetics and engineering came about in this collection, Europa Star met Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani, Watch Design Senior Director, and Alfredo De Biase, Special Movement Project Manager at Bulgari Horlogerie.

 

In collaboration with Europa Star

 

With its Octo Finissimo line, Bulgari has not only achieved the feat of setting six new world records for thinness in as many years, but of doing so with a watch that marks a major aesthetic disruption. It goes without saying that this result is the fruit of innovation in both the styling and the movement.

 

2014 Octo Finissimo Tourbillon manual

How did the idea for the Octo Finissimo originate?

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: Ideas sometimes start with a completely original drawing, sometimes we rework something that existed in the past. That’s how the Octo Finissimo originated. Immediately after the Daniel Roth and Genta workshops were integrated into Bulgari in late 1999 and early 2000, we turned our attention to the Octo, which was originally designed by Gérald Genta and made a huge impression when it was first issued as the Octo Grande Sonnerie Tourbillon in 1994.

 

From 2002-2003 we worked on the dial and case, mainly with external designers. We were particularly interested in the shape of watch, because the octagon is also part of Bulgari’s history, notably in the Monete timepieces issued in the late 1960s. But during the Genta/Roth era, the design of the watches was largely about extravagance and colour. In 2004, we issued an initial version of the “new” Octo, the Bi-Retro, which we developed with the Gérald Genta manufacture at Le Sentier. The model featured complications, retrograde display and jumping hours on a cloisonné enamelled dial – still kind of extravagant.

 

But there came a point when we were looking to incorporate our own basic, three-hand calibre into the Octo. At the same time, we fully “rediscovered” the incredible capacity of the Le Sentier workshop. That made us think about the future of the Octo, combining Italian design codes with Swiss watchmaking skills.

The “Bulgarisation” of the Octo happened gradually. But it’s the transition to ultra-thin that seems to have made the real difference…

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: The name Bulgari first appeared side by side with that of Genta in 2010. But the new generation of Octo was issued in 2012. We kept the identifying octagonal shape intact, but reworked it, chamfering the edges for greater emphasis, and giving it a polished and brushed finish for better light effects. And then we completely redesigned the dial, paring it down to an oversized 12 and 6 and fine hour markers on a black lacquer base. That was the first revolution. Then in 2013, we presented a steel version with a steel strap. But at the same time, we were working on an ultra-thin model.

 

Alfredo De Biase: I’d already worked on movements with Gérald Genta. And I was well aware of our potential. When we were asked to work on thin movements, the thinnest in the world if possible, it was a huge challenge. To make the thinnest movements possible, we had to scrape every tenth of a millimetre. The advantage of the Octo case is that being octagonal, it’s large. And so the size of the movement helped us gain those precious tenths that enabled us to set world records. Using thin movements in such a structured, architectural case was a second challenge.

The first Octo Finissimo appeared in a handwound tourbillon version in 2014. Not only did it set a world record, it also struck out in a whole new aesthetic direction that caused quite a shock.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: Yes, this totally plain, grey platinum case and dial are unusual in high-end watchmaking, to say the least. This ultra-thin watch changed the way of wearing a watch with complications. That was what shocked. Paradoxically, it was the radicality of the approach that helped the watch take off. It marked a breaking point. And if its instantly recognisable, unique shape succeeded in establishing itself at all, it’s also thanks to its single colour. Uniform colour, as seen throughout this mainly monochromatic collection, brings out the marked, layered architecture of the case all the more strongly. It means the dial and case are now one.

And since then, it’s been one new record-setting watch a year. It looks like a calculated offensive!

Alfredo De Biase: Yes, a precise programme exists, of course, and it’s still in progress. Each movement calls for three to four years of development. Today, we’re already working on 2023-2024. And with a constant ratio of design to watchmaking skill, with no barriers. We work on all the details of each movement together – the bridges for example. There’s an incessant back-and-forth between the design and the engineering aspects, yes, that’s possible, no, that’s not possible. We determine the functional areas and the “free” areas, so to speak.

 

2016 Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater

We imagine that one of the difficulties of extra-thin designs is fitting the automatic movement in the case. You succeeded in 2017, then it took several forms.

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: Before that, in 2016, there was the Octo Finissimo Minute Repeater. A second record, with a repeater movement just 3.12mm high and an even more radical design, dictated by technical issues.

 

Alfredo De Biase: Yes, a platinum minute repeater presents a special challenge. And the solution for making the watch chime from the rear of the movement and amplifying the sound went hand in hand with the design; it meant open-working all the hour markers, which provide a view of the movement. The automatic version came the following year, in 2017, and that was our third world record, the thinnest selfwinding watch on the market, just 5.15mm high, with a calibre measuring 2.23mm. For that watch, we used a platinum micro-rotor.

 

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: Its strap is also one of the thinnest on the market. With the Octo Finissimo, we also wanted to offer something other than just complications. In the ultra-thin segment, there was nothing that could be worn whatever the circumstances, every day. An hours, minutes and small seconds hand. Absolute sobriety, with a unique formal identity.

The interesting thing about being both Italian and Swiss is that as Italians, we can more easily break watchmaking codes. We don’t have this historic superego, this burden, while as Swiss, we’re technically capable of accomplishing and mastering what we’re dreaming of.

 

2017 Octo Finissimo automatic

With the Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Automatic, in 2018, your fourth world record, you changed the self-winding system and switched to a peripheral rotor, paving the way for the self-winding Chronograph GMT, a fifth world record, in 2019.

Alfredo De Biase: While the function of the peripheral rotor was to open up a completely unobstructed view of the automatic tourbillon, it was actually a technical necessity in order to create the thinnest self-winding chronograph ever made. The movement is only 3.3mm thick. We achieved this thanks to this peripheral automatic winder with a column wheel and horizontal clutch.

 

2018 Octo Finissimo Tourbillon automatic

 

Fabrizio Buonamassa Stigliani: This chronograph, in a solid grey brushed titanium, also has a whole new face because its third counter, at 3 o’clock, is a 24-hour dial and is set by means of a pusher in the caseband at 9 o’clock. That lets you save your starting time or home time. Moreover, the pushers are totally incorporated into the layered, octagonal architecture of the watch.

Our objective with the Finissimo is to do the things that everybody knows – like a GMT – but in a totally different way, both in the styling as well as in the technical solutions related to the extreme requirements of ultra-thin design. And that’s where the success really lies, in both these respects. The awards we’ve won, whether in watchmaking or design competitions, are testimony to that.

 

“The Octo Finissimo has totally changed people’s perception of the Bulgari brand. We have very strong roots in jewellery, it’s true, and that is the source of our creative strength and freedom, but we’ve also become fully-fledged, consummate watchmakers.” – Alfredo De Biase

 

Alfredo De Biase: It should be noted that this succession of achievements, of records, was also made possible by considerably enhancing our industrial tooling. This evolution took place simultaneously, boosted by the success of this extra-thin line. The Genta Roth facility, which previously was devoted almost exclusively to parts for grand complications, has also been industrialised and its production made totally reliable. You can’t have one without the other. These achievements were made possible by our expertise in complications, but they would never have had this styling without the Latin spirit of creativity.

 

2019 Octo Finissimo Chronograph GMT

And you’re continuing along the same path, because this year, alongside new monochrome finishes in ceramic, alternately polished and sandblasted, in pink gold or steel, you presented two new Finissimo models, the Automatic S for “Steel” and “Sport”, and most recently, in Geneva, your sixth record, the Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph Monopusher Skeleton Automatic. All that and just 7.4mm thick. A feat of virtuosity?

Alfredo De Biase: We don’t do prowess for the sake of prowess. The most complex versions of this watch are aimed at connoisseurs of fine watchmaking, the codes of which it changed. But with these different iterations, in ceramic or sandblasted pink gold, for example, we also want to show that with each change of material, the look of the Finissimo completely changes too. It gives a different impression, but each and every time, its design is sublimated and enhanced. So it’s no coincidence that it also attracts the interest of people sensitive to design and architecture.

 

But what is most important in our view is that the Octo Finissimo has totally changed people’s perception of the Bulgari brand. We have very strong roots in jewellery, it’s true, and that is the source of our creative strength and freedom, but we’ve also become fully-fledged, consummate watchmakers. We owe this evolution of the very image of Bulgari precisely to this dual process of innovation, both formal and technical.

 

2020 Octo Finissimo Tourbillon Chronograph automatic

 

 

Text: Pierre Maillard

Altree Developments has an exciting new residential project underway in one of the most coveted neighbourhoods in Toronto. Forest Hill Private Residences combines extraordinary location and design with a host of high-end amenities and concierge services for boutique-style condominium living.

 

 

The full-service developer has earned a reputation for building inspirational projects; its latest venture is no exception. Approximately 90 luxury units, ranging from 750 to 2400 square feet, and priced starting at $1.8M, will offer a five-star hotel experience with all the comforts of home. Forest Hill Village is at the doorstep, providing residents with ease of access to local shops and grocery stores. Families with children will appreciate the proximity to top-tier private schools.

 

Ten-foot floor-to-ceiling windows are one of the many features that Graziani & Corazza will integrate as part of the nine-storey building. The acclaimed architecture studio has also planned for spacious terraces giving onto breathtaking city views from the third to ninth floors. Interior design firm U31 has been selected to adorn both shared spaces and individual suites with outstanding design elements and finishings at the height of sophistication.

 

 

Complimentary amenities anticipate every desire; from the temperature-controlled wine library with sommeliers to the valeted porte-cochère and dining room table for 20. À-la-carte wellness services including personal trainers, massage therapists and nutritionists are also available. Of the project, Altree President and CEO Zev Mandelbaum asserts: “We’ve created a completely tailored experience […] exemplifying the highest standards of luxury.”

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Photos: © Altree Developments

Looking for fresh new places to satisfy your desire for an excellent drink or a tasty bite? LUXE presents three of its favourite Montreal finds.

GENTILE PIZZA PARLOUR 

After bringing his family’s restaurant, Cafe Gentile, to Westmount four years ago, Anthony Gentile has opened a delicious new project next door. Gentile Pizza Parlour serves New York-style pizza as a response to Montreal’s oversaturated Neapolitan-style scene.

 

Sixteen-inch pies, good for 2–3 people, are created by pizzaiolo Daniel Krystal from a light and crispy dough that is prepared over four days. A custom Italian electric deck oven works its magic in the 1980s-inspired space, designed by Zébulon Perron.

 

Every detail has been thoroughly researched, and the ingredients are ultra-fresh. Heartier appetites will enjoy the Brooklyn-style square Sicilian pie, while foodies looking for a more upscale alternative will take pleasure in a selection of individual artisanal pies—served exclusively for in-house dining.

 

Pies range from $27–$36. Pick-up is recommended for perfectly timed, ready-to-savour perfection. Delivery options are available through DoorDash and Uber Eats, or by calling 514-544-PIES.

 

© Kevin Mackinnon

CAFFETTIERA

To walk through the doors of Caffettiera is to immerse yourself in the Italy of the 1990s: proud, influential, and buzzing with energy. Owner Andreas Vecchio replicates this vibrant mood with ambient music and a display of playful artefacts that reflect the decade. The space—designed by Ménard Dworkind—is unapologetically nostalgic. The coffee is authentic Italian through and through. 

 

Orders are placed while standing at the bar, in true Italian fashion. Espresso beans are prepared by master roaster Flavio Didonato in Ardea, Rome. The hum of a Vittorio Arduini lever machine enriches the soundscape as espressi and cappucini are brewed and poured. 

   

The coffee is outstanding on its own, but that should not discourage anyone from pairing it with a freshly made colazione, pastry, or sandwich made in the morning, in limited quantities. Sandwiches are modeled after characters in a typical Italian coffee bar, adding to the stage-like atmosphere.

 

Patrons can also treat themselves to a glass of low-intervention wine from Bacchus76 or choose a drink from a list of signatureaperitivi curated by Maison Cloakroom’s Jason Lawson. Caffettiera is truly a place to hang your hat anytime of day.

 

© Ménard Dworkind architecture & design

CAFÉ HOLT

Experience Café Holt in a whole new way. The Montreal staple has been reborn and relocated to the second floor of the new Holt Renfrew Ogilvy building. The completely redesigned interior by French architecture and design firm Laplace is striking. Warm tones predominate throughout the space, while plush upholstery enhances the elegance of art deco-inspired furniture and brass fixtures.

 

Chef Yacir Nakhaly is the artist behind the food. His menu is currently made available to take out and enjoy in the comfort of home. Favouring local and sustainable ingredients, Nakhaly presents dishes to suit all tastes and appetites, with options suitable for vegan and vegetarian diners. 

 

Offerings range from $9–$19 for starters, and from $19–$21 for main courses. Meals can be as simple or as decadent as desired: order the soup of the day followed by a classic Holt cheeseburger, or indulge in crusted bay scallops, as a prelude to the burrata ravioli with smoked butter and sage. Let yourself be surprised as you rediscover Café Holt.

 

 

 

Text: Jennifer Laoun-Rubenstein

Cover: © Ménard Dworkind architecture & design