Thanks to constituent Laurence Paperman for his comments and observations regarding the traffic lights at the intersection of Cavendish and The Avenue. It has been confirmed by Public Works that the car detector is not working properly for left turn towards City Hall. However, it is functioning properly for the left turn towards the mall (Quartier).
Car detectors have the advantage of optimizing the various movements of an intersection. That is, when a particular movement is not required,green time is re-distributed to the other directions and to the pedestrian crossing times.
Our new Urban Development Coordinator Marianne Zalzal will be analyzing the traffic light cycle at the intersection and verify if any improvements can be made. In the interim, we will repair the one that is not working since.
While some people have suggested the implementation an automatic left turn, this Ms. Zalzal correctly points out would delay unnecessarily the other movements, including the pedestrian time. "I have already observed that this intersection has a high volume of pedestrians and they often cross before waiting for the pedestrian light to be activated," she says.
One of the other things we need to do is improve the signage pertaining to the sensors. That would include painting the symbol for vehicle detection on the asphalt surface. Given the time of year and the weather, this will have to wait until the spring.
For many residents of Park Place, the still relatively new town house and single family dwelling development on the land of Quartier Cavendish has been complicated by the constant flow of people using their parking lot and greenspace as a shortcut to and from the bus stop.
I have been meeting with many of these residents for several months now. On a number of occasions I have observed the flow of pedestrians at different times of day. At peak times they literally pass by in droves.
Our original plans for the greenspace at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare was to build some kind of parkette there. However, in light of the many complaints we received from residents we put our original plan on hold and looked at various alternatives. A Public Spaces Committee meeting was called, consisting of city officials and some members of council, and I believe we came up with a good plan. Rather than a parkette (essentially greenspace, benches and paths), we will beautify the area and make it more of passing. The paths will be designed in such a way that pedestrians will not necessarily use Park Place as a shortcut; Kildare Road will become a viable alternative. We will also have some fencing to protect the private parking area of the town houses. Trees and bushes will be planted to insure privacy.
Because of the time we took to review the project, our original goal of having this area put together for the fall became unrealistic. It will now have to wait until next spring. In in the interim, we have installed some attractive blue fencing to limit the flow of pedestrians to one area to and from Park Place and block them from walking on the parking lot. We had left the bushes unprotected by fencing, but pedestrians decided in some cases to walk through them. So more fencing is on order.
While there were requests to totally seal this area off, there are residents of Park Place who do appreciate the "short cut" to get to and from Cavendish and Kildare. We hope the compromise is satisfactory. I thank Urban Planning Director Charles Senekal for all of his time and patience on this dossier.
There is nothing quite like your good old neighbourhood pharmacy. And in Côte Saint-Luc two in particular have stood out for many years - the Pharmaprix at The Quartier Cavendish and its smaller sister location on Caldwell Avenue. Both are owned by pharmacist David Banon and his wife Sarah Ettedgui. I frequent both, but for prescriptions I have always preferred the incredible personalized service at Caldwell, notably by lab technicians Thomas Virta and Sheila Cohen and the girl with the biggest smile in town, Venice Pedua. Then there are then pharmacists and one whom I first met many years ago at Caldwell was the incredible Saul Singer.
Myself, Saul Singer, his wife Arlene and Mayor Housefather.
Saul, who retired August 11 at 88 years young, is a special human being. While he worked at both locations, at Caldwell he had direct contact with the clients. After filling a prescription he`d walk over to the counter and go over all of the instructions. When a doctor called something in, he`d reach out to the patient as well. And it was not uncommon for him to call the house to see if everything was going okay. I always enjoyed my chats with Saul and consider him a truly stand up guy.
In July I saluted him in my Suburban Newspaper column. A few days later I was told he was retiring. Then came this email from a reader named Maurice Panchyshyn.
Reading Mike Cohens' article '"Age is a State of mind " brought me back 63 years.. As a youth I went to Bancroft School and after school I worked as a delivery messenger ( 1951-52 ) for Arena Pharmacy where Saul Singer was the pharmacist. Since credit cards were non existant Arena Pharmacy extended credit to its clients. On a Sunday I collected one dollar from a client who was quite delinquent.. Mr Singer upon noting my success was not necessarily pleased.. He sensed that I may have been overly zealous and pointed out that the family was old, poor and not well and possibly might not have money for food. He handed me back the dollar and asked that I give it back to them. As an eleven - twelve year old I did not fully understand his kindness and community responsibility.
Since then I have shared this story many times and have always remembered the pharmacist who helped the underpriviledged of the community. God Bless you, Mr. Saul Singer.
Not only did I reach out to Maurice and invite him to the retirement reception David Banon organized, but I shared his letter with the media. Not only was Maurice reunited with Saul, but my emails to CTV, The Gazette and The Free Press resulted in their attendance. Mayor Anthony Housefather also joined us and presented Saul with a special certificate. The mayor also received a lot of support from people on hand for his bid to become the next Member of Parliament for Mount Royal under the Liberal banner.
Here is the Gazette story
Montreal pharmacist Saul Singer retires after 61 years of 'talking to people'
Published on: August 11, 2015 | Last Updated: August 11, 2015 6:47 PM EDT
After dispensing prescription drugs to thousands of Montrealers over the past 61 years, Saul Singer filled his last pill bottle this week. The popular Côte-St-Luc pharmacist has decided to hang up his white lab coat and retire — at age 88.
His retirementhas saddened longtime customers, many of whom came to wish him well at a retirement party on Tuesday at the Pharmaprix on Caldwell Ave. where he worked.
“I will miss the contact with the people, I have enjoyed every minute of it,” said Singer, a humble man who is renowned for giving exceptional customer service.
Singer would often call his customers late at night or the next day to check up on their health or to see whether they had any problems with the medication.
He learned the importance of customer service while working at the Arena Pharmacy, his father’s drugstore on Mont-Royal Ave., next door to Beautys Restaurant. He started stocking shelves at age 13 and eventually became a pharmacist himself after graduating from the Université de Montréal in 1954.
After his father’s death, Singer took over the family business and worked at serving the burgeoning Greek community that had settled in the neighbourhood. He hired two Greek sisters who taught him the language and he imported a typewriter with Greek letters so he could type the prescription instructions in Greek for the new immigrants. “The Greek people really appreciated it,” Singer recalled on Tuesday. “When the Greeks left, the Portuguese moved in so I hired Portuguese staff and learned Portuguese.”
About 15 years ago, Singer’s daughter, Susan, was talking to the owners of a Greek restaurant in Clearwater, Fla. and learned that they had once lived in Montreal. When she asked whether they knew Saul Singer, the pharmacist, she wasn’t surprised when they said they did. “When they first came over from Greece their baby was sick and they had no money,” Susan Singer recalled. “My dad said: ‘Don’t worry, you can pay me when you can. Take the medicine.’ They said they would never forget my father.”
The next year, Singer joined his daughter in Florida and met up with his old customers. “I knew they had to know my father because Greek people living in Montreal all knew my father,” she said.
Singer said he has enjoyed his years as a pharmacist and loved talking to his customers and listening to their problems. “People like a sympathetic ear,” he said. “I didn’t like baseball or other sports. Talking to people was my thing.” Singer’s family said he often looked out for people who were down on their luck and invited them into the pharmacy and gave them lunch.
Singer eventually sold his business — Singer Pharmacy — to a Pharmaprix in the Plateau Mont-Royal in 2005, before taking a job at two pharmacies closer to home, one on Caldwell Ave. and another in the Cavendish Mall in Côte-St-Luc. Although he left the Plateau several years ago, many customers and colleagues still have fond memories of the soft-spoken pharmacist.
A while back, Singer’s granddaughter Meaghan Singer was in a bar on Laurier Ave. called the Baldwin Barmacie when she saw a familiar name on the drinks menu. The bar was selling a ‘Saul Singer’, a Vodka drink with apple juice. A relative of the bar owner, who also worked at a pharmacy, dealt with Singer during his years on the Plateau, and the family decided to name a drink after him as a mark of respect. After his granddaughter called him with the surprising news, Singer headed down to the bar the next night. Although he isn’t much of a drinker, he decided to give the Saul Singer a try. “I figured if they took the trouble to name it after me, I should try it,” Singer joked.
Saul Singer, centre, a pharmacist for 61 years, watches as his wife Arlene cuts his cake on the day of his retirement: Aug. 11, 2015. CHRISTINNE MUSCHI / MONTREAL GAZETTE
Singer’s wife, Arlene, said her husband was concerned about every customer that he served. “He is very special,” she said of her husband of 60 years. “When we walk through the Cavendish Mall, everyone shakes his hand and then tells me how he is so wonderful. I am blessed to have a man like him in my life.”
David Banon, who employed Singer at two Pharmaprix stores in Côte-St-Luc, said Singer came to work on time, with a smile on his face and a joke to tell. “He was a great example to all of us,” Banon said. “It’s really hard for the customers. Many are his longtime friends and he has seen their families (grow up).”
Singer said he is retiring partly to deal with a few minor health issues. He isn’t sure how he will take to retirement, but he plans to keep busy, keep moving and keep reading. When asked whether he had a last message to his loyal customers, Singer’s eyes filled with tears. “It was a real pleasure to serve them. I loved them all.”
There is no official name for the housing development on the land which previously housed about 40 percent of the Cavendish Mall. Perhaps we can simply refer to it for now as "The Quartier," since the shopping centre is now officially known as Quartier Cavendish. The developers called it Centrepoint, a name that might stick as well.
Work continues on Jubilee Avenue home.
The new homes on Kildare Road, Cavendish, Park Place and Jubilee are all part of District 2 while those on the extended version of Kellert fall under Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's District 6. It has been gratifying to watch this development take shape and I take my hats off to our Urban Development team headed by Charles Senekal for seeing all the work through. It is not yet complete. The land on The Avenue - the main road leading into the project - facing Yeh! Yogurt is zoned for a future condo building with mixed use on the ground floor, and I expect that we will see something occur there in the not too distant future. It is in the hands of developer Joe Levine.
There are presently two future park spaces in the development: at Cavendish and Kildare and Park Place and Kildare. Ruth Kovac Park, situated behind Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation stands to be revamped.
The future site of a new park on Cavendish and Kildare.
Last summer we levelled the land, brought in new topsoil and then had the spaces seeded. A small park at Cavendish and Kildare could materialize as early as next summer. The other will be done within the next five years.
We are hoping that while the highrise remains simply a future project, that the land will be grassed by the developer.
The absence of a gas station at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Mackle Road has really been felt by many Côte Saint-Luc residents. Well there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
City council has adopted the first draft by-law regarding the rezoning of this land, which previously housed a self-serve Esso station and a small depanneur. In its place will be a Shell station with a car wash and a mini-IGA convenience store.
A public consultation meeting will be held soon. Once all of the necessary approvals are given, demolition of the property will commence. We are told to expect completion of the project for next spring or summer.
TheJewish General Hospital Centre for Child Development and Mental Health will hold its annual fundraiser on Wednesday, May 28 (7 p.m.) at the Quartier Cavendish Cineplex Theatre, featuring the Spanish film Tocur Y Luchar (To Play and To Fight). It will be shown with English subtitles.
This film introduces one of the most important and beautiful social phenomena in recent history - an incredible network of youth orchestras, designed to expose poor and rural children (Viva! Sistema) to the wonders of music. It is a movement that has spread worldwide, from its beginning in Venezuela. The wonderful St. Gabriel Elementary School String Ensemble will also perform.
I have received a countless number of calls and emails from constituents, wondering why the very convenient Esso gas station at the corner of Cavendish and Mackle is closed and boarded up. The land has been purchased by Shell, which already has a full operation with Raffi Abikian at the corner of Westminster and Guelph. Raffi confirmed to me that he will have nothing to do with the new station, which he hears might even have a car wash.
We do not have any timetable when gas will be flowing again at Cavendish and Mackle. I do hope it is sooner than later for this is a very convenient location for all of us residing in this part of town.
How far back does this station go? It was originally owned by the Eaton Department store. Yes, there actually was a gas station called Eaton.
There are many things the present Côte Saint-Luc City Council can be proud about. We assumed office eight years ago, after demerging from Montreal. The redevelopment of the Cavendish Mall property was front and center on our agenda and this was a process which took a few years to iron out. A lot of proposals went back and forth. We had to make sure that we would not create a situation with too much traffic.
A beautiful new
development called Centrepoint is now taking shape. When all is said and done there will be 68
townhouses, 31 single family homes, 18 semi-detached homes and a mixed use building
where the number of units are still to be
determined. The new homes on Kildare Road, Cavendish Boulevard, Park Place and Jubilee are situated within District 2., Those on the extension of Kellert Avenue fall within Glenn J. Nashen's District 6.
On October 7, I was joined by a number of colleagues for a ground breaking ceremony for 14 new homes on Kellert near the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation. Pictured left to right below are myself, Councillor Sam Goldbloom, Councillor Nashen, project manager Line Dufresne, Dubelle Developments president Joe Levine, Dubelle vice-president (and District 2 resident) Jason Levine and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein. Bravo to the Levines, who have done a magnificent job helping to grow our community with such projects as Ilan Ramon Crescent, Cambridge Courts, Chelsea Courts and now Centrepoint.
Well before they built their wholesale clothing chain into a business which surpassed retail sales in excess of $100 million, twin brothers Jon and Marvin Gurman, 54, grew up as average kids in a Côte Saint-Luc duplex, attended public school and loved hanging out at the Cavendish Mall.
On Monday, June 17 the Gurmans realized a bit of a dream when a brand new member of their growing yogurt chain opened at that very mall, know officially knownas the Quartier. Located on The Avenue, a street Mayor Anthony Housefather hopes to develop into “the Monkland Avenue of Côte Saint-Luc,” Yeh! Yogurt and Café (www.yehyogurt.com) is taking North America by storm.
As the Gurmans explain, The Mall/Quartier decision was a bit of an emotional move. Over the years this shopping centre has been carved in half, making way for a housing development. “My mother is a Mall walker,” Jon noted. “She said there are not a lot of people in the Mall. I said ‘Mom, we are going to bring people back to the Mall. That Mall is going to be hopping.’ I think it already is."
During a business trip to California in 2007, Marvin came across a frozen yogurt store that really impressed him. About a year later, while walking with his daughter down trendy St. Laurent Boulevard, they stopped in at the then only Yeh!Yogurt and Café. Boasting a self-serve format of different frozen yogurt flavors, over 40 toppings and an attractive interior layout, Marvin was beyond impressed. Six months later he and his brother became equal partners with the company’s founders.
“It really started out as a hobby for us,” said Jon.
The hobby quickly turned into a labour of love. After purchasing the remaining shares in the company last December, the Gurmans began to embark upon their plan to expand the brand across the globe. “We call ourselves ‘the Starbucks of the yogurt business’ said Jon. “Most yogurt places look like ice cream shops. That is not the case with us.”
The Yeh! Quartier Cavendish Mall location is being managed by the very capable Heidi Chenoy. This is a niced sized venue with access from the street and inside the plaza. There is now more than just yogurt. You can purchase smoothies, crepes, premium coffee, iced coffee and waffle cones or bowls to put your yogurt in.
Although the Côte Saint-Luc store is not under rabbinic supervision, all of the ingredients available are kosher. That has already resulted in a heavy presence of orthodox students from local Jewish day schools.
Marvin Gurman and his mother Zelda presided over the ribbon cutting ceremony. Jon was away on business, but his wife Joanne and daughter Raquel were on hand as were members of Côte Saint-Luc city council Ruth Kovac, Steven Erdelyi, Sam Goldbloom, Mitchell Brownstein, Allan J. Levine and myself, City Manager Tanya Abramovitch, Associate City Manager Nadia Di Furria, Parks and Recreation Director David Taveroff and managers Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman, Director of Public Affairs Darryl Levine, Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson, longtime Mall managing partner Roy Salomon, Michael Wolfe from the company that manages the property, Quarter/Mall manager Lina Roti, developer Joe Levine, CSL Men’s Club president Sidney Margles and Howard Liebman from the Office of Liberal MP Irwin Cotler. Jack Wiltzer, the president of JCorp, was there as was Yeh! Managing Director Craig Stein, franchise supervisor Mitchell Simon and many others. The place was hopping and as Councillor Kovac said in her remarks, this is just the kind of place we had envisioned to breath life on to the new Avenue.
Yeh! Yogurt is the proud sponsor of the July 9, 2013 CSL Golf Classic at Meadowbrook. Registration is now underway at the Parks and Recreation Department.
“Out motto is ‘You go, you get!’” the brothers state. “It is more than just a brand; it is a life concept that leads to realizing your full human potential. We want people to empower themselves to reach their goals and make a difference in the world.”
The history of JCorp dates back to 1929, when Myer Gurman arrived in Canada from Europe with little money and big dreams. He soon opened a small business producing caps. In 1952, his son, Jack, joined the company with the intention of bringing the best quality goods to the Canadian market. In 1978, brothers Jon and Marvin joined the company with the goal of becoming a major player in the industry. Before long they transformed their grandfather’s cap business into an international apparel powerhouse.
After quickly developing a keen eye for fashion trends and an awareness of their customers’ needs, the Gurman twins became very adept at developing private label programs for retail customers. Among their present-day retail partners are Walmart, JC Penney, Sears and TJ Maxx. Some of the brands and licences include Bugle Boy, PNB Nation by Nick Cannon, Old River, Gurilla Biscuit, Hollywood Era jean brand , and celebrity endorsements by Ashley Tisdale and Pauly D. They are also the manufacturers of MMA Elite, a UFC sponsored clothing line.
JCorp employs 90 people at their headquarters on Gince Street in the Montreal borough of St. Laurent. They moved to this location in 2004, giving a complete facelift to what was once the Rockland Tennis Club.
Here is some encouraging news for the owners of the Quartier Cavendish, formerly known as the Cavendish Mall.
It has been a few years now since half of “the Mall” was demolished to make room for an attractive housing development which continues to take shape. I have learned that the extraordinarily popular Yeh! Yogurt will set up shop in the Quartier in June. I spent many a night at their Monkland Avenue location last summer and I just love the self-serve frozen yogurt concept. What makes it particularly appetizing is the fact as customers we serve ourselves, choosing from a wide variety of flavors, toppings, and sauces. Yeh! Has amazing flavors of the highest quality non-fat frozen yogurt, over 40 toppings, ranging from fresh fruits to dried toppings like cranberries, organic raisins, flax seed, to candy, cereals and chocolates.
The company was founded in 2008 by Jean-Daniel Nadeau and Grace Yeh. Twin brothers and mega-successful businessmen Jon and Marvin Gurman bought into the business a few years ago and last December acquired all of the remaining shares. Their vision will see this brand expand to new heights for sure. Oh yes, the Gurmans grew up in Côte Saint-Luc and their mom still lives in the community. This makes the whole deal doubly sweet.
"We signed the lease a few weeks ago, we finalized designs this week and signage is going up next week," Adam Coape-Arnold, JCorp's marketing and brand manager shared with me. "We will be located on the Avenue, a prime location facing the new condos to Kildare and with a door also entering the Mall. We will bring back Cavendish as a destination for all ages to enjoy frozen yogurt in a cool setting with kosher ingredients!"
Yeh! now has a presence in Toronto, Nova Scotia and the United States. There is no question the Gurmans are now thinking internationally. ust as their clothing company, J Corp, has thrived, so will Yeh!
“ We are prepared to execute our strategic plan,” the Gurmans state. “We will aggressively grow the chain in the next three years. We have a great brand with a proven record of success."
Yeh! will indeed give the Quartier/Mall a nice shot in the arm. It will be a great place to go after the movies and could keep a lot of youngsters hanging out in the community. Do any Mall trivia buffs remember Barton's?