Elliot Lifson appointed to the Order of Canada

Seven years ago Côte Saint-Luc got lucky when a most distinguished citizen, Elliot Lifson, moved to our community from Hampstead. In fact he became my constituent in District 2.

Today it was announced that Elliot has been appointed to the Order of Canada by the Governor General for his leadership and mentorship in the apparel industry,  his commitment to Canada’s economic growth, and for his community involvement.

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Elliot Lifson sports his new Order of Canada pin.

 

Next to his name on the press release, it says Côte Saint-Luc instead of Montreal. “That was done on purpose,” said Elliot. “I am so proud and happy to be living in Côte Saint-Luc that I wanted that included.”

Elliot found out the good news a month ago. “It was difficult to keep this quiet,” he said. “I was so emotional when I got the call. They asked me if I accepted. I laughed that they had to be kidding. Who turns down an offer like this? I still do not know who nominated me.”

A ceremony at Rideau Hall is expected to be held next May or June. Elliot hopes that the COVID-19 pandemic is under better control by then so he can travel to Ottawa.

The vice-president of Peerless Clothing, Elliot recently became the  president of the Board of Directors  of the Segal Centre. In addition to these duties, he is a respected member of the Montreal community, a dedicated philanthropist, and is actively involved with many organizations and boards, including Member of the Board of Directors of Export Development Canada (EDC); Professor and Board Member at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University; Member of the Faculty Advisory Board, McGill-HEC EMBA Program; Member of the Board of MR- Montréal Relève pour la Persévérance scolaire; Past Chairman, currently sitting as advisor to the Board, Chambre de Commerce de Montreal; President of the Canadian Apparel Federation (CAF); and sits on the Board of many charitable institutions such as The Montreal Heart Institute Foundation, and The Jewish General Hospital Foundation, and past Co-Chair of Centraide. Mr. Lifson received his MBA from the Ivey School of Business, University of Western Ontario. He is also a Graduate in Law from the Université de Montreal and a Member of the Québec Bar. Elliot Lifson has been a member of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts’ board for the last 12 years.

Elliot is also the recipient of many awards including the ‘Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal’, the ‘Desautels Faculty of Management Distinguished Teaching Award’ (Graduate Level), Quebec’s Fashion Industry’s ‘Recognition Award’, McGill University Alumni Association ‘Honorary Life Membership Award’, and the Senate of Canada 150th  Commemorative Medal.

Bravo Elliot!


Is train noise bothering you? We need to hear your voice loud and clear

At my most recent District 2 Advisory Committee meeting, held via Zoom, train noise was on the agenda.

Councillor Dida Berku is teaming up with me for a District 2 and 3 Coalition to try and deal with excessive train noise from the CP Railway. Frank Palucci said he even hears the trains all the way on Ilan Ramon Crescent.  There was an incident recently in which a piece of equipment broke down, causing a few sleepless nights for residents of Merrimac and Baily Road residents.

Idling

Merrimac resident Charles Guerin is leading an effort to gather complaints. Below are his instructions:

What we need from people are for them first to email a complaint to CP Rail “Community Connect (Community_Connect@cpr.ca) ,” it’s sort of a help desk for CP Rail. The email should CC: jshecter@cotesaintluc.org on all correspondence, Cote St Luc’s legal counsel.

Community Connect will send everyone back a form letter the next day that explains why CP is good and their complaint is a waste of time…everyone should ignore that. The email complaint should address these points:

  1. What type of noise is bothering them? — Idling, braking, shunting (loud crashing sounds), bells, horns or something else?
  1. When does it happen when it bothers them? — Daytime, Nighttime
  1. Where are they located (address is fine)? How far is this approximately from the train?
  1. Have they experienced any of the following?

            - Woken up in the middle of the night?

            - House shaking?

            - Frightened by sudden loud noise or crash?

            - Other

  1. What effect is it having on them?

            - Loss of sleep

            - Anxiety

            - Depression

            - Fear

  1. Do any specific incidents that come to mind, particularly where they remember a date and time?
  1. What would they like to see happen?

            [ ] Noise barriers added

            [ ] Fewer trains at night

            [ ] Fewer trains at all times

            [ ] Ban on bells and horns at night

            [ ] Repair of old equipment such as manual switches

            [ ] Stop leaving the trains idling

            [ ] Slow the speed of the trains

            [ ] Increase the speed of the trains

Example:

"I am located at 5685 Ch Merrimac, the idling noise at night is shaking our house and waked me up every night, sometimes several times a night. My child wakes up too when loud crashes occur despite our sound-proofing windows. I am losing sleep every night.

Last week you left a train idling for close to 48 hours, this is unacceptable!

I am asking CP to add a noise barrier in my area, reduce the number of trains at night and replace the antiquated equipment so that trains can roll past faster without the need for idling."

I would like to thank Charles for his efforts and urge those who are impacted by this noise to please take the appropriate action.

 


Paved road completed at revitalized Isadore Goldberg Park

When I was first elected 15 years ago, I pledged to one day make Isadore Goldberg Park more accessible.

For reasons I never understood, the park was built between a number of apartment buildings on Sir Walter Scott and Kildare Road. The actual sign was at the corner of Kildare and Merrimac, but with no clear direction of how to even get there. It was essentially a park for the residents of these buildings and while it was well utilized, this could have been the case for such a wider audience.

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The park sign is now installed where it should be.

 

Our original plan was to relocate the park to the large patch of green space on Marc Chagall Avenue across from the Marquise  and next to Les Cours Chagall. However, that was derailed when we desperately needed that spot for construction workers at the Equinoxe to park in order to ensure residents could find places on the street.

Well, over the years Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and I maintained a regular dialogue on this topic. Last year she came up with the brilliant idea to revitalize the existing park and at the same time make it widely accessible. You can read what was done here.

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What a beautiful new pathway.

 

The park itself was cleaned up, new equipment, sand and  trash cans installed and most importantly the dead bushes and trees removed . A gravel pathway was made and this past week it was paved. What a beautiful site! And yes, the sign has been relocated to the entrance to the pathway.

Isadore Goldberg Park is truly now accessible to all.

Less than a year ago former Councillor Goldberg passed away. I know that his brother, sister in law and niece, each of whom reside in my district, will be pleased to represent him when we do a re-dedication in 2021.

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The temporary lot is no more.

Oh yes, please allow me to add another piece of good news. The Equinoxe workers no longer need the lot and it is on its way to be returning to green space.



 


Rembrandt Park basketball courts to be refurbished next spring

On one of my regular District 2 walks recently David, one of my constituents, and some youngsters asked me when the Rembrandt Park basketball courts would be fixed up.

As part of our Capital Works Program, I was promised that this was in the plans for 2021. However, given the financial impact of the pandemic I could not be sure.

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The kids were excited to be playing basketball in November.

After speaking with project manager Dalia Mohamed I can now confirm the work will be done. The city will call for tenders in March and the renovations will occur towards the end of May.

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David will be excited to see refurbished courts.

First and foremost, there will be new asphalt installed. That is very important given the surface is in pretty poor condition. They will also paint new lines, install new benches and new lighting to allow for evening activity. The city will replace the existing headboards and  nets with new backboards of rectangular shape with the double rim. For the basketball poles they will be sanded and painted with two coats.

TheNets
The nets will be replaced.

Last week  I spoke to Alex Fyon of J-Hoops, which runs basketball programs year-round and there could be a possible partnership in the works.

Meanwhile, the tennis season at Rembrandt was extended due to the unseasonably warm weather. For tennis court # 1, the city awarded a contract to install a 15-feet barrier to allow the Public Works trucks to enter the court


New Physiotherapy clinic opens in CSL; young owner has interesting back story

Hampstead native Greg Stern's passion for movement and helping others along their own health journey developed from his own physical struggles. In 2013, he sustained an ankle injury that would forever change his life. What appeared to be a routine ankle sprain, developed into a chronic problem in his foot that caused him constant pain for three years. "I consulted and worked with many different rehab professionals to no avail and eventually underwent surgery," he says. "Unfortunately, this was only the beginning of my journey, as compensatory patterns triggered hip and back pain that had not been there prior to the operation."

 

Greg had reached a low point and was struggling for answers. It was at this point that he knew he needed to dive deeper in order to understand his body if he  was ever going to escape the pain he was experiencing. 

 

While his professional education includes a Bachelor of Science in Physiology and Kinesiology, and Masters in Physical Therapy at McGill University, Greg's curiosity has always extended far beyond the classroom. He has spent thousands of hours learning from books, coaches online, attending courses and trying to gather as many perspectives on different therapeutic approaches, researching and experimenting which methods work and which don’t.

"I began to incorporate a comprehensive approach that looked at the root causes behind my pain and considered the environmental factors—shoes and chairs to name a few—that were continuing to contribute to my poor movement behaviour," Greg says. "Over time, I diligently and methodically applied the concepts that I learned to slowly restructure my body. Thankfully, I am now able to experience life pain-free, play the sports I love unimpeded by fear and go for long hikes barefoot after not being able to stand for more than few seconds without pain."

 

Greg Stern
Greg Stern

 

 

Last June Greg opened From The Ground Up Physio at  5555 Westminster (Suite 108) in Côte Saint-Luc. He calls himself the CFO (Chief Foot Officer).

 

"With From the Ground Up, my aim is to help guide people through their own path of self-discovery on their health journeys and guide people to not only be pain-free, but to thrive in their everyday lives," Greg says. "Injuries are not only a process of recovery, but discovery; an opportunity to learn, be curious, to better understand your body, to correct issues and improve efficiency and performance."

 

For more details go to www.groundupphysio.com, email info@groundupphysio.com or call 514-369-0909.

 

 

 


Fall work on Isadore Goldberg Park beautification completed

A huge thank you to Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman and her team for the outstanding job they did transforming Isadore Goldberg Park this past year.

For years the sign was on Kildare Road, near Marc Chagall, but all you could see were apartment buildings. You almost needed a map to find the park.

 

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We now have a nice sign on Marc Chagall across from the Marquise. New lights have been installed  in the park and along the new pathway to the park, as well as  new benches, tables, play equipment and additional sand.  And this piece of great news: the pathway is expected to be paved by the end of the month, weather permitting.

Next year we will be installing a gate as we have in Trudeau Park. Only pedestrians will be able to enter through there. Vehicles will not do so unless the employee has the key.  Until the final installation, we will place cement bells at the entrance so the Equinoxe team can no longer drive over our property to get to their dump. Last year all the dead trees and shrubs were removed.

 

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"We are so excited and proud to have prepared this little out of the way park for your residents," Ms Newman shared with me. "It was a collaborative effort from every single division of Public Works. The foremen, their employees and John Monteiro  and I worked closely to realize this initiative. And now we have saved the expense of a new park on Marc Chagall, which is no longer necessary. We hope that the community from Marc Chagall, Kildare and Sir Walter Scott will enjoy many years in this park during the four seasons of the year."

 

Goldberg3

The  pathway will be cleared of snow starting this year. "We accomplished what we set out to do, but the only thing that didn’t work out is that Mr. Goldberg couldn’t wait for the new inauguration," Ms. Newman added. "I think he would have been very happy."

Isadore passed away last winter.


Cineplex Odeon theatres at Cavendish close for good

The COVID-19 has claimed another victim as the Cineplex Odeon Theatres at the Quartier Cavendish have closed for good

I was surprised to see the theatres last this long. They never did a booming business, but it is nonetheless a loss for our community. Seniors in particular appreciated having a multiplex so close by. It was also great for young families. In recent years our city has held our Volunteer Appreciation Evening there.

 

Cslcinema
The doors are closing.

 

When they first opened here about two decades ago it was a celebration. Prior to that the closest theatres were at Decarie Square (now a Dollar Cinema) and Plaza Côte des Neiges (now Cinéstarz).

The movie theatre business has taken a massive beating since COVID-19 hit last March. They did reopen for a few months, but crowds were weak.  Would Cinéstarz owner Bruce Gurberg consider stepping in and saving the Cavendish theatres or has the curtain closed for good?

Mall2
I will miss this place.

 

A sign at the Quartier Cavendish does inform everyone that the theatres are closed permanently and to head to the Forum downtown. Cineplex Odeon also operates a cinema in  LaSalle.

The last movie I saw was at Cavendish - Academy Award winner Parasite.


Solly the Caterer relocating from Côte Saint-Luc to Lachine

After being based in the small shopping complex on Robert Burns Avenue in Côte Saint-Luc for 25 years, Solly the Caterer  is relocating to Lachine.

“They are building condos so we have to move,” owner Mitchell Kadanoff told me. “ So we are moving to a brand new kitchen in Lachine where customers will be welcome again once COVID-19 somehow ends. Our CSL kitchen used to accept
customers pre COVID, but now we do deliveries directly to homes and will continue to do so from Lachine.”

The new address is  130 St. Joseph Blvd. Their final day in CSL  will be October 30. “We have a large parking lot for customers to eventually come visit us in Lachine,” he says.

Home  delivery service will be temporarily stopped between October 28 and and November 6.

Kadanoff
Mitchell Kadanoff


“Our new kitchen will  now all be on one floor as compared to two in CSL and built with expansion in mind,” Kadanoff says. “The process to find a new kitchen and to  build it was about two years.There were and still are many obstacles in doing such a move and we are hoping to only be shut down for a couple of days in terms of our wholesale business and delivery to our retail customers such as Nosherz, REAL Bagel, and many others.”

The new locale is only a few minutes away from the best steamed hotdog in town at Lafleurs.

A brand new website for online ordering being  is developed, for a November launch. There will also be new business division set for January.

 "All of our great customers have been extremely understanding during the process,” Kadanoff says. “Davcon Construction was hired as general contractors for the move and their owner David Fine has been fabulous to work with.  COVID-19 has made it very difficult for us to get the new kitchen done in time, but even with the pandemic causing havoc to our schedule we somehow managed.”


 


CSL Executive Softball League completes Championship run in these COVID-19 times

During an unprecedented pandemic you have to take small victories where you can.  The season that normally starts in May began in July with lots of concerns on how to avoid issues with COVID-19.  In conjunction with the Côte Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation Department and the League Executive,   the CSL Executive League began an 18 game regular season, adhering to Baseball Québec rules on social distancing in the dugout and both teams supplying their own softballs, with hand sanitizer in both dugouts and pitchers wiping down the ball between innings we managed a full season without any issues. 

Eight teams, with 12 players per squad,  began playing softball outdoors and it was much needed for out 96 players mental health, competitive spirits and morale during these tough times, notes Steven White.

20201004_094826
Father and grandfather Michael White 79 (there to cheer on his champion son and grandson), grandson and son Coby White   and son and father Steven White 53 holding the 2020 CSL Executive softball championship trophy.

 

In the end, the third seeded team, LCU captained by Jonathan Epstein, Brad Fiederer and Jared Blumenthal won it all with a playoff record of 8-3. The remainder of the roster is composed of: White,  Tony Ricci, Mitch Kujavsky,  Jesse Kalb, Brian Blumer, Doug Greenblatt,Lior Benzur and rookies Coby White and Jordan Benzur

 LCU beat the number six seeded team “the Bus” captained by Brian Hirsh and Dr. Jon Young in a best of  three quarter finals after dropping the first game of the series. LCU then faced the number five  seeded Mother Truckers captained by Ryan Maislin and Kamil Rose in a quarter finals best out of five  series.  LCU again dropped the first game of the series but reeled off three straight wins to set up a best of fiv efinals match-up versus the number two seeded Blue Berryhills captained by Mike Yarin and Elan Gelbart that had not lost a game in the playffs to date.

LCU and the Blue Berryhills first two games of the finals both went to 11 innings with LCU winning game one and the Berryhills winning game two.  The pivotal game three was won 7-5 by LCU with CSL City Councillor Mitch Kujavsky’s bat coming alive with three big hits, including a double and triple.

Game four  was the series clincher and the only blow-out of the series with LCU  winning the Championship game 12-4.

 

20201004_101530
The championship team.

 

Captains Epstein, Fiederer and Blumenthal drafted two Fathers and sons. Pitcher Steven White age 53, (play-off MVP) playing with his infielder son Coby White age 18 and outfielder Lior Benzur age 49 playing with outfielder son Jordan age 19.  What a thrill for Fathers and sons to win a championship together during such a tumultuous year.  Ricci was a playoff star with both his bat and his stellar defense at second base.  Jared Blumenthall paced LCU with his team leading .538 play-off batting average and his three homeruns  . Captains Epstein and Fiederer showcased their League experience with all the right calls and paced this group of men after 29 games, (18 regular season games and 11 play-off games), to a league championship!

 


Caldwell Pharmacy officially opens at Quartier Cavendish Pharmaprix

If you dropped by the Pharmaprix at Quartier Cavendish this week you were  not seeing double.

Owners David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui have closed their Caldwell location and merged operations at Cavendish. 

Here is the complete story.

David and Sarah did just amalgamate the two operations. They have actually established a "pharmacy within a pharmacy" and when you call, they still answer "Caldwell."

The phone number remains the same: 514-481-0293.

So does the superb staff: receptionist Aurelia; technicians Sheila and Thomas; and pharmacists Stephanie and Dalia.

SheilaThomasatnewspot
Aurelia, Thomas and Sheila.

 


The grounds of 6700 The Avenue gets a nice facelift

The new owners of 6700 The Avenue have lived up to all of their promises to bring their building up to proper standards.

 

Frontofave
The front of the building.


Our Urban Development Department confirms that a contractor has completed all the requested items on a list of deficiencies. The contractor installed the new asphalt for the driveway and walkway that leads to and from Park Place on  October 1. A fence was installed a day later on the walkway. The only item remaining is  to replace a damaged streetlight. This item will take time because a request was demanded from Hydro for a connection, and this   usually takes a minimum of four weeks to process and answer.

The fully restored greenspace.

Last spring the rear parking lot  was paved and the fencing against the Park Place residential backyards was repaired. There was also important work done at the front entrance  and just a few weeks ago the large patch of land which had been used to house construction material was turned back into beautiful greenspace.

Ave1
The new fence and paved pathway.

Part of the main floor of the building is zoned commercial. At the present time the owners have  no potential new tenants. However, work will begin soon on at least two new residential units.

The five floor  building has an indoor pool and workout room,  ceramic floors and custom kitchens with Quartz countertops and stainless kitchen appliances (with dishwashers). Security cameras are on every floor and exterior. Central A/C, heating and hot water are included.

Thank you Melissa Latifi, Emile Badea and your town for all the excellent work on this project. A shout out as well to the original developer Ron Basel. From the city, Charles Senekal, Jeff Davey, Beatrice Newman and Dalia Mohamed and company steered this ship wonderfully!


Disturbing generator noise from the Equinoxe is back

As the second and thankfully final tower of the Equinoxe on Marc Chagall Avenue nears completition,  Hydro Quebec is now installing the new power grid. To do so power had to be stopped in the main facility, therefore necessitating the use of the dreaded generator.

In the winter of 2019 the generator was on incessantly as the main building did not have sufficient power. This was horrible , not only keeping some of its own residents up at night but people living at the Rothchild I.  Soon after that was resolved, more bad noise began emanating from the ventilation system. That took months to resolve.

The generator is only supposed to be used in the case of a power interruption. But as of this writing residents of both the Equinoxe and the Rothchild I have had to endure two sleepless nights. It is simply not acceptable. The generator is in bad place physically and once again this unfortunate experience has renewed a call for it to be relocated.

 


Equinoxe project will be fully completed  by the Christmas holidays

There was good news for residents of Marc Chagall Avenue when I hosted several dozen of them for a Zoom meeting to report on what amounts to be the final few months of the Equinoxe project. Apartment units will be delivered to renters as of December 1. A good part of the construction will conclude at the end of October,  meaning that the temporary parking lot across from the Marquise will be turned back into greenspace.

For the past three and a half years we have all been very preoccupied with construction work for the two towers of The Equinoxe. Just a reminder to al: the zoning for this land was established more than 30 years ago by a former city council. It took many years for a developer to come forward. When Jadco and Trantor  did so, city council had lowered the maximum amount of storeys permitted from 17 to 14.

From the moment this project was announced I established a committee of representatives from each condo to meet with ownership a number of times per year and to communicate by email to deal with ongoing issues and get updates.

From the start of construction we imposed regulations restricting outdoor construction on weekends, made the greenspace across from the Marquise available as a parking lot when residents and their guests complained about a lack of spots on the street, dealt with noise levels from generators and ventilation systems, enforced street cleaning protocols, insisted upon the hiring of flagmen for safety purposes and numerous  other initiatives.

The very good news for all of us is that the project is almost complete. Mathieu Melançon, an engineer and project manager for Jadco, was on the call to provide an update and answer  questions.

 

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The second tower is almost complete.

 

Equinoxe resident Stephen Wise asked about the establishment of a dog park on the premises. While it is in the plans, complex manager Oren Elbaz told me that an official decision  will be made in the coming weeks if indeed this comes to be.

There were concerns raised about workers arriving before the permitted hour of 7 am and making noise. Mathieu said that the company continually makes efforts on this front just as they regularly remind these same workers to park in the lot, not on the street. I continue to get calls on this issue, mainly from residents of the Equinoxe. It is important that our Public Security is called at 514-485-6960 when this occurs. Regrettably, we have some rogue sub-contractors who are acting in an illegal and selfish manner. The law allows us to issue fines, which we do.

Right now they are in a bit of a messy stage, as they complete the building and prepare to lay the foundation for the front of the building. A big pile of dirt sits in the parking lot. While the workers clean the street at the end of each day,  the final stages should be much more quiet and low key on the interior. The water leaking on to the street will also be resolved very shortly, we were promised.

While plans call for the lot to be turned back into nice greenspace, I will look into what its future use can be and consult residents Most people prefer a parkette with some nice benches. At one point we considered relocating Isadore Goldberg Park there. But in the past year we removed bushes and trees, refurbished and cleaned up the park and made a walkway (to be paved in the spring) to make it fully accessible via Marc Chagall. This is city land and I would oppose any attempt to sell it to a developer

An exterior piece of land near the Beth Chabad parking lot is zoned for a two storey commercial building. The owner of the land has repeatedly approached council for rezoning to allow for a larger project. I have opposed this.

Here is a nice story in The Suburban

Juste un rappel à tous. Le zonage de ce terrain a été établi il y a plus de 30 ans par un ancien conseil municipal. Il a fallu de nombreuses années pour qu'un promoteur se présente. Lorsque Jadco et Trantor l'ont fait, le conseil municipal avait abaissé le nombre maximum d'étages autorisés de 17 à 14.

Dès l'annonce de ce projet, j'ai créé un comité de représentants de chaque appartement pour rencontrer les propriétaires plusieurs fois par an et pour communiquer par courrier électronique afin de traiter les problèmes en cours et d'obtenir des mises à jour.

Dès le début de la construction, nous avons imposé des règlements limitant la construction en extérieur le week-end, nous avons mis à disposition l'espace vert en face de la marquise comme parking lorsque les résidents et leurs invités se plaignaient du manque de places dans la rue, nous avons traité les niveaux de bruit des générateurs et des systèmes de ventilation, nous avons fait respecter les protocoles de nettoyage des rues, nous avons insisté sur l'embauche de signaleurs pour des raisons de sécurité et de nombreuses autres initiatives.

La très bonne nouvelle pour nous tous est que le projet est presque terminé


The iconic Caldwell Pharmaprix location is closing; merging operations at Cavendish

David Banon and Sarah Ettedgui are closing their Pharmaprix store at the Caldwell Shopping Centre on October 14 and centralizing all operations at their much larger location at Quartier Cavendish.

“The lease is up,” David told me. “There were renovations planned,   but nothing was ever confirmed with the landlord and given that we always look for long term commitments and the importance of our business staying opened year round,  we had to shift operations.”

David recognizes the fact this news has been quite shocking to customers who have been going there for decades, from the time the late Howard Smith was the owner-pharmacist. Caldwell has a special appeal, notably because of its two stalwart technicians Thomas Virta and Sheila Cohen. They have an encyclopedic knowledge of every client and go the extra mile when it comes to contacting doctors for  prescription renewals and pharmaceutical distributors to get certain products.

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Sarah Ettedgui and David Banon.

“ I want to reassure you that we are taking the move and the interests of our clients very much to heart and as such all our Caldwell staff are absolutely staying on and are invested in making the transition as smooth as possible,” said David. “There will be the same telephone and fax number and when the line is answered it will be with the familiar voice of Sheila or Thomas! They will have their own mini pharmacy set up in the back of our current lab at Cavendish where they can call patients and even automatically renew their medications.”

Whereas Caldwell was open weekdays until 6 pm, customers will now have access to store open seven days a week until 10 pm. David and Sarah, his wife and business partner, have hired a registered nurse so that many new services can be offered A list of her services was posted online on their website. "And as of this year, we will start a flu vaccination clinic beginning the end of October,  where pharmacists will vaccinate our clients," David said "Clients will be able to take appointments online."

 What is the future of the Caldwell strip mall? There was once a bakery and that storefront has remained vacant for the better part of a decade. I would love to see Caldwell Provisions take over the Pharmaprix spot and double in size!


Our city council and staff have shown leadership during this pandemic period

On the eve of Yom Kippur I repeat something everyone has heard  many times since last March: be careful! There are new limitations to public gatherings. Please abide by them.

COVID-19 is not going away anytime soon. We had a brief reprieve over the summer when too many people let their guards down, but now we are entering a second wave.

I do not think that Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, our seven members of council and our staff ever imagined a mandate like this. It has been a challenge  and that is for certain, but I think as elected officials we have handled this pandemic responsibly.

First let me underline the incredible leadership shown by our senior management trio of Tanya Abramovitch, Jonathan Shecter and Nadia Di Furia. They have been ahead of the game every step of the way. Our teams in Finance, Urban Development/Engineering, Public Works, Purchasing, Communications, IT, the Library, City Clerk’s Office,  Parks and Recreation and Public Safety have done an incredible job. I could not be more proud.

Look at our Men’s Club. This is a group which lives for personal gatherings, but since last spring they have embraced the Zoom video platform and opened up an entire new world. This brings me to my next subject. Out of respect for social distancing measures and in order to discourage seniors and others coming to public gatherings, all of our city council and committee meetings have been held via Zoom since March. And you know what? It works beautifully. In fact, over the past seven months our number of meetings have more than doubled!

Until there is a vaccine, bringing eight elected officials, staff and the public into a hardly spacious council chamber would be a very bad idea. Just look at the recent spate of COVID-19 positive cases for politicians: the leaders of the Bloc Québecois and the Conservative Party of Canada. Our own Councillor David Tordjman was at an event for the latter. He said he stayed for less than a half hour, wore a mask at all times and made sure to clean his hands any time he touched something. Nonetheless he got COVID as well.  Please see this story.

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This is how I dress to go to work now!

 

There are a number of hot button issues coming up on our agenda. We broadcast our public meetings live now on YouTube, via Zoom, and as Larry David would say, attendance  is “pretty..;pretty..pretty good.” People can ask questions in the comments section or send them in advance.

I shudder to think of how we would be functioning if this pandemic had occurred in say 1987?

I have spent the past few months walking my District 2 on foot several days a week and talking to constituents from a distance.  My district meetings have successfully moved to Zoom and I am happy to say work is getting done at a good pace.

We all want this to be over, but now we must brace ourselves for a rough fall and winter.  Get your flu shot! One can only pray that by spring that elusive vaccine will arrive.


New hours for "by appointment only" testing clinics

As of September 8, test centres at our CLSCs (to test blood and other samples) will have new hours of operation. This change does not affect our COVID-19 Testing Clinics. 
  • CLSC Benny Farm: Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. 
  • CLSC Metro: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • CLSC Parc-Extension: Monday to Friday, 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
  • CLSC René-Cassin: Monday to Friday, 7:30 to 11:30 a.m. 
Tests are performed by appointment only. An appointment must be booked at CLICSANTE.CA or, if online booking is not possible, by calling the CLSC.  
 
Note: As of September 28, a new test centre will open at CLSC Côte-des-Neiges, by appointment only, from 7:30 a.m. to 3:30 p.m. 
 

Dès le 8 septembre, un nouvel horaire sera en vigueur dans les centres de prélèvements de nos CLSC (analyses sanguines et autres prélèvements). Ce changement n’a pas d’incidence sur nos cliniques de dépistage de la COVID-19. 

  • CLSC de Benny Farm : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 11 h 30  
  • CLSC Métro : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30  
  • CLSC de Parc-Extension : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30  
  • CLSC René-Cassin : du lundi au vendredi, de 7 h 30 à 11 h 30 
 
Les prélèvements sont effectués sur rendez-vous seulement. Vous devez prendre un rendez-vous en ligne à CLICSANTE.CA ou, si ce n’est pas possible, en téléphonant au CLSC.  
 
À noter : en vigueur le 28 septembre, un nouveau centre de prélèvements ouvrira au CLSC de Côte-des-Neiges, sur rendez-vous seulement, de 7 h 30 à 15 h 30. 

 


My first District 2 Advisory Committee Meeting becomes an act of sharing information

Following many months of work, I held my first District 2 Advisory Council meeting on August 3. These type of meetings will be held a few times a year, initially via Zoom. The goal is to have one contact per condo/apartment building/street who can share with me issues of concern to their residents. I will also provide updates and engage in some “focus group” discussions. 

Meeting20200831Participants B01
Thank you David Haltrecht for this screenshot.

 

Côte Saint-Luc Public Works Director Beatrice Newman was my special guest. She gave an update on various projects and answered questions.

The Ashkelon Woodlands behind City Hall has been a major project.

In 2019 the city felled about 700 diseased trees. We planted about 30 new ones this year and several hundred in 2019. By the end of September all stems of buckthorn will be removed and all trees and bushes planted. This means that our objectives have been met. That was to fell all dead and sick trees, remove all invasive species of plants like buckthorn and poison ivy and finally plant several hundred trees and indigenous bushes .We are looking forward to providing our future generations with the woodlands they deserve and hope that they will appreciate the diversity that was planted. Some future potential projects in the woodlands might include a pathway or boardwalk Can residents now walk through the woodlands without damaging vegetation? Yes, in certain areas but it would be difficult to walk across and within because there are many stumps of various sizes. Walking along the perimeter is fine.

 Isadore Goldberg Park received some major TLC. It is too bad former Councillor Goldberg passed away last winter. He would have appreciated this. All of the old benches were removed and replaced with new ones. Ditto for the garbage cans. Five new benches were installed on concrete bases plus five temporary wood picnic tables were put in the park. Plans call for the new pathway that was installed to be paved.   Five new lights were purchased. We only received the heads and we are still waiting for the posts. They should be arriving soon. Four new games were installed. About 40 tons of sand was poured and we also sifted the sandbox and trimmed some trees. One dead one was felled.

Elie Wiesel Park at the corner of Kildare and Cavendish is a difficult one to maintain due to its makeup. Public Works weeded the park last week. They even decided to pull out many shrubs and perennials this year due to the extensive amount of deep weeds (Phragmite). In an ideal world, we would need to pull everything out and start from scratch... Since we can't do that we pulled everything that was impossible to work with for now. It takes a minimum of 12 people to clean that park during a few days, which is frustrating.

At Rembrandt Park three drinking fountains were opened this year; and were adjusted for filling water bottles as per COVID-19 protocols. Three temporary lights were installed on the pathway going towards Merrimac The frame for the swings for the bigger kids and some benches were painted. Six new benches and two waste receptacles will be installed on the pathway going towards Merrimac At  the same time we will recuperate the pavé and repair the holes where the pavé is missing ( in front of the chalet and near the fountain). Plans also call for the chalet bathrooms to be gutted and replaced this winter.

As for the snow dump,  a major cleanup has been completed. Public Works scraped the terrain of the dump, moved the materials toward two small hills; one located at the north-east of the yard and the other at the south-east of the deposit. They cleaned the ditches and estimated the volume that will need to be removed. They will continue to transport materials to reduce and eliminate the hills at the south-east ends at the beginning of season 2021. Then it is recommended we undertake the verification of levelling and slope of the ditches. The readjustment of the slopes and levelling of the land will provide better stability of the yard and better management of water flow during the snowmelt

What will happen to Marc Chagall Avenue in the winter?  How can we brighten the street at night ? All bulbs have been changed to LED and will stay like this until the Engineering Department takes on the project to change street lights throughout the city

There was good discussion on a  number of issues, with reps making recommendations which I am carrying forward to the different departments.

For instance there was a sharing of information as to which buildings have reopened their fitness rooms and pools and how AGMs are being handled for condo boards.

 I advised everyone that  District 2 Côte Saint-Luc will be part a major electrical system upgrade of the Hydro-Québec network. Work will occur between 2023 and 2026 and impact homes on Merrimac Road, Marc Chagall Avenue as well as Bialik High School. More information will be forthcoming. A committee, which includes residents, has been meeting with Hydro officials.

This was indeed a successful exercise.  


The late Carlo Palucci was a devoted member of the CSL Community Garden

Longtime Côte Saint-Luc resident Carlo Palucci passed away last week after a lengthy battle with cancer. He was an active member in our Seniors Community Garden. His son Frank is one of my most reliable constituents.

Carlo-palucci-montreal-qc-obituary
Carlo Palucci

Mr Palucci, as we all called him, was a wonderful member of our community garden for many years, and he always had a beautiful and productive garden,” commented Mandie Aaron, who oversees the group. “ Mr Palucci was always willing to help, always willing to teach, and always ready with a smile and a chat. I was always happy to see him and talk with him. I’ll not forget how proud he was of the new truck he bought a few years back. He did live a wonderful life. There is a lot of solace and joy in that.”

Carlo Palucci was predeceased by his sister Bruna and his brothers Antonio and Sisto.  He was the devoted husband of Elisabetta Tedeschi for 61 years and the adored and loving father and father-in-law of Angelo and Jeanine and Francesco and Sandra; the grandfather of Christopher (Bettina), Andrew (Kayla) and Jonathan; Alessia and Sara; and great-grandfather to Thomas.

As his obituary states: “Carlo will be remembered by his family and friends for his kindness and generosity. He was a gentle soul who loved to be around people and always had a smile and a twinkle in his eye. His passion for landscaping led him to run a successful and thriving business for over 50 years.”

Visitations will take place on Sunday, August 30, 2020 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. and from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Collins Clarke MacGillivray White funeral home (5610 Sherbrooke St W, Montreal). The funeral service will take place on Monday, August 31, 2020 at 9.30 a.m. at the Paroisse Sainte-Catherine de Sienne (7070 Avenue Somerled, Montreal). Carlo Palucci's final resting place will be at the Notre Dame des Neiges cemetery (4601 Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, Montreal).

In lieu of flowers, contributions in his memory may be made to the Cedars Cancer Foundation.


Another walk through the District 2 where interesting people await

For the past several months I have been taking almost daily walks through my Electoral District 2.

LeonardCohenLane
Leonard Cohen Lane

It has been down Merrimac and Rembrandt, up KildareRoad, left turn on Sir Walter Scott, around Ilan Ramon Crescent, back on Sir Walter Scott, down Leonard Cohen Lane, up Marc Chagall, down Mackle, up Cavendish, turn on The Avenue, down Park Place, through the walkway back to The Avenue, down Jubilee, past Kildare Towers on Honoré Balzac and then straight on Kildare.

IlanRamondrivesafe
I have continued to ensure messages like this appear on the pavement on Ilan Ramon.

 

At this time of social distancing it is wonderful way to connect with my constituents. I stop to say hello to others on walks or at the park. Some strike up conversations from their balconies. My iPhone is kept busy taking photos of trouble-spots: a dead tree, dirt on the street, construction, a broken traffic signal.

Rembrandt Park was busy with Maurice Perez leading an Israeli Dance Class. Take a look here 

There is also a brand new ping pong table, a high-end model that is bolted to the ground and will stand the test of time. You must bring your own raquets and ping pong balls.

PingPong
The new ping pong table.

On Marc Chagall it was nice to see the father/son combo of Lou and Jamie Zinman taking a walk.

Zinmans
The Zinmans

On Kildare Road, Anna Katz was walking her amazing dog Gracie. I also met a young constituent named  Lilly with her cute  dog Ackie.

 

Anna
Anna and Gracie
Akie
Lilly and Ackie.
Equinoxe
The Equinoxe Tower Two should be completed by the fall.


I look forward to chatting with you if we cross paths!

 


Skunk problem arises near Nathan Shuster Park

There appears to be a skunk problem on Collins Avenue in District 8. I have received a number of calls in recent days.

So I asked our Public Works Director Beatrice Newman  for some guidance. She provided with a short summary of how we may coexist with wildlife that is sharing our city.

If residents are having issues on their own property with wildlife, it is their responsibility to respect the wildlife and ameliorate the protection for their property such as  securing trash cans and enclosing areas under balconies. The city tries to do the same with our public spaces.

Skunk

We are very sorry for the inconvenience that may have occurred from a visiting skunk,  but these animals have inhabited our community for a few years now and they are here because their food sources are very accessible, as in many other cities. The city cannot kill or get rid of skunks. We will, however, survey nearby Nathan Shuster Park for any indication that skunks have dens there. 

Prevention of skunk problems through good property maintenance and management is the only permanent solution. The removal of individual animals, without taking steps to eliminate access to denning sites and food sources, will just leave a vacant territory for another skunk to inhabit. Please be respectful and patient with these animals when conflicts arise.

Below, we have also provided the list of names of contractors that can help protect home and properties. The first two organizations concentrate on forcing the animal out of the area and then focus on prevention work, like building up fencing, digging out trenches, etc.

1) Eviction Wildlife Solutions - Chuck (owner)

    514.222.1453

    Free estimate, guarantees his work

    Based in Montreal

2) Skedaddle - Human Wildlife Control

    514.395.4555 or 1.877.222.9453

    $65 initial estimate which is used towards the fee, once a contract is agreed upon

    Based in Ontario with Montreal office

3) Chaine d'extermination

    450.635.0884

    Price to be determined between resident and company

    Based in Montreal

 

4) Fondation de la faune du Quebec

 1-877-639-0742

This organization sets up a trap at the location where there is a problem. All creatures of this sort must be captured alive, they may not be killed/

 


New Update:Quebec gives the green light for by-elections to take place but they start from scratch

There is an important update to the information below. Not only will the date of October 4 for by-elections likely be changed, but it appears that anyone who were registered as candidates already must start over from scratch. Moreover,  anyone can submit their candidacy.

In Côte Saint-Luc, that means our by-election for District 8,  Adam Dahan and Leslie Perez are must resubmit their papers and possibly expect more opponents. The seat became vacant following the passing of Ruth Kovac last year. Councillor David Tordjman and I have been filling in for that district on an interim basis.

I must ask, is this really fair? These two candidates spent money on brochures,  websites and posters. They started door to door. Now they are being told start again and by the way, others can oppose you?

Further information should be announced soon, but the CAQ government has this all wrong. I really feel for the candidates in St. Léonard, who already had their advance poll.

The Minister of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation, Ms. Andrée Laforest, announced last week the resumption of municipal by-elections. At the time she gave the date as of October 4 and said the 45-day election period could therefore begin on August 21, 2020.

The Minister of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation, Ms. Andrée Laforest, announced last week the resumption of municipal by-elections. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, all municipal by-elections in progress or scheduled were suspended, in accordance with the directives issued by public health authorities. On March 13, more than 40 municipalities in Québec had to interrupt their election proceedings because of the public health emergency. Many other positions have become vacant since that date.

Any municipality with one or more vacancies must notify its regional branch of the Ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation.

Lesliep
Leslie Perez

Sanitary measures to be observed

The Québec government's health and distancing directives must be respected during any by-election.   That will mean no door to door campaigning. Dahan and Perez had already started their campaigns, complete with posters on different poles.

 Reprise des élections partielles

La ministre des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation, Mme Andrée Laforest, a annoncé la reprise des élections partielles municipales dès le 4 octobre prochain. La période électorale, d'une durée de 45 jours, pourrait donc commencer à partir du 21 août 2020.

 

Adamdahan2
Adam Dahan

Rappelons que, dans le contexte de la pandémie de COVID-19, toutes les élections partielles municipales en cours ou à venir avaient été suspendues, conformément aux directives émises par la santé publique. Le 13 mars dernier, plus d'une quarantaine de municipalités du Québec ont dû interrompre leurs procédures électorales en raison de l'état d'urgence sanitaire. De nombreux autres postes sont devenus vacants depuis cette date.

Toute municipalité comptant un ou plusieurs postes vacants doit en aviser sa direction régionale du ministère des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation.

Mesures sanitaires à respecter

Les consignes sanitaires et de distanciation du gouvernement du Québec devront être respectées lors de toute élection partielle.

Les rôles et les responsabilités relatives aux élections municipales

L'application générale de la Loi sur les élections et les référendums dans les municipalités, qui encadre les élections municipales, relève de la ministre des Affaires municipales et de l'Habitation. C’est pourquoi la décision de suspendre ou de tenir ces élections relève de la ministre et de son équipe.

L'organisation et la tenue des élections municipales sont sous la responsabilité de la présidente ou du président d'élection de chaque municipalité. Le rôle d'Élections Québec est de former et de soutenir les présidentes et les présidents d'élection dans l'exécution de ce mandat.

Élections Québec assure aussi le contrôle du financement politique et des dépenses électorales.

 

 

 

A welcomed addition to District 2: Le Montefiore starts to fill up

It was more than five years ago when the Manoir Montefiore seniors residence on Mackle Road near Cavendish shut its doors. It sat empty for a while until Jadco Real Estate, the company behind the Equinoxe towers on Marc Chagall Avenue, purchased the property and completely gutted the interior to introduce a luxury rental apartment building nicely redubbed as Le Montefiore.

 

Lobby
The lobby.

 

With the arrival of the second Equinoxe in November and Le Montefiore, I now welcome new District 2 constituents in three buildings since  the last election.

Oren
Oren Elbaz

Rising nine stories and consisting of 94 residences, unit sizes  at   Le Montefiore range from 440 square foot studios to 1600 square foot penthouses.  Oren Elbaz, the manager of the Equinoxe handles similar duties here. In order to accommodate  the additional cars, a second indoor parking lot was constructed where the Manoir Montefiore dining hall used to sit.

Residents began moving in towards the end of June. It is now 60 percent occupied. A leasing manager is  available each day to showcase  units, which come with brand new appliances. Someone I  know who just signed a lease was sold  on the idea when she saw there was a washer and dryer in each unit. There is an outdoor terrasse, which will soon have barbeques and a reception room  for private events on the main floor. Pets are welcomed.

For more information go to https://www.lemontefiore.com or call  514-547-1234.

Interior
A look at the interior.

 

 

Penthouse
The view from a penthouse balcony.

 


Work resumes at Ashkelon Gardens

It has been two years now since important work began in the Ashkelon Gardens behind the library with the necessary felling of trees.

Hundreds of trees there were infested with the Ash Borer and the Dutch Elm disease. These trees were dangerous for people who were walking in the area (from the possibility of falling branches or trees) and  even constituted a fire hazard. The city requested our  expert contractor, Nadeau Foresterie Urbaine, to prepare an inventory of the affected trees. In total,  some 300 trees were cut we cleared approximately 21,000 buckthorn plants and bushes, a species that interferes with healthy tree growth. We intend to plant up to 600 new trees.

IMG_8551 (1)

This week work proceeded on cutting all of the vines from the rented fence that has been surrounding and protecting people from the work area. Once this is completed our Public Works Department will then contact the fence contractor to remove it. We are  preparing signage   that explains one must enter at their own risk since there are many stumps that people can trip on if they aren't careful. 

IMG_8552Next week the last of three poison ivy treatments will be administered.  A couple of weeks after this application, workers will begin to remove the balance of the buckthorn and then finally plant the remainder of the trees we originally planned to compensate for what we lost.. The work will be completed in its entirety during the early fall.   


CLSC Test Centre deserves a thumbs up; appointment only system to be instituted August 10

I usually go for my blood tests a few times a year at the CLSC René Cassin at Quartier Cavendish. In the past year they extended their hours from 7:30 am to 9:30 am, to 11:30 am, and added the two weekend days. It could not  have been better. Then COVID-19 hit and people like me avoided locations like this and put blood tests on hold.à

IMG_8555
In full protective gear as I head to the test center.

 

The  fact that my last set of tests were some eight months ago concerned  me, so today I went back with my requisitions.   I was told that some people were arriving as early as 6 am to get a good timeslot, many of whom not properly social distancing. That was not a route I  chose. I turned up at 7:30 am by which time the herd of masked men and women were told to leave the inside of the building and form a line outdoors. I waited until the line disappeared and the security guard handed me a piece of paper with a number and a 9:30 am appointment time.

 

IMG_8550
Is this lineup for a rock concert or blood tests?

 

I  returned  at  that  time, was told to go inside and the process from  there went fairly quickly. Only one person having blood drawn at a time. But with a second wave coming, the CIUSS West  Central  Montreal has just announced a new appointment only procedure. This will ensure that they can allow enough space for distancing by having as few people as possible in the waiting rooms. Walk-in visits will no longer be permitted.

 As of August 10, anyone who wants to make an appointment at one of  the CLSC test centres to have blood drawn or other samples tested must go to CLICSANTE.CA. Then they should choose “Blood test and specimens” and enter their postal code. Clic Santé will propose an appointment, which may not be for the same day. Since some people may find it difficult to gain access to this website, and in order to ensure a smooth transition, the CLSCs can also be phoned to book an appointment.

A statement  I received says: “We understand that getting used to this change may take some time. However, given our new reality, it is important for us to implement this new system now, so that we can provide the best possible protection for our users, staff and visitors. Users can call the CLSC if they have any questions about the new appointment system.”

Bravo for a wise decision.

Here are the  Test Centre locations

CLSC René Cassin

5800 Cavendish Boulevard

Montreal, Quebec H4W 2T5

514-484-7878

 

CLSC Benny Farm

6484 Monkland Avenue

Montreal, Quebec H4B 1H3

514-484-7878

 

CLSC Parc-Extension

7085 Hutchison Street

Montreal, Quebec H3N 1Y9

514-273-9591

CLSC Metro

1801 de Maisonneuve Boulevard West

Montreal, Quebec H3H 1J9

514-934-0354