Congratulations go out to Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, who was recently invested as a Canadian Senate Knight of Justice by the Chancelor of the Venerable Order of the Hospital of St-John of Jerusalem. He is pictured below, fifth from the right and left, with other recipients.
Established in 1888 by Queen Victoria, the Order of St. John was incorporated into the Canadian Honours system in 1990. In addition to this Order, the Honours system includes the Order of Merit, the Order of Canada, the Order of Military Merit, the Order of Merit of the Police Forces, and the Royal Victorian Order.
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.
Hydro-Québec held an open house for smart meters on Wednesday June 12 at our Eco-Café in the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. Residents received the invitations in the mail. A very impressive array of kiosks were set up and a steady flow of residents came through the doors to learn more about these smart meters, which will be installed in homes and buildings over the next several months.Mayor Anthony Housefather and I dropped by to thank Hydro officials (pictured) André Fortier and Jean-Philippe Rousseau for taking this extra step. You can read all about the new smart meters here. Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan J. Levine and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch were also on site.
«Hydro-Québec would like to thank the city and its residents for their interest in better understanding next-generation meters. This information session was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the City of Côte-Saint-Luc », said Mr. Rousseau, Hydro's Community Relations Advisor.
Hydro-Québec must replace all its meters throughout Quebec with next-generation models, as its current meter technology is now outdated. Safe and reliable, these new meters have become the new industry standard. Replacement of electricity meters began a few months ago in Greater Montréal. At least 30 days before installation of the new meters, customers will receive a notice and a pamphlet from Hydro-Québec explaining that meters in the area will be replaced within the next few weeks. They don’t have to do anything. The replacement is quick, simple and free.
Right now, most of Hydro-Québec’s meters are electromechanical, with a spinning disc and several dials. They must be read manually and haven’t been manufactured in North America since 2010. Next-generation meters will record and automatically transmit electricity-use data to Hydro-Québec. There will no longer be any need for meter readers to visit customer premises.
More than 120 million next-generation meters have already been installed around the world. The state-of-the-art technology adopted by Hydro-Québec will offer enhanced functionality to customers, including faster detection of outages, which means service to customers can be restored faster. Starting in 2014, customers will be able to monitor their electricity online by logging into their Customer Space on Hydro-Québec’s website.
Secure, certified state-of-the-art technology
The new meters comply with Health Canada guidelines, which set safety limits for radiofrequency (RF) emissions in the environment. Next-generation meters are therefore safe and pose no health hazard. In fact, RF emission levels measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter are approximately 120,000 times less than Health Canada limits.
For a few decades now, the City of Côte Saint-Luc has organized a Summer Golf Tournament for Seniors at the Meadowbrook Course. Councillor Sam Goldbloom and I co-chair this initiative and we are pleased to announce that on Tuesday, July 9, 2013, the Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic will take place - split into two divisions: Seniors and Occasional (that is me) golfers and Alumni and Prestige golfers.
Everyone will play nine holes and we will then head over to the Aquatic and Community Centre for a 1 p.m. luncheon. Brothers Marvin and Jon Gurman (pictured below) are honourary co-chairs. Their Yeh: Yogurt and Glacé, about to open at the Quartier/Cavendish Mall, is the event's official sponsor.
We have 36 spots for Alumni and Prestige golfers and we would love to have individuals who played in Côte Saint-Luc sports leagues before. Think of the nostalgic foursomes which can be established? All of the details can be downloaded right here: Download 2013 Golf Classic
Councillor Sam Goldbloom and I were proud to co-chair the 2013 Côte Saint-Luc Volunteer Appreciation Evening. Working with our amazing Parks and Recreation Staff and Department of Public Affairs and Communications, we decided to do something a little different this year and take advantage of the newest jewel in our community, the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society. Volunteers were invited to a delicious buffet dinner catered by Ernie at the Aquatic and Community Centre, followed by an exclusive presentation of Fiddler on the Roof across the street at the Giovanni Palatucci Facility.
Thanks to Parks and Recreation Director David Taveroff, 41 year veteran of that team Harold "Kid" Cammy and their staff, Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, Public Affairs and Communications Director Darryl Levine and Councillor Ruth Kovac for their significant contributions to our committee work.
Over the years we have honoured our volunteers at gala dinners and brunches. This new format was an unqualified success, with more than 200 people attending. It was my second time seeing the Dramatic Society's version of Fiddler and I loved every moment of it. When we presented our various awards, two of our councillors, Mitchell Brownstein and Sam Goldbloom, joined the mayor and the rest of council on stage in costume. Mitch plays Lazar Wolf while Sam portays the Innkeeper. Mayor Anthony Housefather has a cameo as a priest, with Taveroff as his understudy.
Councillor Dida Berku had a surprise at the reception, presenting Mayor Housefather with a Queen's Diamond Jubilee Medal.
Here is a list of the 2013 award winners.
Community Services Award
Recognizes a volunteer couple for exceptional contribution to the community special events programs;
Louise Ferland and Sam Pinsky have been an integral part of Côte Saint-Luc activities for more than thirty years. Louise served the residents during her thirty year career as a manager responsible for various Parks and Recreation programs such as Figure Skating, Learn to Skate, the Ski Club, etc. Once her career was over, she continued in a volunteer capacity working on various special events such as Canada Day, Maisons Fleuries and the ever so popular annual Winter Carnival Valentine Dance. Meanwhile, Sam started his volunteer career more than three decades ago, in sports, volunteering in various hockey and baseball programs. More recently, Sam has been a driving force with Louise volunteering at our annual special events programs.
William E Kesler Memorial Trophy
Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Parks and Recreation special events programs;
Ron Yarin is a fixture around the sports facilities in Côte Saint-Luc. He has been involved in a volunteer capacity since the late 1970’s and continues to serve the community year ‘round. Ron works diligently with both youth and adult sports leagues, volunteers in the vCOP program, and has excelled in our special events programs such as the annual Carnival Dance and the Garage Sale.
Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch, Branch # 97 Award,
Recognizes the Youth Volunteer of the Year , a “leader of tomorrow”, for outstanding efforts in making a difference in Cote Saint-Luc through volunteer activities.
Ariel Sterlin is an outstanding example of young leadership in her community. She is a talented dancer and actor with years of training and experience behind her that belie her youth. She has trained in Ballet and Jazz throughout her life and is also trained in gymnastics. Using her gifts to give back to the community, Ariel voluntarily taught both ballet and gymnastics to children throughout her high school career. Last summer, unable to participate as a performer in the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society’s (CSLDS) production of Office Hours, Ariel volunteered countless hours as the production’s stage manager, a very demanding job with a massive amount of responsibility. This year, Ariel has managed to continue a high standard of education at CEGEP while starring as the titular roll of Hamlette in the Dawson Theatre Collective’s production of the same name, as well as working with the CSLDS once more, this time as Assistant Choreographer and playing the role of Bielke, Tevye’s youngest daughter. She is a joy to work with, a credit to her community and we are positive has a very bright future ahead of her.
Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the City’s socio-cultural programs;
Gayle Cohen is recognized in volunteering her time and efforts to the library’s Bright Lights Film Club program. Gayle has been most instrumental to the program’s success since its beginning in 2009. She brings to it not only a passionate regard for film but also a formal degree in its study having earned a BFA in Film Studies from Concordia University. In doing so she has selected provocative, innovative and challenging films; provided extensive, thoroughly-researched, pre-screening introductions to educate, contextualize and elucidate such work (often unfamiliar to the program’s attendees); before leading lively group discussions after the viewing of each film. Many doubted the viability of such a unique program but Gayle has not only proven them wrong but engendered a spiritual, intellectual and artistic richness by which the citizens of Cote Saint Luc have greatly prospered.
Special Recognition Award
Frank Levine, President of the Royal Canadian Legion, Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch #97, has been serving the Legion for several years. Frank leads the organization in the annual poppy sale program which this past year raised over $35,000.00. All funds are distributed to various hospitals and charities throughout Montreal. Frank is a central figure in organizing the VE Day Recognition Ceremony every May in Côte Saint-Luc and the November 11th Remembrance Day parade for the YM-YWHA. Special recognition goes out to Frank for his tireless effort and contribution to the successful endeavours and good work of the Royal Canadian Legion Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch # 97.
Hazel Lipes Award
Recognizes a volunteer for their exceptional contribution to the Community Services Programs.
Shelley Schecter (above with me) is the inspiration behind the Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, responsible for its Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program. She has dedicated her life towards animal welfare and as the founder of Educhat, she is called upon by individuals across the province for assistance in rescuing homeless cats. Without Shelley's leadership, our volunteer committee would not have the tremendous success rate it has attained in the three years since its formation.
Lifetime Achievement Award
Joseph Raie has dedicated much of his life to the Côte Saint-Luc Minor Sports programs. He presided over our Minor Hockey Association and at the present time oversees the Youth Hockey League and the Senior Softball League. Despite some health setbacks, Joe never let this stand in his way.
Ambassador of the Year
Michael Kutz was 11 years old when the Germans rounded up the Jews of Nieswitche, Poland and transported them en masse to open pits where they were to be slaughtered. By a quirk of fate, Kutz was knocked unconscious and left for dead. Later that night he awoke and escaped, and made his way to a convent. He ultimately joined the partisan forces in the area. Kutz is the recipient of countless community awards, and was presented with the Supreme Chancellor’s medal by the Supreme Lodge of the Knights of Pythias. He is also a member of the board of governors, board of directors and executive of the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre. Michael regular speaks to students, is a longstanding member of the Brigadier Kish Branch #97 and the Côte Saint-Luc Men's Club. He always represents our community with pride.
Edward J. Kirwan Trophy
Sidney Margles was presented last fall with this trophy, recognizing the overall Volunteer of the Year. Sidney moved here from TMR about a decade ago and has made a significant impact in our community, particularly as president of a revitalized CSL Men's Club. He is a resident of DIstrict 2 and a reliable source for me to turn to when necessary. Of course in his past life he was a councillor in the Town of Mount Royal and a noted broadcaster for CJAD.
Before I was first elected some eight years ago as the Côte Saint-Luc city councillor for District 2, I pledged to invite my constituents to an annual meeting to discuss issues pertinent to our specific area. These District meetings have been very successful and while they typically occur in June, I do call others when necessary. You see for me, it is not enough to simply knock on doors every four years when an election is called.
My latest District 2 meeting took place on June 3, 2013 at City Hall and I am pleased to say the room was full. Among my special guests were Mayor Anthony Housefather, Police Commander Sylvain Bissonnette, Manager of Engineering Mohammed Ali and Howard Liebman, the chief of staff for Mount Royal Liberal MP Irwin Cotler.
I was pleased to honour Archie Kwiatt, the dedicated crossing guard at the super busy intersection of Cavendish and Kildare. While we presented him with a certificate of merit, Mr. Liebman also came forward with a beautiful certificate of his own from MP Cotler. It was a fitting tribute to a man who makes our pedestrians feel safe. I will soon be accompanying Archie on some of his shifts, something I have done in the past, to gain a better perspective of our traffic issues there.
Mayor Housefather spoke passionately about the PQ government's Bill 14, legislation aimed at toughening up our language laws and how the municipalities have waged a successful battle so far to preserve the bilingual status of communities like Côte Saint-Luc. He also put into perspective rezoning measures that were taken to allow for a very small commercial establishment on Marc Chagall Avenue between Beth Chabad and the Snow Dump. He indicated that there will soon be a call for offers and the highest bidder would be given the opportunity to buy the land. What someone can build is restricted. This could be a pharmacy or a bakery for instance plus professional offices on the second floor. We already had a public consultation meeting, explaining to Marc Chagall Avenue residents that we will be grassing over the land between the new townhouses and the Bellagio, with the hope of eventually relocating Isadore Goldberg Park (now located between the Sir Walter Scott/Kildare Road apartment buildings) there. We opened a register at City Hall for the rezoning and nobody signed in against it. We will now wait to see how the bidding process goes. This should begin in late summer. The mayor also spoke in very positive terms about the new housing development and his hopes that the newly dubbed "The Avenue" will ultimately become our version of NDG's Monkland Avenue.
I introduced Commander Bissonnette, who told us that he has now headed Police Station 9 for six years. This is interesting considering that his arrival on the scene coincided with a plan by the Montreal Police to close the station down. "I was supposed to be here for four to six months and then the station would close," he recalled.
"But we saved it," the mayor intervened.
The Commander was pleased to report that criminal activity is down in the district, which also includes Hampstead and Montreal West. His station pays a lot of attention to traffic infractions at key intersections like Cavendish and Kildare.
I announced that Hydro-Québec will be undertaking major work on Merrimac and Rembrandt in 2014. The snow dump has been cut down in size and vehicle infractions involving Bialik parents are dramatically down thanks to the cooperation of school officials and Commander Bissonnette's team. The tennis courts at Rembrand Park will be refurbished in the fall and new lighting installed.
When I opened the floor to questions, there were a flood of them related to Cavendish and Kildare. The mayor did note that this council has undertaken a series of measures to try and improve the situation, This includes the synchronization of lights and the double left turn on Cavendish and Fleet, the double left turn on Kildare turning on to Cavendish, different wait times at that same spot depending upon the time of day and a decision to retain the services of a crossing guard at our own expense.There were some good suggestions about how to improve pedestrian safety and Mr. Ali took note of all of them.
I very much enjoy holding these Town Hall style meetings. The next municipal election is on November 3 and I raring to go to seek my third mandate. For me, though, preparations for that vote began the day after the last one - in 2009.
A big thanks to Phil Matlin for playing piano as people entered the room.