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July 2015

June 2015

Oliver Jones helps launch public piano program at Rembrandt Park

Jazz legend Oliver Jones performed a few songs to help inaugurate the first public piano in the City of Côte Saint-Luc on June 29 at Rembrandt Park in District 2. What a wonderful occasion and a proud moment for me as the councillor for the area and for the portfolio of Library and Culture. The weather was nice and we had a fantastic turnout not only from the public, but local and mainstream media - Global TV, CBC and CTV. Here is the Global TV report.
 
The piano will be available to the public all summer from around 8:30 am to 10 pm. It will be covered with a tarp every evening. Rembrandt Park is located on Rembrandt Ave. near Kildare Rd. 
 
“Côte Saint-Luc is eager to launch the pilot project this summer and gives passers-by the opportunity to try out the new outdoor piano,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “We’re also proud to have a local resident – who also happens to be a jazz legend – help us inaugurate it.”
 
Public pianos have sprung up around the world in the last few years. Côte Saint-Luc decided to launch this pilot project when resident Louise Silverman donated her late mother’s piano.
 
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The legendary Oliver Jones helps us launch our public piano program.
A few months ago Rembrandt Avenue resident Phil Matlin approached me about the idea. I immediately approached our Director of Library Services Janine West, Manager of Cultural Development Danielle Bélanger, Associate City Manager Nadia Di Furia. and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman. Once the first piano donation was in play we were ready to go.
 
The public piano movement started with the ‘Play Me, I'm Yours’ initiative in the United States. This is a wonderful program that affords us all a chance to people-watch or even sing and dance while someone is playing.”
 
We are indeed seeking the donation of more pianos. Each of them will be decorated. Let Danielle know at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205 if you have a lead.
 
We are all very proud to have an icon like Oliver Jones living in our community. He has helped inaugurate public piano programs elsewhere in the city and what a thrill it was for the audience to watch him perform a few tunes.
 
Our city manager Tanya Abramovitch has always wanted to turn Rembrandt into a "culture park." The back of the chalet is uniquely designed with a semi circle of stairs which people can sit on very comfortably. It was the perfect venue for Oliver Jones as there was not bad seat in the house.
 
 

Fitting inauguration of Henry Marcovitz Playground on Randall Avenue

As Mayor Anthony Housefather pointed out,  the City of Côte Saint-Luc marked what was probably a first in our 100 year plus history - dedicating a park after a deceased city councillor on the day of his unveiling.

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Unveiling the sign.

Despite a heavy downpour, a large crowd gathered at McDowell Park on Randall Avenue for the inauguration of Henry Marcovitz Playground. Henry served on council for 20 years. He and his late wife lived most of their lives on Randall - directly across the street from the park. I had the great honour of serving as Henry's city councillor when he and his wife moved to District 2 and a Rembrandt Avenue high rise condo about a decade ago. We spoke often during that time and he even attended my District meetings. I could see the spark in his eyes when he weighed in on certain issues.

Henry passed away last October. I actually saw him a few weeks earlier at a restaurant with his family. He was wheelchair bound, but when he saw me I got a wink hello as he passed by.

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Myself, Councillors Levine, Kovacm Brownstein, Mayor Housefather, Allan and Michael Marcovitz and Marcy Marcovitz Seidman.

“I first got to know Henry Marcovitz on the demerger campaign in 2004 when he joined with me and other former Côte Saint-Luc elected officials to promote the reconstitution of our city,” Mayor  Housefather said. “He was already quite advanced in years but he had enormous energy and impressed me with his intellect and dedication to the cause.”

Marcovitz moved to Randall Ave. starting in 1955. He became involved in local politics when he worked on the mayoral campaign of Samuel Moscovitch in 1964. He was first elected to city council in 1970 and represented District 3 when the district system was set up in 1982.

Marcovitz was chair of the town planning committee and a member of the finance and audit committee during the mid-1980s. This included the period when Côte Saint-Luc built its new library and city hall. He fought against condo conversions, forcing landlords to carry out improvements required under city bylaws.

“He was my city councillor while growing up in Côte Saint-Luc and was always available and welcoming treating my concerns with respect and importance,” Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said. “I was always proud to say I knew him as a friend to all he served.”

Councillor Allan J. Levine called Marcovitz his mentor.

Marcovitz’s contributions were lauded by his peers. When he left office in 1990 after six terms, then-Mayor Bernard Lang called him a “level-headed” and “effective” councillor and that “he added a great deal of serenity to negotiations.” Then-Councillor Isadore Goldberg called him “one of the deans” of council.” Councillor Glenn J. Nashen said Markovitz had been very committed and served as an inspiration for new leaders.

“It was great having him as part of the council for two decades and his name and way of thinking continues to be mentioned a half century later,” Councillor Nashen said.

Marcovitz had been accepted to McGill medical school, but rather than complete his medical training, he felt compelled to enlist with the Canadian Army to fight in the Second World War. He later returned to school and graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree. He went on to become a successful businessman. He met his future wife, Shirley, who was the love of his life for 59 happy years. When she passed away a few years ago, he asked that the tombstone be engraved with the unusual but heartfelt words, “a beautiful marriage.”

He lived a healthy lifestyle and stayed in shape by water skiing, downhill skiing, and playing squash and golf. He even continued to exercise when he was in a wheelchair and attended lectures at the library into his last year.

“Henry was a Mensch, a gentleman and a role model,” said Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz at Marcovitz’s funeral last year. “He could fix his own car, repair his own house and do his own taxes. Above all, he was a man of integrity, kindness and generosity.”

Henry's son Allan spoke on behalf of the family and broke down a few times as he described what this honour would have meant to his dad. His sister Marcy and brother Michael echoed those sentiments. Michael was a hockey teammate of mine back in the days when we played at the old Montreal West Arena and had to get up at 6 a.m. on weekends. "Dad always brought me to the rink," said Michael, whom I remember to be a good stay at home defenceman,

 

 


Canada Day in Côte Saint-Luc will be a blast - we just need good weather

As co-chair of Canada Day Festivities 2015 with Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, I have been gearing up for July 1 for several months now. I just have to hope that the preliminary forecast calling for possible showers is wrong. There is simply too much to get excited about. Please take the time to see the videos embedded in this posting.

First of all, we will  honour Irwin Cotler with an induction onto the Human Rights Walkway while highlight the fiftieth anniversary of the Canadian flag. 
 
 
“Our Canada Day event attracts thousands of people and it’s an opportunity to honour people who have made a difference, whether somewhere else in the world or here at home,” Mayor Anthony Housefather said. “This year we have decided to induct Professor Irwin Cotler on the Côte Saint-Luc Human Rights Walkway. For the past five decades, he has devoted his intellect and advocacy skills to the pursuit of justice around the world, first as an international human rights lawyer and later as a Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, and Minister of Justice and Attorney General of Canada, where he made the pursuit of international justice a government priority.”
 
Mayor Housefather, of course, hopes to succeed Cotler as the MP for Mount Royal in the October 19 election.
 
All Canada Day activities take place at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Mackle Rd. The Irwin Cotler induction is scheduled for   9:05 pm. 
 
To highlight the fiftieth anniversary of the Canadian flag we will be flying a greater than usual number of Canadian flags throughout Côte Saint-Luc. Also, the children from our day camps will be producing a banner that will be displayed during the festivities. The theme of the banner is Canada and what does being Canadian mean to you.
 
 
 
Canada Day will also feature a Canadian citizenship ceremony for new Canadians, live music by Replay the Beatles and a show with The Incredible Boris, comedy hypnotist. Kids will enjoy storytelling, inflatable games, the children’s train, the roaming magician, arts and crafts and more. Other activities include free pedal boats on Centennial Lake, a photo booth, a model airplane show, a model boat show, free cupcakes, and the closing fireworks at 9:45 pm.
 
 
See the Canada Day schedule at www.CoteSaintLuc.org/CanadaDay2015.
 
This year’s masters of ceremonies is a tag-team of four personalities from Global TV: Camille Ross,Jessica Laventure, Elysia Bryan-Baynes and Travis Todd.
 
 
 
Event sponsors include Canadian Heritage, Global, Qualitifruits, Domino’s Pizza, The Suburban, Maac.ca, Quartier Cavendish, RBC, Scotiabank, Chartwell Castel Royal and West Island Music Academy.
 
In case of heavy rain, many activities would move to the Confederation Annex in Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park. The Canadian citizenship ceremony would be moved to the Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven) at 5 pm. The induction ceremony for Irwin Cotler on to the Human Rights Walkway would take place at 6 pm. The fireworks display would be postponed to Thursday, July 2 starting at 9:30 pm. The kids train and model airplanes and boats would be cancelled.
 

First D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals go to three worthy recipients

As beautifully reported by Councillor Glenn J. Nashen on his blog, Member of the Quebec National Assembly, David Birnbaum, inaugurated the D’Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals on Monday evening, June 22 in Ashkelon Gardens at Côte Saint-Luc City Hall.

I have taken the liberty of sharing Glenn's report.

The first three inductees were selected by a blue ribbon panel of three former MNAs for D’Arcy McGee riding: Dr. Victor Goldbloom, Justice Herbert Marx and Lawrence Bergman. All three served as ministers in previous Quebec Liberal governments. The dedicated Bureau Chief of the riding office, Elisabeth Prass, served as emcee.

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Janine, Valerie and Justin from the library join Mayor Housefather, David Birnbaum and myself in congratulating Paul Shuster.<

Medal recipients were Paula Brauer Shuster, Samuel Gewurz and Barbara Seal.

Paula Brauer Shuster is a retired teacher who now serves as a volunteer library ambassador in Côte Saint-Luc, offering community input on library programs and serving as driver in the home delivery program to those who are home-bound. She is always involved in book sales, the annual city tomato plant giveaway and Canada Day celebrations. Paula serves lunch at B’nai B’rith House and volunteers for the Pharmaprix Weekend to End Women’s Cancers. Library Director, Janine West, noted in nominating Paula: “Her willingness to help and selfless spirit have made her a very beloved member of the Cote Saint-Luc library family.”

Barbara Seal is a former citizenship court judge, Hampstead Town Councillor and director of the Segal Centre for Performing Arts. She’s the National President of the Canadian friends of Tel Aviv University and a director of the McGill School for Continuing Studies. In her long professional and volunteer career, Barbara has been chair or director of more than 40 community, educational, cultural and health support organizations. She has lectured widely, has been a lifelong learner, and the recipient of a myriad of citations and awards. She continues to conduct the annual Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony in Cote Saint-Luc.

 

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Birnbaum, Herbert Marx, Barbara Seal, Sam Gewurz, Dr. Victor Goldbloom and Lawrence Bergman.

Samuel Gewurz is a commercial and industrial real estate developer who has given back to his community throughout his life. He has been recognized with awards for his impact on urbanism in Quebec and for his leadership initiatives to promote staying in school, heritage properties and sustainable development. Sam has been a volunteer advocate and supporter of MADA, which provides groceries and prepared meals for thousands fighting poverty, Hebrew Academy and Canadian Friends of Bar Ilan University, among others. MADA director Rabbi Chaim S. Cohen noted in supporting Sam’s nomination: “We are continuously honoured and awed by his care to MADA and the community. He’s a true leader, paving the path of goodness and kindness in our community.”

Music was provided by the local, talented and energetic high school band, Les jeunes musiciens de l’Ecole secondaire St-Luc.

Mr. Birnbaum introduced the medal presentation as a unique and meaningful manner in celebrating the deep involvement and active participation of the citizens of D’Arcy McGee.  


Isadore Goldberg Park gets a facelift

Isadore Goldberg Park is located between the rental buildings on Sir Walter Scott Avenue and Kildare Road  in District 2. It is  named after former District 1 City Councillor Isadore Goldberg.

The decision to place the park in this odd spot was made years ago, long before there was development along Marc Chagall Avenue. Mayor Anthony Housefather has supported my desire to relocate the park closer to the entrance to the City Hall/Library walkway in order for it to be more open, yet still serve the same clientele.

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A job nicelydone.

Some residents expressed concern this spring with the look of this park. I wish to extend a huge word of thanks to our tireless Director of Public Works, Beatrice Newman, and her dedicated staff. In recent weeks they have spent countless hours on site. First and foremost, they removed three dangerous pieces of equipment for the benefit of the children. They added 75 tons of new sand and fixed the swings. All they must do now is repair some of the grass which was damaged due to the transportation of the sand.

I know the residents will truly appreciate this.

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Mourning the passing of cherished crossing guard Archie Kwiatt

For many years, pedestrians at the  busy corner of Cavendish and Kildare always knew they could get across the street safely due to the presence of dedicated crossing guard Archie Kwiatt.

Archie was more than a mere crossing guard. He was a friend to everyone he met. I often accompanied him at the corner to study the traffic flow and it was amazing how popular he was with motorists and pedestrians alike. Students at Bialik High School  were safer with Archie present. With a gentle voice and a wave of the hand he reminded them not to cross at red lights and to abide by the traffic rules. If a motorist drove recklessly he'd let them know this was unacceptable. Since his "office" was directly in front of Police Station 9, he made sure these incidents were reported.

In recent years Archie had to slow down his activity due to health reasons, initially taking the cold winters off. Recently, he retired.  I am sad to report that Archie passed away on June 16 with his beloved with Bluma by his side. While at Maxies Bakery to pick up a few items, word was already circulating through the store via owner Mark that Archie - a fixture at the Quartier Cavendish food court - had passed away. Funeral services will take place on June 19 (1 p.m.) at Paperman and Sons.

I first met Archie many years ago through my dad. He was the ticket sales manager for the Montreal Alouettes and Concordes. His crossing guard duties essentially served as a semi-retirement gig. He loved every moment of the work and we in Côte Saint-Luc were lucky to have him.

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Archie Kwiatt (third from the left) with Mayor Anthony Housefather, myself, Howard Liebman and former Police Station 9 Commander Sylvain Bissonnette.

Two years ago at my District 2 Information meeting I honoured Archie, presenting him with an Award of Merit. He was very touched. As he told me, 14 years earlier he was downsized from his job as a warehouse manager. Soon after he saw an advertisement in The Suburban. The city was seeking a crossing guard. He quickly called our Public Security Department. When they found out he worked in a freezer and was therefore able to adapt to cold weather the job was his.

"It's not a job; it is a labour of love," Archie told me. "I like the people. I have developed a lot of friendships. It's a lot of fun."

Archie's standard hours were 7:30 a.m. to 9 a.m. and Noon to 4 p.m. I asked him who he focused more attention on, the students or the seniors. "The seniors," he responded. "It's a lot harder for them to cross the street than a younger person. I would like to think they have peace of mind with me there." 

You can fast forward the video below to the 1:25 mark for my video chat with him on that night
 

 

 

 


Leader of the demerger movement Peter Trent addresses Men's Club

The annual Côte Saint-Luc Senior  Men's Club luncheon took place June 10 in the gymnasium of the Aquatic and Community Centre with a very special guest speaker. Westmount Mayor Peter Trent was the leader of the demerger movement. Eleven years ago, on June 20, 2004,  residents from most Suburban municipalities voted overwhelmingly to become independent once more even though they had to meet a Quebec Liberal-imposed 35 percent threshold of total eligible voters.

 

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Peter Trent and Anthony Housefather seated, alongside Councillor Ruth Kovac, myself and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein.

 

Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead, Montreal West, Westmount, TMR and a swath of West Island suburbs demerged. Because of the rules in place, municipalities like St. Laurent, Anjou and Outremont did not reach the 35 percent turnout.  Trent has written a book on the subject and never gets tired of discussing the issue, reminding everyone that the warnings by then Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay to the suburbs that they'd only control 30 percent of their spending power were false. "Today, Côte Saint-Luc controls 59 percent of its budget," he said to much applause. "We were sold a bill of goods."

On returning to official city or town status, Trent said: "It is like getting your car back after it is stolen. You still know how to drive it, even if some of the parts are not there. But a borough is not a city. You do not own your own property. Demerging was a very rational choice."

During the demerger campaign, Trent was repeatedly pitted against pro-megacity Côte Saint-Luc-Hampstead-Montreal West Mayor Robert Libman. The latter is now the Mount Royal Conservative candidate and will ironically face CSL Mayor Anthony Housefather, representing the Liberals, in the October 19 federal election.

"Côte Saint-Luc now has the best of both worlds," Trent said. "Had you remained in the mega city you'd have no power. All I can say is congratulations."

Mayor Housefather said that only twice in his political career has he had tears drip down from his eyes. Once when it looked as if the federalists were about to lose the 1995 sovereignty referendum  and again in the 2004 demerger referendum when there were fears that his team would not reach the total of 35 percent of  voter turnout.

"Look at our Aquatic and Community Centre," he said. "This building would never have existed if we were still part of the mega city. They would never have allowed an $18 million project. Groups like  the CSL Dramatic Society would not exist, nor would our Volunteer Citizens on Patrol program. We really have to thank Peter Trent for his leadership on this file."

Concluded Trent: "Anthony Housefather is known for his intelligence. He was front and center during the Charter of Values debate and has the respect of all of the mayors."

The luncheon, which cost $15 a person and $29 for couples, was catered by Marathon Souvlaki and featured a very nice turnout.

 See Glenn J. Nashen's blog.

 

 

 


Manoire Montefiore to close its doors

Manoire Montefiore, the upscale and beautifully maintained seniors residence located at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Mackle Road, will be shutting down. As the city councillor in the district I received the sad news today by phone.

Officials from Réseau Selection, the present-day owners of the facility, made the difficult decision recently. Staff were told today. There will be no imminent changes. In fact they  will proceed with the closure over an 18 month period during which time they will work with residents and their families to find new homes. Some will likely relocate to Le Waldorf on Côte Saint-Luc Road, which is also under the Réseau Selection umbrella and run in excellent manner by Michael Goldwax,

Montefiore

There are only 65 units occupied at the Montefiore at this time and the average is 90. This means they are operating at about 50 percent capacity. The building will eventually up for sale. Réseau Selection officials do not expect it to remain as a seniors care facility, but rather revert to a condominium or rental. Someone will truly inherit a gorgeous and sprawling facility.

Manoire Montefiore opened in 1989. I remember attending the groundbreaking.  Rick Leckner`s firm was doing the publicity and Rabbi Reuben J. Poupko made a blessing.


New park, Kildare-Cavendish corner, JPPS Bialik merger and other matters discussed at District 2 Round Table

When I was first elected more than 10 years ago to Côte Saint-Luc city council, I pledged to stay in close contact with my constituents of District 2. Besides my regular walkabouts, daily email and telephone interaction and attendance at community and city organized events, I introduced District information meetings. At least once a year I invite residents to a Town Hall style meeting where we focus on issues specifically related to the district, with special guests on hand to help answer questions. I am pleased to say this has met with success.

On June 8, I organized what I called a District 2 Round Table. There was no “table” per se, but the City Hall Council Chamber was arranged with a very large circle of chairs.  My guests were Mayor Anthony Housefather, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, Director of Urban Development Charles Senekal, Station 9 Police Lieutenant Bryan Cunningham and JPPS-Bialk Head of School Maureen Baron and Bialik Principal Avi Satov.

I was pleased to see some 50 residents in attendance. Over the course of close two hours, information flowed both ways.

Mayor Housefather, whom many wished good luck to in his bid next October to become the next Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal, provided some insight into the city’s court case with the owners of Meadowbrook Golf Course. Our wish remains to keep this property green.  The owners had sued the city a number of years ago when we rezoned the property as greenspace.

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Glenn Nashen, Bradley Levine, Anthony Housefather, Jason Ullman and myself.

LAND ON MARC CHAGALL AND MACKLE

More than a decade ago, a sales office was setup at the Quartier Cavendish and units for two 17 storey towers to be located on Marc Chagall Avenue and Mackle Road were put up for sale. The buildings would never come to be, with the project cancelled and the owners seemingly disinterested in making anything happen. When their model home was demolished seven years ago, it was clearly case closed. The subject of this land came up often at past District 2 meetings, with residents of the two buildings in between – Le Rothschild and Le Marquise – not particularly pleased with the prospect of one day having two large facilities towering over them. Well, in the interim as part of a new master plan for the area we brought down the number of storeys buildings on that lot could be. Last week, news broke that the land is officially for sale. Submissions are being requested by July 14.  This 115,843 square foot parcel of land has the potential to build high-rise condominiums, apartments and senior housing that can be constructed in multiple phases. The city zoning permits a residential usage, a density of 3.90 and a height between nine and 12 floors.  Will there be a buyer?  I guess we will have to wait and see.

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With Corey Frenkiel of Park Place.

NEW PARKETTE AT CAVENDISH AND KILDARE

As part of the original plans for the still relatively new housing development at Quartier Cavendish, there is a large stretch of vacant greenspace at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare. We zoned this for a parkette, an area intended to have some nice benches, pathways, trees, flowers, shrubs and a fence or two. We will be announcing the name and theme for the park soon. A number of residents from Park Place were in attendance at the meeting to reiterate concerns they have about the non-stop influx of people crossing over the greenspace and through their private parking lot and past their homes as a short cut to the Quartier. I have been there on a number of occasions to see this for myself. Council has discussed this problem and there is now consensus to place attractive fencing across most of the stretch. I also favor a gate, something the residents on hand would like to see locked at all times so that people going to the Quartier after getting off the bus will have to walk along Kildare Road and then the Avenue. We are very cognizant of the concerns. Final plans for the makeup of the parkette will be made very soon, with construction set to begin towards the end of September. 

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A look at the round table setup.

THE CAVENDISH BOULEVARD EXTENSION

Is there a subject that has been discussed more in Côte Saint-Luc than the extension of Cavendish Boulevard towards St. Laurent? While the late Mayor Bernard Lang was adamantly against this (“We don’t need it, we don’t want, we can’t afford it,” he would always say), our council very much wants to see an indirect route from Cavendish to Royalmount in TMR and then to St. Laurent. Mr. Senekal is part of a technical committee which meets about twice a year to discuss this very issue. Mayor Housefather made it clear that the only thing stopping this project from happening is money. The Agglomeration Council of the Island of Montreal has set aside $44 million, which is hardly enough. There are some plans which suggest work could begin as early as 2017, but the mayor made it clear this will only occur if the Quebec government comes through with the necessary funding. The Federal government will need to play a role as well, so having our mayor in Ottawa won’t hurt this dossier.

CITY HALL PARKING LOT

The parking lot at City Hall will be given a total facelift this summer. Mr. Senekal explained that a few options are being presented to Council for final approval. A new configuration, we hope, will allow for additional parking spaces (something we know is needed for patrons of the library. We want to ensure maximum safety as well. One of the other objectives is to have a double passing lane in the drop-off zone.

ISADORE GOLDBERG PARK

Isadore Goldberg Park is located in between the apartment buildings on Kildare Road and Sir Walter Scott. A lot of young families bring their children there to play. It has been the goal of City Council for some time to relocate the park to the open area on Marc Chagall near the walkway to City Hall. However, due to certain safety standards we learned that was not possibly to simply move all of the existing equipment. Therefore, to construct a brand new park is a far more costly endeavor.  With the mayor’s support, I would like to see this put into our 2016 budget. In the meantime, our Public Works Department has been mandated to spruce up the existing park.  Although we had started weeding and replacing the sand last year, we are going to finish up that task in the park this summer. We will also be repairing the swings and replacing them once the sanding is done. Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman   has already done a small tour of the park with her foremen to assess the equipment and benches that remained. We removed equipment deemed unsafe.      

 

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With Lt. Bryan Cunningham and Carole Rimok of Park Place.

POLICE MATTERS

Lt. Bryan Cunningham from Police Station 9 shared some important information. At Quartier Cavendish, he said that many elderly people are being targeted by shoplifters.  He explained the common scenario. One person strikes up a conversation while another will come from behind and conduct the theft. He stressed that people should be careful in the food court, where pickpockets are rampant. Turning to thefts in cars, he warned people not to leave their garage doors open. Thieves enter, take the garage opener from the car and have access to the home. In some cases, cars and bikes in the garage have been stolen. The police and their summer cadets are on the lookout for these thieves. Mayor Housefather wished to emphasize that out of all of the police districts in Montreal, Station 9 has the lowest crime rate. Residents shared various concerns with Lt. Cunningham where they’d like to see police issue more tickets. This includes the crosswalk on Marc Chagall neat the Bellagio highrise condominium and Kildare and Cavendish. I commended the police for cracking down on cars that run the stop signs on Kildare Road and Merrimac and further along at Sir Walter Scott.

KILDARE AND CAVENDISH INTERSECTION

The corner of Kildare and Cavendish remains the busiest intersection in the city. Over the years we have made many efforts to resolve different problems and kept a crossing guard there at certain hours.  Traffic for cars and pedestrians is often a catch-22 situation. Motorists think the wait for a green light is too long; pedestrians feel there is not enough time to cross the street.  We always listen to recommendations and on this night there were a few that Mr. Senekal took note of. At the Council table, we have recently brought the topic back for discussion and one of our thoughts is to eventually close off the ability of people to cross Cavendish from the Kildare coming from Rembrandt, instead forcing them to only do so from the side nearest the police station. We will continue to explore different options. There were also requests for us to lower the size of the fence on the south side of Kildare Road as this can inhibit a motorist seeing somebody crossing the street. Steve Acre suggested we cut the height of the fence from five to three feet  in order to giv a motorist who is in the middle lane of Kildare making a left turn on Cavendish to go South to be able to see if any car is coming from the opposite direction. "I am afraid if we don't do something soon, and I mean soon, we are putting ourselves in the hands of the almighty not to have a head on collision," he said.  As Albert Aaron pointed out, both motorists and pedestrians need to be better educated.

JPPS –BIALIK

Maureen Baron and Avi Satov shared the news that they are currently completing a feasibility sale to sell the JPPS building on Van Horne and merge the elementary school with Bialik. I have already sat down with Maureen and Avi, in the company of Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson, to discuss the particulars. Such a move could take place as early as next January. Bialik presently has about 350 students, about half the number it did a decade ago. The arrival of JPPS would mean an influx of about 200 more pupils plus staff. There would be a staggered opening and closings each day for the two schools to facilitate drop offs and pickup traffic. A number of years ago I encouraged Bialik to launch a student traffic committee. Not only did they create such a body, but it continues today. As Ms. Baron pointed out, it is the students who educate the parents on proper etiquette when it comes to driving safely, not blocking driveways etc.  There  was a complaint about parents illegally parking in the Meadows condominium lot. I stated that if someone witnesses such a thing, the make, model and license number should be written down and reported to Ms. Baron. 

VCOPS

Councillor Nashen, who like Mayor Housefather actually resides in District 2, spoke about the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPs). He created this service nine years ago and it has now grown to 80 volunteers – the majority of the average age of 65. They patrol the city, keep an eye out for open garage doors and anything else they may deem alarming. There is a crew out on the streets now inspecting smoke alarms. Councillor Nashen also touched upon the city’s Emergency Preparedness Plan, noting that we are probably the best prepared in the region for any type of disaster. Such was the case in 1998 when the city stepped up to the challenge during the Ice Storm.

CONCLUSION

I thanked everyone for attending and reminded them to please follow my blog at www.mikecohen.ca. I can always be reached at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.

 

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Charles Senekal (left) in discussion with Lyon Kunin and Albert Aaron.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


City begins the process to bring extraordinary Sculpture Garden to Trudeau Park

At a special council meeting last week in Côte Saint-Luc, we set the wheels in motion for a very exciting development at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park involving the extraordinary large-scale bronze animal sculpture art of District 2 resident Shalom Bloom.

The city has issued a public call for professional services tender to redesign Trudeau Park, in part to become the home to Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden. If the costs are feasible for the city following the results of the tenders, we will then enter into a Deed of Donation agreement with Mr. Bloom and arrange for the  transportation of 10 sculptures from his country home in Esterel.

ShalomBloomRams
This Shalom Bloom sculpture of rams faces the Stewart Biological Building at McGill.

Congratulations to Mayor Anthony Housefather,  City Manager Tanya Abramovitch ,  legal counsels Andrea Charon (the lead player), Jonathan Shecter and Cheri Bell and Director of Urban Development Charles Senekal for the endless number of hours they have put into this project.

The tendering process should be completed by the end of October, leading to the transportation of the sculptures on or around September 2016. There could 14 additional sculptures in 2017 if we are successful in mounting a fundraising campaign. We are already looking at holding a two month vernissage at the Art Gallery of the Eleanor London CSL Public Library.