Previous month:
May 2016
Next month:
July 2016

June 2016

The legacy of Ilse Zilversmit; mourning the passing of Councillor Kovac's mom

Ruth Kovac has spent three decades as one of the City of Côte Saint-Luc`s very devoted members of council. At public events, she would seldomly be seen without her mother Ilse Zilversmit by her side.

Ilse passed away on June 23 at 90 years of age. She was a terrific woman and right up until her final days, before being hospitalized for a cancer that had reached the critical stage, she lived on her own in a condominium and remained very self-sufficient.

KOvac
Ilse Zilversmit (left) with her daughter Ruth, granddaughter and great grandchildren, in this photo taken less than two months ago.

Ilse was a Holocaust survivor. Her family home in Amsterdam became a refuge for Jews fleeing Nazi Germany, as early as 1934. As a teenager in 1943, she and her family were deported to the Westerbork transit camp. In February 1944, she was again deported - along with her family- to the Bergen-Belsen camp in Germany. She came to Canada and with her husband Gunther, whom she met in a camp, and raised three children.

Ilse  lived in the same Amsterdam neighbourhood as perhaps the best-known of those names, Anne Frank. Their parents knew each other; Zilversmit and her sister were around the same age as Anne and her older sister. Ilse and her family have another thing in common with the Franks – they were also sent to Bergen-Belsen. Her father was killed there, but she survived along with her mother and sister. “I'm the lucky one, I have six great grand-children,” she said in an interview just two years ago.

In an interview with the Canadian Jewish News in 2010, Ilse elaborated upon her connection to Anne Frank. “Anne was a nice girl, but a little, I wouldn’t say wild, let’s say energetic,” she said “while her older sister was very serious. We spoke to them at Bergen-Belsen, but couldn’t see them because there were two rows of barbed wire with straw in between. Anne asked if there was anyone from Holland, and then when we answered, if we had any food. We found some bread and threw it over, but someone else grabbed it first. Those were the last words we had with them.”

I always enjoyed my conversations with Ilse. She followed current events very closely and was naturally very proud of her daughter the politician. It was just over a month ago that Ilse came to City Hall with Ruth,  her granddaughter and great grandchildren  for our annual VE (Victory in Europe) Day, where the three generations lay a wreath. A few days later she joined Ruth at the Yom Hashoah ceremony.

"Before we took her to the hospital for the final time I came to her condo and she had the TV on her favorite channel, CNN," said Ruth. "She told me to take care of her plants. My dad passed away 29 years ago. So mom lived nearly one-third of her life as a widow. She lived a good life."

Here is a video Ilse recorded for the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre a number of years ago.   It is a stunning story, one that will live on for many generations to learn. The legacy of Ilse Zilversmit.

 

Survivante de l'Holocauste, Ilse Zilversmit raconte comment la maison familiale d’Amsterdam est devenue un refuge pour les Juifs fuyant l’Allemagne nazie dès 1934. En 1943, alors qu’elle était adolescente, Mme Zilversmit a été déportée avec sa famille au camp de transit de Westerbock. En février 1944, elle et sa famille ont de nouveau été déportées vers le camp de Bergen-Belsen, en Allemagne, et elle décrit la vie dans le camp.
 


Library unveils new baby grand piano at 50th anniversary kickoff concert

As the city councillor responsible for library and culture, I was honoured to attend the formal kickoff for 50th anniversary ceremonies of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library.  We did so on June 22 at the Harold Greenspon Auditorium. A nice crowd was on hand to watch rising-star pianist Emie R. Roussell and her jazz trio perform the concert Quantum, featuring music from their critically acclaimed CD of the same title.

MikeMitchPiano
With Mayor Brownstein in front of our new piano.

We also  inaugurated  the library’s new baby grand piano. We were able to acquire this gem of an instrument through various fundraising initiatives, including our heartfelt 88 Keys to Music Campaign, allowing us to honour donors’ names on a plaque we unveiled just prior to the concert. Since the piano will require upkeep, we are still taking $88 donations.

 

Winners of the Felix Award for Best Jazz Album 2015, critics and jazz lovers alike are unanimously referring to the Emie R. Roussell trio as “one-to-watch.” They performed for just about an hour and everyone at home enjoyed their excellent music. I spoke with Emie after the show. She was very complimentary towards our new piano. I reminded her that she made history, by becoming the first person to ever use it. As they packed up their equipment the trio was preparing for a musical trip to Japan. Upon their return they will be part of the Montreal International Jazz Festival.

Originally from the South Shore of Montreal and now an adopted resident of Rimouski, Emie discovered the fascinating world of music through her parents, themselves musicians and singers. She began studying classical piano at the age of five and continued lessons until she was 13. After a complete two-year break, she decided to follow her instincts and her love of improvisation to begin studying jazz with her father, jazz pianist Martin Roussel. He would be her mentor until she started studies at Cégep de St-Laurent college under the guidance of Lorraine Desmarais. She completed her diploma in jazz piano interpretation and was awarded the college’s “Very High Distinction” grant. In 2008, Emie made her entrance at Université de Montréal in jazz piano interpretation with Luc Beaugrand and completed her bachelor’s degree in May 2011. Since then, she has been a teacher and accompanist for the Jazz-Pop program at Cégep de Rimouski college in Rimouski, Quebec. In June 2015, she won the CALQ Award – Creator of the Year in Bas-St-Laurent.  

Roussel
Emmie on the piano.

The other members of her trio are Dominic Cloutier on drums and Nicolas Bédard on electric and acoustic bass.

IMG_1097
A look at the new piano.

Thanks again to Library Director Janine West and her staff, particularly Danielle Belanger and Justin Burnham.  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein provided opening remarks. Councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Dida Berku, Ruth Kovac and Sidney Benizri joined us for this historic night.

This is much more than a library, for our staff coordinate a wide array of cultural events. Please take a look at our upcoming calendar.

 

You can always visit csllibrary.com or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.


Birnbaum hands out his second annual D'Arcy McGee Citizenship Medals

I was pleased to attend the second annual presentation of the D’Arcy-McGee Citizenship Medals on June 20 at the Côte-Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre.

Three winners of this National Assembly medal were recognized for having touched and enriched the lives of riding residents through their community engagement. The selections were made by a blue-ribbon jury composed of three former D’Arcy-McGee MNAs: Justice Herbert Marx, Lawrence S. Bergman and Robert Libman.

Bergman
Lawrence Bergman addresses the audience.

Bergman provided opening remarks and showed how he remains the ultimate politician, almost a D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA Emeritus.

At the event, an inaugural winner of the Victor Goldbloom “Vivre ensemble” essay contest was announced. The prize, a tribute to the former MNA, Minister and Official Languages Commissioner who passed away earlier this year, will now be bestowed annually on a Secondary IV or V student studying in the riding.

“I’m privileged to serve a riding population that consistently distinguishes itself by its community involvement, compassion and leadership,” said present-day D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum. “We are all beneficiaries of this dedication.”

Birnbaumawards2016
Left to right: Solloway, Feldman, Ivry and Birnbaum. 

The winners were Dr. Mark A. Wainberg, Ian M. Solloway and Liselotte Ivry of Côte Saint-Luc. They were honored before friends, family and guests for lifetime achievement in serving their fellow residents and beyond.

For the first time, an additional medal was presented to the winner of the Victor Goldbloom ‘‘Vivre Ensemble’’ Essay contest, open all Secondary IV and V students studying within the riding. Sheila Goldbloom was present for the presentation of the prize, in memory of the former provincial Minister and first MNA for D’Arcy-McGee, Victor Goldbloom. The essay winner, Ben Feldman, was selected by a jury composed of the current MNA, D'Arcy-McGee Liberal Association President Orna Hilberger, retired Professor and Association member Dorothy Zalcman-Howard and Michael Goldbloom, Victor’s son and Principal of Bishop’s University. Ben attends Hebrew Academy on Kellert Avenue.

A music ensemble from École secondaire Saint-Luc in the riding entertained the gathering with a wonderful medley of jazz tunes.

Among those present were the Minister responsible for Access to Information and the Reform of Democratic Institutions Rita Di Santis, federal MP for the Mount-Royal riding Anthony Housefather, Hampstead Mayor William Steinberg and members of our council.

“There is such a rich tradition of volunteer and community leadership in this riding,” noted Birnbaum. “I am pleased and proud to have instituted a National Assembly medals program that allows us to recognize those in the D’Arcy-McGee riding who have given so much back in service of their fellow residents. Today’s three winners exemplify that spirit of community and public service.”

Wainberg, of course, is a world leader in advancing treatment for, and awareness of, AIDS and HIV. His research and collaboration have helped save millions of lives around the world. He was on business in Kenya and unable to attend. His colleague at the Jewish General Hospital, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen, accepted the award on his behalf.

Solloway is presently into the fifth decade of a remarkable career as a family law attorney. He has pleaded cases here and internationally. In addition, he wrote more than 650 judgments during three terms on the Commission d’appel sur la langue d’enseignement. In fact he was the first English-speaking member of that body. Ian also chaired the English-speaking section of the Montreal Bar for an unprecedented eight terms. Over the years he has also been integrally involved in the community.

“Ever since I was a child growing up, community has been important to me,” Solloway said in his acceptance speech. “My uncle was former Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Sam Moskovitch. I always believed that giving back to a community is not just a duty, but a privilege.”

Ivry is a Holocaust survivor who has shared her message of hope and remembrance with hundreds of Quebec children of all origins and backgrounds. Her mother and brother perished at Auschwitz. She was finally liberated from Bergen-Belsen in 1945 at the age of 19 and built a new life in Montreal. Professionally, she was an art teacher. In 2007 she published “I’m Their Voice,” a compilation of letters, poems and drawings from the students whose classes she visited over the years. “I believe we are all here on earth to accomplish a mission,” she said. “Mine is to speak on behalf of the six million Jews who cannot do so themselves.”

As for Feldman, 16, here is excerpt from his winning essay. “On July 6, 2013 a train carrying oil failed to brake properly and started rolling down the tracks towards a Quebec town. When this horrible explosion occurred, Federation CJA raised just over $100,000 for the people of Lac Mégantic along with Dr. Victor Goldbloom. The inhabitants of Lac-Mégantic did not understand why the Jewish community of Montreal was helping them and that is exactly where Vivre Ensemble comes into play. The few people who went there representing Montreal Jews explained that their morals and purpose was to help others, and as the people of Lac-Mégantic needed help, so that is why they came."


Econofitness opens at Quartier Cavendish

Welcome to Côte Saint-Luc`s District 2 Econofitness!

The former Bureau en Gros locale at Quartier Cavendish is no longer vacant. Today I attended the official opening of a brand new health club called Éconofitness, a division of Energie Cardio. It took about six weeks and $1 million to transform the one-time office supplies stores into a state-of-the-art gym and it looks absolutely beautiful. People were signing up on the spot and why not? It is only $120 a year, payable at $10 a month.

Econofitness
I received a warm welcome from company president Alain Beaudry and some members of his team.

Éconofitness is a growing chain. There are more than 40 locations across the province right now and they expect to hit 50 by the end of the summer.

Alain Beaudry, the president of Energie Cardio, was on hand for the opening. He said  that Quartier Cavendish officials were the ones that approached him first. "They told me that the Bureau en Gros location was available," he noted. "We came to take a look. It was the right size and for us we were happy to come into Côte Saint-Luc."

This development might not be great news for the West End Gym, which only recently relocated from the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre to Cavendish Club. Éconofitness is all on one floor.  Members have access to over 50 cardiovascular machines, a wide choice of strength training machines and free weights (5-75 lb).  Large screen TVs are placed strategically around the club.  You have access to a  30-minute express circuit and both  virtual group fitness and velocycle classes. There are regular group fitness classes, a hydro massage bed, tanning machines andmassage chairs. You can sign up for a plan that is more expensive than $120, whereby a lot of other options come along. It is all well explained on their website.

The hours of operation are  6 am to 11 pm weekdays and 8 am to 8 pm on weekends. You can follow them on Facebook as well. 

Ouverture d’un centre Éconofitness à Côte-St-Luc

 Ils étaient près de 200 personnes à la soirée d’ouverture du Éconofitness Côte St-Luc/Quartier Cavendish le 14 juin dernier. Côte St-Luc/Quartier Cavendish. Déjà établie dans la grande région métropolitaine avec 19 succursales et détenant bientôt 46 gyms partout au Québec, la bannière Éconofitness aura bientôt pignon sur rue au 5800, boulevard Cavendish. Plus de 61 000 Montréalais profitent déjà du plus grand réseau d’entrainement libre au Québec!

Avec un investissement d’un million de dollars, ce nouveau gym offrira, une salle d’entrainement au gout du jour avec de l’équipement neuf de grande qualité et plus de 200 heures de cours en groupe et de cours de vélo intérieur avec instructeur sur écrans géants à chaque semaine.

En plus de profiter d’un super beau gym à très bas prix, il sera aussi possible de s’entrainer efficacement en peu de temps grâce au Circuit express 30 minutes, à l’intérieur d’heures d’ouvertures élargies. Il est à savoir que les services de la Zone Platine (bronzage, lit d’hydromassage et chaises de massage à volonté) seront également disponibles.

L’enthousiasme de la clientèle pour le concept est indéniable. « Les membres sont heureux d’avoir accès à un gym qui convient à leurs besoins et leur budget. », affirme Judith Fleurant, vice-présidente, responsable du développement et de l’implantation d’Éconofitness au Québec.

Il est donc heureux de savoir que la bannière comptera 46 gyms sur le territoire québécois d’ici cet automne. À l’ouverture de la succursale de Dorval s’ajoutent 8 ouvertures dans le grand Montréal, une en Montérégie, deux dans le centre-du-Québec, une à Rimouski et une à Québec au cours des prochains mois. Confiant de la valeur de son concept et de l’intérêt de la population pour celui-ci, Éconofitness prévoit agrandir le réseau à 50 gyms d’ici 2017.


Présent sur le marché québécois de l’entrainement physique depuis 2013 et comptant bientôt 50 succursales, Éconofitness est un concept de gyms libre-service à bas prix rendant l’entrainement en salle et les cours en groupe accessibles à un grand nombre de Québécois. Équipement de qualité et environnement sans prétention sont à la base du concept. Membre de la chaîne canadienne GoodLife Fitness, Éconofitness fait partie du quatrième plus grand réseau d’entrainement physique au monde, soit plus de 320 centres au Canada.

 


Spots are already selling fast for the 37th annual CSL Golf Classic

The 37th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic will take place at Meadowbrook Golf Course on Thursday, July 7. Some 120 golfers will tee off beginning at 7 a.m., with a special awards banquet honouring long-time community leader and McDonald’s Restaurant franchisee Pierre Brunet set for the Aquatic and Community Centre (ACC) at 5794 Parkhaven Avenue at 1 p.m.

I will once again co-chairs the event with Councillor Sam Goldbloom. This year’s program will repeat the popular new format launched in 2015, as well as the two specific age classifications whereby players can compete (on a friendly basis) amongst their own age groups: MASTERS (age 65 and older) and EAGLE (age 64 and younger). The title sponsor this year will be La Capitale General Insurance. McDonald’s Restaurants of Quebec and Freemark Apparel Brands Inc. and its Bench brand are also among the sponsors. Veteran Côte Saint-Luc volunteer Ron Yarin is back as the honourary chair of the event along with Mark Routtenberg, president of Freemark Apparel Brands and former minority owner of the Montreal Expos. Paul Steinberg of Silver Star Mercedes Benz has arranged for someone to win the use of a car for one month if they get a hole in one and for three days as part of a draw.

GroupA_1520
Myself, Sam Goldbloom, Pierre Brunet and his general manager Dennis Murphy, Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman at a meeting to launch proceedings.

The event will honour Brunet as the Personality of Distinction. He will be recognized for more than 30 years of dedicated service, not only as franchisee of two local McDonald’s Restaurants in Côte Saint-Luc, but for his undying support for community events. In addition, the event will pay special tribute and raise funds for the Manoir Ronald McDonald. This is a temporary home away from home for out-of-town (more than 70 km) families of children with critical illness who must travel here for medical treatments. Traditionally, Côte Saint-Luc directs proceeds from its annual Winter Carnival events to this facility located next door to Ste. Justine Hospital via a pancake breakfast. This has resulted in donations of close to $50,000 for the Manoir.


Côte Saint-Luc resident Matthew Ross, the host of TSN 690 Radio`s Game Points and the founder of Expos Nation will be the special guest speaker. Expos Nation has been working towards bringing professional baseball back to Montreal. Legendary broadcaster Dick Irvin will be among the golfers.

The format of play is called “Scramble” and is quite popular in today’s golf outings. This helps speed up the game for all players. The players decide which golfer hits the best shot off the tee and then all those from that foursome play their next shot from that point. Play continues from hole to hole in the same fashion for the rest of the outing.

In case of thunderstorms on Thursday July 7, the luncheon will proceed with festivities at the Aquatic and Community Center and golf will be postponed until the following Thursday, July 14. The same starting times will be honoured at Meadowbrook Golf Club, 8370 Côte Saint-Luc Road. History will note that this event has never been rained out before.

The registration fee will remain at $27 (tax included), which includes nine holes of golf, a catered sit down buffet luncheon, award-winning trophies for contests such as Longest Drive, Closest to the Pin, and the opportunity to win one of many door prizes. A minimum donation of $10 is also being requested for the Manoir. Businesses can also sponsor a hole, with proceeds going to the Manoir.

For more information contact Harold Cammy or Alvin Fishman at hcammy@cotesaintluc.org or afishman@cotesaintluc.org or call 514-485-6806.

Here is a look at last year's  event.

 

 

 


Annual District meeting focuses a lot on Kildare-Cavendish & new development

On June 6, 2016 I hosted my annual District 2 meeting at City Hall. I am pleased to report that we had a standing room only crowd. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein joined us at the beginning to provide opening remarks. My special guests were newly appointed Urban Development Coordinator Marianne Zalzal and Director of Public Safety Jordy Reichson.

MikeZalzal
Marianne Zalzal makes a presentation as I look on.

When I first ran for office in 2005 I promised to be a councillor who would not just knock on the doors of constituents every four years at election time. Besides my regular walkabouts, my blog and daily communication with residents, I felt that this type of Town Hall format meeting was necessary.

KILDARE-CAVENDISH CORNER

For instance, no topic garners more of my attention than the intersection of Cavendish and Kildare. There have been a wide variety of concerns expressed by both pedestrians and motorists. The fact remains that this is the busiest intersection in the city. We synchronized the lights, allowed a double left turn coming from Kildare and did the same on Fleet Road. It did make a difference, but was this enough?  At previous District meetings, residents have come forward with suggestions. We listened to and evaluated each and every one of them. Last year, for instance, Steve Acre of Rembrandt Avenue brought up the blind spot on Kildare caused by the fence. He proposed that we cut it down in size. We looked into his idea and determined   it made sense. As a result, the size of the fence was reduced.

Szilagi
With constituent Peter Szilagyi.

This year there was a new development to report on. The city has formed a Task Group. Preliminary discussions have focused on the safety of the intersection and a proposed action plan. This group is composed of council members, city administration as well as Montreal Police Department representatives. This is something I have been pushing since the day I was first elected. We are presently awaiting data regarding vehicle and pedestrian counts.  I am pleased to report that city council has allocated at least $500,000 to improve the intersection. This is from funds we received via the gas tax. We have engaged the services of a traffic consultant who will produce at least two options for us to consider. Council will receive these reports very soon.   

 The major issues identified by the Task Group are as follows:

-The double left turn from Kildare westbound to Cavendish southbound is unprotected and creates a lot of confusion, delays and blind spots (where the inside vehicle obstructs the view of a pedestrian for the outside vehicle).

-The lack of pedestrian refuges due to narrow medians.

-The fences create blind spots.

-There is inadequate lighting.

-There is too much movement going on at the same time, adding to the confusion and delays.

-The protected pedestrian cycle is too short (as little as 3 second on the south side, crossing Cavendish from west to east).

-The proximity of the bus stops to the intersection cause large, but short waves of pedestrians.

-The existence of underground Hydro-Quebec chambers that are costly to have relocated restrict some of the redevelopment options at surface level.

-There are a lot of pedestrians on Saturday that cannot activate the pedestrian crosswalk buttons due to the Sabbath.

Commander Jean O’Malley of Police Station 9 has confirmed that there have been more than 22 accidents at this intersection in the last three years. The majority of these accidents involved material damage or minor injuries. There is currently more traffic density than any time in the last 20 plus years. JPPS elementary school has moved into the Bialik building, bringing more cars through this intersection. It was noted that very few school children arrive by bus, though some do return home by bus. Other developments, including the Chabad synagogue and potential new building adjacent to it, the Cavendish Mall redevelopment project and the Griffith-McConnell development have all increased traffic through this intersection. The expanded CLSC and CIUSSS have increased pedestrian traffic arriving by bus. Now a new fitness centre will open

I would like to see the creation of channelized right turn lane or “slip lane."  This reduces the distance that pedestrians must cross traffic lanes, creates pedestrian refuges and ensures a continuous flow. Perhaps we can start with the southeast corner as a pilot project and ensure that the development of the park on the northwest corner takes into consideration the possibility of adding a channelized right turn lane in its design. These would be medium-term changes as they require infrastructure work.

With regards to the Montreal Transit Commission busses, it has been recommended to re-examine the placement of the bus stops, while keeping in mind that bus stops are usually at the intersection to force people to cross at the crosswalk.  

With regards to the double left turn from Kildare onto Cavendish southbound, there are some who feel that this has to be either removed or moved into a protected cycle (i.e. flashing green light). Even with the lines painted on the ground, the configuration slows traffic flow instead of accelerating it fluidly. Because not all motorists use their turn signals, a driver often has to stop in the intersection to wait and see what the oncoming motorist is going to do. However, any changes to the light sequencing in order to protect the double left turn would require modifying the entire light sequence programming. In light of the engineering report that we wish to undertake, it would not be prudent to make changes now and change again in a few months after the engineering analysis and recommendations are received.

I anxiously await the professional firm’s report.  Some people at the meeting wanted a time frame. Well we do not have one at this time. The Task Group will look at the firm’s conclusion and determine the next course of action. I do believe that we will see the Cavendish Boulevard extension in the next few years. It is for that reason that I do not believe we will undertake any major civil work at Kildare and Cavendish. But there are plenty of interim measures we can take... Someone suggested we put sensors on the road so that when the corner is not at its maximum capacity more cars can go through. We do, in fact, have sensors but over time they have become less effective and probably need to be replaced.

One person at the meeting asked if we could extend Kildare Road through to Jean Talon. Besides the fact there is no party willing to fund such a project, I would be adamantly against creating a “highway” on a busy residential street with a school and synagogue right at the corner

JPPS BIALIK

It has been a few months now since the staff and students from JPPS Elementary School left their long-time home on Van Horne Avenue and relocated to beautifully renovated premises at what is now known as the JPPS-Bialik campus on Kildare Road and Marc Chagall in Côte Saint-Luc. In fact, the slogan they use is “The Campus of Tomorrow.” As the city councillor for District 2, where the campus is situated, I was delighted to accept an invitation to tour the facility in the company of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. We were warmly greeted at the front door by a team of students who shook our hands and introduced themselves. In fact the same thing occurred at every class we stepped into, even at the Kindergarten level. Work began last summer to renovate the building, which has always housed Bialik High School. It was nicely done, carefully separating the Kindergarten to Grade 6 students with the Grade 7 to 11 level. The fully updated and modernized JPPS Elementary School is now firmly rooted in the Bialik building, complete with a newly renovated library, state-of-the-art classrooms, new furniture including bicycle and standing desks, enhanced technology, a new fenced–in playground area, two gyms, and the Lederman Foundation Synagogue. The elementary and high schools have separate start, finish and recess times. There is an idea paint whiteboard in each class (that means you can write on the walls and it comes off).

NEW APARTMENT ON THE AVENUE

 Ron Basal of the BSR Group, a leading Montreal based developer who has been extensively active in Côte Saint Luc in recent years, is ready to proceed with the construction of a brand new six storey apartment building on The Avenue right across from the side entrance to Quartier Cavendish.  Excavation has already begun. Mr. Basal was supposed to attend my meeting, but got detained elsewhere. Residents of the neighbouring street expressed a lot of concerns about the facility, expected to be ready for occupancy by July 2017.  Mr. Basal is presently waiting for City Council to approve a number of items related to the construction. Most of the Quartier Cavendish development sector falls under my District 2. This includes Park Place, Jubilee and now this new mixed use building, which will consist of 90 dwelling units on six floors (plus penthouse) as well as a main floor for commercial use.  Tenants there will be determined.    

A two storey underground parking lot is also part of the plans therefore, once excavation begins, there will be a significant amount of large truck traffic and associated nuisances during this time.  

Mark Levy, a resident of Park Place,  wanted to know if there was a study done on the traffic, and pollution impact of suddenly introducing up to 180 cars (90 units, two cars each) on the Avenue during peak hours as everyone tries to turn right onto Cavendish to head to work/school. Presently, he said, the Avenue is much too narrow to support such an influx of vehicles and thus he suggested that someone at the city study the possibility of reducing the two lane bike path to one lane to accommodate an additional right turning late onto Cavendish and an additional left turning lane from Cavendish to the Avenue (in the afternoons).  I will try to arrange an information meeting with Mr. Basal and the residents at the appropriate time. There was also concern expressed about the green space next to  where Mr. Basal is excavating and the state of disrepair.

Dr Steinberg
With Dr. Marvin Steinberg.

SPEEDING ON PARK PLACE

Complaints were lodged about  speeding by residents and others on Park Place.  Mr. Levy said that the recycling and the construction trucks are guilty of the same thing. A request was made to place one or even two speed bumps on the street.  Ms. Zalzal said that she will order a speed study.

PARKING PROBLEMS

Park Place has become a de facto extension of the Quartier Cavendish parking lot. Residents who leave their homes at 7:30 each morning often find three to five cars parked there. More materialize before 9 am   and remain parked there for most of the day. It would appear that these are employees of the businesses at the Quartier. This problem will likely grow exponentially when the new $10/month fitness club opens 100 feet away. This new club is sure to bring hundreds of people per week to CSL and residents fear   they too will likely prefer to park on Park Place. 

Residents have requested a two hour parking limitation on Park Place (this will not help with gym users but at least will mean that someone will not be able to park all day on our street).  Another idea is a restriction to only park on one side of the street each day (this will at least mean that only half of the street will be full). Most residents have garages so the issue of street parking has a lot to do with their ability to enter and exit their driveways more easily.  

NEW PARK

City Council has awarded a contract for $253,285.28 to Groupe Vespo for the construction of a new park at the corner of Kildare and Cavendish. Work is expected to begin at the end of June and conclude in September.  I spent a great deal of time last summer meeting with residents living in the homes in the Quartier Cavendish complex in the immediate area of the park.  It seems that most of these homeowners were unaware when they moved in that the large section of greenspace at Cavendish and Kildare was zoned for a planned park.  While we could have actually proceeded with construction last year, we revised our plan in order to make it less of a “hangout” and to create the pathways in such a way that pedestrians would not automatically cut through Park Place. The project now  includes eight-foot asphalt pedestrian paths, three park lamp standards, 10 illuminated bollards, 10 park benches, three waste containers, six-foot and three-foot decorative fences as well as the planting of 11 trees and various landscaping. Council is expected to choose a name of the new park this summer. Residents are not pleased with people using what is now an unofficial pathway from Kildare as a shortcut to the Quartier via Park Place.  We did install a temporary fence, which I believe has improved the situation. The new design should be a step in the right direction. It was suggested that the 161 and 162 bus stops be removed leading to Park Place, meaning that pedestrians would only get on and off at Kellert. At first glance this sounds like a good idea. However, elderly residents of neighbouring apartment buildings would face an additional hardship if this were to occur.

TWO NEW CONDOS ON MARC CHAGALL

A company called Trantor Realty has purchased the land at the corner of   Mackle Road and Marc Chagall and plans to build two 12 storey high rise condominiums. Plans have already been reviewed by our Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and will come to council for approval very soon. This adds to the District 2 building boom, which already includes a new rental apartment facility under construction on the Avenue in the Quartier Cavendish area. About a decade ago there was another plan to construct two buildings at this location. They would have been 18 storeys high. When that ownership group dropped the project, council conducted some rezoning and much to the delight of the neighbouring condo owners at Le Rothchild and Le Marquise we lowered the density to 12 storeys.  A temporary sales office will open by next spring. Sidney Margles, who lives next door at the Marquise, expressed great concern about the added number of cars this will bring – from both residents and visitors. He noted that there is already a lack of places to park on the street. If there will be 152 units, he said, then the maximum number of indoor spots should be requested.  At the appropriate time, I will look into holding a meeting with the developer and the residents.

NEW CROSSING GUARD

Since the passing of Archie Kwiatt last year, the position of a crossing guard at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Kildare Road had been vacant. This was not for a lack of trying on the part of our Public Safety Department. There simply were not people applying for the job. Archie was very special. He did the job for 17 years and like the "King of Kensington," when he walked down the street "everyone knew his name." Archie took great care and making sure that the elderly and young students crossed this very busy intersection carefully. Norman Klein has been on the job for more than a month and is serving us well.   I made it very clear at the council table that this was one position which could not remain vacant. We have a school a block away, JPPS-Bialik, and many senior citizen pedestrians. History will note that this was also the site of some tragic accidents in the past.

LevineUllman
With Jason Ullmann and Bradley Levine.

ISADORE GOLBERG PARK

Isadore Goldberg Park is sandwiched between apartment buildings on Sir Walter Scott Avenue and The Marc Chagall Town Houses. For many years I have been advocating that we relocate the park to the open area closer to City Hall. This would in fact be more convenient to everyone residing in the neighbouring apartment buildings and condos. Efforts will be made to have this considered for 2017.

In conclusion I urged everyone on hand to follow by blog at www.mikecohen.ca.


CSL LIbrary to unveil our new "baby grand" at June 22 concert

As the city councillor responsible for the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library, I am very proud of the work our amazing staff does every day. One of our goals this mandate was to finally purchase our much anticipated baby grand piano. Well that day has come.

On Wednesday, June 22 at 7 pm rising-star pianist Emie R. Roussell and her jazz trio will perform the concert Quantum, featuring music from their critically acclaimed CD of the same title, at the Harold Greespon Auditorium just below the library. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased at the library’s circulation desk. This concert is beng presented in collaboration with the Conseil des arts de Montréal en tournée.

Winners of the Felix Award for Best Jazz Album 2015, critics and jazz lovers alike are unanimously referring to the Emie R. Roussell trio as “one-to-watch”. “I am so proud of the library and its outstanding programming,” says our mayor Mitchell Brownstein  “I hope residents can join us for a delightful evening of jazz music and get a sneak preview of what the trio will be offering at this year’s Montreal International Jazz Festival. Don’t miss your chance to hear them first right here in Côte Saint-Luc.”

On this night we will also be inaugurating the baby grand piano. We were able to acquire this gem of an instrument through various fundraising initiatives, including our heartfelt 88 Keys to Music Campaign, allowing us to honour donors’ names on a plaque to be unveiled outside the Greenspon auditorium the evening of the concert. We are thrilled to be able share this piano with our community, and our hope is that it will be enjoyed for years to come.

 

GC1M-yamaha-baby-grand-piano
To see our actual new baby grand, you'll need to join us June 22.

 

I  personally want to thank all those who contributed to our 88 Keys campaign and our dedicated staff and volunteers for the efforts they put into the library’s books sales, proceeds of which helped pay for the piano and achieve our goal. We are still encouraging people to buy a key with their name or that of of someone dear to them so you to can be part of this program.

As the library’s 50-year landmark anniversary approaches, please stop by on June 22 and pick-up your free list of anniversary-related activities and events leading up to our mega birthday party on Sunday, September 18. If you’re a Côte Saint-Luc resident and haven’t joined the library yet, bring some ID and we’ll sign you up for free. Tell your friends and family, and help us continue to make the Côte Saint-Luc Library the perfect place to discover, share, create and connect.

For more information about these events and programs, visit csllibrary.com or contact the library’s Programs Department at 514-485-6900, ext. 4205.

 


Two 12 storey highrise condos to be built on Marc Chagall Avenue

A company called Trantor Realty has purchased the land at the corner of Marc Chagall Ave. and Mackle Road and plans to build two 12 storey highrise condominiums. Plans have already been reviewed by our Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and will come to council for approval very soon. This adds to the District 2 building boom, which already includes a new rental apartment facility under construction on the Avenue in the Quartier Cavendish area.


About a decade ago there was another plan to construct two buildings at this location. They would have been 18 storeys high. When that ownership group dropped the project, council conducted some rezoning and much to the delight of the neighbouring condo owners at Le Rothchild and Le Marquise we lowered the density to 12 storeys.

There will be a total of 152 condo units – 83 in Tower A and 69 in Tower B.We have recommended that the ownership explore the possibility for a green roof ontop of the proposed interior swimming pool area.

I have spoken with the ownership group and it is unlikely we will even see the establishment of a sales office until next spring.


Two 12 storey highrise condos to be built on Marc Chagall Avenue

A company called Trantor Realty has purchased the land at the corner of Cavendish Boulevard and Mackle Road and plans to build two 12 storey highrise condominiums. Plans have already been reviewed by our Planning Advisory Committee (PAC) and will come to council for approval very soon. This adds to the District 2 building boom, which already includes a new rental apartment facility under construction on the Avenue in the Quartier Cavendish area.


About a decade ago there was another plan to construct two buildings at this location. They would have been 18 storeys high. When that ownership group dropped the project, council conducted some rezoning and much to the delight of the neighbouring condo owners at Le Rothchild and Le Marquise we lowered the density to 12 storeys.

There will be a total of 152 condo units – 83 in Tower A and 69 in Tower B.We have recommended that the ownership explore the possibility for a green roof ontop of the proposed interior swimming pool area.

I have spoken with the ownership group and it is unlikely we will even see the establishment of a sales office until next spring.