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August 2017

July 2017

Letter to residents regarding the City Hall Parking Lot Reconstruction/les travaux de reconstruction du terrain de stationnement

The following letter was issued by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and myself.

As many people have noticed by now, Côte Saint-Luc has started work on the reconstruction of the parking lot behind the City
Hall and Library. We’re doing more than just repaving. We’re improving the way it’s configured in order to remove the excessive turns, which create risks for pedestrians. We’re also adding two charging stations for electric vehicles and creating more parking spaces for cars to park.

We have been fortunate to have a parking lot with so many trees not just around the edges, but within the parking lot itself. Our goal at the start of this project was to save as many of these trees as possible by transplanting them elsewhere. We are saving up to 70 percent of the trees and have transplanted 28. Of course, we would have preferred to have saved all the trees. However, of trees that are being cut their roots were too deep to survive transplant or too small to justify the cost while new trees can be planted of similar size or they were sick or damaged in some way. It didn’t make sense to move the sick trees as the cost to transplant a single tree is about $2,000. We decided to transplant the healthy trees, which cost $53,000 in all. All the trees being cut will be replaced with new replanted trees.

Some residents have approached us to see if any changes to the next phases of the project can be undertaken to save more trees and enhance the greenspace. We have carried out a number of meetings with residents in recent days. Our project manager has subsequently agreed to a number of changes.

As many as four mature trees that would have been felled in the next phase will be saved. As a result, we will sacrifice several
new parking spaces. A bike path originally planned along the Avenue will be downsized significantly. Instead of a concrete path, we will make it all green and will plant an entire new line of trees not in the original plan. We will also be adding new lighting along the path. More greenspace will be added to the islands of the lot with more new trees. The benches that have been removed along the current pathway will be placed in new temporary spots for the summer. We are consulting with the individuals who use these spaces the most to determine the best permanent place for them to be installed when construction is over in the fall.

On Monday, August 14 at 5 pm, our project manager will host an information session at City Hall to show the updated plans and answer questions. No trees should be felled in the interim. This parking lot was in desperate need of repair. We have heard from many seniors and those with limited mobility over the years that the lot needed more spaces. The new parking lot will provide more spaces, be safer for pedestrians, and maintain the green canopy you have come to expect.

We wish to thank the residents who contacted City Hall for their valuable input and look forward to your continued feedback.
Marc Chagall construction update With the excavation stage of construction for the new high-rise apartment building on Marc Chagall Avenue drawing to a close, the next phase (after a two week construction holiday shutdown), will increase the number of workers on site.

Our ad hoc committee of representatives from the five neigbouring condo associations have expressed concern from the start
about a lack of available parking spots for residents and their guests. We met with the executive of Les Cours Marc Chagall recently to advise them that we plan to open a temporary parking lot for workers on the greenspace next to their complex. This area will be safely fenced in. It is the commitment of this council to relocate Isadore Goldberg Park to this section once the lot is no longer needed. Our lease with the developers is for one year.

If you have any further questions, please contact us at City Hall.

Parkinglot

Les travaux de reconstruction du terrain de stationnement


Comme beaucoup ont pu le constater, Côte Saint-Luc a commencé les travaux de reconstruction du terrain de stationnement derrière l’hôtel de ville et la bibliothèque. Nous faisons bien plus que réparer la chaussée : nous améliorons la configuration du stationnement pour éliminer les courbes trop prononcées qui peuvent constituer un risque pour les piétons, nous installons aussi deux bornes de recharge pour véhicules électriques et nous augmentons le nombre de places de stationnement.

Nous avons la chance d’avoir un stationnement où il y a beaucoup d’arbres, non seulement en bordure du terrain mais aussi à l’intérieur même du stationnement. Au début du projet, notre objectif était de préserver le plus d’arbres possible en les transplantant ailleurs. En fait, nous pourrons conserver jusqu’à 70 pour cent des arbres et nous en avons transplanté 28.
Évidemment, nous aurions préféré garder tous les arbres. Toutefois, parmi ceux qui sont abattus, certains avaient des racines trop profondes pour survivre à la transplantation, d’autres étaient simplement trop petits pour justifier le coût de la transplantation, étant donné qu’il est possible de planter des arbres de même taille, et certains étaient malades ou endommagés. Il était insensé de déplacer des arbres malades puisqu’il coûte environ 2 000 $ pour transplanter un seul arbre. Nous avons donc décidé de transplanter les arbres sains, ce qui a coûté 53 000 $ au total. Tous les arbres abattus seront remplacés grâce à la plantation de nouveaux arbres.

Certains résidants nous ont contactés pour que des changements soient apportés pour les prochaines phases du projet afin de
préserver un plus grand nombre d’arbres et d’améliorer les espaces verts. Nous avons organisé des réunions avec les résidants ces derniers jours. Notre gestionnaire de projet a ensuite convenu d’un certain nombre de changements.
Quatre arbres matures qui devaient être abattus dans la prochaine phase seront préservés. Nous devrons cependant sacrifier plusieurs places de stationnement.

Le projet de piste cyclable longeant L’Avenue qui était prévu au départ sera réduit de façon importante. Au lieu d’un sentier asphalté, nous avons opté pour de la verdure et nous planterons une rangée d’arbres qui n’étaient pas dans le plan original. Nous installerons des lumières additionnelles le long du chemin piétonnier. D’autres espaces verts seront ajoutés aux ilots dans le stationnement, y compris de nouveaux arbres. Les bancs qui ont été enlevés le long du sentier actuel seront placés ailleurs de façon temporaire pour l’été. Nous consultons les personnes qui utilisent le plus ces espaces pour trouver le meilleur endroit où les installer de façon permanente une fois les travaux terminés cet automne.

Le lundi 14 août à 17 h, notre gestionnaire de projet animera une séance d’information à l’hôtel de ville pour présenter les nouveaux plans et répondre aux questions. D’ici là, aucun arbre ne sera abattu. Ce terrain de stationnement avait grand besoin de réparations. Beaucoup de personnes âgées ainsi que des personnes à mobilité réduite nous disaient depuis des années qu’il n’y avait pas assez de places de stationnement. Le nouveau terrain de stationnement offrira plus de places, il sera plus sécuritaire pour les piétons, et préservera la couverture végétale à laquelle vous vous attendez. Nous tenons à remercier les résidants qui ont communiqué avec l’Hôtel de Ville pour leur précieuse contribution, et nous espérons
continuer à recevoir vos commentaires.

Mise à jour au sujet de la construction sur Marc Chagall

Ce sera bientôt l’étape des travaux d’excavation pour le projet de la tour d’habitation sur l’avenue Marc Chagall. Après l’arrêt de deux semaines pour les vacances de la construction, cette étape entraînera une augmentation du nombre d’ouvriers sur le chantier.  Notre comité consultatif formé de représentants des cinq associations de condos voisines exprime des inquiétudes depuis le début concernant le manque de places de stationnement pour les résidants et leurs invités.  Nous avons rencontré la direction des Cours Marc Chagall récemment pour les informer de notre intention d’ouvrir un terrain de
stationnement temporaire pour les travailleurs sur l’espace vert près de leur complexe. Le terrain sera clôturé de façon sécuritaire.

Le conseil actuel s’est engagé à relocaliser le parc Isadore Goldberg à cet endroit lorsque le stationnement ne sera plus nécessaire. Nous avons un bail d’un an avec le promoteur.

Si vous avez des questions, veuillez communiquer avec nous à l’Hôtel de Ville.
 


Looking out for the little guy: Our main dog run will be partitioned for small and larger dogs

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I am pleased to announce that after a period of consultation our main dog run on Mackle Road will soon be sub-divided for large and small canines.

DogRun1
Our main dog run has lots of space.

 

Over the past year I have received many complaints that smaller dogs were being attacked by larger ones. While the incidents might no have been that frequent, the fact this was happening at all was of great concern. The vast majority of our dog owners are responsible individuals. At the dog run itself, people get along nicely and so do the animals. It is wonderful to see them run free and play together. But we have heard stories of dog owners who are allowing what amounts to acts of bullying by their pets. In some cases, small dogs have been seriously injured.

More than a year ago I established an ad hoc dog run advisory committee. I’d like to thank Abe Haim and Jason Balinsky, two of my constituents who took a leadership role from day one. They have helped steer this discussion in the correct manner, talking to owners at the dog run and holding two public meetings at City Hall.

AbeCooper
Abe Haim and Cooper.

Hats off to Beatrice Newman, our director of Public Works  and foreman Thierry Dhaisne for working with us on this project. In the next few weeks fencing will be installed. Naturally, the larger dogs will get more space. The area itself is quite large.

This was the prudent thing to do.

We also hope to have a decision made soon on a second dog run on the other side of the city, near Meadowbrook Golf Course. Councillor Steven Erdelyi has been leading those discussions.

The other night I met with a number of dog owners on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. They’d like to see more access for dogs in our parks and I agree. In fact, this is an issue I have been advocating for many years and last spring we made a positive first step. While dogs are  still not allowed in most public parks and playgrounds  exceptions have now been made at  Aaron Hart Park along David Lewis St., Harold Greenspon Park on Borden Ave., the green space between Marc Chagall Ave. and the parking lot of the Bernard Lang Civic Centre soon to be renamed Library Lane, the green space on Baily Rd. between Northluc and Cavendish, the green space on Baily Rd. between Lyndale and Glencrest, and a section of Kirwan Park between Blossom and Wentworth.   Council wants to evaluate how this process went first before deciding on any future adjustments.  


Our 2017 Golf Classic and luncheon honouring Johnny Elias was one fantastic affair; funds raised to help families in need

The Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic is like fine wine. It gets better with age. Our 38th edition at Meadowbrook on July 6 was no different. Besides the fact that our foursomes sold out by the middle of May, this event was packed with so much action we probably could have carried it over a few days.

Mikeswings
I tee off.  (Photos by Rami Negev)

 

A few years ago then Mayor Anthony Housefather issued a challenge to me. This golf event had slumped to less than 50 participants and needed a boost. I sat down with Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman, our jewels at the Parks and Recreation Department and proposed that we drop the word “seniors” from the program, get a title sponsor and select an honouree. It was the precise recipe we needed and sellouts have been recorded ever since.

Eliasplaqueclose
Johnny Elias receives his plaque.

 

This year we honoured Johnny Elias, a long-time volunteer and past owner of the Grand Slam Baseball School. Johnny recently agreed to loan nearly 50 years’ worth of baseball memorabilia to Côte Saint-Luc. Just a week before the event I reached out to former Montreal Expos pitcher Bill Lee, an old friend of Johnny’s. He agreed to come down as a special guest, bringing his son Andy and wife Diana along. Lee has been the subject of several books and movies. A motion picture starring Josh Duhamel in the title role called Spaceman was released last year. Lee travels the country as a guest speaker and still pitches at the age of 71. Last year he ran for Governor of Vermont. He can be heard regularly on Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690 Radio. Councillor Glenn Nashen and I were fortunate to golf with Bill, Andy and Station 9 Police Commander Jean O’Malley. What a blast that was!

Myfivesome
On the course with Andy Lee, Glenn J. Nashen, Bill Lee and Commander Jean O'Malley.

 

One rinkle in the event occurred with a large train stopped on the tracks, preventing anyone from reaching the final hole. Commander O’Malley contacted the right people and eventually it was on the move. The weather was absolutely picture perfect. In fact, in 38 years we have never had a rainout.

Sponsorsmikesam
Sam Goldbloom and I with sponsors Hagai Brener and Marc Ezerzer.

 

Marc Ezerzer and Hagai Brener from the Côte Saint-Luc-based Vantage Mortgage and Real Estate Group were this year`s new sponsors. They were very generous. Bill Lee was hosted at the Hotel Ruby Foo’s on Decarie and we were pleased to have their representatives at our luncheon. Ezerzer arranged for him to stay an extra night and play for his team in the CSL Executive Softball League.

McDonaldscheque
Pierre Brunet and his team present their cheque.

 

At the luncheon we officially inaugurated the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund, which is sponsored by local McDonald’s franchisee Pierre Brunet. The Fund will be used to help local families who need financial help to register their children in recreation programs. Funds will also support children with special needs. Pierre Brunet has been involved in our helping our community for many years. This new initiative will have a direct impact in the lives of many kids in our community. It was last winter when Pierre broached the subject with me, seeking a new fundraising outlet for the proceeds from his annual McHappy Day event. I sat down with Harold Cammy soon after Pierre’s challenge and we came up with this idea.

Pierre Brunet announced that $4,700 was raised at the two McHappy Days in CSL this year. Our CSL Men’s Club, via coffee sold (courtesy of McDonald’s) at their weekly meetings brought in $700. President Syd Kronish announced that number had been matched by the club, bringing it to $1,400. Mannie Young from the Men’s Club stepped up to the microphone and announced that thanks to a Foundation established by his grandchildren Jesse, Zoe, Andie and Cooper Young, an additional $500 was being contributed.
Steve Woloz from the CSL Model Aeronautics Association was so impressed he immediately wrote a cheque for $270. We raffled off a full weekend with a Silver Star Mercedes. Proceeds from that went to the fund. Quebec Liberal MNA for D’Arcy McGee David Birnbaum promised to add to this as well so it looks as if we will kick this fund off with more than $7,000. Information will appear in our Parks and Recreation booklet in terms of how people can apply.

Pierre Brunet’s team, by the way, supplied golfers with coffee and some delicious Danish before teeing off.

LeeRoss
Matthew Ross and Bill Lee.

Bill Lee was brought on stage by CSL resident and TSN 690 Radio show host Matthew Ross. What followed was an absolutely priceless performance worthy of a Just for Laughs Festival booking. Bill is brilliant and hilarious and I could literally sit and listen to him talk all day. He also shared with us the very close relationship he has maintained with Johnny Elias from the days he played with the Expos. When he was released in 1982, Johnny hired him immediately to be an instructor at his camp. It truly is remarkable how Bill has maintained such a connection to our city for more than 30 years. “Johnny and I are like brothers,” Bill said.

Our own Darryl Levine produced this superb video tribute of Johnny.

After Johnny said a few words, with his devoted wife Marlene and family in the audience, we rolled out a surprise cake shaped like the baseball field at Kirwan Park. Everyone was touched.

We did not give out any trophies this year. That is because the train incident prevented some people from reaching the holes where the competitions took place.

My co-chair Sam Goldbloom concluded proceedings by handing out a slew of door prizes.

What can we do for an encore? I am sure Harold and I will get together to brainstorm very soon.


Major work on the reconstruction of the City Hall/Library Parking Lot Underway

As many people have noticed by now, Côte Saint-Luc has started work on the reconstruction of the parking lot behind the City Hall and Library. We're doing more than just repaving. We're improving the way it's configured in order to remove the excessive turns, which create risks for pedestrians. We're also adding two charging stations for electric vehicles, a bike path and creating more parking spaces for cars to park.

We have been fortunate to have a parking lot with so many trees not just around the edges but within the parking lot itself. Our goal at the start of this project was to save as many of these trees as possible by transplanting them elsewhere. We are saving approximately 70 percent of the trees and have transplanted 28.

Please see this video.

Of course, we would have preferred to have saved all the trees. However, of trees that are being cut their roots were too deep to survive transplant or to small to justify the cost while new trees can be planted of similar size or they were sick or damaged in some way. It didn't make sense to move the sick trees as the cost to transplant a single tree is about $2,000. We decided to transplant the healthy trees, which cost $53,000 in all. All the trees being cut will be replaced with new replanted trees.

To sum up:

-We will have a new, safer parking lot ;
-We saved approximately 70  percent of the trees in the existing parking lot;
-We will replant new trees for all those that were cut;
-We will have two electrical charging stations for electric cars;
-We transplanted 28 trees of the old trees from the parking lot to locations across the city.

Parking Lot
Work begins on the project.

 

This lot was in desperate need of repair. How many people, the majority seniors and those with limited mobility, have we heard from in recent years complaining about the fact they could not find a spot when attending special events? 

As for the benches that many people congregate on, I have now received confirmation that  a crew move the seven benches along the path on the south side of City Hall and have them placed east of the parking in the area between Sir Walter Scott and Marc Chagall to provide seating for the residents of the area. They will be  placed under some shade as much as possible.  If necessary, special umbrellas will be added. 

I want to thank the residents who contacted myself and the mayor for their valuable input.

 


Baseball legend Bill "Spaceman" Lee to attend CSL Golf Classic and join Executive Softball team

Former Major League Baseball pitcher Bill Lee, who played for the Montreal Expos and the Boston Redsox, will be a special guest at the annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic on Thursday, July 6. Starting times for the nine-hole Meadowbrooke Golf Course are from 7 am to 10 am. A buffet luncheon follows at the Côte Saint-Luc Aquatic and Community Centre (5794 Parkhaven Ave) at 1 pm. In the event of strong rain, the luncheon will still take place as scheduled, but the tournament will be rescheduled for Tuesday, July 11, with the same starting times.

Johnny Elias, a long-time volunteer and past owner of the Grand Slam Baseball School, wil be this year’s honouree. Elias has recently agreed to loan nearly 50 years’ worth of baseball memorabilia to Côte Saint-Luc. The city will announce its plans at the luncheon on where the items will be showcased. Elias will be inducted into the RDS Quebec Baseball Hall of Fame in November.

I am proud to once again be co-chairing this event with Councillor Sam Goldbloom.

BillLeetrading card

Elias and Bill Lee have a friendship that goes back decades. After Lee was released by the Expos in 1982, Elias was the first person to call and offer him a job as a teacher at his Grand Slam Baseball School. Lee has been the subject of several books and movies. A motion picture starring Josh Duhamel in the title role called Spaceman was released last year. Lee travels the country as a guest speaker and still pitches at the age of 71. Last year he ran for Governor of Vermont. He can be heard regularly on Melnick in the Afternoon on TSN 690 Radio.

Johnny Elias is a legend. We are so excited to have Bill Lee with us. He is one of baseball’s most colourful characters.”

Lee will be the guest speaker at the luncheon. Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Allan J. Levine have invited Lee to come swim with him at the Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue.


The Golf Classic has been sold out for months, Marc Ezerzer from the Côte Saint-Luc-based Vantage Mortgage and Real Estate Group is one of this year`s new sponsors. He also provided caps and golf balls for the participants. On Thursday evening, July 6 (7 pm) Bill Lee will play for Team Ezerzer in the Côte Saint-Luc Executive Softball League on Field 3 at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park. Ezerzer got special permission to add Lee to the roster for one game.


The organizers also wish to thank Hotel Ruby Foo’s on Decarie for their support.

 


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UCkJtX_d1kg


Canada Day 2017: Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden initiated, great music and fun and honouring a legend

A huge thumbs up to our staff in the City of Côte Saint-Luc for making sure our annual Canada Day celebrations went off without a hitch. Not only did we celebrate this country’s 150th anniversary, but we formally rededicated the newly-renovated Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, honoured the Canadian general who saved tens of thousands people, unveiled a one-of-a-kind wildlife sculpture garden, and played host to thousands of residents and visitors.

ShalomRozbloomme
With Shalom and Roz Bloom in front of one of the sculptures.

The main Canada Day event began with the official unveiling of the Shalom Bloom Sculpture Garden. Ten life-size bronze sculptures of wildlife animals were donated to the city by Canadian artist Shalom Bloom, whom I am proud to have a constituent of mine. He and his wife Roz reside on Marc Chagall Avenue.

Mikeanimal1
Another one of Shalom Bloom's amazing pieces of art.

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I jokingly told Shalom that I will watch out for his life-like animals. In all seriousness though, Shalom came up with a good idea to teach kids to not jump on his sculptures at the park. Our Director of Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine looked to see what other cities have done and developed something called CSL Junior Park Rangers. Kids will say a pledge and then they will get a certificate and a pin. We're targeting it to kids ages five to 10, but obviously it’s open to anyone who really wants to do it.


Roz Bloom said that it was her then five year old daughter who inspired Shalom to become a sculptor at the age of 50, eventually leaving a successful career in business to pursue it full time. His main subject matter is wildlife. Sculptures by him stand at the Civil Aviation Organization headquarters in Montreal and the Museum of Nature in Ottawa, as well as in other private and public collections around the world. I first met with he and Roz about the possibility of such a collaboration with our city some six years ago. Former Mayor Anthony Housefather and his successor, Mitchell Brownstein, carried the ball and the result is an attraction that should bring guests from all over. Shalom promises a phase two.

Facepainting
Face painting fun for kids.

Canada Day festivities were originally scheduled for, of course, July 1. But when the Thursday forecast called for heavy rain, we rolled the dice and moved it to Sunday. Well we had a few sprinkles, but in the end everything worked out perfectly and thousands of people attended.

Cupcakespose
Getting ready to serve cupcakes.

There were so many activities going on for young children, from a petting zoo and pony rides to face painting, a magician, all kinds of games and great food. We handed out delicious Canada Day cupcakes and enjoyed great music presented by the Beatles cover band Replay. They have performed and toured as professional musicians and studio session players since the early 70's and have performed all over Canada and internationally. They were at Canada Day here two years ago, which went on with a somewhat modified schedule due to rain. The audience loved their performance. CJAD’s Dan Laxer  and Dr. Laurie Betito served as emcee and Councillors Ruth Kovac and Glenn J. Nashen served as the co-chairs.

Replay
The performers from Replay were superb.

We had words of welcome from Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Liberal Member of Parliament for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather, D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum and we inducted Roméo Dallaire into our Human Rights Walkway. A celebrated advocate for human rights, especially in regards to child soldiers, veterans, and the prevention of mass atrocities, General Dallaire is also a respected government and UN adviser, a best-selling author, and former Canadian Senator. He was represented by his son Willem. Alexandra Cohen sang the national anthem and then our very large crowd stood in awe of an amazing fireworks and laser light show.

I am so proud to live in this community! Bravo to everyone!

See Darryl Levine's video of the event.

See Councillor Glenn J. Nashen's blog.


Traditional Canadian Citizenship ceremony held in CSL

The City of Côte Saint-Luc hosted its traditional Canada Day Citizenship Ceremony on July 1 at the Aquatic and Community Centre. With Judge Barbara Seal presiding, 39 candidates from 18 countries were sworn in. 

Dan Laxer and Dr. Laurie Betito from CJAD were the emcees. Kelly Guerrier and Constable David Pouliot from the RCMP joined Judge Seal as part of the Platform Party. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of city council, Mount Royal Liberal Member of Parliament Anthony Housefather and D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum each spoke and helped handout the certificates. 

Citizenship1
Birnbaum, Brownstein, Housefather, and Seal welcome a new citizen.

Mayor Brownstein, who initiated these ceremonies in the city and is an immigration lawyer by profession, said this process touches his heart. He spoke about his late grandfather who came to Canada on August 19, 1927 from Europe. "You," he said to the new citizens, "will always remember being sworn in on July 1, 2017 on Canada's 150th anniversary."

Housefather, our former mayor, said that we are the only city where an entire council comes out to welcome new citizens.

Birnbaum welcomed them to a very "distinct,"  province and promised that they would not feel any tension. He must be comforted by the PQ slipping in the polls.

PLedge
I take my oath with the others.

As the new citizens rose to take their oath, so did all of us in the audience.

The ceremony concluded with the singing of our national anthem and a small reception,