Previous month:
November 2017
Next month:
January 2018

December 2017

Côte Saint-Luc District 2 Councillor Mike Cohen 2017 Year in Review

It has been my pleasure to serve as Côte Saint-Luc City Councillor for District 2 since 2005. Each year at this time I present my year in review. The past 12 months have been busier than ever in my district and in  the city at large via my portfolios

This was an election year and I am proud to have won my fourth mandate with 81 percent of the vote. I wish to sincerely thank the 1,008 voters who once again showed their confidence in me.  Hats off to my opponent Melodie Cohn, who run a fair campaign.

Over the course of many months I knocked on every single door in the district and it was a pleasure to engage in dialogue with so many of my constituents. Virtually all of them were wonderful to deal with.  

HolidayCard2017

Since I was first elected I must emphasize that election campaigns are essentially an ongoing activity for me. I circulate throughout the district regularly, hold Town Hall meetings at least once a year and call special consultations when necessary. I respond to phone calls and e-mails daily and more often than not I will propose one-on-one meetings to resolve issues. My blog provides updates on what is happening in the district and the city at large.

Despite what some critics uttered during the election campaign, experience is indeed a benefit. Virtually everyone I met over the last few months agrees with this.

BILAN DE L'ANNÉE 2017 DU CONSEILLER MIKE COHEN   

J’ai le plaisir de servir en tant que conseiller municipal à Côte Saint-Luc pour le district 2 depuis 2005. Chaque année, à ce moment-ci, je présente mon bilan de l’année. Les 12 derniers mois ont été plus occupés que jamais dans mon district, et aussi dans toute la ville pour ce qui est des portefeuilles sous ma responsabilité.

C’était une année d’élection et je suis fier d’avoir obtenu mon quatrième mandat avec 81 pour cent des voix. Je remercie chaleureusement les 1 008 électeurs qui m’ont une fois de plus témoigné leur confiance, et je lève mon chapeau à mon adversaire, Melodie Cohn, qui a mené une campagne honnête.

Pendant des mois j’ai frappé à toutes les portes de mon district, et ce fut un plaisir d’engager la conversation avec un si grand nombre d’électeurs. Presque toutes mes visites m’ont permis de rencontrer des personnes admirables. Sauf en quelques rares exceptions, les gens m’ont accueilli de façon positive et reconnaissante.

Depuis ma première élection, je dois dire que la campagne électorale est pour moi une démarche constante. Je fais souvent le tour de mon district, j’organise des assemblées publiques au moins une fois par année et des consultations spéciales au besoin. Je réponds aux appels téléphoniques et aux courriels tous les jours, et il m’arrive très souvent de proposer des rencontres individuelles pour trouver des solutions aux problèmes. Mon blogue fournit les dernières nouvelles sur ce qui se passe dans mon district et dans toute la ville.

Malgré ce que certains critiques laissaient entendre pendant la campagne électorale, l’expérience est vraiment bénéfique. Pratiquement toutes les personnes que j’ai rencontrées au cours des derniers mois en conviennent.

ELIE WIESEL PARK

The official dedication ceremony for Elie Wiesel Park  at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare took place on  November 3. Wiesel, a renowned Holocaust survivor, died in July 2016 at the age of 87.  Wiesel was sent to Auschwitz and Buchenwald during the Holocaust. He wrote dozens of works championing the human spirit. Throughout his life he fought for peace, human rights and simple human decency. He won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, recounted his family being sent to the Nazi concentration camps in his first book, "Night," which was published in France in 1958.

CouncilThe park was completed in the fall of 2016 after I undertook extensive consultations with local residents.  I like to refer to this as an example of working with one’s constituents. Many residents of Park Place were extremely disturbed by the large volume of people who were using the entrance from Kildare to their street as a shortcut to Quartier Cavendish. Even though the land was zoned for parkland, many of the residents were not aware of this when they bought their homes. I therefore worked with staff to delay the construction, speak with residents and design the area in a such  way that pedestrians would have an alternative path to Cavendish Boulevard. A fence wasd  installed to block access to a private parking lot and we planted high bushes to provide more privacy to homes. It was worth the wait and our staff did a wonderful job putting this gorgeous greenspace together.

PARKING AND SPEEDING ON PARK PLACE

Because of the construction of an apartment building on The Avenue and the presence of Econofitness at the Quartier Cavendish, many residents of Park Place could not get parking spaces in front of their own homes. We introduced restrictions which deterred workers from parking there.

DriveSafe

On my many walkabouts on Park Place, residents complained about speeding cars. While no traffic calming was called for, it was determined that those cars driving too fast represented people actually residing on the street or visitors. We therefore decided to follow a route we took a number of years ago on Ilan Ramon Crescent and placed two signs warning vehicles to drive carefully and containing a pictogram of children playing. It served as an excellent wakeup call on Ilan Ramon and I believe it did the same on Park Place. Thanks to Ralph  Rimokh for his work on this file with me. We will be studying the  corner  of Park Place and the Avenue more closely in the months to come. This could include a new stop sign. Nearby Jubilee Avenue is also on the list to study. This is a small street, but cars seem to be using it as a shortcut.

QUARTIER  CAVENDISH

There was good news at Quartier Cavendish with the opening of Café de l’Avenue. The fact that it is open later hours gives residents an opportunity to go for a dessert and coffee in the neighbourhood. You can also have a light breakfast there. I have thus far found it very helpful in terms of setting up meetings with people and not having to go to Monkland. Recently, the café went MK.  There is a new hot yoga studio (Idolem), the CSL Martial Arts Studio has relocated from the West End Cavendish Athletic Club and District 2 resident Emmuel Dermond is renaming his food court delly Deli Boyz.

NEW BUILDING ON THE AVENUE

The BSR Group virtually completed construction of 6700 The Avenue and people started to move into this upscale rental building in the fall. This 90-unit apartment building is a step above the rest with underground parking, an indoor pool, common party room, gym, 24-hour concierge service, elevators (including a Shabbat elevator) and video surveillance throughout.  The final touches will be applied over the next few months. In addition, the BSR Group also built a brand new home on Ilan Ramon. Next on owner Ron and Shai Basal’s agenda is a two storey office building on Marc Chagall. This is land in the parking lot of Beth Chabad CSL which is already zoned commercial.

MARC CHAGALL AVENUE SPEEDING

SpeedbumpChagall

Traffic safety measures were taken on Marc Chagall Avenue. I heard from residents concerned about the safety of their children. Our traffic engineer proceeded to carry out speed tests. The results from Marc Chagall showed that speeding is a problem. The 85th percentile showed 58 km/hr, which is very high. In response to this we installed temporary speed cushions on this stretch. We will re-evaluate their effectiveness in time for the spring, however we did see a clear improvement in cars slowing down. 

JPPS BIALIK STUDENT SAFETY

The safety of students attending JPPS  Elementary School and Bialik High School on Kildare Road near Marc Chagall remains paramount for the city. Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson and I met with JPPS Principal Marnie Stein, Bialik Principal Avi Satov, JPPS Bialik Director of Security Avi Sela and executive assistant Jennifer Wilson. It has been nearly two years now since JPPS relocated from its Van Horne campus (now owned by Yaldei) to cohabitate with Bialik High School. There are 150 JPPS students and 332 at Bialik. This makes for a lot of traffic at drop off and pickup in particular. The school employs existing staff to handle traffic circulation. For those kids who walk, Côte Saint-Luc has Traffic Guard Norman Klein at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare from 7 am to 9 am and 2 pm to 4 pm.

SteinSatovIn our meeting I reiterated  concerns about JPPS and Bialik parents  often parking illegally, blocking driveways and not showing proper courtesy to cars trying to turn on to Kildare from Rembrandt Avenue. The school will continue to work with parents. Our local Police Station 9 also does spot checks. I have noticed a significant improvement since I began meeting with them more regularly over the years. My goal is to start a Student Traffic Committee that can sensitize parents and other students to our various concerns. Hopefully we can arrange for a student delegation to visit City Hall for an information session.

CONSTRUCTION ON MARC CHAGALL

Since last spring I have devoted an enormous amount of time to the new development on Marc Chagall Avenue to be known as the Equinox. Last March the developers announced in a letter to residents of the other buildings on Marc Chagall that they intended to work on this project weekday nights and weekends. While this was within their right, according to our noise bylaw which has been in effect for many decades, it was also unprecedented. We have never encountered such a situation with a high rise building. In April I established an unprecedented ad hoc committee composed of representatives from the five condominium associations – The Rothchild I and II, La Marquise, The Bellagio and Les Cours Marc Chagall and the developers. There were a number of concerns raised, starting with the extended hours. Council moved quickly to amend the bylaw prohibiting weekend work. We also negotiated terms that required the developer to provide a written undertaking not to contest the amendments to the bylaw in return for their right to work some nights and weekends, but far less than had previously been anticipated. When work on the second building commences, no outdoor work will be permitted.

MikeSidBalconyPhase one will consist of underground parking as well as one 12 storey; Phase 2 will be a second 12 storey tower, as well as completion of the underground parking. Once completed, there will be a total of 306 new dwelling units and the site will host 446 new parking spaces for future tenants. A reminder that the zoning for this site has been in place for almost 30 years, but past owners chose to leave the site vacant. During the time we were successful in   bringing down the original height from 16 storeys to 12.  We could not go lower because The Marquise is already 12 floors. Nonetheless this should serve as a relief for residents.

It is expected that construction on the first building will be completed by October. Hopefully work on the second will start soon after. If everything goes according to schedule, we are still looking at 2019 before work is finished for good on the two towers.

We continue to work closely with the developers on a wide variety of other important matters. This includes their commitment to keeping the street clean, maintaining proper safety and working with us to find a better solution for where their workers should park their cars. A special temporary lot has been created on the greenspace between the Bellagio and the Town Houses, with plans to turn that land into a beautiful park after it is no longer necessary for vehicles. We will also introduce two hour parking signs during work hours on certain parts of Marc Chagall and Mackle.

Our departments of Public Safety and Urban Planning have been spending an enormous amount of time monitoring this project and they will continue to do so.

Our Traffic Committee is paying special attention to this area and together with our staff and resident representatives we will continue to work together with the developer to insure that all matters are addressed in a timely manner.

MANOIRE MONTEFIORE

The former Manoire Montefiore seniors residence at the corner of Cavendish and Mackle remains empty. However, we do anticipate another request to rezone the building as an apartment rental. I will not even agree to consider any proposal that does not include a plan to significantly increase indoor parking.

POLICE STATION TO MOVE

Community Police Station 9 will be moving from its present headquarters at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare to the strip shopping mall on Westminster Avenue in February. They will take over the spot previously occupied by The Famous Delly Boys Restaurant. While I am saddened to see them leave District 2, we know that this was their decision to try and find a storefront location. We are therefore pleased that they are maintaining their presence in Côte Saint-Luc. The station also serves Hampstead and Montreal West. Over the 12 years I have been on city council I have enjoyed an excellent relationship with the respective commanders and the other personnel. Let me single out community officers Vincent Di Angelis and Marie-Christine Nobert, whose presence at all of our institutions has been consistent and well appreciated. Most recently I joined them at Kildare Towers on Honore de Balzac next to  Quartier Cavendish for the very successful Coffee with a Cop program.  They set up a kiosk in the lobby, served coffee and cake and provided residents with many security tips. It was very much appreciated and well received.

POLICE COMMANDER

Commander Jean O’Malley has been at the helm of Station 9 for almost two years now. I had the chance to spend the morning with him as part of my foursome for our annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic on July 6. Soon after, I sat down with him in his office to talk more specifically about several issues in the district.

CommanderOMalleyMike

Traffic safety remains a central concern. Commander O’Malley was on our special committee which studied different ways to improve the Cavendish-Kildare intersection. This finally resulted in a new split phase configuration. In short, motorists travelling westbound on Kildare are now able to drive through the intersection at Cavendish while traffic in the opposing direction waits. This allows drivers to turn left (or turn right, or go straight) without opposing traffic. Likewise, motorists coming from the opposite side now have their chance to move through the intersection without interference, soon after. Just as many vehicles as before are able to pass through the intersection. However, the process is less stressful for many. Pedestrians also appreciate the change because they now have fewer vehicles coming from few directions to contend with. While constituents continue to express their appreciation over the change, Commander O’Malley and his staff agree that it has marked a huge improvement.

Just to be clear, there have been no accidents at the corner since the new configuration came into place. Police Station 9 personnel have been present at intersections like this to warn pedestrians to be careful.   

When our crossing guard Archie Kwiatt passed away a few years ago, he was not immediately replaced. I worked diligently with our Public Safety Department to make sure the job was posted. We were lucky to find Norman Klein, who adds an extra degree of security at that corner.

REMBRANDT PARK

The Rembrandt splash pad was installed in 2008, as part of the park project at that time. This pad was in great need of repainting and I received some requests for this to be done. Last summer We issued a contract for the washing of the current surface, to remove the dirt that was encrusted in the surface, sanding, repairs and painting This permitted new materials to adhere.   I originally pushed for a splash pad at Rembrandt because there were so many young families in the area. It has been well utilized by residents. Grandparents residing on Rembrandt constantly tell me this is a big incentive for their grandchildren to visit in the summer.

Rembrandt Park remained popular for tennis.

CATS CONCERT

On a night when massive power failures hit Côte Saint-Luc and a good chunk of Montreal, the show still went on! The Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee (CSLCC) held its annual benefit concert on   August 22 at the Syd Wise Auditorium of the Wagar Adult Education Centre.  Featured performers were once again the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Joseph Milo. The selection of music was light classical pieces around the theme of Dance.  Soprano Fairouz Oujida was a  special guest.   We did so in the memory of Barbara Diehl, a member of our commitee who passed away very suddenly in June. In fact, we were the last people to see her. She went home happily after the meeting. The following day she was found by family in her home. One of her daughters and  grandchildren attended our event.

Cats Meow 2017 (30)

More than 270 tickets were sold for the event. Funds raised will go towards our Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt Program. There are many feral cats in the community. The CSLCC’s team of volunteers sets out to trap as many as possible, have them sterilized and then adopted or returned to the spot where they were originally found.  In the latter case, efforts are made to assist the feeders in the community. The committee has also rescued a number of kittens and found homes for them.

CITY HALL/LIBRARY PARKING LOT

The reconstruction and reconfiguration of the City Hall/Library Parking Lot was completed in November and I think everyone agrees it looks absolutely fantastic.

Parking LotThis was more than just a repaving job. We improved the way it’s configured in order to remove the excessive turns, which created risks for pedestrians. We will also be 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 did end up saving up to 70 percent of the trees and transplanted 28. Of course, we would have preferred to have saved all the trees. However, of trees that were cut their roots were too deep to survive transplant or too small to justify the cost while new trees were 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 were replaced with new replanted trees.


Some residents approached us to see if any changes to the next phases of the project could be undertaken to save more trees and enhance the greenspace. We carried out a number of meetings with residents. Our project manager subsequently agreed to a number of changes. As many as four mature trees that would have been felled were saved. As a result, we sacrificed several
new parking spaces. A bike path originally planned along the Avenue was downsized significantly. Instead of a concrete path, we made it all green and   planted an entire new line of trees not in the original plan. We also added new lighting along the path. More greenspace was added to the islands of the lot with more new trees. The benches that were removed along the original pathway were placed in temporary spots for the summer. We proceeded to consult with the individuals who used these spaces the most to determine the best permanent place for them to be installed when construction concluded in the fall.

This parking lot was in desperate need of repair. We heard from many seniors and those with limited mobility over the years that the lot needed more spaces. The new parking lot will now provide more spaces, be safer for pedestrians, and maintain the green canopy we have come to expect.

I wish to thank the residents who contacted City Hall for their valuable input and look forward to your continued feedback.


 DOG RUN

As the city councillor responsible for Animal Protection, I was very pleased to have our main dog run on Mackle Road sub-divided for large and small canines. Over the past year I received many complaints that smaller dogs were being attacked by larger ones. While the incidents might not 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. Two years 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 helped steer this discussion in the correct manner, talking to owners at the dog run and holding two public meetings at City Hall. Hats off to Beatrice Newman, our director of Public Works, Director of Operations John Monteiro  and foreman Thierry Dhaisne for working with us on this project.   I will now move forward in 2018 with the creation of a Dog Owners Committee. Our first meeting will be at City Hall on Monday, January 8 at 730 pm.

We have also completed work on  a second dog run on the other side of the city, near Meadowbrook Golf Course. Councillor Steven Erdelyi spearheaded this initiative.

GOLF CLASSIC

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. 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.   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.

OMalleyFlickBillMikeGlenn

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.

SHALOM BLOOM SCULPTURE GARDEN PARK

ShalomRozbloomme

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.Ten life-size bronze sculptures of wildlife animals were donated to the city by Canadian artist Shalom Bloom, whom is a constituent of mine. He and his wife Roz reside on Marc Chagall Avenue.

SNOW DUMP CLEARED

June 2016c

Each year I go to city council and insist that an allocation be made to deal with the huge ski hill-like structure that exists in our snow dump. The huge winter storm we had last March added to the mountain. May was not a particularly warm month, so our Public Works Department brought in the heavy equipment in June and completed the job.  Work on cleaning the area was done over the summer. I asked Public Works to carry out an inspection to ensure any water is draining properly.

TOWN HALL MEETING

I held my annual District 2 Town Hall meeting at City Hall on June 5 and our Council Chamber was filled to capacity. This was a campaign promise when I first ran for office in 2005. Now, once a year – more if necessary – I hold these meetings to allow people to get updated in person on issues specifically related to our district. I also urge everyone to follow my website at www.mikecohen.ca. You can subscribe to receive alerts. The 2016 District 2 meeting focused on   The Cavendish/Kildare intersection.  This year’s main item on the agenda was the extension of Cavendish Boulevard. My topic, in fact, was “Is the Cavendish Extension Closer to Reality?” I actually began planning this meeting six weeks in advance, completely unaware that the very day of the gathering major news would leak out that yes, the extension was indeed “closer to reality.” A day after my meeting the Quebec government sold the Blue Bonnets land to Montreal.  

GroupThe agreement holds the city responsible for demolishing the Blue Bonnets race track and clubhouse. The city will build as many as 5,000 housing units in the sector with 15 per cent dedicated for social housing rental units, and 15 per cent for affordable housing units. The agreement gives the city five years to present a development plan to the province and six years to start selling the first housing units. The project will be the subject of public hearings before a final plan is set. And indeed part of the agreement is that the Cavendish extension be built. We just do not know when. Denis Coderre was the mayor of Montreal at the time. We can only hope that his successor Valerie Plante will live up to the same agreement. Former traffic reporter Rick Leckner was a special guest speaker.

COUILLARD SPEAKS IN CSL

It is pretty rare that we see the Premier of Quebec come to speak in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. But this finally did occur on May 12 as Philippe Couillard addressed a standing room only crowd at our Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue. Credit is due to our incredible Men`s Club and of course the Member of the National Assembly, David Birnbaum, who made this happen.

Couillard CSLAs event emcee and District 2 resident Sidney Margles pointed out that when Couillard was just the new  Quebec Liberal Party leader he  was slated to address this same group at the urging of Birnbaum`s predecessor, Lawrence Bergman. Something came up at the last minute and his appearance had to be cancelled. The Men’s Club has 560 members and counting.

VE DAY

For many years the annual Victory in Europe (V-E) Day commemoration took place on a Sunday. In attendance were veterans from the Brigadier Frederick Kisch Branch 97 of the Royal Canadian Legion, dignitaries and members of the community. The crowds were never exceptionally large and what we clearly missed was the younger generation. When fellow Councillor Sidney Benizri and I were appointed co-chairs of this year’s VE Day event, we were committed to making it an educational exercise. So we scheduled it for a Monday morning (May 8) at a centrally located school – the Wagar Adult Education Centre  on Parkhaven Avenue.

GroupPrincipal Jacques Monfette was most gracious in making all of the arrangements. We virtually filled the 350 seat Syd Wise Auditorium with students from the two host schools – Marymount Adult Education Centre and John Grant High School; Merton and Willingdon Elementary Schools; and Solomon Schechter Academy. The ceremony highlighted the 72nd anniversary of the liberation of Europe from the armed forces of Nazi Germany, on May 8, 1945. Our Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson coordinated much of the ceremony and served as a superb master of ceremonies. He put VE Day into perspectiv

ACC  RELAUNCH

We have a great deal to be proud of in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. Our Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue, opened in September 2011, is on that list. The $18 million complex was built with the support of the provincial and federal governments, which covered two-thirds of the cost. Since then, it has became a major hub of activity for people of all ages.  On April 2 we held an open house to show  off our new spaces for kids, enlarged fitness room, and improved teens room. At the event, marvellously coordinated by Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and her staff,   special activities included face painting, tattoos, superheroes in costumes, cupcakes, tours of the building, and an opportunity to meeting staff from Mini R.E.C. by Le R.E.C. Room. In addition there was free  access to the Wibit obstacle course in the indoor pool.

ELEANOR LONDON

We were saddened to learn about the passing of Eleanor London, a legendary figure in the City of Côte Saint-Luc who was the heart and soul of our extraordinary public library, which bears her name.

It was Eleanor who first came on board to start up our library from scratch, recruited by then Mayor Bernard Lang. She retired about 13 years ago. In following her wishes, there will not be a funeral or a shiva. We as a city will find an appropriate way to recognize her passing.

I last spoke to Eleanor when we were planning 50th anniversary celebrations for the library, which is one of my portfolios as a city councillor. She said that she had not been well for many years, noting she hadn`t left the house. "I am not well Mike," she said. "I do not know what is wrong with me and I want to keep it that way. I refuse to see a doctor. I will accept my fate."

I have fond memories of Eleanor. I was four years old when the first library was established on the second floor of the Côte Saint-Luc Shopping Centre. She was the visionary behind the library we see today, open seven days a week and the envy of every other municipality in Quebec. Lisa Milner assumed her duties during the time when we were part of a borough in the merged City of Montreal. Tanya Abramovitch became the chief librarian in 2005 and when she was elevated to City Manager, Janine West stepped into the role.

Make no mistake about it, this library will always have the Eleanor London touch. We are grateful for her invaluable contributions and extend our sympathies to her family.

HAROLD GREENSPON

As we mourned the passing of Harold Greenspon,who served as a Côte Saint-Luc city councillor and my District 2 predecessor for 26 years,many memories of this extraordinary man came back to me. In the summer of 2004 I got a telephone call from Harold. This was during the period when the forced municipal mergers were in place and Côte Saint-Luc, grouped with Hampstead and Montreal West, a borough of Montreal. Harold had served as city councillor from 1975 to 2001. I had gotten to know him very well during that time, initially as a young kid integrally involved with community activities and then as a reporter for the local papers covering City Hall.
The purpose of Harold`s call was to ask if I would help him create a Sports Celebrity Breakfast under the auspices of the Cummings Centre for Jewish Seniors, of which he had become vice-president. Côte Saint-Lucers had voted to demerge by this time and an election to reconstitute the city was set for November 2005. I told Harold that I wanted to run in the District 2 seat he had held for 26 years, but would not do so if he intended to seek office again

DR. MARK WAINBERG

Tributes poured in from Montreal and around the world in recent days for Dr. Mark Wainberg, the world renowned Jewish General Hospital HIV/AIDS researcher and activist for those afflicted with the disease, who died April 11 in Bal Harbour, Florida at the age of 71. According to media reports, Wainberg suffered an asthma attack while swimming. His funeral was held at Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Synagogue in Côte St. Luc.

CSL BUDGET

The 2018 Côte Saint-Luc budget will be adopted on January 22.

A WORD OF THANKS

Finally I wish to publicly thank former city councillors Glenn J. Nashen, Allan J. Levine and Sam  Goldbloom for their many years of service. They  were defeated in the last election. I know that each of them intends to remain involved in our community!

 

 

 


Up to $1 million in provincial funding announced for the Samuel Moskovitch Arena

David Birnbaum, MNA for D’Arcy-McGee and Parliamentary Assistant to the Minister of Education and to the Minister responsible for Higher Education, and Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein today announced up to $1 million in funding from the provincial government for the upgrade of the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. The funds are designated for major modifications to the arena’s refrigeration system.

‘’This major investment by our government in a treasured and important Côte Saint-Luc facility is excellent news,” Mr. Birnbaum noted. “The numerous benefits associated with regular exercise, physical activity and leisure are obvious, and I’m pleased that our citizens will be assured of a first-class upgraded infrastructure that fully responds to their needs. This grant clearly demonstrates the importance our government places on healthy and safe physical activity.”

Birnbaumice
Mayor Brownstein and David Birnbaum.

Mayor Brownstein noted that he is pleased with this further example of effective collaboration between the provincial and municipal sectors. “This upgrade is important to our community, to our families who use the arena for a host of sports and recreation activities. We’re proud of our extensive parks and recreation programs, and pleased to have a valuable partnership with our provincial government in strengthening that offer.”

“Thanks to this grant, Quebec’s regions are benefitting from quality arenas and curling clubs. By prolonging the lifespan of our sporting infrastructures, we allow the population to access these modern and safe facilities to practice sports,” said Education, Recreation and Sports Minister Sébastien Proulx.

This project is among the 27 across Quebec that received funding, for a total investment of $17 million.


Some high profile Chanukah Menorah lighting ceremonies are planned for this week

On the eve of Chanukah, which starts on Tuesday night December 12, the public is encouraged to attend some high profile Menorah lightings.

Chabad-csl-chanukah-city-hall-001
Rabbi Raskin

At 6 pm Tuesday night, Beth Chabad CSL will proceed with its  annual lighting of a giant Menorah in front of City Hall. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and member of city council will be on hand as Rabbi Mendel Raskin presides. In past years Councillor Steven Erdelyi has climbed aboard a cherry picker and been lifted quite high in illuminate the shamash and the first candle. Following the ceremony, the traditional car top menorah parade will take place through the streets of our city. There will also be smoked wraps and wine from the Deli Boyz at Quartier Cavendish, hot Moroccan donuts, prizes for the kids, cotton candy and a raffle offering winners the chance to fly over Montreal and to enjoy a flight simulator experience.

On Wednesday, some of our elected officials and residents will head to Ottawa for Chanukah on the Hill. Jewish Parliamentarians Anthony Housefather and Michael Levitt will once again host this large celebration, with special guest Prime Minister Justin Trudeau taking part for the third successive year.

ChanukahonHillJustin
Prime Minister Trudeau presides over last year's ceremony,  with Levitt and Housefather.

Here at home, Tifereth Beth David Jerusalem Congregation (6519 Baily Road) in Côte Saint-Luc is inviting the community to a historical menorah lighting ceremony on the second night of Chanukah, Wednesday, December 13 (5:15 pm).  On this night a special Chanukah Menorah made from the metal in rockets that were fired into Israel from Gaza,  generously donated  to TBDJ by Jeff  and Adria Mandel, will proudly be showcased to the community.

This Nine Branch Traditional Style Menorah turns terror into beauty in a very literal sense! “Light this Menorah on Chanukah, we are told and display it in our shul throughout the year as a symbol of peace and light,” stated Rabbi Yechezkel Freundlich.TBDJ is very fortunate to have one of only 50 such pieces that were manufactured.”

RAbbiandJeffMenorah
Jeff Mandel, Rabbi Freundlich and the menorah.

The menorah was  fashioned by metal sculptor Yaron Bob  from actual rockets that landed in Israel. Each piece is a one-of-a-kind, hand-made, limited edition collector's item. They are true pieces of history - living proof that Israel has endured thousands of missile attacks for so long. The artist has literally transformed instruments of death, weapons of war, into objects of great beauty and meaning, representing love, growth, and great hope for a peaceful future. He has created modern day versions of “swords beaten into plowshares.”

Some of the proceeds from each purchase have been directed to protect the people of Israel from future rocket attacks via the construction  of above-ground, portable bomb shelters in southern Israel. 

Jeff  Mandel has been a member of TBDJ for more than 40 years. “TBDJ did not have a proper menorah for Chanukah and when I came across this one there seemed to be a beautiful message in taking the remnants of weapons and turning it into something beautiful that can be used to fulfill a mitzvah,” he said.”

TBDJ President Jonathan Gal said that the lighting will take place outdoors weather permitting followed by tea and hot chocolate.

 


Tickets to go on sale for Winter Carnival Dance

Tickets for the Saturday, February 10, 2018 Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival Valentine Dance will go on sale at the Aquatic and Community Centre starting Monday, December 11 from 8 am to 9 pm daily. Tickets are available for $35 each (tax included) in advance. The dance has been sold out for the past six years, so buy your tickets early. The dance begins at 7:30pm.

 

Dance

There will be hot and cold hors d’oeuvres served at your table, catered full size buffet and sweet table by Blossom by la plaza, and plenty of door prizes, etc. Guests can bring their own wine.

Entertainment and music will provided by the George Thomas Entertainment Group. The event is partly subsidized by community sponsors and the City of Côte Saint-Luc.

Newly elected Councillors Mitch Kujavsky and Oren Sebag will co-chair this year's Winter Carnival.

To learn more about the 2018 Côte Saint-Luc Winter Carnival Valentine Dance, call 514-485-6806, ext. 2200 or email recreation@cotesaintluc.org.