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December 2018

2018 Year in Review from your City Councillor for District 2

As 2018 draws to a close, I bring you my year in review as it applies top my role as the city councillor for District 2 and the individual on council responsible for the portfolios of Communications, Animal Protection and Sponsorship.

In November 2017 I was elected to serve a fourth mandate on council. The past year I must say has been the most active in my political career. With a lot of things happening in my district and via my portfolios and the increase in citizen engagement, there have been no dull moments.

Let’s begin with District 2

Development

Three and a half years after the Manoire Montefiore closed as a seniors residence,  the highrise at the corner of Cavendish and Mackle,  will be transformed into a residential apartment building. Jadco, the company behind the Équinoxe project on Marc Chagall, purchased the property from  Réseau Selection. They were granted a permit to proceed with renovations since there are no zoning changes requested nor is the façade being altered. The timing, of course, is not ideal. Excavation work will begin soon followed by as much as an 18-month construction period for the second Equinoxe building. There are presently 130 units in the Montefiore building. Jadco has proposed 94 units for their rejigged project – 43 one bedroom and  and  51  two bedrooms. The area of these units are conforming to the city by-law.  There will be about 90 interior parking spaces, including 14 new ones to be constructed in what is now a dining area. In addition, an outdoor lot will accommodate 23  more vehicles.

The past two years have not been easy for anyone residing on or near Marc Chagall Avenue with construction of The Equinoxe.  When the project was announced I formed a committee of representatives from the local condo associations and the developers. We have met several times and line of communication is open. We have made progress on many issues, but the reality is nobody will be completely happy until the second facility is completed.  Interestingly enough there are many former Marc Chagall Avenue condo residents who have sold their units and moved to The Equinoxe.

The developers of The Equinoxe still have a lease for the rental of the green space across from the Marquise. They have used that as a parking lot for their workers. When work concludes in 2020 the developers will return the green space the way they found it. An allocation has been placed in our Capital Expenditures plan for 2021 for a parkette and possibly a community garden, something all of the former homeowners on Marc Chagall have asked for.

Excavation work for the second tower is expected to begin in January.

Work was 100 percent completed on the apartment rental on The Avenue. The bottom floor is zoned commercial, but no tenants have moved in.

Meanwhile the land next to the  Beth Chabad parking lot was zoned for a two storey commercial establishment many years ago. I met with Gary Azimov, the owner of the property, and at the present time he has no plans to build anything there.

Rembrandt Park

A few years ago the central topic for one of my District 2 Town Hall meetings was Rembrandt Park. There were concerns raised about the lack of lighting at the tennis courts, the basketball area, play equipment and the skateboard area. Ruby Goodman, who has served as a park attendant for more than 20 years at Rembrandt, was asked to get a feel from the users. I also set up a small committee and we conducted surveys from people of all ages. The consensus was to fix the lights, maintain the basketball area as is and replace the skateboard space with greenery.

Last spring the Public Spaces Committee of the city, composed of senior staff and some councillors, highlighted the skateboard area for demolition at some point this year.  While some parents came forward and stated their kids enjoy the area, inspections done warned of serious danger due to cracks in the asphalt, as well as heaving areas in the asphalt. Our Public Works Department told me that this area is not conducive to skateboarding.  Potential accidents would result in costly litigation. Some youngsters use their scooters there, something which is also highly dangerous. As a result, filling in the bowl met with the new required safety measures.

The earth came from excavation projects throughout the city. It was therefore, an environmentally friendly project. We installed sod and topsoil to create an area in the shade for picnic tables and benches, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy summer fun in the shade.  Ruby Goodman said that he has seen very few skateboarders there in recent years. In fact Public Works was constantly tasked to clean the bowl as it was becoming a garbage dump.

 JPPS-Bialik

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Marking the opening of the new field.

 Only a few weeks after Herzliah High School inaugurated its new campus in Snowdon, JPPS-Bialik in Côte Saint-Luc’s District 2 formally unveiled a  new regulation-sized, state- of- the -art artificial turf sports field, basketball court and healthy living curriculum under its Project Fit banner. Officials noted that Project Fit will benefit the entire JPPS-Bialik Community through Mind, Body, and Spirit. This will include ensuring that their rigorous International Baccalaureate Programme is balanced with physical activity to promote a healthy mind and body; building on  strong academic programs with an enriched and accelerated curriculum; and backing up sport science studies which show that participation in sports activities improves school performance and builds self-esteem, especially in schools.

Leonard Cohen Lane

It was about a year ago that as the city councillor for District 2 in Cote Saint-Luc I shared with my colleagues a desire to finally give a name to the laneway that leads from Marc Chagall Avenue to the Library/Bernard Lang Civic Centre parking lot.  It is a beautiful area that we dressed up substantially with a newly paved path and more benches. Initially my thought was to name it simply Library Lane. Community activist Tamar Hertz private messaged me with the idea to honour the memory of Leonard Cohen. I promised her that I would bring this up after the November elections. Soon after the newly constituted council took office, Leonard Cohen Lane was approved. I then worked with our Chief Librarian Janine West and Public Affairs and Communications Director Darryl Levine to set the wheels in motion. We scheduled the unveiling ceremony for the end of August, hoping for a nice summer night. It was precisely that  and everyone on hand experienced  a very meaningful ceremony. Here is the video from the ceremony.

Our New Parking Lot

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The new enlarged lot.

 

The City Hall/Library Parking lot reconstruction was completed in 2018 and met with rave reviews from users. The work included the reconstruction of the sidewalks and curbs, the replacement of the lighting, the installation of security cameras, the asphalt paving, the installation of new park benches, bike racks and recycling  and garbage containers.   The activation of the electric vehicle charging station was done in early February.

Traffic Calming

Traffic safety continues to be among paramount importance for me as the city councillor for District 2. I am pleased with the changes that have occurred at the back entrance/exit for the City Hall/Library complex. The speed bump and the signs notifying motorists to go around the circle has brought forward the positive results we expected. However, some of my constituents  wisely asked for another speed bump in the parking lot as vehicles approach the turn to make their exit and this measure was taken.

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Making the Sir Walter Scott/Library Exit/Entrance safer.

A few years ago I was able to get stop signs installed  at the corner of Sir Walter Scott and Kildare Road. As I take my regular walks, I still see too many vehicles making short stops or going right through.  We took increased traffic calming measures with the addition of some bollards and signs urging vehicles to slow down. These bollards (not used  in the winter) are part of 10 intersections in the city which will have high visibility traffic calming. The intersections include flexible bollards, flexible signs, more pedestrian crossing signs, silhouettes for school and park areas and extra line painting.

For years residents of Rembrandt Avenue have justifiably complained about being stuck at the corner of Kildare Road, unable to turn left to get to  Cavendish.    After last year’s election I asked our Traffic Committee to study what kind of relief was possible for the hundreds of motorists on Rembrandt. At the end of August we placed a new stop sign at the corner of Kildare and Rembrandt for vehicles headed towards Cavendish. Thus far this has brought some relief for motorists from Rembrandt during morning and afternoon rush hour having to cope with the traffic from JPPS/Bialik.  While I know some residents wanted a stop sign on the other side, our Traffic Committee studied this closely and determined that it would cause serious backups from vehicles turning on to Kildare from Cavendish. We will continue to study this area. A new sign will soon be installed underlining the importance of motorists looking to their left before turning and I will form a focus  group to discuss  the issue further. I have also scheduled a focus group meeting with some residents to get their feedback.

 

RembrandtspeedbumpA new speed bump on Rembrandt.

Another request by Rembrandt Avenue residents was to curtail speeding and we did so by installing a  (seasonal) speed bump.

Park Place resident Corey Frenkiel provided some good feedback about vehicles entering  the Quartier Cavendish via The Avenue and then making U-turns on his street.  These drivers were too lazy to turn into the actual lot. A No U-Turn sign was installed and the problem seemed to be resolved. We are now concentrating on the crosswalk from the apartment building on The Avenue leading to the Quartier Cavendish entrance next to the café. Some vehicles are driving much too quickly in that section as well. We installed flower pots to slow them down. We  continue to monitor the situation to see if any more corrective measures are necessary

Crossing Guard

Our search for a crossing guard at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare continues. We have conducted some interviews, but finding an appropriate candidate has not been easy. Here is the posting. Please share it with possible candidates, 

Chabad Greenspace

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Inaugurating the new pathway.

For those who may have missed it, last summer the Public Works Department of Côte Saint-Luc  put together a beautiful piece of green space between  Beth Chabad and JPPS-Bialik at the corner of Kildare Road and Marc Chagall in District 2. Beth Chabad had used the space, which is city-owned land, for wedding ceremonies for years but it was hardly attractive. That is when Public Works Director Beatrice Newman and her team stepped in. Working with Rabbi Mendel Raskin and  caterer Ray Petrovic of Blossom by the Plaza, the area was beautified with a lovely pathway running through it. As a thank you, Petrovic invited Director Newman, her senior management team and the hard working blue collar employees for a classy barbeque lunch.  Part of the parking lot next to Chabad is zoned for two storey office building. Thus far no formal proposal for a project has come our away, but I do believe something may be coming our way.

Breaking Down The Ice

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Breaking apart the snow dump ice.

 The snowfall in 2018 was significant and that meant a very full snow dump on Marc Chagall. Once the temperature warmed up in the spring we had two mechanical shovels break down the ice, returning the area to normal. Public Works staff then went inside the dump to clean. Each year I advocate for this work to be done.

Train Noise

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Meeting with CP officials.

When I first moved into my present home after getting married 23 years ago, I realized we were very close to the Canadian Pacific Railway tracks. But it was only a few days into residing here that I found myself rudely awoken by some unspeakable noises from the trains. This did not happen every night, but often enough that I followed the advice of some family members and purchased a white noise machine. For my household it masked the disturbance. Over the past two decades train noises have come and gone. In the 13 years I have served as the city councillor for District 2, it has never been more of an issue than the past year, especially for those homeowners closer to the tracks.   I met with officials from CP Rail and via our Co-City Manager Jonathan Shecter we maintained very close touch with them, seeking a response on all complaints. This is not an easy dossier to manage, but I will say that the officials from CP take these complaints seriously.

Open Government

For a number of years I brought the possibly of webcasting our regular monthly public council meetings  to the table for discussion. When Mayor Mitchell Brownstein gave me the Communications portfolio after last November's election, there was already some momentum to provide our citizens with the opportunity to view our meetings online. Initially, we looked into live webcasts.  The cost to video record (and live stream) the council meetings with a professional company would have been $1,230 (plus tax) per meeting. This price only included  one camera. For the 12 regular monthly meetings, this would have translated into a $15,000 cost (plus tax) and an additional $1,230 for each special meeting that we would recorded as well, such as December budget meeting, for instance. We are fortunate to have someone as resourceful as Director of Communications and Public Affairs Darryl Levine on our team. When we mandated him to come up with another option he was quick to respond. His department began video recording council meetings in January 2018 and posting the video recording on YouTube within two days. It also began uploading the audio to SoundCloud. There was no added capital cost to the city to introduce this service as the department had previously invested over the past seven years in a camcorder, wireless audio transmitter, a mirrorless camera (used as a second video camera), digital sound recorder, and video editing software. There was no added labour cost either. Our inhouse production uses two cameras during question period to make the video more interesting to watch. This example highlights the strength of our Communications and Public Affairs Department. They are able to do a lot of work in-house that other cities our size send out.  It also fulfills a key goal of our new "open city" process.

Men’s Club

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With Dr. Paul Weinstein at the dinner.

Along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, other members of council,  Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, I was so pleased to be at the Gelber Centre for the 2018 Men’s Club Gala. More than 400 people enjoyed sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, music and dancing, a full course meal, speeches, awards and door prizes. It was a classy affair from beginning to end, co-chaired by District 2 resident Joe Presser and Kenny Bessner.  District 2 resident David Haltrecht, who is one talented individual, was recognized as the Man of The Year.  Volunteer Awards were handed out to Peter Sternberg, Peter Atkin and District 2’s Marvin Hayman. Haltrecht, the Men’s Club First Vice-President, earned a Bachelor of Engineering and an MBA. An active member of the club, he works on several committees. Professionally he designed, developed and implemented computer based systems in retail, manufacturing and restaurant environments. Using this experience, he has implemented an operation system with a web site for the Men’s Club.  For many years he was an avid sailor and also worked with model trains. Today, he has the Men’s club members working with drones.

Volunteers of the Year

The city saluted our volunteers at the Cineplex Theatre at Quartier Cavendish. All volunteers were invited to see a movie, with a free soft drink, popcorn and some candy included. A pre-recorded video of the Mayor presenting the awards was shown on the big screen. Afterwards everyone was invited to a dessert reception. Several District 2 residents won awards: David Haltrecht, Hazel Lipes Award; Syd Kronish, named Ambassador of the Year, completed a four-year term as president of the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club; Charles Guerin took home the  Special Recognition Award;  the VCOP (Volunteer Citizens On Patrol)  Award went to Marty Croitoru, whose  wife Mindy just retired as a teacher from JPPS after nearly four decades of service.

Blooming

Maxine Bloom, a long time constituent of mine in District 2, is a wonderfully talented artist who lives and paints in two places. Here in Côte Saint-Luc spring, summer and fall and Deerfield Beach, Florida in the winter. Maxine’s style is mixed media and her eclectic subjects reflect her love of color and movement. She combines watercolor, acrylic and ink with collage.  As she and her husband Victor told me at the opening of an exhibit of her work at the CSL Public Library, many of the paintings are from holiday destinations of theirs.   

Felling of Trees

During the year I organized two  public information sessions in the Council Chamber to provide background into plans for the necessary felling of trees in Ashkelon Gardens.  Hundreds of trees are infested with the Ash Borer and the Dutch Elm disease. These trees are dangerous for people who were walking in the area (from the possibility of falling branches or trees) and may even constitute a fire hazard. The city requested our  xpert contractor, Nadeau Foresterie Urbaine, to prepare an inventory of the affected trees. On February 16, 2017 (based on this inventory), the city issued a public call for tender for the felling of 255 trees under tender number C-16-17. On June 12, 2017,   Council approved the awarding of the contract for the felling of infested trees to Services d’Arbres Tessier.   In total, we are looking towards felling approximately 300 trees and clearing approximately 21,000 buckthorn plants and bushes, a species that interferes with healthy tree growth in Ashkelon Forest

Smart Cities Challenge

District 2 resident Marc Chriqui is playing a key role in the development of our city's plan to win the Smart Cities Challenge. We were selected as one of 10 finalists in our category (and one of 20 overall) by the selection committee of the Smart Cities Challenge, a contest created by the Government of Canada. Each finalist community received a $250,000 grant to help develop its final proposal that outline all design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans. The grant can be used for activities such as staffing, professional services, feasibility assessments, capacity building, pilot projects, community engagement and communications, data, and relevant training.  The grand prize is $10 million to implement this proposal.

CSL Cats Committee

 

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On Breakfast TV to promote the concert.

 

Eight years ago I helped establish the first-ever Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee. We began with a small group of volunteers, spearheaded by Shelly Schecter of Educhat and a small allocation from the city. The most recent annual concert took place on October 9 at Wagar, a change from all our previous late August dates. We made the switch to ensure that we avoided a hot and stuffy evening. Well, October began on the cool side, but wouldn’t you know it on the day of our event a 60 year record for high temperatures was set. A day later it was cold outside again. That being said we sold more than 300 tickets. Singers Alexandra Cohen (also our emcee) and Nicole Arrage were superb. The Musicians of the World were their usual delight and the Gideon Vigderhous Quartet brought the crowd to its feet. We especially appreciated it when Gideon integrated the word “Meow” into one of his numbers and had the audience repeatedly shout it out. Diane Liebling, a retired nurse, continues to lead the committee of volunteers which does excellent work. We have saved the lives of so many cats, found them good homes while developing a network of people who feed feral cats near their homes year-round.

Dogs Committee

I honoured a campaign commitment and established our first ever Dog Owners Committee and moved changes to our bylaws which now allow dogs on leashes in most parks. Jonathan Goldman has stepped forward as our first chairman. He has established an executive committee, introduced a Facebook page (CSL Central Bark) and developed a procedure to communicate with dog owners. Two years ago, with the help of people like Abe Haim and Jason Balinsky, we created a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Run Advisory Committee. Abe chiefly served as my main liaison and as a result of his good work a number of improvements have been made to the Mackle Road facility. A second dog run on Côte Saint-Luc Road, between Richard Schwartz Park and Meadowbrook Golf Course, is now in operation.

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With Councillor Oren Sebag and Jonathan Goldman

 

The city  was proud to host the  Autism Speaks Canada  Dog Walk  on Sunday, October 21 (9  at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park on Mackle Road.  This was the first time ASC held an ASC-branded Dog Walk   time has indeed come for a Côte Saint-Luc Dog Owners Committee to be formally established.

Golf Classic

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Council with Joe Presser.

As a massive heatwave hit our province, we reluctantly decided to take the prudent approach to postpone our 39th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic. It was rescheduled for a week later While the golf is a lot of fun, the luncheon became the real big draw. So when we had to put off the golf portion on July 5, the show very much went on. Councillor Dida Berku was my co-chair this year and how appropriate given the decades of work she had put in to keep Meadowbrook free from development. Our honouree was long-time community leader and volunteer Joe Presser, a man I consider a good friend and a true supporter of mine in District 2 from day one of my time on council. Joe has been active at programming in Côte Saint-Luc for most of his life, notably at Beth Zion Congregation, the Parks and Recreation Department, the Cummings Centre Sports Celebrity Breakfast and the Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club. But he was often the man behind the scenes, not getting his deserving day in the sun.

The Golf Classic also played a role in the creation of  the Pierre Brunet McDonald’s Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. Brunet operates 19 McDonald’s franchise on the Island of Montreal, including one in Côte Saint-Luc. He was honoured in 2016 at the Golf Classic for his continued generosity to community events over the past 30 years. One day he asked me if I could come up with a local charitable endeavor that would benefit kids in our community for McHappy Day. I came up with the Bursary Fund idea,  working with Harold Cammy on making it a reality. It has been a huge success, making much needed funds available to families who ordinarily could not afford to register their children for some of our programs.

New Police Commander

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With the new Police Commander

 

I was pleased to sit down and get to know the new commander for Police Station 9, Luis Oliveira. He is a devoted member of the force with a tremendous back story. I know he will be a huge asset for our community. Here is my story on him.

Good Luck Harold Cammy

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A fitting sendoff for Harold Cammy.

 

I conclude this year in review with a salute to a gentleman I have known since childhood.  After more than 40 years of service to our Parks and Recreation Department, Harold Cammy will retire in January. Mere words cannot describe how much I will miss this man. Cote Saint-Luc is part of his DNA. Here is a detailed piece, including Harold's remarkable memoirs.

 

 

 

 


The extraordinary Harold Cammy retires after 45 years of service to the City of Côte Saint-Luc

A most remarkable man is retiring today.

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Pierre Brunet makes Harold a Honourary Manager.

 

Harold Cammy has been a colleague and friend of mine since the day we first met over four decades ago. My late father Larry (Lawrence Frederick Cohen, aka Larry Fredericks) was his biggest fan. The Côte Saint-Luc Parks and Recreation Department is part of Harold's DNA and he has left many legacies. One of his closest associations has been with Pierre Brunet, the remarkable owner of some 20 McDonald's franchises.  Harold and his wife Bev are regulars at his Côte des Neiges, TMR and Decarie locations - and of course our very own at the CSL Shopping Centre. So what better place for Pierre, myself and his invaluable team members to organize a bit of a surprise for Harold. 

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Harold with Pierre and some of his staff.

 

I spoke to Cornelia Ziga and Alvin Fishman and told them that Harold believed we had a meeting set with Pierre to go over some business. When Harold arrived, Pierre's assistant Lina had the entire second level decorated. A few friends were there to shout "surprise," such as longtime friend and boss David Taveroff, community leader Roy Salomon, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and wife Elaine, David Haltecht from the CSL Men's Club as well as Mark Lidbetter from The Suburban and Janice Arnold from the Canadian Jewish News. Not only did Pierre have staff take our food orders, but he pinned an official ID tag on Harold which said "honourary manager" and added in a $100 gift card.

Harold is surprised by a cake.

Harold is surprised by a cake.

I will miss Harold's presence more than I can say. He is an extraordinary human being. I asked him to write his memoirs and what you see below is now on our website at www.cotesaintluc.org/haroldcammy.  Public Affairs Chief Darryl Levine is finishing up a tribute video which we will post soon.

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Harold and his wife Beverly.

 

Please read on. It is extraordinary material!

Retirement Retrospective: Looking back on a 45 year association with Côte Saint-Luc

 

Retirement Retrospective: Looking back on a 45 year association with Côte Saint-Luc

By Harold Cammy

Harold Cammy

Myself, Mayor Brownstein, Harold, Roy Salomon, Pierre Brunet and David Taveroff.

My very first childhood memory was when I was 6 years old. It was October of 1960 and I was watching game 7 of the World Series on our small black and white TV….It was the Yankees vs Pittsburg Pirates and the Pirates won that game when Bill Mazeroski hit a game winning home run in the bottom of the 9th inning.

Why am I telling you this?

Baseball is what brought me to Côte Saint-Luc. Every weekend my friends would call me and we would all race over to Wentworth Park, on our bicycles, where we would play pick-up softball, a practice (pick-up sports) almost unheard of today!! While playing in those weekend games, I heard about this hardball team in Côte Saint-Luc, the Midget AA Avengers, coached by the local Olympic Sports store proprietor, Lenny Goldfarb.

I tried out for the team as a third baseman, was chosen, and so began my affiliation with Côte Saint-Luc that would last for the next five decades.

I played for two years, 1970 and 1971, and was “affectionately” known to my teammates as Coco Cammy…that’s because I played third base and the Expos, the new major league baseball team in town, had a popular third baseman, Coco Laboy.

We had a makeshift baseball field, a temporary home, built on Mackle Rd across from the Beth Israel Beth Aaron Synagogue. We had no other baseball fields in Cote Saint-Luc which could accommodate players of our age group, (16-18)

In 1972, I decided to volunteer and began coaching the same CSL Midget AA team with Lenny. Problem was we could no longer play at that makeshift field on Mackle so the City made plans to tear down the facility…something about building a new park there…Rumour had it was it was going to be called Centennial Park.

 

Finding a Place to Play

Well, where were we going to play until then?…after all the only other ball field in Côte Saint-Luc was the north field at Wentworth Park, home to the Cote Saint-Luc Slo Pitch League…Canada’s oldest organized softball league. The dimensions of this field were too small for Midget baseball.

The south side of the park was a football field, home to one of the top rated tackle football programs in Quebec during the 1960’s…the Cote Saint-Luc Astros, coached by Vaughan McVey, who just happened to go on and become the head coach of the McGill Redmen Varsity Football Club. He was later elected to the McGill University Sports Hall of Fame. The Cote Saint-Luc team actually won the PROVINCIAL football championship in the 1960’s.

However, years later football started its decline in popularity as parents began worrying about potential injury to their youngsters. We petitioned the City to build a new baseball field…and the Wentworth Park football field was turned into a hardball baseball field which became home to the Avengers AA baseball program.

Besides having a new home for intercity baseball…we also had a Bantam and Pee AA baseball program and Wentworth Park was rocking…with teams coming from all over the western part of the Island of Montreal to play our Avengers.

A local gentleman by the name of John Elias, a Phys Ed teacher by profession, heard about the baseball program and approached me about helping coach the Midget AA team. We teamed up and that’s how John and I began a lifelong partnership in Côte Saint-Luc sports.

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Present-day staff,  Terri Druick and political leadership share some time with Harold and Beverly.

Building An Arena

Now volunteering just about year-round our next focus was trying to convince our City Council to build a much needed municipal arena for our growing community.

I was chosen along with Allan Smofsky, by the Citizens Committee to Build an Arena to meet with then Mayor Samuel Moskovitch and solicit his guidance on how to convince the Council it was time to build this arena in Cote Saint-Luc.

For now, we were playing our hockey at the Montreal West Arena on early weekend mornings. Of course, coaches and parents first visited the well-known Famous Delly Boys on Westminster and Cote St. Luc Rd for an early morning bagel and coffee before heading to the Arena. This was a routine for almost all the volunteer coaches in the program.

The Mayor was a lawyer by profession and Allan and I decided to pay him a visit at his law firm in downtown Montreal. Upon writing this, I can still see the Mayor’s face in my memory, coming around from his large office desk, smoking his cigar and asking what he can do for us. We made our presentation and at the conclusion, he turned to us and said “come back with 5,000 signatures and I will make sure that an arena is built. The task was laid out before us…

Keep in mind that in 1973-74 there was no internet…so the petition was not on line. That’s right…we had to walk the streets knocking on doors…one by one…and we succeeded in getting those names down on paper… we had a great committee of volunteers and a team with a great spirit. Those members included our leader, Eric Helfield, yours truly, Allan Smofsky, Kenny Saxe, Mark and Freddy Bandel, Earl Dameshek, Buddy Manis, Morris Maron, Ricky Steinberg, Billy Leibovitch, Harvey Bernstein, Mark Bagen, Marty Goodman, Mary Goodman, Al Bernstein, Ted Angert, Mike Barrett, Mel Wilansky, Judge Maximilian Polak, Shirley Mendelssohn, Marty Braun, Bill Martow, Freddy Leber, Brian Litvack, Jeff Martow, Derek Schwartz and Wally Freestone.

Mayor “Sam” kept his promise…but unfortunately passed away in 1976, months before the Arena opened in February of 1977.

The Arena had been scheduled to open in August of 1976, just after the summer Olympics, but construction crews in Montreal went on strike delaying the actual opening until February. The ceremonial opening took place in June of 1977. Walter Freestone was appointed the first Arena Manager in 1976 and was to oversee the completion of the facility. Walter was also assigned as an employee of the Recreation Department since the facility would fall under the Department’s oversight.

 

Kirwan Park

Though the Arena failed to open in 1976, the year was marked by another special occasion for Côte Saint-Luc. In the fall, Wentworth Park was renamed Kirwan Park in honour of former City Councillor Ed Kirwan, who devoted over 40 years to the community.

During these years, (early 70’s) I worked part time for the City, my very first job as a wading pool attendant at Fyon Park…(my best customer was none other than Michael Green, owner of Green Locksmith on Westminster, who at the age of around 7 years old would bring me bracelets made from gimp every week).

 

Starting Off as a Day Camp Counsellor, Rink Attendant & Other Responsibilities

I then worked as a Day Camp counsellor at Wentworth Park. Every day, parents just sent their kids to the park. The children would come from 8:30 to 12, go home for lunch and then return in the afternoon from 1 pm to 4:30 pm.

I continued my part-time work as an outdoor skating monitor at Wentworth, Parkhaven and Singerman Parks where our hockey rinks were located.

Wentworth had two rinks, both located on the north side, where the Slo-Pitch League played their games. My colleague Alvin Fishman would attest to the fact that each rink had 30-40 players nightly. No matter how cold it was. Players changed inside the old Wentworth Park chalet. It was how hockey was meant to be played…outdoors and the “old fashioned” way!

Parkhaven outdoor rink, where the current Recreation Parking lot now sits, was also home to another one of my attendant jobs. An attendant working at Singerman Park Rink followed thereafter.

My final part-time job was being the first attendant of our recently built indoor Games Room located in the basement of Parkhaven where our Legion Room had been for the past several years.

One of my regular customers at the Games Room in the 70’s is current Gymnasium employee Allan Rock. Whenever we see each other he describes the fun times he had as a youngster while visiting the games room.

These seasonal jobs all took place between 1973-77.

 

An Internship in CSL

In 1977 I was completing the first ever English University program in Recreation and Leisure Studies to be offered in Quebec at Concordia University. I was required to complete a six month internship to obtain my degree…so off I headed to the Côte Saint-Luc Recreation Department and was greeted at the Recreation Office on Mackle Road by Teri Druick. At the time, the building was shared by Recreation and Public Works.

I explained to Teri my request and while doing so out walked from his office the ONLY other Recreation employee at the time, “Flaming” Frank Yanofsky. Larry Fredericks, famed Suburban Sports Writer and Mike Cohen’s father, had a penchant for “nicknaming” local personalities. Soon after he dubbed me “Handy” Harold…followed a few years later by “Hollywood” Harold…

The former Recreation Director, Bob Howes, had just resigned in June of 1977 and so it was a question of being in the right place at the right time.

They asked me when could I start, I said Monday…they said okay.

I joined Teri and Frank, our two secretaries Henrietta Cohen and Jean Leslie and Wally who was at the Arena.

In February of 1978 the City hired its new Recreation Director, Serge Menard.

A Full-Time Employee

After our very popular Skate A Thon in January of 1978, to raise money for the Inter-Service Club Council of Montreal, Frank decided to leave the Recreation Department and I took over full time overseeing the sports programing.

The Skate-A-Thon was another big boost to the City’s reputation and good will we were trying to build around the sports community. Particularly with a new Arena now in operation, none other than the great NHL Hall of Famer Jean Béliveau joined us for the afternoon skate and we raised $8,000.00.

Teri Druick’s late husband Moe Druick was instrumental in bringing Béliveau to Côte Saint-Luc and personally, I was building a great and healthy relationship with our volunteers. There was great chemistry and we were all working together to help build a better tomorrow.

The year 1978 was a special one for Côte Saint-Luc and for me. At the completion of my internship I was then hired full time in June of 1978.

 

A Grand Slam

John Elias and I went back many years. Johnny approached me in 1978 and said he would like to move his baseball camp, then in TMR to Côte Saint-Luc. Johnny lived on Smart Ave. (still does) and felt he would be more comfortable here working with someone he knew. So began a 25 year association with Côte Saint-Luc as home to the Grand Slam Baseball School, with the best players from the Expos visiting Cote Saint-Luc every summer.

It was the City’s 75 anniversary and Councillor Nathan Shuster was appointed Chairperson for the 75th Anniversary celebrations. I was given the role of assisting the City’s celebrations by heading the organization of a Golf Tournament with Councillor Hazel Lipes to be held in October. Since I had a long standing relationship with John Elias we immediately went to work on attracting a couple of celebrities for the Tournament. John came through and Gary Carter along with two other celebrities joined us at the tournament in frigid temperatures…nevertheless it was a fabulous day.

 

Other Projects

But before the golf, City Councillor Eric Helfield had his own project, a Jog-A-Thon to raise funds for Heart disease. We formed a committee and worked closely with Councillor Helfield as we did with Councillor Lipes for the Golf. The Jog a Thon was a resounding success with runners taking to the streets of Côte Saint-Luc.

We later went on to organize one more special event for the 75th anniversary, a hockey tournament.

 

A City Flag

At this time (1979) I was living in Town of Mount Royal, considered to have some of the finest Recreation programs and facilities in Montreal.

One of the first things I noticed living in the Town was that the Administration had a Municipal flag at all of its facilities. We did not. I asked our new Recreation Director, Jacques Bissonette, replacing Serge Menard, if he thought this would be a good idea and he recommended such to City Council. Soon thereafter our City flag with coat of arms went up at all our facilities!

Our Department started to grow under Jacques and that was good news. Joining Jacques, Teri and me over the next few years were Louise Ferland, Alvin Fishman, Suzanne Herscovitch, Francine Petrin, Gail Aber and Liliane Saliteanu. Wally of course was still working out of the Arena.

 

The Executive Softball League

In 1979, Bernie Rapp and Dave Margolis met with me to discuss the idea of starting an Executive Softball League for residents 35 years of age and over. Outside of the Côte St. Luc Slo Pitch League, which began in 1956, we did not have any other softball league for adults. Bernie and Dave went ahead and organized the league which is still operating today. They added an adult hockey league as well which also still runs out of our Arena. Dave passed away a couple of years ago but we were happy to see him at our golf classic shortly before he passed.

 

Other Major Events

Also in 1979, the Jog A Thon, first brought to fruition by Councillor Eric Helfield in partnership with the Richard Nadler Heart Foundation was held again, in September, and was a huge success. The event ran for several more years all with our support and involvement.

We completed the 1979 year with another two major events. Our first ever Sports Celebrity Breakfast…we termed it Breakfast with the Stars held at the Queen Elizabeth Hotel. Four hundred parents and children turned out to share stories and breakfast with such notables as Gary Carter, Don Sweet, Tony Proudfoot, Claude Raymond and Denis Herron. Dr. Ed Enos, from Concordia University, gave a stirring speech to all. All players received gifts, coaches received certificates, and members of the Executive received plaques. We didn’t forget Mayor Lang.

The Celebrity Breakfast was also the event whereby Morty Zafran rose from the Head Table to surprise me with a marble and gold desk set on behalf of the Minor Baseball, Hockey and Soccer Committees.

In fact, after only two years with them, they thought I was leaving the City to pursue a Master’s Degree in Recreation at California State University in Long Beach. What I didn’t know at the time of my application was that the fee was $25,000 annually. I cancelled my application and decided to stay in Montreal.

Morty presented me with the desk set and when I told them I was not going…they said I could still keep it. Thirty nine years later it still sits on my desk!

With our sports programs setting the path, Côte Saint-Luc was being recognized throughout Montreal as a leader. And that played out just a couple of years later when we were approached to host the first ever locally televised Baseball Tournament on CBC. More on that later!

 

The Habs come to CSL

We ended 1979 on a great high note with a sold out Samuel Moskovitch Arena as the Montreal Canadiens Old Timers came to play against Cote Saint-Luc teams. The game was organized by Moe Druick and the Inter-Service Clubs Council. Several NHL Hall of Fame players participated, including Dickie Moore, Elmer Lach, Kenny Mosdel, Gerry McNeill and Referee Red Storey. All the youngsters had a great time.

 

Volunteer Night

In 1980 Jacques asked me if I had any ideas about a new format for our Volunteer evening. At the time the Volunteer night was low key, with party sandwiches and cheese platters and held at the Wentworth Curling Club which was located at Meadowbrook Golf Club.

Jacques wanted the event to have a little more class, with a little more pizzazz, hence more attractive to our volunteers.

I talked with Teri Druick about a gala evening, with a full sit down meal, an orchestra with dancing, sweet table, and awards for the volunteers. Almost like a wedding, bar mitzvah, etc. This was going to cost a little money but Jacques thought every dollar was worth it.

Our biggest ally, besides Jacques was none other than the Mayor. He loved the idea…and away we went! The event ended up costing $6,000.00 (in 1980 dollars). Buddy Hampton was the orchestra leader and the event was a smashing success. Three hundred and sixty people (360) attended.

We organized a volunteer committee for Volunteer Night scheduled for June 1st. (interesting isn’t it that the Volunteer night was “organized” with a volunteer chairperson…the first one was Millie Halpern, and we hosted the first “new style” Volunteer night in the ballroom of the Chateau Champlain Hotel.

Just winding down from the Volunteer Night Gala, and off we were again…this time organizing our annual Canada Day event…June 30th…and we held the event at the newly built Rembrandt Park which was inaugurated on June 30th 1980.

 

A Golf Tradition is Born

In 1980 I was questioned by some seniors about hosting a Seniors Golf Tournament. I thought this was a great idea. The first organizing committee was comprised of Abe Baron, Saul Arshinoff, Irene Echenberg, Edith Yates, and Senior Social Club Coordinator Suzanne Herscovitch.

We hosted the nine hole Tournament on August 19th at Meadowbrook…and have been doing so for the past 40 years.

In following years, Molly Flanz and Hilda Greenspoon were added to the Committee.  They are all gone now (except Suzanne) but I am sure they would have been proud to know that we have kept this event going for 40 years!

It has been a great pleasure over the past several years working with Councillor Mike Cohen as we adopted a new format in order to revive the event after some declining years, and it has rightfully taken its place as one of our highlight events each year using this activity to honour a great Côte Saint Lucer.

 

Maison  Fleuries and More

The year 1980 also brought about the beginning of our annual Maison  Fleuries contest. This was coupled with the Villes et Villages Fleuries contest organized by the Province.

The summer of 1980 brought about one more surprise…some talk and rumours about a new outdoor sports complex to be built on Mackle Road.

The early 1980’s were highlighted with other great successes stories. We hosted several Sports Celebrity Breakfast events at downtown hotels with the elite of Montreal Sports celebrities attending. Councillor Mike Cohen’s father, Larry Fredericks, served as MC at each event and was fabulous with his support.

 

Meeting My Life Partner

In 1983, another special moment surfaced.

It was a warm breezy June night, and my colleague Al Fishman was scheduled to award baseball trophies to our Minor Baseball teams at Kirwan Park. Al received an urgent family message and asked if I could go to the park and present the trophies in his place. Of course, no problem.

I arrived around 7:30 pm wearing a heavy tweed sport jacked with temperatures hovering around 80F. (around 24c for you younger folks)

My future wife-to-be, Beverly, saw me at the park presenting the trophies…It was “Hollywood” Harold Cammy she said. Soon thereafter we were married and are now celebrating our 34th wedding anniversary. The truth is Beverly has been my greatest supporter. It was because Beverly was able to stay home looking after our special needs daughter Lacey that I had the freedom to participate and attend so many special events, night time meetings, programs, during my career.

 

Major Tournament

The following year, 1984, is when George Springate, former police officer and former MNA  approached me about Côte Saint-Luc hosting a National Pee Wee baseball Tournament. The kick to this event was that it was not going to be just any tournament. It was going to be televised by CBC. George was working at CBC as a sports commentator at the time and we had developed a working relationship over the years.

Our Council was enthusiastic about the event and approved minor renovations to the baseball fields in order to accommodate the television cameras. It was truly a great week with our own Alvin Fishman, Ron Yarin, Joe Raie, Solly Levine, Morty Zafran, Merv Levin and Kenny Corber all part of the organizing committee.  The Cote Saint-Luc tournament was now on television…throughout eastern Canada.

 

Hockey Exchange

The 1980’s also brought about our annual Hockey Exchange programs with our inter city teams playing against teams from New Jersey. We travelled to New York and their teams came back to Cote Saint-Luc. The players stayed in each other’s homes and it was a great experience for the kids, coaches and parents.

We also experienced more highlights in the 80’s.

 

Canada Day Parade

Our Minor Hockey President Ricky Steinberg and I came up with an added idea for Canada Day. A full scale Canada Day parade.

Ricky and our volunteer committee worked on organizing the parade which began at the CSL Shopping Centre, complete with floats, marching bands, and hoopala.

The parade was even filmed by a volunteer, Leon Seidman, and we marched from the shopping Centre to Rembrandt Park…it was 1983.

 

Centennial Park

The 80’s also saw the opening of Centennial Park. I was managing the Samuel Moskovitch Arena (Wally having moved over to the Recreation office) at the time and I was approached by City Council about managing the park and its programs and Chalet attendants. I was on board and I enjoyed every minute of that responsibility for many years thereafter.

 

Water Play
During the 90’s we introduced the first Water Play facility in Côte Saint-Luc after I viewed a video from Calgary. We approached City Council with this idea and displayed a video to Council. If we could raise some private money Council was open to building this facility, one of the first waterplay facilities in Eastern Canada. I pledged I would try and raise 50 percent of the cost for building this water play facility which would be constructed at the rear of Centennial Park. We succeeded and the same way that Mayor Sam kept his word about the Arena, the Council kept their word on the Water Play project which was constructed at the north end of then named Centennial Park. We raised $30,000.

 

Rink Board Advertising and Bench Naming

We also introduced rink board advertising to the Arena bringing in a new stream of advertising revenue. At the time, advertising in local community rinks was not so popular. We made it popular, however, by bringing about the goal of uniting the business interests in the community with the local Parks and Recreation programs.

We also introduced another stream of revenue with the idea that people could sponsor memorial benches.

Memories of our very first bench purchased however are bittersweet! It was in memory of one of our own friends, employee Andrew Merriman, who died from a brain tumour while working as an attendant at Chalet #1 at Centennial Park. I spent the night at the hospital with his loved ones after receiving the call at home at 2 am. I can still hear the phone ringing!! Andrew was a great guy and at his funeral Allan Levine walked up to his casket and placed a Cote Saint-Luc pin on his lapel.

 

Jean Beliveau: A True Career Highlight

The year was 1997 and my old friend George Springate approached me once again, (remember the baseball tournament) for what was truly the highlight of my career in Côte Saint-Luc.

George said that Canadiens hockey legend Jean Béliveau had amassed $925,000.00 in his Jean Beliveau Fund since the year he had retired (1972) and Jean wanted to donate $1 million dollars to the Quebec Society of Disabled Children. George wanted him to do it right here in Côte Saint-Luc because of our relationship.

Of course, we would have to raise the remaining $75,000  over the next several months in order to reach the total of one million dollars.

The entire Montreal Canadiens team would come to Côte Saint-Luc and play a Celebrity Softball Game against the Montreal media followed by a VIP dinner at Sternz Rhapsody in Cavendish Mall. That was the plan.

We sold out the restaurant…300 tickets at $50.00 per person. It was a magnificent evening. The celebrity softball game had to be cancelled because of a huge thunderstorm just hours before the scheduled game. Nevertheless we had the entire Canadiens team there so we ushered them into Confederation Annex and they signed autographs and took photos with the kids for the next three hours.

During the preceding months we had raised a lot of money, $50,000 but were short $25,000 from our goal of $75,000.00

I approached the Gazette and sportswriter Dave Stubbs who agreed to promote our event and publicize what our goal was. The story went into the Gazette on a Wednesday, two days before the Béliveau tribute.

Our committee had worked very hard but we were not going to raise $25,000 in two days. That is until someone very special read the Gazette story.

On Friday afternoon, just hours before the grand event at Centennial Park, George Springate received a knock on his door. It was special delivery.

He opened the envelope and there was a congratulatory note inside recognizing all the hard work we in Cote Saint-Luc had done to honour Béliveau…oh, and included with the note was a cheque for $25,000.00 from Senator Hartland Molson.

Jean made the donation of  $1 million  that night to the President of the Quebec Society for Disabled Children, right here in Cote Saint-Luc, and Mayor Bernard Lang later called it one of his most memorable and proud moments as Mayor of Côte Saint-Luc. Montreal’s entire English and French media were here.

 

Sports Celebrity Breakfast

We re-introduced the Sports Celebrity Breakfast after honouring Béliveau and we went on to host four more breakfasts in partnership with the TBDJ Synagogue using their facility as the site for the breakfast, again attracting the elite of Montreal’s sports world. Cote Saint-Luc was recognized throughout the Montreal sports scene as a leader and a place where great things happen.

The TBDJ partnership was a positive byproduct of the infamous ice storm in 1998.

The synagogue was set up as a shelter for the ice storm and we all developed such a wonder relationship with the synagogue staff and Rabbi Steinmetz at that time that they agreed to give us their facility for our Celebrity Breakfasts.

 

Ice Resurfacer

The early 2000’s brought about the merger with the City of Montreal. One of the bright moments was the introduction of the first battery operated Ice Resurfacer in Cote Saint-Luc.

Cary Miller, a Hampstead resident who owned a company called HL Leclair (now closed) approached me about purchasing a new ice re-surfacer for our Arena.

We went through all the details and prepared the proposal, with help from then Public Works Director Guy Poirier, for Council which was accepted. Côte Saint-Luc would have its first battery operated Ice Resurfacer and one of the first in the entire province. We were highlighted on all the news networks and my most fearful moment was when RADIO CANADA, not CBC Channel 6 (the English station) wanted to interview me. After all, French wasn’t my first language!!! Robert Libman helped out through the interview and all went well…

 

Israeli National Hockey Team

The year 2005 was another magic one for Côte Saint-Luc.

Once again, we put our community on the map throughout Quebec and Montreal. The Israeli National Hockey Team made its first visit to Canada and Allan Maislin, Gary Shapiro, and Gerald Issenman knew there was only one place to play their first game…the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. None other than Jean Perron, Head Coach of the Montreal Canadiens Stanley Cup winning team in 1986, coached the Israeli team against LaurenHill Academy from Saint-Laurent.

I went to private Jewish school with Gary Shapiro, Shaare Zion Academy, so we had an existing relationship and Allan and I had been friends since his hockey coaching days in Côte Saint-Luc. Gary asked me to represent the City at the organizing committee meetings and we were off and running. Robert Libman was Borough Chairman and gave his approval.

By game time, the Arena was so packed the fans were standing three rows deep around the rink glass. Many dignitaries were on hand including the Vice-Consulate General Sharon Regev and Saint-Laurent Borough Chairman Alan DeSousa.

The most moving moment of the night, however, was not anything that happened in the game itself, but rather the moving rendition on ice of Hatikvah performed by the English Montreal School Board Choir…with the Israeli Flag blowing at centre ice there was not a dry eye in the house. By the way, the Israeli National team won the game 8-1 and the organizing committee was so impressed with the participation and support from Côte Saint-Luc that the Junior National Team returned in 2007 to play against our own Midget hockey team winning 11-8, again before a standing room only crowd.

 

Pancake Breakfast

In 2006, our First Pancake Breakfast was held, as part of the Winter Carnival and a partnership with Pierre Brunet, the local Franchisee and McDonalds. We made the arrangements, signed the deal with Pierre who donated 1000 pancakes, up to 1,300 today, and in the process agreed if he donated the pancakes we would raise money for the Manoir Ronald McDonald. Hence, the outdoor hockey tournament and an incredible $70,000.00 raised over the years for the Manoir. Cote Saint-Luc has a plaque inside the Manoir with one of the rooms named after our City.

 

Valentine’s Day Dance

The year 2008 marked the beginning of another special event, our annual Valentine’s Dance. The event started with about 85 tickets sold in the first year, with most of those tickets sold in the last two weeks leading up to the event. Louise Ferland and I were in charge and staff were telling us with the amount of work we did, this event was not going to succeed in future years. Too much effort for too few returns.

Our original committee, comprised of volunteers Irving and Mindy Schok, Ron Yarin, Sammy Pinsky, Louise and myself did not agree…we were NOT going to give up…It takes time to build a program…we tweaked, adjusted, adapted, and this coming year, 2019 the City will be hosting our 11th annual Valentine Dance, with sell outs over the past six consecutive years. The event attracts 275 to 300 people annually.

 

Pierre Brunet

Just a few years ago, Councillor Cohen called me for a brief sit down…what ideas could we come up with as an annual fund raising program benefitting the community? After just one hour the two of us emerged with the idea for the Pierre Brunet Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund supporting local families with special needs children and/or facing financial hardships. The fund has raised close to $15,000 over three years.

 

Our Facilities

When I think of starting my career with just an outdoor pool and one softball field at Wentworth Park as our major facilities, I think we have come a long way.

Gary Carter Field and the entire Trudeau complex is a first class facility, add to it the Aquatic and Community Centre, upgrades to our parks and other sports facilities, current renovations ongoing for the Arena and Kirwan Park, and you certainly have a community whose residents should be most proud.

 

A Great Team

As I make my final preparations to leave I must make clear that our achievements were all part of a team effort.

All of our successful events, programs, etc. were the result of building relationships amongst all. I never worked alone on any successful event. It was the product of commitment, devotion and dedication from my colleagues, volunteers and Senior Management and Council.

Furthermore, I would not leave out our white and blue collar employees who are truly integral to our success. Whether it was the carpenters, electricians, painters, labourers, etc we rely on their support so that every event can be carried off in the best possible way.

I came to know five Mayors during that time, starting with Mayor Sam, Mayor Lang, Mayor Libman, Mayor Housefather and Mayor Brownstein. I thoroughly enjoyed working with them all as I did with all the City Councillors who passed through City Hall from 1973 onwards.

I also worked for eight Recreation Directors passing through our doors….Bob Howes, Serge Menard, Jacques Bissonnette, Wally Freestone, Peter Wallace, Paul Desbarats, David Taveroff and Cornelia Ziga.

On a final note, I think one of my proudest memories is the knowledge that many employees who I recommended for hiring as young people at one time, now still working for the City, some married with children, and still contributing to our success.

Our current staff are most dedicated and it has been a pleasure working with Cornelia Ziga, my own team of Alvin Fishman, Ryan Nemeroff and Brad Horner, and the rest of the Recreation Department, Ray Valiquette, Steve Papp, Laura Trihas, Sarah Houle, Tricia McKenzie, Larry Masella, Dan Abisror, Michael Calcutt, Dennis Kopitas, Eden Burger, Maurice Giobbi, Maria Picciuto, Beate Hewel, Fran Rosen,and all of the ACC service staff, blue and white collars.

We have the ability to be “kind” to people, to be “responsive” to people, to “support and assist” people because that is what a City and its staff should be doing. Making someone’s day just a little bit better…a little more enjoyable.

It doesn’t take a great effort to be kind and helpful...it just takes a little empathy, compassion and understanding of human behaviour.

“People will not always remember all the good things you do for them, but they will always remember how you made them feel about themselves”.

2018-12-20 Lunch event for Harold Cammy at McDonalds 041
Harold, David Taveroff and Roy Salomon catch up.

Watch this video by Darryl Levine.

 

 

 


Mindy Shulman Croitoru retires from JPPS

One of our community’s most dedicated school teachers, longtime District 2 resident Mindy Shulman Croitoru, has announced her retirement from JPPS after a remarkable career spanning nearly four decades.

“For close to four decades, Mindy Shulman Croitoru has shared her skill, experience and love of teaching with the children of JPPS,” wrote Marnie Stein, Principal and Co-Head of School at JPPS. “ She has inspired her students to reach their individual potential in English, Math and Science.”

MindyCharlie2
Mindy and her new student, grandson Charlie

Mindy’s retirement is effective January 2019.  Will she join our Volunteer Citizens  on Patrol (VCOPs) like her husband Marty, recently recognized as one our Volunteers of the Year? My guess is she will try and take it easy for a while and also enjoy life as a grandma!

 “With care and warmth, Mindy taught the students of JPPS the love of learning and the personal rewards of being a lifelong learner,” Stein continued. “As a role model to her students, she taught each and every one of them that hard work and perseverance pays off. The energy she devoted to that end is very much appreciated by the entire JPPS family.”

Stein noted that  throughout her years at JPPS, Mindy remained committed to her students and to helping develop their confidence as learners. “Her colleagues will cherish their memories of working alongside her and we feel so fortunate that our students were taught by such a special teacher,” she stated.

In the Talmud it is written that, "He who teaches a child, it is as though he created it." Stein wishes to  thank Mindy for the years of hard work and devotion to JPPS, and wish her good health, enjoyment, and nachas from her family, as she embarks on a well-deserved retirement.

As the parent of one of Mindy’s former students, I can attest to her excellent work in the classroom.

Good luck Mindy!


Local artists Chandler and Mann present beautiful art display at the library

The Côte Saint-Luc PublicLibrary regularly has superb displays of art work from our very own residents. Through January 6, David Chandler and  Hélène Mann are the focus of attention in our Community Art Space. I strongly recommend you pay a visit.

CSL small poster

David is a resident of District 2 while I will always remember  Hélène as Mme Benoussan. She was my teacher at the former Wentworth French Immersion School (Grade 7) in Côte Saint-Luc. We reconnected years later via her art work. She was a public school teacher for some 25 years. Also a resident of CSL, she is presenting more than 30 of her original digital art works. Her brilliant images are sometimes based on photos which are worked into collages; others are completely original imaginative creations. A must see!

Chandler2
Hélène Mann paintings.

 

David taught for over 30 years, including several years focusing on photography. His photographic experience exceeds 60 years. The digital works on display attempt to show that photography is as much an impressionistic art as any painted art. There is a wide range of topics leaving much room for personal interpretation.

“All the images on display are based on photographs I have taken over the past 20 years,” David shares. “They have been modified with any of several programs. While the images can obviously printed multiple times no two are ever quite the same, as with multiple fine art prints made from the same plate. I consider pixels to be a modern variation of ancient Greek and Roman mosaics where coloured pieces of glass were combined to create images.”

David’s speciality is travel and architectural photography, always looking for patterns in the world around us. In recent years he has turned to more abstract or impressionistic images, always trying to isolate  the essence of the image. “I am presently preparing a paper on these ideas,” he says. “My equipment in these digital days has always been Olympus but it matters not since if the artist/photographer doesn’t see the image no equipment can save it.”

CHandler
Some of David Chandler's work.


David has personally published a couple of books,  which are on display for library viewing only.

For more information he can be reached  at 514.482.4148 or dhchandler43@gmail.com .

All of these images are for sale.  

 


One on one with new Police Station 9 Commander Luis Oliveira

It was a pleasure to sit down with newly installed Montreal Police Station 9 Commander Luis Oliveira at his office on Westminster Avenue.

Police Station 9 serves Côte Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West. Unlike his predecessor Jean  O’Malley, now the head of public security in Hampstead, Commander Oliviera does not have to split his time between Stations 9 and 11 (NDG).

¨PoliceCommanderandMe2                                                                                            Meeting with Commander Oliveira.

Commander Oliveira has a truly interesting back story, one that goes back before he joined the police force 28 and a half years ago.Raised in the Petite Patrie/Rosemount area. His parents spoke French at home, but sent him to English schools: Francesca Cabrini Elementary School (now Pierre Elliott Trudeau) in Rosemount, John F. Kennedy High School in St. Michel, Dawson College (Health Sciences) and then McGill University (Physical Education). While at McGill he played football for the Redmen as an offensive guard who wore number 54. His greatest memory: being part of the national champion Vanier Cup winning team in 1987. In 1984 he even earned a tryout with the CFL’s Montreal Concordes (a previous incarnation of the Alouettes coached by Joe Galat).

Commander Oliveira did not head directly to the police after graduation. First he actually served as a player-coach in a professional football league in France (Cannes). He then went on to become a physical education/geography/history teacher at Lindsay Place and Hudson High Schools on the West Island. At the age of 28 he switched gears and enrolled in CEGEP Maisonneuve for their Police Technology Program. His career as a cop began at the former Station 15 in NDG following that up with a stint downtown. Soon after he was  promoted to Sergeant and with that came a special opportunity: to travel to the civil war in Bosnia to represent the United Nations as a liaison to chase down  war criminals.

“It gave me a different perspective on life,’ said the Commander, who spent a year overseas and landed at Station 4 in Dollard des Ormeaux upon his return. But soon after he was off for another mission, this time to Jordan to teach and train new Iraqi police officers.

Seeking more of a 9 to 5 shift in order to spend quality time with his three children, Commander Oliveira landed an assignment at general police headquarters to coordinate the kind of missions he went on himself. “Over 10 years in that post I arranged for about 250 of our officers to serve overseas,” he explained.

Since arriving at Station 9 two months ago, the Commander has hit the ground running. When I was there he was working with Officer Marie-Christine Nobert, who does such a wonderful job in the area of outreach, and hosting representatives from different community organizations.

“I am thrilled to be here,” he said. “When I started, the tragic shooting occurred at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. This gave me an immediate opportunity to get to know the local community synagogue leadership as met with them and provided reassurance.

Commander Oliveira has also established a good relationship with his counterpart at Station 11, Anouk St. Onge.

Commander Oliveira has already  made it a point to attend the start of our monthly council meetings. We look forward to working with him!

PoliceCommunity

The Commander meets with community representatives.

 


Author Caddell to promote his hockey book at The Samuel Moskovitch Arena

It will be a busy weekend for author and former Montreal West town councillor Andrew Caddell.  He will be in Montreal promoting his book The Goal: Stories about Our National Passion  on CTV Montreal with Mutsumi Takahashi  on Friday at noon, and then will be signing books on Saturday afternoon at Bonder Bookstore on Westminster in Montreal West, then off to The Samuel Moskovitch Arena on Mackle Road in Côte Saint-Luc that evening  for more signing and selling.  The book, which features stories from former Montreal Gazette writer Dave Stubbs, has received great reviews and reached the top 100 on Amazon winter sports books last year. 

Caddellreads
Last year I brought Andrew to Royal West Academy to do a reading of his fabulous book.

It features 14 true short stories about hockey and life, from the title story, "The Goal" about Andrew's trials as a 10 year old goalie on the outdoor rinks in Montreal West, to a touching story aout his great-aunt and her idol, "The Gentleman," Jean Béliveau.  There is hockey history about Montreal Maroons fans who supported the Boston Bruins when the Maroons folded in the 1930s, women's hockey, the Habs-Leafs rivalry, and the longest ever NHL game, in 1936, which Andrew's dad, "Pip" Caddell attended. 

The book was originally self-published and launched in 2015, but picked up by Rock's Mills Press in Oakville last year and expanded, with colour photos and four new stories.  I heartily recommend it.  Andrew is now retired from the department of Global Affairs in Ottawa, but is busy: along with the book, he writes a weekly column on politics in the "Hill Times," and is partnering with an Australian company in emergency services technology for municipalities, QITCanada.  He has plans to move back to Montreal in 2019. 

 


Proud to have sponsored a resolution calling on Tour de l'Île to become charitable

The annual Tour de l'Île de Montréal has been a thorn in my side for decades. I am not a cyclist and I resent the fact that this event paralyzes the city one Sunday each year, as well as eating up the equivalent of $500,000 in Agglomeration funds while not raising a penny for charity.

Activist Murray Levine first connected with me on this issue over 30 years ago and I wrote about it in my newspaper column at the time. 

Organizers from Velo Québec continue to march to the beat of their own drum and with each City of Montreal administration not taking a stand on the issue they face little incentive to change. Now we have a Montreal Mayor in Valerie Plante who cycles to work.

If the Tour would encourage its riders to raise funds for their favorite charity, I might find this inconvenience a bit more bearable. 

Mikemurray
With Murray Levine after the vote at City Council.

It was with this in mind that I moved the following resolution at our December 10 Council meeting, which passed with a majority:

 MOTION TO ESSENTIALLY INCREASE PHILANTHROPY IN QUEBEC
 
WHEREAS the 30,000+ participants of New York’s TD 5 Boro Cycle are invited to raise
funds for charities and this year (and previous ones) raised $1 million;
 
WHEREAS the participants of multitudes of mass participation running, cycling, triathlon
and other mass participation self propelled athletic events around the world have optional
charitable fundraising components;
 
WHEREAS the participants of running events alone in the US raise over $1 billion per
year for charities;
 
WHEREAS the participants of the Marathon de Montreal are INVITED to raise funds and
may still be paying Montreal so that they may stage their event;
 
WHEREAS charities staging athletic events that raise funds at Parc Jean Drapeau
actually pay for the privilege;
 
WHEREAS Le Tour de L’Ile de Montreal receives $500,000 in funding and in kind support
from the Agglomeration;
 
WHEREAS the Tour de L’Ile de Montreal is a major inconvenience to pedestrians and
motorists;
 
WHEREAS emergency vehicles are delayed due to the event;
 
Whereas there is no noticeable increase in tourism due to the event;
 
WHEREAS Dorval, Kirkland and Hampstead will not consider allowing Le Tour in unless
the participants are invited to raise funds for charities;
 
WHEREAS Cote St Luc, DDO and Laval have banned the event altogether;
 
WHEREAS a significant number of the participants come from Laval, the South Shore
etc. whose cities contribute no funds and suffer no inconvenience;
 
It was MOVED BY myself SECONDED BY COUNCILLOR  Ruth Kovac
 
AND RESOLVED:
 
“THAT the Côte Saint-Luc City Council call upon the Agglomeration not to support
Velo Quebec with funding and free in kind support, until such time as all of the participants of Velo Quebec events on the Island of Montreal, are INVITED by to raise funds for charities via their participation in the events.”
 

 

 


We need a crossing guard at Cavendish and Kildare

 If anyone knows of a viable candidate, please share  this with  them. We need to fill the very important post of crossing guard at Cavendish and Kildare.

CROSSING GUARD

The City of Côte Saint-Luc is currently searching for a candidate for the position of Crossing Guard.

THE POSITION

Reporting to the Director of Public Security, the crossing guard supervises people at intersections in order to prevent traffic accidents. He/she ensures the safety of individuals and informs them of safety regulations.

DETAILS OF POSITION

  1. Stop traffic at intersections by way of portable stop sign, when the situation arises.
  2. Invite people to look both ways before crossing the street.
  3. Accompany individuals crossing the street, from one side to the other.
  4. Show individual how to cross the street in a safe and reasonable manner.
  5. Explain to individuals the meaning of certain traffic signs in the area.
  6. At all times, crossing guard must respect all road signs and invite people to do the same.
  7. Give to local police district office and/or local Public Security department, a description of any noticeable loitering individuals.
  8. Advise immediately 9-1-1 when a person is hurt and take care of him/her until patrol officers or ambulance arrives.
  9. Carry out any other related duties as requested by supervisor.

QUALIFICATIONS

The ideal candidate will possess a high school diploma – Secondary V.

Candidates with security background will be preferred.

Other:  Bilingualism, ability to work under stressful conditions, available for night work, including weekends, well spoken, diplomatic, a valid driver’s licence is preferred.

SCHEDULE

Monday to Friday : 7 AM to 9 AM and 2 PM to 4 PM (4 hours per day = 20 hours per week)

 

To apply in confidence, please forward a copy of your résumé, along with a covering letter to:

 

By e-mail:        hr-rh@cotesaintluc.org          

By Fax:           (514) 485-8926

By Mail:          City of Côte Saint-Luc, Human Resources Department,

                        5801 Cavendish Blvd., Côte Saint-Luc, Québec H4W 3C3

 

We are an equal opportunity employer. We thank all applicants for their interest, however, only those candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.