District Meetings

Annual District 2 Town Hall Meeting set for Monday, June 4 at City Hall

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 Town Hall meeting will take place on Monday, June 4 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard).  

I created the District meeting concept when I was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then other councillors have followed suit.

The special guest speaker will be Police Station 9 Socio-Community Officer Marie-Christine Nobert, who will update everyone on important safety and security measures and provide timely tips for the summer season. David Goldsmith, a District 2 resident and VCOP (Volunteer Citizens on Patrol) supervisor,  will join Officer Nobert at the podium to provide his perspective.

A representative from the Equinoxe Apartment Condos, of which Phase One will be ready for occupancy this summer, will be on hand to respond to questions and provide a construction timeline.

Also to be discussed that evening will be new traffic safety measures, the now completed City Hall/Library parking lot and other items of interest.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses),  Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.


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Standing room only: Cavendish Extension the main topic at annual District 2 Town Hall

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.

Audience
The room was packed.

 


There will an election in November and I will be proud to seek a fourth mandate on council.

Cavendish-Kildare Intersection

Last year’s District 2 meeting focused on an issue which residents have asked me about more than any other: The Cavendish/Kildare intersection. The city formed an ad hoc committee which met over a period of many months. Last November we proudly introduced 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. To help visualize the change, imagine you are a driver who left the JPPS/Bialik campus and is heading west along Kildare towards the police station. When you approach the traffic light at Cavendish Blvd., you can use the left or middle lane to turn left or the middle lane to go straight. Once we have made the change, the motorists coming from the opposite direction will have a red right, which will allow you to turn left (or to go straight) without having to worry about oncoming 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. The response I have received from constituents has been overwhelmingly positive.

Grouplong
Left to right: Elisabeth Prass, myself, Rick Leckner, resident Allan Greenberg, Mayor Brownstein, resident Sidney Margles, Elaine Yagod Brownstein.

The Cavendish Boulevard Extension.


The 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.”


I am 54 years old. As far back as I can remember, the extension of Cavendish has been a regular topic for discussion. The late Mayor Bernard Lang was strongly opposed to it---“We Don’t Need It, We Don’t Want it, We Can’t Afford It,” he’d always say.


Here was my interview on CJAD with Andrew Carter the morning prior to the meeting,

Here was The Gazette story which appeared the same day.

En Français

Un lien nord-sud par le boulevard Cavendish est l’élément manquant sur le réseau routier de l’île de Montréal. Les premières discussions en vue de relier les deux tronçons du boulevard Cavendish remontent au milieu des années 1960, et des études ont été faites en 1981, en 1988, en 1992, en 1995, en 1996 et en 2000.


Projet de construction de la route donc les objectifs sont :


• La création d'un lien nord-sud de Côte Saint-Luc à l'arrondissement Saint-Laurent
• La création d'un lien est-ouest avec le boulevard Décarie


Le raccordement du boulevard Cavendish lien a le but d'ameliorer l'accessibilite au secteur, pour y entrer, en sortir et y circuler, par tous les modes de transport, et d'assurer des conditions de circulation propices a la prosperite economique et au bien-etre des residents.


The Blue Bonnets land


In 2012 the Quebec Government agreed in principle to cede the 43.5 hectare site of Blue Bonnets Raceway to the City of Montreal in order to build up to 8,000 sustainable residential units. As of the morning of my meeting the province had NOT signed the necessary documents to transfer the land to the city. As I prepared my notes for the meeting I was prepared to emphasize how there was considerable optimism that Montreal complete that deal before the November elections. In order for Montreal to make the housing project work, they need the extension as well.


Well imagine my surprise when I learned that a press conference had been scheduled for the afternoon of my Town Hall wherein the Quebec government would indeed sell the Blue Bonnets land to Montreal. That announcement was postponed to June 6. Wow!!!! What timing!


See this story in The Montreal Gazette.


As Jason Magder reported, Quebec Finance Minister Carlos Leitão said the government is handing over the land to the city. The city pays nothing up front, but must give the province half the profits of land sold on the 43.5-hectare property.

The 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.


The agglomeration council has already earmarked $220,000 for a feasibility study for an overpass in the railway yards. Both Canadian Pacific and CN appear to be on board. So are St Laurent, TMR, the Quebec Government, the Federal Government and yes Côte Saint-Luc.


The cost is estimated at $175 million. It would have been $20 million in the 1980s. Federal Infrastructure Funds will be available. Montreal has even placed reserves on two pieces of land on Cavendish and Dalton, owned by real estate company Olymbec. This bars the owners from expanding or developing this property for two years as it is an essential link to the extension.


There has never been more momentum for this extension, which would see Cote Saint-Luc connected to Royalmount (so not a direct Cavendish to Cavendish route) and then from Royalmount to Cavendish in St. Laurent.


At my meeting Mayor Mitchell Brownstein began by expressing his optimism for the extension, which would lead from Wallenberg Avenue through the CP Yards towards Royalmount. Elisabeth Prass, from the office of D’Arcy McGee MNA David Birnbaum, agreed that with the impending announcement regarding the former Blue Bonnets land the timing could not be better to discuss the extension. She added that since these are municipal roads, once any negotiations are complete the provincial and federal governments will get involved.


Rick Leckner has over four decades of experience in corporate communications and crisis management. He established Maison Brison Communications in 1983, providing strategic investor relations, crisis management and media relations services to large, publicly-traded Canadian companies. Prior to that he helped launch public relations firm, Polymark Management in 1973.

He is known for his many years (1969-2000) of providing helicopter traffic reports to Montrealers on CJAD and Mix 96. Rick was proactive in representing the travelling public’s interests, regularly liaising with police and transport officials. In 2011 he was named to Transports Québec’s comité technique sur la mobilité des biens et des personnes and worked with officials in an attempt to mitigate traffic congestion. He is regularly sought after by the media for his insights into traffic coordination.

Rick was also a city councillor in Dollard-des-Ormeaux from 1978-1994, was Vice-President of the Montreal Urban Community (MUC) Emergency Measures Bureau, and has sat on a number of other Quebec Government committees, including the Conseil des services essentiels and the Comité d’examen des plaintes of the Sûreté du Québec.

I go way back with Rick and it was an honour to have him as a speaker on this subject. I vividly remember the debates he had via the media with Mayor Lang on this subject.

“We seem to be moving in the right direction,” Leckner said about the extension. “The funding I am told is in place. The main stumbling block is negotiations with the railways.”

Leckner emphasized that because this will not be a direct Cavendish to Cavendish link, it will not be a traffic hazard for Côte Saint-Luc. If anything, it will resolve the problem we have now of only two exits out of the city – something which would have been very problematic if we were faced with the same flooding as other parts of Quebec experienced recently.”

Leckner’s emphasis was that this project could be complete between 2023 and 2025.

MikeOfficerEduoardoAmaral
With Police Officer Eduoardo Amaral

 

Traffic and Public Safety

Naturally there were a lot of questions. I want to thank Councillors Glenn J. Nashen and Ruth Kovac who attended the meeting and responded to a number of queries. Spyro Yotis, our new traffic engineer and Officer Eduardo Amaral from Police Station 9 also joined us. Councillor Nashen responded to a number of traffic related questions. Councillor Kovac weighed in on the Cavendish extension and previewed the beautiful facelift we gave to Trudeau Park. Officer Amaral was asked by resident Mélodie Cohn about the recent attack on a teenager after she got off the  bus on Cavendish and Kildare. The officer said that thanks to her courage, the perpetrator was  not only dealt with by authorities, but other victims came forward,

Updates


I provided updates on development in the district. 6700 The Avenue opens September1 in Quartier Cavendish. Built by the BSR Group, it will have 90 units and is already half rented with commerce zoned for the ground floor.


Over the last three months our city council has devoted a lot of attention to the new development on Marc Chagall Avenue to be known as the Equinox. In 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 we 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 and weeknight 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. The developers will normally not work past 7 pm on weeknights and from 9 am to 5 pm on occasional Saturdays.


This solution will avoid litigation which could not have been guaranteed otherwise and was felt by the five condominium’s representatives to be the most prudent way to proceed.

Soon the developers will move from excavation to concrete super structure work. From January 2018 until approximately March 2018 work will consist of precast installation. They will need five Saturdays during this period. After that and until the end of July 2018 work will only be done on the interior of the structure.

We are working 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 will be created on the greenspace between the Bellagio and the Town Houses and turned into a beautiful park after it is no longer necessary for vehicles.

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.

Reconstruction of the City Hall Parking Lot


Long awaited work on the City Hall parking lot will commence soon. The project includes the reconstruction of the sidewalks, curbs, and the asphalt roadway and parking surface, the installation of a bike path between Cavendish and Sir Walter Scott, the replacement of the lighting, the replacement of the security cameras and the installation of a charging station for electric vehicles. The work will be carried out mainly during the summer months (to start at the beginning of July) and is expected to be completed by mid-October.

The contractor is required to carry out the work in phases so that we always have one entrance accessible and approximately half the parking lot available for parking at any one time. We are relocating trees because the configuration of the lot is changing and we are transplanting all those that have a good survival chance.  

The new parking lot configuration is being changed to improve visibility, ease of manoeuvre while improving pedestrian safety;


• a new drop-off area will be installed in front of the main doors,
• an elevated section of the roadway (to slow down traffic) will be installed at the intersection of the main roadway from Cavendish and the delivery area at City Hall,
• a new sidewalk will be installed on the City Hall building (south) side towards Cavendish,
• a central sidewalk median will be installed for pedestrians,
• a bike path will be installed from Cavendish to Walter Scott,
• approximately 23 additional parking spaces will be created; presently the capacity of the lot is 120 spaces and we expect to get 143 with the new configuration.


DISTRICT 2: FIRST EVER TOWN HALL MEETING ON THE CAVENDISH EXTENSION SET FOR JUNE 5

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 Town Hall meeting will take place on Monday, June 5 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard). For the first time ever, the topic of the extension of Cavendish Boulevard will be discussed in this format.

I created the District meeting concept when I was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then two other councillors have followed suit.

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Rick Leckner remains this city's foremost authority on traffic.


The special guest speaker will be noted traffic expert Rick Leckner, who has been pushing for the Cavendish extension back to his days as the helicopter traffic reporter for CJAD form 1969 to 2000. While he established a very successful corporate communications firm, Maison Brison, in 1983 he continues to be sought out by media for his insights into traffic coordination. In 2011 he was named to Transport Québec’s comité technique sur la mobilité des biens et des personnes, and has continued to work with officials in an attempt to mitigate traffic congestion. Mayor Mitchell Brownstein will provide an update on the Cavendish extension, which is more of a reality now than ever before with all three levels of government behind the project. Elisabeth Prass, from the office of D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, will do the same.

“In politics, nothing is ever a sure thing, but this looks very promising,” said Mayor Brownstein. “We have active support from Mayor Denis Coderre in Montreal including the project being listed in the three-year capital expenditures budget and reserves being placed on plots of land needed for the eventual extension as well as $222,000 being presently spent by the agglomeration of Montreal for the studies on the overpass/underpass route..

“We also have local MNA David Birnbaum and MP Anthony Housefather working behind the scenes in Quebec City and Ottawa to secure the necessary funding, mayors from neighbouring communities all in support, and buy-in from Canadian Pacific, and Canadian National who own the land through which the road extension must pass.”


Lt. Frederick Jennings from Police Station 9 will be on hand to respond to inquiries related to public safety in the community. Also to be discussed that evening will be the new traffic light configuration at Cavendish and Kildare, the new Elie Wiesel Park, construction on Marc Chagall Avenue, the resurfacing of the City Hall/Library parking lot and other items of interest.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott, Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle (between Cavendish and Brandeis), Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses), Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.

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

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

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Marianne Zalzal makes a presentation as I look on.

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

KILDARE-CAVENDISH CORNER

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

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With constituent Peter Szilagyi.

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

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

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

-The lack of pedestrian refuges due to narrow medians.

-The fences create blind spots.

-There is inadequate lighting.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

JPPS BIALIK

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

NEW APARTMENT ON THE AVENUE

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

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

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

Dr Steinberg
With Dr. Marvin Steinberg.

SPEEDING ON PARK PLACE

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

PARKING PROBLEMS

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

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

NEW PARK

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

TWO NEW CONDOS ON MARC CHAGALL

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

NEW CROSSING GUARD

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

LevineUllman
With Jason Ullmann and Bradley Levine.

ISADORE GOLBERG PARK

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

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


Reserve the date: Annual District Round Table Meeting Set for Monday, June 6

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 information meeting will take place on Monday, June6 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard). Councillor Mike Cohen created this initiative when he was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then  two other councillors have followed suit.

The format will be done as a round-table, enabling all of those on hand – constituents and special guests – to be in closer quarters and truly be able to take part in an exchange of information. This worked well last year.

Information will be provided about a new task force established to focus on the busy corner of Cavendish and Kildare; news about construction set to begin soon for a beautiful greenspace at the same corner near the new townhouses; the presence of developer Ron Basal, who will discuss the new highrise apartment building now under construction at Quartier Cavendish on the Avenue; and a number of other updates. This is the opportunity for constituents to bring up any questions they might have about district matters.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses),  Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.

2016-06 District meeting Agenda Mike Cohen EN

2016-06 District meeting Agenda Mike Cohen FR


District 2 2015 Year in Review

Year in Review

As I mark my 10th anniversary as the city councillor for District 2, I could not be happier with how things are going within my constituency and the city-at-large via my portfolios of Library and Culture, Animal Protection and Sponsorship.

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Kildare and Cavendish Greenspace

The new development that essentially carved the Cavendish Mall in half, transforming it into the Quartier, has brought to us an entirely new community. I have spent considerable time with residents of Park Place, many of whom were concerned with people using the land at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare as a shortcut to the Quartier. Over the summer we installed a temporary fence to make the intrusions more bearable and next spring an attractive arrangement of greenspace will be created. Trees and bushes will be planted to insure privacy. Most recently, due to safety concerns, it was recommended to staff by council to block entry to the imaginary path completely during the winter.

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Temporary fencing leading to Park Place.

Development at the Quartier Cavendish

As of this writing, construction at the Quartier stands at 68 Townhouses, 16 semi‐detached homes and 31 single family homes.  Some 20 homes are completed, with minor finishing touches and landscaping outstanding on some. Six others are under construction and progressing well. Five lots are still at the permit stage. We are awaiting official word on a mixed used building on the Avenue, which we have already zoned for.

New service station

A new Shell  gas station, car wash and convenience store at the corner of Mackle and Cavendish is about to become a reality. This will be real bonus to our community, especially those of us who like to fill up close to home.

Bureau en Gros

Bureau en Gros closed its doors in 2015.  Quartier Cavendish has now found a tenant as Multiclub Cavendish will relocate from its present Cavendish Club location.

Yeh! Yogurt

Yeh! Yogurt, located on the Avenue at Quartier Cavendish, closed its doors in the fall. Unfortunately the community did not support this business. Owners Jon and Marvin Gurman are originally from Côte Saint-Luc and they really wanted to make this place work. They even got MK certification. For me this was the perfect place to go for a snack after dinner. Besides yogurt they had wonderful crepes, grilled cheese sandwiches, coffee and shakes. The Gurmans still hope to have a Yeh! presence somewhere else in our community, so stay tuned. With the permanent closure of the Famous Delly Boys on Westminster, a the kosher pizza place in the food court has added some deli items.

Kildare Road

On Kildare Road, near Cavendish, we lowered the height of the fence from five to three feet. At my District meeting in June Rembrandt Avenue resident Steve Acre made a good point. He stated that when a car goes south on Kildare and makes a left on Cavendish, the height of the fence and the presence of vines on it resulted in obstructive views. In some cases it was difficult to see if another car was coming from the opposite direction. We believe we improved the situation. 

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Archie Kwaitt (middle) shown here when I honoured him at a 2013 District meeting.

In 2015, long-time crossing guard Archie Kwiatt passed away. Archie spent 16 years making sure pedestrians safely crossed our busiest intersection.

We continue to monitor traffic at the Kildare and Cavendish intersection.  In fact a special technical committee has just been established with our engineering experts, Public Safety and the local police station involved. I will keep everyone posted on our deliberations.

With the synchronization of the traffic lights on Cavendish a number of years ago, as well as the implementation of the double left turn on Fleet, circulation has been vastly improved. We do continue to look for ways to improve the situation at Cavendish and Kildare, where some pedestrians find the timing to cross the street not long enough in contrast to motorists who tend to consider their wait too lengthy.   I do regular walkabouts at that corner, observing the traffic flow and talking to residents. In addition, I will continue to ask staff to study the traffic patterns and make recommendations.

Public Piano Program

In June we inaugurated the city’s first public piano program. What a wonderful occasion and a proud moment this was for me as the councillor for the area and for the portfolio of Library and Culture. The piano was available to the public all summer from around 8:30 am to 10 pm.  

Rembrandt Park is busy. Our refurbished tennis courts, with improved lighting, have been very well received. The water spray area remains very popular on warm summer days with youngsters. Kids play in the park, basketball games take place and picnics are popular as well. The chalet is still used for art courses. Public Security makes regular rounds and I have asked police to keep their radar on this area in the later hours.

I would also like to give a mention about our new pétanque courts. There is a regular league which plays at Rembrandt Park throughout the spring and summer. Pétanque (boules/bocce) courts are now open to the public. Players of all ages are encouraged to gather for games of pick-up pétanque. You must bring your own balls and jack.  If you are interested in participating in a league, contact François Marechal at francoismarechal@videotron.ca or514-996-8709.

Manoire Montefiore

Manoire Montefiore on Mackle and Cavendish has announced its impending closure. No date has been set yet for the upscale and beautifully maintained seniors residence, which has seen its numbers reduced dramatically in recent years.  There were only 65 units occupied at the Montefiore at the time of their announcement and the average is 90. This means they were operating at about 50 percent capacity. The building will eventually up for sale. Réseau Selection officials do not expect it to remain as a seniors care facility, but rather revert to a condominium or rental. Someone will truly inherit a gorgeous and sprawling facility

JPPS Bialik

Next spring, Bialik High School on Kildare Road will welcome the students from Jewish Peoples and Peretz Schools on Van Horne Avenue to the facility. This consolidation is "win win" for everyone concerned.The JPPS building on Van Horne has been sold to Yaldei, the excellent program for youngsters with special needs.

"From the very beginning of our consultation process we have always said that the choice was either to renovate JPPS or to relocate JPPS into a renovated Bialik campus," said Head of School Maureen Baron. "When we announced the choice of a relocation, rather than a renovation, our stakeholders were extremely pleased. With our relocation, CSL will have a pluralistic, neighbourhood, English and French elementary school which will attract young families. This new school, in the midst of your District 2, will help dispel the nickname of “the grey ghetto.' The renovated K-11 JPPS-Bialik campus will contribute to green space of the district with the construction of a green playground for the elementary school students. JPPS-Bialik is the only private Jewish school offering the International Baccalaureate Programme in the elementary school - Primary Years Programme and in the high school - Middle Years Programme. These outstanding academic programs will also be an attraction to young families looking for academic excellence in the educational offerings for their children - another plus for your district. The renovated campus will provide the JPPS elementary school students with great facilities: an on site theatre, synagogue, full sized gymnasium, cafeteria, modernized library, renovated classrooms designed for elementary school learners, innovative learning environments with bicycle and stand up desks, Ideapaint walls and much more. Our registration for next year is robust in that the kindergarten class has very limited space available for September 2016 and we already have registrations for September 2017. The incoming Secondary I group already has three  full classes."

Beth Chabad

Beth Chabad continues to operate very successfully, with simchas taking place fairly regularly. It was a pleasure for me to celebrate Sukkot with Rabbi Mendel Raskin and his family once again and attend their grand concert at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park.

Marc Chagall Snow Dump

We continue to very closely monitor the snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue. There was a time, of course, when the snow dump stood basically alone on this street. The development of high rise condos and town houses changed all of that and we had to respect the fact there were people living right next door to what can be a very busy area when a lot of snow falls.

SnowDumpMelting2015
This is what the snow dump looked like towards the end of the winter.

On days when dump trucks go back and forth, we assign staff to keep track on the work and ensure that the vehicles do not make unnecessary noise. This is not an easy situation to police, but we do our best. We also had our Public Works Department construct a long wall of snow, which doubles as a sound barrier.  Furthermore, in order to get rid of what amounts to be a mountain of dirty thick snow in the spring we rent special equipment to effectively cut the mountain in pieces so it will melt quicker.  And it works.

Vacant Land on Marc Chagall

For the past two years we have had a small piece of land at the corner of Marc Chagall and Kildare Road available for sale. Despite advertisements placed in local newspapers and a sign on the property itself, no interest was expressed until recently. There was more than one bid in fact and we chose the highest offer. At this time we do not know what will be constructed there, but the land is zoned commercial. Something like a small medical facility could materialize there. Meanwhile, the land at the corner of Marc Chagall and Mackle may be sold soon and we could see two highrises constructed.

Isadore Goldberg Park

Isadore Goldberg Park is located between rental apartment units on Kildare and Sir Walter Scott. Our long term plan is to move this park, which consists of play equipment and sand, closer to the entrance of the City Hall/Library complex. That will be an expensive endeavor. In the meantime many people with young families approached me to see what could be done to clean the park up and do a safety check on the equipment. We did so and everyone was pleased.

No Parking Signs on Sir Walter Scott

Thanks to resident Debra Gerson I was advised that due to sidewalk repairs on Sir Walter Scott, two no parking signs were removed and not put back. As a result some vehicles began parking there far too long. It also made turning into the driveway of 5775 Sir Walter Scott very dangerous. I worked with staff and the signs were replaced just before the heart of winter.

Canada Day and Golf Classic

In terms of the city at large, I co-chaired Canada Day with Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and our most successful Golf Classic with Councillor Sam Goldbloom.  Canada Day was close to being postponed due to rain. However, we rolled the dice and decided to proceed. Some activities were moved indoors and under cover. Everyone had a great time. And by the time the highlight of the evening arrived, fireworks, the rain stopped completely.

Thecrowd
A large crowd turned out for the fireworks.

As for the Golf Classic, this was originally called the Seniors Golf Outing. I was involved with the event dating back a few decades, originally as the awards banquet emcee. When I became a councillor I became co-chair and worked towards changing the format to attract a larger turnout. Thanks to the tireless efforts of staffers Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman, we opened the event up to all ages. Last summer we decided to choose an honouree, Ron Yarin, and continued the process of finding an event sponsor. It was our most successful golf program ever, with more than 100 participants.

Myfoursome
George Nashen, myself, Glenn Nashen and Sam Goldbloom at the Golf Classic.

The Library

It is indeed an honour to be the councillor responsible for Library and Culture. The Côte Saint-Luc Eleanor London Public Library remains a jewel in our province. Magnificently run by Janine West, we are more than just books. There is an art gallery and significant programming. In 2016 we will celebrate the 50th anniversary of our library so stay tuned for details to come.

We will also be changing the library  hours to 10 am to 6 pm on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays starting the week of January 4, 2016.

Birnbaumdonation
D'Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum gives us a donation.

For decades, Côte Saint-Luc has gone beyond many other municipal libraries by staying open from 10 am to 10 pm every day of the year. In a continuing effort to provide the best services to most people most of the time, we are modifying the hours because of relatively low usage on some nights. Unfortunately, we do not have limitless resources and we have to make choices.

To put the weekend hours in context, all other suburban libraries on the island of Montreal close early on weekends. The Côte Saint-Luc Public Library is still open 365 days a year which is, to our knowledge, unmatched in the library world. The virtual library remains open 24/7 with online access to eBooks, audio-books, magazines and reference material. Library membership is free for Côte Saint-Luc residents. We also have our Library Express (to be renamed soon) at the Aquatic and Community Centre.

Animal Protection

I am now working towards the formation of a CSL Dog Owners Advisory Committee. Over the last few years I have met with dog owners informally. Recently I did so in a group and I believe we can do a lot of good working together in terms of maintenance of the dog run, ensuring people pick up after the canines and other matters. We will also adopt a by-law insisting that any pet store operating within the confines of our city only sell animals that come from shelters or rescues.

StPatricks3
We found homes for these three beauties and many more.

Of course I remain very proud of my Côte Saint-Luc Cats Committee, now in its sixth year of operation. We are a small group of volunteers who focus on Trap, Neuter, Release and Adopt. Each summer we present a fundraising concert featuring the Musicians of the World Symphony Orchestra. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than rescuing homeless kittens, having them socialized at the CSL Hospital for Animals and finding them good homes.

I urge all of my constituents to follow my blog at www.mikecohen.ca for regular updates on what is going on in the city. You can also keep up date via Twitter.com/mikecohencsl.

Anthony Housefather

The final word for the year goes to our now former Mayor, Anthony Housefather. He recently stepped down after being elected as our new Liberal Member of Parliament for the Mount Royal riding. From the moment he submitted his candidacy for the nomination, all members of council supported Anthony.

AHCouncillors1
At a Housefather campaign event.

We all worked on his successful campaign. He was an absolutely tremendous mayor to work with. Now we face a by-election for mayor on April 10. We petitioned the government to delay the vote in order to accommodate Snowbirds so they can vote. Councillor Mitchell Brownstein will seek the mayor’s seat. He has our full support. That also creates the need for a by-election for his District 7 council seat. Councillor Glenn J. Nashen has done an excellent job as acting mayor. Dida Berku will assume those duties from January through March.


New greenspace for Park Place coming in the spring

For many residents of Park Place, the still relatively new town house and single family dwelling development on the land of Quartier Cavendish has been complicated by the constant flow of people using their parking lot and greenspace as a shortcut to and from the bus stop.

I have been meeting with many of these residents for several months now. On a number of occasions I have observed the flow of pedestrians at different times of day. At peak times they literally pass by in droves. 

Our original plans for the greenspace at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare was to build some kind of parkette there. However, in light of the many complaints we received from residents we put our original plan on hold and looked at various alternatives. A  Public Spaces Committee meeting was called, consisting of city officials and some members of council, and I believe we came up with a good plan. Rather than a parkette (essentially greenspace, benches and paths), we will beautify the area and make it more of  passing. The paths will be designed in such a way that pedestrians will not necessarily use Park Place as a shortcut; Kildare Road will become a viable alternative. We will also have some fencing to protect the private parking area of the town houses. Trees and bushes will be planted to insure privacy.

Because of the time we took to review the project, our original goal of having this area put together for the fall became unrealistic. It will now have to wait until next spring. In in the interim, we have installed some attractive blue fencing to limit the flow of pedestrians to one area to and from Park Place and block them from walking on the parking lot. We had left the bushes unprotected by fencing, but pedestrians decided in some cases to walk through them. So more fencing is on order.

Cav, Kildare potential park fence line  PM Sept. 8-15 016

While there were requests to totally seal this area off, there are residents of Park Place who do appreciate the "short cut" to get to and from Cavendish and Kildare. We hope the compromise is satisfactory. I thank Urban Planning Director Charles Senekal for all of his time and patience on this dossier.

 

 

 


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

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

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

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

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

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

LAND ON MARC CHAGALL AND MACKLE

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

MikeCoreyFrenkiel
With Corey Frenkiel of Park Place.

NEW PARKETTE AT CAVENDISH AND KILDARE

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

Theroom2
A look at the round table setup.

THE CAVENDISH BOULEVARD EXTENSION

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

CITY HALL PARKING LOT

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

ISADORE GOLDBERG PARK

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

 

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

POLICE MATTERS

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

KILDARE AND CAVENDISH INTERSECTION

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

JPPS –BIALIK

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

VCOPS

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

CONCLUSION

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

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 


Save this date: New round-table format for Monday, June 8 District 2 meeting

A Côte Saint-Luc District 2 information meeting will take place on Monday, June 8 (7:30 p.m.) at City Hall (5801 Cavendish Boulevard). Councillor Mike Cohen created this initiative when he was first elected in the fall of 2005 as a way to maintain closer relations with constituents and talk mainly about issues related to the surrounding neighbourhood. Since then a number of other councillors have followed suit.

The format for this year’s meeting will change and be done as a round-table, enabling all of those on hand – constituents and special guests – to be in closer quarters and truly be able to take part in an exchange of information.

Special guests for this meeting will be  Mayor Anthony Housefather, newly appointed Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman, Director of Urban Development Charles Senekal, JPPS-Bialik Head of School Maureen Baron, Bialik High School Principal Avi Satov, JPPS Principal Marnie Stein and Police Station 9 Lieutenant Bryan Cunningham.  

Mayor Anthony Housefather will be on hand for an update on important city issues.   Charles Senekal will be there to hear comments about the Cavendish/Kildare intersection, talk about a new park planned for that corner  as well to deal with any other traffic issues and provide  an update on the Quartier Cavendish development. Beatrice Newman will address concerns regarding repairs done on local streets, recycling, garbage collection and much more.  There will also be some news about a new park planned for   located at the Cavendish/Kildare intersection.

For more information, call (514) 485-6945 or email mcohen@cotesaintluc.org

District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt., Kildare  (between Marc Chagall and Honoré Balzac), Sir Walter Scott,  Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle  (between Cavendish and Brandeis),  Quartier Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior, new Town Houses),  Jubilee, Park Place, Honoré-de-Balzac.

2015-06 District meeting Agenda Mike A_Page_1

 

2015-06 District meeting Agenda Mike A_Page_2