Urgent work will cause road disruptions on Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road

Urgent work by Hydro-Québec and Bell Canada will cause significant inconvenience to motorists on Marc Chagall Avenue and Kildare Road near Cavendish this summer.

I met with some members  of our Urban Planning team today and the city has no choice but to issue the permits now as both Hydro and Bell insist the work cannot wait without potential negative repercussions for residents.

Hydro-Quebéc will be performing urgent work to demolish and rebuild their access point at the corner of Mackle and Marc Chagall. This work is necessary for the residents in the sector to have functional electricity and HQ is sending out letters to residents explaining the importance of this work. It will commence on June 25 and last until at least September 20. The timing could not be worse, with construction for Phase Two of the Equinoxe high rise buildings now at the cement pouring stage. That job won't conclude  until next June. We asked Hydro if there was any way to delay this work and they stated that residents could be at risk of major power outages .
Here is the signage plan.
Signalisation NRC
Urban Planning and Public Security will try to manage this the best possible way. More information on the rerouting of traffic will be forthcoming,
Meanwhile, Bell will be digging up Kildare (between Rembrandt and Cavendish) during weekends beginning soon to upgrade its network in the area. You may have noticed a lot of Bell repair trucks in the area in recent years. Traffic will be diverted into two lanes. It was timed to begin once school concluded at JPPS-Bialik.



Hydro-Québec to undertake electrical system upgrade in 2023 affecting CSL

Hydro-Québec, the Ville de Montréal, the boroughs concerned, as well as the municipalities of Montreal West, Côte Saint-Luc and Town of Mount Royal will work together to support greenery and active transportation initiatives in the transmission line right-of-way between the Aqueduc substation and Saraguay substation. This collaboration is part of a plan to upgrade the transmission system between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent. A green corridor may include a bike bath, pedestrian link, landscaping and recreational facilities.

The project provides for rebuilding the 120-kV Aqueduc-Saraguay overhead transmission line at 315 kV over a span of 18 km between LaSalle and Saint-Laurent ; converting three 120-kV substations to 315 kV—Rockfield substation (in Lachine), Hampstead substation (in Côte Saint-Luc) and Laurent substation (in Saint-Laurent).

HydroIn the coming weeks, Hydro-Québec will determine the details of the collaboration with each of its municipal partners. The public will be invited to take part in various information and consultation sessions over the next few months. Cooperation among the partners will promote biodiversity, connectivity and sustainable mobility, and improve community life for residents.

The Aqueduc-Saraguay project is estimated at over $500 million. The project involves replacing aging equipment, maintaining the system's reliability, meeting future electricity needs and supporting Montréal's economic development.

The project is in its initial stages, and the current plan is to build the transmission line in the existing right-of-way. However, the line route may be optimized at a later stage of the project to mitigate its impacts according to technical, economic, environmental and social criteria. The line and three substations will be commissioned progressively from 2023 to 2026.

"Our city is pleased to work proactively in collaboration with Hydro-Québec to optimize the project and enhancing the reliability of the electricity system," said Côte Saint-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. "The addition of greening initiatives is certainly one of our priorities. I have also asked Hydro-Québec to create a joint working committee to address the concerns of our residents. We are pleased that Hydro-Québec has agreed to this committee so that they will address our input and concerns. "

Info: www.hydroquebec.com/aqueduc-saraguay/en


Hydro-Québec begins felling trees on their servitudes

Hydro-Quebec has returned to Côte Saint-Luc to do another inventory of land where they have servitudes.

Hydro-Québec’s servitudes, or easements, include certain rights and restrictions:

  • The right to install, add, maintain and operate overhead and underground telecommunications and power distribution lines on the site of the servitude;
  • The right to authorize individuals, public utilities and municipalities to install, add and operate lines, cables, conduits, equipment and accessories on the site of the servitude, including underground and in the overhang;
  • The right to fell, prune, remove or destroy any type of vegetation (trees, shrubs, branches, roots) through any means and at any time;
  • The right to prune trees within four metres of lines, even if the trees are growing outside the site of the servitude;
  • The right to move about on foot or by vehicle on the site of the servitude and outside the servitude whenever necessary;
  • The prohibition against building or erecting a structure on the site of the servitude, including underground and in the overhang, except for a fence with a gate, an ornamental hedge or a paved driveway;
  • The prohibition against modifying the ground elevation.

Together with Hydro, Côte Saint-Luc Public Works Department Director of Operations John Monteiro always rings the doorbell first before going onto the resident's property, even though  Hydro legally has all rights to enter. They are very polite and the Forestry Technician explains why he is there, that he is doing an inventory of trees that are within the six-meter radius from the closest transmission line. Lignes-transport-emprise

John hands out his business card and the resident receives a letter like this.  It explains why Hydro must perform these important operations for safety measures.

On August 7 our Public Works Department advised me of the following:

  • Approximately  five locations were dealt with where some hedges at 15 feet tall will be pruned to eight feet two
  • Approximately  30 trees (only at some homes) are to be felled according to the criteria on  Kreigoff, Marc Chagall, Brandeis and  Merrimac to Rembrandt).
  • More work will be done this week on Rembrandt , Sabin, Holland and Wavell.

Nobody likes to see trees felled. Some residents have called to express their concerns, especially those who looked out at this beautiful landscape. If they do not own that land and it falls on a Hydro servitude legally there is not much they can do. Property owners  do have the option to request a change in servitude. The necessary information is here.

In the case of the Meadows I am not pleased at all that this work was done without any prior consultation by Hydro. There has already been a strong line of communications between Hydro and the Meadows board, especially lately due to an attempt by them to replace the grid. I, as the councillor, only learned about this after the work was done.  I do not fault our staff. I expect more from Hydro. Why the rush and did all of these trees really need to be cut down? Did they not learn from the vote last May not to allow them to proceed with certain work due to "a lack of consultation?"

Our Public Works Department states the following: " The only reason that Hydro  arrived in the city today, was that they are doing an inventory of possible problematic trees that could create an arc from the tree/bush to the transmission line. Only an inventory is being conducted. And only once the inventory has been completed, shall Hydro contact the city with a plan of action that will be suitable for all. Every resident that will be affected will also be contacted in advance with all pertinent information."

Here is a video from resident Charles Guerin as to how Hydro previously felled trees in an irresponsible manner at the Meadows:



Hydro-Québec proposes major work on Merrimac

On Monday, May 7 officials from Hydro-Québec set up shop in the Council Chamber of Côte Saint-Luc City Hall for the purpose of meeting with residents of the Meadows Condominium, located on Merrimac and Kildare Road.

It has been several years now that Hydro has been planning a major operation on Merrimac to modernize the equipment that supplies the condominium's electricity.  In order to carry out this work, Hydro needs to make an exchange of servitudes. The Meadows Condominium members must vote via  super-majority in favor of this.  

Download This document to read Hydro's 10 Questions and Answers on the Meadows Project

Only 35 residents attended the information session, which stretched from 3 pm to 8 pm in an open house kind of format.  

Five residents concerned about the project have formed an ad hoc committee.

Below is what they posted on Facebook

What is the situation? 

Hydro will keep our old electrical system in place, and we can continue using this power system. If there is a breakdown, Hydro will continue to repair it. The wires of this older system are unprotected (that is, the wiring has not been put in pipes), though it is unclear if this older system is problematic as Hydro will not provide us with any studies on the functionality of our system, or the study which has lead Hydro to propose this “upgrade”.

Hydro has asked to install a secondary system around the Meadows. On Monday they held an info session, and we are being asked to vote on Wednesday on changing the land that Hydro can claim as belonging to Hydro – this land is called the servitude - so that Hydro can begin the work.

At first glance, getting a new electrical grid at the Meadows sounds appealing. However, past experience with Hydro made a number of us co-owners question if they have thought the plan out sufficiently. (It is already of concern that they have given us only two days to get informed before the vote). So a group of co-owners have collaborated to try to get more information about this project and asked many questions at the Information session on Monday night. We concluded that too many questions remain unanswered and too few assurances were provided. Below are our main concerns, followed by our conclusion.

Main Concerns

1. Price: If we wish to use the new system, each home owner will need to do our own electrical and excavation work, at our own cost, to connect our “service loop” to their new piped electrical system. This cost is uncertain, but estimates are above 5,000$. 
2. Foliage loss: At least three very mature trees and many bushes will be taken down. All bushes, vegetation and trees in the new servitude will be photographed, removed, and be replaced by Hydro with young bushes and trees, which will take many years to grow back. Once the servitudes are modified, we cannot plant on the servitudes. If we do, we risk them being removed.
3. Structural damage to our homes: Hydro has not done any assessment to determine how they can mitigate risk to our foundations, building and infrastructure. The representatives at the meeting repeatly said “we know what we’re doing, don’t worry”. But when asked if a soil engineer has been engaged to ensure excavation & trenching work does not cause serious ground disturbance resulting in structural damage to our homes, they say they don’t need it as they said they will be operating 10 metres from our homes - but when it was pointed out that their plans have them operating 10 feet from our homes, they still insist they don’t need to do any investigating. They will supposedly be consulting a soil testing company to verify the constitution of the soil, but this hasn’t been done yet. They are not doing any sort of scans or ex-rays to verify ‘before’ and ‘after’ to check for vulnerabilities in the places they will be digging. They have no plans to provide a letter stamped by an independent structural engineer stating that there is no threat of structural compromise. The main civil engineer for the project was unfamiliar with the difficulties many of our homes are experiencing or the terrain of the Meadows – they didn’t even know that they cannot bring heavy equipment on our courtyards.
4. Hydro accountability limited: If any of our homes incur any damages, they will provide a phone number which we can call and lodge a complaint. There are no guarantees that Hydro will be held accountable for any damages. 
5. Little pollution control: They have no plans yet to control for air quality (e.g.,control cement particles in the air during construction) or to reduce noise during the work (e.g.,no backup noise attenuators on their trucks -beep beep beep). 
6. Lack of transparency: When asked if other projects of this sort had been done, their PR director refused to let anyone discuss this with us.


If we vote no to changes of the servitude map on Wednesday, then they delay the work to another year. The risk to us is that they would fix electrical issues using the same techniques they’ve been fixing them in previous years, which sometimes involved excavation of wires. This co-owner ad-hoc committee has concluded that we would like to get more answers and assurances before Hydro begins this project, so we plan to vote no. (PM us your email address and we can send the specific questions we asked Hydro, and more details of Hyrdos replies)


Hydro outage on the eve of second Passover Seder averted

While I was out of town on business last week, Hydro-Québec left voice mail messages for many homes in District 2 to advise them that power would be shut down for three hours on Tuesday afternoon, April 15. Now that just happens to be a few hours before the second Passover Seder.

We have good relations with Hydro. In fact I will be meeting with them in early May to discuss their plans to rewire all of Merrimac Road and Rembrandt Avenue within the next two years. We alerted them to this serious scheduling problem and they cancelled the work planned. It will be done at another time.

Nobody likes to have these  forced power outages.  Yet they are necessary to maintain our network and avert any serious power failures---a true nightmare for all of us.

Hydro truck

Hydro officials explain smart meters

Hydro Meters
Hydro-Québec held an open house for smart meters on Wednesday June 12 at our  Eco-Café in the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. Residents received the invitations in the mail. A very impressive array of kiosks were set up and a steady flow of residents came through the doors to learn more about these smart meters, which will be installed in homes and buildings over the next several months.Mayor Anthony Housefather and I dropped by to thank Hydro officials  (pictured) André Fortier and Jean-Philippe Rousseau  for taking this extra step. You can read all about the new smart meters here.  Councillors Ruth Kovac, Allan J. Levine and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch were also on site.
«Hydro-Québec would like to thank the city and its residents for their interest in better understanding next-generation meters. This information session was made possible thanks to the collaboration of the City of Côte-Saint-Luc », said Mr.  Rousseau, Hydro's Community Relations Advisor.
The facts

Hydro-Québec must replace all its meters throughout Quebec with next-generation models, as its current meter technology is now outdated. Safe and reliable, these new meters have become the new industry standard. Replacement of electricity meters began a few months ago in Greater Montréal. At least 30 days before installation of the new meters, customers will receive a notice and a pamphlet from Hydro-Québec explaining that meters in the area will be replaced within the next few weeks. They don’t have to do anything. The replacement is quick, simple and free.
Essential upgrade
Right now, most of Hydro-Québec’s meters are electromechanical, with a spinning disc and several dials. They must be read manually and haven’t been manufactured in North America since 2010. Next-generation meters will record and automatically transmit electricity-use data to Hydro-Québec. There will no longer be any need for meter readers to visit customer premises.
More than 120 million next-generation meters have already been installed around the world. The state-of-the-art technology adopted by Hydro-Québec will offer enhanced functionality to customers, including faster detection of outages, which means service to customers can be restored faster. Starting in 2014, customers will be able to monitor their electricity online by logging into their Customer Space on Hydro-Québec’s website.

Secure, certified state-of-the-art technology

The new meters comply with Health Canada guidelines, which set safety limits for radiofrequency (RF) emissions in the environment. Next-generation meters are therefore safe and pose no health hazard. In fact, RF emission levels measured 1 m away from a next-generation meter are approximately 120,000 times less than Health Canada limits.





Hydro work on Fleet to continue until November 30

Last week, the Hydro Quebec project on Fleet Road. was put on hold when their sub-contractor discovered a ruptured high voltage cable in the excavation. The Quebec workplace health and safety board (CSST) ordered the work to stop until the situation has been fixed.

Work resumed on Wednesday, October 17. Our staff  has asked Hydro Quebec to make up lost time and they have agreed to add additional manpower in order to have all the work complete by November 30. Also, we expect to be able to re-open an additional eastbound lane (towards Décarie Blvd.) by Monday, October 29.

This is a project beyond our control and no doubt and inconvenience to an awful lot of people, myself included. We already had to suffer through some eight weeks of paving on the Hampstead side this past summer. Our public security officers have been an excellent job during the morning rush hour to keep traffic moving. What we all need now is some patience for just over a month. Where I live, we lost Hydro service for 20 hours last week. That was no picnic either.