Water Main Breaks on Kildare Road Affecting Rembrandt


Fuite Kildare at Rembrant Jan. 15-09 008  A photo of our team at the site of the water main break.



Here is a copy of a letter I sent out to residents of Rembrandt Avenue with Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Mitchell Brownstein:

In the past two weeks, there have been three breaks in the pipe under Kildare Rd. near Rembrandt Ave. that deliver water to your area. This letter explains when we will repair the pipe and why the break happened.

During each break, our crews worked quickly to stop the leak temporarily. However, a permanent solution must wait until the spring as the kind of repair we will make to the pipe is only possible in warm weather. At that time, we will add a protective layer to the pipe, which end the water disruptions cause by this stretch of pipe. Should there be another leak before the spring, we will again try to patch the pipe in such a way as to prevent a leak from happening again.

The extreme cold weather that affected our region recently made the water in the St. Lawrence River colder than usual. When this cold water was sent to our water network in Côte Saint-Luc, it causes a sudden temperature change on the surface of the metal pipe. If the pipe is old or damaged, it can cause sudden breaks. The effect is similar to how a drinking glass might shatter if it is ice cold and you then put hot water into it. That said, we live in a cold climate and we must be prepared for such temperature fluctuations.

As you may be aware, before 2006 the City of Montreal was responsible for the maintenance and repairs of the underground water network in Côte Saint-Luc. Unfortunately, the network wasn’t modernized and repaired to the degree that we would today feel is acceptable. So, when the City of Côte Saint-Luc took over control of the network on January 1, 2006, we made water infrastructure a priority. We studied the state of the aqueduct and sewer system to determine how best to invest in our infrastructure. We also hired an engineering firm—Dessau—to respond to water main breaks quickly—usually within the hour—a response time that was unheard of when Montreal controlled the water network.

Côte Saint-Luc has spent or set aside more than $11 million for repairs, maintenance and improvements to our water infrastructure network from 2006 to 2009. We are also taking advantage a federal-provincial program to help fund municipal infrastructure, such as aqueducts and roads. When funds are available, we make sure to apply, which helps Côte Saint-Luc deliver more value to its taxpayers.

We apologize for the inconvenience caused by the repeated breaks to the pipe under Kildare Rd. Events like these, however, illustrate why we are spending so much to modernize our underground water network.

Underground Garage Closed and Reopened on Cavendish

Following the tragic incident at a St. Laurent apartment building in November, when a collapsed underground parking garage killed a man  after his vehicle was crushed by a large slab of concrete,  the City of Côte Saint-Luc   "proactively"  undertook an inspection of all buildings with  two plus levels of underground  parking that are over 30 years old.
It must be noted that the  Regie du batiment du Québec   (RBQ) is responsible for building codes in the province. That being said, our Engineering Department inspectors highlighted seven  building garages that upon a visual inspection we thought might need a closer look. These cases were referred directly to the RBQ for follow-up.   While Manoir Camelia, located at 5875 Cavendish next to  City Hall,  turned out to be one  of the buildings our engineers  had not yet   visited (when they came by the janitor was not there to let them in) it appears that the RBQ had received calls from some residents. As a result, the RBQ did an inspection and ordered the garage closed. They insisted that the owner, Howard Szalavetz,   had to get an engineer's report attesting to the soundness of the structure.
Residents were advised  to move their cars and we made arrangements for them to park on Cavendish, between  Kildare and Wallenberg, until the matter was resolved. 
I spoke to Howard, a well respected landlord in the community who also owns Kildare Towers. He said he immediately enlisted the services of global engineering firm Genvivar. They filed a report to the RBQ and within 48 hours most of the garage was reopened to cars.   Howard noted that this is an  older building and given the climate following the St. Laurent incident the RBQ is being overly cautious. He insists the garage was safe before. But by installing a few support beams, it is now “beyond 100 percent safe.” Some work will be done in the coming weeks.
Is the RBQ being overzealous? Perhaps, but after what happened in St. Laurent nobody will fault them for that.
Hats off to Howard for being so responsive!

Construction on Cavendish

The Cavendish / Fleet interchange was designed a generation ago when the population of Côte Saint-Luc was smaller and fewer families owned more than one car. For years, residents have suggested the city improve the intersection to reduce wait times. While previous administrations have considered improvements, your current city council is taking action. Following a study from an engineering firm and public consultations, the City of Côte Saint-Luc will be reconfiguring the Cavendish / Fleet intersection  beginning October 20. When complete, motorists wishing to turn left from Cavendish Blvd. to Fleet Rd. will be able to do so from two dedicated left-turning lanes

This is something which will benefit all citizens, but certainly those living West of Cavendish in District 2. During rush hour in the morning and particularly at the Bialik morning dropoff, traffic is backed up significantly on KIldare Road. Because the extra left-turning lane will  reduce wait times for vehicles turning left onto Fleet Rd and Iimprove the flow of traffic on Cavendish Blvd it should consequently make things flow much better from Kildare.
Lanes will be reduced starting on October 20. This will cause a slowdown in traffic, which will last approximately three weeks. In phase 1, we will break parts of the concrete medians in the area and repave parts of the street. Once we are confident the new configuration is successful, we will complete the project in phase 2, in which we will beautify the green spaces and add permanent barriers in spots. The entire project should be complete by mid December. During the construction period, please try to avoid the construction zone during the morning rush hour, if possible. You might even consider using the Westminster Ave. underpass to leave Côte Saint-Luc in the morning.
If you spot any problems during the construction period, please leave a message at 514-485-6800 ext. 1501 or use the feedback form at the Côte Saint-Luc website at

See the map below as well.


The condition of Cavendish Boulevard

I would like to share with readers of my blog the response our mayor gave to Ben Merson, a resident of the city since 1955 who wrote to complain about the road surface condition of Cavendish Blvd., between Mackle and Cavendish. Here is what Mayor Housefather said:

"I agree with your comments about the stretch of Cavendish between Mackle and Collins.  Unfortunately, as I have communicated in our newsletters and recently in a letter to residents of Cote Saint-Luc when I spoke of the agglomeration reforms, this stretch of road in not under the jurisdiction of Cote Saint-Luc as relates to reconstruction of the road.

"Since we were merged into Montreal in 2001 there has been a concept of arterial roads.  This continued after demerger.  During the years we were part of Montreal these roads were the responsibility of the central city and not the borough and since demerger they have been the responsibility of the regional level of government (the agglomeration) and not your local city.  CSL has 2 arterial roads (CSL Road and Cavendish).  Thus we are allowed to do some things on arterial roads, we are responsible for clearing snow, traffic conditions (we can install the synchronized lights for example) but we can not do construction on the road itself.  We advised Montreal many times that this stretch should be prioritized without success.

"As per the letter I sent to you, the Quebec legislature recently adopted Bill 22 which reformed the agglo.  These changes only come into force on January 1, 2009.  In addition to keeping EMS, having only one tax bill to CSL and other improvements, the arterial roads go back to the control of local cities.  As such, next year this road can be on our list to repair but we can not do so this year."

Repaving of Rembrandt Ave,

I am pleased to report that the repaving of the streets and sidewalks on Rembrandt Avenue is complete. Rembrandt is the home of five highriose condominiums, six townhouses and a busy park. Our studies showed that the street needed a facelift. Merrimac and Sir Walter Scott also need fixing and I hope they will be on the list of capital works projects before the end of this council's mandate.

Cavendish Extension

On October 30, 2006, the City of Côte Saint-Luc held a public information session at City Hall to inform residents on the status of the Cavendish Blvd. extension project and to encourage residents to contact their provincial representatives to ensure the Quebec government helps fund this important project. All of my life I have been hearing about this potential extension. The words from former mayor Bernard Lang still ring in my ears: "We don't need it, we don't want it, we can't afford it!" Yes, I have reservations. I do not want to see Cavendish become a highway. But the reality is this extension will occur one day, whether we like it or not. When the former Parti Quebecois government announced in 2000 that the extension would take place, it seemed to accept our city's wishes that there be an "indirect" route. They even set the wheels in motion to have a Project Bureau established. This group has been busy gathering data, studying traffic simulations and environmental issues and conducting technical feasibility of route options . It is more clear to me than ever before that we cannot cannot sit back and refuse to play a role. Otherwise we risk having something we do not want imposed upon us. The City of Saint Laurent always wanted this extension to happen. So has the City of Montreal. Saint Laurent is now a Montreal borough. Clearly, theif influence on this issue is greater than ever before. Some people asked me why we held a public information meeting. Why not? While there remain many unanswered questions, I am pleased with how this evening went. Mayor Anthony Housefather and Councillor Dida Berku provided an excellent overview. It was, in fact, a historic evening. Never before has Côte Saint-Luc ever held a public meeting on this subject, Never before have the mayor and all eight councillors come out in favor of the project. We now await word from the Project Bureau technical committee and its specific recommendations, which we will respond to accordingly.

What is the Cavendish extension?
The Cavendish Blvd. extension project is a road construction project. The exact configuration of route is still be determined. The project aims to:
Create north-south link from Côte Saint-Luc to Borough of Saint-Laurent
Create east-west link to Décarie Blv

District 2 Needs

Since my election on November 6, 2005 as the city councillor for Côte Saint-Luc District 2, I have spent considerable time consulting with residents. For the first time in the city’s history, a formal District 2 Advisory Council was established. A number of meetings have been held thus far, with a cross-section of individuals from the district on hand at each session. Other city councillors now intend to follow my lead and establish their own such bodies. District 2 encompasses Merrimac, Rembrandt, Kildare (between Rembrandt and Marc Chagall), Sir Walter Scott, Ilan Ramon, Marc Chagall, Mackle (between Cavendish and Brandeis), Cavendish Mall, Cavendish (Manoir Montefiore, Manoir Camelia, L’Excelsior) and Honoré-de-Balzac. As a longtime resident of District 2, I meet with residents regularly during my walkabouts. During the summer months I did an extensive examination of some of District 2’s needs. Part of this process included a tour with David Tordjman, the city’s director of public works and urban planning. This was a very valuable exercise as we examined different needs while identifying some potential short and longterm objectives.