Parks

Hill use by toboggans at Rembrandt Park given added safety features

It is toboggan season again and our Public Works Department has indeed responded to concerns raised by parents who take their kids sliding down the hill at Rembrandt Park.

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The fence at the bottom of the hill.

As we did last year, a snow fence has been installed to prevent tobogganers from running into the trees. Also we have asked that snow be blown in the area between the snow fence and the city sidewalk to prevent the tobogganers from reaching the road. The trees closer to the that were a problem last year have been relocated.This was something I promised residents I'd push for.

 

While our Public Works Department has deemed the site  safe, but we are not promoting it as a formal  "toboggan hill." Rather, it is hill children decide to use toboggans on. The sliding distance is very short and getting to the top could be slippery because there are no steps. That is contrary to a formal toboggan hill at Trudeau Park, steps and all.

 


Côte Saint-Luc Lifeguard saves the life of avid swimmer Sharon Zigman

I want to send my best wishes to constituent  Sharon Zigman, who is recovering from a stroke which she suffered when doing what she loves best- taking a swim at our Aquatic and Community Centre.

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Sharon Zigman

A few weeks ago Sharon was doing laps in our pool when lifeguard Sina  Salehi Kashani noticed something was not right. He jumped in the pool and saved her life. Our Emergency Medical Services (EMS) team were first on the scene. Sharon was rushed to the Montreal Neurological Institute.

In an emotional video from her hospital bed, Sharon thanked Sina for saving her life. She then joined our public council meeting live via Zoom, where we honoured Sina as our Employee of the Month. “I was so lucky he was there watching me,” she said. “I hope he will be there the next time I go and I will not be afraid. He is really 100 percent on the ball. I usually go to the pool for an hour and a half a few times a week,

Sharon said that Sina noticed  how she was not using her left arm like she usually does That is when he took action. “He jumped in the pool and pulled me to the side,” she explained.

You can see Sharon’s comments on this video, starting at the  5:29 mark

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2yhehYtcpNw

Sharon, a psychologist by profession, can always be seen exercising be it swimming, biking, skiing,  walking or running. It just goes to show you that a stroke could  happen to any of us.

I do hope Sharon makes a full recovery and returns to her passion.


The process is underway to name the Marc Chagall greenspace

I am pleased to share that via our Public Affairs and Communications Department, the process to name the now beautiful greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue is underway.

History will note that after having rented the greenspace to the developers of the Equinoxe buildings for three years, the property was left in poor condition.  Some litigation was necessary in order to not only restore the area, but vastly improve  it. That was indeed done by our Public Works Department. Besides installing sod (instant grass), we have a pathway, new benches, picnic tables and trees. Lighting will be next.

So it is time to find a name for the "Place" or "Square." According to our new naming policy, we are consulting with residents in the immediate area. All they have to do is go to www.cotesaintluc.org/marcchagall and fill out the form. Our Toponomy Committee, which I chair, will initially review the suggestions and then make a recommendation to city council.

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A beautiful property.


La ville de Côte Saint-Luc souhaite nommer l’espace vert de l’avenue Marc Chagall, que nous avons récemment embelli avec des lumières, des arbres et un nouveau gazon. Nous aimerions
avoir vos suggestions pour un nom pour cet espace.

 

 

 


The lot on Marc Chagall Avenue begins to take shape

Work is progressing nicely on the  large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue, across from both the Marquise and the snow dump.

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The new grass looks very nice.

History will note that this land was leased to the owners of the Equinoxe as a parking lot for three years in order to avoid having their   workers parking on the street. The developers had signed a written contract to return the land the way they found it. Regrettably that did not occur and litigation ensued. Attempts to properly beautify the area were unsuccessful, so in June council adopted a resolution allocating fund  to finally get this job done right.

Work was supposed to begin in June, but like everyone else across the globe we were victims of supply and demand. The delivery of the sod did arrive last week and it was a delight to watch it take shape on most of the land. It looks beautiful.

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Laying sod.

Some people asked me why they did not lay sod on all of the space. Please note that in the next few weeks new trees will be planted and lights installed, after which more grass will be placed. We have a new walking path and new benches in place. Our staff are watering the grass daily.

I want to thank our Public Works and Engineering teams for getting the job done. We will watch closely for the final chapter in September, following which I will begin a discussion on what to name the greenspace.

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This is where some new lights will go.

 

Staff have been digging a trench  for lights to be installed along the cement pathway to Isadore Goldberg Park.


Rembrandt Park is a magnificent facility we can all be very proud of

As the city councillor for District 2 these past 17 years, I am very proud of the work that has been done to enhance Rembrandt Park.

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The new basketball courts.

When I was first elected, the park had a sunken field that was used by delinquents to hide out late at night and even dump benches. We were able to level that field, much to the benefit of users. A skateboard bowl, deemed dangerous by many parents and confirmed by senior staff, was removed. The splashpad project was installed well over a decade ago and is a popular attraction. Park equipment has been consistently upgraded and  last year we finally installed a brand new basketball court, as well as a half court for youngsters. In addition, we purchased large nets so youngsters could play soccer. I have received nothing but warm thanks for the youngsters who use these  facilities.

As for the tennis courts, they have been refurbished over the years and benefited from new lighting. A permanent ping pong table, installed in 2021, has been a big hit from the start. In the winter, for two years in a row now, we have but in an ice skating rink at one of the tennis courts. There is also a popular toboggan hill.

This is an extremely well utilized park, a hub of activity and a wonderful mix of young families and seniors who live in the immediate area. I am not pleased to see people having picnics and not cleaning up after themselves. It lends the impression that the park is dirty.  That is not the case. We have ample trash cans. On weekends in particular we have a small crew of staff circulating throughout the city so they cannot possibly visit each park for cleanup.

I walk through this park regularly from the spring to the fall, constantly interacting with users and the park attendants who oversee activities. When people have concerns, they direct them my way.  That is the best process to follow.  Last summer, for instance, a woman called to advise me that she was pushing her husband in his wheelchair to the park, but the pathway was not smooth enough to  get there. In a matter of days I had a crew from Public Works present to pour more cement and create an easier entry.

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The water splashpad area.

Understandably, residents who use a particular park a lot tend to have large wish lists. We do everything we can to comply, however it is very important to emphasize that the city has dozens of parks to take care of. There is only so much funding available. That being said, Rembrandt Park is indeed on a list prepared by our Public Works Department for changes to the playground areas.  This will not occur overnight, as it is a costly endeavor. As well,  because the playgrounds are divided into sections for young and older children, a complete redesign will be required.

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Park attendant Ruby Goodman showcases the new water fountains.

 

In the meantime, we continue to roll out new initiatives:

  •  The chalet roof has been redone in aluminum, a sustainable material that can last up to 50 years and added      handicapped/stroller accessible washrooms.
  •  Three new lamp posts were added at the Merrimac side of the park.
  •  Eleven new benches were installed in  concrete bases along the pathway near the playground and chalet.
  •  We replaced and added four extra large garbage bins.
  •  Two new drinking fountains have now been installed ( water bottle accessible).
  •  We removed dead and sick trees and planted new ones.   
  •  We replaced the single doors at the tennis courts with double doors.
  •  The chalet art room is being renovated, including a custom made (by our employees) stainless steel double sink.
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This ping pong table is very popular.

 

Some residents have called,  concerned that picnic tables have disappeared.  That is not the case. Tables tend to be moved manually by users to different parts of the park for their own little gatherings.  While we have ordered metal picnic tables, they are on back order so unfortunately we have no other choice but to wait.

I can always be reached at mcohen@cotesaintluc.org.


An update on the Marc Chagall Avenue lot

I wish to provide an update about the large greenspace on Marc Chagall Avenue, across from both the Marquise and the snow dump.

History will note that this land was leased to the owners of the Equinoxe as a parking lot for three years in order to avoid having their   workers parking on the street. The developers had signed a written contract to return the land the way they found it. Regrettably that did not occur and litigation ensued. Attempts to properly beautify the area were unsuccessful, so in June council adopted a resolution allocating fund  to finally get this job done right.

Work was supposed to begin in June, but like everyone else across the globe we are victims of supply and demand. The delivery of the sod is on back order and will not arrive until August 8.

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Work begins on the rehabilitation of the Marc Chagall lot.

Nonetheless, work has indeed started. Public Works  commenced some digging to install bollards along the west side of the paved walkway for new lighting.  A number of large diseased trees unfortunately had to be removed. We have also installed the beginning of  a pathway.

Our contractor  will remove all growing grass, seeds, and pebbles for the entire vacant lot. New benches and tables will be installed.  Fingers are crossed for the sod.  In September new trees will be planted. I am as frustrated as anyone with these delays, but we will have a beautiful greenspace when all is said and done at which time I will begin a consultation process to find a name for this parkette.


Elie Wiesel's son joins us for bench dedication in the memory of his late aunt

Did you know that the sister of  Elie Wiesel lived in Côte Saint-Luc before she passed away in 1974?
 
I was unaware of this fact until the Foundation for Genocide Education welcomed Elisha Wiesel, the son of Elie Wiesel, to come speak at a fundraising event at Beth Israel Congregation.
 
Elie Wiesel was a Romanian-born American writer, professor, political activist, Nobel laureate, and Holocaust survivor. He authored 57 books, written mostly in French and English, including Night, a work based on his experiences as a Jewish prisoner in the Auschwitz and Buchenwald concentration camps.
 
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On the afternoon of the lecture we invited Elisha to the park we named in honour of his late father at the corner of Cavendish and Kildare and in my District 2. Rabbi Reuben J. Poupko, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and some others joined us as we unveiled  bench plaque at Elie Wiesel Park  honouring Beatrice Wiesel Jackson - Elie's sister.
 
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As part of Genocide Remembrance, Condemnation, and Prevention Month, the Foundation for Genocide Education recently announced the official publication of the pedagogical guide Studying Genocides. Available in French (in English in fall 2022) to all high school teachers in Quebec at education-genocide.ca, this guide will enable over 343,000 students in 800 schools to study the history of nine significant genocides of the 20th century.

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Safety measures taken at Rembrandt Park Toboggan Hill

It has been a cold winter thus far, but parents with young children have been enjoying the Rembrandt Park Toboggan Hill. However, I did receive some complaints about safety concerns with some trees located in dangerous spot.

I asked members of our Public Works team to go an assess the area. They agreed that this is a great toboggan hill requiring little maintenance.

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The Toboggan Hill.

What we have now done for this winter is secure the area (from kids ending up on the street ) with a snow fence along the sidewalk on Rembrandt. Also, we wrapped the two trees closest to the hill with an orange snow fence too. This way the trees now stick out and there’s still plenty of room for many toboggans to run.

Our team will go back to the park during the summer to assess the area again with our tree experts at which point I will be able to provide an update.

With the increasing number of families and children in District 2, Public Works has agreed to provide an official second toboggan hill at Rembrandt Park down the line.


Official ribbon cutting ceremony for new Rembrandt Park basketball courts is Sunday, October 10

In the company of Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of city council and staff, I  will be proud to preside overt the formal launch of the refurbished Rembrandt Park basketball courts on Sunday, October 10 at 10 am. Please join us for a ribbon cutting ceremony.

Families are invited to come try out the two surfaces – a competitive court and a half court for younger children- and explore Rembrandt Park. This is a beautiful and popular facility, which , also features two tennis courts, a soccer field, a playground, a permanent ping pong table,  a water spray area, a chalet for art classes, an area for Israeli dancing in the summer, various hills and numerous picnic tables and benches.

Some youngsters enjoy the new main court.

 

Visitors are encouraged to come try out the courts for themselves and witness the mayor, members of city council and staff try and dunk some baskets themselves.

 

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This is what the main court looked like before the facelift.

 

The existing court was in poor condition and in dire need of repairs. Among the selected new equipment are the basketball poles, backboards, front mounted rims basketball nets and players benches. Crews removed the existing cracked asphalt and installed six inches of MG-20 crushed stone to maintain a slop of one percent for better drainage. There was new asphalt installed, as well as two coats of colourful epoxy paint acrylic surface, a new 30-foot light projector with two LED fixtures and new grass (SOD) around the perimeter of the basketball court. Both the refurbished courts and the half court have been hugely popular since work was completed in August.

In the event of heavy rain, the formal launch will take place on Sunday, October 17 at 10 am.


The new basketball courts at Rembrandt Park are now in operation

I am thrilled and proud to announce that the brand new refurbished basketball courts at Rembrandt Park are now open for business.

I was at the park today when the crew did all the final touches. The surface for the main court was completely redone. It was a safety hazard in the past. The blue, red  and white painted surface has been well received. So have  the benches. All we needed was the poles and the basketball nets. The first youngsters to shoot some hoops were  Raphael Shahraobani, Daniel Ohayon and Nathan Ohana.


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Raphael, Daniel and Nathan get set to give the new courts a whirl.

 

And now for something completely new. Over the past few months Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I worked closely with local basketball experts - Alex Fyon and Kevin Fuks from JHoops, Matt Starr from JPPS-Bialik and one of my youth advisors, Shai Troy. Now 18, Shai has been playing on these courts for year. Alex and Kevin felt very strongly that a smaller half court was necessary for the younger children. We have delivered that too. Another one of my constituents, Yane Arama and his son, Nathaniel 6,  headed to the half court. Nathaniel sunk a basket on his third try. The hoop is lower and this half court will be reserved for kids 12 and under.

 

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Nathaniel initiates the kids half court.

I want to give a huge thanks to Dalia Mohamed, the engineer on this project. She worked tirelessly for the past year and when the half court proposal came to her at the eleventh hour she made it happen. Also to Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and veteran manager Ryan Nemeroff, who played  an equally crucial role. Anthony Sulpizio, the newest member of the P & R staff, has been involved in recent weeks. As well, hats off to our always accommodating  Public Works Department provided great assistance as  well.


We had to wait a little longer than expected due to certain equipment being on back order. But it is still early August and plenty of months ahead to enjoy the courts. New lighting for the courts is also on the way,

I am hoping to organize something more formal to launch the refurbished courts, a project years in the making.