Parks

Skateboard area at Rembrandt Park to become a greenspace

A few years ago the central topic for one of my District 2 Town Hall meetings was Rembrandt Park. There were concerns raised about the lack of lighting at the tennis courts, the basketball area, play equipment and the skateboard area.

Ruby Goodman, who has served as a park attendant for more than 20 years at Rembrandt, was asked to get  a feel from the users. I also set up a small committee and we conducted surveys from people of all ages. The consensus was to  fix the lights, maintain the basketball area as is and replace the skateboard space with greenery.

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The skateboard area will now become a nice greenspace

 

Last spring the Public Spaces Committee of the city, composed of senior staff and some councillors, highlighted the skateboard area for demolishment at some point this year or next.  Work began last week. I was not aware of the specific date and while some parents have come forward and stated their kids enjoy the area, inspections done in recent weeks warned of serious danger. due to cracks in the asphalt as well as heaving areas in the asphalt. Our Public Works Department told me Friday that this area is  not conducive to skateboarding.  Potential accidents would result in costly litigation. Some youngters use their scooters there, something which is also highly dangerous. As a result, filling in the bowl meets with the new required safety measures.

The earth is coming from excavation projects throughout the city. It is therefore, an environmentally friendly project. We will install sod and topsoil to create an area in the shade for picnic tables and benches, providing residents with the opportunity to enjoy summer fun in the shade. It will therefore be transformed into a nice gathering space

Ruby Goodman confirmed Friday that he has seen very few skateboarders there in recent years. In fact Public Works was constantly tasked to clean the bowl as it was becoming  a garbage dump.

When I was first elected 13 years ago there was a soccer field at Rembrandt Park that was sunk below the ground. We consistently found benches and debris dumped there. As well seniors complained about delinquents causing problems and using the spot as  a hideout late at night. We resolved the problem by filling the hole with leveled greenspace.

Constituents are always invited to contact me directly to discuss these issues.

 


An inspiring idea from Rosemount for park benches

Thank you to constituent Vivian Silver and her son Josh for sharing this article. Definitely food for thought!

This Montreal borough turns infested trees into beautiful wooden benches

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Tyler JadahJul 18, 2018 7:12 am252
 

 

The borough of Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie and Projet Montreal have teamed up to give dying trees a second chance by recycling them into gorgeous, wooden benches for the public.

The project is part of the “a tree for my neighbourhood” program and focuses on ash trees that have been threatened by emerald ash borers.

 

Ash borers, originally from Asia, are invasive beetles that eat and destroy trees from the inside. Montreal has been dealing with an infestation of the insects since 2012. Once infested, an ash tree can only survive for two to five years afterwards.

In Rosemont, more than 8,000 ash trees (one street tree out of three) are threatened by the beetle, according to the Ville de Montreal website.

The program aims to remedy its urban forest by turning the infested trees into public pieces. The Borough has also preserved the wood of dozens of infected trees that will be used for furniture, such as picnic tables, benches or ice-hockey rinks.

The latest collection of refurbished trees have been transformed into park benches.

wooden benches

Project Montreal/Twitter

wooden benches

Arrondissement Rosemont/Twitter

wooden benches

Project Montreal/Twitter

wooden benches

Project Montreal/Twitter

Take that, pesky beetle.


Walkway leading to CSL City Hall/Library to be named Leonard Cohen Lane

I am pleased to announce that the walkway from Marc Chagall Avenue, which heads directly to the City Hall and Library facility, will be named Leonard Cohen Lane in memory of the legendary Montreal  writer, poet, composer and singer who passed away in November 2016 at the age of 82.

While Leonard Cohen never lived in Côte Saint-Luc, he was indeed a Quebec icon we all revered. Indeed his presence was always felt at our very own CSL Public Library through  CDs,  videos and books.

When we formally inaugurate Leonard Cohen Lane later this year, I will work with Library Director Janine West, Councillor David Tordjman, Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and City Manager Tanya Abramovitch on an event which will celebrate this great man’s life and all of the joy he brought to us.

This land was unofficially referred to as Marc Chagall Park. We had considered calling it Library Lane, but a few people, including community activist Tamar Hertz, suggested that we honour the memory of Leonard Cohen There are a number of people I know in Montreal who were personal friends with him. I am sure they will be thrilled to attend any event we organize.

Cohen (no relation to me by the way)  was born in Montreal on Sept. 21, 1934, to a middle-class family. His father, who ran a well-known clothing store, died when he was nine. He pursued undergraduate studies at McGill University and became president of the debating union. He flirted with a legal career and attended McGill law school for a year after completing his bachelor's degree. He also went to Columbia University for a year. But literature had a stronger call than litigation.

"Let Us Compare Mythologies," his first book of poetry, was published in 1956 when he was an undergrad. The "Flowers For Hitler" poetry collection and the novels "The Favourite Game" and "Beautiful Losers" followed in the 1960s. He etablished himself as a poet and novelist of renown by the age of 32, Cohen decided that songwriting might pay better. Leonard cohen

A big break came in 1966 when Judy Collins recorded his standard "Suzanne," and he came out with his first album "Songs of Leonard Cohen" the same year. That was followed up with "Songs from a Room" in 1969, which included the popular "Bird on the Wire." He had a fairly steady output although his popularity dipped in the 1970s as disco, not doom, was deemed to be the treat for consumers' ears. But Cohen began a comeback in 1984 with "Various Positions," which included "Hallelujah."

Ironically, "Hallelujah," was on the only Cohen album ever rejected by his record company and was little noticed when it did come out on an independent label. But it has become modern standard after hundreds of cover versions, high-profile performances and use in TV and movie soundtracks.

It is  played at weddings, funerals - including the 2011 state ceremony for then NDP leader Jack Layton - school concerts and religious services. It was repeatedly played on VH1 after the 9/11 terrorist attacks and at a telethon for relief efforts after the Haitian earthquake in 2010.

 

 


Another successful CSL Winter Carnival

Congratulations to the Parks and Recreation staff of the City of Côte Saint-Luc, our Volunteer Citizens on Patrol, Public Works and everyone else who worked so hard for our 2018 Winter Carnival. Activities kicked off at the Aquatic and Community Centre on Feb. 10 with the annual Valentine’s Dance. On Sunday, Feb. 18 weather conditions were ideal for a day of fun outdoors at Trudeau Park.

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Ice sculptures in the snow.


There was a pancake breakfast sponsored by McDonald’s, horse drawn carriage rides, taffy on snow, face painting, ice sculpture activities, public skating, hockey games, a figure-skating exhibition, and more.

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There were all kinds of games to play.


It was wonderful to see so many young families enjoying our wonderful activities. Rookie City Councillors Oren Sebag and Mitch Kujavsky were co-chairs of the event.

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Our presentation of a $10,000 cheque.


Mayor Brownstein, members of council and Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather were pleased to preside over a ceremony in the arena at which time we presented a cheque of $10,000 for Ronald McDonald House,, a temporary home away from home for out-of-town (more than 70 km) families of children with critical illnesses who must travel here for medical treatments. Côte Saint-Luc funded a room there.

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The very tall ice princess greets me.
 

There was lots of action outside, including a very tall ice princess, the team from The Beat 92.5 FM playing music, a marshmallow roasting corner, tobogganing on the hill and much more. It brought back such nice memories when my daughter was little and we would take her there.


I enjoyed some of those McDonald’s pancakes, with syrop. Reuben Goodman was serving up warm hot chocolate while just outside the Lawrence Bergman Chalet was reliable Mark Bessner making cotton candy for the kids.


Susie and Harvey Schwartz to be honoured at Maisons Fleuries; real estate guru Moshe Shlomo to sponsor event

On Tuesday, November 7 the City of Côte Saint-Luc will host its annual Maisons Fleuries Awards Ceremony at the Aquatic and Community Centre. I will once again serve as  co-chair with Councillor Sidney Benizri.

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Councillor Ruth Kovac, Susie Schwartz, myself and Moshe Shlomo.

The event recognizes the superb floral arrangements at homes, condominiums, apartments and business complexes.This year`s  Maisons Fleuries Lifetime Achievement Award will be presented to  Harvey and Susie Schwartz, who  have participated. The couple have been selected to either first or second place for the Townhouse Category every year since 2006.

“We love beautifying our outside gardens with lots of various types of flowers which enriches the outside of our home and our town house complex,” emphasized  Susie Schwartz. “People passing by always comment on how lovely are garden is. Harvey works hard all summer watering and making sure that all his flowers are happy and blossoming. We feel it is important to keep our city beautiful.”

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Susie and Harvey Schwartz join me.

The couple are also long-time and devoted members of the city’s Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (VCOPS).   District 2 resident Moshe Shlomo,  a lifelong Côte Saint-Luc resident and a real estate agent for Sutton Clodem Inc., will be this year’s event sponsor. George Deligeorge, the city’s socio-cultural arts instructor, has once again agreed to create a surprise masterpiece for the ceremony.  As in past years, the local art classes will display their  floral art work. This will involve Mr. Deligeorge’s work, as well as the students. The display will encompass the home and flower theme. 


More than five years after its birth our Aquatic and Community Centre is relaunched

We have a great deal to be proud of in the City of Côte Saint-Luc. Our Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Avenue, opened in September 2011, is on that list. The $18 million complex was built with the support of the provincial and federal governments, which covered two-thirds of the cost. Since then, it has became a major hub of activity for people of all ages.

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Our revamped ACC includes a mini-library corner.

On April 2 we  held an open house to show  off our new spaces for kids, enlarged fitness room, and improved teens room. At the event, marvellously coordinated by Parks and Recreation Director Cornelia Ziga and her staff,   special activities included face painting, tattoos, superheroes in costumes, cupcakes, tours of the building, and an opportunity to meeting staff from Mini R.E.C. by Le R.E.C. Room. In addition there was free  access to the Wibit obstacle course in the indoor pool.

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Council, dignitaries and staff in the new Mini Rec Room.

“We’ve moved around some of the spaces to make better use of the building,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “We’ve also launched new programs for kids with our partners at Le R.E.C. Room and we wanted parents to see the new play area first hand.”

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With Alvin Fishman in the new expanded  fitness room.

The expanded fitness room is now across from the locker rooms and includes two additional treadmills, more natural light, and a bank of televisions. A trainer was on hand during the open house to show people how to properly use the equipment.

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Another view of the fitness room.

Our ACC  houses two indoor pools, a fitness room, three locker rooms, an art room, a dance studio, three banquet halls, space for the Men’s Club and Women’s Club, the Teen Lounge, a mini-library corner and a large atrium. The Côte Saint-Luc Gymnasium is also attached to the ACC. The Parkhaven Outdoor Pool and Imagination Park are behind the building. 

We were pleased to have present-day Liberal MNA for D’Arcy McGee David Birnbaum and Liberal MP for Mount Royal Anthony Housefather on hand with their predecessors, Lawrence Bergman and Irwin Cotler. The latter two gentleman played an important role in getting us that crucial funding. As for Housefather, he was our mayor at the time and the ACC was his dream. He remains today one of our most regular users, swimming laps every chance he gets as he prepares for the next Maccabiah Games in Israel next  July.  He won seven medals in the 2013 competition.

For a complete set  of photos log on to this google link.

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Kids enjoy the new Mini Rec Room.

 

 


Warm weather brings out large crowds for 2017 Winter Carnival

 

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With Bonhomme, Mayor Brownstein, the Snow Queen, Sidney Benizri and Anthony Housefather

When it comes to the annual Winter Carnival in Côte Saint-Luc, my memories shoot back to when I was a mere toddler. I lived on Wentworth Avenue and at the time the park behind my house was the hub for all activities. My parents would take my brother and sister and I to enjoy some hot chocolate, take part in all kinds of fun games and most importantly take my photo next to Bonhomme Carnival.

As a city councillor for the past 12 years, I have had the good fortune of taking part in the planning of the event. It all kicks off with the wildly successful Valentine`s Day Dance, continues with a PeeWee “A” Outdoor Hockey Tournament and concludes the following Sunday with a wide array of programming.

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With Jacqueline Mallet, Pierre Brunet and Ronald McDonald.

I was so happy to see our good friend Pierre Brunet, franchisee of nearly 20 McDonald’s restaurants, including the two in Côte Saint-Luc and Jacqueline Mallet from Manoir Ronald McDonald at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. I joined Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Councillors Allan J. Levine, Ruth Kovac and Sidney Benizri, along with Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, in presenting a cheque of $10,000 to Manoir Ronald McDonald. This was a record breaking year for us, bringing our grand total to $59,000 for this wonderful cause.

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Presenting our cheque for $10,000 to Manoir Ronald McDonald.

Manoir Ronald McDonald is a temporary home away from home for out-of-town (more than 55 km) families of children with critical illnesses who must travel to Montreal for medical treatments. It is located on Hudson Avenue in Côte des Neiges, around the corner from the Centre Hospitalier Ste. Justine.

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Presenting a trophy.

We made the cheque presentation prior to another annual tradition: the awards for the CSL Figure Skating Club. That was followed by a nice show on the ice.

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Petting Maggie the horse.

It was five degrees Celsius this year and with the sun beating down it seemed warmer. This represented a mixed bag. It was extremely pleasant to walk around and the crowd was fairly large. I remember days when it was so bitterly cold nobody wanted to be outdoors. With the warmth came a lot of slush and some of our ice sculptures and other snow attractions were melting.

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Serving up the pancakes.

In the Lawrence Bergman Chalet, Pierre Brunet’s team was serving up 1,300 McDonald’s pancakes. People were asked to make voluntary donations to the Manoir. Members of the Côte Saint-Luc Dramatic Society presented a preview song from their new show Fancy Nancy, about to debut at the Segal Centre  for three to nine year olds.

There was a dog sled, horse-drawn carriage rides, and taffy on the snow, tobogganing on the hill, face painting, snow games, public skating and more hockey games. It was so nice to see all of the young families enjoying the experience.

Congratulations to our Parks and Recreation staff for the fabulous work they did planning this event, which included signing up many sponsors.


A proud day in Côte Saint-Luc: New park to be named after Elie Wiesel

The City of Côte Saint-Luc will name its new park at the corner of Cavendish Blvd. and Kildare Rd. after the late Elie Wiesel, a Holocaust survivor and author who fought for peace, human rights and simple human decency.

The new park, to officially be called Elie Wiesel Remembrance Park, will  include 11 trees, pedestrian paths, lamp standards, illuminated bollards, 10 park benches and decorative fences.

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Elie Wiesel

“Côte Saint-Luc has one of the largest populations, per capita, of Holocaust survivors in the world,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein said. “It is highly appropriate to honour Elie Wiesel this way posthumously. After he died, it was our own Beth Israel Beth Aaron Congregation that held a Montreal-wide memorial.”

A formal dedication ceremony for the new park will take place in Spring 2017. Over the next few months, meetings will be held with the Montreal Holocaust Memorial Centre and community leaders to ensure that the park tells a story for what Wiesel and other human rights activists stood for.

As the city councillor  responsible for naming rights, I was approached by a number of people after Wiesel died with the suggestion that the city honour him. I believe that by doing so at the intersection of two of our most important streets makes a lot of sense. Elie Wiesel was a champion for people of all religions. We are proud of the fact his legacy will live on in our community forever.

This is also in my very own District 2.

Born on September 30, 1928, in Sighet, Romania, Wiesel pursued Jewish religious studies before his family was forced into Nazi death camps during the Second World War. Wiesel survived, and later wrote the internationally acclaimed memoir Night. He also penned many books and became an activist, orator and teacher, speaking out against persecution and injustice across the globe. Wiesel won the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He died on July 2 at the age of 87.

Work on the park will not be complete until the beginning of November. 


Rembrandt Park continues to blossom

 

This was another great summer for Rembrandt Park in District 2.  Recent renovations have fully blossomed  and the park became rejuvenated and vibrant.

To those people who have approached me about repaving the outdoor basketball courts and possibly installing new lights for night play, that is being looked at by our Parks and Recreation Department.

The two new resurfaced tennis courts that were redone in the summer of 2014m  with the installation of the new court lighting system,  had players volleying well into the night up until closing hour at 11 pm. Waterplay1a

Adult and children's summer tennis classes were a success. We surpassed our revenue expectations for the budget. The same applied to the expected Rembrandt Park Tennis Court rentals. All in all, Rembrandt Park Tennis Courts  operated  in a most efficient manner.

Last  August,  the Tournee Sports Experts was held at Rembrandt Park. This event was sponsored through Tennis Quebec and was open to children, teens, young adults and adult players in helping to bring awareness to interested participants in the sport of tennis a "lifelong" recreational sport. Certified instructors from Tennis Quebec demonstrated tips on playing, strategies tennis tactics in playing the game. There was a demonstration of some of the newest rackets by Wilson, Diadora and other tennis equipment outfitters. Participation was free of charge for this event, which is held annually at Rembrandt Park. The event attracted over 75 avid and enthusiastic tennis players.

During August staff began researching information on various possible amenities which could
be added to the tennis programs in 2015. We are presently looking at installing a practice
screen tennis net at Caldwell Tennis Courts. This would protect one court for teaching while not
disrupting play by the public on the other courts.

New signage for the public will be installed on the fences at Rembrandt Park tennis courts,
highlighting rules, regulations and City policy. This is being prepared at present for installation
before next season (2016) begins.

Of course, Rembrandt Park was also  the site of our first Piano in the Parks Program. We installed a donated piano so people could come play whenever they wish. The water splash area was well utilized by parents with their small children as were the swings and other equipment. It was nice to see so many families having picnics on the green space while others simply enjoyed sitting on the benches. Reuben Goodman continues to be our main attendant at the chalet, still well utilized for art classes.

 

 


Fitting inauguration of Henry Marcovitz Playground on Randall Avenue

As Mayor Anthony Housefather pointed out,  the City of Côte Saint-Luc marked what was probably a first in our 100 year plus history - dedicating a park after a deceased city councillor on the day of his unveiling.

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Unveiling the sign.

Despite a heavy downpour, a large crowd gathered at McDowell Park on Randall Avenue for the inauguration of Henry Marcovitz Playground. Henry served on council for 20 years. He and his late wife lived most of their lives on Randall - directly across the street from the park. I had the great honour of serving as Henry's city councillor when he and his wife moved to District 2 and a Rembrandt Avenue high rise condo about a decade ago. We spoke often during that time and he even attended my District meetings. I could see the spark in his eyes when he weighed in on certain issues.

Henry passed away last October. I actually saw him a few weeks earlier at a restaurant with his family. He was wheelchair bound, but when he saw me I got a wink hello as he passed by.

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Myself, Councillors Levine, Kovacm Brownstein, Mayor Housefather, Allan and Michael Marcovitz and Marcy Marcovitz Seidman.

“I first got to know Henry Marcovitz on the demerger campaign in 2004 when he joined with me and other former Côte Saint-Luc elected officials to promote the reconstitution of our city,” Mayor  Housefather said. “He was already quite advanced in years but he had enormous energy and impressed me with his intellect and dedication to the cause.”

Marcovitz moved to Randall Ave. starting in 1955. He became involved in local politics when he worked on the mayoral campaign of Samuel Moscovitch in 1964. He was first elected to city council in 1970 and represented District 3 when the district system was set up in 1982.

Marcovitz was chair of the town planning committee and a member of the finance and audit committee during the mid-1980s. This included the period when Côte Saint-Luc built its new library and city hall. He fought against condo conversions, forcing landlords to carry out improvements required under city bylaws.

“He was my city councillor while growing up in Côte Saint-Luc and was always available and welcoming treating my concerns with respect and importance,” Councillor Mitchell Brownstein said. “I was always proud to say I knew him as a friend to all he served.”

Councillor Allan J. Levine called Marcovitz his mentor.

Marcovitz’s contributions were lauded by his peers. When he left office in 1990 after six terms, then-Mayor Bernard Lang called him a “level-headed” and “effective” councillor and that “he added a great deal of serenity to negotiations.” Then-Councillor Isadore Goldberg called him “one of the deans” of council.” Councillor Glenn J. Nashen said Markovitz had been very committed and served as an inspiration for new leaders.

“It was great having him as part of the council for two decades and his name and way of thinking continues to be mentioned a half century later,” Councillor Nashen said.

Marcovitz had been accepted to McGill medical school, but rather than complete his medical training, he felt compelled to enlist with the Canadian Army to fight in the Second World War. He later returned to school and graduated with a bachelor of commerce degree. He went on to become a successful businessman. He met his future wife, Shirley, who was the love of his life for 59 happy years. When she passed away a few years ago, he asked that the tombstone be engraved with the unusual but heartfelt words, “a beautiful marriage.”

He lived a healthy lifestyle and stayed in shape by water skiing, downhill skiing, and playing squash and golf. He even continued to exercise when he was in a wheelchair and attended lectures at the library into his last year.

“Henry was a Mensch, a gentleman and a role model,” said Rabbi Chaim Steinmetz at Marcovitz’s funeral last year. “He could fix his own car, repair his own house and do his own taxes. Above all, he was a man of integrity, kindness and generosity.”

Henry's son Allan spoke on behalf of the family and broke down a few times as he described what this honour would have meant to his dad. His sister Marcy and brother Michael echoed those sentiments. Michael was a hockey teammate of mine back in the days when we played at the old Montreal West Arena and had to get up at 6 a.m. on weekends. "Dad always brought me to the rink," said Michael, whom I remember to be a good stay at home defenceman,