Public Works

Felling of trees to occur in Ashkelon Gardens: Public meeting postponed

Mayor Brownstein, myself and Public Works Director Beatrice Newman are sending this letter out to residents who live closest to Ashkelon Gardens,  the forested area between the library and the Cambridge Court townhouse complex. This area has been badly affected by the Emerald Ash Borer.

Like many places on the island of Montreal, many of the ash trees in Côte Saint-Luc have been infected by the Emerald Ash Borer and have become sick or are dead.


The forested area between the Library and your townhouse complex or apartment has also been infected. The trees there are sick and could potentially fall down on their own or even catch on fire if we don’t remove them.

We are hiring a contractor to fell these trees starting at the end of January or start of February 2018. During the work, you will hear the sounds of workers and chainsaws. The work will be carried out between the hours of 7am and 5pm to minimize any disruption to your sleep. After the trees have been felled, invasive plants will try to take over, but we have a plan to prevent that from happening and ensure that the area will be suitable for replanting. Once we are confident the area is ready, we will plant new trees later this year.

Like you, we are heartbroken that we are temporarily losing the beautiful forested area. Regrettably there was nothing we could do to save them. While we are replacing these trees, the new ones will take many years to grow to the size of what’s there now.

If you have questions, you can join us for an information meeting at a date to be determined at City Hall. We will share details that didn’t fit in this letter, including some of the technical details about the replacement trees.

Aux résidants de Manoir Camelia, Cambridge Court, Le Rothchild II, et Le Bellagio

Comme c’est le cas à plusieurs endroits sur l’île de Montréal, de nombreux frênes sont infestés par l’agrile du frêne à Côte Saint-Luc et ils sont malades ou déjà morts.

L’espace boisé compris entre la Bibliothèque et votre complexe de maisons en rangée ou votre immeuble d’appartements est lui aussi infesté. Les arbres dans cet espace sont malades et ils pourraient tomber par eux-mêmes ou même prendre feu si nous ne les abattons pas.

Nous avons engagé un entrepreneur pour abattre ces arbres fin janvier / début février 2018. Pendant les travaux, vous entendrez le bruit des travaux et des scies mécaniques. Les travaux s’effectueront entre 7 h et 15 h pour éviter le plus possible de perturber votre sommeil. Une fois les arbres abattus, des plantes envahissantes tenteront de prendre la place mais nous avons un plan pour empêcher cela et pour la plantation de nouveaux arbres dans le secteur. Après nous être assurés que le site est prêt, nous y planterons d’autres arbres plus tard cette année.

Comme vous, nous sommes dévastés de la perte temporaire de ce magnifique espace boisé. Malheureusement, nous n’avons rien pu faire pour sauver les arbres infestés. Même si nous voyons à remplacer les arbres abattus, il reste que les nouveaux mettront plusieurs années à atteindre la même hauteur que les frênes existants.


Snow dump work virtually completed

Each year I go to city council and insist that can allocation be made to deal with the huge ski hill-like structure that exists in our snow dump. The huge winter storm we had last March added to the mountain.

May was not a particularly warm month, so our Public Works Department brought in the heavy equipment recently. Today we stopped operations with the mechanical shovel.  The balance remaining is hard ice and will break the shovel if we continue. Ninety percent of the work has been done.  Work on cleaning the area will be done over the summer. I have asked Public Works to carry out an inspection to ensure any water is draining properly.






In Côte Saint-Luc we are very proud about how we handled snow clearing

As we continue to dig out from the biggest snow storm the Montreal area has seen in years, I would like to applaud the work done by the City of Côte Saint-Luc`s Public Works Department.


I have received a great deal of kind comments from residents in regards to how well  we  handled the snow clearing.  In fact, most of the Montreal media praised the work we did on the main roads. Please understand that this is a very difficult task and I was among the motorists on the Thursday morning stuck trying to get past the underpass on Cavendish. It was unavoidable and inconvenient, but later in the day all cleared up

“It was an emotional day for many residents,”  Public Works Director Beatrice Newman reported to city council. "Please help us help your residents understand why things appear to be a certain way while in the background, the city is working fervently to provide safe passage-ways in the city.”

The light on Guelph Road broke Thursday morning and stayed green. This meant that Westminster stayed on a red light. Traffic began to build up, employees rushed to help traffic. Public Security  directed traffic and electricians worked on determining and fixing the light. “Things like this happens when there are drastic changes in weather,” Ms. Newman said.

Cavendish Boulevard was congested, southbound. Our snow removal operations provided clear roads for our residents, but unfortunately once they hit CSL Road and Cavendish, they were faced with congestion. NDG kept their side of Cavendish at one lane. Therefore, our three lanes had to squeeze into their one lane. “Et voilà, major traffic accumulation on Cavendish and  CSL,”  Ms. Newman explained.

Fleet was at one lane from our city right through Hampstead. The objective at first is to clear the road with one lane for access. Then approximately 24 hours later, the blowing began. “We cannot start our operations earlier in the morning or traffic issues would be inevitable,” said Ms. Newman. “Only one lane would still be available in this case. We must consider the safety concerns first. This was not a regular snow storm. This was a blizzard with white out conditions, dangerous road conditions and more. We must have patience. Close to 40 centimeters fell and the process to remove it all will not be quick, we must work efficiently​and safely.”

We had five  teams working all day Thursday, five sidewalk cleaners, five loader/blowers, five 10 wheelers, five walkers and two salt trucks remained to follow the contractors as they salted the roads once the contractor blew the snow. Once snow falls on the asphalt  we secure it with abrasives.

Our snow dump after the storm.

Two teams worked at the municipal buildings and one  worked on our special calls such as  snow blown accidentally on personal walkways, emptying public garbage, etc. One  employee was stationed at the snow dump on Marc Chagall in District 2, which now looks like an Olympic ski hill.

The balance of the areas around Yavne, Merton and Maimonides schools were done on Friday.   

We are working hard to do our best in operations and customer service.  

“In Public Security, our agents have seen their call volume go up by a factor of 2.5,” explained Public Safety Director Jordy Reichson. “Our agents have responded with professionalism and tact despite trying circumstances, horrible road conditions and lots and lots of snow. They have always kept the safety of our residents at the forefront and I have been impressed by their ingenuity and dedication.

“Our Dispatch Centre has been flooded with calls and complaints about everything from traffic to snow removal to cars blocking driveways. Despite being screamed and sworn at, they have maintained their composure and professionalism.”

Mr. Reichson noted that while  we did not activate our emergency plan, we kept it close at hand. We ensured that our evacuation routes remained as accessible as possible and were prepared to activate elements of the plan as required. “Despite what some residents have posted online, our response has been as strong and efficient as it can be,” he said. “ This was not just another storm, but rather an opportunity for our employees to shine and from what I have seen, all have risen to the occasion.

Work will begin soon to break down hill in snow dump

With warm weather finally upon us, our Public Works Department will soon begin the job of breaking up the large mountain of dirty snow in the snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue.
John Monteiro, our head of operations in Public Works, spent some time at the dump on May 11 with staffer Thierry Dhaisne. The inspected the ditches around the perimeter of the dump that capture the melting snow. These ditches are functioning properly and the water from the melting snow is making its way to the north west corner of the snow dump where it is draining into the city sewer. We will now be calling in a contractor with a large shovel who will breakup the remaining snow and accelerate the melting process. We will take advantage at the same time and clean any leaves at the bottom of the ditches.
Once  all  of the snow has melted we will then pickup all remaining debris in the snow dump from our snow removal operations. Attached are some pictures of the running water in the ditches.
East ditch(southbound)
East ditch(northbound)
North ditch with drainage pipe to city sewer
North west corner of dump that drains all water into city sewer from ditches. You can see the steady stream of water from the north ditch and the water is draining properly into the city sewer.
Thank you John, Thierry and Director of Public Works Beatrice Newman  

Operations begin as does creation of snow wall at the dump

Well it was great while it lasted, our extended fall season. I just returned from a few days in New York City where the temperature was so mild I was walking around wearing only a t-shirt. Winter is back with a vengeance, but our City of Côte Saint-Luc Public Works Department is on the job.
Over the last couple of years we have taken measures to keep better tabs on our snow dump on Marc Chagall Avenue. At times like this there is a lot of activity there, yet we want to do everything possible to keep the noise level as reasonable as possible for the benefit of those who live close by. We want to avoid any tail gate banging.
Once again we are appointing a yard attendant who will remain at the dump until 10 p.m. during times of snow activity. In addition, the trucks and ploughs will begin building a snow wall almost immediately. This serves as a de facto sound barrier.
Since we  were quick to start clearing our streets before some other cities, our contractor has been able to provide us with three blowers at one time, a rarity. This is great news for us, as they started to blow the snow quickly.  

"Although our streets are looking pretty good, please drive carefully when venturing outside of Côte Saint-Luc," cautions Public Works Director Beatrice Newman. "Give yourselves enough time to get to where you need to be."


Coffee with a Cop comes to Quartier Cavendish on May 28

Let's all extend some thanks and appreciation to the officers from Neighbourhood Police Station 9, located in the heart of Côte Saint-Luc`s District 2 at the corner of  Cavendish and Kildare,

Coffee with a Cop

Their Coffee with a Cop Program has become a monthly occurrence, first at the McDonald`s Restaurant on Côte Saint-Luc Road and now at the Quartier Cavendish. It is next scheduled to occur at the Quartier (still referred to as  "the Mall" by many)on Thursday, May 28 (9 a.m. to 11 a.m.) in the food court.

Coffee with a Cop is an informal event which allows police officers and citizens to meet in a neutral environment to facilitate the dialogue. The aim of this activity is to let anyone discuss freely and exchange on various public security topics and concerns that affect the Côte Saint-Luc community and others within the Station 9 territory, which also includes Hampstead and Montreal West.

In addition, this is an opportunity to strengthen police relations with its citizens, who normally meet in emergency circumstances that are very emotional.  Coffee with a Cop does indeed enable citizens get to know PDQ 9 police officers in a friendly atmosphere

Wishing Jean-Claude Raby a happy retirement

I was 14 years old when I first met Jean-Claude Raby, who at the time worked at the Samuel Moskovitch Arena. This was an exciting time for kids like me. Growing up there was no arena in the city, so we had to play our games at the Montreal West Rink. When Moskovitch opened, under the leadership of the late Wally Freestone, it was Jean-Claude and a fellow by the name of Dave Sevigny who drove the zamboni and attended to other important matters. I played in the system, but only two years later I crushed two vertebrae on the spine and my active career was over. I turned to writing about minor sports for the local papers and certainly became a "rink rat" by getting jobs as a scorekeeper, equipment manager and ultimately a referee.

I bid Jean-Claude a good retirement.

Jean-Claude stayed at the arena for 10 years and then moved next door to Public Works where he remained for 28 more years. On Friday, May 8 friends and colleagues gathered in front of the Public Works headquarters on Mackle Road to give him a nice sendoff. For the last many years he fulfilled the important role of foreman for parks and roads.

Beatrice "Bebe" Newman will miss J-C.

"Jean-Claude started working for the City in 1977, the same year that he married his wife, Celine," recounted Beatrice Newman, our newly appointed Director of Public Works. "He started as an arena attendant and continued on to become the Zamboni operator. He moved on to a position at Public Works, as a light vehicle operator. During the merger and until the de-merger, J-C became the Team Leader for the Roads division. In 2006 he became a Public Works foreman, handling all things operations at different times for roads, signs, parks, waste and snow removal. Jean-Claude has been an invaluable employee, always willing to do his best for the residents and the city. He leaves with many memories from growing together with the city over the past few decades and we wish him the best for a wonderful retirement that he`ll share with Celine. After 38 years of service to a city that he respected and cared for, we wish him  many years ahead filled with great joy and relaxation."

My former hockey teammate Daniel Laliberté worked under J-C.

You could see the warmth in which Jean-Claude was treated at his farewell. I am proud to know him and privileged to have spent the past decade as a city councillor where I have been able to see up close and personally what a value he added to our community.

"I am looking forward to my retirement," he said. "We have two kids and seven grandchildren so that will keep me busy."



How to avoid frozen pipes

The island of Montreal is in the middle of its coldest winter in the last 20 years. The ground has frozen much deeper than usual. This has caused many household pipes to freeze across the island, including in Côte Saint-Luc.

The city's Public Affairs and Communications Department has supplied us with some valuable information.

If you turn on one or more faucets and there’s no water, the cause is likely a frozen pipe in the water supply line that runs from the edge of your property, under your lawn, and into your home. You’ll need an experienced plumber to thaw the pipe. But it could take several days to book an appointment as they are very busy this winter.

In more than 90 percent of cases, the frozen blockage is on the pipe leading to the home. Very rarely it may be on the city’s side. This is much less likely because city pipes are wider and deeper than the ones leading to your home. However, if after thawing your water supply line you still have no water, then the city will attempt to thaw its side.

The best solution, however, is prevention. You can minimize the chance of frozen pipes by following these tips.

  1. If your water supply lines are in the garage, keep garage doors closed.
  2. Open kitchen and bathroom cabinet doors to allow warmer air to circulate around the plumbing.
  3. Leave a cold water tap running at a steady stream of about 6 mm or ¼ inch (approximate thickness of a drinking straw).
  4. Keep the thermostat set to the same temperature both during the day and at night.
  5. Leave the heat on in the home, even while out of town. Set to a temperature no lower than 13 C or 55 F.

Changes to curbside collection days start February 2

Curbside collection days are changing for most homes in Côte Saint-Luc starting the week of Monday, February 2, 2015.
For single-family homes and duplexes, brown bins (organic waste) will collected on Mondays, blue bins (recyclables) on Tuesdays, bulky waste on Wednesdays, and garbage on Thursdays.
Residents can start placing closed-lid bins at the curb at 10 pm the night before the collection. You can place bulky waste as of noon the day before. Blue bins must be at the curb by 7 am on collection day to ensure it is collected. Brown bins, bulky waste, and garbage bins must be placed by 8 am on collection day.
It made financial sense to outsource garbage collection and organic waste collection. The contractor has the capacity to collect garbage from single-family homes and duplexes across Côte Saint-Luc in one day. Same with organics and bulky waste. We decided to simplify collection and schedule it on the same day.
For those townhouses that currently take part in curbside organic waste collection, they will follow the same schedule as single family homes and duplexes. For all other multi-family complexes and institutions, garbage collection is on Mondays and Thursdays, recycling collection remains on Tuesdays and bulky waste collection is on Wednesdays.
For old electronic items (computers, monitors, etc.) and household hazardous waste (paint, CFL bulbs, etc.), residents can bring these to the EcoCentre at 6925 Côte-des-Neiges or Public Works (7001 Mackle Rd.). Call514-485-6868 to arrange a pick up at the curb of an old TV.
Côte Saint-Luc is mailing a flyer with the new collection days information to all homes, doing a city-wide phone call out, and sending an email to all those subscribed to the Côte Saint-Luc e-newsletter, among other things.


CSL Public Works Week Carnival a real education

The annual Côte Saint-Luc Public Works Week Carnival took place on May 22 and hundreds turned out to this event which combines education and a whole lot of fun. Congratulations to Beatrice Newman, Oriana Familiar, Councillor Steven Erdelyi and the rest of their  team for a job well done, Councillor Glenn J. Nashen and I even pitched in by shovelling some composting material into one of the many yellow bags being given  out to the public. See the picture below.

CompostBagsMikeGJ This event was originally scheduled to occur a week earlier, but Mother Nature rained on  that parade and we had to postpone. Weather conditions were perfect o n this day. A donation to the Montreal Children’s Hospital Foundation gave  kids access to real vehicles, inflatable games, face painting/tattoos, flower planting, arts and crafts, fun and games and more.

There were tours of the Public Works Yard on a buggy, a barbecue, balloons TCBY, cotton candy and snow-cones, face painting and tattoos, fllower planting, arts and crafts, demonstrations  and Eco-Action Day. Everyone on hand got to learn more about recycling and organic waste collection and received free garden compost.  For the kids  there was a zero-waste lunch , an environmental trivia games and an  inflatable enchanted forest . Used bikes were baccepted on behalf of SOS Vélo.