Rembrandt Ave.

The Rembrandt Park Report: urgent issues given priority by Public Works

In August I did a walkabout at Rembrandt Park with some residents. I would like to repeat that since I have been the city councillor for District 2 these past 18 years, an enormous amount of improvements have been made here. Some critics, while meaning well, do not understand that this is one of many parks in the city; each councillor is pushing for parks in their district. I am proud to say we have gotten more than our fair share of financial allocations

The use of Rembrandt Park has exploded in recent years. More activity results in further wear and tear.

Please keep in mind that  soon after being first elected we added the water  spray area and filled what was a giant pit, transforming it into what is now a well-utlilized   field.    During the pandemic we added soccer nets, something that was really appreciated. There have been issues of water not draining properly from this area and we will keep our eyes on that.

The tennis courts were upgraded, including new lighting. We completely rebuilt the basketball court and even added a new half court for younger children. The Rembrandt chalet had its roof replaced and handicapped washrooms were installed. A permanent ping pong table was added, as were many new benches and picnic tables. Last spring one of the walkways was repaved. Play equipment has been upgraded. In the winter, we have a hill used for tobogganing and one of the tennis courts has been converted to a skating rink the past two years.

As residents will find out soon, all municipalities -including Côte Saint-Luc-  will face a terribly difficult time in building a budget for 2024. We have been very badly affected by the reduction in welcome taxes as a result of the hike in interest rates by the Bank of Canada. In addition,  the price  of every major contract has gone through the roof.  Our biggest job now is to try and hold the line the best we can on tax increases.


Joane Warren and Patrick Touchette join me in the park.

I would love there to be a bottomless pit of money to blanket Rembrandt Park with improvements. You can read the conclusion of this article for a fundraising initiative I have in mind. But for now, I am very pleased that senior members of our Public Works team, Patrick Touchette and Joane Warren, toured the park with me last week and they made a commitment to ensure that urgent action items are taken care of – notably those that relate to health and safety.

Here is a list of what has and will be done:

  • The two holes in the ground near the first pathway on Rembrandt have been  filled with soil and seeds. Any holes in the concrete elsewhere in the park will be filled as well.
  • Temporary barriers will be installed to prevent access to the steps/seats behind the chalet. These are not safe to walk or sit on. We’d need a significant budget to redo this. They are seldom used as it is.
  • A work order has been made for electricians to put any loose wires into.
  • Some faulty lights will be changed by our Engineering team.  
  • Following a summer in which picnic tables were moved around by some park goers, they will be  attached  to the ground to prevent this from reoccurring.
  • Picnic tables will be installed to the left of the chalet at the request of some residents for more shade.
  • More benches will be installed next spring or summer.  New concrete bases will need to be ordered to put the benches on.
  • The pedestrian pathway behind the Meadows Condominium which keeps flooding after rainfalls will be replaced with grass. As Public Works explained to me, efforts to fix the area for many years have been costly and unsuccessful and there is another pathway a few feet away.
  • Sand in playgrounds has been deep cleaned by a contractor. Our employees will continue to clean it on a daily basis during the season.
  • The play equipment have been deemed to be in good working order. Yes, we’d love to order new  equipment but we will have to wait for better economic times.
  • Nets for basketball hoops are installed all over the city at the beginning of the season. Regrettably, they end up getting   torn or even stolen and the protocol is not keep replacing them during the season. We’d certainly like to catch the perpetrators.
  • There are currently 11 garbage cans in the park. Public Works will relocate one or two of them because they may too close to each other. Otherwise, the number  of garbage cans in this park has been deemed sufficient.
  • Parks and Recreation will have its attendants be a better set of eyes and ears regarding issues at the park. I will try and meet with each of them more often.
  • The pétanque courts are never used. While there are no funds to build something in its place, I have asked that the wooded boundaries be removed so this could possibly be transformed into some kind of play area – perhaps with some grass planted there.
  • In the winter we will remind Public Works to try and make the walkways wider and better salted . 
  • Public Security will do more check-ins at  park late at night.   
  • The two water fountains are indeed often dirty. But Public Works reports that this is mainly caused by users, some of whom actually pour sand inside and block the drainage.
  • Public Works has committed to dealing with the heights off the trees near the Meadows condo pool side,  adjacent to the basketball court as well as  cut down the height of trees south side of pool and Trim the  limbs of the tree adjacent to basketball court and tennis court. The latter obscures the night lights on the south side of basketball court.

I want to thank the residents who approached and for the significant time Public Works took to go over all of the details with me.

If anyone reading this would be interested in purchasing naming rights for the Rembrandt Park Chalet – a high visibility venue - these funds could be redirected for improvements that are not in our budget. This was precisely the case for the Max Margles Côte Saint-Luc Children’s Library.

Walkabout at Rembrandt Park results in some helpful recommendations

I want to thank my constituents who answered my call and joined me for a walkabout at Rembrandt Park on August 20.

Since I have been the city councillor for District 2 these past 18 years, an enormous amount of improvements have been made here. Some critics, while meaning well, do not understand that this is one of many parks in the city; each councillor is pushing for parks in their district. I am proud to say we have gotten more than our fair share of financial allocations.

Some of the residents (and canines) who joined me.

The water spray area continues to be a huge success among young families. The tennis courts were upgraded, including new lighting. We completely rebuilt the basketball court and even added a new half court for younger children. Early on in my mandate, there was a field that was mysteriously located virtually underground.  We filled the pit and left it as green space. During the pandemic we added soccer nets, something that was really appreciated. The Rembrandt Chalet had its roof replaced and handicapped washrooms installed. A permanent ping pong table was added, as were many new benches and picnic tables. This past spring one of the walkways was repaved. Play equipment has also been upgraded. In the winter, we have a hill used for tobogganing and one of the tennis courts has been converted to a skating rink the past two years.

I walk through the park regularly and consult with users. Nonetheless, the consultation I just undertook was very revealing.

The recommendations will be forwarded to our Public Works, Engineering and Parks and Recreation departments. A number of people who could not attend sent me their comments via e-mail.

Yes, the pathways need significant improvement.

It is very disappointing to walk through this park and see the litter people toss about, ever so close to trash cans. Why are older kids using the mini-court and vandalizing the basketball net? Can we add more benches and trash cans? Can the walkways be salted and made wider in the winter? The drainage system is no efficient at the soccer field, which also has large patches with no grass and holes.  Some of the equipment in the play area is outdated. Do we really still need the pétanque courts? The steps/seats near the chalet have seen better days. These are just some of the comments.

I wish to remind residents that for a fee we can add beautiful tribute benches, dedicated in the memory of a loved one. Can we arrange some sponsorship opportunities at the park? 

I am always available to get feedback.








-If we want additional benches, can we start a campaign for people to “dedicate” new ones in the memory of loved ones?

-Can we seek naming rights for the Chalet at Rembrandt Park and use the proceeds for more improvements?


The story of the yellow school bus on Rembrandt Avenue

Over the last few months I have received a number of inquiries about a large yellow school bus parked on Rembrandt Avenue and Merrimac Road.

In particular, there is one resident of Rembrandt who uses the adapted transport program. When the bus was parked on her street it caused great inconvenience.

Yair Bensimhon on the bus.


I was able to track down the owner, Yair Bensimhon. He is a relatively new resident on Rembrandt. Yair understood the plight of this individual and was also aware that given the limited parking spots on general it would be well advised to find another place to park. Since that time he has left the bus on the long stretch of Merrimac Road, which does not inconvenience anyone. He also made arrangements with Aaron Bitton to keep the bus in the parking lot of his Cavendish and Kildare building overnight.

Thanks Yair. And it was nice to meet you and get a chance to board your bus.

Bus on Rembrandt1
The bus parked on Merrimac Road.


Au cours des derniers mois, j'ai reçu un certain nombre de demandes de renseignements au sujet d'un grand autobus scolaire jaune stationné sur l'avenue Rembrandt et le chemin Merrimac.

En particulier, une habitante de Rembrandt utilise le programme de transport adapté. Lorsque l'autobus était garé dans sa rue, il lui causait une grande gêne de la rue, cela lui causait un grand désagrément

J'ai pu retrouver le propriétaire, Yair Bensimhon. Il habite depuis peu dans la rue Rembrandt. Yair comprenait la situation de cette personne et était également conscient qu'étant donné le nombre limité de places de parking sur le quartier général, il serait bien avisé de trouver un autre endroit où se garer. Depuis lors, il a laissé le bus sur le long tronçon de Merrimac Road, ce qui ne gêne personne. Il s'est également arrangé avec Aaron Bitton pour garder le bus dans le parking de son immeuble situé entre Cavendish et Kildare pendant la nuit.

Merci Yair. J'ai été ravi de vous rencontrer et de pouvoir monter à bord de votre autobus.

Adjustments made to Rembrandt Park pathway/Ajustements apportés au sentier du parc Rembrandt

Earlier this year our Public Works Department completed some much needed repairs to one of the walkways at Rembrandt Park, pouring new asphalt to cover paver stones which represented both a hazard to pedestrians and a tendency for puddles to appear after rainfalls. The work, which you can read more about here, was certainly welcomed by park-goers.

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Improvements made to the troubling pathway.

Regrettably, another pathway closer to the  Meadows Condominums on Merrimac Road, has been filling with water for years and this summer has been no exception.  I shared this with Public Works and while that issue was scheduled to be looked into next year they were kind enough to pour some more asphalt there last and it does represent an improvement.

George Lubell shows me an area that could be adjusted.

I visited the pathway with George Lubell, a retired electrical engineer and a member of my District Advisory Committee. He lives on Rembrandt Avenue. He was pleased with the  remedial action taken to raise the centre of the path so that it drains to the sides. “That solves most of the problems but I believe there will be an accumulation of water at the end of the paved path where it meets the pavi uni,” he commented. “In any case, (the city) deserves credit for following up, correcting the deficiencies and getting the path into a useable state.”

Given the fact I walk through the park several days a week, I will keep a close eye on this situation.

En début d'année, notre service des travaux publics a effectué des réparations indispensables sur l'une des allées du parc Rembrandt, en coulant un nouvel asphalte pour recouvrir les pavés qui représentaient un danger pour les piétons et une tendance à l'apparition de flaques d'eau après les chutes de pluie. Les travaux ont été bien accueillis par les visiteurs du parc.

Malheureusement, un autre sentier situé plus près des condominiums Meadows, sur Merrimac Road, se remplit d'eau depuis des années et cet été n'a pas fait exception à la règle. J'ai fait part de ce problème aux services des travaux publics et, bien qu'il soit prévu de l'examiner l'année prochaine, ils ont eu la gentillesse de couler un peu plus d'asphalte à cet endroit pour la dernière fois, ce qui représente une amélioration.

J'ai visité le sentier avec George Lubell, ingénieur électricien à la retraite et membre du comité consultatif de mon district. Il habite sur l'avenue Rembrandt. Il est satisfait des mesures prises pour relever le centre du sentier de manière à ce qu'il s'écoule sur les côtés. "Cela résout la plupart des problèmes, mais je pense qu'il y aura une accumulation d'eau à l'extrémité du chemin pavé, là où il rencontre le pavi uni", a-t-il commenté. "Quoi qu'il en soit, (la ville) mérite d'être félicitée pour avoir suivi les travaux, corrigé les défauts et rendu le chemin utilisable.

Étant donné que je me promène dans le parc plusieurs jours par semaine, je suivrai cette situation de près.





Elysee Condominium sets a fine example with new Pool Committee

Anyone who resides in a rental or condo building knows that issues can surface in regard to behavioral issues around the common pool area. I get many calls from constituents on this dossier.

I recently consulted with a board member of the Elysee Condo on Rembrandt Avenue. The prevailing issue there had to do with co-owners, guests and "community guests" not respecting the rules such as: not showering before entering the pool , eating and drinking in the pool, swimming with street clothes, children under eight years of age with no guardian in the pool, use of water wings which are prohibited, babies with soiled diapers and more.

The Board sent an email to the co-owners and requested volunteers to join a new Pool Health and Safety Committee and five people answered the call. I believe this is a template other buildings and developments should follow.

Members of the Elysee Pool Committee.à

The Pool Committee is comprised of a group of co-owners who have a vested interest in maintaining the pool and gym area so that the asset value of this space can be protected and all co-owners can use these facilities in a safe, clean and secure manner, all in accordance with the Cote Saint Luc municipal pool permit and Condo Elysee rules and regulations.

As for the mandate, it is as follows:
• Establish workable hours of operation and access control to limit unauthorized use during times when no responsible, external resources are available.
• To check the facilities on a scheduled basis to ensure that the doors and windows are secured and that the areas are clean.
• Within the time and human resources of the Committee, within the facilities, to check that there are no persons in distress and in need of help .
• To take a proactive approach to informing non-compliant users of the rules and deciding upon an appropriate protocol to enforce the rules.
• To advise the Board of any issues relating to health,safety, non-compliance or cost of maintaining the facilities.
• For health and safety concerns, to update and/ or revise the prevailing rules and regulations relating to criteria for admissibility and access controls.
Bravo to the committee members: Marty Lehrer, pharmacist; Arlene Berg, retired medical secretary/database coordinator, Ruby Garzon, retired math teacher; Gilda Glazer, retired teacher/ librarian /sculptor; and Dr Jacob Garzon, retired surgeon who operated on me when I was a teen for a hernia.

L'Elysee  donne le bon exemple avec son nouveau comité de la piscine

Toute personne résidant dans un immeuble locatif ou un immeuble en copropriété sait que des problèmes de comportement peuvent survenir autour de la piscine commune. Je reçois de nombreux appels d'électeurs sur ce dossier.

J'ai récemment consulté un membre du conseil d'administration de l'Elysee Condo sur l'avenue Rembrandt. Le problème principal était que les copropriétaires, les invités et les "invités de la communauté" ne respectaient pas les règles telles que : ne pas se doucher avant d'entrer dans la piscine, manger et boire dans la piscine, nager avec des vêtements de ville, des enfants de moins de huit ans sans tuteur dans la piscine, l'utilisation d'ailes à eau qui sont interdites, des bébés avec des couches souillées et bien plus encore.

Le conseil d'administration a envoyé un courriel aux copropriétaires et a demandé des volontaires pour faire partie d'un nouveau comité de santé et de sécurité de la piscine et cinq personnes ont répondu à l'appel. Je pense qu'il s'agit là d'un modèle que d'autres immeubles et ensembles immobiliers devraient suivre

Le Comité de la piscine est composé d'un groupe de copropriétaires qui ont tout intérêt à entretenir la piscine et le gymnase afin de protéger la valeur de l'actif de cet espace et de permettre à tous les copropriétaires d'utiliser ces installations en toute sécurité, conformément au permis de la piscine municipale de Côte Saint-Luc et aux règles et règlements de Condo Elysee.

Quant au mandat, il est le suivant :
- Établir des heures d'ouverture praticables et un contrôle d'accès pour limiter l'utilisation non autorisée pendant les périodes où aucune ressource externe responsable n'est disponible.
- Contrôler régulièrement les installations pour s'assurer que les portes et les fenêtres sont sécurisées et que les locaux sont propres.
- Dans la limite du temps et des ressources humaines du Comité, vérifier dans les installations qu'il n'y a pas de personnes en détresse et ayant besoin d'aide.
- Adopter une approche proactive pour informer les utilisateurs qui ne respectent pas les règles et décider d'un protocole approprié pour faire appliquer les règles.
- Informer le conseil d'administration de tout problème lié à la santé, à la sécurité, au non-respect des règles ou au coût de l'entretien des installations.
- Pour les questions de santé et de sécurité, mettre à jour et/ou réviser les règles et règlements en vigueur concernant les critères d'admissibilité et les contrôles d'accès.

Bravo aux membres du comité : Marty Lehrer, pharmacien ; Arlene Berg, secrétaire médicale à la retraite/coordinatrice de base de données; Ruby Garzon, professeur de mathématiques à la retraite; Gilda Glazer, enseignante/bibliothécaire/sculptrice à la retraite; et le Dr Jacob Garzon, chirurgien à la retraite qui m'a opéré d'une hernie lorsque j'étais adolescent.




Much needed repairs to Rembrandt Park pathway via Merrimac approved

For a number of years now, users of Rembrandt Park have expressed concern to me about the walkway leading to the area from Merrimac Road.

The walkway will be repaired.

The Merrimac paver stones  at this walkway are in poor condition.  These sunken pavers are not only an eyesore, but they also typically represent a warning sign of a larger problem. An uneven paver can produce safety/trip hazards while sunken/missing pavers lead to  water“pooling” that will always collect puddles.

I wish to thank both our Public Works and Urban Planning Departments for moving forward with repairs At the March 13 council meeting we approved a bid for just over $50,000 to conduct the necessary work in May. The existing stone pavers will be removed and we will install asphalt, keeping the same walkway width and profile. There are four sumps along the walkway which will be checked and leveled with new asphalt.


Les pavés de Merrimac de cette allée sont en mauvais état. Ces pavés enfoncés ne sont pas seulement une nuisance visuelle, mais ils représentent également un signe avant-coureur d'un problème plus important. Un pavé inégal peut présenter des risques pour la sécurité ou les déplacements, tandis qu'un pavé enfoncé ou manquant entraîne une accumulation d'eau qui ne cessera jamais de former des flaques d'eau.

Lors de la réunion du conseil municipal du 13 mars, nous avons approuvé un appel d'offres d'un peu plus de 50 000 dollars pour effectuer les travaux nécessaires en mai. Les pavés de pierre existants seront enlevés et nous installerons de l'asphalte, en conservant la même largeur et le même profil d'allée. Il y a quatre puisards le long de l'allée qui seront vérifiés et nivelés avec le nouvel asphalte.

Les pavés de Merrimac de cette allée sont en mauvais état. Ces pavés enfoncés ne sont pas seulement une nuisance visuelle, mais ils représentent également un signe avant-coureur d'un problème plus important. Un pavé inégal peut présenter des risques pour la sécurité ou les déplacements, tandis qu'un pavé enfoncé ou manquant entraîne une accumulation d'eau qui ne cessera jamais de former des flaques d'eau.


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.

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.


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.

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.

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.

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.
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 [email protected].

Handicapped accessible washrooms being installed at Rembrandt Park Chalet

Renovations  are underway at the  Rembrandt Park Chalet’s washrooms.

Our Public Works team are gutting them completely and installing new  floors ceilings, toilets, and more. We are changing both the men's and women's bathrooms to become  wheelchair accessible. One stall in each will be dedicated to this. Also a ramp will be installed at the front entrance.1

The Rembrandt Chalet.


I want to thank Public Works Director Beatrice Newman and her staff for being able to complete this work in-house, saving the city thousands of dollars.

While the work is being carried out,   we ordered a portable bathroom for a minimum of several weeks until everything is  completed. 

Rembrandt Park has become a true hub of activity over the years, with people of all ages spending time there.  Seniors with mobility issues will really appreciate this initiative.

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.

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.