The Côte Saint-Luc Bicycle Club is thriving

Bravo to members of the  Bicycle Club, which operates under the auspices of the Cote St-Luc Men's Club.

The founder of the Club is Andrew Toeman and in 2019 he had the vision to establish an organized recreational biking activity for members, mostly retired professionals and businessman, aged 70 years and up.  “Initially there were growing pains and  the participation in weekly outings comprised only five or six members,” said member George Lubell, one of my constituents. 

The CSL Bicycle Club.


This was the brainchild of Andrew Toeman.  “I joined the club shortly after selling my dental practice and retiring,” said 80 years young Toeman.  “At the same time a family member had a rare Urachus cancer.   We formed a Team  Bikus Urachus and biked to Quebec City for the Ride to Conquer Cancer. Fourteen of us Now we are 57 and are the number one non-corporate fundraising team in Quebec!”

Toeman’s love of biking extended to the CSL Men’s Club where . Every Monday morning the club goes for a  a gentle and slow 30 km ride. “My history is over 35 years running with the Y Wolf Pack, several marathons and  I even climbed Mount Kilimanjaro , 19,400 feet,” he says. “With fellow runners.  I’ve also biked for Beit Halochem through Israel.”

If you’d like to join the club, e-mail [email protected]

Thanks to constituent Kelly Epstein for stepping up and giving many seniors a lift

As an occupational therapist at the Royal Victoria Hospital, District 2 resident Kelly Epstein was working with a patient recently who ended up being tested positive for the coronavirus. Subsequently Kelly was forced into quarantine for 14 days.

Without anything meaningful to do and missing her daily dose of the geriatric population whom she normally works with,  Kelly reached out to me as her city councillor and asked if she could assist with calling the elderly in Côte Saint Luc to offer any helpful resources that may get them through this difficult time.

Kelly Epstein


I was very pleased to take Kelly up on her offer and I made a list of residents from two buildings, mainly older adults, to contact. “I asked them if they had access to groceries, whether they have concerns or questions for the city during this time, and whether or not they were familiar with the internet,” Kelly explained.  “The majority of the residents have been getting their groceries from their children or grandchildren, while many were very pleased to be offered the volunteer grocery delivery service organized through IGA CSL and their team of volunteers.  Interestingly, while my own grandparents are very tech-savvy with their iPhones and Facetime, about 40 percent of the older adults that I spoke to did not have cell phones, nor did they have a computer- for varying reasons: no interest in learning, limited eyesight making it difficult to read screens, or no availability of people to teach them. Many people discussed their wishes that stores will soon re-open, as it has been very lonely to stay at home, day after day, when they had been used to gathering with friends at the Cavendish Mall.”

Let me give a shout out to our library staff. They are already making over 400 care calls a day to people whom they know are isolated and lonely.

Overall, Kelly says this experience was very positive. “Each person expressed how much they appreciated my call, and how wonderful and unique our city is for checking on their elderly,” she said. “I am thankful for this opportunity and I encourage the youth in our community to continue with this initiative as I return to work at the hospital, as a few minutes of your day can make a world of a difference to those quarantining alone. Dawson College student Helen Shimansky, also a constituent, has also stepped  up to assist me. If anyone else  is interested, send me an email at [email protected].

CSL Men's Club holds general meeting via Zoom: Tom Mulcair speaks

Just over a month ago Charles Eklove says he did not know the first thing about Zoom video conferencing.  But when the COVID-19 pandemic forced seniors to self-isolate, the chairman of media and public relations for the Côte Saint-Luc Men's Club became an expert in no time at all.  Ditto for the hundreds of members.

"The Cote Saint Luc Men’s Club is on the front lines to reach out to its members in these challenging times of social distancing and self-isolation'" said Charles.

Last Thursday over 200 members benefitted from the first general meeting to be held through video conferencing.  It  was a great success.

Opening remarks from event host Mike Barkai  were followed by a welcoming presentation by  President Mannie Young. He showed a video of a special act of kindness which highlighted the important actions that people are taking during this time.

An update of the situation in the city of Côte Saint Luc was then presented by Mayor Mitchell Brownstein. He spoke of the many services offered by the city . Entertainment and diversions have become very important to help combat the feelings of isolation brought on by the required social distancing in these unprecedented times. The Côte Saint Luc Dramatic Society has plans to release a video, to be available through the internet, of some of their performances. They also intend to  present live entertainment to seniors who are shut in by performing outside the front of their residences so that the residents can enjoy the excitement through their windows or from their balconies.

The mayor also spoke of the importance of wearing face masks when going out. Not only do they offer an element of physical protection but they also serve as a reminder to others to be extra prudent in these times.

As for the featured speaker, it was former NDP leader and present day political pundit on radio and TV  Tom Mulcair. He was informative, interesting and generous with his time,  commenting on the actions of our governments and on the possible future ramifications to our economy and health systems. After his presentation he answered many questions that had been submitted from members during the meeting. "The reactions and feedback of our participants confirmed that this presentation was very well received and appreciated," said Charles, noting that  Second Vice-Presiden Kenny Bessner expressed words of thanks.

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Charles Eklove enjoys breakfast and watches Tom Mulcair's presentation via Zoom. (Sheila Eklove, Photo)


The Cote Men’s Club continues to expand the services it offers to its members over the internet. Special interest groups now offered tinclude: Bridge, Coffee Compassion and Coping, Discussion group, Drones, Pastel Art, Photography and Writers Workshop. Members are encouraged to join activities of their choice by contacting the chairmen of the activity.

 Kudos to the Cote Saint Luc Men’s Club and its wonderful team of volunteer for the invaluable work that they do.



CSL Men's Club adapts during COVID-19 pandemic

Even during the current Covid-19 pandemic with everyone told to stay at home, the Cote Saint Luc Men’s Club continues to provide services and support to its members. This club of 870 members is now adapting as necessary to reach out to its members, all of whom are in the senior age group.

"We provide daily updates with our newsletter by email," says Media Relations Chief Charles Eklove. "These updates include practical information as to what is open and closed, also as to what kind of assistance is available for our members and where to get this assistance. Our updates include what programs are available from our three levels of government."

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Charles Eklove, Instructor, leading the Photography Class  (Photo credit: Sheila Eklove)

 Many of the club functions now take place using the video conferencing tools available over the internet. Zoom software has become the means of choice to hold  activities for  members. The Bridge Club and Photography Class, as well as   Executive meetings, are now video conferenced using Zoom.

The first Photography Class, which took place on April 6 and instructed by Eklove, had 20 eager participants including one member who is just out of rehab with limited mobility and two members who are still in Florida. Their Discussion Group with 76 enthusiastic members took place this same Monday afternoon and was a great success. In the works are more activities to be offered by video conferencing including our general meetings scheduled to start later this month.

 "Some of our members do not have email and steps are being taken to reach out to them by other means," Eklove says. "Over many years our members have built up relationships and a sense of camaraderie together. Although meetings by videoconference is not the same as meetings in person, our club is striving to maintain our special sense of camaraderie to fight the sense of isolation that can now be even more prevalent in these challenging times."

The Cote Saint Luc Men’s Club continues to be there for its members. Bravo to this magnificent group of gentlemen who never cease to amaze me!


The campaign for snowbirds to self-isolate ramps up; council requests state of emergency extension

In recent days I have been in touch with the condominium representatives and managers of buildings in District 2 to ensure that they are warning snowbirds arriving via Florida and other destinations to go into self-isolation for 14 days.

The good news is that they are all taking this very seriously. Snowbirds are  returning home by automobile and air from Florida and they are at great risk of being infected with the Covid-19 virus. Any one of them could unknowingly be a super spreader and place others in danger. Most of the building reps have reported back to me to share their action plans.

Some buildings have gone about compiling lists of those who (have) or  are returning.  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein made a mass telephone call to every residence today on this subject. He was also interviewed on CJAD and in The Gazette. A full page message was published in The Suburban.

The city has now produced flyers and these are being posted in every building. I have included them on this blog. Citizens of Côte Saint-Luc understand how important this is. Council is meeting on a daily basis and communicating multiple times per day. Let’s all work on this together for a large outbreak in our community, with such a large percentage of senior citizens, would be devastating.




Council held a special meeting on March 20, streamed live on YouTube, at which time we adopted the following resolution. Here is the link to the file. Fast forward to the 6:15 mark.


WHEREAS the World Health Organization declared a pandemic related to COVID-19 on March 11, 2020;

WHEREAS in conformity with sections 42, 44, 45 and 47 of the Civil Protection Act (C.Q.L.R., chapter S-2.3) (“Act”), a state of emergency was declared by the City of Côte Saint-Luc in its whole territory on March 17, 2020 by way of resolution number 200343;

WHEREAS by virtue of section 47 of the Act, the city or any person empowered to act on its behalf, upon the declaration of the state of emergency, may without delay and without formality, to protect human life, the health and physical integrity of its population by enforcing specific measures;

WHEREAS by virtue of section 43 of the Act, a state of emergency declared by a municipal council is effective for a period of five (5) days at the expiry of which it may be extended on the authorization of the Minister of Public Security, as many time as necessary, for a maximum period of five (5) days;

WHEREAS this pandemic constitutes an actual and imminent major disaster situation and immediate and continued action is required to protect human life, the health and physical integrity of the population of the City of Côte Saint-Luc given its particular demographic and population density;

WHEREAS as of the date hereof, four (4) cases of COVID-19 have been confirmed in the territory of Côte Saint-Luc related to events which risk dramatically spreading the disease to other members of its population and the number of cases of COVID-19 will only increase due to the City’s demographic situation and population density;

WHEREAS since the Côte Saint-Luc City Council declared a local state of emergency on March 17, 2020, its residents have complied with the measures contained therein which are consistent with the directives provided by Premier François Legault in decree 117-2020;

WHEREAS the City of Côte Saint-Luc has been in contact with all commercial establishments in its territory in order to urge them to follow the current measures provided by the state of emergency and the directives of Premier François Legault and they agreed in principle to comply with orders issued in relation to the declaration of state of emergency;

WHEREAS for the reasons cited above herein, it is essential that the state of emergency in Côte Saint-Luc be renewed and that more stringent, additional measures be imposed;

            It was

                        MOVED BY COUNCILLOR OREN SEBAG



            “THAT in conformity with section 43 of the Act, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council (“Council”) requests the authorization of the Minister of Public Security to extend the state of emergency for an additional period of five (5) days;

            THAT in conformity with section 47 of the Act, Council further imposes the following measures:

  • The closure of all non-essential commercial establishments, places of worship and-or religious institutions;
  • Request that all essential commercial establishments to avoid the propagation of the virus by enforcing social distancing for its employees in addition to imposing strict hygiene measures;

            THAT Council request the help of the Direction de la Santé Publique to establish appropriate security measures in order to minimize the health risks for the entire population of Côte Saint-Luc, namely: 

  • To take all necessary precautions to track, identify and test all citizens that have potentially been exposed to the virus in the last week;
  • To prioritize Côte Saint-Luc citizens in testing centers due to an elevated risk of transmission and possible community transmission; and
  • To provide the City of Côte Saint-Luc with drive-thru testing in strategic locations on its territory;

THAT, should the spread of the COVID-19 virus continue to propagate, the Côte Saint-Luc City Council requests the Provincial Government to consider drastic measures such as limiting access within the perimeter of the City of Côte Saint-Luc and ensure adherence by enforcing coercive measures;  

THAT the City Manager or the Director of Public Safety be hereby authorized to sign any document giving effect to the foregoing.”

















A new chance for CSL adults to "engage" at Quartier Cavendish

There was a lot of enthusiasm at the Quartier Cavendish on January 15  for the grand opening of Concordia University’s engAGE Creative Living Lab. It is located right next to Scotiabank,

The engAGE Creative Living Lab is an interactive space open five days a week for older adults, university researchers and the broader community to be students and teachers for each other while experimenting and exploring materials, ideas, and digital technologies together. Officials I spoke to say they invite skill sharing, conversations and the building of a creative and inclusive community across generations and cultures. All activities are free and everyone is welcome to participate.

There is a new spot to "engage" at Quartier Cavendish.

Janis Timm-Bottos, who created the project,  says situating the lab in a familiar space like a mall is a way to create a comfortable atmosphere where older adults, especially those who may be experiencing isolation, feel supported and encouraged to interact with university researchers. “We want to know what older adults think and what they already do to promote health and wellness with their friends, families and communities,” she explains. “With this information, we can then work together to develop creative ways to share this with universities across Quebec and the public at large.”

People on hand at the opening got a chance to participate in the Media Spa,  Art Hive while engaging in new learning experiences as part of this month’s STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math)Research Residency(January 16 to 31).


People had lots of questions.

Here is some news about the January 2020 Research Residency: “Check Your Balance, Befriend Gravity, and Dance!”: Concordia’s engAGE researcher, Karen Li, PhD (Professor of Psychology specializing in studying the impact of hearing, vision, and cognition on motor coordination), and Berkley Peterson, MA are inviting people to discover how your sensory system, especially hearing, contributes to safe winter walking. Folks will also enjoy learning a few new dance moves with Brazilian dancer, Déborah Maia de Lima (PhD student in Études et pratiques des arts (UQAM) and in Performing Arts ( UFBA); Researcher in cultural dances, Improvisational performances; Creative Dance and Somatic Education as resources for Education, Artistic Creation, Illness prevention and improvement of quality of life).
Tuesday to Friday,  from 11 am to 2 pm, you can come and test your balance at the lab.

The official hours are   Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Sunday from 12-5 pm and Thursday from Noon to 8 pm.

The engAGE Creative Living Lab is a Concordia University initiative from engAGE Research Centre, made possible through funding by the Fonds de Recherche du Québec (FRQ)- Santé, Plateforme de financements de la recherche intersectorielle sur le vieillissement

Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and I were on hand, as well as other city reps, to speak to those on hand who also told me there will be things for youngsters to take part in.

Welcome to Côte Saint-Luc and District 2.

Excellent photography exhibit at the library

The Côte Saint Luc Men’s Club is a happening place where men, retired or mostly retired, come together to meet old friends, make new friends and have fun together.

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Members of the Photography Class.

 One of the classes is photography Class and it has proven to be a wonderful place for social interaction where members can find their creativity and develop new outlets for self-expression in an atmosphere of camaraderie and mutual encouragement. This class is led by Charles Eklove, who is an accomplished photographer with formal education in photography from Concordia University, and who provides a professional level of instruction. The mix of students ranges from new photographers to award winning and retired photographers. There is a wonderful chemistry in the class with a continued exchange of ideas and a great synergy in the group. We learn from each other in class and on the class photography trips that we take.

These talented men now have put together an exhibition of their work which runs to September 8 in the Community Art Space of the CSL Public Library. Many of these works are exceptional and all are a pleasure to look at. The members of the photography class invite you to see this exhibit and, if you like, leave your impressions in the accompanying book. I took a walk through the other night and it was most impressive! 


Successful Wagar High grad Dr. Susan Mitchell will address CSL Men's Club

Dr. Susan Mitchell was  a classmate of mine at Wagar High School more than three decades. She was always one  of the brightest individuals in class. So it should not be surprising to see her now teaching at Harvard Medical School. One of her brothers, David, is a physician at the Montreal Children's Hospital. Her other brother Steven is a successful businessman. I am proud to count her parents as my constituents in District 2. You can read more about Dr. Mitchell's much anticipated appearance next Thursday below


Côte Saint-Luc Men's Club throws another superb gala

The Côte Saint-Luc Men’s Club sure knows how to throw a party.

Seated: Peter Kovac, Dida Berku, Randy Berman Erdelyi, Steven Erdelyi, Jordana Kujavsky. Standing: Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, Ruth Kovac, Anthony Housefather, Mitch Kujavsky and myself.

Along with Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, other members of council,  Mount Royal Liberal MP Anthony Housefather and D’Arcy McGee Liberal MNA David Birnbaum, I was so pleased to be at the Gelber Centre for the 2018 Men’s Club Gala.

Marvin Hayman is introduced by David Gandell, with Kenny Bessner in the background.

More than 400 people enjoyed sumptuous hors d’oeuvres, music and dancing, a full course meal, speeches, awards and door prizes. It was a classy affair from beginning to end, co-chaired by District 2 resident Joe Presser and Kenny Bessner.  District 2 resident David Haltrecht, who is one talented individual, was recognized as the Man of The Year.  Volunteer Awards were handed out to Peter Sternberg, Peter Atkin and District 2’s Marvin Hayman.

David Haltrecht, myself and Beryl Peletz.

Haltrecht, the Men’s Club First Vice-President, earned a Bachelor of Engineering and an MBA. An active member of the club, he works on several committees. Professionally he designed, developed and implemented computer based systems in retail, manufacturing and restaurant environments. Using this experience, he has implemented an operation system with a web site for the Men’s Club.  For many years he was an avid sailor and also worked with model trains. Today, he has the Men’s club members working with drones.

With his children and grandchildren in the audience, David thanked his wife of 55 years Phyllis for supporting his many interests.

With the one and only Dr. Paul Weinstein.

Presser and Bessner recognized committee members Haltecht, Hayman, Sternberg,Charles Eklove, David Gandell, Beryl Peletz, Syd Kronish and president Mannie Young who was away in India.

MP Houseather made a powerful speech about  the tragedy that occurred at the synagogue in Pittsburgh, followed up by similar remarks from Birnbaum and Mayor Brownstein.

More than 30 members of the club were saluted for  being 90 years old or more – 11 were present to accept their plaques, including the ageless Mr. Peletz.

Music was provided by The Absolutes. There was also a photo booth coordinated by Mark Bessner Event Coordinators.

With more than 600 members, the Men’s Club continues to go strong. You need only be 55 join. I qualified last year.

With Joe Presser, wearing his sharp new glasses.
With my neighbours, Allen and Shirley Rosen.


With former Councillor Sam Goldbloom and Parks and Recreation Department legend Harold Cammy,


District 2 resident Chriqui playing lead role on Smart Cities Challenge

District 2 resident Marc Chriqui is playing a key role in the development of our city's plan to win the Smart Cities Challenge.
The City of Côte Saint-Luc spoke at the fourth Annual Smart City and IoT Expo in Toronto on October 10, where it offered a preview of its eventual final proposal to the Smart Cities Challenge contest.
Councillor Dida Berku and Marc Chriqui.
“We met with a lot of people in the industry who were very excited to hear that a city is looking to tackle the issue of how to help isolated seniors stay at home longer through the use of smart technology,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, who spoke along with Councillor Dida Berku and  Chriqui. “Côte Saint-Luc has a lot of programs for seniors to help keep them engaged, but the focus of our Smart Cities Challenge proposal is to help those who perhaps we don’t see at our events and who are more isolated.”
Côte Saint-Luc was selected as one of 10 finalists in its category (and one of 20 overall) by the selection committee of the Smart Cities Challenge, a contest created by the Government of Canada. Each finalist community will receive a $250,000 grant to help develop its final proposal that outline all design, planning, privacy, data protection and project management components of their plans. The grant can be used for activities such as staffing, professional services, feasibility assessments, capacity building, pilot projects, community engagement and communications, data, and relevant training. 
“The Smart Cities Challenge has given us the opportunity to brainstorm and to exchange in our city new ideas and new ways of doing things,” Councillor Berku said. “As cities, we don’t often get the chance to talk to researchers and people who are involved in seniors issues and really understand what we are trying to accomplish.”
In addition to the Smart City and IoT Expo on October 10, Côte Saint-Luc has also attended the Conference on Caregiving in Montreal on October 13, and held numerous meetings with researchers, people in industry and academia.
The next step is to launch a pilot project with seniors. The city will outfit their homes with sensors and smart devices in order to test and refine the ideas it believes can help isolated seniors live independent lives and stay at home longer. Participants must be age 65 or older, live autonomously, and have little or no caregiver support. To learn more or to participate in the pilot project, email [email protected] or call 514-485-6800 ext. 5539.