Our CSL Public Library celebrates  a new naming rights donation for Science and Fiction readers

Gary Fagen was a long-time member of the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library who passed away on, September 19, 2018. Throughout his life he was an avid Science Fiction and Fantasy reader, devouring everything the library had. He often made suggestions for purchase and as no one had the knowledge nor passion that he had, he became the library’s unofficial Science Fiction and Fantasy selector.

Emma, Erin and Daniel showcase the newly affixed plaque.


“Gary was particularly adept at ensuring that no one volume from any series was ever missing,” said CSL Director of Library Services Janine West.  “He was also tireless in his advocacy for the library to purchase more in his beloved genre, but as he was one of its few fans we never purchased as much as he would have hoped. However, he was able to take advantage of our Interlibrary Loan Service, which he used extensively for all of the obscure titles the library didn’t own.”

The late Gary Fagen


Fagen’s daughter, Erin Fagen, remembers her parents bringing her to the library as a child and as the family grew up and dispersed, she recounted how the library became his second home. As she says, he found more than  just books at the library; he discovered a community. He regularly came to the library to chat where he found amongst the library’s talented librarians a group of like-minded people who loved books and who also loved to talk about them.This was true; all of the staff knew him and for those who were also readers of the genre, there was a particular bond where various titles and authors were read and opinions shared. In 2019, Erin, contacted Director West to ask about opportunities for honouring her father as the library was such a big part of his life. He also had his own collection of books and the family donated this soon after he passed away. Various options were discussed, but then  COVID-19 hit and things were put on hold.  

We recently picked things up and I am pleased to report that the family has made a generous $7,000 donation to name the Gary Fagen Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Section. This will include the purchase of some new chairs for the reading section as well.

I spoke to Erin, her brother Daniel and their mom Emma to discuss the donation. Here is the video chat.


Notre bibliothèque publique CSL célèbre un nouveau don de droits de dénomination pour les lecteurs de science et de fiction.

Gary Fagen était un membre de longue date de la bibliothèque publique Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc qui est décédé le 19 septembre 2018. Tout au long de sa vie, il a été un lecteur passionné de science-fiction et de fantaisie dévorant tout ce que la bibliothèque possédait. Il faisait souvent des suggestions d'achat et comme personne n'avait les connaissances ni la passion qu'il avait, il est devenu le sélectionneur officieux de science-fiction et de fantastique de la bibliothèque.

"Gary était particulièrement doué pour s'assurer qu'aucun volume d'une série ne manquait", a déclaré Janine West, directrice des services de bibliothèque de la CSL.  "Il était également infatigable dans son plaidoyer pour que la bibliothèque achète plus de livres de son genre bien-aimé, mais comme il était l'un de ses rares fans, nous n'en avons jamais acheté autant qu'il l'aurait espéré. Cependant, il a pu profiter de notre service de prêt entre bibliothèques, qu'il a beaucoup utilisé pour tous les titres obscurs que la bibliothèque ne possédait pas".

Erin Fagen, la fille de M. Fagen, se souvient que ses parents l'emmenaient à la bibliothèque lorsqu'elle était enfant. Elle a raconté comment la bibliothèque était devenue sa deuxième maison. Il a découvert une communauté. Il venait régulièrement à la bibliothèque pour bavarder et il a trouvé parmi les bibliothécaires talentueux de la bibliothèque des personnes qui ont fait preuve d'une grande créativité.

C'était vrai, tout le personnel le connaissait et pour ceux qui étaient aussi des lecteurs du genre, il y avait un lien particulier où l'on parlait de titres et d'auteurs.

En 2019, Erin a contacté le directeur West pour lui demander s'il était possible d'honorer son père. La bibliothèque occupait une place importante dans sa vie. Il avait également sa propre collection de livres. Il avait également sa propre collection de livres et la famille en a fait don peu après son décès.  Diverses options ont été discutées, mais le COVID-19 a frappé et les choses ont été mises en suspens.  Nous avons récemment repris les choses en main et j'ai le plaisir d'annoncer que la famille a fait un don généreux de 7 000 dollars pour baptiser la section Gary Fagen Science Fiction and Fantasy Book Section (section des livres de science-fiction et de fantastique).

At $500,000, Roslyn Margles’ gift to our library is the largest individual donation in CSL history

When I was first elected to city council nearly 17 years ago,  I established a committee to explore sponsorship, naming rights and donation guidelines for our community. Two years later, working principally with Director Public Affairs and Communications Darryl Levine, Lisa Milner from our Public Library and Harold Cammy in Parks and Recreation, Council approved our recommendations.

Overall, the city has done very well in terms of event and program sponsorship over the years. For the most part, naming rights were relegated to park benches and lectures. Soon after last November’s election, someone in the community connected me with philanthropist Roslyn Margles. Over the course of many months, working with Director of Library Services Janine West, Treasurer Angelo Marino and Legal Counsel Andrea Charon, we reached an agreement which has resulted into the largest individual donation in city history: $500,000 to name the Bibliotheque des jeunes Max Margles Children’s Library. City Council approved the contract at our Monday, August 8, 2022 meeting.

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An artistic rendering of what the signage will look like.


Max Margles loved to read. He was an in-depth reader, seeking out well-written and engrossing books, relevant and meaningful. He kept two Rolodex files – one arranged by author, the other arranged by title. On these small cards, in his meticulous printing (he was a structural engineer), he summarized the nature of the book, the plot, and provided his eloquent assessment of the work.  When Max died suddenly in 2004, his widow Roslyn looked for projects to endow in Max’s memory. Since the couple has no children, Roslyn carries on this mandate with vigour and pride. She established a Max Margles Endowment Fund at the Jewish Public Library in Montreal, sponsoring an annual lecture by outstanding literary authors.  And the Quebec Writers Federation now has the Max Margles  Writing Residency.
A resident of Côte Saint-Luc, Roslyn Margles has agreed to bestow this gift upon us in two parts: a $200,000 donation, and a $300,000 endowment fund to be created by the Jewish Community Foundation of Montreal.

We are absolutely thrilled to receive this donation. I have spoken to  Mayor Mitchell Brownstein and Councillor Lior Azerad, who has the sponsorship portfolio and indeed we hope that other members of the community will step forward as we have many other naming rights opportunities at the library and in other departments.

Donations such as this are intended to be used for items not in our regular budget.

So in this case, guidelines will include programming that encourages literacy, including but not limited to: Own Voices Literary Festival, Children’s Book Week activities and events, Public Libraries Week activities and event. As well, activity that promotes an annual writing or storytelling contest branded the Roslyn and Max Literacy Contest, with the co-operation of schools situated on the Côte Saint-Luc territory, and perhaps, involvement of local authors, a jury, prizes, etc. We have also discussed programming that encourages performing arts programs.

Pending Ms. Margles’ signature on our contract, we intend to unveil indoor and outdoor signage at a ceremony on Sunday morning. A celebration will take place on Sunday, September 18 in  the newly named Children's Department from 10 am to Noon.

We are very excited.

McHappy Day May 3 will mark launch of new Fund in CSL

A few months ago Pierre Brunet, the absolutely wonderful man who operates 19 McDonald's restaurants in Montreal, approached me and Harold Cammy of our Parks and Recreation Department. McHappy Day will take place one again in May and for the two Côte Saint-Luc locations - Quartier Cavendish and the CSL Shopping Centre - Pierre suggested we come up with an idea where the proceeds could be directed.
Pierre Brunet 005
Pierre Brunet (center) confirms the new Bursary Program recently with Mayor and Council.
McHappy Day is a national fundraiser when McDonald's restaurants across Canada and their communities, employees, customers and special guests raise money together to help children in need. At the heart of McDonald’s community commitment is RMHC Canada, which is dedicated to giving sick children the one thing they need most: their families by supporting Ronald McDonald Houses and Ronald McDonald Family Rooms across the country. RMHC provides families of sick children with a home-away-from-home or a place of peace and calm within a hospital. 
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, members of city council and  our staff will volunteer at the two McDonald’s franchises in Côte Saint-Luc on Wednesday, May 3, 2017, which  will also mark the launch of the Pierre Brunet McDonald’s Parks and Recreation Bursary Fund. This is something Harold and I have been talking about for a few years now - helping families who cannot afford to register their child in a program and taking into account requests from children with special needs.
While details of the fund, including application forms, will be announced towards the end of the summer,  I am already pleased to say that we will connect this to our annual Golf Classic on July 6 and the CSL Men`s Club will be pitching in with their own donation as well.
So please mark May 3 on your calendar and  join us at McDonald`s. Pierre Brunet has been a supporter of community activities in Côte Saint-Luc for many years. We’re very excited that through his efforts, more kids in our community will have a chance to participate in recreation programs.
Continuons la tradition dans les restaurants McDonald’s

Le Grand McDonMD, notre plus ancienne activité de collecte de fonds d'envergure nationale avec plus de 1 400 restaurants McDonald's du Canada, rassemble pas seulement les employés mais aussi les clients, les fournisseurs et les amis dont le seul but est d’appuyer des organismes locaux de bienfaisance et amasser des fonds pour les enfants dans le besoin.

Cette année nous continuons la tradition dans les restaurants McDonald’s de Pierre Brunet.

Le mercredi 3 mai, vous êtes invités à épauler son équipe lors de cet événement extrêmement important et offrir votre soutien lors du Grand McDonMD  au restaurant situé au 7003, Chemin de la Côte-St-Luc.

Lors de cette journée spéciale vous soutenez la fondation « Pierre Brunet McDonald’s Park and Recreation Bursary Fund ». Cette fondation nouvellement créée aura pour objectif d’aider les familles qui n’ont pas les moyens d’enregistrer leurs enfants à des activités en prenant en considération ceux qui nécessitent des besoins particuliers.


Strong interest for CSL Golf Classic 2014 on July 8

The 35th annual Côte Saint-Luc Golf Classic, set for Tuesday, July 8 at Meadowbrook, promises to be a good one. I am co-chairing the event once again  with Councillor Sam Goldbloom. After less than 50 golfers participated last year, Sam and I set out to pump up the volume. Thanks to phenomenal staff support from Harold Cammy and Alvin Fishman, we will now have the highest number of players and prizes collected  and registered over the past five years.


We also have a superb sponsor in Gravel Auto, which will make a brand new car available, and legendary jazz pianist Oliver Jones as our honourary chair. He will also be part of a foursome.

This is also an excellent opportunity to remind people what precious greenspace we have at Meadowbrook. Some members of Les Amis de Meadowbrook will even golf with us this year.

Foursome tee off early and we will all gather at the Aquatic and Community Centre for an awards banquet at 1 p.m.

Here are the details about the golf classic from  a previous blog.



Hyman Fishman's Touching Bench Restoration


Hyman Fishman is a remarkable man. In his mid 90s, he lives alone on in an apartment on Sir Walter Scott Avenue. Hyman is in good physical condition and sharp as a whistle. For the past many years, from spring to fall, Hyman has spent a lot of time relaxing on a bench on Kildare Road near his apartment. This is where he and his late wife Faye Cooperman Fishman had many restful moments. Fay passed away in 2000. When Hyman heard about our bench dedication/restoration program he decided to honour his late wife by having a plaque affixed with her name on it.  The bench was also completely refurbished. There is another bench right next to it and Hyman says he will restore that one as well. Residents are encouraged to follow Hyman's lead and either restore an existing bench or help us order a new one. Please call Regine at 514-485-6800 for more information.

Follow Raffi's Lead: Dedicate a Bench


A bench at Yitzhak Rabin Park, at the corner of Westminster Avenue and Guelph Road, has been dedicated in the memory of the late Kris Demircigil by Raffi Abikian of Raffi’s Shell Station. Kris was Raffi’s father-in-law and business partner for 20 years until his passing on January 12, 2007.  Pictured seated are Raffi Abikian (left) and mechanic Zareh Haciartinian, who worked with Kris for 15 years. Standing behind the bench with me is  District Councillor Allan J. Levine. As the councillor  responsible for the sponsorship portfolio I can report that there have a number of new requests within the city by individuals wishing to dedicate a   benches. I encourage those interested in finding out  more to  call 514-485-6800 ext. 1802. Help improve  the public spaces in your community by sponsoring the restoration of a Côte Saint-Luc city bench or the purchase of a new one. Each new or restored bench will be affixed with a beautiful bronze plaque.  This is a perfect opportunity to honour a loved one or memorialize an important birthday or anniversary while beautifying your city. The prices are $500 for a restored bench and $2,000 for a new one.

Senior Men's Club Reacts Enthusiastically

On April 3 I provided an update on the progress my Toponomy and Sponsorship Committee to members of the Côte Saint-Luc Senior Men’s Club. I was joined at the event by Brad Horner, who is working on sponsorship dossiers for the city’s Public Affairs and Communications Department. Horner listed a number of high profile city events that are collaborating with corporate sponsors. I explained that the city has decided not to hire a specific fundraiser. Instead, departments are developing their own strategies. For now, the city is concentrating on the sale of trees for $500 and park benches for $2,000, dedicated to the memory of loved ones. After my speech, I was approached by several members interested in sponsoring park benches. I told everyone that a resident, who is asking for anonymity, has provided us with $2,000 to buy new baby swings in Rembrandt Park. They will be dedicated in the memory of children who perished during the Holocaust. To find out more about naming rights and sponsorship opportunities call Darryl Levine at 514-485-6800, ext. 1802.

Naming Rights and Sponsorship

After unveiling what I consider to be an innovative blueprint to facilitate opportunities for donations, naming rights and sponsorships as ways of funding the growth and creation of new programs and facilities in the Côte Saint-Luc, we had to put up with some unkind words from the likes of Gazette Newspaper columnist Henry Aubin and Pointe Claire Mayor Bill McMurchie,

A committee I chair worked for almost two years on developing a comprehensive set of guidelines that will encourage new donation opportunities.

This is a new step for the City of Côte Saint-Luc. We are a community composed of individuals, families and corporations that care deeply about the city we live in. Now we have clear guidelines to accept their donations, whether it be a park bench, swing set, works of art or monies to help build a new indoor swimming pool.

As the councillor responsible for issues related to toponymy, corporate identity and communications in the city, I worked with senior staff members, the other members of council and a number of residents with expertise and experience in this area.

Whether we are talking about the children’s section of our critically acclaimed library or a field at Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park, there are some wonderful sponsorship opportunities available. The option of sponsoring a city event, such as a concert or winter carnival, also exists. We hope that a large number of people with connections to Cote Saint-Luc will wish to exercise this new option.

I have already been approached by a resident who wishes to fund the purchase of some new equipment in a city park. The Côte Saint-Luc Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) program is functioning thanks to the generosity of two car dealerships – Claireview Leasing and Toyota Montreal Nord (owned by resident Jean Alloul) – which have thus far underwritten the costs of the two vehicles used to patrol the streets.

All proposed projects will require the approval of council. There are many people whose families have a long association with our community. We want these people to know that the door is open for them to leave a legacy for a friend or a relative.

I have always enjoyed and respected the writings of Aubin. When he called to talk to me about the issue he was very positive. He said he thought it was great idea. Now I am a journalist myself, so I generally know how to judge the person interviewing me.I fully expected a supportive editorial from Aubin. Instead, he sandbagged us. And to make matters worse, he decides to quote one person---not me whom he spent probably an hour's worth of time with - but a negative mayor in Bill McMurchie who usually has nothing positive to say about anything. What does McMurchie know about our plan? Did he read it? If someone offered him six figures for naming rights to a city facility, would he turn it down? Was he not one of the suburban mayors complaining that we are overtaxed? Why could he not throw some support behind a municipality that demerged like Pointe Claire that is looking into some creative financing? I would be very happy to send him a copy of our guidelines. McMurchie's unfounded criticism of this initiative is shameful