Large swath of CSL without power, trees down, after “micro-burst” sweeps Western Montreal

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City crews preparing to remove branches from trees that came down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

The storm earlier today created havoc across many parts of Quebec. Areas hardest hit include the West End. Large trees, some over 200 years old were uprooted in NDG following the worst part of the storm that lasted one or two minutes.

In Cote Saint-Luc, many residents are still without power as midnight approaches. Many trees were knocked down.

I did a late night loop around Cote Saint-Luc to survey the situation and saw several Hydro Quebec crews working to restore power and city staff and volunteers ensuring our safety.
Councillor Steven Erdelyi said, “I was driving through my district and saw teams from Public Works, Public Security, vCOP and EMS out keeping the residents safe.”
“I saw our teams working in conjunction with Hydro, vCOP ensuring that streets were blocked off, crews removing trees and branches, foremen leading HQ to the site of downed lines and speaking to and reassuring residents. I saw Public Security agents putting flares down at key intersections to provide some light and EMS crews supporting the fire department to help frail residents going to their apartments on upper floors,” Erdelyi said.

Trees down on Hudson north of CSL Rd.

“A special thank you to John, Thierry, Laurence, Claude and Jordy (all of whom I saw in action tonight) for all your hard work and dedication,” Erdelyi added.
Said Mayor Brownstein, “Thank you all. You are truly amazing and appreciated very much.  You all make us very proud.  I have been receiving compliments for your great work by email from residents all evening.”
CSL has issued an overnight parking tolerance across the city due to ongoing power failures.
The CSL Tennis Club will be closed Wednesday as the power lines are down and some fences have been damaged.

Excessive number of stop signs in Hampstead contribute to pollution: Letter to Suburban Newspaper

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The following is a letter to the editor to the Suburban from District 6 resident Leslie Satenstein, my most notable commentor on this blog. Leslie makes the point that municipalities have a responsibility to safeguard the environment through strategic traffic planning (while ensuring pedestrian and motorist safety, no doubt).

I have written extensively about Fleet Road in this blog. Search “Fleet”.

 

  • Suburban Newspaper, Aug 16, 2017
  •  0

For what seems a century, or at least since 1985 when I moved to Cote Saint Luc, I have had the annoyance and been angered at the number of Hampstead stop signs along VanHorne/Fleet.

Bringing a car to a “stop sign” emits brake pad and tire dust, Average acceleration of a vehicle from a stop sign consumes a quarter of a teaspoon of gasoline per vehicle.

Given the stop signs are for each direction, you can be assure that daily, several tens of gallons of spent gasoline are emitted into the air. We know the importance of fresh air. In this short strip of the route to the borders of Cote Saint Luc, Hampstead’s contribution is one of being a major co-polluter. I call Hampstead’s lack of a remedy, shameful.

One could say, “Big deal, Hampstead’s pollution is the cost of living in CSL” and Cote Saint Luc should cover any remedy costs. That is a consideration for cost sharing.

I look at the luxury homes built on either side of the stop signs, and you will note “the owners can’t use the front of the house, and they cannot leave open, a window for fresh air”. For the residents of those homes, use of the front of the house is limited to receive mail and the Suburban, and to provide access to the car garage, nothing more.

In my high-school years, I lived at a similar intersection. The tire-dust that would settle on the front stoop, on the front window ledges was substantial. Daily, if you swiped your hands across a “early morning cleaned” surface, you would find you palm coated with black tire-dust. During periods of bumper-to-bumper traffic, the smell of spent fuel was horrific.

Mayor Steinberg prides himself on technology. When is Hampstead going to invest, as did Town of Mount-Royal, on installing synchronized traffic lights. A vehicle that travels at a fixed speed and does not brake and accelerate emits much much less combined pollution.

I would be very very interested to know the health claims made by the and former residents living in proximity to those intersections. Start from the year 1985.

Hampstead, it’s time to do something.

Leslie Satenstein

Montreal

New electric utility vehicle for Cote Saint-Luc

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Polaris electric vehicle makes demo debut at CSL Public Works in November 2016

Cote Saint-Luc will be obtaining a grounds and turf crossover electric vehicle to add to our growing electric fleet. This small pick up can enter park areas on the grass, over walkways and throughout the parks without causing damage. It provides easier maneuverability than a large pick-up when carrying products such as grass, earth, equipment through small areas. The parks team can travel throughout the parks quietly and efficiently.

The EV pick-up seats two and comes with a trailer attachment. It can be used during the four seasons. The life span for this vehicle is predicted to be at least 10 years.

Public Works Director Bebe Newman and her team are very keen in supporting EV acquisitions and in finding sustainable solutions throughout her operations.

 

Côte-St-Luc to mark Canada’s 150th by planting 150 trees

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From right: Côte-St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, councillor Dida Berku and arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Côte-St-Luc, where 150 trees will be planted in honour of Canada's 150th birthday. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees in Côte-St-Luc were felled due to disease and the push is on by the city to replant.
From right: Côte-St-Luc Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, councillor Dida Berku and arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher at Pierre Elliot Trudeau Park in Côte-St-Luc, where 150 trees will be planted in honour of Canada’s 150th birthday. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees in Côte-St-Luc were felled due to disease and the push is on by the city to replant. JOHN MAHONEY / MONTREAL GAZETTE

Côte-St-Luc is planting 150 citizen-sponsored trees in its newly renovated Pierre Elliott Trudeau Park to mark Canada’s 150th birthday.

Resident Rhoda Albert caught wind of this initiative during a recent city council meeting and was the first one down at city hall, sponsoring a tree for $150 in honour of her late mother, Masza Safran.

In return, Safran’s name will go on a plaque that will be displayed in the park. Corporate donors, for $500, can also get a name on the plaque.

“I think it’s a great idea and, you know, whoever I mention it to is very interested,” Albert said. “The reason I did it is because my mother loved plants. She loved trees. She loved parks and I thought it would be a great thing to do for my mother.”

Councillor Dida Berku, who spearheaded the project, said this isn’t about collecting donations for trees that only cost about $300 each to plant. Instead, it’s about citizen engagement in a time when trees are needed in the city and the nation’s milestone birthday is being celebrated.

There will be a kiosk set up during the city’s Canada Day celebrations in the park Sunday (postponed by Saturday’s rain forecast), encouraging people to participate in the reforestation of a city that has been hit hard in recent years by the emerald ash borer beetle and Dutch elm disease. Arborist Laurence Cloutier-Boucher was hired by the city two years ago to boost the battle against diseased and dying trees. In the last 10 years, 1,800 out of 10,000 city trees were felled due to disease.

A variety of indigenous trees are to be planted, including maple, birch, willow, evergreens and fruit trees. The trees will be of varying levels of maturity, Berku said. As they grow, citizens will be reminded of the larger reforestation effort that is costing the city about $60,000 a year to run. Over the last couple of years, the city has planted about 200 trees annually, but these 150 are in addition to that yearly average.

“We’ve planted over 400 trees in the last three years and the plan is to plant at least 200 trees a year as well as educate the public as to the importance of a tree canopy and why we have to replenish it,” Berku said. Trees provide a habitat for wildlife, she added, and “it’s what makes our city beautiful. They’re a natural air filter.”

Public works director Beatrice Newman said a shady tree in front of a home can cut air conditioning costs by 20 per cent. Protecting public trees is a priority, she said, to the point that, as city hall renovations continue, contractors were brought in with special equipment to scoop up and relocate mature trees.

“If you don’t have trees, you don’t have a proper city that meets the needs of the community,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein, noting that the 150 trees will be growing in a fully revamped Trudeau Park. Renovated at a cost of $2.6 million, the park officially reopens Sunday and will boast several new features, including 10 wildlife sculptures by Canadian artist Shalom Bloom, play areas, water games, pathways and lighting.

Looking forward 50 years, Brownstein added: “For Canada’s 200th, imagine how big the trees will be.”

New bike path and EV charging station coming to City Hall parking lot

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The reconstruction of the of the Cote Saint-Luc City Hall parking lot will soon be underway with a new layout to improve vehicular access and visibility while improving pedestrian safety.

The project includes the reconstruction of the sidewalks, the curbs, the asphalt roadway and parking area, as well as the replacement of the lighting and security cameras.

The main improvements include:

– A new drop-off area at the main rear entrance,
– An elevated section of the roadway and pedestrian crosswalks at the intersection of the
main roadway from Cavendish and the delivery ramp for City Hall,
– A new sidewalk on the south side of City Hall, from Cavendish to the main rear entrance,
– A new central sidewalk median for pedestrians in the main section of the parking lot,
– A new bike path from Cavendish to Sir Walter Scott,
– A double charging station for electric vehicles,
– The addition of approximately 23 parking spaces, (143 spaces compared to the current 120 spaces),
– Replacement of the street lighting and cameras for improved safety.

The work is scheduled to start in July and be completed by mid-October 2017.

Public tenders were opened by the Purchasing Department on June 7, 2017. Six tenders were received ranging in price from $1,941,716.78 to $2,322,010.66 all taxes included. The lowest tender was received from Groupe TNT Inc. is conforming to the tender documents for a total of $1,941,716.78 taxes included.

A previous purchase order was issued for electric vehicle charging stations at the Aquatic and Community Centre and at City Hall. The City Hall EV double charging station will be installed during the reconstruction.

 

New CSL bylaw changes construction hours for new buildings

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Côte St. Luc council passed a change to the city’s noise bylaw in response to complaints from residents on Marc Chagall and Mackle about ongoing construction, including on weekends, of two rental apartment buildings in the area.

Construction began in late March on Phase 1 of Le Carlyle, which will consist of two 12-storey buildings.

“We’re prohibiting work on weekends for new construction, and after 7 p.m. on weekdays for new construction,” Mayor Mitchell Brownstein explained. “That does not mean if you’re extending or putting something on your house. It’s for a new building.”

But the mayor also pointed out that the existing noise bylaw allows for a process to apply for a special permit to work beyond the limits of the new bylaw.

“For this particular developer, who has certain requirements to work beyond the terms of no weekends and not after 7 p.m weekdays, we negotiated a deal reducing the amount of time he would be working, limiting the amount of days he will be working on weekends, and we have a schedule which we will share with residents, explaining the deal.”

Brownstein explained that in exchange for the special permit being issued to the Le Carlyle developer, “he has a written undertaking with the city that he will not contest the amended noise bylaw.

“In law, when somebody gets a construction permit and there’s an existing bylaw, if we change that bylaw mid-process, there’s the risk of contestation. What we negotiated is good for the residents and the city, and the future of the city, because future developers will know clearly what their limits are and what they’re able to do.”

Area Councillor Mike Cohen said he has received numerous phone calls of complaints about the construction, and he formed a committee of condo and townhouse representatives to meet on the issue.

“Mayor Brownstein and I met with representatives from the condos, and we had the developers in the room, and there was a good consensus.”

7 mature maple trees planted along Kellert Ave

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Seven mature maple trees sprung up like magic along Kellert Ave in District 6 thanks to the creativity of Public Works Director Bebe Newman.

“We are in the midst of saving many mature trees from our City Hall parking lot renovations by transplanting these trees throughout the city,” said Newman. “We started on Kellert. Drive by to see the difference. You will be quite pleased.”

28 have already been transplanted throughout the City. “Our intention is to install a small plaque identifying these trees as those transplanted from our City Hall parking lot,” Newman said.
Transplanted trees are now in these locations:
  • 4 trees on Freud
  • 6 maples on Kellert
  • 3 pines on Kellert
  • 2 pines in Ruth Kovac Park – Shalom side
  • 5 maples on Cavendish – some replacing those that were felled in front of the townhouses, the residents were very pleased
In addition, we have also enlarged our tree canopy this week by planting 51 trees in front of residents’ homes.
Councillor Ruth Kovac said, “Thank you to Bebe and the entire horticulture team! You are making a difference. The new residents will be delighted to have these.”
Mayor Mitchell Brownstein was extra pleased that the doomed trees in the soon-to-be-renovated parking lot were saved and instantly changed the landscape on several CSL streets. “We can be proud that our staff go the extra mile in creating and beautifying our community that brings us so much joy and happiness,” Mayor Brownstein said.

Thank you to Director Newman and to her dynamic team of the tree-loving Public Works Department. You have gone above and beyond and our residents are grateful for your dynamism and creativity and for prioritizing the environment be it for tree planting, flowers, park maintenance, our urban forest or for beginning our electric fleet and public charging stations.

See the video of the planting here.

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