Unique messaging: Spotted in Toronto

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Meadowbrook: Nature at its finest, just around the corner

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Meadowbrook. March 25, 2017. Source: Nigel Dove.




Meadowbrook. March 25, 2017. Source: Nigel Dove.

All that for a tree? Photo(s) of the week.


A very unusual operation took place on Einstein Avenue last week.  Hydro Quebec had one single, gigantic tree to remove behind a home on Einstein, just north of Kildare.

In order to remove the tree some major equipment had to be brought in.   This lead to an entire street closure for nearly two days.

Resident Lewis Cohen snapped these shots towards the end of the operation. See how many pieces of equipment were needed, how many HQ subcontractor employees, and how much wood was cut?  Keep in mind that this was for removal of a single tree.


Photo of the Week #23: Dedication and Loyalty, Louise’s Story

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Louise Ferland in the Cote Saint-Luc Arena


This week’s Photo of the Week highlights the magnificent career of Cote Saint-Luc’s Louise Ferland.

Louise began working for the City 32 years ago, in 1980 as a sports coordinator.  With a background in swimming and figure skating Louise was a natural for the job. In 2002 she was promoted to the manager of the new CSL gym on Parkhaven.

Louise retired from the City in 2010 but has remained very active as a volunteer ever since.  She is busy serving on five committees when she isn’t already occupied on the golf course or skiing (even in Europe).

Currently, Louise is on the executive committee of the CSL Figure Skating Club, the Winter Carnival Dance committee and the Ville Fleurie committee.  When I bumped into her last Sunday she was busy helping out with the Learn to Skate program that teaches youngsters as little as 3 years old to have fun on the ice and learn basic techniques, right up to older children learning to perfect their skating.

Learning to Skate in Cote Saint-Luc’s Samuel Moscovitch Arena

Louise worked under five different directors of Parks and Recreation.  What stands out most for her was the camaraderie of the staff and the warm, family-like feeling with the volunteers,   many of them now close friends with Louise.

For the last 12 years Louise has lived in Cote Saint-Luc.  “When I sold my home on the South Shore there was no doubt where I wanted to live,” Louise says with great pride.

In September 2010, upon her retirement I had this to say about Louise:  Loyalty and dedication are two words that come to mind in describing Louise. She is also hard-working and passionate about her job and the City. City Council, staff and residents will miss her professional guidance and support.

I had several occasions to work with Louise in the Emergency Preparedness area as well as during live disaster situations such as during the 1998 Ice Storm. Louise was responsible for social services for residents including emergency housing in shelters, food services and more. Her care and attention to detail helped Cote Saint-Luc garner top marks for its disaster readiness.

Good luck Louise. You’re always at home in Cote Saint-Luc!

Louise is most certainly at home in Cote Saint-Luc.  As an active volunteer following an active career here I salute her important contribution to the City and its residents.  Louise is a wonderful example to the staff, volunteers and residents.  Thank you Louise and here’s wishing you many more happy and healthy years of active participation in civic life.


If you know a Cote Saint-Lucer deserving of recognition for making our City a better place to live please send me a photo of them in action in CSL along with a detailed description of their involvement.  I’ll be happy to feature others in an upcoming Saturday Photo of the Week.

Photo of the Week #22: Earthquake 2012

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A major highlight this past week in Cote Saint-Luc, and throughout southern Quebec, was the earthquake that struck during the overnight hours. Although many of us awoke with a startle we were back asleep in no time at all, perhaps slightly groggy the next morning but armed with heroic tales of how we bravely survived the Quebec Quake of 2012.

So this week’s Photo of the Week is a bit tongue in cheek but it comes to me from a resident and I did promise to accept submissions from you, my readers.

I’ll continue to post weekly shots of life, people and places in Cote Saint-Luc but I need your help. Please send me your best CSL shot that depicts an interesting aspect of life, people and places in CSL and I’ll credit you if you like.


Photo of the Week #21: Sukkot in CSL

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If you’re not familiar with the Jewish festival of Sukkot you may have looked curiously upon the many huts, or Sukkahs, protruding oddly from the side and back lots and balconies of homes throughout Cote Saint-Luc over the last week or so.  Of course, there’s nothing odd in a tradition that has lasted for two millennia (although only the last five decades in Cote Saint-Luc!).

In this shot, Mackle Road resident Maya holds up the Lulav and Etrog in front of her Sukkah. Maya and her family will eat several meals in their Sukkah and invite guests and neighbours to join in the tradition that has transcended the ages.

For forty years, as our ancestors traversed the Sinai Desert prior to their entry into the Holy Land, miraculous “clouds of glory” surrounded and hovered over them, shielding them from the dangers and discomforts of the desert. Ever since, we remember G‑d’s kindness and reaffirm our trust in His providence by dwelling in a sukkah – a hut of temporary construction with a roof covering of branches – for the duration of the autumn Sukkot festival. For seven days and nights, we eat all our meals in the sukkah – reciting a special blessing – and otherwise regard it as our home.

Sukkot is also called “The Time of Our Joy” (Zman Simchateinu) – a special joy pervades the festival. Celebrations and festivities fill the synagogues and streets with song, music, and dance until the wee hours of the morning.

It is customary at this special time of the New Year to wish one another a Chag Sameach (in Hebrew), a Gut Yontif  (in Yiddish). May we all (and I mean everyone) be inscribed for a year of happiness, good health, prosperity and peace.


More: Celebrating the “Time of Our Joy” in Cote Saint-Luc

Photo of the Week #20: Car flips on Baily


The driver of this vehicle was lucky to walk away without serious injuries

An elderly Baily Avenue resident was lucky to escape injury last week when he accidentally pushed the accelerator rather than the brakes while backing out of his garage.  His car hit the retaining wall and flipped violently onto its roof smashing the windows.

The motorist managed to crawl to safety while neighbours quickly called 911.

Cote Saint-Luc EMS, Public Security, Montreal Police and Fire responded. The man was treated by CSL EMS until the arrival of the Urgences Santé ambulance. He only suffered minor scrapes and bruises and was transported to hospital by ambulance for further evaluation as a precaution.

Luckily the car did not continue to accelerate into the street where local kids often play street hockey.


Photo of the Week #19: Elvis is in the City

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Cote Saint-Luc Public Security officer Jean-Noel Champagne

John-Noel Champagne is a very familiar face to anyone who has lived or worked in Cote Saint-Luc over the last three decades.  He is also known simply as Johnny and even as Elvis thanks to his iconic sideburns and for his occasional and exclusive performances on stage as “The King of Rock and Roll”.

Champagne has been employed with the City of Cote Saint-Luc as a Public Security officer for the last 31 years.  The beginning of his career he was actually employed by Pinkerton Security and subsequently Unique Security.  Cote Saint-Luc, Hampstead and Montreal West Public Security officers were absorbed into the Borough’s staff at the time of the municipal mergers in 2002, and remained as city staff after demerger in 2006.

As a bylaw enforcement officer Johnny is an extraordinary ambassador of goodwill and neighbourliness.    He prefers to enforce through friendly dialogue and education.  Johnny is well-known for his ability to neutralize stressful situations through his calm approach.  He has also helped to train many rookies in this style of customer service and respectful dialogue.  This has helped make him a very likable character to residents, police officers, staff and volunteers.

Having spent so many years in this city, Johnny describes the residents as wonderful people.  “The residents, the parks, the city, are all magnificent here,” he said. “I too have lived here for 12 years,” Champagne beams with great pride.  “The residents are warm and welcoming. I love this city.”

Photo of the Week #18: Former CSL firefighter still lending a helping hand

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Former Cote Saint-Luc Fire Department Captain Howard Berry now in Karnak uniform

“True heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic. It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost, but the urge to serve others at whatever cost.”

Cote Saint-Luc has seen a few heroes through the years.  I was happy to bump into one such person last weekend while attending the Shriners Circus with my family.

Howard Berry served in the Cote Saint-Luc Fire Department for more than 30 years.  He started off in the early 70s as a rookie firefighter and slowly worked his way up the ranks through the years.

For the past 17 years he has volunteered his time with the Karnak organization. Karnak is a fraternal order in Montreal dating back to 1899 and named after the ancient Temple of Karnak in Pharoah’s Egypt.  Karnak has supported the Shriners Hospitals for Crippled Children as its main mission.

Howard has worked to fulfill this noble mission and for this I have named him as my Photo of the Week.

Photo of the Week #17: Spectacular view from CSL balcony

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17 weeks ago I launched the Photo of the Week section on my blog.  I’d like to post one picture a week for 52 weeks, each one somehow pertaining to life in Cote Saint-Luc.

I’ve taken lots of shots myself but I need your help.  So grab your iPhone or DSLR and snap a couple for Nashen Notes.  Send it in with your title and description and I’ll post the best one each weekend.

This week I’m sharing a spectacular view from a balcony on Cavendish Blvd.  Enjoy.

Photo of the Week #16: Oldest traffic light in CSL

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For Cote Saint-Luc’s pioneering residents who moved into the community in the heyday years of the late 50s and early 60s these traffic lights, at the corner of Westminster Ave and Westover Road. on the town line of Cote Saint-Luc and Montreal West, are the same as they’ve always been.

Back then, all traffic signals had an “M”, for Montreal, engraved in the arm holding up the lights.  Montreal was in charge of traffic lights at that time as there were so few electrical signals in many of the suburbs and no expertise in this new technology in local Public Works departments.  This was before signals would show the red, yellow and green lights in square, triangular and round shapes to benefit those with colour blindness, before synchronization of lights along a given artery and before sensors were buried beneath the pavement to trigger the lights.

Also, notice the “Enfants” and “Children” labels on the lights?  Of course these were erected before Bill 101, when bilingualism was quite the norm.

These 50+ year old signals won’t be up much longer as parts are hard to come by.  In the last year we’ve seen similar systems removed and replaced at Cote Saint-Luc Road and Westminster Ave as well as at Kildare Road and Parkhaven Ave.

Out with the old technology and in with the new.  Progress is always being made in CSL.

Photo of the Week #15: Rainbow over CSL

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Beautiful Rainbow over CSL. Photo by Davina Shapiro.


Thanks to Davina Shapiro for submitting this week’s Photo of the Week.  I hope she found her pot of gold at the end of this rainbow.

Photo of the Week #14: Golf Cart First Responders

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Cote Saint-Luc’s Emergency Medical Service volunteers are always ready to respond to urgent calls for help anywhere in the city.  With minimum training as First Responders, CSL EMS volunteers arrive on scene ahead of the Urgences Sante ambulance to quickly stabilize, reassure and comfort the patient.  EMS answers some 3000 calls per year originating from 911.

Pictured here are medics Isadore Friedman (left) and Benjamin Bouzo in an electric cart used at large  community events.

Photo of the Week #13: Oldest tree around

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Bronwyn Chester identified this 200 year old Bur Oak at the corner of Wavell and Melling. It is possibly the oldest of its kind on the island.

Bronwyn Chester believed every tree was special and set out to document Montreal’s rich arboreal history with her weekly column, Island of Trees, as well as on her blog Forêt Montréal.

Chester would lead tree tours around the Island of Montreal and was familiar with Cote Saint-Luc.

Sadly, Bronwyn Chester lost her battle with cancer days ago.  Councillor Dida Berku said of Chester, “She was a most wonderful guide and visionary. If you recall she lead our tree tours in CSL a few years ago.”

Perhaps this 200 year old Bur Oak tree should be dedicated in Chester’s memory.


Read more on Bronwyn Chester: http://www.montrealgazette.com/health/Montreal+writer+Bronwyn+Chester+dies/7036233/story.html#ixzz22j2hY4oc

Photo of the Week #12: A Fish out of Water

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A Fish out of Water, but headed in the right direction.  Do you know where this fish is in your city?

City Manager Tanya Abramovitch says this of the fish on sticks: “When I first saw them in the workshop I was completely delighted by them. They were chosen because they are whimsical and children will love them. They are interesting and provocative. They are dynamic.”

Of course she is speaking about the school of fish sculptures that are floating in air in front of the new Aquatic and Community Centre on Parkhaven Road.  The $18 million facility opened a year ago and any building funded by the province is required to spend a certain amount on art.  Hence, the fish were spawned.

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