Unique messaging: Spotted in Toronto

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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 #11: Not so fast on Fleet

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The construction zone in Hampstead actually begins in Cote Saint-Luc even though none of the actual work is taking place in Cote Saint-Luc. This Photo of the Week shows the backup at Fleet Road and Pinedale Ave in CSL a few meters to the west of Hampstead.  CSL Public Security was on scene with Agent Anthony Labattaglia (in lime green vest) dutifully waving motorists through the intersection to clear the bottleneck. Some mornings the traffic backs up all the way to Cavendish Blvd.

Fortunately, CSLers have been a patient lot, putting up with the frustration of slow-moving traffic tie ups.  The work is more than half over now and one can only hope that smoother sailing, and roads, lie ahead.

While tempers flared for the BMW driver (see post just below) in Hampstead who mouthed off at a truck driver who happened to catch her childlike tantrum on his dashboard video recorder, garnering hundreds of thousands of hits in two days on YouTube, no such outbursts (thankfully) have been reported in CSL.

Photo of the Week #7: Preparing for Canada Day

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This special Photo of the Week is in celebration of Canada Day and was taken last Friday.

The bust of former Prime Minister and MP for Mount Royal, Pierre-Elliot Trudeau, looks on as setup begins for Canada’s 145th birthday celebration on July 1st.  Trudeau Park, will receive thousands of citizens to mark the occasion of Canada Day.

Photo of the week #3: Cherry picking down Kildare

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Photo of the week #3 was sent to me by three different residents.  Last Wednesday a parade of orange “cherry pickers” lined Kildare Road from Parkhaven down to Westminster as Hydro Quebec contractors transferred over electrical wires from old poles to new ones.  This work has been anticipated for many months and while Hydro advised residents in writing and by automated phone calls that the work was proceeding that day many were still unaware and phoned the city thinking there was an unplanned power outage. (Of course, the city shouldn’t be called for power outages, Hydro Quebec must be called).

Don’t worry.  They didn’t forget the old poles.  Different contractors will be assigned by Hydro to transfer over the street lighting and remove the old poles eventually.

Cherry Pickers down Kildare Road. Photo credit: Lewis M. Cohen.