Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - July 2011

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Hooray for summer!

Photo : Jean-Michel Villanove









Project to expand the Montreal General Hospital (MUHC)

Image taken from the document "Campus de la Montagne : Projet d’intégration et de développement urbain, proposition révisée, 14 janvier 2011" (CUSM)

Les amis de la montagne presented their position paper on the project to expand and modernize the Montreal General Hospital on June 27th at the public hearings held by the Office de consultation publique de Montréal.

Click on this link to read more and to download the position paper (available in French).



A new video pays homage to the 20th anniversary of the Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up

Les amis de la montagne produced a short video on the occasion of the 20th Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up held May 1st to underline the remarkable contributions of the community towards the health and well-being of the mountain over the years. In fact, 11,800 men, women and children of Montreal have planted close to 15,000 trees and filled close to 5,000 bags of litter.

Produced with the financial support of the Ville de Montréal, the video will soon be incorporated in Les amis de la montagne’s interactive map, “Mont Royal: A territory to discover”. Until then, click here to watch it on Les amis’ YouTube channel, available in French or in French with English subtitles.

Photo : Tzara Maud

The 5th “TD Green Sunday” is a success with 300 participants

On May 30th, 300 nature-loving employees from TD, their family and friends, equipped with gloves and shovels, contributed to the expanse of forest on Mont Royal by planting 450 indigenous trees and shrubs, collecting litter and cutting alien invasive species. On this occasion, the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation presented Les amis de la montagne with a $75,000 donation to help the organization complete the Maison Smith permanent exhibit.

“TD Green Sunday” is organized by Les amis de la montagne and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal. Employees from TD have participated for five consecutive years, planting a total of 3,000 trees.

Pictured: Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice President, Quebec Region, TD Canada Trust and Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President, Les amis de la montagne


Members of the business community join the Mount Royal Circle

Les amis de la montagne held the Mount Royal Circle Breakfast on June 8th as part of their 25th anniversary celebrations under the honorary patronage of Jacques Parisien, Executive Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Astral Media Inc. More than 40 members of the business community gathered to underline this important anniversary in the life of the organization and to launch the annual campaign that supports activities to ensure the perpetuity of Mont Royal. In fact, members of the Mount Royal Circle provide on of the highest levels of support to Les amis de la montagne.

Members of the Head Table of Les amis de la montagne’s Mount Royal Circle Breakfast:

L to R: Peter A. Howlett, C.A. (Montorsan Holdings and President, Les amis de la montagne), Éric Morisset (TD Securities and Co-Chair of Les amis’ Annual Campaign), Jacques Parisien (Astral Media Inc.), honorary patron, Christine Lapointe, Mary Bruns Creighton (Cordiant Capital and Co-Chair of Les amis’ Annual Campaign), Robert Alain (EJLB Foundation), John Rae (Power Corporation of Canada) and Cyril Bendahan (Manulife Financial).

Photo: Martin Roy


Two service improvements are introduced to enhance the park visitors’ experience

Les amis de la montagne will once again benefit from the support of the Ville de Montréal in improving its service offerings to visitors of Mont-Royal Park this summer.

The terrace of the Café des Amis at Maison Smith is undergoing renovations to beautify and render more accessible this very popular site through the addition of a cobblestone pathway from Maison Smith and the planting of decorative shrubs and flowers.

Moreover, the Ville de Montréal has issued a permit to Les amis de la montagne for the sale of beverages and frozen treats to park visitors via tricycle carrier beginning this summer and for the next four summers.

For close to 30 years, Les amis de la montagne have provided educational and recreational services to park visitors, as well as welcome services, a nature-boutique and café-restaurant. Revenues generated from these services are reinvested in the activities offered in the park and aim to promote the appreciation and conservation of the site.

Photo : Samuel Montigné

Road work on Camillien-Houde/Remembrance

The Ville de Montréal has announced that road work involving repaving principal routes to Mont-Royal Park will begin in early July.

The work will affect the following streets:


This roadwork will be undertaken largely at night and will begin in early July continuing to early September 2011, in preparation for the Grand Prix Cycliste de Montréal, a professional race of international stature scheduled for Sunday, September 11, 2011.

For more information, a document in PDF format, available in French, is available by clicking this link.

Source: Ville de Montréal, Division des travaux publics


Launch of the “La montagne en images” photo contest

As part of May 2011: Mont Royal Month, Les amis de la montagne launched the 2nd edition of the photo contest “La montagne en images”, presented by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation. The purpose of the photo contest is to showcase Mont Royal’s different heritage elements, activities and sheer beauty.

The photo contest is open to all lovers of the mountain and we invite you to share your favourite nooks and crannies of the mountain with us! Keep in mind the following contest categories this year:

The photographs of contest winners will be on exhibit at the Café des Amis at Maison Smith in the fall of 2011 and could be included in the annual activity report of the organization. The contest deadline is September 17.

Click on this link to download the contest rules and application form (available in French).


The Environmental Stewardship Program is in full swing

Would you like to do your part this summer to conserve the biodiversity of Mont Royal? Then come and join other citizens for a variety of conservation activities, such as planting indigenous trees, cutting exotic invasive species or evaluating previous tree plantings, every Tuesday evening from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. until July 26th. As of August 6th, activities will continue on Saturday mornings from 10 a.m. to noon, through October 2011. You don’t have to reserve your place, simply show up at Maison Smith on the day of the activity to join the conservation patrol educators of Les amis de la montagne.

For further questions, please contact us at the following address: benevoles@lemontroyal.qc.ca.


Two initiatives are aimed at protecting the fauna

In collaboration with the Ville de Montréal, Les amis de la montagne’s conservation patrol led an important awareness-raising campaign with the general public from May 3rd to June 19th at the Camillien-Houde lookout, to counter the problems caused by feeding raccoons. Due to the popularity of this site on the mountain, our patrollers interacted with nearly 2,000 people.

Numerous visitors to Mont-Royal Park have adopted the bad habit of feeding raccoons, which encourages their dependency toward humans and causes them, over time, to lose their survival instinct. Meanwhile, raccoons can find all the food they need to survive in the park.

Beware! Even though these wild animals become used to the presence of humans and appear tame, their behaviour remains erratic. Raccoons can bite and transmit viruses or infectious diseases to humans.

The Ville de Montréal and Les amis de la montagne continue to search for long-term solutions to control this escalating problem. Garbage cans fitted with “anti raccoon” covers will soon be installed in strategic locations in the park, as well as appropriate signage informing visitors of park rules and warning of the hazards of feeding or petting wild animals.


Have you noticed any bird houses on the mountain lately? The bird houses were built specifically for the Eastern Bluebird that from 1984 to 1996, was declared a species of “special concern”. In 1980, only 56 pairs remained in Quebec! Today, even though the species is no longer considered at risk, disturbances to its survival remain, such as habitat destruction and competition following the introduction of other species including the European Starling and the House Sparrow.

One way to facilitate the return of this species to Mont Royal is through the installation of bird houses in the hopes that one day we will all be able to observe this magnificent bird on a regular basis.

Observing wildlife on Mont Royal is a privilege. Les amis de la montagne encourages the respect for all animals on the mountain and asks that visitors remain at least 10 metres away from the bird houses.

Les amis extend heartfelt thanks to the grade 4 students of École Saint-Germain-d’Outremont for helping to assemble and install the 14 bird houses on the mountain.



What’s on in the park this summer?

On weekends this summer, come to the mountain to discover this colourful and entertaining kiosk on the biodiversity of Mont Royal that focuses this year on the mountain’s birdlife. Meet Les amis’ environmental educators who are sure to provide answers to all your questions about the mountain’s conservation challenges while amusing the little ones in their discovery of the mountain’s animals through games and guided mini-walks. An interactive animation on wildlife for all ages!

The kiosk will be in operation from July 9 to September 25, on Saturdays and Sundays, from 1:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., alternating between the Beaver Lake area, along Olmsted Road and at the Kondiaronk lookout.

The biodiversity kiosk was made possible through the generosity of Gaz Métro and Groupe Yellow Inc.

Visit the calendar of activities on Les amis’ website for hours of operation and pedal boat rental fees.


“Belvédère Éphémère” vernissage and video performance, July 16-17

This special event that was organized as part of May 2011: Mont Royal Month is back! Cancelled in May due to rain, the “Belvédère Éphémère” will now be held on the weekend of July 16-17, rain or shine!

Ten teams of up-and-coming artists and designers will create works of public art directly on-site related to a lookout theme that reinterprets the language commonly associated with urban planning, architecture and landscape architecture. This playful and colourful open-air intervention invites participants to reflect upon the mountain’s accessibility along its western flank, on a novel site adjacent to Mont-Royal Park: the ramp located on the corner of Avenue Cedar and Chemin de la Côte-des-Neiges, closed for the occasion.

“Dans la Forêt” is an original video production accompanied by an improvised performance of music and sound that presents a series of urban legends about Mont Royal and the enchanted creatures that inhabit the site unbeknown to us! This video performance brings a combination of talents together under the creative direction of Khoa Lê and Julie Côté.

Follow the event on Facebook at www.facebook.com/Jaimelemontroyal.


Guided visit of the Simon McTavish monument on August 15

On August 15, from 10 a.m. to 11:30 a.m., the Ville de Montréal presents a guided visit of the archaeological site of the Simon McTavish monument located on the southern flank of Mont-Royal Park as part of the “Mois de l’archéologie”. Join Gilles Rousseau, archaeologist and geographer, who led the dig in 2010 as part of the restoration of the Rue Peel entrance to the park.

During the visit, learn about the history of the mausoleum where Simon McTavish was interred in 1804. This well-kept secret was revealed to the general public for the first time as part of May 2011: Mont Royal Month activities.

Free, but space is limited and reservations are required by calling 514 872-8702. (Presentation in French.)

Click on this link for more information on the “Mois de l’archéologie” website.



Leadership to move people and mountains: make your gift to Les amis de la montagne’s 25th anniversary campaign

A gift to Les amis de la montagne is one way to express your support of the organization’s initiatives to protect the historic and natural heritage of Mont Royal for the benefit of current and future generations.

On the occasion of the 25th anniversary of Les amis de la montagne, the organization produced a video underlining past accomplishments and future projects. Click here to watch the video and click here to make a gift to the campaign.

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