Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - June 2010

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Les amis de la montagne invites the community to the final forum before the summer break.

Mount Royal Park: guided walking tour of the new Peel Street entrance
Members of the community are invited to participate in a guided walking tour of the recently restored Peel Street entrance to the park, the main pedestrian entrance to the mountain from downtown. Join us to discover this remarkable site for its landscape and environmental characteristics and to learn more about the landscaping orientations that guided the work led by Daniel Chartier, landscape architect with the Ville de Montréal.

Source: Ville de Montréal

The visit will be preceded by a brief update on the intervention dossiers and projects realized by Les amis de la montagne and the Ville de Montréal over the course of the year in Mount Royal Park.

Click here for a summary report of management and restoration projects (in French).

Information : 514 843-8240, ext. 241


Mary Bruns Creighton and Éric Morisset, co-chairs of Les amis’ annual fundraising campaign

Mary Bruns Creighton, Director of Marketing, Cordiant Capital and Éric Morisset, Managing Director and Group Head, Quebec Investment Banking, TD Securities Inc., have generously agreed to co-chair Les amis de la montagne’s 2010-2011 annual fundraising campaign. The objective of the campaign is to raise $850,000 to finance Les amis’ activities aimed at protecting the mountain and conserving its natural environment, and providing education and awareness-raising programs on the heritage of Mount Royal.




Mount Royal Circle Breakfast: investing in our future

Under the honorary patronage of Isabelle Marcoux, Vice Chair of the Board and Vice President, Corporate Development, Transcontinental Inc., and in the presence of Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President of Les amis de la montagne and Éric Morisset, co-chair of Les amis de la montagne’s annual campaign, the Mount Royal Circle Breakfast gathered over 60 leaders of the business community on May 26 at the Mount Royal Club.

Isabelle Marcoux


During the breakfast, Isabelle Marcoux made an eloquent speech about the mountain’s importance to Montrealers: “Mount Royal and its surrounding district is an economic, social and environmental asset of the utmost importance to Quebec and to Montreal. The mountain’s preservation is a key challenge to our development that goes beyond the simple conservation of its natural environment in a city undergoing expansion. Its preservation is the foremost possibility to create a healthy and dynamic urban life. Thanks to the vision of our predecessors in the business community, we have the chance today to possess a jewel that few other cities enjoy. I have heard that the era of great projects in Quebec is over. But I see in the accomplishments of Les amis de la montagne a great project for our community and future generations. As privileged members of the community, I invite you to invest in the preservation of this unique treasure.”

“Mount Royal is much more than the park that bears its name. The mountain territory encompasses green spaces and built spaces whose natural and cultural qualities are recognized. Les amis de la montagne collaborate with the Gouvernement du Québec, the municipal administration, institutional property owners and partners in the private sector on projects that improve the quality of the landscape and of services, while respecting the integrity of the mountain. Preservation and prosperity are entirely possible, entirely compatible,” added Peter Howlett.

L to R: Jonathan Deitcher, Peter A. Howlett, C.M., Gerald Hogan


The Mount Royal Circle was created to recognize and thank individuals and companies for their generous annual financial support of Les amis de la montagne. The Mount Royal Circle Breakfast is the first major event held as part of Les amis’ annual campaign, launched each May as part of “Mount Royal Month”.

Photos: Martin Roy


The Ville de Montréal and Les amis de la montagne award the Prix du Mont-Royal to Marie-Odile Trépanier

Marie-Odile Trépanier


As part of “May 2010: Mount Royal Month”, Alan DeSousa, Vice-chair of the executive committee of the Ville de Montréal, responsible for sustainable development, the environment and parks, and Peter A. Howlett, President, Les amis de la montagne, and in the presence of Fiona Hirst, Regional director of the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, awarded the 2010 Prix du Mont-Royal to Marie-Odile Trépanier, professor at the Institut d’urbanisme of the Université de Montréal on May 27th. Further, in recognition of the International Year of Biodiversity, honourable mentions were conferred upon two remarkable volunteers from the community, Lina Sarraf and Christian Boisvert.

“It is with great pleasure that we award today the Prix du Mont-Royal, as well as two honourable mentions to three people whose involvement and dedication contribute greatly to the preservation and enhancement of the jewel in Montreal’s crown. I’d like to thank Marie-Odile Trépanier, Lina Sarraf and Christian Boisvert, who, each in their own way, have taken concrete actions in favour of nature. By uniting our efforts, we contribute to making the mountain a natural and cultural oasis, for the great enjoyment of Montrealers in the heart of the metropolis,” said Alan DeSousa.

“We are thrilled to honour Marie-Odile Trépanier as the recipient of the 2010 Prix du Mont-Royal. A passionate and accomplished professor, Marie-Odile Trépanier elicits our most fervent admiration for her tireless work and social commitment to efforts to protect and enhance Mount Royal, for the benefit of the entire community. We are equally pleased to honour the remarkable volunteer contributions of Lina Sarraf and Christian Boisvert, who, as part of the International Year of Biodiversity, receive honourable mentions. These three recipients are an inspiration to us all,” added Peter Howlett.

Marie-Odile Trépanier, professor at the Institut d’urbanisme of the Université de Montréal

Marie-Odile Trépanier received a sculpture of a Nuthatch, a nesting species on Mount Royal, made out of linden and walnut by Quebec artist Michel Chayer.

L to R back row: Fiona Hirst, Regional Director, TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, Alan DeSousa, Vice-President of the Executive Commitee of the Ville de Montréal and responsible for sustainable development, the environment and parks, Peter A. Howlett, C.M., President, Les amis de la montagne.
L to R front row: Lina Sarraf, honourable mention, Marie-Odile Trépanier, recipient, Christian Boisvert, honourable mention

Lina Sarraf, mathematics teacher at the secondary level for classes of newly arrived students at the École Évangeline


L to R: Alan DeSousa, Fiona Hirst, Lina Sarraf and Peter A. Howlett, C.M.

Christian Boisvert, computer scientist, Service de police de la Ville de Montréal


L to R:Alan DeSousa, Christian Boisvert and Peter A. Howlett, C.M.


Lina Sarraf and Christian Boisvert received a framed reproduction of the Mount Royal Charter, drafted on the occasion of the 125th anniversary of Mount Royal Park in 2002. Inspired by national and international texts, the Mount Royal Charter outlines the general principals that individuals and organizations may adhere to on a voluntary basis, to express their interest in the mountain and to contribute to its conservation, protection and enhancement.

Photos: Karine Gagné


500 trees are planted on TD Green Sunday

On May 30th, more than 220 TD employees, their families and friends used their green thumbs to help preserve Mount Royal, the landmark known as the ‘jewel’ of Montreal. They proved themselves to be ‘greening machines’ by planting some 500 trees and shrubs, cleaning up litter and cutting down alien invasive species.

“It’s great to see TD employees and their families dig in to this tree planting activity with such passion and energy,” said Christine Marchildon, Senior Vice- President, Quebec Region, TD Canada Trust. “A day like today emphasizes our longstanding commitment to this community and the environment.”

The event was marked this year by two anniversaries:  TD’s 150th in Quebec and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation’s 20th. To honour this double milestone, TD presented a commemorative plaque and White Pine to Les amis de la montagne.  

Photo: Vincenzo D'Alto

“The turnout on the mountain today is proof that TD’s participation goes beyond a financial contribution. TD’s commitment to the environment is admirable and Les amis de la montagne are proud of our now 5-year partnership with TD,” said Sylvie Guilbault, Executive Director of Les amis de la montagne.

TD Green Sunday is organized by Les amis de la montagne and the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation in collaboration with the City of Montreal. This is the fifth year that TD employees have volunteered for this activity, planting a total of some 2,700 trees.

Inauguration of the Peel Street entrance and the sculpture “Give Peace a Chance”

After several months of significant work, the Peel Street entrance to Mount Royal Park is now open to the great delight of park users.

The work entailed the restoration of certain infrastructures, but also created views towards the Saint Lawrence River and enhanced a variety of the mountain’s landscapes which change depending on the trail taken and the season. Inspired by the vision of landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted, who saw in Mount Royal a global artwork, the managers of the project took the ecological, historic, landscape and functional contexts of the area into consideration. As such, a landscaped trail was created in the shape of a sinuous pathway, the Serpentine that unites wetlands, watercourses, gutters and waterfalls. Cutting, pruning and planting trees was also necessary to control invasive species and to encourage the growth of the Sugar Maple.

Numerous rock faces were exposed and two series of staircases, the height equivalent of a 15-storey building, now link the mountain Chalet to downtown, and offer a variety of viewpoints.

On May 31st, the celebrations marking “May 2010: Mount Royal Month” concluded with the official inauguration of this newly restored sector of the mountain and also of the artwork “Give Peace a Chance”, in the presence of Christine St-Pierre, Minister of Culture, Communications and the Status of Women, and Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal.

L to R: Marie Cinq-Mars, Mayor of the Outremont Borough, Lynda Thalie, singer-songwriter-composer and MC of the ceremony, Christine St-Pierre, Gérald Tremblay, Marie-Claude Séguin and Linda Covit (Photo: Samuel Montigné)

“Give Peace a Chance” is a work of art integrated in the mountain. The result of a collaboration between artist Linda Covit and landscape architect Marie-Claude Séguin, the work is both subtle and significant, in dialogue with the natural elements of the mountain. Installed in the highest curb of the Serpentine trail, at the foot of a sculptural limestone rock face, it marks the transition between a developed urban landscape and a wooded area.

The phrase “Give Peace a Chance” is engraved in 40 languages and symbolises the languages spoken in Montreal. The title echoes the words of the famous song by John Lennon recorded in Montreal in 1969, commemorating this celebrated hymn for Peace.

Les amis de la montagne contribute to “Magazine Géotourisme”

The Magazine Géotourisme, published by the community group L’Itinéraire in
partnership with the STM, is a bilingual magazine that allows the users of the STM’s shuttle buses to learn, in transit, about the values and attractions of Montreal within the framework of responsible tourism. The magazine, which includes an article on Mount Royal written by Les amis de la montagne, is distributed free of charge until September 30th, 2010 in the 747 Express Bus.


Summer approaches!

While the greenery of the mountain intensifies, the pace of work begins to lessen: summer is around the corner! To take advantage of the sun-filled season, Les amis de la montagne invite Montrealers to participate in a variety of activities to discover and explore the mountain in its summer glory. Herewith a few:

This 12km walk traverses the entire territory of Mount Royal in order to discover its geography, to observe the diversity of its heritage assets and to further understand its preservation challenges. The three summits trail is truly exceptional by virtue of the variety of environments visited, the heritage elements featured and especially, the beauty of the landscapes observed. Offered in French.

Roaming animation on the mountain's biodiversity in alternating locations from the Beaver Lake area, to Olmsted Road and the Kondiaronk lookout. Thanks to Gaz Métro and Groupe Yellow Inc. for contributing to the creation of the biodiversity kiosk.

For thousands of years, the First Nations’ peoples travelled over the hills of Mount Royal and made use of its natural riches. This self-guided walking tour presents the traces of the First Nations’ peoples from prehistory to the present. Available in French at the Smith House boutique for $2.

Expand your knowledge of conservation issues, while participating in activities aimed at maintaining the mountain’s biodiversity.

Click here for the complete calendar of activities.



Concordia University students showed their attachment to Mount Royal by creating a video available on YouTube called, “High on Mount Royal.” The video clip features two young lovers walking and enjoying themselves in their favourite park on a sunny Sunday to the rhythms of “We’re Going to be Friends” by The White Stripes. Filmed in stop-photo animation, the 90 second clip was produced by students in the Continuing Education Department’s intensive public relations course. As friendly competition against the “lip dub” produced by students at UQAM, Les amis de la montagne encourages you to watch this Mount Royal video and invite your family and friends to do the same!


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