Welcome to Les amis' newsletter - March 2012

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Photo: Samuel Montigné






The 15th Tuques Bleues Celebration photo album


Manulife Financial wins the Tuques Bleues Trophy for a fifth consecutive year! Photo: Karine Gagné.

On February 16th last, not one, but two ceremonial canon shots signaled the launch of the 15th anniversary edition of the Tuques Bleues Celebration on Mont Royal! A mild evening greeted nearly 500 snowshoe enthusiasts who gathered on the mountain to run, walk, enjoy a hardy meal and generally have a great time as part of Les amis de la montagne’s signature fundraising event.

Under the co-chairmanship of Cyril Bendahan, Regional Vice President, Group Benefits, Manulife Financial and Michel Leblanc, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, the Tuques Bleues Celebration raised more than $200,000 in support of our education and conservation programs on Mont Royal.
Thank you to all the participants, partners and volunteers – let’s make a date for the 16th edition to be held February 21, 2013!

Click here to view the 2012 photo album.
Photos: © Karine Gagné and Delphine Delair


Pecha Kucha Night Montréal #21

Less elaborate than a design charrette, but much more than a simple PowerPoint presentation, Pecha Kucha Night gathers creative minds and spirits from all walks of life to provide a public venue for the sharing of projects, thoughts and ideas. Drawn from the Japanese expression meaning “the murmur of conversation”, the Pecha Kucha format is particularly stimulating: each participant presents 20 images and comments on each for 20 seconds!



Mont Royal was in the spotlight during the 21st Pecha Kucha Night Montréal, held February 22nd last at the Société des Arts Technologiques, under the theme “What makes Montréal, Montréal?” Organised as part of Global Cities Week where Pecha Kucha “clubs” around the world celebrated their respective city, Sylvie Guilbault, Executive Director of Les amis de la montagne, presented “Montréal, Mont Royal, mon Royal”, a brief narration of the remarkable moments in the history of the mountain, inextricably linked to the history of Montréal and its citizens, all in the 6 minutes and 40 seconds allotted to presenters!

We thank the organizers for inviting us to this wonderful evening of exchange and offer kudos to the other presenters, who through their vision and creativity stimulated our collective sense of pride for our great city!

Birdfeeders: an introduction to birds on Mont Royal
Two new interpretation panels are installed in the park

If feeding squirrels and other mammals in Mont-Royal Park is against regulations, why do we allow the installation of birdfeeders in winter?

On the one hand, wintertime birdfeeders avoid bringing humans and birds into direct contact with one another. For the birds, this source of food appears to be provided by a tree and is not associated with humans since feeding an animal from one’s hand can modify an animals’ behaviour and even pose a danger to the animal in this moment of reduced vigilance. Feeding by hand may also pose a health risk for humans through the transmission of diseases and parasites.

On the other hand, the installation of birdfeeders only in wintertime prevents migratory birds from staying through the winter season, thereby avoiding a risk to their lives by remaining in ill-suited climatic conditions. For the wintertime birds, however, this source of food is a complement to what they find on their own and does not cause dependency.

Finally, the installation of birdfeeders in the winter sensitizes park visitors to the presence of numerous species of birds on the mountain and facilitates their observation since most trees have lost their leaves. Les amis de la montagne’s environmental educators lead a variety of guided outings for school children and the general public related to the park’s fauna. Now for a seventh year, thanks to the involvement of volunteers, Les amis also participate in the FeederWatch program, a wintertime inventory of birds at feeders held throughout North America.

The seven birdfeeders in Mont-Royal Park are located on the Chemin Olmsted along the path that circles the summit. Les amis de la montagne recently installed two new interpretation panels that feature illustrations of birds that can be observed on the mountain. The panels were made possible thanks to contributions from the Ville de Montréal and Gaz Métro.


Les amis de la montagne and social media, something for everyone

Les amis de la montagne are becoming increasingly active on social media platforms in order to multiply our means of communication with mountain enthusiasts, as well as to provide you with news, the announcement of projects and invitations to participate in activities and events.

In addition to our Facebook fanpage, “J’aime le mont Royal|Les amis de la montagne”, and our Flickr account, a site for sharing photographs of Mont Royal, Les amis’ YouTube account features a selection of videos, including two recent additions titled, “The Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up, a commitment to the mountain built on tradition” and “Discovering the Peel Street entrance to Mont-Royal Park”.

Join us on our social networks to keep up-to-date on mountain happenings and please feel free to share your photos, ideas and more!

“The hill that wanted to become a mountain”

During your next visit to Maison Smith in Mont-Royal Park, you mustn’t miss the hand-painted wall mural located in the small dining room of the Café des Amis, created by Montreal illustrator, Alain Pilon.
As one of the features of the new exhibition, “Mont Royal, A Territory to Discover”, the mural depicts 17 moments in the mountain’s history in a colourfully original and humorous fashion.

To complement the mural painting, an attractive book has been published featuring Pilon’s 17 illustrations, entitled “The hill that wanted to become a mountain”, accompanied by equally imaginative and informative texts by Jean-Michel Villanove, Les amis de la montagne’s educator responsible for the exhibition project.

“The hill that wanted to become a mountain” is available for sale at the Maison Smith nature boutique, together with the original French version, “La colline qui voulait devenir une montagne”, now also available at retailer Renaud-Bray either in-store or on-line. The book was published with the financial support of the Ville de Montréal and the Ministère de la Culture, des Communications et de la Condition féminine as part of the Entente sur le développement culturel du Montréal.




Spring Break on Mont Royal is underway!

Fresh air, discoveries and treats – the choices are many to enjoy a wonderful Spring Break with the family on Mont Royal in the company of Les amis de la montagne.

Here’s an overview of our family-friendly activities, both outdoors and indoors, being held until March 12, 2012, on Mont Royal.

Registration is open for Les amis’ summer day camp on Mont Royal

Les amis de la montagne, in collaboration with the Ville de Montréal, are thrilled to announce that the 2012 summer day camp on Mont Royal will be offered to children from 6-8 years-old, with a brand new program offered to children 9-11 years-old.

This summer, a variety of amusing themes will be offered at the same cost per week as last year’s camp: $165 with the Accès Montréal card and $190 without the card. For children 6-8 years, “Il était une fois le mont Royal” and “Les Konétouts” will alternate from June 25 to August 17, and for children 9-11 years, “Le défi du mont Royal” and “L’Odyssée de la montagne” will alternate from July 9 to August 3.

Children will be welcomed at Maison Smith from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday. A childcare service will be offered from 8-9 a.m. and 4-6 p.m., at an additional cost of $30 per week. Programs are offered in French.

Click here to download the 2012 camp brochure (available in French).
Click here to download the 2012 registration form (available in French).

May 6, 2012: save the date for the Corvée du Mont-Royal mountain clean-up

On Sunday, May 6, 2012, the Montreal community will gather once again for the Corvée du Mont-Royal clean-up, this annual tradition that invites everyone to contribute to the well-being of our mountain. The main activities include litter collection from the underbrush and tree planting.

This year, theme-related activities will be presented on the cohabitation of humans and fauna and will be sure to stimulate you, surprise you or simply entertain you! Save the date!


The OCPM issues its report on the proposed height and density changes for areas of downtown

The Office de consultation publique de Montréal (OCPM) was generally favourable to the height and density changes for areas of downtown Montreal proposed by the Ville-Marie Borough in its report issued publicly February 29th last.

Subsequent to public consultations held last November 2011, the OCPM’s report supports Les amis de la montagne’s position that the significance of Mont Royal and the St-Lawrence River as the identifying emblems of Montreal whose presence in the city must be protected and enhanced is of primary importance.

Also agreeing with Les amis de la montagne, the OCPM is of the opinion that the analysis on the protection of views “to” and “from” the mountain requires greater detail. The commission recommends that a hierarchy of views be created by the Ville-Marie Borough with a greater examination of distinctive elements in the city-centre’s urban landscape.

Finally, the OCPM recommends that the Ville-Marie Borough produce an overall planning concept for downtown, subject to public debate. This concept could serve to establish a strategic vision for the development of the downtown core. This exercise could even contribute to the master plan for downtown that the borough plans to integrate in the city’s next master urban plan.

Click here to read Les amis de la montagne’s position paper (in French) on the subject.
The report (in French) by the OCPM is available by clicking here.


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