Côte Saint-Luc was incorporated in 1903 and grew from a town to a city in 1958. It is mainly a middle-middle class residential suburb of Montreal. The City of Côte Saint-Luc has a history of being innovative and was the first municipality in Quebec to ban smoking in public places as well as the first to require bicycle helmets.
Throughout 1920s, the town grew fast and accepted many immigrant populations leaving Montreal, notably German-Jewish, Scottish, and British families and their descendants. By 1935, the population reached 5,000. Côte Saint-Luc was slowly siding railroad development and industrial activities were relocating up north. A perfect example of this is an old warehouse near the intersection of Westminster and Côte Saint-Luc which today became a strip mall.
After many years of debate and disagreement, Côte Saint-Luc agreed to the extension of Cavendish Blvd. in Côte Saint-Luc, most likely through an indirect route, to Cavendish Blvd. in the borough of Saint-Laurent, over the Canadian Pacific railyards. However, the City of Montreal has delayed their timeline for constructing the new road until at least 2015, seeing as there is a current debate on CPR sorting yard space recycling and rezoning deposited at the city planning department.
Côte Saint-Luc (along with all Montreal Island's other suburbs) was forced to merge with the city of Montreal on January 1, 2002, but was given the opportunity to demerge from the city in 2004. During the four years that it was merged with the city of Montreal, some services decreased, such as fire inspections. It was merged with its neighbouring suburbs of Hampstead and Montreal West to form the borough of Côte-Saint-Luc—Hampstead—Montréal-Ouest. In a referendum held on June 20, 2004 more than 87 percent of Côte Saint-Luc residents voted to demerge and Côte Saint-Luc was re-established as a separate city on January 1, 2006.
The leaders of the demerger movement were all elected (or acclaimed) to the new city council with Anthony Housefather being elected mayor. The City Manager is Tanya Abramovitch and the Associate City Manager is Nadia Di Furia.
The City of Côte Saint-Luc is led by the mayor and eight councillors. The current councillors (as of November 2009) are
- Sam Goldbloom (District 1)
- Mike Cohen (District 2)
- Dida Berku (District 3)
- Steven Erdelyi (District 4)
- Allan J. Levine (District 5)
- Glenn J. Nashen (District 6)
- Mitchell Brownstein (District 7)
- Ruth Kovac (District 8)
Côte Saint-Luc is served by a unique Emergency Medical Services first responder system. The only volunteer first responders on the island of Montreal, the Emergency Medical Services department answers more than 3,000 calls for help every year. The EMS volunteers provide a vital link in the chain of survival, arriving on scene within three minutes to stabilize the patient, before the Urgences-Santé ambulance arrives to transport the patient to the hospital. In 2008-9, the Montreal Fire Department implemented an island wide first responder system. It was set to replace the Côte Saint-Luc EMS however the town fought to keep their system. A private member's bill was passed in the National Assembly of Quebec to exclude Côte Saint-Luc from the Montreal Fire Department. Côte Saint-Luc also has a full time Public Security Department who enforce municipal by-laws and in 2006 launched the Volunteer Citizens on Patrol (vCOP) program that allows residents to help deter crime. The city is well known for its parks and recreational facilities, as well as the Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Public Library. The library was named in honor of Eleanor London the first librarian hired to setup whatever vision of a library she wanted. She continued in the capacity of Chief Librarian for thirty-six years. In 2006, Tanya Abramovitch became the Director of Library Services. The Eleanor London Côte Saint-Luc Library is one of few libraries in North America that is open every day of the year.
Along with Hampstead and Montreal West, Côte Saint-Luc forms an enclave within Montreal. Côte Saint-Luc also has two exclaves sandwiched between Hampstead and the city of Montreal. The larger one contains the residential development North of Hampstead and Decarie Square shopping centre, while the smaller one consists of just fifteen residential buildings on MacDonald Ave.
The City of Côte Saint-Luc is a bilingual, multicultural community. Approximately 70 percent of the population speaks English as their home language and approximately 15 percent speak French as their home language with the other 15 percent of the population speaking another language at home. When divided amongst preferred official language of use, English is the preferred language of approximately 80 percent of the population and French 20 percent. The Jewish community makes up the largest religious community in Côte Saint-Luc with Catholics being second. The city has a substantial Italian community.
Statistics for the population according to mother tongue (the first language learned and still remembered) vary significantly from the statistics for home language (the language spoken most often at home), as well as also varying significantly from the statistics for official language usage. The 2006 census found that about 47% of residents had English as a mother tongue (including persons who had more than one mother tongue), while about 17% had French as a mother tongue (also including persons who had more than one mother tongue). The next most common mother tongues were Russian, Yiddish, Hebrew, Romanian, Spanish, Hungarian, Italian, Polish, and Persian.
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