Westmount, Quebec

Westmount
Upper Westmount and Westmount Summit seen from King George Park.
Upper Westmount and Westmount Summit seen from King George Park.
Official seal of Westmount
Seal
Motto(s): 
Robur meum civium fides ( Latin)
(My strength is the faithfulness of my citizens)
Location on the Island of Montreal. (Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Location on the Island of Montreal.
(Outlined areas indicate demerged municipalities).
Westmount is located in Southern Quebec
Westmount
Westmount
Location in southern Quebec.
Coordinates: 45°29′N 73°36′W / 45.483°N 73.600°W / 45.483; -73.600Coordinates: 45°29′N 73°36′W / 45.483°N 73.600°W / 45.483; -73.600[1]
Country  Canada
Province  Quebec
Region Montreal
RCM None
Founded 1874
Constituted January 1, 2006
Government
 • Mayor Christina Smith
 • Federal riding Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount
 • Prov. riding Westmount–Saint-Louis
Area
 • Total 4.0 km2 (1.5 sq mi)
Population
 (2016)
 • Total 20,312
 • Density 5,055.3/km2 (13,093/sq mi)
 • Dwellings
8,685
Time zone UTC−5 (EST)
 • Summer (DST) UTC−4 (EDT)
Postal code(s)
Area code(s) 514 and 438
Highways Route 138
Website www.westmount.org

Westmount is an affluent suburb on the Island of Montreal, in southwestern Quebec, Canada. It is an enclave of the city of Montreal, with a population of 20,312 as of the Canada 2016 Census.

Westmount is home to schools, an arena, a pool, a public library and a number of parks, including Westmount Park, King George Park (also known as Murray Hill Park) and Westmount Summit. The city operates its own electricity distribution company Westmount Light & Power (Hydro-Westmount). The city is also the location of two Canadian Forces Primary Reserves: The Royal Montreal Regiment and 34th Signals Regiment.

Traditionally, the community of Westmount has been a wealthy and predominantly anglophone enclave, having been at one point the richest community in Canada. It now competes with the Vancouver neighbourhoods of Shaughnessy and Kerrisdale, and the Toronto neighbourhoods of Lawrence Park, Forest Hill, Rosedale, and The Bridle Path, for the title.

History

When the first French colonists settled in the area in the middle of the seventeenth century, this area was known by several names including La Petite Montagne, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce and Côte-Saint-Antoine. A former farmhouse from this era, Hurtubise House, is the oldest house still standing in Westmount and is currently under renovation.

The Village of Côte St-Antoine was first incorporated in 1874. It later became the Town of Côte St-Antoine.

It was renamed Westmount, in 1895, reflecting the geographical location of the city on the southwest slope of Mount Royal and the presence of a large English-speaking population.

During the twentieth century, Westmount became a wealthy Montreal suburb; a small city dotted with many green spaces. Architect Robert Findlay, a resident in the early twentieth century, designed many municipal buildings in the city, including the library, Westmount City Hall and several other buildings of public order.

Western Avenue, Westmount.
Western Avenue, Westmount.

In the twentieth century, Westmount was home to some of Montreal's wealthiest families including the Bronfmans and the Molsons. This made the city a symbolic target of Front de libération du Québec terrorist bombings in the 1960s, culminating in the 1970 October Crisis.

Following the death of former Quebec Premier René Lévesque in 1987, the city of Montreal renamed Dorchester Boulevard René Lévesque Boulevard. After the city of Montreal changed the name, Westmount retained the name of Dorchester on their portion, as did Montréal-Est.

Merger with Montreal

In 2001, while trying to prevent Westmount from being amalgamated into the city of Montreal, Westmount Mayor Peter Trent and city council asserted that the city was a designated anglophone institution and should not be merged into francophone greater Montreal. In response to this opposition, Municipal Affairs Minister Louise Harel said that Westmount's resistance "reeked of colonialism" and that the opposition was an "ethnic project", statements for which she would refuse to apologize.[4] When asked for comment, Quebec Premier Bernard Landry said the minister had his full support and that the opposition was little more than Quebec bashing.[5] Several federalist public figures criticized Landry's statement: Jean Charest called it insulting to the intelligence of the citizens of Quebec; Joseph Gabary, president of the Quebec Chapter of the Canadian Jewish Congress, called the language "crude"; Alliance Quebec also criticized the premier for singling out the city for special criticism.[6]

On January 1, 2002, as part of the 2002–2006 municipal reorganization of Montreal, it was merged into the city of Montreal and became a borough. However, after a change of government and a 2004 referendum, it was re-constituted as an independent city on January 1, 2006. Nevertheless, it remains part of the urban agglomeration of Montreal and the bulk of its municipal taxes go to the Agglomeration Council, which oversees activities common to all municipalities on the Island of Montreal (e.g. police, fire protection, public transit) even after the demerger.

Geography

The city is roughly 4 km2 (1.5 sq mi), and occupies an area of land on the south face of the southern peak of Mount Royal. The city, most of which is on steep terrain, extends from the summit to the end of the narrow plateau at the foot of the mountain.

Cityscape

Greene Avenue in downtown Westmount.

Most of the city is residential. Homes increase in size and value toward the top of the mountain, with the largest and most expensive being on or near Summit Circle.

Notable buildings include Place Alexis Nihon and the Westmount Square complex, which was designed by Ludwig Mies van der Rohe and funded largely by Westmount resident Samuel Bronfman, the founder of the Seagram liquor empire.

There are several small commercial districts on Sherbrooke Street from the city's western boundary to the intersection of Sherbrooke Street and Victoria Avenue ("Victoria Village"), on Saint Catherine Street across from Place Alexis Nihon, on Greene Avenue and on De Maisonneuve Boulevard near the Atwater metro station.

"Westmount Adjacent" is a term applied by realtors to a district in the borough of Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, located in between the city of Westmount, the Décarie Expressway, De Maisonneuve Boulevard and the lands of Villa Maria private Catholic girls school.[7]

Parks

There are several parks within the city, including King George Park (also known as Murray Hill) and Westmount Park. A forest area is located at Westmount Summit, within Summit Circle.

Located between Sherbrooke Street and De Maisonneuve Boulevard to the north and south, and Melville and Lansdowne Avenue to the east and west, this 1,141,002 sq ft (106,002.6 m2) park is the second largest in Westmount.

The landscaping design was undertaken in 1912 by M.J. Manning, and comprises large playing fields at the east and south sides, and Westmount Arena and adjacent swimming pool at the southwest corner. The central area contains an extensive playground, footpaths, ponds and wading pools, and tennis courts. Westmount Public Library, built in 1897,[8] Victoria Hall, and a large greenhouse are located on the north side.[9]

Government

Municipal

Since regaining its status as a city, Westmount is governed by a City Council made up of a mayor and eight "district" councillors. The current mayor of Westmount is Christina Smith, who was elected interim mayor at a special council meeting on April 24, 2017, following the retirement of long-serving Mayor Peter Trent. Smith later went on to win an election November 5, 2017 to remain mayor. In addition to the local city council, Westmount is represented by its mayor on the Montreal Agglomeration Council.

Westmount City Council 2017-2021
District number Councillor
District 1 Anitra Bostock
District 2 Philip A. Cutler
District 3 Jeff Shamie
District 4 Conrad Peart
District 5 Marina Brzeski
District 6 Mary Gallery
District 7 Cynthia Lulham
District 8 Kathleen Kez

Provincial and Federal

Throughout Quebec, Westmount is known as an overwhelmingly Liberal riding, both federally and provincially.

On the federal level, Westmount is represented in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce—Westmount riding. The riding was won by Marc Garneau in the 2015 federal election.

Provincially, the city is represented in the riding of Westmount–Saint-Louis by MNA Jennifer Maccarone of the Quebec Liberal Party.

Demographics[10]

Historical populations
Year Pop. ±%
1966 24,107 —    
1971 23,600 −2.1%
1976 22,153 −6.1%
1981 20,480 −7.6%
1986 20,011 −2.3%
1991 20,239 +1.1%
1996 20,420 +0.9%
2001 19,727 −3.4%
2006 20,494 +3.9%
2011 19,931 −2.7%
2016 20,312 +1.9%
Home Language ( 2016)
Language Population Percentage (%)
English 12,920 69%
French 3,705 20%
Other 2,170 11%
Mother Tongue ( 2016)
Language Population Percentage (%)
English 10,225 54%
French 4,235 22%
Other 4,600 24%
Visible Minorities ( 2016)
Ethnicity Population Percentage (%)
Not a visible minority 16,225 82.0%
Visible minorities 3,565 18.0%

StatsCan lists the median after-tax income in 2015 as $41,674. The three largest occupation categories were management, business, and "education, law and social, community and government services"; each of these sectors employed about 20% of Westmount workers.[11]

Victoria Hall in Westmount.

Education

The city is home to two CEGEPs: the public anglophone Dawson College and the private anglophone Marianopolis College.

The Commission scolaire de Montréal (CSDM) operates French-language schools in Westmount.

English-language public schools in Westmount are operated by the English Montreal School Board (EMSB). These include Westmount High School, its sister elementary school Westmount Park School and Roslyn Elementary School, which is significant for introducing the first French Immersion Program on the Island of Montreal in 1968.[12]

Westmount is also home to several private schools, including coeducational St. George's School of Montreal as well as Miss Edgar's and Miss Cramp's School, The Study and the French-language Villa Sainte-Marcelline for girls and Selwyn House School for boys.

The Montreal Hoshuko School, a supplementary Japanese school serving Japanese nationals and Japanese Canadians in the Montreal area, previously held classes at the Westmount Park School in Westmount.[13]

Sports

Westmount was home of the Montreal Arena, the third arena in history to be built specifically for hockey. It was the home rink for the Montreal Wanderers, one of the great teams of the early hockey era, as well as the legendary Montreal Canadiens. The arena burned down in 1918, causing the Wanderers to disband.

In 2010, Mayor Peter Trent unveiled a $38-million project to demolish the old arena and create two new rinks, a larger swimming pool, refurbished tennis courts, and an extra acre of green space.[14] In the fall of 2013, the new Westmount Recreation Centre opened.[15] It is home to the Westmount Wings, Lasalle/Westmount Cobras and was the home of the Westmount Predators that are no longer active.

Westmount is home to the Westmount Lynx Lacrosse Club, which has field lacrosse teams for boys and girls aged 8–16.

Westmount is also home of the oldest active rugby club in North America, the Westmount Rugby Club.

In addition, the city's swim team, the Westmount Dolphins,[16] won the 2007 Section B Alps finals.

Westmount is the birthplace of tennis star Eugenie Bouchard.

Notable people

See also

References

  1. ^ Reference number 388474 of the Commission de toponymie du Québec (in French)
  2. ^ Ministère des Affaires municipales, des Régions et de l'Occupation du territoire: Westmount
  3. ^ Parliament of Canada Federal Riding History: WESTMOUNT--VILLE-MARIE (Quebec)
  4. ^ "Harel refuses to apologize for colonialism comment". CBC News. June 21, 2001.
  5. ^ "Landry calls opposition to merger Quebec-bashing" Globe and Mail June 22, 2001
  6. ^ "PQ brass gang up on Westmount"; Nicolas van Praet. The Gazette. Montreal, Que.: Jun 22, 2001. pg. A.1.
  7. ^ Rachel Louise, Barry (2006–2009). "Notre-Dame-de-Grace". Archived from the original on June 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-06-08.
  8. ^ "Bibliothèque publique de Westmount | Westmount Public Library". Westlib.org. 2011-07-16. Archived from the original on 2012-03-04. Retrieved 2012-01-02.
  9. ^ "Ville de Westmount | City of Westmount". Westmount.org. 2007-07-10. Archived from the original on 2010-09-04. Retrieved 2010-08-16.
  10. ^ http://ville.montreal.qc.ca/pls/portal/docs/PAGE/MTL_STATS_FR/MEDIA/DOCUMENTS/PROFIL_SOCIOD%C9MO_WESTMOUNT%202016.PDF
  11. ^ Government of Canada, Statistics Canada (8 February 2017). "Census Profile, 2016 Census - Westmount, Ville [Census subdivision], Quebec and Quebec [Province]". www12.statcan.gc.ca. Retrieved 3 February 2020.
  12. ^ Doreen Lindsay (2009-03-05), "Rothman recalls pioneering language program." Westmount Examiner (Westmount). Retrieved 2013-09-24.
  13. ^ "北米の補習授業校一覧" (Archive). National Education Center, Japan. October 29, 2000. Retrieved on April 16, 2015. "モントリオール ECOLE JAPONAISE D'CNSEIG NEMENT c/o WESTMOUNT PARK SCHOOL 15 PARK PLACE WESTMOUNT QUEBEC H3Z 2K4 CANADA "
  14. ^ https://www.pressreader.com/canada/montreal-gazette/20111217/300037826939120. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  15. ^ https://montreal.ctvnews.ca/westmount-s-icy-unveiling-two-underground-rinks-completed-1.1462627. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  16. ^ "Westmount Dolphins". Archived from the original on January 22, 2008. Retrieved March 27, 2008.

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