First “Grand rendez-vous”

About a hundred people came together to create a profile of Côte-des-Neiges.

Source: Corporation de développement communautaire de Côte-des-Neiges

Source: Corporation de développement communautaire de Côte-des-Neiges

 

We took the opportunity to talk to people and get their comments. People had big concerns, but they also had big plans, solutions and hope to fix these problems!


 

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Raphaël Côté
Côte-des-Neiges resident for 6 years.

Why was it important for you to be here today?

Because you can’t underestimate your own impact on your community. When I help discuss ideas and solutions, I feel like I’m helping to change things.

What are your biggest concerns about the neighbourhood?

The fight against poverty and its many related issues: access to decent and affordable housing, access to different services, and more.

What do you want for Côte-des-Neiges?

I want the neighbourhood to be revitalized. I’m not just talking about putting out flower pots, but supporting residents in different ways. With Saint Joseph’s Oratory (which is Montreal’s biggest tourist attraction), proximity to the airport and access to major roads and highways, Côte-des-Neiges has everything it needs to become a flourishing community. It needs to support entrepreneurs so they can create appealing shops and stores. It needs to offer activities and organize neighbourhood life so that residents want to get out of the house and take part in community life, which will promote a sense of belonging. We have great assets that we can capitalize on.


 

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Kurt John
Member of Project Genesis and Côte-des-Neiges resident for 2 years.

Why was it important for you to be here today?

Because I believe you can change things by getting informed, getting involved and having your say.

What are your biggest concerns about the neighbourhood?

Access to housing. After living in nearby Notre-Dame-de-Grâce for many years, I can tell you that access to housing is a major issue in Côte-des-Neiges. Bed bugs, cockroaches, rats—you name it. I’ve never seen anything like this before! Tenants are often immigrants, and some landlords take advantage of their lack of knowledge to violate their rights.

What do you want for Côte-des-Neiges?

I want people to be informed and to not hesitate to speak up for their rights. I want families to have access to quality and affordable housing.


 

Source: Baobab Familial

Source: Baobab Familial

Samiha Benhammane

Côte-des-Neiges resident for 6 years and Board member of Le Baobab Familial.

Why was it important for you to be here today?

Because talking about our neighbourhood’s problems and issues in small groups doesn’t change much. We have to speak up everywhere!

What are your biggest concerns about the neighbourhood?

I feel like a lot of residents of Côte-des-Neiges are in survival mode. Many families are crowded in small apartments because they lack money and resources. This often happens to newcomers who can’t find a job because their diplomas aren’t recognized. They become withdrawn, and this creates a lot of isolation.

What do you want for Côte-des-Neiges?

That we stop talking and take action! As the saying goes: “Give someone a fish, and you feed them for a day. Teach someone to fish, and you feed them for a lifetime.” We have to find concrete ways to help people live and not just survive.


 

Rafif Hachani
Côte-des-Neiges resident for 16 years and staff member at Le Baobab Familial.

Why was it important for you to be here today?

Because you have to take action to change things.

What are your biggest concerns about the neighbourhood?

Access to housing and activities. We have great cultural diversity, but we don’t take advantage of it.

What do you want for Côte-des-Neiges?

To find ways to get people involved so that we can capitalize on the wealth of our cultural diversity. To provide greater access to activities in the territory to increase people’s sense of belonging to the neighbourhood.