Laval City-Watch

Agreement between Laval and Hydro Quebec

The City of Laval has announced that it has reached a 20-year agreement with Hydro Quebec that will see the provincial electricity provider furnish recharging stations for electric vehicles across Laval’s territory.

According to a statement from the city, Hydro Quebec will be deploying rechargers at the rate of two sites per year in areas located near major roadways, autoroutes and highly-trafficked boulevards.

“I am especially pleased to see that electric vehicle drivers and more and mmore present on our roads,” said Councillor Virginie Dufour, who deals with environmental issues on the Laval executive-committee. “With the addition of these new charging units, Laval will become a place that is especially welcoming to new electric vehicles.”

Already, according to the city, Laval has 12 sites with recharging stations on its territory. Over the coming weeks, four new ones are scheduled to be installed at the Cosmodôme, raising the total number to 16.

Laval’s public library system to grow from 9 to 16 branches

According to a new plan the City of Laval has drawn up for its public library system, the number of branches will be growing from nine to 16  by 2036. The plan was tabled in Laval city council earlier this month.

The city plans to build new buildings to house the library branches. The plan was developed following extensive public consultations and in-depth analyses over a number of years, says the city.

“I am very proud to announce the addition of seven new libraries in Laval, including a central branch which will quickly become a leading venue for culture in Laval,” says Mayor Marc Demers. “This strategy will also allow us to offer decentralized service that is accessible to all communities.”

The city acknowledges that it had some catching up to do with public libraries, compared to other municipalities. The move comes as the population of Laval has been growing in leaps and bounds in recent years.

According to the city, Laval currently has only nine library branches, compared to an average 13 in cities of comparable size. However, the rate of library loaning has been above the provincial average. The city says it has been spending less per capita on acquiring materials compared to other cities. Extra physical space was needed to accommodate new materials, says the city.

“This decision takes into account an addition to the collections and a level of service of which all Laval residents will be able to be proud,” said Laval city councillor Aram Elagoz who is responsible for libraries. “All these new libraries will be subject to public consultation in order to make sure they accurately reflect their communities.”

Laval’s long-term library plan includes the following developments: four branch enlargements, including one now underway in Duvernay; two relocations into new buildings; eight new buildings, including the central library branch (completion in 2025), the Chomedey branch, a renovation in Chomedey and maintenance at the Émile-Nelligan library which was recently renovated. The city says the current Multicultural Library is going to be replaced by two points of service in order to provide better coverage.

City launches Accès logement Laval service

The City of Laval says a new service for those seeking a subsidized place to live became available lately. The Accès logement Laval platform is operated by the city’s Office for Municipal Housing (OMH), in conjunction with the Fédération des coopératives d’habitation intermunicipale du Montréal métropolitain (FECHIMM) and the Fédération des OSBL d’habitation des 3L (FOH3L).

The new system allows those seeking subsidized housing to conduct searches from a single starting point. As such, applicants won’t have to submit dozens of applications to the 50 or so scattered organizations that now handle the task separately.

“The search for a subsidized place to live can be a real puzzle,” says Laval city councillor Nicholas Borne, who is president of the OMH. “The vacancy rate in Laval being low, the cost of rents is going up, which translates into greater demand for subsidized housing.

“This service will allow for better management of the demand, in the context where the OMH’s waiting list is growing longer, while cooperatives and non-profit housing organizations are having difficulty meeting demand,” he adds. “I am proud of the work done cooperatively by OMH Laval, the FECHIMM and the FOH3L. It will facilitate the search for housing that is subsidize on Laval’s territory.”

‘Buy Local’ Laval campaign deemed a success by city

A campaign the city undertook from Sept. 1 – 30 to encourage residents to buy local products and services resulted in a record level of participation, according to the city. Nearly 620 Laval residents took part, for an increase of 411 per cent compared to last year, says the city.

“Considering we are in a pandemic situation, buying local has become even more important in the life of citizens,” said Councillor Ray Khalil, who is responsible for agriculture on city council. “People prefer shorter outings while at the same time encouraging the regional economy. In Laval, it is possible to eat only products that are local, as demonstrated by those who supported this campaign.” According to Gilles Lacroix, president of Union des producteurs agricoles Laval and owner of a local farm products kiosk, customers who came to his kiosk, including many new clients, responded to the call. He said all kiosk operators in Laval noticed an increase in business this year and saw their sales transactions rise.