Saturday, May 15, 2021
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COPS are out – Increased presence has been announced

Police, cessna plane crash

Kirkland, Beaconsfield, Baie D’Urfé, and St. Anne’s better drive carefully

by Rhonda Massad

Spring is here and Police Station 1 of the SPVM (Service de Police de la Ville de Montréal) will be increasing their efforts to keep roads safe, especially in the month of May. This initiative is part of a Montreal wide program called Project Oasis.  The purpose of the project is to incite drivers to share the roads with others in a respectful manner, by sanctioning delinquent and dangerous drivers.

Police will be monitoring specific high risk intersections such as St. Charles-Brunswick and André-Brunet in Kirkland, St. Charles-Autoroute 20 and St Charles-Beaconsfield Blvd in Beaconsfield, Anciens de Combattants-Autoroute 20 and 550 Anciens-Combattants in Sainte Anne De Bellevue and Victoria-Bedford in Baie D’Urfé.

In order to properly cover the seven locations, Station 1 will be calling in assistance from Intervention (West) Section and the Regional Traffic Division.  They will be on the look out for drivers committing violations such as blocking the intersection in traffic, red light violation, not respecting signs, handling an electronic device while driving and of course speeding.   There will also be an increased police presence on bike paths.

Ownership Makes All the Difference

Suzanne Reisler Litwin,Keeping it Real,West Island Blog,WIB,Rhonda Massad

I still think about my first car. It was a red Toyota Tercel with a hatchback. I had black and grey racing stripes put on the exterior to match the black and grey sport seats. After I purchased the car, it took me another year of savings to have a pop-up sunroof installed. I loved driving it everywhere. This was my freedom on wheels.

Then reality set in. Monthly car payments, license fees, winter tires, maintenance, registration fees, gas, and insurance. Ugh! All of a sudden my freedom was very, very costly. At this point I realized that I had to take very good care of my car so when it was time to sell it, I could make some money back. My money! Seriously… I wanted as much as I could possibly get.

Many years later…

Oh, how I loved owning my first home. I was “house poor” for years and I loved it. The mortgage payments forced me to save money and at the same time I owned more of my home monthly. I kept that home super clean and I knew every inch of it. I never wanted to sell it, but my “dream home” had a fireplace which this house didn’t have.  I kept this home clean and in excellent condition because I wanted to get as much money out of it when it was time to sell. My money! As much as I could possibly get.

In time I have come to realize that gifts are always great to receive, but the gifts you pay for and give to yourself have much more meaning. The hard work that is involved in earning money makes what you spend your money on so much more meaningful. Suzanne Reisler Litwin,Keeping it Real,West Island Blog,WIB,Rhonda Massad

When I went on my first vacation I reveled from the hard earned money that was in my pocket.  I also suffered pain when I had to spend it. Before I bought anything I asked myself if I really needed it, like really needed it. Purchasing food and shelter was the only exception.

Now that I’m older and I’ve passed through the fabulous firsts of many grateful ownerships, I’ve come to realize another awareness level of ownership. The ownership of ourselves in terms of our behavior.   Do we own what we say and do? Are we accountable for our behavior? Owning who we are as a person is one of the greatest forms of ownership.

It’s not important to own material items, it’s profoundly important to own yourself. Being fiscally accountable for your material things is very responsible. Being accountable for your behavior is being responsible to YOU.

We’ve all done things we wished we didn’t do. Hurt people we didn’t intend to hurt. Perhaps said stupid things the little voice in our head told us not to say. No one is perfect. Actually we are all quite impurfect.

The importance here is “owning” what you do and being accountable which will make all the difference.  You can own everything the world has to offer, but owning yourself is the truest acquisition!

Do you really own yourself?  Here are some questions you can ask yourself:

1. Am I as accountable for my personal finances as much I am for myself?

2. When I do something wrong, am I accountable? Do I own the behavior and reflect on it?

3. Does my behavior affect others in a negative way?  If so, have I acknowledged this and tried to change it?

4. Do I spend more time on material items than I spend on my personal self?

5. Do I realize what I do and say and how this reflects me as a person?

Here is something else to try which will give you a greater personal perspective.  Record your voice for a day.  Hear what you say, how you say it, and how it is interpreted.  A personal recording will definitely enlighten your perspective of yourself. I’ve done this and it was quite an eye opener!

Be true to thyself, own it.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column. 

She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column Keeping it Real.  Please visit her website  to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry.

Light rail to link Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and the airport to Montreal City centre

West Island Blog, West Island news, open houses, info sessions,Reseau Electrique Metropolitain, Services, CDPQ, West Island Blog, West Island News, News, Rhonda Massad

by Rhonda Massad

The Caisse de depot wishes to invest $3 billion in the most important commitment to transit on the Montreal in the past 50 years.  There will be 24 stations and 67 kilometres of track in the new light rail system (LRT) that will link Pierre Elliott Trudeau airpot, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Two Mountains (North Shore) and Brossard (Shore south) over the new Champlain bridge.

The new system will operate 20 hours out of  24, 7 days a week and is expected to serve 150,000 passengers every day.Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Light Rail System, Train De L'Ouest, Clifford Lincoln, Montreal,

Travel times from the West Island to Montreal city centre are expected to be 35-40 minutes from Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, 25 to 30 minutes from the airport to the city center: and Deux-Montagnes from downtown: 35 to 40 minutes.

Once completed, the REM will be the third largest automated transportation system in the world after Dubai (80 km) and Vancouver (68 km), and just ahead of Singapore (65 km). New stations will be integrated into their urban environment and designed to allow easy access for pedestrians, bicycles, cars and buses. All stations will be covered, climate-controlled, equipped with elevators, and will meet the principles of universal access. 

Finally, by choosing the Highway 40 route to the West Island, the project allows for the creation of a dedicated corridor for public transportation, without the need to share tracks with freight trains.

Consultations will begin in Spring of 2016, public hearing in late summer 2016, construction begins in spring 2017, commissioning of trains in 2020.

Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, Light Rail System, Train De L'Ouest, Clifford Lincoln, Montreal,

Weavers and Potters at Expo Vente in Dorval – May 1

Dorval, Dorval Weavers’ Guild , Dorval Potters’ Guild, Rhonda Massad,West Island Blog

The City of Dorval invites you to visit the 2016 Expo Vente, which will take place from April 28 to May 1, at the Peter B. Yeomans Cultural Centre (1401 Lakeshore Drive), under the theme “Terrasse”. For the occasion, the Dorval Weavers’ Guild and the Dorval Potters’ Guild will join their talents to celebrate spring and creative arts.

In a magnificent showroom, discover the talent of weavers through their works and techniques. Whether it be tablecloths, dish towels, blankets or shawls, you will surely find a piece you’ll like! You will also find a wide variety of pottery to meet the most diverse of tastes.

A free goblet, specially designed by the potters for this exhibition, will be given to the first 100 visitors on opening night.


Vernissage: Thursday, April 28, from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m.

Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, April 29, 30, and May 1, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Spring Cleaning Tips from Vacupro – Make sure your vacuum isn’t polluting your air

Vacupro. Pointe Claire, Pointe Claire Plaza, Vacuum.Spring Cleaning, Rhonda Massad,WIB ,West Island Blog

As we all breathe a collective sigh of relief that winter is behind us, it is also the time for us to roll up our sleeves and tackle spring cleaning.

As you open the windows to air out the house and you pull out the most important tool for the big cleanup, your vacuum, consider this, your vacuum is often also the biggest polluter of your indoor air. An improperly maintained vacuum not only adds unnecessary frustration, it also will release dust, germs and bacteria throughout your home.Vacupro. Pointe Claire, Pointe Claire Plaza, Vacuum.Spring Cleaning, Rhonda Massad,WIB ,West Island Blog This is true regardless of what type of vacuum you use, portable or central, bagged or bagless, economy or high quality, they all require periodic maintenance to both function properly and prevent harmful particles being released into the air you breathe.

There are a few simple things you can do to breathe easier:

Change the bag or empty the dust cup of bagless models.

Check your auxiliary filters. An overdue to be changed motor intake filter will drastically reduce performance.

Check your drive belt. A new belt can take a machine from useless to working like new again.

If your vacuum is releasing a foul smell, this is a sign of a machine that needs general maintenance. The foul smell is related to the accumulation of dust, mold, and bacteria within the motor compartment, and can be detrimental to your well-being.

If these basic tips don’t restore your vacuum’s performance, the problem will require a more in-depth technical inspection. That’s where Vacupro comes in! Having a tune-up done will restore your machine to working like new and eliminate potentially harmful dust emissions from the vacuum’s exhaust.

To help you get a kick-start on your spring cleaning, Vacupro in Plaza Pointe Claire – 514-694-1368, is proud to offer a FREE spring check-up to all WIB readers. Bring in your machine and we will be happy to give it a quick, no-charge assessment.  Should your vacuum require any touch-ups to restore it to peak performance, WIB readers can take advantage of a 25% savings on all supplies and a 50% discount on labor. This special is extended to WIB readers only, simply mention the West Island Blog Spring Special and we will get your machine working like new again in no time!

Baking A Cake Goes Along Way

Suzanne Reisler Litwin, Keeping it Real, Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog, WIB

I’ve been told it’s a very old fashion thing that I do. I suppose it is because I haven’t heard of anyone doing this for a very long time.

Whenever a new neighbor moves onto the street where I live, I bake them a banana bread. I deliver it on a nice (not too expensive) plate with a welcome note. Most of these people don’t know me and I don’t know them, but it helps to break the ice.

I remember seeing this done on old television shows from the 60’s and 70’s. Again, recently in a very tongue-in-cheek style on a more current show called “Desperate Housewives”.

I simply bake a banana bread and deliver it.  What I didn’t realize was this simple act of welcoming kindness goes a very, very long way.  Much further than I have ever anticipated.

My neighbors always greet me and this makes me feel so good.  Better still, I am always reminded of how much it was appreciated.  A couple of times, a neighbor has introduced me to their family and friends as “The Lady who baked them a cake”. It’s sort of a silly title I have.

Baking a cake and delivering it to a new neighbor is actually the beginning of cultivating a new friendship. It also makes people feel they belong where they have chosen to live.

One of the Ten Commandments is to “Love Thy Neighbor”.  It’s worth the investment! Living close to people for years almost requires this kind of bond.  As in when you need that extra egg, or a flashlight, or a safe place to go for any reason. Suzanne Reisler Litwin, Keeping it Real, Rhonda Massad, West Island Blog, WIB

In today’s day and age, baking a cake and delivering it to a new neighbor “is” old fashion!  With the internet,  egreeting cards and all things easily prepared and shipped, why would anyone go to such lengths for a stranger? Maybe it’s the guilt of not wanting to throw out very ripe bananas? – Very cheeky of me!!!

I do this for my new neighbors because I want them to feel welcomed and help ease their stress of moving somewhere new.  Moving is very stressful and the last thing you might have is home cooking.

Perhaps you will bake a new neighbor a banana bread? This act of “Welcoming Kindness” might catch on and more joy will spread.  In hopes of this, I have included my recipe for an excellent Banana Bread.

Suzanne’s Banana Bread

2 eggs
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 cup sugar
1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
Pinch of honey (my addition, it’s the love)
3 super ripe bananas, mashed with a fork (I use my hands)
1 1/4 cups un bleached white flour
1 tsp. baking soda

1/2 cup semi-sweet chocolate chips (I sometimes use this depending on requests)

Preheat oven to 350 f

Combine eggs, oil, sugar, vanilla in a bowl using an electric mixer at a medium speed.  Mix it until it becomes creamy. U can add some honey also. Just a pinch.

Add the bananas and blend also. It’s fine if it is choppy from the bananas. Add the flour, baking soda and mix at a medium speed for about 1 min. The mixture should be creamy looking.

Put mixture into a buttered 9 by 5 inch loaf pan. Bake for about 55 min. Don’t over bake!

Remove from the pan when completely cooled.

The love is always the added honey and a welcome note.

Suzanne Reisler Litwin is an author/writer/columnist/educator. She contributes every Monday morning to the West Island Blog’s Keeping it Real Column. 

She is an instructor at Concordia University in The Centre for Continuing Education. Suzanne is a freelance contributor to The Suburban newspaper.   She is the author of the children’s book, The Black Velvet Jacket. She lives in Montreal, Canada with her 3 children, Allyn, Taylor, and Duke and her husband Laurie. Suzanne contributes regularly to West Island Blog under her column “Keeping it Real”.  Please visit her website   to read more of her published articles, books, and poetry at

Revolution Hair Studio is giving it up for prom

Revolution Hair Salon, Tamara Rifai, Rhonda Massad, Beaconsfield

by Rhonda Massad

Everyone knows how expensive getting ready for prom is.  Tamara Rifai owner of Revolution Hair Salon in Beaconsfield is putting on a contest to make it a little easier on four graduates.

“I want to give girls the incentive to get pretty for prom,” Rifai said. “I know how pricey it can be and I want to help.  But I want this to be fun and interactive in return.  I want the girls to post their their own hair tutorial videos.”

The contest will take place starting immediately where graduating high school students will be required to submit a video of no more than 3 minutes showing why they need Revolution Hair Studio to do their hair for prom.  Videos need to be posted to Youtube and then shared with Rifai via Facebook @ Revolution Hair Studio. 

The four winners will be pampered with an “updo” to go with their gown for prom along with a glass of non-alcoholic champagne and photo shoot.  Photos of the winners at prom will then be posted to Revolution Hair Studio’s Facebook page. 

“It is a fun way to celebrate and get creative,” Rifai stated. “I have so many ideas on how I want to give back to the community that has been very good to my business over the years. This is only the beginning.”

Last month Rifai’s salon was the focus of media attention due to her commitment to reducing waste heading to land fill.  A growing trend in her industry is the recycling of hair products and waste to be used in finished products such as cement and hair booms that collect oil in tragic oil spills. 

Infinite Callings Conference at JAC encourages teens to do what makes you happy

Zach Fenlon, West Island Blog, WIAH, WIB, John Abbott College, Infinite Callings

by Rhonda Massad

On April 16, John Abbott College (JAC) hosted it’s first ever full day Infinite Callings conference geared to high school students.  The mission of the conference was to show youth in the community that the sky is the limit when it comes to career choices and that it is a positive thing to have more than one goal at a time.

According to one of the five organizers, JAC student, Lucia De Luca more than 65 people attended the conference from various high schools.

“I wanted to promote the idea that it is ok to be unsure of what you want to do in the future,” De Luca explained. “I also wanted to be let young adults know it was fine to do more than one thing.  I find that the school process tries to force you down one career path and to stick with it.  I want to do more than one thing with my career.”John Abbott College, Zach Fenlon, West Island Blog, WIB, Montreal, Life with Soran

Zach Fenlon, recently graduated from JAC spoke to a room filled with young minds about his  hopes to blend all his passions in his work life. He encouraged them to do the things that made them happy not necessarily the things they should be doing.

“I am not sure exactly what I want to do with my life but I hope to combine all kinds of things,” Fenlon said.  “I love film, I love being creative and working with people with special needs.  I would love to be able to incorporate that into my career.”

Speaker Sean Aiken from “One Year, One Man, 52 Jobs” shared his journey of doing 52 jobs in one year as a way to tap into his career passion.  He tried everything from pizza chef to real estate on his year long quest.

Price to participate in the conference was $10. Attendees heard speeches from student and adult speakers and participated in interactive workshops.

Choosing a High School for Your Child?

West Island Blog, WIB, Rhonda Massad, West Island College, High School
photo: Pixabay

by Rhonda Massad

Michel Lafrance, former Executive Director of the QAIS (Quebec Association of Independent Schools) and headmaster at West Island College will be on hand Wednesday May 11, 2016 at the Holiday Inn Pointe-Claire, 6700 Trans Canada from 6:30 p.m. – 8:00 p.m. to answer all your questions about finding the right fit for your budding teen.

“This is the most important presentation for any family looking for the right high school for their child,” Lafrance explained. “All participants will leave with a thorough understanding of the search, application, and decision-making process and have all their questions answered.”
For the third year in a row, Lafrance will cover topics like maximizing your open house experience, understanding specialty programs and preparing your child for entrance exams.
Determining your child’s needs can be daunting for families trying to make the right choice but this bilingual information session will supply you with all the questions you should ask each school and give you tips to making your final decision. 
About West Island College:
West Island College, located in Dollard des Ormeaux,  is two schools under the same roof: an entirely French school and an English school with a French immersion program. Both schools are co-ed, independent, secondary schools offering enriched studies in French and English, leading to a D.E.S and recognized by the MELS.
Reservations can be made online at

Spa Munari Beauty Blog – Food and Fabulous Skin

Spa Munari,Beauty Blog, Food, Fabulous Skin, Skincare, Healthy Body, West Island Blog, News, West Island News, Rhonda Massad

Everyone has a favourite face cream or treatment and we have them at Spa Munari,  but beautiful skin starts with nourishment from within. Older cells are constantly shed and replaced by younger ones and a steady supply of micronutrients is essential to support this rapid growth. Eat the correct balance of foods and you’ll feed your skin the vital nutrients it needs to help it stay soft, supple and blemish-free.

Eat your five-a-dayPapaya

Fruit and vegetables contain powerful antioxidants that help to protect skin from the cellular damage caused by free radicals. Free radicals are caused by smoking, pollution and sunlight and can cause wrinkling and age spots. Eat a rainbow of colourful fruit and vegetables and aim for at least five portions a day. Betacarotene, found in pumpkin, carrots and sweet potato, and lutein, found in kale, papaya and spinach are potent antioxidants, important for normal skin cell development and healthy skin tone.

Ingredient focus... strawberriesVitamin C

Vitamin C is also a super antioxidant. It is needed for a strong immune system, radiant skin and helps blemishes heal properly. The best sources are black currants, blueberries, broccoli, guava, kiwi fruits strawberries and sweet potatoes.   They all help to produce collagen that strengthens the capillaries that supply the skin.

Cut out crash dietsCrash diets

Repeatedly losing and regaining weight can take its toll on your skin, causing sagging, wrinkles and stretch marks. Crash diets are often short in essential vitamins too. Over long periods of time this type of dieting will reflect on your skin.

TomatoStock up on selenium

Selenium is a powerful antioxidant. It works alongside other antioxidants such as vitamins E and C and is essential for the immune system. Studies suggest that a selenium-rich diet can help to protect against skin cancer, sun damage and age spots. One way to boost your intake is to eat Brazil nuts. Just four nuts will provide the recommended daily amount (RDA). Mix Brazil nuts with other seeds rich in vitamin E as a snack or salad sprinkle. Other good sources are fish, shellfish, eggs, wheatgerm, tomatoes and broccoli.

Vitamin EHazelnut

Vitamin E protects skin from oxidative (cell) damage and supports healthy skin growth. Foods high in vitamin E include almonds, avocado hazelnuts, pine nuts and sunflower and corn oils.

hydrationDrink up

Skin needs moisture to stay flexible. Even mild dehydration will cause your skin to look dry, tired and slightly grey. Drink six to eight glasses of water a day – all fluids count towards your daily allowance, but water is the best. If you work in an office, keep a large bottle of water on your desk to remind you to drink. Herbal, caffeine-free teas are good too. Try to avoid smoking and excessive alcohol consumption, both can age the skin.

Clients of Spa Munari are invited  to relax and enjoy a wonderful spa journey in the modern atmosphere in Kirkland on the West Island of Montreal.

Address: 3C4, 3563 Saint-Charles Blvd, Kirkland, Québec H9H