The good news is that we seem to have flattened the curve, and the number of new cases of COVID-19 in Westmount has declined sharply. While we must continue to physically distance, wear masks and wash our hands regularly, we are at the same time gradually reopening our municipal facilities and operations. In so doing, we are following the policies and recommendations of Public Health and the Quebec government as we strive to find the right balance between ensuring the well-being of our community and the opening up of society.
At the outset, I wish to emphasize that the situation is evolving on a daily basis. We expect that over the course of the summer we will be frequently adjusting our operations and programs. The best way to access that information is on our website – westmount.org – and the City’s social media platforms. I urge you to bookmark our site.
Our facilities are at the heart of our community; they are the gathering points for Westmounters. The following is a status report on our tennis courts, library and summer camps.
- Tennis courts are open for both singles and doubles as well as lessons. Residents can also now invite a guest who does not have a Westmount sports and recreation card to play.
- The pool is open to Westmounters with a sports and recreation card by appointment only as of June 22. Reservations can be made on-line or by phone. We are planning to soon offer some programming, so please check the website for details over the coming weeks.
- There are still a few spots available for Westmount Day camps, which begin on June 29. In light of the pandemic, camp operations will be different than previous years, but we are confident they will bring much needed fun and enjoyment to kids. I am also sure that parents will appreciate the break.
- The library is now offering curbside pickup. I encourage you to go to the library website to request your books.
As Westmounters emerge from their homes, we are spending more and more time in our parks. We are indeed fortunate to have so many public green spaces in our city. Families are enjoying picnics, and we are delighted that our young people are gathering at King George Park in particular. I am pleased to report that, for the most part, everyone is respecting physical distancing. To help us manage the popularity of our parks, we have hired more staff at Public Works to work weekends and nights and additional Public Security Officers for park patrols.
The challenge we are facing is that too many people are not picking up their garbage. Please show respect for your neighbours and help preserve the beauty of our parks by cleaning up after your get-togethers.
Our summer infrastructure projects, particularly roadwork, have been launched. We appreciate that this is inconvenient for residents living on streets where work is underway, but it is critical that we move ahead with these initiatives.
The pandemic has hurt store and restaurant owners across Westmount. Let’s all shop local this summer. I urge you to visit Greene Avenue, where, working with the local merchants, we have introduced a number of initiatives to enhance your shopping experience. We have added more furniture and space for pedestrians without sacrificing any parking spots.
As we all continue to adapt to the impacts of COVID-19 and the de-confinement process, please remember to wear a mask when you cannot keep a two-meter distance. The City is distributing reusable masks, so please check our website to find out how to get them.
Despite the challenging times, I urge you and your family to enjoy all that the city has to offer this summer. Above all, stay well.
Christina M. Smith
Mayor of Westmount