Deux-Montagnes ranks high in Maclean’s top cities list
Martin C. Barry

It says something about how far the City of Deux-Montagnes has come in the last five years that in Maclean’s latest edition Deux-Montagnes outranks the prestigious City of Westmount in the national magazine’s evaluations of municipalities across the nation.

That accomplishment was near the top of the agenda when Mayor Denis Martin delivered his monthly report on new developments during the latest city council meeting on Aug. 8.

Chalk one up for DM

Deux-Montagnes was ranked 36th out of more than 4,000 municipalities evaluated across Canada, and 1st among those in Quebec. Meanwhile, the City of Westmount came in as No. 51 in the overall rankings.

According to a statement issued by Deux-Montagnes city hall, the grading took a number of criteria into account, including economic health, demographic data, taxation, accessibility to healthcare and public transit.

Affordable housing

The last criterion made Deux-Montagnes stand out, followed by its low crime rate and the affordability of its housing. (The average home in Deux-Montagnes is now evaluated at $286,000, placing the city’s residential real estate among the most affordable and attractive in the region of Montreal.) Deux-Montagnes ranked 13th across Canada in this regard.

“This is thanks to the participation of everyone,” the mayor told the relatively sparse crowd attending the mid-summer council meeting.

Deux-Montagnes ranks high in Maclean’s top cities list
Deux-Montagnes mayor Denis Martin and city manager Benoit Ferland answer questions during the Aug. 8 meeting of city council.

A continuing effort

“This is more or less the goal we had set when we first went out door-to-door during our first electoral campaign. I would say we had set the bar high at that time, but now we find we’ve gotten somewhere with it. We don’t intend to sit around. We will continue doing things such as investing in our parks for families.

“Of course, there are still a lot of dossiers and a lot things remaining to be fixed in Deux-Montagnes, for example the dike and the floods and the REM. We will continue to be present and to defend the interests of Deux-Montagnes.”

Renovation materials

During the public question period, Ginette Clairoux of Croissant Brown criticized the City of Deux-Montagnes’ strict regulation of exterior renovation materials, which she said sometimes impose uneven standards for the selection of colours.

As the mayor explained, the colours of materials are expected to harmonize with those on nearby houses and buildings. Clairoux, who lives a short distance from the school grounds of Polyvalente Deux-Montagnes and has complained at past council meetings about night-time disturbances there, suggested the situation is still not in hand.

Deux-Montagnes ranks high in Maclean’s top cities list
Ginette Clairoux of Croissant Brown was among the Deux-Montagnes residents who addressed the mayor during question period.

PDM belongs to CSSMI

Mayor Martin pointed out that the PDM grounds are in the jurisdiction of the Commission scolaire de la Seigneurie-des-Mille-Îles and that the City of Deux-Montagnes has no little or no authority to regulate what goes on there.

During the meeting, Mayor Martin also revealed that CDPQ Infra, which is building the REM train that will be passing through Deux-Montagnes, has agreed to schedule shuttle buses between Deux-Montagnes and Montreal to replace the commuter train service which will end while the REM system is under construction.

Shuttle buses for REM

While service won’t be available during peak commuter travel periods, there will be shuttle service from Deux-Montagnes’ Grand Moulin station to downtown Montreal at several other times during the day. The service is expected to begin in January next year when the old train service shuts. And as he told several residents who came to the meeting to find out, construction on a new permanent dike along the waterfront has started. The remains of a temporary dike that was put up last spring as flood waters rose are now being removed. “They’re cleaning the area and getting the materials ready for the new dike, and it should be completed for November,” he said.