Martin C. Barry
New Community Wood Workshop opens in Rosemère
: Rosemère’s Normand Painchaud, right, is seen here with other town residents on May 30 during the official launch of the Atelier d’Ébinisterie Communautaire de Rosemère.

After a year-and-a-half of planning, Rosemère resident Normand Painchaud’s dream of having a community wood workshop came true with the official opening of the Atelier d’Ébinisterie Communautaire de Rosemère recently at the public works yard.

Located in part of the municipal garage that was freed up when Rosemère shut its fire department, ACER has actually been up and running for the last three months, Painchaud told a small crowd of supporters who gathered for the launch on May 30.

The smell of wood

The moment you step into the workshop, the scent of fresh cut wood is unmistakable and inviting. The location is provided by the Town of Rosemère without cost. Painchaud founded the workshop with the help of a $5,000 repayable subsidy provided by the town.

Following some criticism by a few residents last year about the appropriateness of the loan, Painchaud said during the town council meeting earlier this week that ACER has now managed to enlist enough members so as to be able to repay the loan.

Fully equipped

One of the tasks the members of the workshop are busy with now is the creation of large wooden boxes for the implementation of part of the town’s community gardens project at Val-des-Ormes school on Grande Côte Rd. The workshop is equipped with some very up-to-date woodworking gear as well as woodworking supplies.

“I would say that this modest initiative contributes among other things to strengthening the social fabric, to create a feeling of togetherness in the population in a small way,” Painchaud told the gathering. “Yet it’s the sum of these and other activities that contribute eventually to people feeling good and integrated in the community in all sorts of ways. And that is a very important aspect of this activity.”

Located in old firehall

An irony in all this is that although Painchaud was among the Rosemère residents who stridently opposed the closing of the firehall three and a half years ago, ACER now occupies the space that was freed up as a result. Mayor Eric Westram, who was elected in 2017 after serving for years as a member of council, had also objected to the closing of the fire department.

“I was one of the first to climb the barricades,” said Painchaud. “I sought an injunction to keep the fire department open, appeared in the media three or four times – Radio Canada, TVA, and others. We didn’t succeed in keeping our firefighters, but we are giving new life to the firehall.”

Other workshops

Rosemère isn’t the only community where a woodwork shop has been established successfully. A similar workshop has operated for years in Town of Mount Royal, also in a location provided by the municipality at the public works yard. Information on the Atelier d’Ébinisterie Communautaire de Rosemère can be found on the organization’s Facebook page (www.facebook.com/acer.rosemere).