The City of Côte Saint-Luc has inaugurated a lane to honour the memory of late singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen.
About 50 people, including Cohen’s childhood friend Raphael Fleming, gathered on the path behind the Côte-Saint-Luc library on Monday evening to honour the poet and artist who passed away in 2016.
“We walked to school together, we crashed a movie together, he was a great guy and this is a fantastic idea,” said Fleming.
The city has many streets and parks named after artists and thinkers including poet Irving Layton, Beethoven, Chopin, painter Marc Chagall and writer Stephen Leacock to name a few.
“Arts and culture are important to Côte Saint-Lucers and adding his name to the landscape here is another way to recognize that fact,” said Mayor Mitchell Brownstein.
Cohen never lived in the city of 30,000 people, but residents say there is a deep connection to the musician and a shared history.
“He was a poet and so many of the values he had are the values of our community,” explained Tamar Hertz, a Côte-Saint-Luc resident.
Brownstein said he wanted that memory and connection to continue, even after Cohen’s passing.
“He’s made a big difference and we want it to live on,” he said.
Michael Cohen, a city councillor, described Cohen as someone who combined an analytical mind needed for debate with the creative mind of a writer.
“He is all the things Côte Saint-Lucers revere and his name will be a fine addition to the landscape of Côte Saint-Luc,” he said.
The city’s library will hold a special film screening of Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man on Wednesday, Aug. 29 at 2 p.m.