“Building Communities”

Co-Chaired by Richard W. Pound and W. David Angus, the final phase of the Capital Campaign aims to complete the renovation of our heritage building. Learn more

Latest News

Financial Literacy Online

Go here for online resources for people during the COVID-19 confinement, especially seniors. The following topics are covered:

PERSONAL FINANCES in Times of Crisis
TFSA (Tax Free Savings Account) Vs. RRSP (Registered Retirement Savings Plan)
RRIF (Registered Retirement Income Fund)
FRAUD PREVENTION
NUTRITION on a BUDGET
BUDGETING BASICS
WILLS

Natalie Domingue, our Financial Literacy Program Coordinator, would love to get your suggestions for additional resources we might offer: natalie@atwaterlibrary.ca.

Our Building is 100!

On Thursday, January 30, 2020 we marked the 100th anniversary of the opening of our beautiful building with a special event which attracted a capacity audience of 130 people.

Attendees included City of Westmount Councillors Kathleen Kez and Jeff Shamie as well as leaders of partner groups and many other enthusiastic supporters.

Special guests were Dr. John Burgess and Lynn Burgess who have a family connection to William Rutherford, the president of our organization when the building was planned, constructed and opened. William Rutherford’s granddaughter Andrea Rutherford Burgess, now deceased, was Dr. Burgess’ wife and Lynn Burgess’ mother. Andrea Rutherford Burgess served as our president in the late 1990s.

Nancy Dunton gave a tremendous account of the history of our building and its value to the community. She commented on how architectural properties enhance visitors’ enjoyment — particularly the emphasis on light.

Click here to see a splendid 1921 booklet, referred to in the talk, about the history of our organization, then known as the Mechanics’ Institute of Montreal, and the “new” building.

Architect Nathan Bonneville showed illustrations of the plan for the elevator and new wheelchair entrance, now under construction and due to be completed by April 30, 2020.

For Montreal Gazette columnist Bill Brownstein’s take on our centenary, go here.

Click here to see CTV Montreal coverage of our 100th anniversary event.

Our 2019 Gala

Our Annual Benefit Cocktail Party was a great success and raised funds that are a key component of our lean budget for operations and programs. Held on November 6 in our own building, the gala evening featured live music by the Dave Turner Jazz Trio, a sensational silent auction, tasty hors d’oeuvres and smoked meat, wine and beer. We are grateful to our generous sponsors and donors as well as all who purchased tickets.

Our Guest of Honour was Paul K. Marchand, a leader in the life insurance business who has contributed generously to our organization for many years. In his remarks, he said our organization and similar institutions are particularly important to immigrants. After World War II, his father came from England to make a new life in Montreal and used the Atwater Library to study for exams to become a licenced professional engineer here.

Elevator-Accessibility Funding Announced

By the spring of 2020, the Atwater Library’s 100-year old heritage building will have an elevator and be accessible to people with physical disabilities.

On May 30, 2019, Public Services and Accessibility Minister Carla Qualtrough visited and announced that the Government of Canada has awarded $608,000 for our accessibility project, which is two-thirds of the estimated total cost. For the Government news release, go here.

The Eric T. Webster Foundation is providing the other one-third of the estimated cost and Foundation director Derek Webster spoke at the ceremony for the Minister’s announcement.

Executive Director Lynn Verge said, “This is a dream come true! … We are thrilled at the prospect of being able to serve comfortably the many people who now struggle with our long steep stairs, and relieved that we will finally be able to offer access to those with more serious physical disabilities.”

With funds raised through our Building Communities Capital Campaign since 2010, many necessary renovations have been completed, including all code-compliance work, new and expanded washrooms, and entrance doors.

Capital Campaign Co-Chairs Richard W. Pound and David W. Angus are continuing to raise funds for urgently needed masonry repairs, bricks repointing, skylight replacement, and interior upgrades.

Celebrating Our 190th!

On November 21, 2018 we celebrated the 190th anniversary of our organization’s founding with a reception in our main lobby. President John Aylen spoke to the gathering about our remarkable longevity. “When you turn 190, you can’t expect many of your contemporaries to come to your birthday party. But you hope that some of your great, great, great, great, great, great, great grandchildren do. And that is who we are. Figuratively, we are their descendants and the keepers of the great legacy they created.” Please click here for his full text. Find out more about our history here.

The photos below show John Aylen speaking and Lynn Verge, Executive Director, and Susan McGuire, historian and former Executive Director, cutting the birthday cake.

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