The mission of the Peter-McGill Community Council is to bring together and promote collaboration between the district’s residents, businesses, workers and students, as well as the organizations that serve them. The Council aims to foster a sense of belonging to the neighbourhood and encourage active involvement in community life by creating a place where stakeholders can express their concerns, collectively determine priorities for action and feel empowered to improve quality of life in the neighbourhood.
Prior to 2002, there were several sectoral roundtables in the western part of downtown, which included societal coalitions concerned with seniors, youth, babies and toddlers, homelessness and women. These were forums consisting solely of community organizations and public institutions, with the exception of the coalition on homelessness, where, rather than a geographically determined area, the area of concern consisted only of the CLSC Métro area (which included Westmount, , western downtown, and parts of Milton-Park.)
These roundtables focused on specific subjects, and it was apparent that their limited scope also limited their ability to act more broadly, concerning the quality of life downtown. Owing to such limitations, the idea of developing a neighbourhood Community Council grewfor quite some time. The Youth Forum, in particular, would constantly see their large-scale projects stifled by the limitations of both mandate, and resources.
In the spring of 2002, the Montreal Summit brought together various community organizations of the Peter-McGill district,to collectively define the area’s needs and priorities. Due to the fact that very few of the organizations in the district were invited to speak during the summit, those present banded together to make their voices heard and to better coordinate their efforts to take broader action.
A working committee to start the Peter McGill Community Council was formed following the summit and was incorporated in December 2002, holding its founding meeting in June 2003.
Since then, the Council has conducted various activities and has provided a channel for community members to unify their voices on issues of urban planning, social housing, social inclusion, safety, traffic, green spaces, cleanliness and families.
What is a Community Council
According to the Coalition Montréalaise des tables de quartier (CMTQ), a Community Council, Neighbourhood Roundtable or “Table de quartier” aims to improve quality of life for the population of a given neighbourhood. They are made up of associations of partners who belong to different networks, including community groups, local businesses, institutions, residents. These partners operate in different fields of intervention; come together to better understand the neighbourhood, its population and their needs; determine actionable priorities regarding district-specific issues, such as housing, urban planning, food security, the environment transportation and more.