Another kosher seniors’ residence to close 4 main gases in the atmosphere

The highrise on Cavendish Boulevard has approximately 171 residents and 75 staff members, Sharon Henderson, Chartwell’s Toronto-based vice-president of communications and public affairs, said. Occupancy is well below capacity for the 250-unit building.

The 132-unit Manoir Montefiore shut down in February. Owner Réseau Sélection said the reason was that many of the 78 remaining residents required more care than the residence was designed to provide, when the announcement was made last June.

Brownstein was scheduled to meet with Réseau representatives on May 13 and preferred not to comment until after then. He said at the May 9 council meeting that there are developers and real estate agents interested in trying discussing solutions with the owners.

Gloria Schwartz, whose 93-year-old widowed father has lived at Castel Royal for three years, said she was shocked by the news. “There was no meeting of residents or relatives to discuss the situation or answer questions… Chartwell is apparently more concerned with profits than with caring for the elderly.”

She is not surprised the company is blaming the deterioration of the premises and the expense of maintenance. She witnessed two massive water-pipe bursts, one requiring evacuation of all residents even though it was winter, and loss of electricity and heat.

“Every effort will be undertaken to assist residents with their move to the retirement residence of their choice, including nearby Jewish residences, and all moving details, from locating an alternate residence, to packing and unpacking, as well as transportation of personal items, will be managed by a reputable seniors’ relocation company at no cost to our residents.”

Henderson said the company bought the Castel Royal, originally a regular apartment building, in 2006 and has invested “significantly” in it over the past decade “in the hopes of offering high quality and respectful Jewish retirement living to the seniors of Côte St. Luc.”

However, as Schwartz attested, the building has obvious maintenance problems. Henderson said there were four floods this winter alone due to plumbing issues, and the ventilation and electrical systems and elevators have frequent breakdowns and it’s difficult to find replacement parts.

Schwartz, who lives in Ottawa, said she has looked into the Waldorf, which is also in Côte St. Luc and kosher, but it’s not only more expensive (her father was a factory worker), it’s also full, because many former Manoir Montefiore residents were relocated there.

“Most expected the Castel Royal to be their last home,” said Schwartz. “Now these seniors have to prepare to leave their friends and the place they call ‘home’ and start over again. Some will be forced to move further away from children, some to non-Jewish residences… Some may find the stress of the uncertainty and impending change overwhelming, even damaging to their health.”

Retired social worker Sharon Freedman, an activist for more services to vulnerable seniors, feels the lack of affordable, assisted-living options for the Jewish elderly, is reaching a crisis. She is urging Federation CJA to act on this issue. It is the primary funder of Caldwell Residences, three apartment complexes in Côte St. Luc and Snowdon, which, she says, need renovating to meet the increasing needs of lower-income seniors, who may require some care.