After pursuing a career in the field of international cooperation, Rosario Demers wanted to make a difference in his own neighbourhood. The challenge was daunting, because a great urban mix and the presence of sometimes diametrically opposed interests characterize the Faubourg Saint-Laurent—the downtown neighbourhood he loves and calls home.
He set himself the task of maintaining a good climate of dialogue among residents, community agencies, the marginalized people they help, local institutions, developers and workers, without losing sight of the several thousand tourists who visit the neighbourhood each year.
To help bring about this social cohesion, in 1997 Mr. Demers co-founded the Table de concertation du Faubourg Saint-Laurent (TCFSL), a neighbourhood round table. Over the past 15 years, this man of dialogue has contributed over 10,000 hours of volunteer work to his community through the round table, which he has chaired since its inception.
Through his work, Mr. Demers has had an impact on several major social issues. Positive and proactive, he acted as a conciliator in the establishment of the Quartier des Spectacles Partnership, in the Coalition pour le CHUM au centre-ville, a coalition of agencies advocating a downtown location for the Université de Montréal hospital centre, and the forum CHUM/communauté. He serves on several committees concerned with such issues as public safety, the collection of syringes, and sponsorship of the agency Le Sac à Dos. Mr. Demers doesn’t work alone. He invites citizens to speak out on issues that have a direct impact on their quality of life, and he addresses their concerns through the Faubourg Saint-Laurent round table. No area—social, cultural, economic or town planning—is outside the range of his interest and involvement.
Mr. Demers is recognized in his community as leader and unifier with the qualities of a diplomat. He has been called upon to present his views on major projects, such as the Îlot Voyageur Real Estate Complex and the Grande Bibliothèque. He also helped to write a history of the Faubourg Saint-Laurent neighbourhood in order to strengthen the community spirit of its residents, developers and workers.
The mission of the Table de concertation du Faubourg Saint-Laurent is to promote dialogue among the neighbourhood’s different social actors so as to ensure its harmonious development.
Centraide has supported the Table de concertation du Faubourg Saint-Laurent (TCFSL) since 2005.