Highway 440 renamed for first mayor

Wingding Thursday for Laval 50th

By Robert Frank

Centropolis is the place to be Thursday evening, as Laval pulls out all the stops to mark the city’s semicentennial.

The party will cap a day of celebration of the date fifty years ago, when provincial Municipal Affairs Minister Pierre Laporte welded all 14 municipalities on Île Jésus into the single city of Laval.

“It will be a full day of events,” executive committee vice-chairman David de Cotis told The Suburban.

Thursday morning, Francine Charbonneau—the provincial cabinet minister responsible for Laval—is expected to kick off the festivities by officially announcing that Highway 440, which spans the city, will be baptised the Jean-Noël Lavoie highway. The province will redub the road in honour of the former mayor of Abord à Plouffe, then Chomedey, who became Laval’s first mayor on Aug. 6, 1965.

Around 5 p.m., the current mayor Marc Demers, will welcome Charbonneau and a coterie of VIPs to city hall for a vin d’honneur to mark he occasion.

The dignitaries plan to make their way to Centropolis around 7 p.m., where Cirque Éloise will entertain visitors before Mayor Demers cuts a giant, commemorative cake.

“We’re planning to serve 5,000 people cake,” de Cotis explained, “followed by an 8 p.m. concert featuring internationally renowned soprano Marie-Josée Lord and the Laval Symphony Orchestra.”

Then, at 9:30 p.m., the classical virtuosos will cede the stage to a ramped-up version of Insula: the crescendo of a custom-made show that welds water, laser-light and music to illuminate how Laval evolved over the centuries into a cosmopolitan city that is currently on the cusp of becoming Quebec’s second largest metropolis.

Jets fire a 60-metre (200 ft) wall of water into the air, which will serve as a backdrop for animation, lasers light and imagery that will depict the story of Laval.

Jean-Noël Lavoie

Jean-Noël Lavoie 

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