Minutes of the Regal Heights Residents’ Association Executive Meeting

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Tuesday September 19, 2017

7 pm at home of Harry Lay, 2 Glenholme

Present: Linda DeGiorgio, John Keating (chair and recorder), Harry Lay, Beth Marcilio, Peter Norman, Florence Watts, Rosa Cordiano, Robert Szachrajuk, Dave Meslin, Brigid Higgins, Marie Goldthorpe

Guests: Robynn Rutherford (RHVBIA); Jeffrey Toste (Head Librarian, Dufferin St. Clair branch)

Regrets: Mary Anne Quance, Margaret Smith

  1. Street Beautification
  2. Update on programs – John Keating reported on behalf of Mary Anne Quance. This year’s garden cleanup will concentrate on the Springmount Garden, which has become overgrown in many places. We will trim out some of the small trees that have begun growing up and prune bushes. After discussion, we set the date as Sunday, Oct. 22 starting at 11 am. Neighbours are encouraged to come out and donate an hour or two. We’ll publicize the event ahead of time.
  3. The garden at the western end of Rosemount Ave. is being torn up for rebuilding parts of the Enbridge gas line. Mary Anne and John spoke with the crew. They have promised to put the large rock with the Garrison Creek medallion back in place, to do some remediation work and possibly donate a gift certificate for new plants for the area. The crew damaged a section of the sprinkler system and say they will repair it.
  4. The garden at the NW corner of Rosemount and Oakwood – Mary Anne would like to move the milkweed plants to their own bed and move the existing plantings further out and add some Rose of Sharon and possibly hydrangea. We will ask for plant donations from the neighbourhood in the spring.
  5. Tree for Me event – On Saturday, October14, free trees will be made available to residents who register for one, to be planted on private property. This is a great opportunity to help Toronto maintain a green tree canopy. Watch the neighbourhood for posters and go to treeforme.ca to register. Available trees include white pine, white cedar, red maple, red oak and smooth serviceberry (a flowering shrub). For more information see our website here.
  6. Planning, Zoning, Construction and communications
  7. Communications and website redesign – Peter reported that after months of planning, the new RHRA website is up and running. Go the regalheights.ca and take a look. If features a fresh new look, lots of photos and more information. A big thank you to our webmaster, Art Dacks, who volunteered countless hours to make the site look so good. Thanks also to Peter and John for rewriting material and supplying new content. The new site is easier to update, so we hope to have new information there on a regular basis.
  8. The RHRA logo – Thanks to Melissa Frew for volunteering her time to design a new logo for the RHRA. The logo is in place on the home page of the new website. Following a lengthy discussion, the Executive decided to continue using the logo on the site, but to use the existing logo on other communications.
  9. Oakwood Collegiate Landscaping – The first phase of the renovation of the OCI grounds is nearly complete. The SW corner has new seating walls and new paving stones, creating an inviting area for students to meet or have lunch. A big thank you to the TDSB and especially Richard Christie, Senior Manager for Sustainability at the TDSB, for adding such an attractive asset to the community. John reported that a new evergreen has been planted in the renovated area to replace the one that blew down last winter. The old tree was dedicated to the late Brian MacConnell. The dedication plaque from the original tree is in place beside the new tree. Reminder that there is a Friends of Oakwood fundraiser rummage sale planned for next week to support this project.
  10. The Charles Caccia tree – Florence reported on efforts to replace the tree west of the front door of Regal Road School. The tree was planted to honour Charles Caccia, who was the Liberal member for Davenport riding from 1968 to 2004. It has since died and Florence is advocating for a replacement. She contacted Richard Christie and is now seeking feedback from the school principal, Shosh Brenner.
  11. TTC time-based transfer – The two-hour transfer, which allowed riders of the 512 streetcar to get on and off without paying an additional fare, ended at the beginning of September. The Regal Heights BIA is spearheading an initiative to persuade the TTC to not only reinstate the transfer but to expand it across the system. They are writing a letter to that effect to be signed by BIAs and other neighbourhood organizations. The transfer is an obvious benefit to residents, but also encourages people to shop at local businesses. It also helps the City meet its carbon reduction goals by encouraging use of the TTC instead of driving. After discussion, led by BIA Marketing Director Robynn Rutherford, the Executive voted to support the initiative and sign the letter once it is finalized.
  12. Special Events and Guests
  13. Meet Robynn Rutherford, marketing co-ordinator, Regal Heights Village BIA – Robynn has been hired by the Regal Heights Village BIA to manage the public face to the organization and make connections with other organizations in the area. She says she is keen to work with the RHRA on projects in the future. She says the BIA may have funding available to help with our projects and is looking for suggestions from the Executive on how we can expand current projects and perhaps create new ones. The Executive agrees that the neighbourhood as a whole would benefit from closer cooperation between the two organizations and we look forward to working with Robynn. Robynn encouraged our members to keep in touch through the BIA website.
  14. Meet the new Head Librarian at the Dufferin/St. Clair Branch – Jeffrey Toste has replaced the retired Caroline Ingvaldsen. He describes himself as very community oriented and wants to encourage the use of the library for community programs. He has already created an after-school chess club and a “CoderDojo” to introduce young people to the joy of computing in a fun learning environment. He is open to having the RHRA use the space for public meetings and other events. Since the library closes at 8:30, he has agreed to find out whether the hours could be extended for our meetings, which generally end at 9 pm.
  15. Events calendar, 2017/2018 – John has agreed to draw up a new calendar, based on the most recent one. Watch the website for details.
  16. 2017 Street Party summary – The party was an indisputable success. For a full day, neighbours got to listen to music, play games and get involved in crafts. There were performances by local artists and the Ontario School of Ballet and even a temporary sand beach! Then more than 100 people enjoyed a sit-down potluck dinner. Chief organizer Dave Meslin says unlike past events, they did no fundraising beforehand. Instead they collected donations the day of the party, followed by an online fundraiser. The party ended with a surplus of $648.70, which will be used for future RHRA events. Dave suggested we consider making the party an annual event. The executive will discuss the idea further. Thanks to Dave and all the volunteers who put so much work into the party! Memories from the #regalstreetparty can be found here.
  17. Pub Night reminder – The next Pub Night is Oct. 26. We will have a special joint pub night with the Northcliffe Village Residents’ Association on Dec. 7.
  18. Pumpkin Carving Event – The next annual Pumpkin Carving will be at the Northcliffe parkette Saturday, Oct. 28. Watch for details in your email and on the website. It was decided the RHRA will provide funds for the pumpkins this year. (They have been privately funded in the past.)
  19. Community Welcome project – nothing new to report
  20. Discussion
  21. Glenholme abacus – deferred
  22. Ideas for improvements to the RHRA – Dave outlined his proposal. He suggests doing away with traditional memberships. Instead, anyone living in our catchment area would be considered a member unless they opt out. We would then concentrate on growing our email list instead. One way to do that is find people in the high-rise and multi-unit buildings who could help add people in their buildings to our list and keep them informed of our activities. He also proposes doing away with the membership fee of $10. Instead, we would fundraise online once a year by emphasizing the many projects and services we provide. We’ll discuss the ideas further and present them at the annual meeting in November.
  23. Police Community Partnership (PCP)
  24. Rosa attends the meetings on our behalf. She reports that Superintendent Scott Baptist is now responsible for PCP duties for both Division 53 and Division 13.
  25. Finances and Memberships
  26. Memberships – Nothing new to report
  27. Finances
Finances May 16, 2017 May 16, 2017
Operating Fund $4,353 $4,651
Heritage Fund 276 276
Street Sale (in trust) 192 192
Petty Cash 180 180
Total $5,001 $5,299

 

Next meeting:  October 17, 2017, home of Beth Marcilio, 79 Regal Rd. Please note that like all of our executive meetings, residents of the neighbourhood are welcome, subject to space limitations. Please contact John Keating in advance if you have an item for the agenda