Spring General Community Meeting Minutes

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Regal Heights Residents’ Association
Spring Public Meeting

Tuesday, May 21, 2019, 7:00 p.m.

Dufferin-St. Clair Library

1.  WELCOME

John Keating welcomed attendees and thanked the Dufferin-St. Clair Library branch for the use of their space.

a) Greetings from MP Julie Dzerowicz

Julie Dzerowicz reported that she has persuaded the government to triple federal funds for the summer jobs program in the Riding of Davenport to a total of about $900,000. She says this is important because the median income in the riding is below the national average.

She encouraged people in Davenport to sign up for her e-newsletter because it is now reaching only about half of her constituents. The latest version includes her views on the SNC-Lavalin affair and can be downloaded HERE Click the “Subscribe” button in the upper left.

Julie is working with other MPs on initiatives to control plastic pollution and says she will propose the government declare a climate change emergency. She also hosted a climate change panel on Thursday, May 23.

b) Greetings from City Councillor Ana Bailão

Ana Bailão reported that she has been hosting “Davenport Today and Tomorrow,” an ongoing series of public meetings to seek public input on the important issues in the ward. The next one is Monday, June 24, 6:30pm-8:30 pm at Bloor Collegiate Institute, 1141 Bloor St W.

Ana noted that the council has been fighting the provincial government over Bill 108, which reduces the City’s control over development. The change puts several City initiatives in doubt, including concessions for affordable housing, park expansion and daycare in the project to redevelop the Galleria Mall.

NOTE: after the meeting the City of Toronto sent the RHRA correspondence on this issue and it can be read HERE.

She says the province has made it difficult to accomplish many city programs, but the federal government has eased the situation by bypassing the province and sending funds directly to the City. This has made it possible to tackle some of the repair backlog for Toronto Community Housing.

NOTE: after the meeting the City of Toronto set up a petition against the provincial cuts. It can be accessed HERE.

She reminded constituents that her constituency office at 1240 Bloor St. is open to the public Wednesday, Thursday and Friday, 1 – 6 pm.

2.  STREET BEAUTIFICATION

a) Gardens, graffiti, garbage

John Keating spoke on behalf of Anne Marie Quance, who was unable to attend.

John says the RHRA plans do further repairs to irrigation system along Rosemount Ave. this summer.

Thanks to Richard Cavanaugh, the association has purchased 10 new planter barrels that will replace ones now in poor repair.

Volunteers are desperately needed to help keep the gardens in good shape. If you would like to help, please send your contact information to Mary Anne Quance care of the RHRA at rhra@regalheights.ca. We will call you when we need help – you can decide if you’re available on a case-by-case basis. Even a couple of hours over the summer will make a big difference.

John reminded us that if you see graffiti in a public place, call 311 to have it removed.

Dave Meslin mentioned that he and Mary Anne have been working on mapping out all the gardens. The interactive map can be found HERE.

b) Recap of Spring Cleanup

Despite the poor weather there was a good turnout at the cleanup day. Volunteers covered most of the area. There were also fun “garbage floats”, thanks to Shannon Hancocks and Philippa Curtin, and a fix-it table, thanks to Brian Crabtree.

see full spring clean up event report and photos HERE

c) Recap of Plant and Seed Swap

John reported on the plant and seed swap event. There was a good turnout of gardening enthusiasts at the second annual Plant & Seed Swap, May 11 outside the Dufferin-St. Clair Library. Residents brought seeds and plants and helped themselves to something new for their gardens. John thanked the Library and their volunteers, as well as the RHRA volunteers for a successful event.

See full seed & plant swap event report and photos HERE

3.  PROJECTS

a) Traffic light initiative update

Councillor Bailão said a traffic light is proposed to replace the crosswalk on Oakwood at Rosemount. She says the traffic light has the support of Toronto Police and noted that the City no longer installs crosswalks on minor arterial roads such as Oakwood because they are unsafe. The councillor will hold a public meeting to explain the proposed light and get input from the community on May 29, 6:30 at Regal Road Public School (95 Regal Rd.)

b) Regal Rd.-Springmount intersection update

Councillor Bailãoreported that a public consultation on the proposed changes to the intersection was held May 7. The City has three proposed options and is collecting public feedback. To participate, go to toronto.ca/regalroadspringmount and complete the survey by May 29.

c) Update on Regal Heights Maple Syrup

Dave Meslin reported that several people dropped by April 13 for the outdoor boil-down of maple sap tapped from trees in the neighbourhood. While some of the sap was unusable, we still got several litres of tasty syrup. The syrup is being poured into 100 ml reusable bottles, which the association can sell for fundraising, give as prizes, or award to volunteers for outstanding work. Dave awarded the first bottle to Peter Norman for his work as communications chair. Peter sends out Regal Heights emails and maintains the RHRA website, but is seldom recognized for his effort.

d) Street Party

Dave Meslin reported that the Regal Heights Street Party will be June 22, 1 – 11 pm on Lauder Ave. We need volunteers to make it happen! Please contact Dave at dave@pigeonhat.ca

Information as it becomes available will be kept up to date on the Regal Street Party webpage here: http://regalheights.ca/regalstreetparty/

e) Additional items

Councillor Bailão reported on several additional items:

  • Planning work is continuing for the Green Line, a proposed linear park along the Hydro corridor that runs from Davenport and Macpherson Ave. towards Earlscourt Park.
  • She has asked for a study on Geary Avenue, to see if it can be made into an arts hub, rather than become a typical residential zone.
  • Public meetings will be held soon on major developments coming to St. Clair Ave.
  • The councillor is working on a proposal to change the name of Santa Chiara Park at Northcliffe and St. Clair to Anne Marie D’Amico Park, in honour of the Regal Heights resident killed in the Yonge St. van attack. 
  • There will be a public consultation on proposed bicycle lanes along Northcliffe Blvd. and Rosemount Ave. June 18, 6:30pm at St. Clare Catholic school, 124 Northcliffe.

4.  PLANNING

a) Retail Main Street study

Margaret Smith reported that the Regal Heights Village BIA has done a survey of what residents and businesses want to see along the St. Clair business strip. An interim report will be issued June 7 with a final report expected in November. Meanwhile, the City is producing a manual with suggestions about how to create a vibrant retail area. Margaret says she is hoping the two initiatives will generate ideas about how the RHRA and residents in general can help bring new vitality to the St. Clair business strip.

5.  POLICE COMMUNITY PARTNERSHIP

Rosa Cordiano attends meetings of the Police Community Partnership on behalf of the RHRA and reports back on local crime issues. Overall, the Regal Heights area is one of the safest in the city.

Rosa reported she will now be able to get copies of the agendas and minutes for the Community Police Liaison Committee, which will make it easier to monitor issues brought up in that more formal body.

She reminded people to keep their doors locked this summer when they are in their back yards. Thieves will sometimes take advantage of an open door. She also encourages residents to always report minor crimes because the police allot manpower based on reported crime statistics. Call 416-222-TIPS (8477), or report online at www.torontopolice.on.ca/core/ For urgent or more serious crimes, call 911.

6.  COMMUNICATIONS

a) Communications update

Peter Norman encouraged anyone who is not on the RHRA email list to add themselves, because it is one of the major ways we keep people informed about projects and events in the neighbourhood. Just go to www.regalheights.ca and sign up online.

Peter reported that the RHRA website is very active and includes extensive information about events and projects in the neighbourhood, including detailed information about development proposals. This includes a Committee of Adjustment tracker that makes it easier to know about and attend committee hearings on matters in and around our neighbourhood.

The site now includes an interactive map showing gardens and planter barrels in the area. It also has pictures of local animals and birds, an extensive history section and interesting stories about the neighbourhood. If you have information you want to share on the website, please contact Peter at rhra@regalheights.ca

b) Update on Regal Heights Newsletter

Brigid Higgins reported that work has begun on a paper newsletter to be distributed in the fall. It will include articles such as: unsung heroes in the neighbourhood; history of the area; unique features of the area, such as the Springmount and Glenholme steps; a story about laneway naming; the geology of the area; and features about long-time residents. If you are interested in helping contact Brigid via rhra@regalheights.ca

c) RHRA statement in recognition of indigenous heritage

Margaret Smith reported that the association has adopted a statement that can be read at public occasions and which you can read on the RHRA site at www.regalheights.ca

7.  COMMUNITY WELCOME PROJECT

Harry Lay reported that the RHRA distributes welcome packages to new residents in the area. If you are aware of new owners or renters moving in, please inform Harry or Beth Marcilio via rhra@regalheights.ca

8.  FINANCES

a) RHRA fundraising and improved accounting

John Keating reported that since discarding the membership fee and doing online fundraising instead, the RHRA now has substantially more money. As a result, it is developing more detailed reporting about how the money is being spent. Watch for details on our website. The association will also take a more formal approach about getting board approval ahead of time for any proposed projects.

b) Current balances

Linda DeGiorgio reported the following figures:

  April 2019 May 2019
Operating Fund 9,294.97 8,903
Heritage Fund 276 276
Street Sale Fund 192 192
Petty Cash 226 226
TOTAL 9,988.97 9,597

Meeting adjourned 9pm.

Spring General Community Meeting 2019

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