Executive Meeting Minutes February 2020

RHRA Executive Meeting, Tuesday, February 18, 2020, 7:00 pm, 57 Regal Rd. (Home of Florence Watts)

Attending:  John Keating, Florence Watts, Linda DiGiorgio, Peter Norman, Brigid Higgins, Mary Anne Quance, Rosa Cordiano, Tony Ravito, Rosabel Fast, Sal and Mary Ritacca, Nicholas Gallant (Councillor Bailão’s office), Alexander Keys (Constituency Assistant, MP Julie Dzerowicz Community Office)

Regrets: Harry Lay, Beth Marcilio, Dave Meslin, Margaret Smith, Robert Szachrajuk

Projects and Events

  • Greetings from MP Julie Dzerowicz’s office

Constituency assistant Alexander Keys reported on a number of issues on behalf of the Davenport MP:

  • The deadline for application for the Canada Summer Jobs program is February 28th (3pm)
  • Julie welcomes the new Syrian refugee family that members of the Regal Heights community helped to sponsor
  • On Saturday March 21, Julie will host a casual coffee drop-in at her constituency office at 1202 Bloor St. from 1 pm to 3 pm. All are welcome.
  • The House of Commons is in discussion about establishing an oversight body for Canadian Border Services, which until now has not had such oversight.
  • The Canadian Nuclear Safety Commission will hold a public hearing March 2 – 3 about the licence renewal for BWXT Inc. The company at 1025 Lansdowne Ave. makes non-reactive uranium pellets which are shipped to Peterborough to be made into fuel rods for nuclear reactors. The meeting is at Casa Do Alentejo Community Centre, 1130 Dupont Street. (Click HERE for a copy of MP Dzerowics’s remarks at that hearing)
  • Glenholme Steps waste bin discussion

Florence Watts noted that neighbours near the top of the Dick Watts steps near Regal Rd. and Glenholme spend a lot of time keeping the area clean. There was a plastic Rubbermaid garbage bin on the site but the City did not empty it regularly. Then the City replaced it with a metal Astral garbage and recycling bin, against the wishes of neighbours living nearby. More recently, there has been no bin at all. There is also a problem with illegal dumping of garbage on the site.

Follow up:  Thanks to the efforts of Nicholas Gallant, the Rubbermaid bin is now back on the site. Nicholas has asked the City for regular pickup of garbage there. He has also requested an audit of the illegally dumped trash to trace the person(s) responsible. He urges residents to keep an eye out for illegal dumpers and report it to the City by calling 311.

  • 2020 street party next steps

Dave Meslin reported via email that no one seems prepared to organize a 2020 party. As a result, the RHRA will return to its traditional bi-annual schedule.

  • Update on abacus repairs

Dave Meslin reported via email that he’s making progress on building a new abacus to replace the damaged one at the top of the Dick Watts steps. He says it should be done by the end of the month.

  • Maple syrup 202

John Keating reported that a call for volunteers to help produce Regal Heights maple syrup attracted almost a dozen volunteers and offers of two private trees for tapping. The tapping should begin in the next week or so.

Follow up: Global TV news has since become aware of the project and has asked to do an item about it.

Communications and Planning

  • Communications

Peter Norman reported that he sent out 15 emails over the past month regarding news such as the new Syrian refugee family, the BWXT meetings, and the Earlscourt Park centenary and many other topics. He noted there was a lot of interest and positive feedback about the first edition of the Regal Heights Review. On the RHRA website (www.regalheights.ca) he has updated the photo slider at the top of the home page and created portals for information about the Earlscourt centenary. He continues to update the COA Tracker, a portal about development applications in Regal Heights before the City’s Committee of Adjustment and the Toronto Local Appeal Board (TLAB), and he reviewed a number of matters with hearings upcoming. He is also using social media, including Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and the NextDoor app to drive traffic to the website. Peter urges neighbours to “Like” the RHRA’s social media items to help increase engagement. Recent articles on the site include an item about the Taylor Cup pond hockey tournament in support of Princess Margaret Hospital.

  • Ice clearing information

Peter Norman and Nicholas Gallant spoke on this matter. In the last meeting there was an undertaking to include information on snow clearing options and obligations on the RHRA website. The City does not have a standard letter it issues to encourage residents to clear their sidewalks. Seniors and persons with disabilities can get help from the City with snow clearing. John will summarize this information for inclusion on the RHRA website.

  • Editor needed for Volume 2 of the Regal Heights Newsletter

Brigid Higgins reported that producing the first edition of the community newsletter was very rewarding, but involved a considerable amount of work. She would like to step back and let someone else take the lead for the next edition. While the newsletter was a team effort, she says it is important to have one point of contact to oversee the operation. No one volunteered at the meeting, but John will send out an invitation for someone to fill the role.

  • Ideas for working with the BIA

John reported that the Regal Heights Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) is interested in working with the RHRA and neighbouring Northcliffe Village RA on projects during the year. John suggested a number of projects for cooperation. Some members noted that the RHRA often finds it difficult to get volunteers for its own projects, so getting involved in BIA projects could be challenging. There is interest in continuing to work with the BIA for the annual Pumpkin Carving event. Members would also like to explore involving the BIA in the annual neighbourhood cleanup day. The executive left open the possibility of revisiting this issue.

Street Beautification Programs

  • Gardens, graffiti, garbage

Nothing new to report.

Police Partnership Report

Rosa Cordiano reported that after a string personnel changes, staffing at police Division 13 is settling down and the division is now putting more focus on local policing. Four community officers are available to deal with issues in the area. They are committed to staying in this role for at least the next four years. Their job is to respond to community concerns and they will appear as needed either in uniform or plain clothes and are willing to attend events and community meetings. Rosa noted that the Regal Heights area continues to be one of the lowest crime areas in the city. Rosa reported that there is an upcoming meeting of the Community Police Liason Committee on March 9th. The agenda for that meeting is posted on our website along with minutes of previous meetings.

Community Welcome Project

Beth Marcilio reported via email that she sent out six letters regarding the RHRA Welcome Packages with no results so far. She and Harry Lay invite anyone who is new to the neighbourhood to contact the RHRA to receive a package.

Finances

Linda DiGiorgio provided the following figures:

  November 2019 January 2020
Operating Fund 6,017.08 5,817.25
Heritage Fund 276.00 276.00
Street Sale Fund 192.00 192.00
Petty Cash 8.35 8.35
TOTAL 6,493.43 6,293.60

Meeting Adjourned at 8:55 pm.

Next meeting: Tuesday March 17, Location TBD