RHRA 2020 AGM Minutes

Regal Heights Annual General Meeting

Tuesday, November 17th, 7pm

Via Zoom, John Keating hosting

Attending:  John Keating, Ana Bailão (Councillor), Nicholas Gallant (Councillor’s office), Marit Stiles (MPP), Rosa Cordiano, Peter Norman, Richard Cavanaugh, Margaret Smith, Harry Lay, Linda DeGiorgio, Mary Anne Quance, Brigid Higgins, Dave Meslin, Carol Gallagher, Anderson Taylor, Susan Leonard

Watch the full Open House and 2020 AGM HERE

Opening Remarks

John Keating welcomed everyone tothe AGM. Peter Norman proposed that the Zoom meeting be recorded so that all residents could view it at a later time. All were in agreement with this suggestion. The recording will be available on the RHRA website at regalheights.ca

1 – Greetings from local representatives

John introduced Marit Stiles, MPP for Davenport, who brought greetings and acknowledged the Association’s ongoing contributions to the community. She especially recognized Florence Watts for her ongoing commitment to Daffodil Hill, which is one instance of work that brings joy to the neighbourhood. Ms. Stiles indicated that her office has provided a range of supports to residents during the pandemic. As the Education Critic, she is concentrating especially on school matters. She hopes to table legislation that would allow communities more voice in determining the location of cannabis shops in their neighbourhoods. This legislation is designed to ensure that there is a good balance of different businesses in every neighbourhood. She explained that the Davenport Good Neighbours initiative has phoned to check in on roughly 14,000 residents during the pandemic. She invites all who would like to nominate someone for a Good Neighbour award to contact her office through her website.

John Keating next introduced Ana Bailão, Councillor for Davenport. Councillor Bailão likewise brought greetings, thanks and appreciation to the RHRA for its work to support and keep the community informed. Councillor Bailão reported that her office has been assisting residents and small businesses during the pandemic, recognizing that various communities within the Ward have been affected in different ways. She reviewed various City support initiatives, including CafeTO, ActiveTO and the Small Business tax class that is soon to take effect. She, together with Councillor Josh Matlow, hopes to secure a construction coordinator to oversee the movement of trucks, road closures and other elements of building projects along St. Clair that directly impact the neighbourhood. She reported that the Dufferin bus priority lane study is in progress but that the Regal Heights traffic study and Glenholme/Rosemount cycling infrastructure study are currently on hold due to the pandemic. She hopes these studies will be back on the agenda soon.

John Keating thanked both officials for their contributions.

2 – Recap of our community programs

a)  Our public gardens and how to get involved

Mary Ann Quance recapped the gardening events of the past year. The Rosemount gardens had spring and fall cleanup days and the neighbourhood barrel planters are tended and refreshed by a group of volunteers throughout the year. The bump-out at the corner of Alberta and Mount Royal had some fresh bulbs added this fall. Peter Norman gave a demonstration of the interactive garden map on the RHRA website through which everyone can view pictures of the various garden features in the neighbourhood. Richard Cavanaugh reported on the cleanup and bulb planting on Daffodil Hill in early November and thanked all the volunteers for their help on that day. There will be another date, to be advised, when an arborist is available to help with thinning of the trees on the slope to improve the view from Regal Road Public School. Richard mentioned that there are several walnut, cherry and apple trees on the slope, which make for a lovely grove.

b)  Alternatives for the annual Christmas Carol Sing

John Keating acknowledged that this is one of our longest running events, often drawing 60-70 people, but this year it is not feasible in its usual form. Brigid Higgins recapped alternative ideas from the last Executive meeting which included a zoom event, readings of The Gift of the Magi, a reading for Hanukkah, and carols and songs honouring diverse traditions. After more brainstorming it was agreed that a pre-recorded event would be posted with seasonal readings done by a small team of volunteers and recordings of season’s greetings submitted by individual households to bring cheer and connection to the whole neighbourhood. John and Brigid offered to plan the event and Peter volunteered to collate and post the recordings. Peter further noted that the idea will require focused outreach to ensure all households receive the invitation to participate in this holiday event.

c)  Neighbourhood outreach during COVID

John reminded us of the online Regal Heights COVID-19 Help Group on Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/groups/592789477984497) Residents who need help with things like grocery shopping or picking up medication can post on the page. Anyone wanting to help is encouraged to also post on the page with a summary of the kind of aid they can offer. It’s up to residents to arrange their own help, keeping safe practices in mind. Please spread the word so that people can offer and receive help as needed.

d)  The RHRA website and email updates

Peter Norman presented a series of slides to illustrate the various platforms the RHRA uses for outreach and communication with residents. He reported that there are currently 469 email addresses in the database, 370 Facebook members, 464 Twitter followers and 191 Instagram followers associated with the RHRA, as well as 447 neighbours using the NextDoor Regal Heights app. He further noted that there are roughly 1,770 households, more than half of which are renters. Peter noted that the households reached through current communications do not necessarily represent the full neighbourhood of Regal Heights with all its diversity, so we must continue to find effective ways to connect with everyone. Peter also reported that during the pandemic the website hosted various virtual events such as the Annual Garden Tour and the Pumpkin Carving Contest.

e)  Update on the Regal Heights Newsletter

Brigid Higgins reported that the newsletter is currently on hold due to a lack of volunteers and difficulties presented by the pandemic. The team, including Beth Marcilio, has collected lots of story ideas and Brigid hopes that when we can safely meet again in person the project will take off again. Peter pointed out that vibrant communication and outreach is needed now more than ever; nonetheless it was acknowledged that the project needs volunteers to make it happen. 

f)  How we keep the community in touch with the police

Rosa Cordiano reported that there were no community meetings offered by the local police division since the onset of the pandemic. Division 13 does have a website where residents can learn about activities, fill out online incident reports, and view a list of crimes reported. She reminded us that it is important to file reports because police work is driven by statistics and they need an accurate picture of crime activity in any given neighbourhood. 

g)  Regal Heights Family Pub Nights

John reported on behalf of Beth Marcilio. John connected with the Northcliffe Village Residents’ Association to see about a joint virtual event this Christmas (in keeping with our annual joint holiday event held at the Fox and Fiddle) but nothing was planned. John reported that Philippa Curtin is willing to provide music with her band in a future Zoom event. It was agreed that we focus on the virtual Carol Sing event this month and forego the pub night that was tentatively scheduled for December 3rd.

h)  Regal Heights Maple Syrup

John Keating reported for Dave Meslin that the maple syrup event of spring 2020 was a great success. The last of the maple syrup was given to the Pumpkin Carving Contest winners and some of these recipients expressed interest in being involved in the maple syrup event next spring. John hopes to recruit more trees for tapping next year.

3 – Election of RHRA Executive members

John Keating stated that everyone is welcome to be involved in the RHRA Executive. Peter moved that the current slate of candidates be approved for the coming year. Carol Gallagher withdrew from the Executive; all others present accepted the nomination. The motion was carried.

4 – Finances

Linda DeGiorgio provided the figures below. 

 October 2020November 2020
Operating Fund5,688.675,688.67
Heritage Fund   276.00  276.00
Street Sale Fund   192.00  192.00  
Petty Cash    48.35    48.35
Total6,205.026,205.02

RHRA    Income and Expenses                   2020-11-17

INCOME:

 Total Donations:                                                        60.00

EXPENDITURES:

 Street Beautification (Daffodil Bulbs)                 150.20

Maple Syrup Project                                                 128.58

Carol Sing (Candy)                                                       12.00

Regal Heights Review Newsletter                             759.18

Production ($- 559.35) Delivery ($  – 199.83)

Total Expenditures:                                              1,039.96

5. – New Business

It was agreed that some funds could be used to print and send out another communication through Canada Post as was done for the Regal Heights Newsletter earlier in the year. This could be a seasonal greeting or invitation advertising the next public meeting. This will be discussed further at a later date.

Meeting adjourned at 8:29pm.

Next Meeting: January 19, 2021 at 7 pm. via Zoom. Check back with http://regalheights.ca/ prior to the meeting for the Zoom link information.