Regal Heights Residents’ Association Minutes of the Annual General Meeting – Tuesday May 19, 2015

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Minutes of the Annual General Meeting – Tuesday May 19, 2015 at Room 119 Oakwood Collegiate Institute

Chairman John Keating welcomed approximately 40 residents to our AGM. He made special introduction of the guest speakers of the night.

Principal Richard Nosov of OCI welcomed the RHRA residents and spoke about the recent Jane’s Walk that reviewed the heritage and history of OCI. He spoke with pride of the school and thanked everyone for coming out to continue in the strong ties the community has developed with the school.

    1. Street Beautification
      1. Beautification and Gardens – John Keating reported on the gardens that RHRA maintains in the neighbourhood including Daffodil hill, Springmount boulevard, Rosemount gardens and the many planter barrels around. Thanks to the assistance from Councillor Palacio’s office, an irrigation system has been installed in the Rosemount gardens and a new water source was installed at the Springmount gardens. More volunteers are always welcome. Keep your eyes on the emails for times and dates of the next gardening event.
      2. Centennial Tree at Regal Road School – Florence Watts reported that in honour of the school’s centennial celebration a sweet gum tree was planted in front of the school two days before the centennial celebrations on November 8, 2014. Many thanks to former outgoing TDSB trustee Maria Rodrigues who funded the tree. A plaque will be made to commemorate the occasion. Also many thanks to Cathy Araujo who worked towards the design, production and distribution of a commemorative centennial coin.
      3. Annual clean up day – John Keating reported that the cleanup day on April 18th this year was well attended. He encouraged everyone to consider picking up bits of litter near their residence all year long to help keep the neighbourhood looking clean and inviting.
      4. Garbage can at Springmount steps – Marie Goldthorpe reported on her extended efforts to have the garbage bin that was removed from the bottom of the Springmount steps replaced. To date she has been unsuccessful and is requesting assistance from Councillor Palacio. In the meantime, people have been tying grocery bags to the bottom of the hand rail for garbage. Marie has been removing them when full. Councillor Palacio committed during the meeting to a quick resolution to this issue.


    1. Planning, community and communications
      1. Greetings from MP Andrew Cash – Our Member of Parliament congratulated the association for its work in building an involved, cohesive community. He also reviewed some highlights of his work in Parliament.
      2. Greetings from City Councillor Cesar Palacio – Councillor Palacio expressed his thanks to Prinicipal Nosov and the residents for their service and commitment to the community. He finds the level of community involvement an inspiration. He shared some projects that he is working on, including helping RHRA to put together a movie night in the summer and hosting a public meeting at JJP regarding the Metrolinx bridge development. He encourages residents to provide community input on the issue. He also mentioned a potential redevelopment application for the NE corner of Alberta and St. Clair and will be calling a public meeting on the issue at the relevant time. Meanwhile, construction is set to begin in the next few weeks on the proposed parking lot at 94 Northcliffe Ave. With regards to the methadone clinic, 18 persons have been apprehended and several banned from the area. Councillor Palacio also promised to follow-up on the issue about replacing the garbage receptacle on Springmount. He asked residents to please stay involved in the community and to contact him on his cellphone with any concerns. Councillor Palacio’s cell phone number is: 416-566-7790
      3. Special presentation: School access and school closingsTDSB Trustee Marit Stiles shared her experience that led her to run for school trustee. She discussed some of the systemic issues that the TDSB faces including the issue of school access and the chronic underfunding of the education system. Among the positive changes that have been made: the sale of the school at Bloor and Dufferin was delayed while exploring the idea of using the property as a community hub; TDSB is bringing in an integrity commissioner and developing a policy to protect whistleblowers; in the fall the TDSB will be reviewing the schools in the area to look at how they can better be used to serve the community; Ascot daycare, formerly at Regal Road school, will be moving into underutilized space at OCI; a new permit fee system has been developed with different fees schedules for different categories of users. Trustee Stiles said the TDSB is also looking into joint ventures with community services such as the tennis initiative at OCI. She added that the school board needs to have a conversation with the City of Toronto to be part of the solution.
      4. Greetings from Anne Marie DiLello, branch head of the Shaw Davenport Library – Anne Marie presented on the services available from the Toronto Public Library. The fastest growing segment of service is e-books, e-magazines, streaming of videos and music. The materials are never overdue as they are automatically deleted from your electronic devices. She says patrons can also book a librarian for 1:1 assistance. Another popular free service is MAP passes to various museums and tourist spots in Toronto sponsored by Sunlife. One pass is good for a whole family. Other services include in-library programs such as ESL, computer training, summer reading, online book clubs and more. The Toronto Reference Library hosts an ongoing speaker series. June is seniors month with special programs for seniors including education for renewal of drivers license for those over 80 years old. Pre-registration is required. All this is free to any resident in Toronto who signs up for a Toronto Public library card.
      5. Greetings from Sergeant Traverse Wynne from Police 13 Division – Sergeant Wynne from the community response unit expressed his appreciation to the residents for their help during a recent incident and homicide investigation. Toronto’s 12th homicide of 2015 occurred in Regal Heights earlier this month when a man was killed on St. Clair near Lauder. He described it as a dispute between two men that ended with one man suffering a fatal head injury. He emphasized that this is a safe neighbourhood and that this was an isolated unfortunate incident. He also shared that there has been a rash of stolen bicycles lately. Residents who own a bicycle can assist the police by registering their bike with the police. A serial number makes it easier to track and recover a stolen bike. All are encouraged to bring forth issues to the monthly police meetings (either the PCP13 meetings or the PCPL meetings) or through Councillor Palacio’s office.
      6. Carolynna Gabriel from Wilmington Tennis Group explained her proposal to bring tennis to the old tennis courts on the Oakwood Collegiate Institute grounds. Her group has been working towards this goal with the TDSB since 2012. She is proposing to rebuild the tennis courts and construct a small clubhouse using monies from grants and sponsorships. The school would have the use of the courts and Carolynna’s company would give reasonably-priced lessons. Community members could use the courts for free when not otherwise in use. It would help to serve as a community hub for the neighbourhood. A 20-year lease with the TDSB is still being negotiated. Presently Carolynna is sharing her vision with the neighbourhood in hopes of getting community support for the project.
      7. RHRA communications – Peter Norman reported that we have 306 subscribers to our email services. It would be nice if more of them were paid members. It is an easy way to keep the community informed of activities in the neighbourhood. Go to our RHRA website to register. We also have an active twitter feed that communicates more broad and promotional information, and fosters links to nearby associations and organizations. RHRA events are also typically found on our Facebook page. Links to all of these social media are found near the bottom of this (and every) email.


    1. Special Events
      1. Pub Nights – Beth Marcilio reported that we have had several pub nights at the Fox and Fiddle where we get to meet our neighbours and enjoy 25% off the food bill. They have been well attended. The next Pub Night is Thursday May 28th at 6:30 p.m.
      2. Candidates’ Meeting – Margaret Smith reported that with a federal election expected on October 18th, we are preparing for another All Candidates Meeting at OCI on Wednesday October 7th.
      3. Canada Day Parade – will be held this year on Wednesday July 1st
      4. Carol Sing – will be held this year on Friday December 18, 2015
      5. Street mural project – Dave Meslin presented a slide show of how this idea has been growing over the past few years. The City of Ottawa has actually developed official guidelines for street painting programs. We did a pilot mural last summer at the Westmount/Regal Rd intersection in chalk. It was short lived but well received. This year as part of the Street Party on June 6th we are planning to paint a semi-permanent mural on Springmount Ave. It will have a water theme to tie into the Garrison Creek that runs below ground. Victor Fraser, a professional sidewalk artist has agreed to bring his technical expertise to the project.


    1. Finances – Linda DeGiorgio reported the finances to be: (not including memberships paid for tonight)
      Finances April 21, 2015 May 19, 2015
      Operating Fund $2,434 $2,929
      Heritage Fund 992 992
      Mt Royal Bump-out (in trust) 745 745
      Street Sale (in trust) 150 150
      Petty Cash 96 96
      Total $4,417 $4,412


    1. Membership – Dave Meslin reported that the number of memberships paid for each year is slowly increasing. We hope to see greater growth in membership.


    1. RHRA Election of Executive 2015-2016 – David Raymont stood and presented the executive as willing to serve another year. All in attendance were in agreement. Those present were reminded that if they too are interested in becoming a member of the executive, they merely have to attend four out of the eight meetings in the year.


  1. 9:00 p.m. John made closing remarks and call the meeting to a close.

Next regular meeting: September 15, 2015 at 7 p.m. at Keating’s place, 99 Springmount Ave.