Regal Heights Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting, Tueday November 15, 2016

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Regal Heights Residents’ Association Annual General Meeting, Tueday November 15, 2016 At Oakwood Collegiate Auditorium

    1. Street Beautification
      1. Gardens – Mary Anne Quance reported on the different gardens maintained by RHRA. We are always looking for more volunteers to help tend to the gardens. Generally it only takes an hour here and there, a few times a year. Contact Mary Anne if interested at We have received a good supply of evergreen boughs, which will soon be added to the planter barrels for the winter. Richard Cavanagh reported that there will be a clean-up of Daffodil hill to clear rubbish and cut back the grass along the sidewalk on Saturday November 26th at 10 am. We’ll have the assistance of an arborist to help thin out the trees. Please come out with your garden gloves to give a hand. It should only take about an hour.
      2. New benches on Rosemount Ave – Florence reported that with the assistance of Councillor Palacio’s office, two new benches are being installed in memory of Dick Watts on cement pads in the Rosemount gardens.
      3. Tree in Northcliffe Parkette – a 12 foot spruce tree will be planted in the parkette as a result of a community project driven by Councillor Palacio’s office in conjunction with the residents’ associations and BIA. RHRA will soon be launching a fundraising project to help pay for the tree.
      4. Reminder to bag leaves – residents are reminded that it is illegal to push leaves onto the streets. Please bag your leaves for yard waste pick-up.
      5. Heritage tree – Trees Ontario and the Ontario Urban Forest Council have recognized a Catalpa tree in Regal Heights as a Heritage Tree. Considered the largest and oldest Catalpa tree on record in Toronto, it is growing at 1390 Davenport at the Wall residence. It is more than 125 years old and is believed to have been planted around 1887. A plaque and certificate have been made to indicate it is now a protected heritage tree. It is believed to have about another 30 years left in its lifespan.


    1. Planning, community and communications
      1. Greetings from City Councillor Cesar Palacio – Geno Orsi, special assistant to Councillor Palacio, spoke on his behalf. He recounted some of the projects of this past year, including the Dick Watts steps memorial plaque, the benches on Rosemount Ave, and the spruce tree to be planted in the Northcliffe Parkette. He thanked RHRA for supporting a successful application by the Fox and Fiddle restaurant to build a sidewalk patio. He encouraged residents to attend the upcoming safety forum on November 29th when Chief Saunders will be available to address safety concerns.
      2. The recent directional changes on Northcliffe Ave. just south of St. Clair Ave was discussed. A resident noted that there have been many near accidents since that short portion of the road was made two-way. He suggested painting arrows on the street to help make the change clearer. Cars continue to park on both sides of the street, which obstructs traffic. Also, cars parking in the student drop-off spots are often facing northwards in the southbound lane, further adding to the confusion. Geno will look into more enforcement and see what other measures can help people adjust to the change.
      3. Greetings from Trustee Marit Stiles – Trustee Stiles commended RHRA residents on their passionate involvement and engagement in the community. She reported that the TDSB has recommended that Vaughan Road Academy high school be closed. Most of the students from Vaughan Road and feeder schools in the area are expected to be directed to Oakwood CI. She said RHRA community input during the review process helped to keep OCI open. Future plans for OCI include a renovation of the OCI grounds and the possibility of recommending the addition of a French immersion stream. The TDSB will also be reviewing its policy and procedures for optional attendance, as it tends to pull students out of some local schools, while pushing attendance above capacity at other schools.
      4. Greetings from MP Julie Dzerowicz’s office – Golshan Abdmoulaie is the new communications manager for the MP and shared some of Julie’s work in Ottawa to date. Julie is focusing on pushing environmental issues, strengthening the middle class in Canada, speeding up the immigration process for skilled workers, and making it easier for international students to remain in Canada after they finish their studies. Her office is located at 1202 Bloor St. W. (Dufferin and Bloor.) Golshan invites residents to drop by any time with any federal issues they may wish to discuss.
      5. Special presentation: Caroline Ingvaldson, branch head, Dufferin/St. Clair Library – Caroline thanked RHRA residents for making her stay at the Dufferin/St. Clair branch a wonderful one. She will be retiring on May 17, 2017. She said the connection between the library to the community was really solidified with a project spearheaded by RHRA members David Self and John McCauley, to restore the murals on the library walls. A renovation of the rest of the library facilities soon followed. The Toronto Public Library has 100 branches. A magazine published by the library called ‘What’s On’ is available on a quarterly basis free of charge. It lists programs and events for everyone from babies to seniors. One particular event taking place on April 1st at the Dufferin/St. Clair branch is a customer appreciation day where Caroline will be saying her thanks and farewell. A community book swap is also planned and residents are invited to bring their books to swap with others.
      6. RHRA communications – Peter Norman manages the communications for RHRA. We now have 326 email recipients and 264 Twitter followers. There is also a RHRA Facebook site as well as our RHRA website, where key information can be found.
      7. School closing update – Margaret Smith shared the process that lead to the closing of Vaughan Road Academy. She reminded us that the low enrollment was a result of parents being able to choose where to send their children and not just merely on account of demographics. While OCI has been spared from closure this time around, it is important to continue to make OCI a vibrant and desirable school that kids will choose to attend.
      8. OCI landscaping project – Schuster Gindin explained that the TDSB is drawing up a master plan to redo the landscaping of the OCI grounds. The plan includes revitalizing the streetscape along St. Clair Ave. and Oakwood Ave.; possible creation of a small outdoor amphitheatre along St. Clair; removing the former water fountain at the corner of St. Clair and Oakwood and making the area more inviting and useable; and moving the basketball courts closer to Oakwood Ave. and creating a sitting area along the edge of the court for socialization. The idea is to draw students from congregating at the busy Oakwood/St. Clair corner by creating other areas for socialization. However, since there is limited funding not all of the project will be carried out in the near future. An earlier unrelated proposal to run a community tennis club has been rejected.
      9. Update on Syrian family project – a family of 7 has been sponsored by United Neighbours, a joint effort of some RHRA members and St Matthews United Church. Their arrival is anticipated by Christmas. Living accommodations have been found, as major furniture has been moved in. United Neighbours is still seeking small electric appliances such as a toaster, iron, kettle, pots and pans. Contact John Keating with donations or for further info at
      10. Ward boundaries – Margaret reported that the City has voted to redraw the ward boundaries. It is recommended that the wards be increased from the present 44 to 47 wards. These change still needs to be approved by the Province before coming into effect. If approved, Regal Heights will no longer be part of Ward 17 but will be in Ward 15, currently represented by Councillor Joe Mihevc.


    1. Special Events
      1. Carol Sing – This year to be held on Friday December 16th from 7 to 8 pm in front of Oakwood C.I.
      2. Street mural project – since the first street mural was painted on Springmount Ave. last year, the City approved a pilot program to permit four more street murals in Toronto. One of those was on Lauder Avenue this past summer. Many thanks to Dave Meslin who has spearheaded this initiative, Melissa Frew for her mural designs and artist Victor Fraser overseeing the painting of both murals in our neighbourhood.
      3. Pumpkin carving – we had another great turnout for the annual pumpkin carving event hosted jointly by the RHRA and Northcliffe Village Residents’ Association. Many thanks to Freddie’s No Frills for a cash donation and for selling us as 55 pumpkins at the store’s discounted price.


    1. Police Community Partnership – Rosa Cordiano attends the PCP 13 Division meeting as our liaison. She encourages any interested residents to attend and see how the police are involved in our community issues. She reminds residents to stay engaged with the community and to report any incidents to the police no matter how small by calling 416 808-2222. It’s important to report even seemingly minor problems because the more an issue gets reported, the greater the attention police will give it.


    1. Community Welcome Project – RHRA delivers a welcome package to new residents with information about the resources in our community and information about. If you know of a new neighbour moving in, please drop us a line at
      so we can share a package with them and make them feel welcome in our community.


    1. Finances – deferred to January meeting


    1. Membership
      1. We had 108 paid memberships for the year of 2016. Any memberships received from today onwards will be counted toward the membership year of 2017.
      2. Change of membership year end – To avoid confusion about when memberships are in effect, John Keating moved that we switch the year-end coincide with the calendar year. All present were in favour of the change.


  1. RHRA Meetings and Election of Executive – David Raymont presided over the election of the executive for 2017 year. All were in favour of the present executive continuing.
    John made closing remarks at 8:45pm

Next meeting: Tuesday January 17, 2017 at 57 Regal Road, (home of Florence Watts) 7pm