Regal Heights Residents’ Association
Annual General Meeting, Wednesday November 22, 2017
Oakwood Collegiate Auditorium – 7 to 9 p.m.
Opening remarks were made by chairman John Keating to welcome approximately 50 people to the meeting. Principal Steve Yee was thanked for opening up the school to welcome us. Unfortunately he was unable to be present to welcome the community himself. We have posted a copy of an amazing promotional video recently published by Principal Yee, staff and parents at OCI. Click here to view.
A word from our local representatives
- Greetings from Trustee Marit Stiles – she thanked everyone for the support that OCI has received from the community to keep the school open and operating as a high school. The teachers and principal at OCI have decided to de-stream courses for the grade nine students. All students now enter an academic stream because students in the applied stream found it very difficult to switch out once in it. Marit also explained her petition to ask the province to amend Provincial legislation to allow the Toronto District School Board to access Education Development Charges revenues and to enable the TDSB to apply EDC funds to school capital and site-related costs.
- Greetings form MPP Cristina Martins – she reported that Bill
148, Fair Workplaces, Better Jobs Act 2017 was passed at Queens Park this morning. The Bill makes various amendments to the Employment Standards Act, 2000 and mandates a fair workplace for full time, part time and temporary workers. Among the highlights: equal pay for part-time, temporary, casual and seasonal employees doing the same job as full-time employees; and a minimum wage increase to $15/hr by 2019. Starting January 1, 2018 the OHIP plus plan comes into effect, providing prescription medications free of charge to people 24 and under. The Davenport Diamond project is proceeding. In addition to a new GO station at Lansdowne and Bloor, a SmartTrack station will be located at Old Weston Rd. and St. Clair Ave. The Ontario government is currently accepting nominations for the volunteer service awards for persons who have provided 5 consecutive years of volunteer service for an organization in their community.
Nominations can be submitted until January 25, 2018. Contact MPP Martins for assistance with nominations. MPP Martins would like to welcome all residents to join in her holiday open house on December 9, 2017 at her office, at 1199 Bloor St., from 11 – 3 p.m.
- Councillor Cesar Palacio and MP Julie Dzerowicz sent their regrets that they could not be present tonight.
- New neighbourhood parkette proposal – Dave Meslin presented a proposal to create a parkette at the Springmount Ave. & Regal Rd intersection to help slow down traffic and improve safety for pedestrians. The idea was well received. Members unanimously approved sending the following motion to Councillor Palacio’s office for consideration: “The Regal Heights Residents Association requests our City Councillor to prepare and move a motion asking City Staff to report on the feasibility of transforming the surplus pavement area at the intersection of Regal Road and Springmount Avenue, allowing for a traditional three-way intersection, new green space and enhanced sidewalk connectivity. The report should include any anticipated impact on safety, street parking, storm water absorption, garbage collection and snow removal.”
- Gardening projects, call for volunteers – once or twice in the spring and the fall of each year we gather to work on the community garden projects. We would like to invite more volunteers to add their names to a list so we can call upon your assistance should you be available. It is usually for an hour here and there and you get to meet and work alongside your neighbours to keep our neighbourhood green. Please email your name and contact information to us at RHRA@regalheights.ca
- Tree for Me project – Harry Lay reported on an initiative from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, offering residents free trees to plant on their private property. RHRA has hosted two events and given away 100 native saplings. We also provided training for tree planting and maintenance. We plan to host another giveaway session again in 2018.
- Charles Caccia tree at Regal Road school – Florence reported that a serviceberry tree is being provided to replace the redbud planted in memory of former MP Charles Caccia. It is hoped that it can be planted as close to the original tree’s location as practical. The principal has advised that the replanting may need to wait until the completion of the school renovations.
- Glenholme Abacus – Dave reported that many people use the Glenholme steps for exercise and have used sticks and stones nearby to help keep count of their progress. Dave set up an abacus on a board at the top of the steps for anyone interested in using it.
- Leaves – John reminded everyone that pushing leaves onto the roadway is illegal. Residents are reminded to bag their leaves in paper bags for collection on yard waste days. December 14th is the final yard waste collection for our area this year.
- Ideas for St. Clair streetscape improvements – Tony Bolla spoke on behalf of the Regal Heights Village BIA. They are looking to create a master plan to improve the streetscape along St. Clair between Westmount and Winona Ave. One idea is to erect decorative fencing in front of the OCI sport field. If you have any ideas how to make St. Clair look better, you are invited to contact the RHVBIA through its great website or at firstname.lastname@example.org
Planning, Community and Communications
- RHRA’s new website and communications update – Peter reported that the RHRA website has been updated this year. Many thanks to Art Dacks for his hard work in setting up the new website. We have switched to a different system that is more user-friendly and easier to keep updated. Peter encourages residents to visit the website. He is now using a combination of the emails, website and twitter to keep keep information updated and fresh, while limiting emails to a reasonable number. Check out the website at regalheights.ca and also look for our Twitter feed. Residents are especially encouraged to check out our “neighbourhood lore” section for stories from the past and present. We welcome feedback and submissions to the website. Many thanks to Peter for his time and efforts keeping our website updated and keeping the community in touch with the activities and events of the RHRA!
- Ward boundary changes – Margaret Smith reported that a review of the ward boundaries started in 2014. Three rounds of public consultations were held. In November 2016, City Council approved a proposal to increase the number of wards from 44 to 47. That plan was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board, but the Board’s decision is still pending. If it is approved before the end of the year, Regal Heights will become part of a newly formed ward stretching from Dufferin St. in the west to Avenue Rd. in the east. Check out our website for more information and maps realated to this issue. The website will be updated with new information once the Board decision is made.
- 2 hour TTC transfer – The RHRA, the RHV-BIA, the advocacy group TTC Riders, and the Toronto Association of BIAs have created a group call 2HourTransfer4TO. It has been advocating for a 2-hour fare on the TTC, which would allow riders to get on and off transit within a two-hour window, with no additional charge. The group now has support from the Mayor and the Chairman of the TTC, as well as several TTC Board members. The Board will vote next Tuesday on whether to include a two-hour fare in the TTC Ridership Growth Strategy for 2018. We encourage residents to email their support for the 2 hour fare to the TTC corporate board secretary at email@example.com
- Proposed development 49-51 Springmount Avenue – an application to tear down two rental houses at these addresses and replace them with three houses was presented at the Committee of Adjustments on October 12th. A group of local residents, led by Jennifer Wigmore, and with support from RHRA executive members Harry Lay and John Keating made a deputation at the COA hearing. This group objected on the basis of building density and loss of green space on the hill in front of the houses and an array of other issues. The application was denied. The owner is appealing the decision to the Toronto Local Appeal Board. Councillor Palacio has been approached to assist in preserving the flavour of the neighbourhood and green space. Councillor Palacio hopes to host a meeting for all stakeholders to work out an acceptable compromise.
- Toronto Can do Better – Caleb Woolcott presented an initiative that calls for residents to sign a petition to the Toronto City Council to create a budget that would invest more money in affordable homes, childcare spaces, jobs and dental care for seniors. Go online to sign the petition
- Carol Sing – everyone is invited to join in our annual Carol Sing to be held on Friday December 15, 2017 at the northeast corner of Oakwood C.I. from 7 to 8 p.m.
- Update on Syrian family project – John reported that the Syrian family of seven sponsored by some members of Regal Heights and the St. Matthews Church are settling into Canada nicely. December 7th marks the one-year anniversary of their arrival. The 5 children, aged 2 to 13, are thriving in school and learning English quickly. The parents are taking English classes also. The father is beginning an apprentice program to learn trade. Talk of sponsoring another family is being considered.
- Pub Night – The next pub night held at the Fox and Fiddle is planned for Thursday December 7th at 6:30 p.m. This pub night will be a joint event with the Northcliffe Village Residents’ Association. Santa will be attending and children are welcome. 25% discount will be offered on the food bill.
- Winter Carnival Proposal – Siva Swaminathan presented her proposal to host a “chase away the winter blues” neighbourhood event, modelled after European winter carnivals. She is looking for volunteers to help co-ordinate the event. Tony Bolla offered RHV-BIA assistance as they too are looking for ways to include the community. Volunteers can make their interest known by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Community Welcome Project – Harry shared that RHRA has produced a welcome package that we like to distribute to newcomers to the neighbourhood. It includes pertinent information about services and amenities in the area. Please drop us a line at email@example.com if you know of new neighbours moving in near you and we can prepare a package for them.
|Finances||Oct 17, 2017||Nov 22, 2017|
|Street Sale (in trust)||192||192|
Vote on proposed RHRA membership system pilot program – Dave presented a proposed change for membership criteria. It became clear that further discussion and clearer details are required before voting on implementing it. It was decided to defer the vote to the May public meeting.
Members voted in favour of having current executive members continue to serve on the RHRA executive. New executive members are welcome! Just show up at any of our meetings and participate.
The meeting concluded at 9 p.m.
Next regular meeting: Tuesday January 16, 2018 at 7 pm. Location TBA