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Regal Heights Residents’ Association Executive Meeting

Tuesday February 20, 7 pm, 79 Regal Rd.

Present: John Keating (chair), Harry Lay, Dave Meslin, Florence Watts, Marie Goldthorpe, Beth Marcilio, Dave Meslin, Richard Cavanaugh, Elena Simonetta (Regal Height BIA)

Regrets: Mary Anne Quance, Brigid Higgins, Rosa Cordiano, Peter Norman

1. Street Beautification

(a) Garden plans, graffiti etc.: Mary Anne could not be present. Florence reported that the new steel structure that Enbridge installed on the north side of Rosemount near Springmount has been painted with graffiti. John will alert Enbridge by email. Residents are reminded that if you see graffiti, contact the City at 311 and ask to have it cleaned up. If you want to clean it yourself, lacquer thinner (available at most hardware stores and building centres) is usually very effective.

(b) Update in spring gardening event: John reported that Jeffrey Toste, the librarian at the Dufferin St. branch, is very enthusiastic about the upcoming plant and seed exchange at the library garden on May 12. This new project is a joint venture between the library and the RHRA. We have expert gardeners who have agreed to volunteer to answer gardening questions. The library will have a display of gardening books available to borrow.

(c) Update on neighbourhood parkette proposal: Dave reported that he met with City staff and they are very supportive of the proposal for a parkette at the corner of Springmount and Regal Rd. The City is planning a community consultation. Staff are trying to find a balance between developing the parkette quickly and building something that will last. John suggested they follow the example of the park at the north end of the No Frills parking lot, which is built over top of existing asphalt.

(d) Cleanup Day, April 21: John said he has sent the City a map of the garbage pickup point for Cleanup Day. We will publicize the event with posters, emails and a website post closer to the date.

2. Planning, community and communications

(a) 2-hour transfer update: John reported that the City has approved funding for a two-hour transfer to take effect in late summer. It will allow riders anywhere in Toronto who use a Presto card to get off and back on the TTC free of charge within a two-hour window. John thanked the people involved, particularly the Regal Heights BIA, which coordinated the campaign to advocate for the time-based transfer, and the group TTC Riders, which provided lobbying and expert knowledge. The RHRA was involved in the lobbying effort.

(b) Proposed development 49 – 51 Springmount: The development proposal would remove two rental houses, sever the two lots and build three townhouse-style houses in their place. The RHRA successfully argued against the proposal at the Committee of Adjustment, but the developers will appeal to the Toronto Local Appeal Board (TLAB) on March 14. Harry reported that the City will argue against the proposal at TLAB. Several residents in the area have registered to speak at the proceedings.

(c) New laneway naming project: The City has a program to name public laneways after prominent people who lived nearby. Florence proposed that the laneway that runs behind Regal Rd. from Oakwood be named in honour of Ed McIlwain, Linda DeGiorgio’s father. Florence has approached the family and they support the project. Florence will begin the formal process, which may take several months. Ed came to Toronto in 1962 and lived at 1380 Davenport untilhe died in 2013. He was a well-liked and active member of the community.

(d) Reducing traffic speeds in Regal Heights:  Florence and others in the area are concerned about high traffic speeds in the neighbourhood, especially on Glenholme, Lauder and the eastern portion of Regal. She would like the City to consider those streets for speed controls and 30 kmh speed limits. John will write to Cesar asking for a traffic study, the first step in imposing traffic calming measures.

(e) Update on the provincial All Candidates Meeting: John reported that Margaret is well into organizing the ACM, proposed to take place at Oakwood Collegiate. She asked the Executive to set a date. The Executive chose Tuesday, May 8. Margaret will clear the date with Principal Steve Yee.

(f) New Syrian sponsorship project: Members of the Regal Heights community, along with St. Matthew’s Church and others from outside the area helped sponsor the Alaalyan Family a year ago December. John reported that they are adapting very well and enjoying their new home. Now the core sponsorship group is beginning the process of sponsoring a second Syrian family related to the Alaalyans. The Executive agreed to support the project by publicizing fund raising and other activities. The core group will be begin fundraising in the near future and hopes residents of Regal Heights will be supportive.

(g) Special BIA guest: Elena Simonetta from the Regal Heights Village BIA attended, to share news of the BIA’s initiatives along St. Clair Avenue West between Westmount and Winona Drive. Initiatives include streetscape improvements such as the art erected last summer on the north fence of the OCI field. A brainstorming session including the RHRA and the BIA was held earlier in February to explore areas of urban interest along St. Clair Ave. West, and to examine which areas might become focal points of further intervention.

3. Special Events

(a) Pub Night: There was discussion regarding the tepid service received by RHRA guests at the Christmas pub night at the Fox and Fiddle, and which alternative restaurants might be considered as future venues. Suggestions included Barista and Chef as well as the Big Slice as DeSoto’s.

4. Police Community Partnership: [Rosa absent]

5. Community Welcome Project: Packages shall be delivered to 15 Lauder and 42 Glenholme.

6. Membership

(a)Replacement of recording secretary:  No recording secretary has been found. If you’re interested, please contact John Keating at johnpkeating@gmail.com.

(b) Proposed RHRA membership pilot: Dave Meslin spoke again of changing the membership model by eliminating the membership fee and replacing it with an annual crowd-funding appeal. It would be publicized via the RHRA website, RHRA communications, and by flyer drop. Membership would be automatically open to any resident of Regal Heights. Dave will draft the wording of the proposal and circulate it shortly among the executive.

7. Finances: have not changed since January.

The next regular meeting will convene at Linda DeGiorgio’s on Tuesday, March 20 at 7:00 p.m.