Executive Meeting Minutes, October 2020

Executive Meeting Minutes

Tuesday, October 20, 2020, 7:00 pm

via video conference, hosted by John Keating

Attending: John Keating, Margaret Smith, Peter Norman, Carol Gallagher, Nicholas Gallant (Councillor Bailão’s office), Mary Anne Quance, Linda DiGeorgio, Richard Cavanaugh, Brigid Higgins, Harry Lay, Rosa Cordiano

Regrets: Beth Marcilio

1 – Projects and events

  1. Virtual pub night cancelled 

John Keating reported on behalf of Beth Marcilio. The upcoming virtual pub night has been cancelled since there isn’t enough interest at the moment for this type of get-together. The idea can be revisited at a later point. John raised the question of organizing some sort of holiday-related virtual gathering. He will connect with Maurice Williams of the Northcliffe Village RA to see about hosting a joint holiday celebration. Peter Norman emphasised that in these times every opportunity to connect with neighbours is especially valuable. Brigid Higgins suggested that another way for neighbours to connect might be through a walkers’ group around the Oakwood track.

  • Halloween committee report

John reported that the committee decided to promote virtual pumpkin carving contest with photos of the pumpkins posted on the website. A notice about the event has already been posted on the RHRA website and NextDoor app. Residents are encouraged to promote the event by social media and word of mouth. The notice was designed as a poster and so can be printed and posted around the neighbourhood.

  • How will we handle Christmas singing event?

John raised the question about how to safely conduct a public singing event during COVID times. There was discussion about the safety and logistics of various aspects of the event including securing musical accompaniment, distributing song sheets, providing hot chocolate and singing while masked. Brainstorming of other safe ways to celebrate the holiday season included reading seasonal passages, a fireworks display or some form of virtual holiday celebration. It was agreed that we forward any ideas for a holiday event to John or Peter and that the item would be revisited at the November meeting.

  • Update on traffic safety sandwich boards

Dave Meslin was absent so no update was available. Peter requested more information from Dave in order to create a specific page on the website for purchase of a sandwich board. John will email Dave to ask for these details.

e) November Public Meeting

John suggested that the November Annual General Meeting be held by Zoom. Peter will send out the agenda and invitation to residents by email in advance of the meeting. John suggested that residents could be invited to submit agenda items in writing in advance. Peter suggested it be promoted as an online open house and noted it is a good chance to highlight and celebrate neighbourhood events. He also suggested preparing a slide show or video highlighting some RHRA events of the past year.

2 – Communications and Planning

  1. Communications

Peter noted that there are currently 471 email subscribers, 363 members of the Facebook page and 429 NextDoor app members. These methods all provide good online outreach. Peter also gave an overview of recent Committee of Adjustment activity, details of which are posted on the website.

  • Discussion: Policy on promotion of local businesses

John reported that he received a request from a resident to advertise a home-based business on the RHRA website. John stated that it is RHRA policy not to promote specific local businesses in the interests of fairness. If the RHRA promoted one business it would have to do the same for all. It was noted that Facebook and the NextDoor app are already available for this purpose. The RHRA website also has a link to local BIA, which promotes businesses along St. Clair. After some discussion, it was suggested that perhaps a virtual posting board could be created for such listings. It was noted that the RHRA would need to create a set of criteria for use of this forum. As a first step, John will contact the resident who inquired to see if they would be willing to lead the initiative and gauge interest among other residents with home-based businesses.

  • Abandoned house at 16 Lauder update

Brigid provided an update on the house which has been unoccupied for roughly 17 years. She reported that there is an idea forming among some residents to start a petition to spur some action by the owner. She spoke of various physical dangers posed to neighbouring houses by the deteriorating condition of the building. Brigid will talk with Dave who is also working to support the owner in addressing this problem and she will follow up with John Keating after connecting with Dave. She and Dave will continue to try to talk with the owner and establish a network of other close residents to approach the owner to spark some action on his part.

  • Traffic light at Oakwood and Rosemount update

Nicholas Gallant provided an update on the traffic light installation. Work is underway at the corner. Nicholas will advise the specific date for activation when it is available. Margaret Smith reaffirmed that she has spoken to Nicholas objecting to the City’s failure keep residents informed about the project. She said she was not notified about the impact the construction would have on her property. She also asked if it would be possible to retain the crossing guard after the lights are operational as has been done at other signalized intersections. She stated that a crossing guard might prevent accidents such as that involving the child and the firetruck last year. She asked for an update on the police accident analysis pertaining to that incident. Margaret also asked that Transportation Services commit to a monitoring program of impacts associated with the installation and that the City report the findings to residents and local schools. Brigid supported the idea of the City allocating funds for such a monitoring program. Nicholas apologized that residents were not properly informed in advance about the project, including construction activities affecting individual properties. He will follow up on these requests and report at the next meeting.

Nicholas added a separate note that Councilor Bailão’s office supports and advertises upcoming Regal Heights events through social media channels. 

3 – Police Community Partnership

  1. Update on latest developments

Rosa Cordiano indicated that there currently are no meetings for members of the public to be involved in. She pointed us to the Crime Point Listings that are made public by the police to keep residents apprised of incidents.

4 – Street Beautification Programs

  1. Garden cleanup reminder

Mary Anne Quance reported that the community garden cleanup was to be held on Saturday, Oct 24 from 10am to 12 noon. Thanks to Florence Watts for securing 200 daffodil bulbs to beautify the neighbourhood. There were 100 bulbs designated for planting on Saturday in the barrel planters and the gardens along Rosemount Avenue. The remaining bulbs are slated for Daffodil Hill.

  • Daffodil Hill reminder

Richard Cavanaugh reported that the cleanup and planting of bulbs for Daffodil Hill will take place on November 8 at 10am. Richard indicated that Trevor Whiteside recently completed a survey of trees on the hill and found a good number of healthy cherry and walnut trees on the slope. There will be a date set later this season for volunteers to help clear undergrowth and cut down deadwood. Trevor Whiteside will arrange to bring a wood chipper on that day. It was suggested that perhaps residents would like to take any wood suitable for burning on that day. Richard noted that although a resident has offered to plant additional trees on the slope, the slope is already densely covered. He suggested that the TDSB might benefit from trees planted along the Dufferin side of the schoolyard to reduce noise from the busy street.

5 – Community Welcome Project

Beth reported via email that a Welcome Package was delivered to Jennifer and Tom Hancock, a new couple on Westmount Ave. Harry Lay indicated that real estate prices continue to rise in the neighbourhood.

6 – Finances

Linda DeGeorgio provided the figures below. The only change from last month is a dispersal for maple syrup supplies.

 September 2020October 2020
Operating Fund5817.25                            5688.67
Heritage Fund 276.00                              276.00
Street Sale Fund 192.00                              192.00
Petty Cash   48.35                                48.35
TOTAL6333.60                            6205.02

Next meeting: Tuesday November 17, 7 pm, Details of format to be determined