Highlights from our 2022 AGM
Thank you to everyone who ‘zoomed’ into the RRA’s 2022 AGM. We hope you found it informative and are inspired to meet the challenges and celebrate the successes of our neighbourhood. For those of you who were not able to join us and for those of you who would like a recap of the evening, the following are highlights of the meeting.
In addition to the business portion of the AGM there were a number of presentations on the RRA’s work over the past year that are highlighted here. A summary of the business portion is at the end of this document.
MESSAGE FROM RRA CO-CHAIR, Geri Berholz
The RRA was founded in 2012 and remains committed to representing the common, community interests of both owners and renters who reside in the buildings adjacent to the North Toronto Collegiate Institute playing field and to NTCI students and staff.
In service of our community, the RRA collaborates closely with City of Toronto councillors and staff, local Boards of Education, other neighbourhood residents’ associations, our Midtown Business Improvement Association and is responsive to the input of local residents.
So where do YOU fit into the RRA? Well, to be blunt: We Need YOU! We need you in order to fully represent the breadth of interests and concerns in our unique, vertical Midtown community. Our community is growing at a remarkable pace and we need more volunteers to help us meet the demands of this growth and address the stressors we are facing.
As tonight’s meeting unfolds, we hope you will find a place for yourself in our current endeavours, or perhaps you’ll notice an opportunity that we’ve overlooked where you can have impact. We invite you to become a member of one of our committees, each of which focuses on a particular area of concern to our community. If you’re interested, please contact us via firstname.lastname@example.org. We’ll be very happy to hear from you!
MEMBERSHIP – presented by Miria Ioannou
Over the past year the RRA has been working hard on behalf of our Yonge-Eglinton community. We have worked with city planners, councillors, developers, other local residents’ associations and community leaders to keep our community livable. We’ve had many challenges as well as successes and have earned the respect of the various levels of government, developers and local groups.
It has become increasingly important in our dealings with various stakeholders that we have strong, identifiable membership that we can point to when advocating for our community. For these reasons, and the work anticipated over the next few years, we decided to ask for an annual membership fee of $30 per household for a calendar year – January 1 to December 31. These fees cover such costs as hiring experts to advise and represent us and for expenses such as website development and hosting, communications, and administrative requirements.
Membership in the RRA affords you a strong collective voice in local community affairs and keeps you up to date on significant issues that affect you and our neighbourhood. Being a member means you can participate meaningfully in our community, including having a vote at our annual general meeting and getting timely, direct and accurate information.
We know that many of you are already members and for that we thank you – if you are not, please consider joining us. In addition to our paid members, we have an extensive list of RRA friends who are on our email distribution list. The list of close to 300, includes residents in neighbouring buildings on Roehampton, Broadway, Erskine and Mount Pleasant.
As most of you know, our communications are done mostly through MailChimp and Condo Central via property managers at 25 Broadway & 70 Roehampton. Information is also available regularly on our website: RepublicResidents.com. We also have a presence on social media on Facebook and Twitter hope you’re able to join us and follow us in any way that works for you.
UPDATE ON LOCAL DEVELOPMENTS – presented by Michael Ioannou
Development Sites Overview: This is an aerial view of all the development/construction sites in our immediate area that were or are still active in the last 12 months. I will be giving you an overview of the status of the various developments as well as the RRA’s approach, the successes and the work that still needs to be done to minimize the impact of the construction frenzy that is going on around us.
The first site on Roehampton is 39-41 Roehampton. As of December 2021, this site has reached its full height and all the work currently is inside the structure - TMG
The second site on Roehampton is 89-101 Roehampton. This site will reach its full height and all the concrete pouring will be done sometime in March or April. No more crane lights late at night after that - Toddglen
We have multiple sites, some completed, but most still in various stages of development.
99 Broadway is now complete, and people have moved in
91 Broadway is nearing completion
The most active sites right now are
55-65 Broadway - TIMES Group
75 Broadway - Hazelview - Tridel
100-120 Broadway - Reserve Properties - TMG
117-127 Broadway - Reserve Properties - TMG
All of the above sites are in the early stages of construction from demolition to shoring, excavation and concrete pouring for the underground structure.
Finally, we have 40-44 Broadway Ave (St. Monica’s Church site) that has not yet started but gearing up to do so - Collecdev
55 Erskine is a bit of a mystery at this point as to whether or not it is going ahead.
Background: At last year’s AGM, the RRA was anticipating all the various developments and construction sites shown, becoming active and started preparing to deal with the consequences of all the activities. All of us expressed our concerns as they were related to:
Restricted emergency vehicle access
Construction related vibration
Extended hours of operation
Air quality issues
Construction site cleanliness
Uncoordinated street closures
Hazardous conditions on sidewalks and roads
Also, our initial attempts to have the City respond to our concerns was met with limited response and corrective actions had been largely ineffective.
The RRA’s Approach: In response to those early days of frustration and ineffective City responses the RRA undertook a series of high-level meetings with our City Councillors and City General Manager responsible for the HUB coordination and her staff. We tried to impress on them the magnitude of the anticipated impact and for them to react as best as possible to minimize the effects.
The meetings were structured and planned to achieve the following:
Improve the HUB coordination response in coordinating the various sites to improve road access and establish Construction Management Plans (CMPs) that met the community’s concerns
Achieve a seat at the table with the HUB coordination team and the Developers to influence behaviours and the content of the CMPs
With a seat at the table, maintain a vigilant approach to enforce the requirements on an ongoing basis with each individual site
Fast Forward to Today: What we have accomplished in the last 12 months:
The one-way streets were the result of advocacy and common sense from the RRA and the City to mitigate multiple traffic related issues especially the emergency vehicle access;
The main objective to improve traffic and access has been met;
Other issues have arisen that are actively being discussed and solutions are pending.
Due to the RRA’s advocacy the CMPs have incorporated elements such as:
Noise isolation of stationary pumps and other noise generating equipment
Sidewalk cleaning and maintenance
Road cleaning and additional safety personnel
Minimizing the duration and the amount of space taken on the streets for staging
Noise and vibration reporting whenever possible
Road closures have become more coordinated, but we still need more efforts to eliminate short notices and more than one closure at the time
We have regular monthly meetings with:
We have, as required, meetings with:
39-41 Roehampton and
All meetings are planned with meeting minutes and action items to track progress. There have been significant improvements in communications and responsiveness from most sites.
We will continue to:
Review and influence the CMPs prior to City approval for any new sites. As we learn new lessons, we will advocate for their incorporation into the CMPs
Have regular review meetings with the developers and the HUB coordinator to directly influence the responses and the responsiveness;
Identify and react to any new issues with facts and data-driven arguments in a professional and assertive way.
Key areas for improvement:
Noise and air quality issues
Compliance with City bylaws and enforcement by the City (hours of operations, parking and traffic violations)
Not all sites have the same attitude towards the community.
Update on proposed development at 40-44 Broadway – presented by Terry O’Sullivan
Last May, the RRA engaged in a very successful settlement hearing involving Collecdev the developer), the Archdiocese and the City. The settlement that we agreed to, regarding 40-44 Broadway, along with the City's exceptional support, is as follows:
Reduction of the height of the tower by almost 10 metres from 138.51 metres to 129 metres. This is significantly lower than the already approved 135 metre height at the 55-65 Broadway development (including mechanical) across the street;
Reduction in the number of storeys from 44 to 39;
Reduction in the number of dwelling units from 398 to 376;
A new public parkette in front of the church;
A significant movement of the church back towards the tower and away from the sidewalk;
A public dog relief space on the east side of the property;
The movement of the residential entrance further north and closer to the tower;
The addition of a turnaround in the driveway to discourage parking on Broadway for pick-ups and deliveries.
Update on status of Canada Square - presented by Geri Berholz
Over the past year, the RRA has participated in the Canada Square Working Group in response to the anticipated Oxford development application for the expansive, city-owned site bounded by Eglinton, Yonge, Berwick and Duplex.
The original scheme entails five high towers which will both replace current office space and add 2700 residential units. Our collective goal was to ensure that the community had a voice in expressing our vision and aspirations for this site.
To this end, our working group engaged in a series of facilitated discussions and generated a list of key recommendations. We were successful in triggering a comprehensive Special Study of this area, an initiative which was approved unanimously at City Council.
You can find a fuller picture of the Canada Square situation on our website: Imagining a new town centre for Midtown Toronto
At this point, we understand that the Oxford proposal is still evolving. We will keep our membership apprised as things progress.
Proposed development at 2323 - 2345 Yonge St. - presented by Renée Sylvestre-Williams
It is early days for the proposed Rio Can development. At present, RioCan is applying to build four buildings on the east side of Yonge between Roehampton and Broadway; two side-by-side on the Chipotle/Bell site and two more in the area of Shoppers Drug Mart, one behind the other. The proposal currently has the buildings butting up right against the adjacent properties.
The RRA is endeavouring to negotiate with the developer and the City to mitigate the anticipated impact of construction on Roehampton, Broadway and Yonge St. and, in particular, on our neighbours at 30 Roehampton, 7-11 Broadway and NTCI.
The Board of 7-11 Broadway Avenue has also made contact with RioCan but nothing has been properly discussed or decided.
CROSSWALK, PARKING, POOR SIGNAGE – presented by Elaine Mintz
I serve as a liaison to our local school board principals, trustees and superintendents, including North Toronto Collegiate Institute, St. Monica’s Catholic School, John Fisher Public School, Eglinton Jr. School, and Northern Secondary Collegiate Institute.
We connect and share concerns and progress regularly. Our mutual concerns are about truck traffic, noise and air pollution and, most of all, the safety of our children. We have gained commitment from the developers to be aware of school opening and closing times and to limit truck traffic during these hours.
To enhance crossing safety at NTCI and St. Monica’s Catholic School, the RRA advocated for a crosswalk on Broadway to service both schools and others crossing the street to access the mid-block walkway.
A potentially dangerous situation is created when school buses park. Their doors only open on the north side of the one-way street forcing students, some of whom are in wheelchairs, to cross Broadway at rush hour. This problem was brought to our attention by Dr. Jane Lee, Principal of NTCI and our collaboration on this matter has resulted in the commitment for a crosswalk.
Parking on Broadway is another area we are addressing because of its impact on the safety of students and other local residents. The signage prohibiting parking between 8-10 a.m. when school children are arriving is largely ignored and rarely enforced. Police will only ticket when requested and refuse to ticket regularly. A car can only be towed after receiving 3 tickets. RRA representatives regularly ask for ticketing, but we have been told that additional complaints must be logged to force further action.
Here's what you can do to help:
Join the RRA’s Community Safety Committee
Call local Police, 53 Division 416-808-5300 and/or
Download 311 Toronto on the App Store & Google Play and lodge your complaint
Our local Councillor, Josh Matlow, has requested that we copy his office at email@example.com on all complaints that we lodge.
ONE-WAY STREETS' IMPACT, FUTURE – presented by Sam Laskaris
As you know, Broadway and Roehampton became one-way streets this past summer.
This was implemented as a temporary measure. We will be polling our constituents at a later date to determine whether they want the one-way streets to become permanent.
The RRA strongly advocated for this change along with many of our members who have been pushing for this for a few years.
The city and we hope the one-way streets will prove to be a valuable safety and efficiency measure.
The majority of the Leadership Team members believe the one-way streets should become permanent since we obviously wouldn't want construction trucks coming in from both ways.
We are applying pressure to enhance the signage along the streets and especially at the Yonge, Redpath and Mt. Pleasant intersections to deter wrong-way drivers.
TDSB NEWS - PUBLIC ART TRUST – presented by Geri Berholz
Many of us didn’t know that it is the responsibility of the TDSB to maintain the three art installations located on the walkway between Roehampton and Broadway, running along the east side of the NTCI playing field.
An Art Trust Fund was established more than 10 years ago to be used for the repair and conservation of these art installations. Over the years, $95,000 accumulated in this fund for this purpose, although none was used and the art has fallen into disrepair. It was the RRA that brought this un-used fund to light.
I am happy to report that a year-long negotiation involving the city, the TDSB, the Toronto Lands Corporation and the RRA has resulted the hiring of a local art consultant who is now contracted to use some of these funds to correct the oversight and help maintain the art in good form for the betterment of our community.
BUSINESS PORTION OF AGM
Elected RRA Directors:
Terry O’Sullivan, President and Co-Chair
Geri Berholz, Co-Chair and Liaison to the 70 Roehampton Condo Board
Elaine Mintz, Liaison to Boards of Education and Local Schools
Tony Gardiner, Past President
Miria Ioannou, Communications (elected at this AGM)
Our current appointed Officers are:
Vesna Milevska, Treasurer
May Gardiner, Secretary
In addition to the Directors and Officers, the following volunteers round out the RRA’s Leadership Team:
Anisha Mehta, Logistics
Michael Ioannou, Development and Construction Management
Renee Sylvestre-Williams, Condo Board designate for 7-11 Broadway
Sam Laskaris, Liaison to the 25 Broadway Condo Board
Valerie Madden, Board Member at 30 Roehampton and
Fadwa Hachoumy, Staff member at NTCI
Treasurer’s report – presented by Vesna Milevska
After the past year, I think it’s important to give thanks to all of you. Thank you to those who have become members of the RRA. The RRA continues to grow and your support makes it possible to meaningfully address the collective concerns of our community.
An additional thanks to the many who have made generous donations above and beyond their membership dues. We appreciate and are honoured to have received so many kind and encouraging emails and positive feedback.
One thing is certain: we will continue to work hard to make our community a better place to live and work. To conclude, here is the RRA’s financial snapshot:
As of today, our account balance is $15,730.64 which includes $6,605 in membership fees and donations.
This year our expenses amounted to $2,263.81 which includes the purchase of Directors and Officers Liability Insurance and other administrative costs.
THANK YOU AGAIN FOR YOUR SUPPORT & WE LOOK FORWARD TO SEEING YOU IN PERSON!