S.A.R.A. Executive Meeting Minutes – February 17, 2004


Present:   Ritvars Bregzis, George Dubauskas, Marianne Fenner, Louis Gris, , Nick Singh, Bill Roberts, Merle Hudson, Sybil Wilkinson, John Meijer, Frances Labelle, Peter Keefe


Absent:     Vicki Vancas, Ron Braun, Bill Haines


Guests:     Pat Reavy, 254 Windermere Ave.

Andre Cotic

Bea Mozdzanowski, Constituency Assistant to Councillor Saundercook


Call to Order and Declaration of Conflicts of Interest:

The meeting began at 7:34 p.m. at the Swansea Town Hall.  There were no declared conflicts of interest.


Approval of Agenda:

                        The agenda was approved as amended upon motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle and unanimously carried.


Executive Appointments:  deferred until next meeting.


Approval of Minutes:           

Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by George Dubauskas, and carried, the minutes of January 20, 2004 were approved as presented.


1.         Membership Report:

Louis Gris reported that he has received 29 new memberships (21 single, 17 family, 1 business) since the January meeting, as well as a donation.  Louis gave these monies to the Treasurer.  The Membership report was approved upon a motion by Louis Gris, seconded by George Dubauskas and carried.

2.         Treasurer’s Report:

John Meijer presented the Treasurer’s Report as of February 17, 2004:

Upon motion made by John Meijer, seconded by Frances Labelle and unanimously carried, the Treasurer’s report was accepted.  Louis Gris gave to the Treasurer additional monies received from theatre ticket sales.  There was a brief discussion regarding what was an appropriate minimum amount to be maintained in chequing account.  This matter will be deferred until the next meeting.


3.         Land Use Matters:

a)   1947-1997 Bloor St. W. – Context Development -  Peter Keefe reported that the community continues to be concerned about possible health issues caused by the development, and that it appears the Ministry of the Environment is attempting to work out a compromise between the community and developer.  Bea Mozdzanowski noted that a meeting with the Ministry of the Environment, chaired by Barry Brooks, will be held this Friday, February 20th.  Frances Labelle noted that there was a request before the Community Council for approval of a layby on Bloor St. to create a loading zone for the collection of the building's garbage, that no advance notice of the item was given to the community, and that Councillor Saundercook had moved the motion.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, it was agreed that SARA/SARG will support the concerns of the community regarding the Bloor Street layby that had originally been refused by both the community and the city as being inappropriate and out of character for Bloor Street.  Peter Keefe was  authorized to write to the City clerk, with a copy to Councillor Saundercook on behalf of SARA/SARG.

b)   Windermere by the Lake:– Frances Labelle reported that the committee set up at the last meeting had not met because no dialogue had been initiated by the developer on the appeal that will be held at the OMB on March 4th.  She informed the meeting that the Community Council had earlier today approved a motion that the City Solicitor would appear before the OMB to defend the refusal by the Committee of Adjustment of the request to, among other things, increase the height of the tower on 3 Windermere.

      Frances Labelle reported that there is an application underway for 6 Windermere that involves seven changes to blocks A and B.  Frances provided a draft proposal for SARA/SARG's position on the changes.  The meeting discussed the proposal and suggested a number of changes which Frances undertook to make, and it was agreed that the revised response to the changes be provided to John Davies of Reon and the area planners.

      Frances noted that a meeting had been scheduled on February 19th with the new area planners to discuss the matters relating to 6 Windermere.

c)   Southport Plaza Redevelopment – Frances Labelle noted that changes had been made to the site plan for this development, but that the changes had not resolved the traffic flow problems that the OMB order required to be addressed.  Tom Denes, the traffic consultant, had reviewed the plans and provided his comments which Bill Roberts will be forwarding to the City.

d)   1900 Lake Shore Blvd. W. (former Meow Club site) – Frances Labelle noted that Councillor Saundercook has been requested to ensure that when reviewing the site plans for this development, the City not compromise its standards for traffic flow and pedestrian safety as it had done at 34 Southport Street. The Councillor has provided no feedback on this, or even

advised that he thinks it is important that the City maintain consistent standards for all developments or that let's make a deal planning is inappropriate.

e)   Committee of Adjustment – There was a discussion regarding proposed renovations to 337 Windermere, which will be considered by the Committee of Adjustment on February 24th.  There are substantial problems with the proposal and SARA has been requested to support the neighbours at the Committee.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by John Meijer, and carried, it was agreed that SARA/SARG support the residents opposing this application.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Nick Singh, and carried, George Dubauskas was authorized to represent SARA/SARG at the Committee of Adjustment meeting regarding this matter.

f)    Municipal Shelters – No report.  Continue to monitor.

g)   Gardiner Lakeshore Task Force – Continue to monitor.

h)   Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan   Bill Roberts reported that the Part II plan will be discussed at City Council.  Bill further noted that there have been some improvements in the Part I plan, with agreement on between 25 and 30 amendments.

i)    Humber Cinema – Frances Labelle reported that a preliminary report was before the  Community Council today on a proposal for a 13-storey building, 8 times coverage, and that Councillor Saundercook had the matter deferred until April 3rd so he would have time to meet with the developer.  Frances noted that the Councillor had been asked to broaden the area of notification and to ensure all the area ratepayer groups would be notified.  The Councillor had said he would do this.  Frances further reported that there will be a public meeting in the near future.  Bill Roberts noted some of the problematic aspects of the proposed development.  Bill observed that SARA needs to develop a fundraising strategy to be able to more effectively defend the interests of the community.

j)    Fred Victor Centre/Joyco Station – Frances Labelle stated that because Councillor Saundercook had not signed off on the site plan for the proposed Fred Victor Centre it is before the Community Council as a deputation item this evening.  Frances noted that the Councillor had said that he did not intend to oppose approval of the site plan.

Sybil Wilkinson reported that residents of Swansea Mews were contacted by the Fred Victor Centre asking for their support.  Sybil noted that Swansea Mews had informed the Fred Victor proponents that they did not have adequate notice or information to take a position.

k)   258 Windermere – Frances Labelle reported that she had written to Councillor Saundercook on this matter as directed by SARA and provided those at the meeting with the letter.  She noted that the Councillor had forwarded the letter to the Deputy Chief Building Official who had responded that this matter will be reviewed with the City Solicitor's office.  Frances agreed that she will follow up on this matter to ensure it is dealt with in a timely manner.


4.         Liquor Licenses:

a)      Billy Bob/The Fan – Nothing to report.  Continue to monitor..

b)      Dark Horse – Nick Singh reported that he has given information on this matter to Councillor Saundercook

c)      Bloom Restaurant (2315 Bloor St. W.) – Nick Singh noted that the objection has been withdrawn.  Close item.


5.         Humber River:

a)   Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail – Marianne Fenner reported that she has not yet received a letter from Bob Duguid of Parks and Recreation in response to SARA's request for changes.  Marianne agreed to send a follow-up letter to Mr. Duguid.

b)   Humber Bay Treatment Facility: - No report.  Continue to monitor.


6.         Neighbourhood Issues:

a)      Petro Canada Station – 8 South Kingsway – No report.  Continue to monitor.

b)      Community Council – Nothing to report.

c)      Traffic calming – Nothing to report.

d)      Second Suites - Merle Hudson to follow up with Councillor Balkissoon's office for information.

e)      47 St. Olaves – Bill Roberts reported that concerns have been expressed by neighbours that the structure being constructed is not in accordance with the permissions given by the OMB.  Bill stated that a meeting has been scheduled with Councillor Saundercook to discuss the problems and to request that the City intervene.  Upon a motion by Frances Labelle, seconded by Merle Hudson, and carried, it was agreed that SARA/SARG will support the concerns of the surrounding residents.


7.         Other Organizations:

a)      Community Police Liaison Committee –Merle Hudson gave a summary of the information discussed at the committee's last meeting.  Graffiti should be reported promptly to Fred Allerby, (416) 808-1183.  The community is encouraged to report any crime or safety issues to the Community Police Liaison Committee.

b)      High Park Community Advisory Council – Merle Hudson presented a report summarizing information from the January 21st meeting.  A new website is under development.  She reported that the newly-formed High Park Initiatives is a non-profit incorporated body with a board of six volunteer members, formed to solicit and dispense money for running programs such as The Nature Centre.  Sunday walking tours of High Park (Feb. 22, Mar. 7 & 21, Apr. 4) begin at 1:15 p.m. across from the Grenadier Café.  The tour Apr. 18 ("Birds of Spring") will begin at 9:00 a.m.– bring binoculars.

c)      Swansea Historical Society – Sybil Wilkinson reported that the February 4th meeting with guest speaker David Crombie was well-attended.

d)      Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Swansea Memorial Library – George Dubauskas reported that Merle Hudson represented SARA and made recommendations at a recent Friends of the Library meeting.  George further noted that the report of the Listening to Toronto budget sessions are now available through the Chief Administrator's office.  Upon a motion by George Dubauskas, seconded by John Meijer, and carried, Merle Hudson was authorized to attend the March 25th Toronto Public Library strategic planning meeting on behalf of SARA/SARG.

Upon a motion by George Dubauskas, seconded by Bill Roberts, and carried, it was agreed that information regarding the Home Show be included on the information page of the SARA website.

Upon a motion by George Dubauskas, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, it was agreed that Vicki Vancas be appointed to represent SARA/SARG at the budget presentation for the Toronto Public Library.

e)      Swansea Public School – Marianne Fenner stated that she will contact the school before the next meeting regarding the plaque for the community service award.

f)        Swansea Town Hall Board of Management – Louis Gris reported that the Annual General Meeting of the Town Hall board will be held tomorrow, February 18th at 7 p.m.  Louis stated that he is still seeking a replacement for his position as SARA representative on the Town Hall Board.

g)      Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park – Merle Hudson reported that preliminary plans for an addition to the Rec. Centre were shown at the last meeting she attended.  Copies will be given to SARA when they are available.  Merle further noted that there will be a silent auction at St. Pius February 21st at 7 p.m., cost $15.  Tickets for a baseball game April 17th are available through the Hockey Association, cost $16 including transportation to the Dome.

h)      Confederation of Resident & Ratepayer Associations (CORRA) – Bill Roberts reported that CORRA continues to deal with issues relating to the Part I Plan.

i)        World 19 –Louis Gris reported that at a meeting he recently attended on SARA's behalf, there were a number of ratepayer groups in attendance, as well as residents living north of Bloor St. who are interested in starting a ratepayers group in response to local development issues such as the Humber Cinema site.

There was a discussion amongst the SARA executive regarding timelines for the incorporation of new ratepayer groups.  Louis Gris said that he will give this information to the interested parties.

It was agreed that strategies for fundraising will be discussed at the next SARA meeting.  Louis Gris agreed to discuss this matter with other members of the Marketing/Fundraising committee prior to the next meeting.

j)        City Communications – Ritvars Bregzis reported that the committee has produced a draft letter and is in the process of reviewing it.  The committee will meet March 8th at 7:30 p.m. to finalize the submission to the mayor.


8.         Other Business:

a)      Newsletter– Bill Roberts reported that the next newsletter will be mailed a month before the Annual General Meeting.

b)      Website – Marianne Fenner asked for clarification regarding content of the minutes to be posted on the website.  Upon a motion by Marianne Fenner, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, the following was agreed upon:  that there be a delay of two months before each month's minutes are added to the website to ensure adequate time for any necessary changes to be made; that financial information be excluded from the website minutes; and that the inclusion on the website of letters referred to in the minutes be discussed at the next SARA meeting.

c)      Marketing/Fundraising – Louis Gris reminded those at the meeting that the theatre fundraising performance is March 4th, and that he will contact the members in the coming weeks regarding the progress of ticket sales.

d)      Annual General Meeting – Louis Gris reported that he has been in contact with Mayor Miller's office but has not yet received a commitment about a date for the mayor to attend and address the meeting.  Louis agreed to make a follow-up call to the mayor's office.  It was agreed that, should the mayor not be able to attend, an invitation will be extended to M.P.P. Gerrard Kennedy.


9.         New Business:

a)   Financial - Upon a motion by John Meijer, seconded by George Dubauskas, and carried, the President, Secretary and Treasurer were authorized to sign financial documents pertaining to SARA/SARG.

b)   Swansea Mews – Sybil Wilkinson reported that the ongoing difficulties experienced by the residents of Swansea Mews (flooding of units, broken pipes, asbestos, mould, and neglect of repairs), have not been addressed by the City, which owns the property.  Sybil noted that Councillor Saundercook's office is following up on these concerns.  Bill Roberts suggested that the residents send a letter to the City, with a copy to SARA/SARG, outlining their concerns.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Merle Hudson, and carried, it was agreed that, upon receipt of the correspondence, SARA/SARG will support the residents of Swansea Mews in having their concerns addressed.  Upon a further motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, Sybil Wilkinson was authorized to represent SARA/SARG in dealing with matters of concern to the residents of Swansea Mews.

c)   Shoppers Drug Mart Post Office (Southport Plaza) – Sybil Wilkinson reported that, with the closure of the Shoppers Drug Mart store at Southport Plaza later in March, there will no longer be a post office outlet available to the residents of south Swansea.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by George Dubauskas, and carried, Sybil Wilkinson was authorized to write to M.P. Sarmite Bulte on behalf of SARA/SARG, expressing concern about the removal of a postal outlet in south Swansea.


10.       Next Meeting/Adjournment:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, March 16th, 2004 at 7:30 p.m.  Upon a motion by George Dubauskas, seconded by Frances Labelle, and carried, the meeting adjourned at 9:44 p.m.