S.A.R.A. Executive Meeting Minutes – November 18, 2003


Present:   Ritvars Bregzis, George Dubauskas, Marianne Fenner, Louis Gris, Peter Keefe, ,Ron Braun, Nick Singh, Bill Roberts, Merle Hudson, Sybil Wilkinson


Absent:     Frances Labelle, Bill Haines, Joan Oreto, Victoria Masnyk, Vicki Vancas, John Meijer




Call to Order and Declaration of Conflicts of Interest:

The meeting began at 7:35 p.m. at the Swansea Town Hall.  No conflicts of interest were declared.


Approval of Agenda:

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



The minutes of October 21, 2003 were approved as presented upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Ritvars Bregzis and unanimously carried.


1.         Membership Report:

Louis Gris reported that he has received 5 membership renewals (one for next year), plus a $25 donation.  $79 will be forwarded to the Treasurer.  Current membership stands at 116 members, including 4 memberships for the year 2004.  The Membership report was approved upon a motion by Merle Hudson, seconded by Bill Roberts and unanimously carried.


2.         Treasurer’s Report:

On behalf of John Meijer, Louis Gris presented the Treasurer’s Report as of November 18, 2003:

Upon motion made by Louis Gris, seconded by Ritvars Bregzis and unanimously carried, the Treasurer’s report was accepted.  There were no expenses.


3.         Land Use Matters:

a)      1947-1997 Bloor St. W. – Context Development:  Peter Keefe reported that a meeting was held with the Ministry of the Enviroment, where the community voiced its concerns.  An Environmental Review Board Hearing has been deferred until January.  He also reported that Context is suing the former owner of the property.  Two separate risk assessments are planned, one for the lot and one for the surrounding community, which may take several years.  There are continuing health concerns regarding the site.  The neighbourhood will continue to actively monitor this situation.

b)   Windermere by the Lake:– Nick Singh reported that there will be a community meeting on Wednesday, November 19, at 7:30 at Swansea Town Hall.  Flyers were distributed throughout the neighbourhood.  Representatives from Reon will be in attendance to make a presentation, and for a question and answer period to follow.  Planner Natasha Laing will not be able to attend.  Councillor Saundercook has been invited.

c)   Southport Plaza Redevelopment – Bill Roberts reported that the Ontario Municipal Board Hearing has been completed, and a decision may be made by the end of this month.  The Board Chair congratulated SARA and the community on its work, and stated that ratepayer groups should be included in future planning for this site.

d)   1900 Lake Shore Blvd. W. (former Meow Club site) – Bill Roberts reported that Frances Labelle is in the process of preparing submissions for the December 4th  Ontario Municipal Board Hearing.

e)   Committee of Adjustment – Louis Gris has written a letter requesting that SARA receive notification of matters pertaining to Ward 13 that come before the Committee of Adjustment.  Louis will bring the appropriate items forward to SARA in future meetings.

f)    Municipal Shelters – continue to monitor.

g)   Gardiner Lakeshore Task Force – Bill Roberts informed the meeting that he received a letter inquiring whether SARA wishes to continue to be represented on the Task Force.  Upon a motion by George Dubauskas, seconded by Ritvars Bregzis, and carried, it was agreed that SARA continue to be represented on the Task Force, with Bill Roberts as our designated representative.  Marianne Fenner was directed to contact Frances Labelle to seek her consent to remain as alternate.  Marianne was further directed to send a letter to the Task Force informing them of our intentions, as well as the names of our representatives.

h)   Toronto Official Plan and Swansea Part II Plan    Bill Roberts reported that a meeting is scheduled for November 28th, and that he and Frances Labelle will give a report at the December meeting.  Bill Roberts informed the meeting that David Miller has indicated that, as mayor, he will be supportive of ratepayer groups' concerns.


4.         Liquor Licenses:

a)      Billy Bob/The Fan – Bill Roberts reported that the City has appealed the approval of the permit for the rooftop patio license.  The Liquor License Committee will follow up and report back at a future meeting.




b)      Dark Horse – Louis Gris informed the meeting that he has drafted a letter to the Alcohol and Gaming Commission advising them that this establishment is in violation of the Commission's order, and requesting action.

c)      Bloom Restaurant (2315 Bloor St. W.) – Louis Gris reported that he and Nick Singh met with the owners.  The proposed restaurant is a small family-owned operation, with seating capacity of 40.  The owners are interested in community input and will distribute flyers advertising a public meeting to be held at St. Pius Church on November 25th at 5:30 p.m.  Nick stated that he had discussed licensing conditions with the owners.  It was suggested that SARA might consider advocating for license conditions in the future, depending on the outcome with Bloom.  Nick Singh agreed to follow up this matter.


5.         Humber River:

Humber Cycling/Pedestrian Trail – Marianne Fenner reported that she has sent a letter to the City expressing SARA's concerns.


6.         Humber Bay Treatment Facility:

Ron Braun reported that an odour study will be undertaken next year.


7.         Neighbourhood Issues:

a)      Petro Canada Station – 8 South Kingsway – Continue to monitor.

b)      Humber York Community Council – Continue to monitor.

c)      Traffic calming – Nothing to report.  Continue to monitor.

d)      Joy Gas Station – Sybil Wilkinson reported a blockage of traffic due to the Joy Gas station being moved to a location just west of its original site.  The architects who designed the renovation of the Carlu are handling the renovation of the gas station.  Ron Braun stated that the gas station will be in extremely close proximity to the Fred Victor Centre building.  Sybil Wilkinson will contact Peter Zimmerman of Let's Build for more information.  Continue to monitor.


8.         Other Organizations:

a)      Community Police Liaison Committee – Louis Gris reported that Bill Haines is currently unable to represent SARA on this committee.  Merle Hudson stated that she will consider assuming this responsbility, and will get in touch with the Community Contact Officer for 11 Division for more information.

b)      High Park Citizens Advisory Committee – Merle Hudson reported that she has had some difficulty ascertaining the meeting dates for this committee.

c)      Swansea Historical Society – no report.

d)      Swansea Memorial Library and Friends of the Swansea Memorial Library – George Dubauskas informed the meeting that the Nov. 15th Read-a-Thon was very successful.  The event was well-attended, and the book sale was so successful that $69 was raised to donate to the building fund.

e)      Swansea Public SchoolUpon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Merle Hudson, and carried, Marianne Fenner was authorized to contact the school regarding the cost of a plaque for the school’s Community Service award.

f)        Swansea Town Hall Board of Management – George Dubauskas reported that new tenders have been submitted for the expansion, and that in 2 weeks the tenders will be closed.  Louis Gris informed the meeting that the Board of Management will investigate how the remaining funds can best be put to use.  Upon a motion by Nick Singh, seconded by Sybil Wilkinson, and carried, Louis was authorized to remind the Board of Management that coat racks are needed in the rooms where the closets have been removed.



g)      Swansea Community Recreation Centre & Rennie Park – Merle Hudson reported that the Octoberfest Dance was well-attended, and will be an annual event.  Due to temporary funding problems, the Rec. Centre hours will be reduced until the end of the year.

h)      Confederation of Resident & Ratepayer Associations (CORRA) – Bill Roberts reported that there will be a meeting November 19th to deal with the Part I Official Plan appeals.

i)        World 19 –Louis Gris stated that he is in contact with a member of this organization, but there is nothing to report at this time.  After discussion, it was agreed that World 19 remains a useful contact for SARA.


9.         Other Business:

a)      Newsletter– As reported last meeting, the next newsletter will be mailed in January.  Sybil Wilkinson suggested that the newsletter include a welcome to Councillor Saundercook.

b)      Website – no update.

c)      Marketing/Fundraising – Louis Gris reported that the Village Players have an available performance on March 4th  that could be used as a SARA fundraising event.

d)      Letter to the Mayor/Community Outreach – There was a discussion regarding the importance of communicating to the new City government the ideas of the Swansea community for building a better city.  Upon a motion by Sybil Wilkinson, seconded by Bill Roberts, and  carried, Ritvars Bregzis was authorized to compose a letter (also to be signed by Louis Gris) to Mayor-elect David Miller, offering congratulations on his new position; expressing our thanks for his service as our City Councillor, as well as our hope that we continue to work together in the future; and informing him that another letter will be sent, probably in March, expressing the ideas of the Swansea community.  It was decided that a committee would be formed to determine how best to gather input from the community regarding future directions for the City.  The committee will be composed of the following members:  Ritvars Bregzis (Chair), Louis Gris, George Dubauskas, Bill Roberts, Sybil Wilkinson, and Ron Braun.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Merle Hudson, and carried, the Committee was authorized to contact the media and World 19 to solicit ideas and concerns from the community.  This will also be included in the January newsletter.  Louis Gris will speak to the Villager staff for advice on how the question(s) should be framed.  Marianne Fenner was requested to consult with the Swansea School Council to ask for input. A name for the committee has yet to be determined. 


10.       Executive Appointments:

Louis Gris reported that he has received a letter from Joan Oreto, indicating her resignation from the SARA Executive, and from Victoria Masnyk, indicating her resignation as President of SARA.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Peter Keefe, and carried, it was decided that a letter be sent to both Victoria and Joan, accepting their resignations with thanks for their contributions to SARA, and expressing the hope that they continue their association with SARA as members.  Appointment of a new President and 2nd Vice President has been deferred to the next SARA meeting.  Anyone with a copy of the SARA Constitution is asked to bring it on December 9th.


11.       Procedure for Dealing with Matters Arising  Between SARA Meetings:

After discussion, it was decided that between Executive meetings, individual committees continue to monitor pertinent issues.  If there is a concern necessitating communication with the rest of the Executive, those on the appropriate committee will contact the President and the rest of the Executive.  The Secretary will maintain and distribute an up-to-date information list to facilitate good communication between members of the Executive at all times.


12.       New Business:

a)         George Dubauskas informed the meeting that the Sushi Bar, a small restaurant on the north side of Bloor, has applied for a liquor license.  The Liquor License Committee was asked to follow up and report back at a future meeting.

b)         Louis Gris stated that there is an application for a restaurant in the old Phase II location.

c)         Peter Keefe asked for information about the police action resulting in the temporary closure of Ellis Ave. on November 2nd.  Marianne reported that there was a brief mention on CTV news about an armed home invasion on Coe Hill Rd.  It was suggested that closer contact with the Community Police Liaison Committee would be of benefit to keep us informed.

d)         Bill Roberts suggested that the letter being sent to Mayor-elect Miller be amended to include an invitation to speak at the SARA Annual General Meeting, and requesting that SARA be provided with several dates when the mayor will be available.

e)         Louis Gris and Marianne Fenner reported problems in the area under construction on the Queensway.  Poor signage has resulted in many drivers unintentionally taking the Gardiner instead of eastbound Queensway.  Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by Louis Gris, and carried, Marianne Fenner was authorized to send a letter to the City Works Department to request better signs to lessen driver confusion in the construction area.


13.       Next Meeting:

The next meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, December 9th at 7:30 p.m.  Please feel free to bring a food or beverage item to share.


Upon a motion by Bill Roberts, seconded by George Dubauskas and carried, the meeting adjourned at 9:40 p.m.