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ABCRA Annual General Meeting + All-Candidates Meeting Wednesday October 8, 2014

  • Masonic Hall 888 Yonge St Toronto, ON, M4W 2J2 Canada (map)

Annual General Meeting and All-Candidates Meeting for Ward 27.  
Wednesday, October 8, 2014 at the Masonic Hall, 888 Yonge Street, Toronto.

6:30 PM Meet your neighbours over coffee
7:00 to 7:45 PM ABCRA Annual General Meeting and Board Election 
7:45 to 9:30 PM Hear from the Candidates wishing to represent Ward 27 for the next 4 years and ask questions. 

The ABCRA  Board of Directors gives notice that  ABCRA's 2014 Annual General Meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, October 8, 2014, at the Masonic Hall, 888 Yonge Street, Toronto, Ontario  for the following purposes:

  • To approve the minutes of the September 25, 2013 Annual General Meeting (copy below);
  • To receive and consider the report of the Co-Presidents;
  • To receive and consider the Audited Financial Statements  * of the Association for the period ended June 30, 2014, 
  • To consider and approve a resolution that Ian Campbell, of Hawton Campbell Chartered Accountants, be appointed auditor of the Association for the fiscal year ending June 30  2015 and to authorize the Directors to fix the auditors’ remuneration;
  • To elect Directors;  
  • To transact such other business as may properly come before the meeting, or any adjournment thereof.

 Come at 6:30 p.m. for refreshments and to meet ABCRA's Board of Directors, volunteers, and neighbours. 

Registered Members of ABCRA are entitled to vote. Your vote is important so become a Member Read More to sign up.

ABCRA Board of Directors is authorized to make most decisions for the Association. If you are a registered member of ABCRA and  attend the Annual General Meeting on October 8, 2014 you may cast your vote at the Annual General Meeting.  

Dated as of September 9, 2014.

John Caliendo 
Ian Carmichael
Board Co-Presidents

* Copies  of the ABCRA  Audited Financial Statements for the period ended June 30,2014 will be available at the October 8th AGM. However, ABCRA members who wish to receive  a copy  in advance of the meeting may send a $2.00 stamped 8½x11 self addressed envelope to ABCRA, 59 Pears Avenue, Toronto, Ontario M5R 1S9. and one will be mailed to you.


Heliconian Hall, September 25, 2013 
For approval my members at the 2014 AGM

PRESENT:  Councillor Wong-tam, Ken Greenberg,  ABC Directors: John Caliendo, Ian Carmichael (Co-Presidents), Dianne Robinson (Treasurer), Bill Stevenson (Secretary), Linda Chu, Diane Dyer, Donna Lacavera, Mary Helen Spence, and about 85 area residents, including ABCRA members

AGENDA:  6:30 PM – meet and greet, refreshments; 7:00 PM – business meeting; 8:00 PM – guest speaker – Ken Greenberg; 9:00 PM – adjournment.

WELCOME: Co-President John Caliendo welcomed everyone and introduced the Councillor for Ward 27, Kristyn Wong-Tam; guest speaker, architect and city builder, Ken Greenberg; and the President of South Rosedale RA, David Townley.

PRESIDENTS' REPORT John Caliendo reported that ABCRA was trying to become more active in responding to development pressures in our area: not simply to oppose bad development but to also influence better development that considered good built form and improvements to the  public realm. In the interests of better design, we had engaged, this year, planning consultants and legal advisors of our own. Focus this year was on 21 Avenue Rd. (Old Four Seasons) - we attempted to get more public amenity space; 36 Hazelton – we supported restoring old façade; 89 Avenue Rd. (Howard Johnson site) – we supported changes sought by the immediate neighbours and the Planning Dept’s refusal report; Esso station on Avenue Rd. – watching brief; Reconstruction of the Bay/Davenport intersection – ABC planning involvement over 10 years from conception to promoting sidewalk trees in irrigated trenches; Mizrahi Developments 195 Davenport/131 Hazelton – best example of new ABC up-front negotiating strategy to maximize community benefits and enhance the public realm. ABCRA is trying, in each condo negotiation, to ensure dog comfort stations were part of the development plans.

ABCRA  and the Yorkville BIA have partnered to develop a Planning framework of the area bounded by Bloor St, the CPR tracks, Yonge St and Avenue Rd. The goal is to develop planning policies that we hope the City considers in producing a new Secondary Plan for the area. ABC has retained a professional planner and urban designer to give advice on this.

Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam said that at 80,000 people, Ward 27 is the second biggest by population in the City; has 7 districts or neighbourhoods and 5 BIAs. There are 127 active rezoning files in the Ward.

She stated ABC’s involvement helped take some pressure off the overworked planning staff and lauded our progressive role in heritage conservation. She deplored the millions spent on the OMB which regularly overturns democratically determined local planning efforts and urged everyone to make it a major issue in the next Provincial election. She revealed $5 million had been set aside for public realm improvements in the City, but it would not be enough. She noted progress had been made on the 3 priorities ABC brought to her after her election: Bay/Davenport intersection; removing the Bay St. lay-by at Pusateri's and addressing traffic pressures on the e-w streets north of Ramsden Park. She said $4 million has been allocated to major renovations for Ramsden Park and significant public input would be needed to work out a consensus on a best design plan for this. 

After her talk, the Councillor fielded questions from the floor on the OMB, Ramsden Park plan, among others.


1. ABCRA  Director, Donna Lacavera, said completion of Bay/Davenport intersection, revitalization of the connecting streets and the preservation of the left turns on Bloor were the major traffic stories of the year. Final improvements on Bay Street and improvements to the signals at Bay and Davenport were still in the works. ABC attends all city and neighbourhood meetings focusing on traffic and parking and advocates for solutions that are supported by the majority of residents and that are in the interests of the whole neighbourhood.

2. ABCRA Director, Mary Helen Spence, presented the Ramsden Park Master Plan  produced for ABCRA by Halyna Godzyk Landscape Architects. This summarizes the history of the Park and presents ideas ABCRA  hopes will be considered during the Park revitalization. She recalled the long history of ABCRA’s protection of the Park including  an early victory by ABC in an OMB hearing that stopped the development of two 25-storey towers for what became the west (Avenue Rd.) side of the Park. This property was then bought by the City to extend the Park.

PRESENTATION & THANK YOU to Shirley Morriss, a valued member of the board on ABCRA for 27 years, was presented with a framed copy of the ABCRA Master Plan for Ramsden Park, Shirley’s contributions included 10 years as our indefatigable Secretary and Chair of the Parks Committee. She helped develop the Yorkville/Hazelton Conservation District and usher in both the Town Hall Park and Stollery Park.

3. ABCRA Treasurer, Dianne Robinson, reported that at Dec. 31, 2012, we had $48k in the bank account and $340k in GICs. We spent approximately $25k that year (biggest item was legal fees) and brought in $361k in memberships and donations.

She MOVED that the AGM appoint Ian Campbell, of Hawton Campbell Chartered Accountants, as auditor. CARRIED.

ABCRA Director, Donna Lacavera,  MOVED: The Annual General Meeting approve a special resolution updating ABC’s incorporation, effecting a name change to ABC Residents Association, transfer to federal jurisdiction and inaugural by-law. CARRIED.

ABCRA Co-President, Ian Carmichael,  MOVED:  Whereas the current Co- Presidents have conducted a search for Directors and an open invitation has been advertised on the website for a month and in a flyer distributed throughout the neighbourhood, the current Co-Presidents present for approval the following slate of Directors and Officers for the following terms of office:

John Caliendo - Co-President (3), Ian Carmichael- Co-President (3), Bill Stevenson -Secretary (3), Dianne Robinson - Treasurer (3), Diane Dyer (2), Linda Chu (2), Mary Helen Spence (2), Donna Lacavera (2), Tracy Warne (1), Sam Vise (1), Cynthia Lewis (1). And further appoint Barbara Moore as web master (not as a director but as a volunteer). CARRIED

GUEST SPEAKER  Ken Greenberg spoke to a series of slides of best examples of city building around the world, some of which are reproduced in his new bookWalking Home

His theme involved the paradigm shift since the post-war focus on building cities around cars to today’s search for walkable cities, mass transit, heritage preservation and the millennial’s desire to live in urban, not suburban, settings. Cities are being “walkscored” now, measured by how many amenities are within a 5-15 minute walk

Meanwhile car ownership and kilometres driven are coming down. Today far fewer 18-26 year olds are getting  drivers' licenses than was the case with their parents’ generation. Downtown housing starts now exceed all the 905 suburbs. Downtown job growth also exceeds that in the suburbs. The OMB system of one off approvals defeats attempts to city build by failing to consider cumulative effects, public realm effects, sustainable neighbourhoods. It has to go.

Toronto’s St. Lawrence neighbourhood, mainly public housing, demonstrates that a city can take care of people at all stages of life—even those less well-off.

Greenberg is one of the consultants involved with the BIA/ABC Yorkville planning initiative. Yorkville has pioneered in mid block corridors, Lothian Mews, Colonnade, and the pedestrian realm generally. Task now is to build on this to create a virtuous circle of new development in the future.

Adjournment to refreshments 9:00 p.m.

Toronto’s architectural gem : The Masonic Temple at Davenport and Yonge

"Why I Love Toronto" : The Masonic Temple