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CHATTER: Annex Residents’ Association holds virtual AGM (June 2021)

July 15th, 2021 · No Comments

Over 40 people were in virtual attendance at the Annex Residents’ Association’s (ARA) Annual General Meeting on April 22. Because of the pandemic, it was the first AGM in two years, but participation was up thanks to Zoom. 

Chair Rita Bilerman recapped the ARA’s proudest moments of the year, including defeating the development at 64 Prince Arthur, fighting for a safer Avenue Road, and advocating for more and better bike lanes. 

Guest speaker Tamara Anson-Cartwright from the city planning department announced the launch of the West Annex Heritage Project,  part of a city-wide heritage survey. If your property becomes listed on the heritage register, you cannot demolish it without a heritage impact assessment (HIA). Professional heritage consultants will be hired to help the ARA gather material to determine which parts of the Annex could become heritage districts. The ARA will also be holding a public consultation about the study in September. Look for details in the next issue of the Gleaner. 

The planning and development committee is monitoring 25 projects at various stages of development, according to co-chair Edward Leman. These projects will result in an increase of 2,225 dwellings and 3,300 residents to the Annex. Leman announced the launch of quarterly town halls on development issues. (For more information, contact planninganddevelopment@thearea.org).

Gardener Paul Richard announced that the aboriginal eco-restoration team has secured funding for work on the Paul Martel Park. This will allow them to do spring and fall plantings with native plants they’ve been growing at The Stop Green Barn. The Bloor BIA has applied for a mural for the park, and Richard remains hopeful this will also be approved. He found a clean copy of the original Ecology Park map in the toolshed which will replace the old one.

Designer Johan Harteveld unveiled a new and improved ARA logo and website, to be implemented this summer.

Terri Chu, Chair of the Parks, Trees and Environment Committee announced a plan to hire forestry students to update the ARA’s tree database, completed in 2014. Learn about the 10,000 Annex trees in the inventory at theara.org.

Councillor Mike Layton topped off the evening, urging Annexonians to make more deputations to city council. 

“People have to start holding us to account. Ask your representatives what their strategies are to reach the goals they set, and stay plugged-in with what’s going on in the city,” he said. “The ARA will show you the avenues. I’m on the budget committee. We don’t hear enough from people. It takes sustained efforts from community to make politicians actually invest more. I’m here for you, if you need advice about how to speak to the rest of council, or you can just say it to me, and it will give me a little more spirit.”

—Nicole Stoffman/Gleaner News

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Tags: Annex · News