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NEWS (JUNE 2016): HVRA cultivates community at spring meeting

June 14th, 2016 · No Comments

It’s probably the only residents’ association meeting that begins with neighbourhood caucuses. The Harbord Village Residents’ Association (HVRA) spring meeting on May 18 included a review of the planning challenges in various parts of the village, the public launch of the association’s plan to green 24 laneways, a ward update from Joe Cressy (Ward 20, Trinity-Spadina), and readings of two award-winning essays on community service (see page 14).

Litter and garbage (particularly in laneways behind Harbord Street businesses), noise from bars on College Street and some restaurants operating without a patio licence, drivers going the wrong way on one-way streets, and absentee landlords featured among the top concerns of the five neighbourhood caucuses. Informing the city by calling 311 is one approach to dealing with the some of these issues, but the HVRA is taking a pro-active approach to laneways that members hope will not only reduce litter but increase the area’s green footprint.

Working in conjunction with the Laneway Project and the David Suzuki Foundation, and supported by the TD Friends of the Environment Foundation, the HVRA is giving Croft Laneway a facelift. After a clean-up on May 29, greenery and flowers were planted along the lane on June 4. The association targeted Croft for its first project because it would be relatively easy to monitor and already featured some nice plantings.

The project is one component of the HVRA’s official green plan, which has been endorsed by city council, and which, Cressy reported, the city is studying to adapt as a model for neighbourhoods across Toronto. The councillor also gave updates on the implementation of the reduction of the residential speed limit to 30 km/hr (two city staffers are tasked with changing all the street signs and are expected to be in the area in approximately five to six months); on Margaret Fairley Park (phase two of the much delayed improvements is set to begin in September); and, on the College Street Study (should be finalized this fall).

—Annemarie Brissenden/Gleaner News

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