Glebe Annex Community Association (GACA)
Board Meeting Minutes – Tuesday, March 2nd, 2021 7:00 p.m.
Via Conference Call
- Avery Steinberg
- Carrie Bolton
- David Perkins
- Joanne Benoit
- Maja Rakocevic
- Sue Stefko
- Jonathan McLeod (Assistant, Office of Shawn Menard, Councillor, Capital Ward
1. Call to Order and Approval of the Agenda
- The meeting was called to order with the approval of the agenda at 7:06 p.m. Joanne introduced and welcomed Avery, our newest GACA member and a resident of the Glebe Annex since December.
2. Approval of the February 2, 2021 Minutes
- The minutes were approved.
3. Business Arising from the Minutes of February 2
- AGM Update – Sue reached out to Katasa to invite them to speak at our AGM. The project manager seems open to it. The construction at 275 Carling will start when Katasa gets their permits in place. Excavation is expected to take 6 months and will include blasting. Cathy is hoping to be able to get advance notice of when blasting will take place.
4. GACA Membership Drive- Sue
- Last year was our first virtual GACA membership drive. It worked well, and it was suggested we replicate the same process this year. As we are not holding an in-person AGM, we are flexible with dates to start our campaign. There was support for holding a virtual membership campaign again this year.
- Mailbox drop off and postering worked well last year, coupled with our regular emails. In our online membership call, we will mention our ongoing work, which includes traffic calming measures, the pollinator garden, and our monitoring of developments. We will also poster and include a QR code like last year.
- David mentioned that we still have our professionally printed membership information cards. In pre-COVID membership drives, we would drop these off in mailboxes and follow-up with a visit as part of our door-to-door campaign. The card provides information on what GACA does, such as development, greenspace, traffic, and safety. It was suggested that we use these this year – modified to remove indications of in-person visits. David will circulate a copy by email.
- At our next board meeting we will look into dates for our membership drive.
5. Crime and Safety – Joanne
- One of GACA’s members reached out to us regarding some suspicious activity around 2 a.m. Saturday, February 20th. A man on a bike in dark clothing was checking mailboxes, car doors and trying home doors on Maclean Street. This was reported to the police. A police cruiser came to the area after the report.
- Joanne reached out to Constable Lemieux on the Maclean incidents – she had been unaware. She was able to confirm that officers were able to locate the suspect, who is known to police. She will make sure that Neighborhood Resource Team (NRT) is also aware of him and the incidents in the area.
- The person who reached out to us also expressed a concern that there are homeless people living in public areas in our community. Constable Lemieux suggested that when it comes to homeless people sleeping in places like building lobbies, people can call police, and officers will ask the person to leave and/or offer to drive them to a shelter.
- The Somerset West Community Health Centre (CHC) has a new Homeless Crisis Outreach team. Constable Lemieux is part of this task force and we can also reach out to her. Joanne will circulate a list of contacts that she was provided with.
- We need to report any suspicious activity and encourage those in our community to do so as well.
- Starting up a neighbourhood watch was mentioned. It is complicated to formally set one up as they have very stringent guidelines. We do our own unofficial watch; it was suggested we get more involved in this.
6. Canada Lands Corporation (CLC) and Official Plan (OP) Drafts – Sue
- Most of us have received in our mailboxes info and a feedback form from the CLC on the 299 Carling rezoning application. Sue asked that board members provide feedback individually – the more comments received, the better. Sue provided the board with a draft GACA response which used the board’s previous comments as a guideline.
- Annalisa expressed that it was important that the community be able to access the site safely – if you can see it, you should be able to access the site from your location. Walking to the site from the community via Carling would be dangerous in winter, since the sidewalk on the hill from Cambridge to LeBreton is often impassable, due to snow and ice thrown from the plow. Even when the sidewalk is clear, the hill means any ice patches create a significant risk of slipping and falling. To avoid these problems, pedestrians often walk in the street on this section of sidewalk — which is not safe either.
- A suggestion was made for a staircase from Bell Street, although it may not be accessible during the winter. Using the lower slope area might work better.
- Members were asked to reach out to Sue if they had any other input to add.
6.2 Official Plan (OP)
- It was challenging to review- it is long and complicated. Sue focused on green space, a discrete subject and one of our community’s concerns.
- We are considered a 15-minute neighbourhood as we are close to amenities. Concern was raised about the walkability of neighbourhoods such as ours, particularly if corner stores are sold. At least the city changed its policy a few years ago to grandfather the existence of corner stores in residential neighbourhoods, and the city is trying to encourage more commercial/amenities, particularly downtown.
- Carrie has concerns about the 15-minute neighbourhood limitations and will look into this portion of the plan. Sue will send further information to Carrie.
7. Spring Clean-Up
- We had a good model for the clean-up last fall. We emailed volunteers the streets they were responsible for and provided them with gloves and bags. This year the Glebe Parks Committee wants to do a simultaneous clean-up, so they can publish the dates in the Glebe Report for all. We chose the date of May 15th, with a rain date of May 16th.
8. Councillor’s Office Update – Jon
8.1 Official Plan (OP)
- The Councillor’s office had a zoom call on the OP – many residents brought up various issues. Sue had helpful comments on city-wide concerns versus narrow community-based ones. The call was very constructive. The OP will not go to council until the fall, and people still have time to get in comments – although the sooner the better. There is also currently the Parks and Recreation Master Plan that is being worked on. It will be in the councillor’s newsletter, along with a survey. The councillor’s office is also hoping to have climate change considerations integrated in the OP. The environmental staff at the city are interested and motivated.
8.2 275 Carling
- Councillor Menard is concerned that so many trees will be removed from the site. The City’s forester said the loss was unavoidable, given the site plan. It is very disappointing and upsetting. While Katasa will replace some of the trees, the councillor’s office wants to make sure that they will be able to survive winter and snow clearing operations.
8.3 LRT Update
- It looks like the Trillium line has encountered delays, but the city does not know the extent. It was supposed to be completed August of 2022. The delay impacts our community.
8.4 Bronson Offramp – Bronson offramp
- The councillor’s office is trying to work with the MTO to improve pedestrian safety.
- The meeting adjourned at 8:39 p.m.