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Find out what's happening in the Annex and with the Residents' Association
  • 25 Mar 2020 12:26 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    March 25 2020

    Non Essential Businesses must Close

    There is naturally some confusion as to which businesses are deemed essential and which ones are not. The complete official list is available at https://www.ontario.ca/page/list-essential-workplaces.

    Spring is Happening Regardless

    Snowdrops, crocuses and scilla are in bloom throughout the Annex. Tulips, daffodils, and irises are forging ahead. The robins are here. And some residents have been able to get into their gardens to start the seasonal cleanup.

    These signs of Spring are so welcome at a time when we’re forced to walk separately, not allowed to congregate on our sidewalks or in are parks, keeping our distance firmly from each other.

    But there is much we can do to help those who are quarantined or unable to get out without assistance or forced to work long hours keeping essential services going.  Reports in from this week:

    The Avenue Road Food Bank at Church of The Messiah

    The Rev’d Tay Moss writes that the food bank at Church of The Messiah (Corner of Avenue Road and Dupont) has switched service models and is now pre-packaging food "hampers" which people can either come to the church to pick up on Wednesday afternoons OR can be delivered to those who need to stay home  for any reason.

    Most of the guests at the food bank are the “working poor” who often work in service industry jobs for cash. They rely on the food bank to get through hard weeks, and there is fear that many will be laid off or otherwise experience financial distress during this crisis. Many other food programs have had to close, which is also driving up visits to the church’s food bank.

    The food bank doesn't do any means testing and registering is a simple matter of getting a name and family size so it can track how many people the service meets.

    How you can help

    Operating in this new service model has meant unanticipated expenses for the church. There are many ways you can help to get aid to where it’s needed:

    • Inform: If there are people in the neighborhood who need food assistance, just inform Rev’d Tay at the Food Bank by email and he’ll coordinate delivering a weekly food hamper:  taymoss@churchofthemessiah.ca
    • Donate Money:  Money is always helpful. You can easily donate online using the Canada Helps website at this address: https://www.canadahelps.org/en/charities/118863141RR0001-church-of-the-messiah/. In the message line of the donation form, just note that the money is for the Food Bank. Canada Helps will issue tax receipts for all donations.

    Alternatively, you can contact Rev’d Tay directly and he can facilitate other means of giving such as checks: taymoss@churchofthemessiah.ca or 416.922.4371.

    • Volunteer: Help is also needed, especially people willing to use their cars to fetch donations or deliver hampers. You may contact the Volunteer Coordinator at elliott@churchofthemessiah.ca to find out how you can contribute your time to these efforts.
    • Donate Food: Food is, of course, always welcome. The food bank is in particular need of protein sources like meat, fish, and peanut butter. Shelf-stable items are preferable, but the food bank also has sufficient freezer and fridge space to accept and distribute fresh items as well.
    The best time to deliver at the church is either Monday mornings or Wednesdays before 3 p.m. Other times can be arranged by appointment. Please let them know when you are coming so that the volunteers are expecting you.

    Grassroots Initiatives

    Not all outreach has to be on such a grand scale to make a difference. Reva Landau at 95 Prince Arthur notes that five people in her condominium building have volunteered to help residents who may not be able to get out for groceries, etc. during the Covid-19 time.  The names and telephone numbers of the volunteers are posted in the Mail Room.

    And our ARA chair, Rita Bilerman, has a great idea to support high school students languishing at home with their enforced absence from school. A lot of them need to accumulate volunteer hours. That makes them the perfect workforce for helping out older people and those in isolation. Consequently, the ARA is willing to sign volunteer hour forms for any high school students willing to help out now. Contact us at aracares@theara.org for information.


  • 18 Mar 2020 3:28 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The Annex Responds to COVID-19

    Even as we are all encouraged to practice social distancing, there has never been a more urgent need for us to come together as a community. 

    • Those who are facing self isolation will need support with basic groceries and supplies.
    • Those with young children at home will need help in order to run outside errands.
    • Many of those who are alone or in vulnerable risk groups need to be checked on.

    Individual Initiatives

    Already we have witnessed extraordinary gestures as neighbours have reached out to help neighbours.

    Terri Chu on Albany, for example, has distributed flyers on her street urging those who need assistance to contact her. As Terri says, “If I can’t do it myself, I will put you in touch with someone who can.” And already she has heard from twenty people who have volunteered to lend a hand.

    Terri says there are two critical needs right now:

    • Reaching out to those who might not be online to make sure they get the help they need.
    • Supporting all those health care workers who live in our community and work in hospitals. We want to be able to support them as they put their own health at risk.

    Celebrating Acts of Kindness

    We know that there are many more acts of kindness to applaud out there. Please let us know if you have been the recipient of such thoughtfulness or have witnessed neighbours helping neighbours. Are there examples of apartment dwellers coming together? Are there movements to shop locally in order to help the small businesses in our community?

    We’d love to celebrate this generous spirit in our Annex neighbourhood.

    Send your reports to aracares@theara.org and we’ll post them in the coming days.

    City-Wide Initiatives

    Residents can also take advantage of and/or support the following city-wide initiatives. We’re all in this together – and together we can make it through!

    • Good Neighbour Project on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/groups/GoodNeighbourProject/
    • Friendly Neighbour Hotline - a single phone number that seniors needing assistance can call.  It's connected to a network of volunteers throughout the city who can help with picking up essentials during this difficult time. http://uhnopenlab.ca/project/hotline
    • The City’s website will continue to be updated regularly as new information becomes available, and residents are encouraged to check back often for the latest information on programs and services. Visit https://www.toronto.ca/covid19 for Toronto Public Health info.  Check the FAQ first before you phone 311.


  • 19 Feb 2020 1:40 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Public Meeting on proposed 15-Storey Condo on Davenport at Bedford

    ARA’s Planning + Development Committee first met with the developer of this proposed 15-storey condo on Davenport at Bedford last September. P+D has since worked with a wide group of neighbours in the northeast Annex to call for major changes in height, massing, and vehicular circulation. At P+D’s request, Councillor Layton held a 2-hour Project Review Meeting in January with the developer, City staff, ARA’s P+D, and a dozen neighbour representatives to go through the project in detail and to decide if there was sufficient hope for consensus-building through a formal Working Group. To be chaired by the Councillor, the Working Group would follow new principles prepared by P+D and adopted by ARA’s Board in early January.

    The Community Consultation on 24 February, 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. at the Intercontinental, Barclay Room, 220 Bloor St. West is critical. We hope to get enough feedback from residents and the developer to decide if consensus-building through a Working Group might resolve major differences. The alternative, should the developer not make significant changes to the project, is that we are likely to end up in a long, costly, and contested hearing at LPAT, the ‘new’ OMB. Please come out on Monday 24 Feb and make your views known…and bring your neighbours!


  • 14 Jan 2020 11:00 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Happy New Year!  We hope you and your family enjoyed the holiday season and had a positive start to the year.

    The ARA is welcoming 2020 with a Meet N Eat gathering at EVOO Ristorante, 138 Avenue Road http://www.evooristorante.com/ on January 28 at 6:30 p.m. Please let us know if you’re coming by responding here.

  • 01 Oct 2019 2:03 PM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    The ARA would like to thank Workin’ Moms Productions IV Inc. for their generous donation of $500. They filmed in the Annex this summer. We ask film and production companies to make donations to the ARA in recognition of the disruption that filming can cause in our neighbourhoods.


  • 12 Dec 2018 9:30 AM | Anonymous member (Administrator)

    Transparency at the ARA

    Many residents may be wondering about the criteria the Annex Residents’ Association uses when it reviews developments in our neighborhood, ranging single-storey residential additions or multi-story condo developments.

    The ARA has now published a guide Reviewing Projects in the Annex: Guidance for Proponents to bring more certainty to what can often be a stressful process.

    The guide gives proponents suggestions on how to satisfy the four big questions the ARA will be concerned about:

    • what is there now?
    • what is being proposed?
    • what are likely impacts; to whom? and
    • what is the timing of the project?

    Proponents are welcome to make presentations to the ARA’s Planning and Zoning Committee, which meets monthly.

    For more information, contact:

    Edward Leman
    Co-chair, Planning and Zoning Committee leman@chreod.com orplanningandzoning@theara.org tel: (416) 966-1144

    or

    Ko Van Klaveren
    Co-chair, Planning and Zoning Committeejac.vanklaveren@hotmail.com or planningandzoning@theara.org


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