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What has the ARA done in the past to protect and improve the environment of the Annex?

In the late 60s and early 70s the ARA was instrumental in the defeat of the infamous Spadina Expressway. More recently, when the flower beds in the Annex parks were discontinued due to City Parks budget cuts, the Annex Residents' Association members designed and planted the rose gardens in Sibelius Park and members contributed funds to install the low wrought iron fence hoops around the beds. The ARA, under the loving and capable eye of Board Member Paul Martel, has completely redesigned and rebuilt Ecology Park. The ARA fought at the Ontario Municipal Board to maintain the integrity of Taddle Creek Park when the owners of 50 Prince Arthur applied to build 9 townhouses in the north part of their property. Smaller parks on the subway lands were promoted by the ARA. The ARA hosts a rotating schedule of maintenance days at each of our local parks. One-way streets and traffic calming humps were proposed by the ARA in an effort to discourage the use of our streets as short cuts to somewhere else.

Is the Annex Residents' Association only for home owners?
NO! There are many tenants who make their home in the Annex and we encourage all residents of the Annex, homeowners and tenants alike, to become members of The Annex Residents' Association. We all have a vested interest in maintaining the Annex as a vibrant and healthy place to live. In the late 1970's the name of the organization was changed from "The Annex Ratepayers' Association" to "The Annex Residents' Association" to more fully reflect the makeup of both the neighbourhood and the Association.

How does the ARA raise its money and how is it spent?
The membership fees go to pay our ongoing expenses, such as rental expenses for meetings, office expenses, the printing costs of member communications, the cost of maintaining the Annex Hotline, e-mail and website.  We also need funds to finance legal fees when we go to the Ontario Municipal Board.


It's a Fact . . . well, maybe.
  • Chestnut, maple, oak and elm were the four types of trees most often planted in the early days of the Annex. The carved stone capitals of a Madison Avenue house are decorated with the leaves of each - a perpetual reminder of those favourite varieties.
  • You might wonder just why there's that big bulge in the middle of Admiral Road. When the route was first laid out, there was a large maple directly in its path. Instead of cutting the tree down, developers built around it, creating a lane for cars on either side of the tree. Unfortunately, when the tree failed and had to be removed, the fire department stepped in and prohibited the planting of another in its place . The bulge remains to this day as a reminder of gentler times.
  • In 1956 a report of the City's Committee on Parks and Exhibitions recommended that Kendal Square, located at Kendal Avenue and Wells Street, be re-designated "Jean Sibelius Square," in response to lobbying from Toronto's Finnish community to honour their presence in  the City. They chose to do so through celebration of the accomplishments of Jan Sibelius both as an internationally renowned composer and one of Finland's distinguished Presidents.
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