Community Liaison Committee (CLC) for Relocation of Birchmount Residence
June 25, 2018

Action for Neighbourhood Change Meeting Room
3600 Kingston Road

Community Members in Attendance

Ellery Hollingsworth, Community Resident
Paul Nedoszytko, Community Resident
Tanya Baksh, Community Resident
Mildred Jarvis, Community Resident
Farrell MacDonald, Community Resident
Carlos Barrios, Resident of Birchmount Residence
Kevin Garlick, Resident of Birchmount Residence
Denise Dennis, Frontier College
Sara Clenyg-Jones Agincourt Community Services Association (ACSA)
Leslie McDonald, Toronto Alliance to End Homelessness (TAEH)

City Councillor and Staff

Kirstin Campbell, Volunteer, Ward 36

City of Toronto Staff

Shawn Yoder, Acting Shelter Manager, Shelter, Support & Housing Administration (SSHA)
Desiree Dockery, Acting Program Supervisor
Emily Kovacs, Program Supervisor, SSHA
Sergeant Bernie Hawco, 43 Division, Toronto Police Service
Paul Rowe, Community Resource Officer, 43 Division, Toronto Police Service
Dawn Hibbard, Counsellor, Birchmount Residence

Architect

Paul Didur

Facilitator

Paul Dowling, Facilitator

Regrets

Sandra Damota, Supervisor, Social Assistance
Gary Crawford, Councillor for Ward 36
Gail Ross, Executive Assistant
Tamara Hermann, Constituency Assistant
Julie Campbell, Crime Prevention Officer
Dave Baird, Community Resident
Priya Hawkins, Resident Advisor for TSNS 2020 for Scarborough Village
Christine Hewitt, Community Engagement Mgr, Scarborough Centre for Healthy Communities and chair Scarborough Housing Stabilization Network
Terry Pariseau, TAEH
Rob Burridge, Community Resident (resigned from committee)

Indigenous Land Acknowledgement by Paul Dowling

Meaningful engagement and building strong, respectful, and reciprocal relationships is foundational in our work to improve housing outcomes for all people in Toronto, particularly Indigenous people.

We recognize that we are meeting today on the traditional territory of the Huron-Wendat, the Anishinabek Nation, the Haudenosaunee Confederacy, the Mississauga of Scugog, the Hiawatha First Nation, the Alderville First Nation and the Métis Nation.

The treaty that was signed for this particular parcel of land is collectively referred to as the Williams Treaties of 1923 and applies to lands east of Woodbine Avenue. We recognize the enduring presence of Aboriginal peoples on this land.

Toronto’s SSHA Division is committed to reconciliation and advancing the City’s Statement of Commitment to Aboriginal communities in Toronto and to the actions set out in the Meeting in the Middle Engagement Strategy and Action Plan co-developed with our Indigenous partners.

Welcome and Introductions

Paul Dowling asked the participants to go around and introduce themselves and describe how they are connected affiliated with to the Birchmount Residence.

Minutes of June 4, 2018 Meeting

  • Correction to be made to the spelling of Kevin Garlick’s name
  • Minutes approved

Business Arising

Grass Cutting

In the future, grass at 3306 Kingston Rd will be cut once per week. The contractor informed Shawn that they will not be able to cut too close to the building due to safety concerns of the construction site.

Improvements to street lighting on Bellamy Road, north of Kingston Road

Emily gave this request on to Toronto Hydro and the timeline for a response is not yet known. The goal is to make sure the lighting is addressed before the clients move in

  • A community resident expressed disappointment that there has been no progress with this issue as it has been three weeks since our last meeting
  • Emily made a commitment to have a representative at the next meeting to address this concern
  • Emily explained that all issues  in this meeting are tracked along with the outcomes and forwarded to appropriate departments
  • When the lighting update is available, Paul Dowling will send it out to the group
  • Paul encourages all members to contact him via email or phone with any questions or concerns

Questions

Q. What efforts are being made to clean up the property to the east of 3306 Kingston Road?
A. Paul will follow up and send out the answer ASAP.

Project Design – Architect Paul Didur

  • The architect showed plans of the exterior and interior of the future facility
  • The building’s outside shell be enhanced with weather proofing to ensure energy efficiency, a new metal roof will be installed, and the inside will be stripped to add insulation to the walls
  • Efforts are being made to meet Toronto’s Green Standard
  • Mature trees on site we will be kept, and additional trees will be planted along the perimeter
  • A garden will be established in the back with the opportunity for box gardening
  • There is a dog walk area in the back
  • All lighting is upgraded to LED lighting, with exterior lighting directed inwards to avoid lighting the neighbouring properties
  • One of the major mechanical enhancements is a ground source heating and cooling system. 15-16 wells have been dug and will be used to heat and cool the building
  • The entire building will be air conditioned
  • An emergency generator, which meets Ministry of Environment noise level requirements will have additional enhancements to reduce the noise level to 68 decibels, the equivalent of loud talking
  • The generator i s used in emergency situations only.  Once a month, it will be tested during the day
  • Loading dock will be enhanced with a lift
  • The floor plan was described. There are staff offices on both levels, space for the counsellors, program and multi-use areas, TV rooms on both levels, elevator, kitchen for resident programming, Wellness Centre, four wheelchair accessible barrier-free rooms with bathrooms, sprinkler system throughout the building, staff shower and change room Every resident room has its own washroom with a walk-in shower
  • Small maintenance buildings will be constructed in the back to store garbage and maintenance equipment. The existing building meets the amount of floor space permitted on the site under the zoning. The City needs to apply to the Committee of Adjustment for a minor variance to allow this small shed. Notice of the application will be sent to the immediate neighbours soon.

Questions

Q. Where is the smoking area?
A. Benches are located in various sites on the property, providing several smoking areas. Shawn will identify smoking areas according to the City’s Smoking By-law ensuring it is as convenient as possible for residents

Q. Can the signs be in feet and metres?
A. Yes

Q. There is not much in the area for the men to do, what will they be doing all day?
A. We have programming staff who facilitate a variety of workshops on budgeting and housing and community outings. Community partners will be on-site to facilitate programming based on identified residents’ needs. A book club will be established and a librarian on site once per week. There are three TV rooms.

Q. Do the doors unlock automatically when fire alarm is sounded?
A. No, because we are not regulated as a Long-Term Care facility. SSHA has very clear evacuation procedures, sprinkler systems throughout the building and strict guidelines to ensure compliance with all fire guidelines and specifications.

Q. What is the Wellness Centre?
A. This is where the Nurse and Doctor will be located when on site. There will be an exercise area and space for programming.

Q.  Will this be a co-ed facility?
A. The City’s goal is to have a dedicated shelter for older adults of all genders. In the short term, the new residence may be predominantly men as the residents of the Birchmount Residence are accommodated

Q. Can residents have guests?
A. Yes; but not overnight. Residents are encouraged to stay connected with their family and friends.

Q. How secure is the funding? A community member expressed concerns regarding funding for services that rely on Land Transfer taxes.
A. This question will be forwarded to Councillor Crawford’s office.

Communication Plan Beyond the Committee

  • We need to ensure that key stakeholders are informed of project development progress, program model and engagement process
  • Paul asked for suggestions on how to engage local businesses
  • Suggestions included:
    • Councillor Crawford’s newsletter
    • Facebook groups
    • Put the link to the City Site on the Cliffcrest news group
    • Local papers
    • Toronto.com
    • Create a flyer together and send it out to the community
  • Ensure all project information is up-to-date on the City website
  • There is nothing on the site to identify what is happening to the building
  • Paul said that he will work with the City staff to come up with key messages and determine where they will be posted. Messages will also be sent out to the CLC members who can feel free to share them as well.
  • Kirstin, from Councillor Crawford’s, office suggested sending updates to his office, to be posted on their newsletters and Facebook pages
  • Shawn suggested that the key messages can also be posted on SSHA’s Facebook page
  • Some community members feel that they did not receive proper communication regarding the new shelter; they found out about it through the news media. They feel that this contributed to the first community meeting at Qssis in 2015 not going very well
  • A community member suggested that we have a community member from the current Birchcliff neighbourhood share their experiences with this new community. 16 years ago, when Birchmount Residence opened, there was some community resistance, but after the After Birchmount Residence had been in the neighbourhood for a period of time, there was big shift in the perceptions. Paul suggested that we invite Birchcliff residents to the opening celebration to “pass the baton”.

Opening Celebration

  • Once the new residence is occupied, there will be opportunity to celebrate and welcome people from the community to visit.
  • Paul will send out an email giving all committee members the opportunity to participate in the planning of the Opening Celebration. Planning may begin during the summer. Several people expressed an interest in being part of the planning.

East Side Motel Update

  • Last time we met, SSHA provided housing supports to 14 residents at the East Side Motel
  • Six of the 14 have secured housing and expect to move by July 1, 2018
  • Seven are still conducting housing searches with SSHA staff
  • One refused housing supports

Visits to Birchmount Residence

Shawn provided dates for members to tour the current Birchmount Residence. Three to four people can be accommodated per visit. Members can email desiree.dockery@toronto.ca to book their visit if they have not yet signed up.

Available dates:

  • July 3, 10:30 a.m. – full
  • July 3, 6:00 p.m.
  • July 10, 6 p.m.
  • July 17, 6:00 p.m.

Future Meetings

  • Next meeting will be September 10, 2018, Action for Neighbourhood Change, Meeting Room, 3600 Kingston Road, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • It was agreed to have future meetings on the second Monday of each month, 6 to 7:30 p.m.
  • Paul will review the calendar to see how this works with holidays and will provide a schedule of meetings in September
  • Paul Dowling will circulate a draft agenda one week before each meeting