SAHRA eBlast – July 22, 2020

Councillor Mike Colle COVID-19 Update #15 July 17 2020

View the update at https://mailchi.mp/53ef01e6eac1/july-17-e-newsletter-update-15


Bedford Park-Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online – July 2020 Crime Update

The Bedford Park – Nortown Neighbourhood Watch Online program covers both the SAHRA catchment area as well as the Upper Avenue Community Association (UACA) catchment area. For the benefit of each of our memberships, we provide data from the Toronto Police Service specific to each Resident Association. A complete listing for the entire area has been posted on the Crime Prevention page of SAHRA’s website and has been updated to reflect June data.

For transparency, we would like to mention that we have made a modification in how we are reporting break and enter crime for homes. In the past we separated out apartments and houses. We have now reclassified this to “residential”. We will continue to show the detail for the two categories. 2019 comparisons have been updated to reflect this change.

Auto theft continues to be prevalent across the City of Toronto as well as other parts of Canada. On July 15th, CTV featured a report showing how thieves gain access to locked cars using a computer relay to your key fob. A link can be found below for the article together with a video showing the crime in action. Toronto Police are suggesting moving your key fob into the interior of your home or storing it in a faraday bag. Faraday bags are available at most security stores or online.

https://toronto.ctvnews.ca/this-is-how-high-tech-thieves-are-stealing-cars-from-toronto-driveways-1.5024936

Highlights for June:

The SAHRA area had a GREAT MONTH for auto-theft with a zero count in June.  Year to date (YTD) 2020, we have experienced 3 auto thefts versus 5 in the same period 2019.

There was also zero residential break and enter in June with our total year to date remaining at 2. In the same period 2019, we had 5 residential break and enters.

Toronto Police Service are also reporting zero commercial break and enters in June for the entire Bedford Park-Nortown Neighbourhood watch area. This would include Avenue Road and Bathurst between Wilson and Lawrence.

The west side of Avenue Road (UACA area) is experiencing a significant increase in auto-theft over 2019. In June they experienced 4 auto thefts bringing the YTD total to 20. 

If you have experienced a break and enter or auto theft in June and it is not reflected in our data, please let us know at [email protected]sahratoronto.com.

With the Covid constraints, our monthly Community Police Liaison Committee meetings continue to be cancelled.  We are hopeful that they will resume in some form in September and have asked for interim reports in the meantime.

If there is additional information you would like to see on safety reporting – please email us. We will try to accommodate the request.


Committee of Adjustment Meetings

Committee of Adjustment (CofA) hearings were cancelled as of March 17th due to COVID-19 but Virtual meetings have commenced as of June 23. Initially, the CofA said that the applications dealt with via Virtual meetings would be minor, minor variances; non-controversial; and not have a large amount of public interest.  But they have now scheduled a number of applications in our area that contained major variances / they were controversial and there were a number of neighbours who were very concerned about these applications. 

The Committee has been instructed by City Council to speed up processing to deal with a backload of 1200 applications.  Where Hearings used to be held every two weeks, they are now scheduling Hearings every week and sometimes two days in the week.  Problems have been encountered where the Public Notices are only received by adjacent neighbours 3 days before the new Submission deadline.  The new rules for Virtual meetings establish setback dates by which a concerned neighbour has to submit their opinion (5 business days prior to the actual hearing).  They must also Register to speak at the Hearing 2 days in advance.  All this makes it more difficult for SAHRA and concerned neighbours to review and respond to the applications.  At some of the hearings, the registered speakers were never allowed to speak.  FoNTRA and their member Residents’ Associations are very concerned about public participation being seriously hampered by these arrangements.


Council Stands up for Toronto residents against Construction Noise

(an update from Councillor Josh Matlow)

“As part of the Provincial government’s emergency orders to address COVID-19, THE City of Toronto Act was amended [until October 2021] to allow for any “construction activity in the City between the hours of 6 a.m. and 10 p.m.”  This represents a significant departure from the City’s by-laws, which permit noise from construction between 7 am to 7pm from Monday to Friday, 9am to 7pm on Saturdays, and not at all on Sunday. I have heard from many of you that the constant noise during unreasonable hours has had a significant impact on your quality of life. That’s why I’m pleased to report that Council supported my motion to request the province to rescind Limitation 2 to Ontario Regulation 130/20 , enacted April 7, 2020, which took away the allowance of the City to regulate or prohibit noise in connection with construction to the detriment of our residents. It is now up to the Premier to do the right thing for Toronto residents.”

It was a concerted effort between Councillors Matlow, Colle, Wong-Tam and Cressy supported by SAHRA, LPRO, FoNTRA, the Toronto Noise Coalition as well as 13 Residents’ Associations in the downtown area that resulted in this Motion being presented and approved.  We are now following up with the City Clerk, and the Councillors to ensure that the ‘request’ is duly submitted to the Province. 


Bedford Park Residents Organization History

BPRO has now published Issue #6 “1804, The Neighbourhood 200 Years Ago”. You can view it at https://www.bprotoronto.ca/2020/07/07/1804-the-neighbourhood-200-years-ago/.


Face Masks

Available from AUDREY NICOLE DESIGNS, within our neighbourhood – custom reversible face masks in various designs, sizes and pricing…and scrunchies…all 100% cotton. Visible on Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/audreynnicole/) or via email ([email protected]) or by text messaging at (647) 384-4266.


Lytton Park Residents’ Organization E-Newsletter July 8 2020

You can view the latest E-Newsletter here https://lpro.wordpress.com/newsletters/


COVID-19 Website Page

In an effort to keep our Members informed on COVID-19, we are communicating via our eBlasts.  We have now created a dedicated Page under Information on our Website for these posts.  You can access the link/button to COVID-19 Information for COVID-19 articles  at https://sahratoronto.com/.  This will take you directly to the Information/COVID-19 page.


Support our Shops Update

The Bedford Park Residents Organization has updated their lists of Shops on Avenue Road and Yonge that are open for business as of May 2 (see attached). This list is also available on SAHRA’s website on the COVID-19 Page.


Better Living Website COVID-19 Updates

Better Living  Health and Community Services actively updates their website to provide you with access to up-to-date and reputable sources of information and reference sources on COVID-19.  They have a number of special support programs for Seniors.  You can access their website here: https://mybetterliving.ca/covid-19-resource-page/


Healthy Lifestyle Tip: Relaxation Exercises

(compliments of Glendon Athletic Club)

When we are stressed, our muscles tighten up and our breathing changes and becomes shallow. As you breathe more lightly, you are participating in a vicious circle, because your body responds to your change in breathing with a fight-or-flight response, adding to your tension and stress. So, the most basic thing you can do when you start to feel stressed out is to stop and take some deep, even, slow breaths. As hard as everyone works these days, we all deserve a time out now and then to calm our nerves and decompress. Relaxation exercises can help us stay productive and happy. Here are some options that can enhance the relaxing effect of breathing exercises:

  • Try visualization. “Going to your happy place” is something we often joke about, but there is some truth in the humor.  Plan ahead and create an internal picture of a place that relaxes you so you can bring it to mind when you need it. Bedrooms and beaches top the list, but obviously your happy place is a personal destination.
  • Exercise. Being physically active on a regular basis is helpful for overall stress management, but if time allows, you can use physical exercise for immediate relaxation as well. Taking a brief walk, doing some yoga stretches, doing a home/virtual workout, or closing the door and dancing to a favorite tune can all help alleviate stress.
  • Mini massage. One of the most important things is to recognize where and how you carry stress in your body – some carry it in shoulders, head, neck, jaw, hands, or even their stomach. Try scheduling an appointment with a massage therapist who can teach you how to take care of your trouble spots while at work or home.
  • Apply heat. If you have the option of a warm bath or shower, or simply have some warming gloves, socks, or heat packs, use the heat to help relax tight muscles.
  • Aromatherapy. Although research on aromatherapy is mixed, many people find certain scents, such as lavender, to be relaxing. If you respond well to the smell, have a sample on hand (in a desk drawer or your purse) for a relaxing sniff as needed before or after your breathing exercises.  

References:Vann, B. M. R., Alberts, N., Anderson, G., Alkon, C., & Hurley, K. (n.d.). Calm Your Nerves With Relaxation Exercises – Emotional Health Center – Everyday Health. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.everydayhealth.com/emotional-health/mini-relaxations.aspx


Needed – Bicycles That Are Ready to Ride

(extracted from Councillor Josh Matlow’s Newsletter)

Do you have a bike you no longer use? The Women’s Cycling Network , co-founded by Najia Zewari, leader of Women’s Wellness Café, and with help from Cycle Don Valley Midtown is an inclusive group of now nearly 100 women from the Thorncliffe Park and Flemingdon Park communities as well as neighbourhoods close by. These women find freedom, empowerment and health benefits by riding a bike. Today we have 50 women who have bikes and have learned to ride, and another 50 waiting for a donated bike so that they can learn to ride too.  If you have a bike to give , read about the Women’s Cycling Network #BikeMatch program and complete the form. Your bike will be matched with a woman from our waiting list and a contact-free donation arranged. Your idle bike will provide the welcome opportunity for one of these women to ride it! For more details, please click here.


Membership Contribution Reminder

Like everything else in this pandemic year, our financial contribution drive has had to adapt.  We are not delivering personal reminder letters to residents’ doors, in order to reduce the risk of COVID-19 infection for both the deliverer and the recipient.  Additionally, we have postponed both our Annual General Meeting and our Neighbours’ Night Out event, where we often receive members’ contributions.  As a result, we are relying solely on electronic reminders such as this email.

Over the last four years, we have led appeals of Committee of Adjustment decisions to both the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) and the Toronto Local Appeal Body (TLAB) eight times.  For the three most important cases, we hired a planner and a lawyer and won each time, protecting our neighbourhood from runaway development.  This year will bring another appeal likely in September and there is a chance for still another later in the year.

SAHRA’s Board uses your contributions judiciously, and our planner and lawyer for these appeals provide good value.  However, they do cost money.  Over the last three years, your Board has decided to draw on our cash reserves and annual membership contributions rather than raise funds through a special fundraising programme.  This year, we need your contributions to mount these appeals effectively in order to maintain the character of the neighbourhood, as well as to maintain our other activities such as various communication channels to you and other members.

SAHRA recognises that these are difficult times.  We appreciate any contribution to help SAHRA maintain its activities.  More information on how to contribute can be found on our Membership page at https://sahratoronto.com/membership/.