The idea behind the Bloor West Village Residents Association began in early 2004 when a group of neighbourhood residents met informally to discuss establishing a residents association for that part of the Village lying north of Bloor St. Among the reasons they felt a residents association was important were concerns about future development of the Bloor Street West commercial district, neighbourhood safety, environmental preservation, the need to build relationships with our locally-elected public officials, and to enhance the capacity for local residents to voice and debate such issues. They believe that an organized association can help preserve Bloor West Village as a warm and welcoming community – open to new ideas while protecting those qualities of urban living that has made this neighbourhood a magnet for thousands.
The group agreed on a goal of working to help establish such an association; one that can help provide:
- A forum for local residents to voice and debate issues of common concern;
- Good local government consistent with the needs of Bloor West Village;
- Cooperation and involvement of elected members from all levels of government;
- Sound planning practices to protect the unique character of Bloor West Village in areas of environmental protection, public safety, recreation facilities, traffic safety and property development.
This group, which acted as an initial steering committee consisted of: Greg Hamara, Christopher Holcroft, John Leeson, Elizabeth Lines, Jill Marzetti and Steve McNally.
An important first step in the establishment of a residents association was the the initial public meeting held Nov. 16 at Runnymede United Church with over 150 residents of Bloor West Village attending.
THE BWVRA IS FOUNDED
The Founding Meeting of the BWVRA was held on March 1, 2005, attended by more than 100 local residents. Several important issues were adopted by those in attendance, including boundaries for the Association, a Mission Statement, and membership criteria. An executive of five table officers and 12 officers-at-large were elected. More than 70 residents paid $10 apiece to become voting members.
As a new organization the BWVRA requires the support and active participation of a broad cross-section of are a residents. The new Executive committee invites all interested residents to become involved in whatever way, and to whatever degree you feel appropriate.
BWVRA MISSION STATEMENT
(As adopted at the March 1 Founding Meeting)
To share information and encourage the participation of all area residents in activities that promote a liveable community.
- to engage residents, businesses and other interested members of the community in issues specific to Bloor West Village and concerns that may affect all of Toronto
- to provide a liaison and seek support from all levels of government (municipal, provincial and federal and school board issues) that concern our community
- to promote a safe and healthy environment
- to maintain the quality of life that reflects the unique character of the local community
- to participate, through the most effective means, in the planning of new and redevelopment opportunities that reflect the values of the local community
- to be proactive by keeping well informed and sharing information with all residents, businesses and other interested members of the community and by working with other residents associations