Dear Fellow Residents,
January 16, 2011 marked the official launch of the Bedford-Wanless Ratepayers Association. After spending a few years in the Mayor’s office (June Rowlands 1991-1994), I grew to realize both the value and power of well-organized neighbourhood associations. When our family first moved into the Bedford-Wanless neighbourhood, I was confronted with the large issue facing us on 100 Ranleigh Avenue. I was surprised to learn that we did not have a Ratepayer’s Association and knew immediately that we needed to form one to create a singular voice for our community. We needed an association that would be recognized by both government and developers and that would not be quickly dismissed when contentious issues came into our neighbourhood. The Bedford Park United Church site on 100 Ranleigh was an extremely tough issue as there were neighbours divided evenly for and against the proposed Senior’s residence. Clearly the role of a Ratepayer’s Association is to determine the best path for the community and in the end I believe we achieved a large number of concessions that made the project more palatable for all. Sadly, the project never got off the ground and late last year a new owner purchased the property with the idea of building high-end rental apartment building, eliminating the negotiated community space and adding significant traffic to an already burgeoning problem across from Bedford Park Public School. The new applicant presented a very different proposal that was overwhelmingly rejected by the residents who turned out at the community meeting in November of 2015 and subsequent response to our petition not supporting this revised proposal. This precedent setting revised application will have a long-term impact on our neighbourhood and I encourage you to stay involved on this important issue. I have recently learned that the applicant has jumped the gun on the pending report from City Planning Department and filed an appeal to the Ontario Municipal Board. This is highly unusual and extremely aggressive. Please stay tuned for more information on a working group to be formed on this project. Over the years we have challenged smaller developments on behalf of neighbours at the Committee of Adjustment and Community Council. We have looked at tree removals, participated in traffic discussions, dealt with street closures and TTC developments to name a few. It has been busy to say the least but with no regrets. I have welcomed the opportunity to use my past knowledge to defend our community where I could. Five years later and I have decided to step aside to let other members of the community take the BWRA to the next level. This was a hard decision but I leave knowing the BWRA is in great hands and will continue to represent our neighbourhood in a very responsible manner We have a number of great individuals who have come forward and elected at our AGM earlier this year. I wish them luck and encourage you to get involved wherever you can. We have our first annual fair in Wanless Park on Saturday May 14 from 10:00Am to 4:00PM. We have a number of volunteers but many more are needed to run some of the events and games for the kids that day. Please contact Leanne Burkholder if you can spare a few hours (firstname.lastname@example.org). We also have a new Facebook Page (Bedford Wanless Park Ratepayers Association) please join and circulate to neighbours. I would be remiss if I did not thank the volunteers I have had the chance to work with over the years. Its people like you that make this such a wonderful neighbourhood. Lastly, if you have not joined as a member, please consider signing up today (here). It is only $20 per year – or more if you should so desire. It goes a long way to enabling the BWRA to defend our neighbourhood both in government and in the courts. The larger the war chest the more difficult it becomes for the face of our neighbourhood to change without our voice. Thanks again and I’ll see you at the Fair!!
Hugh Mansfield Past President (January 2011 – February 2016)
We Actively Participate in Community Issues:
CommunicationWe keep you aware of development plans that impact our community.
PreservationWe encourage environmental preservation of our parks & neighbourhood.
ImprovementsWe participate in community issues that impact our neighbourhood.
SafetyWe monitor for crime, street safety and other issues.
Questions or Concerns
The Bedford Wanless Ratepayers Association is ready to help with community concerns. If you have a question, concern or issue that you need to address please feel free to contact us. We are administered by volunteers so please give us a few days to get back to you.