Annual General Meeting

Annual General Meeting - Mechanicsville held it Annual General Meeting (AGM) on February 9, 2016. Please find below the DRAFT minutes for that meeting. The minutes are approved at the following AGM. If you were in attendance and see an error or discrepancy, please send your comments to the Secretary via email, under the ‘Contract Us’.

Mechanicsville Community Association (MCA)


Annual General Meeting


Tuesday, February 7, 2016, 7:00 p.m. Laroche Park


Attendance: 16 members present


Blair Simser, President, opened the AGM at 7:12 p.m., and informed the group on the agenda which included:


·       Update from MCA – Blair Simser and Jeff Leiper, City Councillor, Kitchissippi  Ward

·       Update on Security from our Community Police Officer – Const. Dawn Neilly

·       Update from Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC) – Janelle  Vandergrift            and Katie Lawson.

·       Financial Update

·       Elections of Directors

·       Other Business


1.   Update from MCA


Development of three (3) New Condominiums on Parkdale Avenue


There has been some activity at the Brigil Homes and Condo site located on Parkdale Avenue (corner of Burnside), Jeff Leiper confirmed that the city has not yet received any key submissions at this time; there could be some developing in 2016.  This appears to be the only development that may go forward at this time.


Bayview Yards


The City of Ottawa received $15M to contribute to the development of Bayview Yards for the purpose of housing the federal, non-profit agency called Innovation Center.   It will contain office space and eventually a 12-story tower on the former snow dump location. Due to its historical designation, the building will retain its current outside appearance. Construction is slated for August 2016.


Scott Street Community Development Plan


Jeff Leiper added that there currently exist Community Development Plans (CDPs) for all areas that are available on the city website. The CDPs provide the layout of the community and were developed with significant consultations from the respective communities. CDPs identify the maximum heights of buildings that could be developed on lands in the communities. Naturally, around the O-Train station, there will be taller developments; however, within the Mechanicsville current area, the heights of new buildings are lower.


John Howard Society Building


The John Howard Society has the successful recipient of a request for proposal by the City of Ottawa to operate a 5-story, 40 units supportive housing project on Carruthers and Burnside.  It will be residential units, primarily for adult males, to assist them to transition to their own dwellings. It will be staffed on a 24-hour basis. You can find more information on Jeff’s website.




The Westfest in 2016 will be held at Laroche Park on June 4-5, 2016. It will only be held for 2016. An MCA Board member participates on the planning meetings for Westfest to ensure that all community issues are raised and properly dealt with in the planning and execution of this big event.


Laroche Park


Laroche Park will be closed in 2017 for replacement of water and sewer lines and significant remediation. As some of you may be aware, the site was previously a garbage dump and the soil is contaminated. This work will allow Laroche Park to qualify for the Sens Rink in 2018.


Food Trucks


MCA has received a proposal from the City Planning Department for the Richcraft property on Parkdale, formerly Cottage & Kitchen and an apartment building. The proposal is for 5 food trucks. Jeff has received some feedback and encourages residents to provide him with feedback quickly. Although the due date has just passed, there is still time to get your concerns to Jeff and the City Planning Department.




Jeff advised that traffic measuring was undertaken on Burnside last summer and it did not indicate high traffic volume to warrant measures from the City’s Traffic Office. However, Jeff mentioned that each councillor has a yearly budget of $41K to add temporary measures to reduce the speed of traffic. Jeff will be looking at some key areas within Mechanicsville for the summer of 2016.


Parking Lots


Mechanicsville has seen a significant number of large parking lots be developed on residential properties. MCA and Jeff were successful in shutting down a new large lot on Forward and Lyndale and will continue to monitor any new lots created. This does not apply to homeowners who rent out their driveways.




Blair advised that MCA meet the 2nd Tuesday of every month. MCA hosted two events this year: Mechanicsville Day was a huge success with many residents, including children enjoying the festivities. On February 7, WinterFest was held and was also a huge success. Blair thanked all the volunteers for both events and encourages others to volunteer for next year’s events.


2.   Security


Constable Dawn Neilly informed the group that on a positive note there has not been much crime in this area in the last six months. There have been a few car break and enters. Dawn cautioned the residents to ensure that they don’t leave any valuables in the car that is visible, including GPS and laptop/computer cases. Dawn mentioned that she has brought ‘cards’ for residents that you can place in your car that indicate that there are no valuables contained in the car.


Constable Neilly mentioned a number of break-ins through 2nd floor balconies in Eastview and Centretown and advises residents who live on the 2nd floor units to ensure that the balcony doors are locked.


Constable Neilly strongly urges residents be alert for any suspicious events and report them to the police. It may not be a crime in progress but the City Police have crime analysts that prepare studies based on the reports provided by residents and are of great assistance to the police.


3.   Somerset West Community Health Centre (SWCHC)


Janelle Vandergrist mentioned that SWCHC has been in existence for over 40 years. There original building is on Eccles Street and have a second office on Rosemount. They provide a number of programs in the Laroche Park Field House and at the Forward Avenue Crisis Shelter. Katie Lawson with SWCHC has developed a Community Development Framework to engage the community to determine needs and provide extra support. This initiative determined that access to fresh fruits and vegetables was needed and SWCHC brought in the Market Mobile.  The Market Mobile pilot project last year was a huge success so Mobile Market will return on March 2, 16 and 30, 2016 from 3:30 to 5 p.m.


SWCHC are planning adult daytime events such as: coffee, exercise classes, connection with other resources at the Laroche Park Field House.  These programs will be advertised through social media, posters and door-to-door in the community.


4.   Financial Update


Blair informed the current balance is $1,006. The MCA major expense is approximately $800 for insurance for events and Director’s Liability. MCA is seeking fundraising ideas. MCA formed 4 years ago and is a registered Non-Profit.


MCA plans to expand to include Committees for key issues, such as: Safety, Development, Membership/Communications, etc. Blair encourages all members to volunteer for a committee.


5.   Elections


Jeff Leiper chaired the election process. Jeff mentioned that currently there are nine (9) directors seeking re-election. They are:


1. Blair Simser

2. Sandra Walby

3. Keith Brown

4. Chris Burke

5. Crystal Gallant

6. Crystal Dixon

7. Holly Cartwright

8. Aleisha Arnusch

9. Dino Testa



Jeff opened the floor to see if there are any nominations from the floor: Lorrie Marlow was nominated. There were no other nominations after seeking nominations three (3) times.


Each member present, introduced themselves and indicated why they were interested in working on the Board.


A motion from Janice Oliver and second by Chris Burke was made to accept the slate of ten (10) members seeking election to the Board. The motion was carried.


MCA thanked Janice Oliver, who decided not to seek re-election, for her dedication and hard work over the years.




Given that there was no other business, a motion from Crystal Gallant, second by Dino Testa, to adjourn the meeting at 8:10 p.m. There motion was carried.


Posted on March 11, 2016 .