On May 29, 2018, The Board of Directors hosted our first "Town Hall Meeting", where Owners were invited to share their feedback with us via an open, no-agenda discussion. Of the 480 suites that our tower has, 29 Suite Owners joined us, accounting for 6.0% overall turnout. Thank you to the Owners who took their time to actively contribute to our Emerald Community.
Ryan and I would also like to take this opportunity to thank the staff who participated alongside us, starting the staff from Del Property Management: Vida Ardalan (Property Manager of TSCC 2368), Caroline Coitino (Assistant Property Manager of TSCC 2368), and Bogdan Alexe (District Manager, Del Property Management) who worked overtime to help set up the meeting, and shared their presence and knowledge with us during the meeting.
Furthermore, we'd also like to thank Douglas Carney (Superintendent, TSCC 2368) and Jason Lockton (Superintendent, TSCC 2368) who stayed late to participate in the meeting. Unfortunately, they were away containing a minor leak that occurred during the first part of the meeting; however, their contributions towards the end were invaluable, just as they are.
We are pleased to say that we felt the general mood was positive and that Owners brought forth very interesting, and valid, questions that we were happy to develop upon. For your information, we have summarized the Q's and A's from the meeting, as well as provided a copy of the Meeting Minutes towards the end of the post. Please note that the summary below is not in chronological order as we have sorted it according to category so that information is better presented as grouped, and it only summarizes the important questions (remember, the full Meeting Minutes can be downloaded towards the end).
Side Note: Our apologies for getting this post published later than what we'd normally expect of ourselves; we had some difficulties getting the Minutes, which we needed to build this post thoroughly and to attach at the bottom.
TOWN HALL SUMMARY
Q-1) "Can you please explain about the limitations of access cards per suite?"
A-1) The policy that there is one access device per resident was part of the original set of policies given to us by the Developer, Elad. It is a measure to make sure that only those who live in the building have access, as that is important for security purposes.
Q-2) "How can Off-Site Owners have access to the building in case of emergencies?"
A-2) Off-Site Owners must give up their right to access the building once they rent their apartment out, as is part of the building regulations (therefore not subject to the Board simply changing it as it would require a substantial owner vote). Owners can always call Security to be let in to the building in cases of emergency, and Security will be happy to help. However, suite owners are in charge of deciding how many copies of suite access doors they decide to make and distribute, so they are welcome to keep a copy (or more!) of their suite key.
Q-3) "Can the security along the Sheppard Avenue doors be improved to protect against trespassing?"
A-3) The Board is aware of this door being an issue for piggy-backing and trespassing, thus we regularly sent our Patrol Guard to monitor it and ensure that everyone entering is practicing proper entry procedures (meaning that residents are using their access cards and visitors are buzzing residents for entry). Additionally, this area is technically part of the Three-Way Shared Committee's jurisdiction, so our Board will bring it up during the next Three-Way Shared Meeting.
Q-4) "Can false security cameras be installed as deterrents?"
A-4) Unfortunately, we are not able to install false cameras because, while they may help deter some individuals, they can also create a false sense of security for our residents, which is a liability risk.
GARBAGE & RECYCLING
Q-5) "Is there a place on-site where we can dispose of bigger household items such as furniture?"
A-5) In order for this to be possible on-site, we'd need a designated room that is properly built as per the fire code (in fact, this is why we had to remove the recycling bins on the P2, P3, and P4 levels). The Developer never gave the building the facilities for large-item disposal (only a garbage and a recycling room), and as such, we are unable to offer dumping of large items on-site. Residents will have to search dump/recycling sites within the area and drop off the items elsewhere. As a side note, for smaller household stuff, we do have a donation bin available in the Moving Room (please see Security for access). We also recommend calling charities such as Habitat for Humanity, who will often come and pick up your items for free as long as they are in decent condition for donation.
Q-7) "What does it mean when the Tri-Sorter light says "maintenance", and why is it on so often?"
A-7) The "maintenance" light may be on for a number of reasons, including: (a) it is garbage day (Tuesdays and Fridays, 9 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.) and the Superintendents are working on (re)moving the bins for pick-up by the dump truck, (b) there is an issue with the chute that the Superintendents or other Staff are currently trying to fix, or (c) there is a jam in the chute that needs to be cleared before more garbage/recycling can go down the chute. If you find that the "maintenance" light is on during times that could not be attributed to regular garbage days, we ask that you please report it to Security as soon as possible - it could be jam that needs clearing before it gets worse!
Q-8) "Can something be created to keep residents up to date on on-going maintenance items, such as s section of the website?"
A-8) As the website is public, we are careful with what is posted; however, we can certainly provide more information via the Max TV's available in the lobby and elevators. We also regularly send blast emails for important items. As a side note, please do keep reporting any items that need attention to Management as soon as possible - it is quite possible that no one has yet done so!
Q-9) "Is it possible to secure a members-only side of the website?"
A-9) Andreea Birloncea, who solely and voluntarily runs the website, explained that a members-only area would be difficult to maintain as it requires regularly overseeing that new residents are given ID's and Passwords while old residents have their log-in information removed. With the high turn-over that this building has due to many rental units, that would be nearly impossible to maintain.
Q-10) "Are plants and plant pots allowed on balconies?"
A-10) The rules allow "seasonal furniture", and the Board considers plants and plant pots to be a part of "seasonal furniture"; therefore, plants and plant pots are allowed on balconies as long as they are properly maintained (using soil that is not flammable. Pellet, or "add water" compressed soil is often highly flammable, and as such, is not allowed). Additionally, hanging pots (off of the balcony above or the rails) is not permitted, and residents are asked to be mindful when watering their plants so that excess water does not drip onto the balconies below (we suggest using a dish beneath the pot). For more information about plants and pots on balconies, please view a preceding blog post by clicking here.
Q-11) "Can larger seasonal items (ex: large planter pots) be left on the balcony year round? What qualifies as "Seasonal"?"
A-11) Large seasonal items (pots, outdoor furniture and related small storage for cushions) can absolutely be left on balconies year round provided that they are anchored properly so that they don't blow away during storms, and are not an eyesore to others.
Q-12) "Are sheds allowed on balconies? What's the difference between a storage bench and a shed?"
A-12) Storage benches are allowed on balconies as they are often needed for small seasonal item storage (cushions, small gardening tools for those who have plants, etc.); however, sheds are not allowed as they are very large and often look unsightly, especially if a lot of residents have them. We've received complaints in the past about sheds not looking nice when place on our balconies, and as such, the Board's decision is that sheds are not appropriate as seasonal furniture. As a general rule, seasonal furniture (including storage benches) are allowed as long as they are below the height of the balcony rail.
Q-13) "What can we do about people who throw stuff off of balconies, and falling debris from balconies?"
A-13) The Board has repeatedly asked Management to send out notices about this dangerous and inconsiderate behaviour, and Management has done so every time. We have many reports of items (such as general garbage) being thrown off of balconies, but what concerns us is when extremely dangerous items that are likely to hurt people or damage the building (ex: glass and lit cigarettes) is being thrown over the balcony. We regularly try to educate residents that this is not appropriate and extremely risky, and if caught, we will try to prosecute the resident to our full capabilities. We ask that you immediately report any unit you see throwing anything - absolutely anything - from their balconies. To see the consequences of throwing cigarette butts off of your balcony, please view this previous blog post.
Q-14) "What are the options when dealing with smoking odours on balconies?"
A-14) Currently, smoking on balconies is not permitted, and as such, those bothered by the smoke are asked to contact Security.
Q-15) "Can you please clarify the role of Dens in Occupancy Standards?"
A-15) The Board has looked at whether dens qualify as a designated "sleeping room" by examining the Ontario Building Code, the Ontario Fire Code, and intended Building Design, and is unable to designate dens as "sleeping areas" because it would be contradictory to the Ontario Building Code and Ontario Fire Code, as well as contrary to intended Building Design as it would place extreme wear and tear on the building. For more information, please view a blog post that thoroughly examines this subject by clicking here.
SMOKING (CIGARETTES & MARIJUANA)
Q-16) "What are the options when dealing with smoking odours on balconies?"
A-16) Currently, smoking on balconies is not permitted, and as such, those bothered by the smoke are asked to contact Security.
Q-17) "Is smoking (cigarettes) in suites permitted?"
A-17) Smoking in suites is permitted as long as there is no odour migration to the common areas or other suites. Residents cannot smoke in common areas, except in areas that are designated for smoking by the Board.
Q-18) "Is there a rule about marijuana consumption and growing now that it will soon be legalized?"
A-18) The Board has taken up the advice of the Corporation's Solicitor and began drafting a rule as to consuming marijuana and growing marijuana plants. This rule seeks to regulate the smoking and growing of marijuana so as to not disturb the right of others to enjoy their units. For more information on this rule, please navigate to a recent blog post by clicking here.
Q-19) "What can be done to ensure that people pick up after their pets?"
A-19) Our Staff have regularly been instructed to keep an eye out and write incident reports if they see anyone not picking up after their pets, and we have also requested that residents report any incidents that they witness to Security and/or Management. Once Management receives the report, they then contact the resident in order to remind them of the rules and with a charge-back fee (usually $75.00 for every incident). Should the resident continue despite warnings, more significant consequences can be enforced, including (but not limited to) legal involvement (at the cost of the suite Owner) and/or mandatory removal of the pet from the property.
Q-20) "Is there an update on the construction of the TTC enclosure?"
A-20) There is no update at this time as we are still waiting for the representatives from the City of Toronto to complete their part.
Q-21) "How long should we wait for in-suite repairs done by the Developer?"
A-21) The Developer is a completely separate business from the Corporation, and as such, we don't know how long is an appropriate wait time for repairs completed by them.
For those who would like to view a copy of the Meeting Minutes from the Town Hall Meeting, please click here.
We again thank those who participated at the Town Hall Meeting, and those who followed up by reading this post. Together, we can ensure that our community thrives!
All the best,
Andreea Birloncea, President
Board of Directors of TSCC 2368
Picture of Andreea Birloncea (left): President of the Board of TSCC 2368, and Ryan Moxam (right): Treasurer of the Board of TSCC 2368.