Posted on January 28, 2021
The CRA is looking for Cabbagetown residents interested in joining its board of directors to contribute to activities in our neighbourhood.
Here’s a bit of an overview of the activities, focus and composition of the association for anyone that’s interested in joining us:
The CRA was established in 1967 and is a purely volunteer-led organization.
We are one of several active residents’ associations across Cabbagetown, each representing different geographical areas of the neighbourhood. The CRA covers East Cabbagetown, bordered by St James Cemetery to the North, Parliament to the East, Gerrard to the South and the Don River to the West.
The CRA helps build community by:
- Hosting annual events in the community
- Promoting neighborhood safety and security
- Representing community concerns with the city and police
- Sharing local news and information with residents
FORSYTHIA FESTIVAL – MAY
The Forsythia Festival is held annually on the 1st Sunday of May at Wellesley Park and is free for all to attend.
There’s a parade with marching band, a BBQ sponsored Steak and Chops, a beer garden sponsored by Stout Irish Pub, a magic show and dozens of activities for kids and families including bouncy castle, mechanical raccoon, face painting, photobooth, spring bike inspection, parachute game, craft station, flower crown station, and much more … the Toronto Fire Department even gives fire truck tours!
It takes over 100 volunteers to bring the Forsythia Festival to life each year and we’re grateful for the continued sponsorships from our Cabbagetown Business Community and residents.
2021 marks the 50th Anniversary of the Forsythia Festival. Although we will not be able to gather in person to mark this wonderful community milestone however, plans are in the works to make this the best ‘at-a-distance’ community celebration possible!
PUMPKIN WALK – 1 NOVEMBER
The Pumpkin Walk happens every year on November 1. Residents bring their Halloween Pumpkins to Riverdale Park, for a magical evening of twinkling lights and neighbourhood fun. We collect donations for the local Food Bank and then the Pumpkins are recycled for us by the City.
HOLIDAY CARDS – CHRISTMAS
The Holiday Cards event is run in conjunction with local schools. Students create holiday themed art, which is judged by local Cabbagetown artists. The winning entries get special certificates and a pizza lunch for their class.
HOLIDAY LIGHTS – CHRISTMAS
The Holiday lights contest encourages everyone in the neighbourhood to decorate their front yards over the Christmas period (usually with lights!). Residents can enter their house (or anyone else’s) into the competition and everyone gets a chance to vote on their favourite. Winners get a plaque to commemorate their achievement and a call-out in our newsletter.
SPRING AND FALL CLEANUP – April and September
This is a community event that coincides with Earth Day each year, where we get together with neighbours to do a clean-up sweep across our local parks. In 2020 we decided to add a second clean-up in September, to coincide with World Clean up Day.
SAFETY AND SECURITY/POLICE LIAISON
The CRA maintains a close liaison with Toronto Police 51 Division through regular communications with our community policing representatives. We also participate in the Community Policing Liaison Committee which brings police and community representatives together several times a year to discuss crime and safety and security challenges and solutions.
The CRA maintains regular communications with representatives at the councillors office for Ward 13 on all sorts of subjects of concern to our residents. These include new developments in and around the neighbourhood, traffic and crosswalk issues, local park amelioration, selection of bike share locations, etc.
The CRA has traditionally put out a monthly newsletter to its database of residents. Since the start of the pandemic we have upped the frequency to a weekly round-up of local, city and pandemic news, which has proved to be popular with our members.
In 2020, the CRA started to recruit new board members that can spare a few hours per month to help the association ramp-up its involvement in new initiatives, with a focus on social and environmental issues. This was kicked off in 2020 with a fundraiser for Dixon Hall, which raised over $13,000 for food insecurity in our neighbourhood.
We plan on continuing with these initiatives and our expectations are that anyone joining the board can provide a few hours per month focused on board activities and initiatives.
CRA BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The CRA is run by a volunteer board of up to 12 members of our community (currently we are approved for 10 by our membership, which can be adjusted at the AGM). Board members are involved in all aspects of the associations activities and decision making. Board responsibilities are split across three main areas:
- Traditional board roles – President, VP, Secretary, Treasury, Communications etc.
- CRA Events – Forsythia Festival, Pumpkin Walk, Clean-up days, etc.
- Community focus – Safety and Security, Police liaison, City liaison, etc.
New board members join for an initial term of 2 years, which can be extended by 1 or 2 years.
If you’re interested in hearing more, please drop us a note to firstname.lastname@example.org
If you’re more interested in volunteering from time to time, email us too, we’d love to hear from you too.