New Long Branch Neighbourhood Association aims to enhance community

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Development, transit, airport noise, neighbourhood safety, parks, tree canopy, history and culture.

With its mission to “protect, celebrate and enhance” its unique lakeside community, those are some of the issues south Etobicoke’s newly formed Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA) is looking to tackle with a “centralized community voice.”

“Before we got together, what was happening was there were a lot of individuals from this community taking on different issues, but because there were only one or two people, their voices were getting drowned out by other neighbourhoods that do have associations,” said LBNA co-chair Christine Mercado.

“Everyone felt like they were fighting individual fights on their own. There was consultation happening out there, but there wasn’t any kind of centralized community voice for it, so that’s when we decided it was time for us to organize.”

After two years of planning and strategizing, the LBNA held its first general meeting on Oct. 23, during which its 62 founding members elected Mercado and Brian Liberty as co-chairs of the association. Judy Gibson was likewise voted in as vice chair, and Jenny Ribeiro, Doe Orser and Bill Zufelt as executive members.

Following their election, the six-member LBNA board of directors held their first strategizing meeting on Nov. 1, during which Liberty said they discussed the balance they intend to maintain between issues-based initiatives and community celebrations.

“Down by the gazebo in Long Branch Park, I heard that it was only 20 years ago that they used to have community dances and events, and at Len Ford Park there used to be concerts in the bowl — and that’s not going back that far at all,” he said, noting that the LBNA board is currently applying for grants to enable them to resurrect those kind of celebrations in Long Branch.

“So, in addition to issues, part of the association’s vision will also be to bring people together in our gathering places for celebrations like that — with good food, new parks, tree plantings, that kind of thing.”

With that balance in mind, the LBNA executive recently established a series of subcommittees aimed at different areas of interests — from development and airport noise, to parks and tree canopy, to neighbourhood safety and history/culture.

What they’re looking to do now is to engage as many Long Branch residents, from as many different backgrounds and areas of interest as possible, to add their voices to the community dialogue, Mercado said.

“We have a lot of really skilled people from all different walks of life down here — some are 20-, 50-, even 80-year residents of Long Branch, while others are new to the neighbourhood,” she said,

“We really want all of those people to become members and interact with us. We want to draw people out of their homes and down to our parks to socialize and get to know each other and the issues. Because being aware of our public spaces and using our spaces also helps preserve and protect those spaces.”

For more information about the LBNA and how to become a member, go to www.facebook.com/LongBranchNeighbourhoodAssociation or email longbranchto@gmail.com


New Long Branch Neighbourhood Association aims to enhance community

Group vows to tackle issues, organize celebrations

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Development, transit, airport noise, neighbourhood safety, parks, tree canopy, history and culture.

With its mission to “protect, celebrate and enhance” its unique lakeside community, those are some of the issues south Etobicoke’s newly formed Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA) is looking to tackle with a “centralized community voice.”

“Before we got together, what was happening was there were a lot of individuals from this community taking on different issues, but because there were only one or two people, their voices were getting drowned out by other neighbourhoods that do have associations,” said LBNA co-chair Christine Mercado.

“Everyone felt like they were fighting individual fights on their own. There was consultation happening out there, but there wasn’t any kind of centralized community voice for it, so that’s when we decided it was time for us to organize.”

After two years of planning and strategizing, the LBNA held its first general meeting on Oct. 23, during which its 62 founding members elected Mercado and Brian Liberty as co-chairs of the association. Judy Gibson was likewise voted in as vice chair, and Jenny Ribeiro, Doe Orser and Bill Zufelt as executive members.

Following their election, the six-member LBNA board of directors held their first strategizing meeting on Nov. 1, during which Liberty said they discussed the balance they intend to maintain between issues-based initiatives and community celebrations.

“Down by the gazebo in Long Branch Park, I heard that it was only 20 years ago that they used to have community dances and events, and at Len Ford Park there used to be concerts in the bowl — and that’s not going back that far at all,” he said, noting that the LBNA board is currently applying for grants to enable them to resurrect those kind of celebrations in Long Branch.

“So, in addition to issues, part of the association’s vision will also be to bring people together in our gathering places for celebrations like that — with good food, new parks, tree plantings, that kind of thing.”

With that balance in mind, the LBNA executive recently established a series of subcommittees aimed at different areas of interests — from development and airport noise, to parks and tree canopy, to neighbourhood safety and history/culture.

What they’re looking to do now is to engage as many Long Branch residents, from as many different backgrounds and areas of interest as possible, to add their voices to the community dialogue, Mercado said.

“We have a lot of really skilled people from all different walks of life down here — some are 20-, 50-, even 80-year residents of Long Branch, while others are new to the neighbourhood,” she said,

“We really want all of those people to become members and interact with us. We want to draw people out of their homes and down to our parks to socialize and get to know each other and the issues. Because being aware of our public spaces and using our spaces also helps preserve and protect those spaces.”

For more information about the LBNA and how to become a member, go to www.facebook.com/LongBranchNeighbourhoodAssociation or email longbranchto@gmail.com


New Long Branch Neighbourhood Association aims to enhance community

Group vows to tackle issues, organize celebrations

Community Nov 14, 2017 by Cynthia Reason Etobicoke Guardian

Development, transit, airport noise, neighbourhood safety, parks, tree canopy, history and culture.

With its mission to “protect, celebrate and enhance” its unique lakeside community, those are some of the issues south Etobicoke’s newly formed Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA) is looking to tackle with a “centralized community voice.”

“Before we got together, what was happening was there were a lot of individuals from this community taking on different issues, but because there were only one or two people, their voices were getting drowned out by other neighbourhoods that do have associations,” said LBNA co-chair Christine Mercado.

“Everyone felt like they were fighting individual fights on their own. There was consultation happening out there, but there wasn’t any kind of centralized community voice for it, so that’s when we decided it was time for us to organize.”

After two years of planning and strategizing, the LBNA held its first general meeting on Oct. 23, during which its 62 founding members elected Mercado and Brian Liberty as co-chairs of the association. Judy Gibson was likewise voted in as vice chair, and Jenny Ribeiro, Doe Orser and Bill Zufelt as executive members.

Following their election, the six-member LBNA board of directors held their first strategizing meeting on Nov. 1, during which Liberty said they discussed the balance they intend to maintain between issues-based initiatives and community celebrations.

“Down by the gazebo in Long Branch Park, I heard that it was only 20 years ago that they used to have community dances and events, and at Len Ford Park there used to be concerts in the bowl — and that’s not going back that far at all,” he said, noting that the LBNA board is currently applying for grants to enable them to resurrect those kind of celebrations in Long Branch.

“So, in addition to issues, part of the association’s vision will also be to bring people together in our gathering places for celebrations like that — with good food, new parks, tree plantings, that kind of thing.”

With that balance in mind, the LBNA executive recently established a series of subcommittees aimed at different areas of interests — from development and airport noise, to parks and tree canopy, to neighbourhood safety and history/culture.

What they’re looking to do now is to engage as many Long Branch residents, from as many different backgrounds and areas of interest as possible, to add their voices to the community dialogue, Mercado said.

“We have a lot of really skilled people from all different walks of life down here — some are 20-, 50-, even 80-year residents of Long Branch, while others are new to the neighbourhood,” she said,

“We really want all of those people to become members and interact with us. We want to draw people out of their homes and down to our parks to socialize and get to know each other and the issues. Because being aware of our public spaces and using our spaces also helps preserve and protect those spaces.”

For more information about the LBNA and how to become a member, go to www.facebook.com/LongBranchNeighbourhoodAssociation or email longbranchto@gmail.com