Minutes February 18 2015

Meeting Minutes – Wednesday, February 18 2015

The association met at 7:00pm at Maple View Terrace.

  • Cheri made a motion to move forward with the Association’s application to incorporate as a non-profit.  Everyone in attendance in favour.
  • Thank you note received from Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project (FSCPP) for the Association’s donation to the project.  George McNeish, Chairman of the FSCPP, was also in attendance, and issued thanks.
  • Potential SPARKS grants were discussed by Cheri
  • Cheri talked about the potential of expanding on the ‘Junk in the Trunk’ event to create a ‘Celebrate SoHo Day’.  This included the potential of using the interior space of the Dutchess of Kent Legion to house community groups, businesses, etc.  Cheri encouraged input from the group to expand on the day, and what it could look like.
  • Cheri encouraged other members to bring forth their ideas. Laurie mentioned the potential of a community rink.
  • After discussing the grant restrictions, Laurie discussed a potential opportunity with local design companies, where perhaps a brand and logo re-development might be an option to consider as SoHo starts to grow and gain momentum.
  • Cheri discussed TreeMe grant application being driven by Louise Hollingsworth… hoping to have trees for ‘Junk In The Trunk’ and for the neighbourhood wagon deliveries.
  • Cheri discussed how tremendous the City of London has been with offering advice and support regarding community surveys and starting a newsletter.  Cheri invited anybody with an interest to take a lead with these projects.
  • Angela stated her experience creating newsletters and stated that she might be willing to assist.
  • With computer skills/access varied, it was suggested that we do both an online and printable newsletter.
  • Talks of the benefit of an online e-mail marketing system to manage contacts and better send e-communication was quickly discussed.   Potentially using NationBuilder’s management system was discussed as well as MailChimp.
  • Cheri continued to urge anyone interested in starting (or joining) a sub-committee to step forward.  Data collection, fundraising and event planning were mentioned; however, Cheri discussed the many needs of the Association and felt that any volunteer who stepped forward could likely be utilized.
  • Cheri discussed a meeting at Pause Café with the London Region Branch of the Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO).
  • Cheri mentioned a definite interest in saving the 385 Hill Street building, where the Growing Concern Daycare is located.
  • Art Lierman mentioned his connections with Developers and potentially finding a contact to assist/direct.
  • Cheri offered reminders of upcoming construction and the bulk of construction happening on Colborne St.  Parts of Grey St and South would become two-way streets to accommodate construction.  Cheri discussed the SoHo revitalization initiatives of the past and how bike lanes, trees, planters, new streetlights, some parking meter removals, etc. are to be expected as part of this exciting project.
  • Cheri talked about the SoHo redesign project by Fanshawe College students.
  • Cheri is judging the contest (between students) this Friday, February 20th at Central Library.
  • The event is open to the public for those wanting to get a glimpse of the students’ vision.
  • Cheri made and delivered 150 cupcakes to FSCPP on behalf of the Association.
  • Final date has been announced for the ‘Junk In The Trunk’ sale – June 27th – at Dutchess of Kent Legion.
  • We’re seeking music, artists, and vendors for the event.
  • Reminder of upcoming local events
  • Annual Black History Celebration at Beth Emanuel Church on February 22nd at 3 PM.
  • Defeat Depression walk/event at Victoria Park on February 28th
  • Operation Leave the Streets Behind Fundraiser on March 8th (Noon – 6 PM) at Dutchess of Kent Legion to support homeless veterans.
  • FSCPP open house on March 27-28.
  • Lorne Ave ‘End of an Era’ bash on June 6th.  Note that they are currently looking for donations: http://www.gofundme.com/LorneAveEndOfAnEra.
  • Cheri mentioned Lincoln McCardle’s ‘Snow Angel’ initiative for those residents who may not be able to shovel their steps/laneways.  More info on the initiative/concept can be found here:  http://tinyurl.com/l3g3yoz
  • Art Lierman discussed two potential green space initiatives in SoHo
  • ReForest London green space initiative on the corner of Richmond/Horton (the grass section near Forest City Gallery/beside the old Indian Chef restaurant)
  • Potential community garden being coordinated with Salvation Army
  • The meeting was adjourned at 8:15pm

From your new SoHo Community Association President.

What an exciting year 2014 has been for SoHo! With demolition of the South Street Hospital Lands to the south and the renovations and regeneration of the Roundhouse building to our north, the arrival of the Fugitive Slave Chapel to it’s new Grey St. home… every corner of SoHo seems to be growing!

With great excitement, our own President, Tanya Park, ran for council and we couldn’t be prouder having her represent Ward 13’s interests, especially since she’s always been an active SoHo resident.  With Tanya winning the election, her spot on the SoHo Community Association became vacant and I was very happy to run and be elected, knowing that I had great support with the board; Laurie Bursch will continue to be our Vice President.  Nancy Hamm ran unopposed for the position of Treasurer, and Jamie Edwards ran unopposed for Secretary.  I’d like to thank Kim Buset and Peter Karas for their service respectively in these roles previously, and especially to Tanya Park, who has done an incredible job speaking up for SoHo and developing a strong sense of community in our neighbourhood.

I look forward to the New Year with much excitement. I have been reading and researching as much I can find about SoHo; past, present and future. I had my first interview with the London Free Press, about the Hospital Lands. http://www.lfpress.com/2014/12/15/former-hospital-site-lures-crowd-of-suitors  I have been working on meeting and talking to as many of you as possible. I am hoping that you will all attend our next meeting; 7pm January 21st 2015 in the basement at Maple View Terrace at Horton/Wellington. I’d really like to see us grow our association and all who live and work in SoHo are welcome to join! We also invite SoHo’s neighbours to be part of our meetings and events. Many people will give us more ideas and solutions to choose from!

I have many ideas for projects and events to help build our community to be strong, but my job is to represent you and your wishes. Please feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions or concerns or want to be more involved and I look forward to seeing you on January 21st.

Cheri McLeod


Keeping SoHo safe.

Last fall I attended a community meeting at the London Police Station with Tanya Park, and they told us about a new tool used to track crimes. The website is called  https://www.raidsonline.com/ and it shows what crimes have been commited in a mapped area. Here is a really great webpage to show you how to use it. Thanks to Simon Pont & the LPS for this handy user guide! http://www.neighbourhoodwatchlondon.ca/documents/RAIDSonlineGuide.pdf

Just a reminder that most of the crimes in our neighbourhood are crimes of opportunity. Make sure you lock your car doors and don’t leave any valuables within view. Let’s all keep an eye out for each other.

Connection to Canada’s Greatest Maritime Disaster

Four SOHO residents ( and 18 other Londoners ) lost their lives in the tragic sinking of the Empress of Ireland passenger liner on May 29, 1914 .
Learn more about Canada’s greatest maritime disaster – more than 1,000 lives were lost .
Speakers are SOHO resident Alice Gibb and Londoner Wendy MacDonald .
Hidden History of Hamilton Road , Crouch Branch Library ,  May 15 ,  7 pm. Refreshments afterwards .
Cherryhill Branch Library , May 29 ,  2 – 4 pm
Call  519-667-1603  for further information

Possible Grocery Store for SoHo! (A Message from ATN Access and Pathways Skill Development)

Hello, SoHo Community!

ATN Access and Pathways Skill Development are seeking out opportunities to establish a social enterprise in the form of a grocery store.

ATN and Pathways are full employment service agencies that provide job training and assistance for individuals who experience employment barriers. A social enterprise is a business with a social purpose. The social purpose of this business will be to train clients through the operation of this business, so we can provide meaningful employment to people who experience employment barriers, including individuals with learning disabilities or those who are differently abled.

Our research at this point is assessing the possibility of setting up a grocery store in Downtown or Old East Village. This will fulfill our other social purpose, which is to provide the inner city community access to affordable and healthy food on a regular basis.

Please keep in mind, this venture is ongoing and we are still researching many opportunities. We wish to obtain the SoHo community’s input to see the potential of this venture! All of your responses in the attached survey are appreciated by our research team and all surveys will be kept confidential.

Talk Soon, SoHo!


Fugitive Slave Chapel Preservation Project – An Invitation to Give Us Your Two Cents Worth

image001What is it worth to you to save the Fugitive Slave Chapel?  This building constructed
about 1848 was slated for demolition, but an army arose to prevent that.  They came up with a plan but $65,000 is needed just to get the building moved to a safer place.  Much more will be needed for renovations and building a supporting infrastructure.  Over $20,000 has been raised so far, but as of the beginning of November 2013, we still need another $45,000 just to build a foundation and move the Chapel.

In the mid 1800’s the Chapel was a destination of the Underground Railroad, a system that helped fugitive slaves reach safer ground.  Being one of the oldest churches in London, it is an important landmark for Christian History.  Although it can’t be proven, stories have been passed down claiming the Abolitionist John Brown held a secret meeting in the Chapel in 1858.  He was trying to raise an army to fight for the freedom of the slaves.  In 1859 he seized the armouries at Harpers Ferry, Virginia.  This incident is regarded by many as one that triggered the Civil War in the USA.

In conducting research for a book about the Fugitive Slave Chapel, it was found that wages in the mid 1800’s were about One Dollar for a 12 hour day.  That means a common worker would work 14.4 minutes for 2 cents. If we translate what 2 cents was worth at the time the chapel was built to the equivalent in today’s money, we would come up with about $2.50.

The Fugitive Slave Chapel is important to many people and will be important to future
generations who are learning about the history of London, Canada and North America. Even if it is not important to you, don’t you think you could spare an 1848 “2¢” to make someone else happy?  That’s all we ask.  We only need 18,000 people to donate $2.50 and we would have enough to move the Chapel to a safer place.

The Fugitive Slave chapel was instrumental in saving many people from a life of misery. Now we need 18,000 people to save the chapel.

To make a donation online go to www.fscpp.ca

Donations can be dropped off at Delta’s Wedding and Party Planning, 389 Lyle St. London, Ontario. N5W 3R6

By Mail: Beth Emanuel Church, 430 Grey St. London, Ontario, N6B 1H3.
More information at www.fscpp.ca, email: info@fscpp.ca, phone:226-272-1363