“The Four Corners” Project Update – Help us pick a colour!

Britt O’Hagan, one of the urban designers from the city who is assigned to handle the redevelopment of the “Four Corners” (The intersection of South and Colborne Streets) and the “South Street Promenade” (Between the Four Corners and Wellington) recently joined us at our last meeting to give us an update on the project and to invite us to provide input on unique lampposts which will be installed in this area. Continue reading

Energy Usage in SoHo

The City of London has prepared a new energy map that shows the energy efficiency of houses on different streets in SoHo. This map combines data from London Hydro and Union Gas with property data to show total energy use by floor area and compares that with the average across all of SoHo. Blocks that show up as orange or red are good candidates for the home retrofit programs offered by Union Gas. There are some residential areas – those without colours – where there is not enough information to do this. Continue reading

Association News – Upcoming Election for President

Resignation of Cheri McLeod

With a heavy heart, we would like to announce that Cheri McLeod has decided to step down as President of the association.  Cheri has been with us since November, and although her tenure has been short, it has definitely had a tangible impact upon our neighbourhood.

Cheri’s resignation will be effective pending the appointment of a replacement.  She will remain in London for a period of time to help ease the transition and will then be returning to Collingwood to be with her family.

If you would like to help see Cheri off, please join us at the Victoria Tavern on Thursday, February 18th at 7:30pm.

Election for the office of President

With the resignation of the current president, we will be holding an election to fill the position during our next (January) meeting.  The president is elected by a secret ballot by the members of the association, and to be eligible, must be a member.  Membership is free, the only requirements are that you are either a resident, property owner, or representative of a business in the neighbourhood, and that you attend at least one meeting within a calendar year for your membership to be considered “active”.

If you would like to nominate yourself or another person, please contact Jamie Edwards, the association secretary at jamie (at) jamieedwards (dot) org.  Please try to have your nominations in at least one week before the meeting so we can formally announce the candidates and print the ballots.  Each candidate will be given a chance to address the attendees prior to the ballot.

Change of Venue

Unfortunately, with the change of management at Maple View Terrace, we will no longer be holding our meetings at that location.  The team at the London Roundhouse have graciously offered to host our future monthly meetings.  The Roundhouse is located at the corner of Waterloo and Horton streets.  Our next association meeting is January 20th at 7:00PM, with regular meetings occurring on the third Wednesday of each month except for June, July, August and December.

All are welcome, and whether or not you have attended a meeting in the past, we hope that you will join us!

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.