President's Update

Written by Georgina Balascas, President MWHA on .

Georgina Balascas

Please Welcome Georgina Balascas, MWHA 2017-2018 President

Georgina, past president of the Markland Wood Homeowners Association from 2014 through 2015 was acclaimed MWHA President for the 2017-2018 year on Monday October 30, 2017 at the MWHA Annual General Meeting. 


The MWHA AGM had presentations from the three levels of government and the newly formed CAAS <> an association previously discussed with the Airport module of the Markland Wood website. After the presentations, the minutes of the 2016-2017 year were adopted along with a variety of other MWHA business. There was a vote for the Treasurer this year. The full list of Officers, Directors and Associates is listed below. 

MWHA Board Members (2017-2018)

President: Georgina Balascas
Vice President: Anna Schaefer
Secretary: Joanne Azevedo-Vaz
Treasurer: Katharine McLarty

Jane Beggs
Debra Blackwell
Brian Brennand
Saulius Brikis
Mark Creedon
Peter Derry
Roma Donatelli
Michael Georgopoulos
Barbara Kennedy
Ilona Maziarczyk
Katharine McLarty
Tom Napier

Elmars Berzins, Lina Couto, Kira Vallance

Article in the October 2017 Marklander from past president Dr. Don Beggs:

Hi everyone,

What wonderful September weather we have had, with the beauty of the turning leaves just around the corner, making Markland special each year.

We had a marvelous evening on September 30 at the Markland Wood Golf & Country Club at our annual Neighbours Night Out. It was an opportunity for people to mingle and meet friends and for those who are new to our community to get to know neighbours. Thanks to the members of the MWHA Board who organized it. It was packed. People had a great time. For those who missed it, please reserve the last week of September each year. It has been held for 55 years! We love to get together. See you next year.

The GTAA issue presented a major development to us since we last talked. On September 18, its British consultant firm HELIOS released its final report ‘Independent Toronto Airport Noise Review’ at the Airport Hilton Hotel with its 80 recommendations for dealing with runway operations and airplane noise. Thanks to those who attended. I saw many of you there. As you know we have a lot at stake in what the recommendations are and whether NavCan & the Federal Liberal Government under Justin Trudeau will accept some or all of them. Our new multi-constituency alliance CAAS (Community Alliance for Airport Safety) is something you need to remember. It is an overarching alliance that links a number of federal ridings in our area to our riding of Etobicoke Centre with far more political clout than we could exhibit alone, and it is now spearheading our fight with the airport’s future plans. CASS will be a major feature of our strategy against GTAA plans. CAAS has prepared an initial reaction to HELIOS proposals. Here are a few highlights in CAAS’ own words:

*the report did not include the many ideas shared by the public [i.e. in the formal written responses sent to HELIOS last spring by your MWHA and many others]

*HELIOS made it quite clear that they would not comment on what would be implemented as the
implementation decisions were up to Nav Canada [which controls the airspace over Canadian airports]

*at no time…was Transport Canada mentioned as a participant, reviewer or decision maker’

Please watch for a more detailed analysis of HELIOS’s final report in a later Marklander and on our website. For those who could not attend the presentation meeting, all information related to the review, including the final report itself, can be found on the Independent Toronto Airspace Noise Review website The live presentation by HELIOS is also available on YouTube at the following address:

With respect to the ongoing 240 Markland Dr. condo proposal issue, your MWHA at this moment still awaits a formal response from the developer to our required three amendments to the most recent version of the development.

The Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation has a program of ‘Tree For Me’ grants called Every Tree Counts. The program is designed to engage residents to help contribute to the urban tree canopy in Toronto. It is aimed at private tree planting and the foundation encourages you to contact for granting information and how to apply. We encourage you to look into this. The Foundation seeks an increased canopy goal of 40%.

Last month I indicated the MWHA had sent a ‘without prejudice’ letter on August 12, 2017 to Toronto Hydro concerning damage done to Markland properties by the burying of power lines. While Hydro has not yet sent a letter of formal acknowledgment of receipt, individual residents mentioned in the letter have contacted me that repairs have been made on their own properties. Councillor Stephen Holiday has been aware of our concerns and our letter from the beginning. Please feel free to contact him directly - if reported repairs have still not been made or as the program continues, of any new damage. (416) 362-4002; This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

In the northwest corner of Millwood Park sits a stand of very important trees I have spoken about previously. It is Silverthorn Forest. This stand of valued trees and flora is the last that remains here of the vast and dense Carolingian Forest that once blanket the original Silverthorn farm, to the east over Toronto and all the way down to North and South Carolina, from which it derives its name. Your MWHA has been working to protect this 4.1-acre Forest for Marklanders for generations to come with a level of Heritage & Cultural protection that hopefully cannot be interfered with. We have been working with wonderful guidance of Forests Ontario, Urban Forestry of the City of Toronto, and our Councillor & Deputy Mayor Stephen Holiday to secure a level of perpetual protection. It is not an easy task, and at the time of this writing we are working hard to complete our objective. Look for an announcement hopefully in the Marklander later this fall.

This is goodbye for me. After being on the MWHA Board on and off since 1979, I am leaving the Presidency and the Board. Being away enjoying retirement as much as I am, serving on the Board is no longer practical. The complexity and seriousness of the issues our community faces today requires a President on site for most of the time. I want to thank the Board, you, the Markland residents, for your warm wishes, encouragement and support, and I want to thank those who have stepped forward annually since 1962 to serve voluntarily on the MWHA Board. I have mentioned a number of times that the MWHA Board is one of a few in this country. Few communities have organized resident’s associations defending and promoting their interests. It has functioned as a volunteer Board for 55 uninterrupted years. I encourage those who live here now to consider stepping forward and joining to continue this important work. We need you. The election of the 2017-2018 officers of the Board will be at our annual AGM on Monday, October 30, 2017 at the Markland Wood Golf & CC, starting at 7 P.M. Please contact me if you are interested in putting your name forward. The program that evening will also feature reports by our elected politicians on developments around the GTAA expansion and flight change plans, the HELIOS Report recommendations, and how they are working to protect our interests and our fine community.

Bye for now,
Dr. Donald Beggs, President
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