Mystery surrounds Manse Valley Community Association closure

Former executives of the Manse Valley Community Association remain tight-lipped about what led to the closure of the organization in December.

The association closed after reportedly failing to find a new chair. But Betty Smith, the organization’s former secretary, said “a number of issues” led to the closure, though she didn’t say what those issues were.

“I guess some things just run their course,” she said. “We really just prefer that you say the association shut down. If you need clarification, speak to the chairperson.”

Don York, who served as chair since 2004, could not be reached by press time and Allen Elias, former vice-chair, said he was not authorized to comment.

The volunteer-run association represented over 2,000 homes and voiced the concerns of local residents. It also hosted community events and put out a newsletter.

Coun. Ron Moeser (Ron Moeser)

“The Manse Valley Community Association has played an important role in our community,” Coun. Ron Moeser said. “It takes time and people’s commitment.”

The Ward 44 councillor added he had a good relationship with the association and he valued its opinion.

“They were very instrumental in voicing strong opposition on issues like preserving green space,” Moeser said. “I’m hoping someone will step up. Community associations do go through different phases.”

The association had been a strong advocate for preserving West Hill’s Woodgreen Ravine, a forested area home to about 2,000 trees. The City of Toronto, though, sold the land to a developer to build homes for Habitat for Humanity and Women’s Religious Project.

The Manse Valley community will suffer as a result of the association’s closure, Centennial Community and Recreation Association president Jeff Forsyth wrote in his group’s newsletter.

“Without a community association, issues are not addressed until it is too late,” he said in the newsletter. “I am sure there are ongoing issues that will affect the Manse Valley community, unfortunately there will not be a united voice to respond to them.”