Building experts’ report on Estonian House shows major expenditures required Estonian Life
Kommentaarid on kirjutatud EWR lugejate poolt. Nende sisu ei pruugi ühtida EWR toimetuse seisukohtadega.
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Jaak Järve08 Feb 2018 08:02
"Show me the manner in which a nation or a community cares for its dead and I will measure with mathematical exactness the character of its people, their respect for the laws of the land and their loyalty to high ideals."
William Gladstone- four time Prime Minister of England (mid 1800's).
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Jaak Järve (12:15), Jaak Järve (18:45)
respect for elders09 Feb 2018 06:40
... and you respect your elders while they are alive.

You don't make their life difficult by building a house in a traffic congested area on a one-way street with no dedicated parking and in a city with growing TTC congestion issues (the earliest a relief line will be built is 2031).
To respect for elders and othe09 Feb 2018 12:43
How can you cite ttc congestion issues but not road congestion issues? For many, the drive to EH is also a traffic nightmare. And as soon as theres a big event, the EH parking lot is also full.
Seems to me the parking and ttc arguments are pretty much 6 of one half dozen of another. You can use them to defend or attack, either Madison or EH, depending on where you stand.
Same with the "unknown renovation cost" of 11 madison. What about the unknown renovation costs of 958 broadview? How would the mechanical upgrade certainly cost no more thatn the 1.4mill but the reno/construction on madison certainly go over budget? Again, you can question both numbers depending on what side you are on.
Finally, its also the same with the accusations of dividing the community. Whether you think its the 4 orgs dividing the community by pushing for Madison or the naysayers dividing the community by refusing to see the true state of EH and move on depends entorely on where you stand.
Look in the mirror people! You are fighting against yourselves. Its the fighting thats dividing people. Find a way to respect each other! This has nothing to do with disrespecting elders. Everyone acknowledges the achievements of our parents and grandparents! But we cant be tied down by them - they wouldnt want that either. We need to stand on their shoulders, take a good look around and find the courage to fly on our own!
n/a07 Feb 2018 14:33
to "to n/a" - I posted my opinion, not yours but MINE! To call me out on MY opinion is exactly going against what you claim to against ... exclusionary. but then again this is my opinion.
to na07 Feb 2018 16:09
Fair enough. But I think the point in the post was valid, regardless of who has been quoted. Did not mean to offend, just make a statement.
Jaak Järve06 Feb 2018 17:38
From the book “100 Ways America is Screwing Up the World”- A good summary of the concept of trust is provided by Eric Uslander, a political theorist at the University of Maryland.
“ Communities with strong positive values (including trust in others) and ties that bind people to one another will have more powerful norms of generalized reciprocity and cooperation. Trust as a moral resource leads us to look beyond our own kind. It means that we downplay bad experiences and cooperate even when we are not sure that others will oblige. Trust makes for a vibrant community in several ways. Trust promotes cooperation. It leads people to take active roles in their community, to behave morally, and to compromise. People who trust others aren’t quite ready to dismiss ideas they disagree with. When they can’t get what they want, they are willing to listen to the other side. Communities with civic activism and moral behavior, where people give others their due, are more prosperous.”
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Jaak Järve (12:15), Jaak Järve (18:45)
n/a07 Feb 2018 11:49
quoting a socialist / "progressive" political commentator who reviles America for it's capitalism does not incur me to trust this past posting.
to n/a07 Feb 2018 13:24
Are you serious? Therefore statements have no validity because a person uttering these does not don the same stripes you do? This kind of exclusionary thinking is what has gotten us into this mess.
Jaak Järve06 Feb 2018 14:13
"During times of universal deceit, telling the truth becomes a revolutionary act."- George Orwell
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Jaak Järve (12:15), Jaak Järve (18:45)
Jaak Järve06 Feb 2018 06:19
Interesting news release from 4 years ago, where ETCU bought the 11 Madison property as a risk management solution for their own sustainability. Also interesting to note that ETCU planned on leaving one branch open at the Estonian House. Hmmmmmm, I guess things have changed a bit.

March 4, 2014

Estonian Credit Union Acquires Property

The Estonian Credit Union closed a deal to purchase the property at 11 Madison Avenue in Toronto on Friday, February 28, 2014.

The primary reason for acquiring this property is part of the Credit Union’s risk management to secure facilities for continuity of service and operations for its members in preparation for the anticipated re-development of the Estonian House, which is the location of our current operations. The purchase was further attractive due to the prime location of this property and, especially, its proximity to Tartu College, which is a major hub of Estonian community activity. Through this acquisition, the Credit Union positions itself to provide continuous seamless service in close proximity to community activities throughout any future development process.

The purchase will have no impact on day-to-day operations in the near term. In other words, ECU will continue to operate out of one branch at the Estonian House and will use the property to generate rental income in the interim.

With $108 million in assets, the Estonian Credit Union is one of the largest financial institutions in the world to be owned primarily by shareholders of Estonian heritage. As such, the Credit Union takes its commitment to and support of the Estonian community very seriously. ECU will continue to support and work together with the Estonian House, the Estonian Foundation in Canada, and Tartu College to deliver a financially sustainable community and cultural centre that meets the needs of the Estonian community and that we can all be proud of.

As we celebrate our 60th anniversary, we trust our members and the Estonian community at large will join with us in agreeing that the Credit Union has positioned itself successfully both to manage the change presented by the Estonian House re-development project and to secure a foothold for future needs.

Board of Directors

Estonian (Toronto) Credit Union Limited
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Jaak Järve (12:15), Jaak Järve (18:45)
support of Esto community06 Feb 2018 07:16
"As such, the Credit Union takes its commitment to and support of the Estonian community very seriously."

I here people are withdrawing their money from ECU because of its support of the Madison option.
To Jaak Jarve04 Feb 2018 00:01
You speak such truth and seem to be one of few that makes any sense here. Such folly, such sadness. Why are we not listening and stopping this nonsense to come together collaboratively, once and for all, especially at this time in our history? Isn't it ironic how you, Allan, Ingrid, Vaino, Guido - so many with the most honorable of intentions are not afraid to show who you are. The Madison side on the other hand, continues to hide behind monikers, comfortable hurling insults and rote answers and naming names, though easy to guess through their writings who they are. Similarly easy to guess their motivations and which orgs and individuals stand to gain. It has been quite the campaign, indeed a very selfish selling of the "parents house" and selling out all this community has built, has become and stands for. Shameful and heartbreaking.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to lugeja (00:34)
David Hogg04 Feb 2018 10:16
Speaking of irony.... is it not ironic that an anonymous poster is calling out other anonymous posters for posting anonymously?
To JJ04 Feb 2018 12:50
To: Jaak, Allan, Keelmann, Einola, Guido and FEH(Friends of Estonian house) - thank you for your passion and dedication toward preserving and keeping the Estonian Spirit/Estonian House Alive!

While on the internet I found this information which I wanted to share with you and ALL shareholders:

11 Madison Ave, Toronto | $3,776,278 Estimated Value |

The 11 Madison house is over 100 years old, OLDER than the Estonian house.

Anyone who has any building knowledge will know that a 100 year house will have many unforeseen costs and you can be assured that the estimated renovation cost projected by the Org’s will be ½ of what the real cost will be.

That means LESS money toward the U shaped cultural centre and 4 storey extension at the back of 11 Madison.

As told at the community meeting, the bank currently owns 11 Madison and the 3 Org’s jointly own 9 Madison. When EHB purchases these properties using the $ from the sale of Estonian House, the bank and 3 Org’s will be taking close to 5 million dollars right off the top, not including the $750,000 due diligence and EHB $250,00+ debt.

If you are wondering why the Org’s hired a fund raising specialist then here is your answer – they already know that they will be seriously short of the funds necessary to build the entire project as proposed to the Shareholder back in April.

Under the terms of the Resolution, if the funds are not there, then the EHB needs to HONOUR the conditions set out in the Resolution and NOT put the cart before the horse.

Concerned Shareholder - Linda
Kabi Lokk03 Feb 2018 10:01
No need to create the dichotomy. In a large city like Toronto we do not need to turn to our heritage community for intellectual stimulation. We are ALL in it because of the heart.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Kabi Lokk (14:56), raccoon1 (10:15)
Observer02 Feb 2018 21:08
The 3Org's funded due diligence has been proceeding. Lots of fire and fury from those opposing the initiative. Yet no tangible plans. Casting of stones at past EH Boards is also not a solution. Why be backward looking? Let's not waste time on that and focus on a solution. Let the due diligence be completed. Those attending the info session had the opportunity to see how professionally this has been carried out. Yet many may sayers sadly chose not to attend. Strange that this should have been the case if they are so passionate about a home for our community.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Observer (14:32), Observer (16:02), An Observer (21:37)
to observer03 Feb 2018 16:16
The EHB agreed to the proposal brought by TC to do an external evaluation of the EH which was paid for by the 3 Orgs.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Guido Laikve (10:10), To Kabi Lokk (07:31), to angry at numbers (19:03)
to observer08 Feb 2018 06:30
This is not the 4orgs money, this money belongs to the members of the community. If members are not happy with how their money is being handled, then state your case at the 4orgs AGMs. They typically have AGMs btwn March and April or later. The Estonian Foundation of Canada will have one soon, as will the ECU, and Tartu College as well.
echoing JJ02 Feb 2018 19:04
"As much as Tartu College is the "academic" brains of our community, Esto House is the "heart". You destroy either one to feed the other, then you will decimate the host... Stop this folly, and let's all come together and work out another option."

Totally agree. The "academics" and "heart" make up the whole of our community, we can't shut half out.

The "heart" side needs to come up with a substantial plan like Madison has, though. Get experts in the field to do it for $, if need be. Otherwise you are shooting blanks.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: To Ingrid and Racoon1 (13:31)
The real folly03 Feb 2018 10:17
Meie Elu and Vaba Eestlane joined together. So did PT and Rajaleidjad. So did Kalev & Lembitu. Let me ask, how many kids are there in hundud that feel strongly about Kalev or Lembitu and their past divisions? The idea that future generations will care about Tartu College people versus Eesti Maja people seems like the real folly here. It’s all one.
to real folly03 Feb 2018 13:14
Thank goodness for EWR.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: to psychologist (07:47), to Käbi Lokk (21:07), About the reports (01:27)
Folly05 Feb 2018 06:34
The real folly is that 4 orgs think that the seniors won't be around for another 15-20 yrs. Guess what, people are living to 100+ and they are mobile, and they should be heard as equally regarding what they want for the community as the young. Furthermore, they are potential funders.

The real folly is that the community is not being treated as a whole, with consideration of young and old. And do we really know what the "young" want? Or whether they want anything from the community at all? The danger is that we are not building Madison for our community's use, but for the segment of the general Canadian public, who will be able to afford the rents on Madison.

Why are we shutting our seniors out of the conversation who have clearly indicated that they want a different location than congested downtown and they want dedicated parking?
Continued folly05 Feb 2018 06:50
Major congestion problems at TTC Yonge and Bloor. Pape relief line scheduled to relieve congestion in 2031... this a long way off, consider delays too.
Another concern12 Feb 2018 23:18
Isn't it the case that the EH board has borrowed substantially to make expenditures in the hundreds of thousands on its chosen experts to shore up the stated goal to sell and move to Madison? Couldn't those large sums have gone a long way to repairing the roof, the boiler system and whatever other flaws were presented as "dangerous"? Especially since the "Friends of Estonian House" managed to get matching funds for the roof repair from the city?

And why are people who wish to conserve the lot on Broadview for Estonian use though well known in their fields now told to come up with an alternate business plan on their own or at their own expense without the ability to spend hundreds of thousands pursuing THEIR point of view? One side has been funded out of money drained from EH, the other side has not. The would-be sellers got funded out of the asset they want to sell while the would-be conservers of the asset get bupkus. This hardly seems fair.
ANGRY AT NUMBERS!!!02 Feb 2018 16:42
"The report does not make recommendations on longer-term issues or costs beyond the 10-year time horizon. The scope of work also does not include any evaluation of the functionality of the current building nor does it address any aesthetic or decorative shortcomings. In other words, the study only identifies repairs needed to maintain the building’s core systems and not improvements targeted at improving the revenue-generating potential of the house."

Unfortunately this "modest" $1.4 million option is merely a short-term Band-Aid and not a solution in itself. This money will not make the current Eesti Maja self-sustaining. This money would not cover the cost of making the kohvik, or estore desirable rental properties. This money would not cover capital costs beyond 10 years. What then- hold our hands out for another $1.4 million? No responsible bank would offer a loan to the Eesti Maja for capital upgrades let alone these repairs under its current business model (essentially a charity case). This $1.4 million, and subsequent $1.4 millions will have to be raised through fundraising and charity. A good cause- yes, but this goodwill would be better spent on actual community activity by supporting the organizations and programming directly. Between EM, the VEMU project, three camp properties etc our goodwill is spread too thin.

Lashing out at our community’s successful institutions that have propped up the Eesti Maja for this long through significant rents and charity is counterproductive. Blaming the current board of directors for the financial state which has been brewing and ignored by boards and shareholders for the past 20-30 years isn’t going to help. Self-victimization through petty and petulant cartoons is just sad. Blaming voting blocks for a vote passing 60% (or 59%, heh) to 40% is ignorant. If the pank earned voting shares from Eesti Maja for capital expenditures or services rendered then they are entitled to vote those shares.

Demographics are destiny. Our community is shrinking. It's an unpleasant reality. Our organizations know this and have had to adapt and/or consolidate to survive. We have to accept that concessions must be made with regards to our community home. No realistic option will satisfy everyone or match up against the golden era of the Eesti Maja. Whether the Madison Project will be sustainable is yet to be seen, but people have to stop wasting their energy being angry at numbers. Accept that unpleasant change is coming and that whatever happens we’re going to need to suck it up and work through it together.
Jaak Järve02 Feb 2018 18:45
Dear Angry at Numbers,
This whole Madison project is a "want" to have not a "need" to have. Just curious why both the Chicago Eesti Maja and the NY Estonian House are sustainable. Has our current EH board made any contact with these other Estonian houses and through "due diligence" discovered their formulas for success. Our 4 orgs should stop bowing to this "golden calf" (Madison Project) and listen to it's popular voting shareholders, not the block votes. I am a ETCU shareholder, and this MADISON PROJECT is a major decision. Why hasn't the ETCU Board of directors canvassed their own shareholders to find out what they want. To allow 700+ voting shares to be decided by eight board members, somehow doesn't feel fair to the community. I'm not very religious, but I do recall some lines from the Bible. Honour thy mother and thy father....and a house divided cannot stand. In all my years in this Estonian community I have never seen such a divided and acidic environment develop. Maybe this is how it all is supposed to end. I guess like the song goes- "All good things come to an end". We better find another solution, that serves everybody's best interests, because there will be no winners in this "Madison Project". (Except maybe the Esto bank.) This project will have much greater collateral damage than anybody can foresee. As much as Tartu College is the "academic" brains of our community, Esto House is the "heart". You destroy either one to feed the other, then you will decimate the host. We are celebrating Estonia's 100th anniversary of Independence this year, this month on the 24th. Stop this folly, and let's all come together and work out another option. Kui üks süda ja üks hing. Somebody mentioned that the Madison project is a "game changer". This is not a game, this is reality and deserves everybody's input and fair representation.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Jaak Järve (12:15)
to angry at numbers02 Feb 2018 19:03
I would be in agreement with your view if I knew were Kalm was getting his numbers from. Show me a comparitive analysis of lease/rental properties near TC/Madison, show me how the square footage of what they offer verses what is already out there. To show that Estonian House having earning of $ misleading when in actual fact the rentals were in the black for 2017/18. The debt carried by EHB is one that has slowy been growing since the Madison project began. There was no debt before that. When the loan was given, they put this loan under Operating Expenses, thus showing a constant lose. EHB and the Orgs have worked hard to make EH appear insolvent on paper in order to justify their course of action - to sell EH. Buildings don't go insolvent by themselves.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Guido Laikve (10:10), To Kabi Lokk (07:31)
To JJ03 Feb 2018 10:35
You say that Madison is not a game and you are right that it isn’t, but if you were at the last community meeting you would have seen that it is not being treated as a game.
But never mind. What is also not a game is trying to convince people the Estonian House is just fine when it isn’t. For heavens sakes you have people in these comments who dispute that it was proper for the board to get an independent assessment of the costs of maintaining the house just because it doesn’t fit that person’s narrative that all is fine. How can anyone possibly say that this is responsible? If you are commenting honestly and not out of emotion then why can’t you at least call the “game playing” both ways?
Väino V. Keelmann04 Feb 2018 07:54
As I have already mentioned Eesti Maja can be readily financed as a business venture with community support. Putting together a business plan for a banqueting hall/community centre is relatively simple. Madison visionaries imagine they have ample funds because they want to buy a City of Toronto parking lot with estonian money and donate that lot back to the City of Toronto as a park. Madison should be self-financing not acquired at the expense of Eesti Maja.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Väino V. Keelmann (11:18)
Kabi Lokk04 Feb 2018 18:54
To Vaino Keelmann:
Rahamees, business plan please, please, please not platitudes.
Samalt IP numbrilt on siin varem kommenteerinud: Kabi Lokk (14:56), raccoon1 (10:15)
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