ESTONIAN HOUSE IN TORONTO It is never too late to make it right! (1)
Eestlased Kanadas 17 Apr 2014  EWR
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ESTONIAN HOUSE IN TORONTO
It is never too late to make it right!

On March 14th the Toronto Estonian House Board of Directors (the Board) responded to, “Is 2016 the “demolition” of Toronto Estonian House and end of activities?”, and again demonstrated their ability to remain evasive and not address the many crucial questions that need to be addressed.
The crucial questions the Board needs to address are not “Mr. Laikve’s questions”, but questions that nearly 500 Shareholders and regular Estonian House patrons want answered and have the right to know.

I am a concerned Shareholder with decades of professional architecture and project development experience, including projects for the Estonian community: Eesti Kodu Co-op Apartments, Ehatare Rest Home, Ehatare Nursing Home, Estorada Apartments, Kaleva Condominium, Upper Beaches Condominium, Estonian House New Front and The Estonian Credit Union facilities, all without bankrupting the Estonian Society. As a professional architect I can’t sit back and accept the “status quo” when it is apparent that the Board has provided the Shareholders with only sweeping statements, where specific answers are required.

The Board has attempted to create an image that the demolition of the existing and construction of the new Estonian House is a “done deal”. This of course is not true.

So far the Shareholders have given the Board only one approval: 2012 to proceed with the “Request for Proposal” (RFP), using the services of Cushman & Wakefield Real Estate Co., paid for by Estonian (Toronto) Credit Union Ltd. and Estonian Foundation of Canada. How it went from RFP to its current state to completion of Estonian House by 2018, without Shareholders approvals is, in itself baffling.

We can all appreciate those community members that have volunteered their time and energy to be on the Board and I believe that they have the best interest of the Estonian community at heart. However, for their own benefit and that of the Shareholders, the Board needs to be transparent and forthright in providing information, and they need to review and assess the direction they are taking and base their decisions on realistic and solid incontrovertible facts. To-date the Board has not materialized with any facts to indicate that their direction is viable.

I have provided my comments voluntarily because I felt compelled to do so and I hope that other likeminded persons will step forward as well. I maintain that the only sustainable and economical direction is to renovate the existing Estonian House, where we, have the right to decide and are still the keepers of our land, our house and our community. We must not sell our independence or our heritage.


Let us make the decisions based on solid facts!
It is never too late to make it right!

Guido Laikve, Architect (Ret.)
 
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