To Zoom or not to Zoom, that is the question

Now that Ontario has removed Covid masking and distancing mandates, how comfortable do you feel? Are you going out more? Dining in restaurants instead of just ordering for pick-up or takeout and delivery? Attending events in public venues with larger groups of people? What is your post-pandemic tolerance – and comfort – level?

I ask these questions for a reason. The Leaside Residents Association has been holding our monthly board meetings on Zoom since the pandemic was declared, supplying Zoom contact details to all Leasiders who wish to attend or depute. We also held our AGM last year virtually. We are now discussing whether the time has come to return to in-person meetings. We need your input.

There are advantages to both virtual and in-person approaches. On the one hand, online meetings allow an almost unlimited number of attendees to participate. No need to head out into winter weather and search for a parking spot, no need to hire a babysitter, no need to get out of your pajamas. You are not risking contact with anybody else’s Covid germs. There is no commuting time.

On the other hand, in-person meetings can provide more interaction, and feel more comfortable to those less adept with computers. You can look people in the eye, not just into their on-screen eyes. You can ‘read the room.’ But you are not protected from contact with the germs of others. Another consideration:  in-person meetings would not be attendable online, since our usual venue at Trace Manes does not have Wi-Fi or the equipment to broadcast meetings, let alone to fully interact via a hybrid model.

What do you think? Would you be more likely to attend our LRA monthly meetings if we returned to in-person gatherings? The Trace Manes building’s meeting rooms can once again be booked. Should the LRA return to Trace Manes? If so, how soon? Would it make a difference to you if we considered holding our meetings outside once the weather is warm enough, to allow more personal distancing options?

How comfortable are you with online versus in-person LRA meetings in general? Do you have a preference? The LRA prefers to take direction from you, our members, rather than decide on your behalf. You can contact us via our site ( or Leaside Life magazine.

Please let us know. This is an important step for all of us.

Our next LRA monthly board meeting is on Wed., April 6th, at 7:30 p.m., still on Zoom. After that date, the ‘how’ is really up to you! If you’d like to watch or participate, please let us know by that date and we’ll be glad to send you the Zoom access details. You can find us at

About Carol Burtin Fripp 140 Articles
Carol Burtin Fripp is Co-President of the Leaside Residents Association, and is Chair of the LRA's Traffic Committee. Over the years, she has served on numerous East York and City task forces. Now a retired television producer (TVO and CBC), she writes Leaside Life's monthly LRA column, and has created a daily international current affairs newsletter read from Newfoundland to New Zealand.