Green Initiatives in Ward 21

 

Community Gardens

Ward 21 boasts 8 green community growing spaces throughout the neighbourhood. These places are spaces where people can come together to grow and maintain various types of plants, including both food and flowers. Community gardens can provide access to land for residents who may not have land of their own, increase access to healthy, fresh produce, they can help to beautify a space or neighbourhood, and they foster community among a diverse groups.

 

In our little end of the city we have 3 primary types of gardens: community and allotment gardens and school gardens. A community garden involves a group of people (pre-organized or coming together) who collectively participate in making decisions and cultivating shared green space. We have 4 City-run community gardens in Ward 21. In allotment garden models, residents pay a seasonal fee for an assigned garden plot, and do not need to be a part of a community group when applying for a space. We currently do not have any allotment style gardens in Ward 21, however we do have some community garden models that also allow for individual space for residents to grow. School run gardens (or program-based gardening) are green spaces that are often used primarily as teaching space to facilitate community program by local agencies or in the context of schools, by teachers for students.

For more information on how to create a new community garden space in Ward 21, visit the City of Toronto’s website on community gardens.

There are 4 City-run community gardens in Ward 21:

 

  • Hillcrest Park Community Garden Hillcrest Park, view map
  • Garrison Creek Park Community Garden Garrison Creek Park, view map
  • Cedarvale Park Community Children’s Garden Cedarvale Park, view map
  • Frankel Lambert Park Community Frankel Lambert Park, view map

 

There are also 4 organization and school-run gardens in the neighbourhood:

 

  • Global Roots Gardens at the The Stop’s Green Barn, view map 
  • The Mashkikii;aki’ing (Medicine Earth) Medicine Wheel Garden at Hillcrest Park, view map
  • Ben Nobleman Park Community Orchard, view map
  • Eglinton Ave W Lambert Court (Toronto Community Housing), view map

For more information about other growing opportunities and food-related programming see the Ward 21 Food By Ward map, a ward by ward guide listing food assets, including farmers markets, healthy corner stores and emergency food programs in Ward 21.

The Bee Line

In May 2017, the City of Toronto launched a draft Pollinator strategy to create a vision for Toronto to be home to healthy pollinator populations that support resilient ecosystems and contribute to a rich urban biodiversity. Pollinators include natural environment enhancers like butterflies, birds, and bees.

To support this plan Park People, an organization focused on animating and improving the quality and use of park space in the city, is working in partnership with the City of Toronto to create a series of pollinator gardens along the Green Line—a planned linear park and trail running from Lansdowne to Spadina through the Dupont hydro corridor. Two planting sites have been established (as listed below) and are being stewarded by local residents. If you are interested in helping to care for these sites by becoming a Garden Steward contact Brianna at baspinall@parkpeople.ca.

Pollinator Gardens

  • Garrison Creek Park Bee Line Pollinator Garden, 1090 Shaw St (just west of Garrison Creek Community Garden)  
  • Christie Gardens Bee Line Pollinator Gardens, 340 Christie St. (just south of Christie Gardens)

Pollinator Murals

As part of the initiatives to educate and engage residents about the Pollinator Strategy, the David Suzuki Foundation, along with StreetARToronto and my office were able to undertake a one-time opportunity to beautify local garage doors and deter graffiti vandalism through the creation of pollinator murals.

 

Using funding provided by The City of Toronto’s StreetARToronto Program, the David Suzuki Foundation coordinated a series of pollinator murals running along 24 garage doors, 3 sections of privately owned fence, and 2 retaining walls maintained by Parks, Forestry and Recreation. Each of the 25 community artists who participated in the project interpreted the theme of pollinators in their own artistic style.

This initiative is a great way to bring life to a quiet laneway, while also protecting resident’s homes by deterring graffiti vandalism. I encourage you to take a stroll along Acores Avenue to see the murals up close. They are located just north of Garrison Creek Park, between Ossington Avenue and Shaw Street.

 

Green Neighbours 21

Interested in getting involved in eco-minded initiatives in the community? Join Green Neighbours 21 (GN21). GN21 is managed by a Steering Committee of local residents and by a few small teams responsible for specific projects and activities. They hold monthly public meetings on a wide range of topics (see Events) as well as an annual Eco-Fair at the Wychwood Art Barns. Green Neighbours 21 is an accredited member of Climate Action Network Canada, an umbrella group of more than 75 Canadian organizations concerned with climate change.

 

For more information, contact at greenneighbours@yahoo.com.

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