Shine Your Light


Kwanza |  Winter Solstice  | Christmas |  Hanukkah  | Yuletide

Calling All Groups!

Let’s fill the branches of the tree that is beside Roncesvalles United Church!  A community program to unite residents, show community spirit and celebrate all “light bearing” practices without ~ the excessive use of electrical power.


Let’s fill this tree with our Light!

Sponsor pre-crafted jars or make your own!  

Get it On site or Pre-order

For a suggested minimum donation of $15, you can purchase a light and then write your own message to place inside.  Whether you bring your own or get one on site, you can watch it be installed in the tree on December 5th, our crew will be there between 1 to 4.  

If you can’t be there during installation, you can pre-order your “Light” using the contact form at bottom of this page or from the Office of the Roncesvalles United Church  (formerly Emmanuel Howard Park United Church) just make your payment at the church before the deadline.

A RoncyWorks member will make certain a “Light” is hung for you. Net monies collected will go towards the Roncesvalles United Church’s free Holiday Meal Program, which is open to all.

December 5th, 2015 at 1 p.m.
Roncesvalles United Church Office at 214 Wright Avenue
Office hours: All day Sunday. Monday to Friday 9:30 a.m. to 5:00 p.m..
Saturday at the Thrift Shop in the church basement from 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

How To Do It Yourself:

  1. get an inexpensive solar light & mason jar (remove lid)
  2. acquire a bit of durable string or wire to hang your light with
  3. write a holiday message or blessing on a paper or coloured tissue and put inside
  4. assemble and hot glue solar disc onto mason jar
  5. drop it off at Roncesvalles United Church at 214 Wright Avenue (north side entrance) by December 5th, 1:00 p.m.


Throughout humanity, mankind has used the lighting of lights as a symbolic gesture of celebration, symbolism and reverence.  Whatever your belief system, how beautiful would it be to join together and share our own individual lights to celebrate the season, the community, our associations, our families – both here and gone.

“This little light of mine…. I’m going to let it shine”

Out of the darkness, light shall come ~ so share it with a neighbour.


Leave your Leaves


Clear only traffic areas of leaf debris

Clear your gutters, street drains and traffic areas of leaf debris but consider leaving your Autumn leaves in landscaped beds and mulched leaves on lawns.

Scientists world wide are urging home owners to adopt a more eco approach to how we can help create sustainable habitats for wee creatures like butterflies and beneficial insects and also, manufacturer our own healthy soil amendments.   Left alone in garden areas, leaves decompose with the assistance of little creatures and fungi – eventually the process turns the leafy accumulation into humous rich, earthy leaf mould & compost.  Besides, the insulating qualities of any blanketed organic matter, are known to protect and save delicate shrubs and perennials. Toronto winters get cold.

Depleting the earth of its own potential goodness is like removing important bacterial flora from our own bodies.  It just has to be replaced synthetically – use the real thing!

Throughout America, the National Wildlife Federation is campaigning the merits against over meticulous environmental care. We as RoncyWorks members and Roncesvalles area neighbours, ought to recognize such leaf saving benefits by supporting leaf – non collection strategies ourselves because such action plans are pro supportive towards Environmental Protection.


View large expanses of leaves – differently

Save your Back, save a Buck! 

It goes without saying; less raking reduces the risk of muscular injury.  But saving a buck?  Imagine never having to purchase fertilizer, bags of garden loam or mulch again.  By contributing to your own manufacturing of leaf mould, you will always have an economical abundance of nature’s bounty. That saves you money.   Many savvy gardeners are utilizing the benefits of autumn leaves.  Some use their lawnmowers or weed wackers to mulch leaves down so that they decompose faster. Left finely chopped on lawns, they deteriorate quickly and tend not to blow around.   Some collect surplus leaves in an uncovered bin and wait for the process of time to do its work. Its really quite easy. I personally have raked my leaves onto my landscaped flower beds for years, every spring I note how much better the earth has become. 


Make your own Leaf Mould & Yard Compost

If binned home leaf composting  isn’t your thing, rely on The City of Toronto’s leaf collecting system but do it in the Spring after you, your garden and the insects have  benefitted.

Think of life in forests.  No one rakes the accumulation of leaves, yet every spring decomposition has occurred because of the presence of beneficial fungi, insect life and the blanketing of snow.  As new growth pushes through the leafy floor,  the remainder of fallen leaves provide a rich mulch, that eventually breaks down and that process,  is a never ending natural cycle. – now take the forest example and apply it to your own garden. It’s simple, easy and free.

Roncy’s Pee Rocks

Although the boulder-in-river-stone design element featured in several Roncesvalles Avenue street gardens may look like Xeriscape or Zen design, they are actually strategic coping solutions for dog urine.  Roncy has Pee Rocks.


Roncy’s dog pee rocks are saving roses


Zen Design & Dog Pee Solution

As dogs walk (hopefully on leash) with their owners, they constantly source out other dogs’ territorial markings and plan on masking those scents with their own. It’s what they do.

With an accumulation of doggy leaks, clever RoncyWorks volunteered gardeners, came up with an attractive solution that would help safeguard the shrubs and perennials. Now dogs gravitate to the Pee Rocks.

I like it so much, I’m going to apply the design on flanking sides of my own front walkway.

Now, if only we could stop dogs and people from trampling the plants, that would be awesome. The most harm happens when dogs are tethered to the trees in some of the gardens. A stop to that could save a lot plants, volunteer effort and money spent replacing plants.

Roncy Walks

Roncy Walks for Earth Hour

The Symbolic Gesture

A symbolic gesture

Every Earth Hour, the kilometre and half of Roncesvalles Avenue is travelled upon, by environment conscious supporters. This year the symbolic gesture campaigning crowd, gathered at  the (future site of) the Dundas  Roncesvalles Peace Garden where Earth Hour 2015 Walk Marshals; Andrea DOnofrio and Sarah Malleau had arranged for acoustic performer, Markur to entertain attendees. IMG_6515

Keith Denning from the RVBIA handed out mason jar lanterns, for those who didn’t arrive with any. I stayed busy working with media and welcoming friends.

If I were to continue on accolades, the whole of RoncyWorks and all that it does, wouldn’t exist without key facilitator Veronica Feihl, who thoughtfully organized the first cleanup of the plant beds and tree beds, the morning of the annual Earth Hour Walk.


Symbolic Walk starts Live on CP24

Coinciding with a live TV hit, the revellers with lit candles and lanterns, began the Walk along Roncesvalles’s commercial side, pausing briefly to salute patrons in the many dimly lit cafes, bistros and bars. Many businesses participate in the power-down hour.


Walkers acknowledge “power-down” patrons of restaurants & bars along the way


Karyn & NDP MP Peggy Nash

The more people that attend the Roncesvalles Annual Earth Hour candlelight walk, the more evident it is to educators, commercial planners and governing parties that our neighbourhood cares and wants strategies that will safeguard the world from issues like climate change.

I’ve been Roncy’s Earth Hour Co-ordinator since 2010, so how pleased was I to chat with NDP MP Peggy Nash as we strolled the length of the celebratory walk. Locally running Liberal Candidate Arif Virani also attended, but I didn’t get a chance to say hello.


RoncyWorks Members; Veronica, Sarah, Andrea, Karyn

As soon as we arrived at Grafton Park, we posed for our annual group picture as the Walk Marshals queried the crowd on Earth Hour Trivia. Correct answers were rewarded with amazing giveaways that the RoncyWorks Earth Hour Marshals had canvassed for.

Wonderful packages were supplied by these local businesses:

  • SOHO Art & Custom Framing
  • The Herbal Clinic & Dispensary
  • Revue Cinema
  • Michael Johnston Music Studio
  • Chocolateria
  • The Cookery
  • Fresh Collective

Thanks to all the media outlets that covered the event.

EXCERPT from Inside Toronto Parkdale Villager interview by: Hilary Caton

For Koski, having people show up this Saturday, March 28 is a testament to successful non-violent community communication.

“There is no fist pumping or screaming demands to recognize and do something about climate change,” she said.

There are just a whole bunch of people, that get together every year to walk down a kilometre and half of Toronto real estate, holding lit candles symbolically representing that we aren’t using conventional man-made power for just one little hour. And we’re doing so because maybe one day, there just won’t be any.”

Taking it to the Street

It took a village to raise that baby!

Beautiful day on Roncesvalles avenue showing passengers boarding streetcar, trees, plant beds and shoppers.With a team of many BIA members, TTC delegates, advocating residents, and City of Toronto officials, the long, arduous task of co – creating the Roncesvalles streetscape was a group effort.  The process was based on consultation, collaboration and transparency.

Several members of RoncyWorks were involved in the process and are pleased to report that Roncy’s development history is intact, safe and on the cutting edge of experimental projects.  For example the Greening of Roncy by local volunteers and the success of the Cigarette Litter Prevention Campaign is inspiring other neighbourhoods.

Creating an accessible street that people would enjoy for generations was the group mandate. And, if the TTC has to make some adjustments to get that perfect, well that’s OK with me.

The group had to scale their vision to budget and other limitations, while pursuing the common interests of all businesses, residents, motorists, cyclists, transit users and pedestrians of all ages — some with strollers, walkers or wheelchairs.

Roncy Works… because we all work together.

More on:  Community engagement with Roncesvalles Renewed