About kkkoski

Writer/Researcher/TVProducer Community Ambassador for Community Captured Magazine RoncyWorks Member, Earth Hour Team Captain. Green14 Member, Roncesvalles Resident, Mom of three in Toronto.

Earth Day Clean Up along Roncy

Coinciding with nationally recognized Earth Day, on April 22, 2017, several members of RoncyWorks arrived to clean planter beds, sweep up litter and remove aging signage along the length of Roncesvalles Avenue. This effort was part of the annual RoncyWorks spring cleanup and the City’s Clean Toronto Together campaign.

Three members of RoncyWorks enjoying a sunny break on Roncesvalles Avenue during the spring cleanup.

Hilary, Veronica and Rahel are please to note a decrease in litter including cigrette butts in the gardens along Roncesvalles and grateful for the street culture changes that have led to this. PHOTO CREDIT: Claude Barnes

RoncyWorks volunteer holding broom and bag of cigarette litter.

RoncyWorks gardener, John Sledziewski picked a bagful of butts from the gardens and swept around the edges, for a finishing touch. PHOTO CREDIT: Claude Barnes

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The Premiere RoncyWorks Appreciation Dinner

Caught in the act of enjoying a totally awesome spread. Thank you David Neinstein and BIA Member contributors.

Caught in the act of enjoying a totally awesome spread. Thank you David Neinstein and Roncesvalles Village BIA Member contributors. Photo Credit: Ted Best

Of course, the food was amazing. Drawing from an array of culinary excellence, no fewer than a dozen Roncy Village eateries charitably provided delectables for an open bar gathering of RoncyWorkers, RVBIA Board Members, supporters and local patrons.

The entire multi-coursed feast including Hot Chocolate and Desert bar that followed was overseen by Barque’s Event Planning specialist; David Neinstein.

High Park Library's Head Librarian, Brian Bertrand and Reverend Anne Hines share the fun as Masters of Ceremony.

High Park Library’s Head Librarian, Brian Bertrand and Reverend Anne Hines share the fun as Masters of Ceremony. Photo Credit: Ted Best

Held at Roncesvalles United Church and co-Hosted by Rev. Anne Hines and Brian Bertrand, who is the head librarian at the High Park Library, the four-hour event attended by 43 locals which included 29 volunteers and members of the Roncesvalles Village BIA Board — was punctuated with awards, gift giving and group celebration with those who help make RoncyWorks a community engagement success.
RoncyWorks is the volunteer arm of the BIA, with an army of community people who come together to oversee the streetscape of Roncesvalles Ave by strategizing the tree canopy, maintaining the plant beds, and sweeping cigarette butt litter.

Additionally,  RoncyWorks members spearhead community projects such as the launching of the Dundas West / Roncesvalles Peace Garden, Shine Your Light Campaign  and the annual Earth Hour Walk.   Roncy works because the Roncesvalles community works together.

Outstanding RoncyWorks Volunteers 2016

  1. THE GARDEN ELF AWARD – Carol Holland
  2. THE TOO COOL FOR SCHOOL AWARD – Luke Jackson
  3. THE SNOWBALL AWARD – Maria Currusca
  4. THE MORNING AFTER AWARD – Mary Weins
  5. THE TULIPS ON PARADE AWARD – Abby Bushby
  6. THE BUTT BEGONE AWARD – Mark Griesbrecht

Door Prizes

  • The Ace
  • Avalon Dentistry on Roncesvalles
  • Barque
  • Cookery
  • De La Mer
  • The Dizzy
  • Dundas West Animal Hospital
  • Gloria Espresso Bar and Café
  • George Brown Legal Services
  • Home Smith
  • Kennel Cafe
  • La Cubana
  • Lambretta Pizzeria
  • Loons Restaurant & Pub
  • Mabel’s Bakery
  • The Mercantile
  • Moretti Hair
  • Pizzeria Defina
  • Pollocks Home Hardware
  • Robert Crisp – Royal LePage Realty
  • Scooter Girl Toys
  • Snap Fitness
  • Starbucks
  • Stasis Preserves
  • Sweet Thrills
  • Village Juicery
  • Willem and Jools Flowers

Photo Credit: Tom Kane

Fine Dining Contributors

  • The Ace
  • Barque
  • De La Mer
  • Defina Pizzeria
  • The Dizzy
  • Gloria Espresso Bar and Café
  • Hopgood’s Foodliner
  • La Cubana
  • Lambretta Pizzeria
  • Mabel’s
  • McAuslan Brewery
  • Stasis Preserves

Business Sponsored Volunteer Recognition Gifts

Every RoncyWork member received a RoncyWorker Appreciation card offering a $5 discount at participating businesses

  • The Ace
  • Barque
  • The Cookery
  • De La Mer
  • Defina Pizzeria
  • The Dizzy
  • Gloria Espresso Bar and Café
  • Home Smith
  • La Cubana
  • Mabel’s
  • The Mercantile
  • Hopgood’s Foodliner
  • Kennel Cafe
  • Lambretta Pizzeria
  • Pollocks Home Hardware
  • Scooter Girl Toys
  • Snap Fitness
  • Stasis Preserves
  • Sweet Thrills
  • Moretti Hair
  • Willem and Jools Flowers

If you’d like to join our team please contact:  manager@roncesvallesvillage.ca

Urban Gardening: Growing plants together

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As above ~ So below.   Strawberries planted under an Elderberry bush in a wood chip mulched bed

All along Roncesvalles Avenue, the garden beds are cleverly integrated with decorative, stylized and sometimes edible flora. There”s no judgement passed.  It’s just one happy display of plants in all different colours, ethnicity, genders, reproductive variations and levels of intelligence.

Unless, of course, a plant’s natural tendency is to invade and harm. You’ll not find faithful RoncyWorks members doting upon such outcasts.

Growing various botanical species together is not new, it’s the basis of permaculture and urban gardening and it was created because space is limited. Companion planting is beneficial because flowers attract pollinators that help food-producing vegetables, fruits and berries to flourish past the flowering stage. 

The Victorians called it cottage gardening, in fact the little white picket fence was actually created to not only fence in cottage gardens from little creatures, but also to serve as a trellis support for vining vegetables like; cucumber, squash, watermelon, beans and peas.

If you don’t have ground space, use containers. Creative metal art, twigs or bamboo poles can serve as a climbing medium for vertical gardening.

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Intending to grow up

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Container Gardening

Herbs are delightful multi use additions to a garden.  They look great, add variety and survive snips and clips as they’re offered up in culinary dishes. Besides, growing your own food is an organic, zero carbon footprint action that is an affordable solution for families. 

Growing things together is an example of the “great big one” that we have all become.

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Rhubarb is delightfully architectural

Chives

Allowing some chives to flower

Dundas West | Roncesvalles Peace Garden

Roncy’s Northern Gateway

Peace Garden (noun)
A public botanical garden created to commemorate the end of conflict, OR a public space dedicated to pay homage towards the commitment of peace, or rather, freedom from the disturbance, thereby promoting quiet and tranquility. A welcoming retreat.drpg-view-01-8

The DRPG was conceived to honour the 1812 Battle of York, when Canadians of both Immigrant and Aboriginal status, fought side by side to fend off American invaders.

Because the intersection of Dundas West was once part of an indigenous trail that is, today celebrated as part of a Bicentennial Peace Garden Trail Network (combining Canadian History with promotion of Toronto’s First Nation’s heritage) – Founding Project Managers had set out to create a venture that could include many community groups as well as, benefit the area, aesthetically by serving as a Welcoming Northern Gateway to the Roncesvalles Village.

With the support of City Councillor Gord Perks, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nations, the RVBIA, Horticultural Societies of Parkdale & Toronto, RMRA, Sunnyside Historical Society, Toronto Public Space Initiative, Romero House, Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton Secondary School, and RoncyWorks, the ambitious undertaking is now a beautiful representation of many groups working together, peacefully – I might add.

Designed by Mary Tremain of PLANT Architect inc, the Peace Garden will now provide a space for enjoyment, contemplation, and community gathering, it also celebrates 200 years of friendship and peace for the City of Toronto and in particular, to the residents of the Roncesvalles area.

Seating areas consist of curved wooden benches that are thoughtfully integrated within the tapered concrete planter walls that surround and protect the garden beds.

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construction of the curved benches

Plants and trees reflect a range of contemporary and heritage varieties local to the High Park area. Decorative, engraved granite paving tiles set among passive solar blocks, comprise the walkways, known as the Peace Path. Lighting has been incorporated to improve visibility and highlight the circular interior space.

An interpretive sign provided by DRPG community partners; the Roncesvalles Village BIA, and the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, will be installed at the southwest corner. This sign will be unveiled on Saturday June 11th at the garden’s opening ceremonies.

GRAND OPENING: SATURDAY JUNE 11th, 2016 – JOIN US!
During Roncy Rocks
11 am Opening Ceremony: Intersection: Dundas Street West at Roncesvalles Avenue

12:00 – 5:00 at the Indigenous Music Stage: Ritchie Avenue at Roncesvalles Ave

WHAT TO EXPECT: At the Opening Ceremony:

  • The Ceremony will be co-officiated with the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the Friends of Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden, to formally open the Peace Garden.
  • An Indigenous Elder gives a blessing.
  • Mary Tremain, of PLANT Architect, will be thanked for her beautiful landscape design. The City of Toronto will be thanked for capital funding and management of construction.
  • A heritage plaque revealing the indigenous origin of this portion of Dundas Street, and its rise to prominence during the War of 1812 will be unveiled by its co-sponsors, the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation and the Roncesvalles Village BIA.
  • The first community arts project between a First Nation and a Toronto community group will be unveiled — the “Peace Path” of engraved pavers winding through the Garden will be unveiled.
  • The city’s first indigenous artwork painted onto a street infrastructure box will be presented to the public by the artist.  An image from an 1812 Fort York artefact, for Luminato’s “Trove” exhibit, installed on an outside wall at the site will be revealed.
  • The Garden will be designated for the Moccasin Identifier project to mark its historical significance. At the Indigenous Music Stage:
  • 12 noon: Georgina Toulouse of Sagamok First Nation sings a welcoming song in Ojibway language. Chief Stacy LaForme of the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation, who is himself a poet, welcomes everyone and opens the first stage of indigenous music to be performed on local streets, roads or trails in over 200 years
  • 12:30 PM Métis Fiddler Quartet: siblings Alyssa, Conlin, Nicholas and Danton on viola, guitar, violin and song merge classical strings and spirited Métis music.
  • 1:45 PM Marc Meriläinen (Nadjiwan): The untamed beauty of Marc’s northern Manitoba home infuses smoking hot rock, with the heartbeat of a community
  • 2:30 PM Métis music workshop
  • 3:00 PM Manitou Mkwa: Inspirational singers and hand drumming family group from the Mississaugas of the New Credit First Nation. Raised in the tradition of performing at Pow Wows, the group is devoted to raising awareness and support for Missing and Murdered Indigenous Women and their families.
  • 4:00 PM Cheri Maracle: hypnotic vocals with contemporary four-piece jazz ensemble pulses with Cheri’s Mohawk heritage style.
  • 5:00 PM Donna’s Boy: Glenn Gould expresses his Mi’kmaq roots with a deep, full voice and six piece Blues/Rock band of horns, harmonica, guitar, fiddle. They’ll pump up the tempo. Spark

Learn about Japanese Knotweed

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Japanese Knotweed growing through foundation

Japanese Knotweed is an invasive, destructive plant that is banned in Britain.  It’s presence through out England, decreases property values and it has now become illegal to deal with its removal on your own, government intervention is actually required.

CBC’s the Current  & MACLEAN’S magazine have both reported about epic outbreaks in British Columbia. Ontario’s Invading Species organization actually has a hotline to report outbreaks of this tenacious plant that is damaging massive treks of rural areas as it upsets the eco system by overgrowth.  It isn’t a native plant. 

The City of Toronto lists and provides information for residents to identify and eradicate Japanese Knotweed because the plant is capable of growing through building foundations and breaking through concrete and asphalt. Having it near your home can actually affect the resale of your house. 

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Coming up tenaciously

RoncyWorks members wish to help inform residents of the Roncesvalles area because it has been spotted throughout the region. Most seasoned gardeners know about it, but every once and awhile a novice gardener will come across it and be charmed by it’s attractiveness. Many people think it is a bamboo of some kind.

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Novice gardener plants unknowingly

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Sprays of flowers in late summer

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Easily confused with Bamboo

The best way to get rid of it – is surface removal and destruction from leaf down or the use of herbicides. Digging up the ground and breaking the root system, actually encourages it to regrow into multiple plants.

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Plants may need to be eradicated with herbicides