About veroncy

A resident of Roncesvalles Village in Toronto, I am also a volunteer member of RoncyWorks, working with others to make our main street an enjoyable place to walk, ride, shop, visit, hang out and give back to.

Don’t flick it!

Black ashcan installed on lamp standard with that says "Don't flick it! Stick your butt in here."

New ashcan on Roncesvalles Avenue is part of a pilot study for cigarette litter prevention.

Have you noticed the addition of some black cylinders to a few of the tree guards along Roncy? Perhaps you figured out what they were before additional clues were added.

These ashcans are part of our exploration of more permanent solutions to butt litter after rolling out our hand-made butt tins two years ago. They are also part of a pilot study in Toronto to quantify the difference they make in reducing cigarette butt litter.

RoncyWorks and the Roncesvalles Village BIA is involved in running a cigarette litter scan on a three-block area of Roncesvalles Avenue to test the effectiveness of the ashcans in combination with a public awareness campaign.

The cigarette litter problem is not just one that upsets our gardeners who see the plant beds they’re working on treated as ash trays. It’s a global litter problem that cities are grappling with. The butts are not biodegradable as many people think. They can take years to break down. They end up clogging our filtration systems and waterways. They leach toxins into our water and soil. And, they get eaten by wild and domestic animals, to their detriment, to say the least.

So, we wanted to make sure the new ash cans would be spotted by local and passing smokers, so we added stickers to these long, black, cylindrical ashcans. There’s a second set being installed that have a silver top rather than being all black, which should make them more visible, especially in the evenings. If the ash cans don’t get sufficient use, we’re rolling out some signs, posters and point of purchase items in an effort to get smokers to stop flicking their butts.

They may be small, but they sure add up fast. During our spring cleanup at the end of April, our Scan team counted over 1,000 butts in one plant bed alone that was in front of Dizzy Gastro Sports Pub. Yet Dizzy has been great these past few years at putting out pails to get their smoking customers to butt out responsibly. Now Dizzy has one of the new ashcans conveniently located out front. We’re hoping the other cafes, restaurants and bars on Roncy, as well as the convenience stores, will want want one near them too. But most of all, we’re hoping the new ashcans will get well used.

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Roncy Earth Hour Candlelight Walk 2014

Roncesvalles Village celebrates its 5th Annual Earth Hour Candlelight Walk

People from the Roncesvalles Village dressed in winter coats share the light of their candles at the end of their Earth Hour walk down Roncesvalles Avenue.

Earth Hour Candlelight Walk participants are part of a world-wide effort to raise awareness of our energy intensive lifestyle’s impact on the planet’s ecosystem.

Acknowledging the 7th Annual Global Earth Hour, residents of Roncesvalles Village and surrounding area will walk together as a symbolic gesture in support of the need for environmental stewardship. At 8:30 p.m. on Saturday March 29th 2014, a candlelight walk is scheduled to start along Roncesvalles Avenue. The walk will end at Grafton Park near Queens Street West around 9 p.m.  Continue reading

Roncesvalles Renewed

RoncyWorks was rooted from Roncesvalles Renewed, a community group initiated by the Roncesvalles Village BIA in 2005, four years before construction began on our main street.

People sitting around a table at a meeting for Roncesvalles Renewed

Members of Roncesvalles Renewed at one of the many meetings held at the home of John Senders and Ann Crichton-Harris on Indian Road.

Roncesvalles Renewed included reps from the BIA and three local Residents Associations, other local residents with particular interests or expertise in urban planning and renewal, business owners, local institutions and political representatives. We saw this reconstruction as an opportunity to try a new model for how communities collaborate with the City on major infrastructure projects of this kind.

Beginning in June 2009, Roncesvalles Avenue underwent a major reconstruction. The sewers were rebuilt, followed by the water mains, streetcar tracks and sidewalks. It meant digging, dust and detours for about two years. It also presented a number of opportunities, not least of which was to create a thriving canopy of trees along Roncesvalles.

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