WWF’s 10 Year Earth Hour Milestone on Roncy

Earth Hour flyer shows time and location of start and finish on Roncesvalles.

Save the Date

Ten years ago, WWF initiated Earth Hour. It’s a symbolic time held worldwide to  encourage the global community to share the opportunities and challenges of creating a sustainable world. For one hour on one evening  in the month of March, we are all to turn off our lights and reduce our power draw, opting for candlelight instead.

In December of 2015, Paris hosted the United Nations Climate Change Conference or COP 21 in which, 196 representing countries or territorial parties agreed on a global commitment to reducing the effects of climate change. This agreement is intended to become law.

This past January, City Councillors Gord Perks & Sarah Doucette (representing Parkdale – High Park) held a “think tank” to get residents to weigh in on how they thought, we could work towards combating climate change. It was a packed house. I was there.

Supporting Earth Hour is one of my passions. In 2013 WWF Canada identified me as an Earth Hour Team Captain and I’ve been running with that moniker ever since. My name is Karyn Klaire Koski and my family has lived in Roncesvalles Village for 22 years.

Since 2010, I with other RoncyWorks members – and with the support of the BIA, have encouraged groups of Earth Hour Supporters to walk along Roncesvalles Avenue, in solidarity to represent our community’s voice. There are no protests. It’s just an ever increasing number of friends, families and neighbours, who walk together from the top to the bottom of “Roncy” holding lanterns or candles in jars, in the spirit of the occasion. Along the kilometre and a half stretch we pass candlelit restaurants, bistros and bars who signal their participation by turning off or dimming their lights.

Every year we try to do something a little different in the way of acoustic music, singing, art installations or give aways; and we invite the group to simply enjoy the experience. Many folks continue the celebration afterwards in one of the many participating “powered-down” businesses.

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As more and more people recognize ways to combat climate change, the easier it will be to educate, guide and combine our efforts effectively, when Nationwide guidelines will be put in place. Please join us.

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Saturday March 19th (8:15 pm – 9:30 pm)
* Gather at 8:15 pm at the Dundas Roncesvalles Peace Garden
(near Starbucks at 2201 Dundas West at Roncesvalles), where hot beverages will be offered.

* Walk starts promptly at 8:30 p.m.

* Participants walk along the commercial side of Roncesvalles, 1.8 km.

* Walk concludes at the Roncesvalles Footbridge, near Beaty Boulevard Parkette
(King/Queen/Queensway intersection)

* All disperse by the end of the Globally recognized Hour. Walk takes about 30 min.

Cancelled in the event of heavy rain
Roncy Earth Hour Walk website

Facebook Event

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Let’s Plant Trees

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Trees add value to your property and heal the environment

How can we help combat climate change by planning now in January?

Although planting trees won’t stop Climate Change, trees will help to counteract carbon emissions through carbon absorption. Trees serve as the lungs of the planet and of our cities. The City of Toronto aims to increase its tree canopy because it recognizes the significant environmental and community benefits of urban forests. The plan is to plant about 10 million trees by 2050. That’s a lot of trees.

The City will be looking at converting surplus City lands into green spaces and replenishing or modifying streetscapes and city parks. But the majority of the tree planting will come from private land owners and a push is on to to get residents on board. The whole of Roncesvalles Village has seen an increase in the planting of City trees along our streets and it is hoped that land owners will continue planting trees on their properties.

If you have an unobscured space that’s 3 metres by 3 metres, you can plant a tree. Non-profit organizations like LEAF can offer care giving tips and subsidize costs. By re-imagining yard spaces as mini forests with trees and native shrubs, we can increase the value of our homes, outdoor pleasures and help contribute to the health of our community. 

Now’s the time to plan your spring plantings.

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Reimagine your yard as a native treed forest

The City would be a better place with lush plantings, but plan with knowledge and consideration. 

Some kind of an Ethics Policy ought to be established to promote respectful planting. Just as we see people who claim “Natural Garden Exemptions” — in lieu of properly caring for their property — there are those who plant with disregard; such as planting masses of trees along or too closely to property lines without regard to — or even to spite — their neighbours or who plant invasive species like Japanese Knotweed, which is detrimental. Toronto courts have been known to award ownership rights to both parties who share a tree canopy, and programs are being developed to educate people about the problems with non-native plant species, including tips on how to avoid root damage to house foundations. 

It takes a decade to grow a tree into maturity and we simply can’t go back in time. To leave a legacy to the future residents of our community, we must pay it forward now.  

Enjoy dreaming and planning your tree-scape during these winter months.

Want to get involved?

Community Meeting: Making Toronto a Climate Change Leader

Join Ward 13 Councillor Sarah Doucette and Ward 14 Councillor Gord Perks to share your ideas to help Toronto reduce its greenhouse gas emissions and adapt to one of the biggest ecological crises of our time, climate change.This event is part of the Talk Transformation! conversations happening throughout the city.

 

Wednesday, January 27th
7:00 PM – 9:00 PM
Bishop Marrocco/Thomas Merton School
1515 Bloor St West at Dundas, 3rd floor Staff Room

LINK~  RSVP to attend

Shine Your Light

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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.

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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.

PRE-ORDER AND PAYMENT DEADLINE
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.

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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.

 

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.

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Roncy’s dog pee rocks are saving roses

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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.

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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.

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

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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.

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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.”