After the street and tracks were done, the complicated task of forming the new sidewalks began. The old double-level walks between Grenadier and Constance became a standard single level one. The new bumpouts with the streetcar and bicycle ramps were installed. Block by block, crews leveled and packed the soil, built the wooden forms, and then poured and finished the concrete on the west side and installed the paving blocks on the east side. In addition they placed the special rubber Eco-Flex tiles around the tree at St. Vincent de Paul Catholic Church.
Curbs were formed with a large specialized machine. Heavy machines and teams of guys on the ground installed the tree planting network on the east side. The sidewalk actually sits on risers to prevent compaction of the soil, much to the relief of the new trees.
A moving line of specialized vehicles placed the asphalt between the tracks and the sidewalks.
The various tasks can be viewed in my slide show.
On May 14, 2011, it was a bright spring morning when 20+ volunteers, including our local Councillor – Gord Perks – came out to dig holes and plant trees on the west side of Roncesvalles.
See slide show of our community’s tree planting, courtesy of local photographer Tom Kane.
This group of 11 year-olds will grow up to see a mighty oak become part of the Roncesvalles Avenue tree canopy, thanks to their planting efforts. It was a memorable way way to celebrated their friend’s birthday. Photo Credit: Tom Kane
The project is on track. The sidewalks are tiled; the road is smooth; the streetcar tracks are in; the bike ramps are paved; and most of the bus shelters are in place.
We now have 82 new trees on the east side taking root in conditions where they should thrive and new plants in some of the planting beds. On the west side, 18 new trees were planted on private property with the help of community volunteers. In short, the way is paved for an awesome avenue.
But the project isn’t finished yet. We’re now waiting for the remaining bike rings to be installed, hoping this will be done soon so people will stop locking their bikes to the new trees. The trash bins are coming. There is more street furniture to come including benches once all of the other priority elements are in place. And, finally, in the fall, once the soil has settled around the new trees, tree grates will be installed at grade and new tree guards put up around the trees.