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

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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.”

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

Earth Hour on Roncy 2012

Hundreds of millions of people, businesses and governments around the world, unite each year to support the largest environmental event in history~ Earth Hour.

More than 5,200 cities and towns in 135 countries worldwide, switched off their lights for earth hour 2011 alone. Thus sending a powerful message for action on climate change. It also ushered in a new era with members going Beyond the Hour to commit to lasting action for the planet.

And we helped. Our last year contribution gained national recognition from WWF Canada and I personally cannot be any prouder to have initiated the now annual, Roncesvalles Candlelight Walk. Not only did we as a community “flick off”, but we also gathered together to walk in solidarity.

On the day of, please consider; RONCY CELEBRATES Lantern Making Workshop at  High Park Baptist Church (Hewitt & Roncesvalles) anytime between 12 – 4:30. Then you can have your very own, hand crafted, Earth Hour Lantern.

Before you leave…. turn your lights off

Earth Hour Revellers are invited to gather in front of the Reveue Cinema at 8:15, then commence the walk at 8:30 with 2012 Earth Hour Walk Marshall;  Sandie Drake.

Everyone is encouraged to bring their own candle, although some will be on hand – courtesy of the RVBIA. Please  consider using a recycled container such as a pre used glass jar or tin, as your carrier.

All are expected to cross the street and walk along the commercial side, toasting fellow participants who will be enjoying reduced lighting in the various, dimly lit bistros, restaurants and bars.

New to our coordination masthead this year  is Fern Avenue Public School Eco Team Master; Joanne Somers. She has been engaged to provide a beautiful visual treat at the conclusion of our community supported walk.

Afterwards, try to frequent one of our many supporting eateries and enjoy a little quality “Do it in the Dark” post walk celebration.

Thanks to Keith Denning from the RVBIA for securing the participation of our local businesses and a bigger thanks to you, for being a part of this fabulous community!

Hope to see you all there!

Yours truly

Karyn Klaire Koski