Taking it to the Street

It took a village to raise that baby!

Beautiful day on Roncesvalles avenue showing passengers boarding streetcar, trees, plant beds and shoppers.With a team of many BIA members, TTC delegates, advocating residents, and City of Toronto officials, the long, arduous task of co – creating the Roncesvalles streetscape was a group effort.  The process was based on consultation, collaboration and transparency.

Several members of RoncyWorks were involved in the process and are pleased to report that Roncy’s development history is intact, safe and on the cutting edge of experimental projects.  For example the Greening of Roncy by local volunteers and the success of the Cigarette Litter Prevention Campaign is inspiring other neighbourhoods.

Creating an accessible street that people would enjoy for generations was the group mandate. And, if the TTC has to make some adjustments to get that perfect, well that’s OK with me.

The group had to scale their vision to budget and other limitations, while pursuing the common interests of all businesses, residents, motorists, cyclists, transit users and pedestrians of all ages — some with strollers, walkers or wheelchairs.

Roncy Works… because we all work together.

More on:  Community engagement with Roncesvalles Renewed

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Roncy’s Century Old Tree nominated for Heritage Designation

Resilience

For almost a century, Roncesvalles’s  Silver Maple, located midway up the corridor  slightly NE of High Park Blvd, has stood as a living testament. It has overseen evolving urban growth and settlement. It stood idly by and flourished throughout the decades of change. Historic changes that have modified our sleepy village east of the great High Park.

This tree surveyed modest community beginnings, when waves of Polish immigrants sought refuge in 1914, 1920-1939 and again in 1941. It heard tales of World Wars and the Great Depression.  It was young then and had a nearby companion, sadly lost in this last, past decade. But no one mourned as we do with many of our resident elders,  elders whom we respect and honor, for the lives they have lived.

And lived it had, despite concrete sidewalks and heavy pedestrian traffic, it has faithfully  served as the lungs of our neighbourhood,  neutralizing the carbon emissions escaping the parade of motorized vehicles that have drove past it everyday, throughout the decades.

It is quite unique, for it is believed to be one of Toronto’s oldest trees in a commercial district, how did it manage to survive?  If each beautiful gnarled wart could tell a story, I’m sure there will be narratives of seasons passing, families strolling and businesses coming and going and many an anecdote of lives… well, lived.

It is time to respect our elder, our stately Sliver Maple who “we” and City Officials safequarded during the reconstruction of our street.  This tree has been recently nominated, via video submission, to the Heritage Trees Ontario Program and I am proud to have spearheaded that endeavour.

 

 

As a volunteered environmental advocate, I personally hope to celebrate with you, when our moniker of Resilience can be commemorated for being the Grand Dame, that she is!

Read Inside Toronto article about designation