Neighbourhood volunteers launch the RoncyWorks campaign on Roncesvalles Avenue in Toronto.

The Roncy Sweeps gear up to launch the RoncyWorks campaign.

Right now the sun is shining and Roncesvalles is looking extra good. Today our volunteers put up posters and groomed the street as part of  our launch of  the RoncyWorks campaign.

Most of us know that our neighbourhood works best when we all pitch in. Our community seems to have an extraordinary volunteer culture and we hope everyone who lives here or visits our hood will catch the spirit.

Maria Carrusca understood this when she responded to a call for volunteers to help clean up the street last summer. Mary Wiens knew it and helped spread the joy, enlisting new Roncy Sweeps as she swept.  “It’s a funny thing, but it’s kind of addictive,” Mary says.  Duncan Kennedy and Tony Enns got it when they offered to create a brand for our community volunteer efforts. Now you can see their RoncyWorks posters displayed in some of the shop windows. And, our volunteers can now be spotted wearing the bright blue RoncyWorks bags.

You don’t have to be an official volunteer to make a difference. And you don’t have to be a clean freak. It’s simply about making an effort because you care about our little corner of the world. It’s about recognizing that it’s not simply up to others to care – the city workers, the BIA, our neighbours — it’s up to all of us.

So, if you spot some litter while you’re walking down the street; it take a just few seconds to pick it up and toss it where it belongs. If you’re at a TTC stop and you like plants, take a moment to tidy one of the plant beds while you are waiting for the streetcar.  Or, if there is something else you feel needs improving, think about how you can be part of the solution.

There are many ways to get involved in making our neighbourhood better. So, please pitch in, however you can. To get in touch with us about volunteer opportunities, visit

Sweeping teamwork

So  you’ve heard about the work of our Roncy Sweeps and you’d like to help out on a small section of the street close to where you live or work. Or perhaps you’d like to start your own initiative in your part of town. So, here’s how it works.

The17 blocks along Roncesvalles are split up into 8 sections. The lead volunteer for each section coordinates their efforts with the other volunteers on their team. The team takes care of both sides of the street, aiming to get out maybe once a week on a day between City cleanings, like on Tuesdays, Thursdays or on the weekend.

On the business sides of the street volunteers focus on cleaning the plant beds while business owners aim to keep the sidewalks looking good in front of their premises. On the residential side volunteers tidy up planting beds, pick up and dispose of some litter and recylables, and sweep up the sidewalks.

Brooms and gloves will be stored at 7 or 8 locations along Roncesvalles, to start with, so that volunteers can easily use these when it’s opportune for them to do a little sweeping. The lead volunteer for your section will tell you where the broom is stored.

We’re looking for additional volunteers to build up each team. There’s no set schedule. Each one does what they can, when they can. Just let us know which section you’d like to work on and we’ll connect you with the lead for that section. Our current lead volunteers by section include:

  1. Boustead to Howard: Ann
  2. Howard to Constance: Ed
  3. Constance to Geoffrey: Mary
  4. Geoffrey to Fermanagh: Maria
  5. Fermanagh to Fern: Tereza
  6. Fern to Galley: Dorothée
  7. Galley to Marion: Kirsten
  8. Marion to Queen: Jane

Learn more about Roncy Sweeps from these posts: