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.”

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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

WWF Canada to host Toronto Earth Hour Event on Roncy

Roncesvalles Village has held annual Earth Hour celebrations since 2010. We’ve showcased local acoustic performers, choirs, flash mobs, lantern making workshops and candlelight walks. We have joined millions world wide, globally recognizing the largest planet-focused movement in the world!

Our City Councillor Gord Perks is a recognized environmentalist, our MPP Cheri DiNovo and MP Peggy Nash are driving forces behind “Clean Train Coalition.”  RoncyWorks models success in street planning and preserving.  And, no fewer than four school/residential associations in the community have Green Teams. We are champions of eco awareness.

Our community cheerleading caught the eye of WWF Canada, whose 2013 Earth Hour Campaign brings attention to the Cheerleader, both through a series of cheerleading videos and  the appointment of regional Captains, of which I, your author, am one!

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RoncyWorks

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 roncyworks.org

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: