Earth Day Clean Up along Roncy

Coinciding with nationally recognized Earth Day, on April 22, 2017, several members of RoncyWorks arrived to clean planter beds, sweep up litter and remove aging signage along the length of Roncesvalles Avenue. This effort was part of the annual RoncyWorks spring cleanup and the City’s Clean Toronto Together campaign.

Three members of RoncyWorks enjoying a sunny break on Roncesvalles Avenue during the spring cleanup.

Hilary, Veronica and Rahel are please to note a decrease in litter including cigrette butts in the gardens along Roncesvalles and grateful for the street culture changes that have led to this. PHOTO CREDIT: Claude Barnes

RoncyWorks volunteer holding broom and bag of cigarette litter.

RoncyWorks gardener, John Sledziewski picked a bagful of butts from the gardens and swept around the edges, for a finishing touch. PHOTO CREDIT: Claude Barnes


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

Thanks to our volunteer street sweepers

On this Thanksgiving day, I want to openly thank the volunteers who care enough about our community that they are willing to help clean up the street. If you see them at work, please thank them yourselves.

A few months ago, during the official reopening of Roncesvalles which saw the return of the street cars, a local resident took it upon herself to start cleaning up part of the street. Maria’s voluntary effort caught the eye of our own Roncesvalles Renewed member, Mary Wiens, who figured that she would be willing to pitch in too.

It took only a few conversations before they discovered others willing to help out. Everyone agreed what a difference it would make if people from our community pitched in to pick up some litter.  Like the Earth Day Sweep, but more often.

The mechanical street sweepers don’t get it all and the City street cleaners only come around sporadically. In the meantime, litter piles up and what should be a lovely looking street, drifts into a a rather sorry looking state. It belies the spirit of this community that sincerely cares about its main street.

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