Guest post written by Anne Kerekes from the Harbord Village Residents Association.
Croft Street, in Harbord Village neighbourhood, was chosen by its Resident's Association to become a Green Laneway in 2016. Planning for this aligns with several other green initiatives around Toronto: Harbord Village’s Green Plan, which envisions the entire neighbourhood becoming greener, the David Suzuki Foundation, which supports urban gardens, and is providing financial support (www.davidsuzuki.org/homegrown), as well as The Laneway Project itself.
Croft Street was chosen as having great potential, since there is currently little greenery, and any planting will make a big impact toward helping the environment, birds and bees, and aesthetics of the laneway. A sub-committee worked with the Resident’s Association to identify what was feasible, as the laneway serves pedestrian and car traffic, and has space and soil constraints.
The project is currently poised for late Spring execution. After a well-attended resident's meeting, potential planting locations and methods, and tasks were identified. Next steps will be to make final decisions, secure plants to grow in planters or small areas or vertical surfaces, and have a May 29th clean up and container placement day and June 4th planting day. The latter date coincides with Day Zero events - a movement to reach community goals in 1001 days (www.dayzeroproject.com). Our efforts won’t end there however, we will also ensure that plants are maintained throughout the summer to optimize results.
Croft Street is also going to benefit from other activities like mural painting and other artistic beautification efforts.
It is early days but we are excited about potential results. Some advice to others contemplating this are to engage key environmental stakeholders like The Laneway Project etc, work with your resident’s association, determine the scope of what is feasible, promote your activity to other residents to get them inspired and have a game plan for preparation and execution.
We hope this will inspire others to create their own Green Laneways. Come to Croft Street after June 4th to see what is possible!
Header photo by Katrina Afonso