I have really enjoyed this Jane’s Walks in the past and plan on participating in more of these fun exploratory walks of the City this weekend.
Jane’s Walk is an organization based in Toronto that organizes walking tours of the City to explore an insider’s take on how neighbourhoods work, socialize and live. From their website: “Jane Jacobs was an urbanist and activist whose writings championed a fresh, community-based approach to city building. She had no formal training as a planner, and yet her 1961 treatise, The Death and Life of Great American Cities, introduced ground-breaking ideas about how cities function, evolve and fail that now seem like common sense to generations of architects, planners, politicians and activists… Jacobs saw cities as ecosystems that had their own logic and dynamism which would change over time according to how they were used. These walking explorations were organized in her honour to explore the city’s hidden gems and appreciate its nooks and crannies.”
People with passion of all kinds of backgrounds are leading these walks all over the Toronto on Saturday May 1st and 2nd. The walks combine exploration with personal observations, urban history and local lore to knit people together into strong and resourceful communities.
Check out the website to find a Jane’s Walk that interests you: www.janeswalk.net.
Toronto’s Urban Forest Canopy is so good to us, but we’re currently losing more trees than are being planted. Trees help reduce the urban heat island effect, they provide shade so we can use less air conditioning, help prevent global warming by sequestering CO2, make Kyoto Protocol targets attainable, look great, provide habitat, prevent erosion, contribute to biodiversity, mitigate urban storm water runoff, and make neighbourhoods beautiful. Recent studies have proven that they even reduce crime. Need I go on? Time to get planting!
We are lucky in Toronto to have organizations that help with our City’s beautification. Trees that would normally run between $350-$600, with planting that could set you back an additional $200, are being heavily subsidized for city residents.
A local non-profit group LEAF is offering backyard tree planting in Toronto for the reduced cost of about $80-$130. This is amazing. LEAF is dedicated to improving Toronto’s urban forest, so if your backyard could also use a little sprucing up (pardon the pun) then you should contact them at:
LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests)
Subsidized trees for your yard
T 416 413 9244
LEAF’s service includes on-site advice on appropriate species and planting location, a 1.2 to 1.8m tall native tree, and the planting service. Native shrubs are also available.
If are interested in planning a tree on your front lawn you can get a free tree from the City of Toronto. Urban Forestry Services plants trees on City owned street allowances fronting residential properties for free.
City of Toronto Urban Forestry Services
Free tree for your front lawn
T 416 338 8733
Thanks to our local tree-hugger Alissa for pointing out these great resources! I recently planted two trees and have to say that they make me happy every day.
A belljar is usually a piece of lab equipment in the shape of a glass bell that is used to create a vacuum. I’ve just stumbled across an even more interesting variation on the belljar theme: a cafe by this name that opened last Friday on Dundas West. I have to say it’s truly lovely. The space is bright, cozy, eclectic and welcoming. The espresso is fantastic. The owners are friendly and know their stuff. In addition to great coffee and tea they offer lemon squares, mini cheesecakes, savory pastry, biscotti, muffins, scones, brownies, and quiche. They aren’t stingy with the wifi either.
Belljar is located on a funny little strip of Dundas at Howard Park and is open 7-4 on weekdays and 8-4 on weekends.