April showers bring May flowers – courtesy of WCI’s Eco Team

WCI’s Eco Team revamping the front garden.

May 20, 2015 –  April showers and the sporadic nights of single-digit temperatures seemed to have safely passed, thus marking the annual planting of flowers in the Weston Collegiate front garden. The Eco Team, in collaboration with our standing vice principal, Ms. Babic, bought a collection of flowers to add some splashes of green, pink, white, and purple against all the grey.

Various student volunteers and a few of the club members gathered after school to begin the gardening. They rolled out a cart of sages, lilies, and bee balm along with a wheelbarrow of mulch, and wielded themselves with shovels and a rake.

The afternoon began with freeing the garden bed from a layer of moldy leaves, dead plants, and weeds that were choking the soil. Once the bed opened up, the team dug down and planted in their new babies – bee balms along the edges, and bunches of sages and lilies dotting the middle. With the plants patted down, bags of black mulch were well distributed over the soil, giving the finished garden a very sophisticated, fresh look.

“Nothing makes me happier than seeing a more beautiful Weston,” says Ngan Tran, an Eco Team member. “Especially when we worked together to achieve it in a way that restores the earth rather than destroy it.”

What makes this variety of flowers particularly special is the type of visitor they can attract – bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds! Sages and bee balms (the name is quite self-explanatory) are predominantly excellent at attracting pollinators of many sorts.

White sage.

By planting pollinator-friendly flowers, the Eco Team is definitely helping bees with their forage for nectar, and are encouraging more positive hive activity as bee populations continue to decline. Even though they can be thought of as an unpopular ‘clique’ at school, I hope to see many bees buzzing by Weston.

When planning to plant pollinator-friendly flowers, it’s important to know when the plant will be blooming – is it a late or early bloomer? Consider having an assortment of flowers blooming at varying times during the summer; in Weston’s garden, the sages have already begun to blossom and the bee balms are due late summer. This will give the bees, butterflies, and hummingbirds a treat all throughout the season.

Pollinator-friendly plants are excellent additions to any garden, simply as colourful embellishments, or as companion plants for fruit trees and vegetable gardens. Considering the ample space these beautiful Weston homes allow for gardens, think of adding a few catmints, yarrows, hyssops, lupines, and coneflowers to your yard!

Help the Eco Team in making Weston a more bee-friendly environment.

Eco Team president, Rizeena Khan, giving the bee balms a good watering.


This post was brought to you by:

The Victory Community Credit Union, now at their new location at 2011 Lawrence Avenue West, Suite 11. Stop by and meet Weston’s best bankers!

Today in Weston – Cruickshank Park tree planting

Workers from Toronto and Region Conservation Authority in conjunction with City of Toronto Parks were at work today at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to Cruickshank Park planting red oak trees. These native trees need lots of room and will provide welcome summer shade in years to come. According to Metrolinx spokesperson, Manuel Pedrosa, the trees donated by Metrolinx are marker trees to represent the ones recently planted in the Humber Arboretum.

There will be an official ceremony tomorrow at 3:00 p.m. at the Lawrence Avenue entrance to the park.

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Safe rails gathering steam

The City of Toronto will be having a meeting tonight on improving the safety of railcars passing through Toronto. It is a complicated issue that draws together levels of government and billion-dollar companies, but the stakes could hardly be higher.

Right now, many dangerous goods, including explosive crude oil, are transported in secret on dangerous railcars. The Feds in both Canada and the US have made efforts to better insure against disasters and improve the DOT-111 cars, but many people, including MP Mike Sullivan, are unsatisfied.

Sullivan introduced a private member’s bill that would force rail companies to be more public, do more risk assessment, and make Transport Canada use safer routes and speeds. Sullivan will be speaking at tonight’s meeting.

 

The Safe Rail Communities group will be having a town hall on June 12th to discuss the new regulations. Naomi Klein will be a guest host, and a panel of experts will explain how the new and current rules are ineffective.

If you can’t make it to either of the above meetings, or if you want to also provide written feedback, the City of Toronto is collecting opinions in an online survey of residents.

St Phillips bridge mural almost complete

Three talented artists under the leadership of York University visual arts graduate Emanuel Ciobanica are hard at work on a mural which will adorn the underside of the bridge along St Phillips Road. The mural, designed with community input is already a spectacular work of art that according to Ms. Ciobanica will be completed well before the official opening.

Emanuel Ciobanica at work.

Emanuel Ciobanica at work.

A cherry picker is needed to tackle tall sections and the underside.

A cherry picker is needed to reach tall sections and the underside.

The swirl represents a stylized Hurricane Hazel, part of our local history.

The swirl will stretch across the underside of the bridge and represents a stylized Hurricane Hazel; part of our local history.

The official opening ceremony will be held on Saturday May 30 at 1:00 pm.

Young people can learn programming in Mount Dennis

 A new program is starting up in Mount Dennis, and it’s totally different: TechSpark will teach young people, 15–29, how to develop for the web apps and dynamic sites for the internet. 

The in-class section will last for 8 weeks, but it gets better. After class ends, there will be 12 weeks of job placement with “one of our innovative employment partners. We will also help you develop a killer portfolio of your work, create a resume and get you prepped for your big interview.”

TechSpark sounds radical. Not content with the usual nerds, they’re looking to build a new community of developers:

More than 80% of the technology used in everyday life are consumed by women and people of colour, and less than 1% of that group are behind the creation of that same technology. We knew if we wanted to create strong social impact, DRIVEN’s work must start with Toronto’s intelligent racialized and marginalized youth population.

If you, or someone you know, is interested, apply soon: spaces are limited and the course starts in late June. 

Events in Weston

Weston is bursting with events over the coming weeks.

The annual Ward 11 Environment Day will be this weekend at the Farmers’ Market. You can pick up free compost and drop off hazardous waste.

Weston CI will be having its 10th annual “Taste Weston (with a multicultural twist)” festival on Wednesday, May 27, from 6 pm to 9. It’s a cheap thrill: $2 to enter, with food and activity tickets for $1 each. There will be entertainment, a silent auction, and gift baskets.

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Tare Egbedi is starting an urban intervention as part of the 100in1day movement. She is having a free social lunch and dance party to celebrate local caterers and small business people. The lunch will be June 6 at 1 in the afternoon.

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You can meet your politicians on May 28, at 6 pm in Mount Dennis. Frances Nunziata, Laura Albanese, and Mike Sullivan will be on hand to explain their services.

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The ‘changing’ face of Weston

Here are two views of the same store at 1940 Weston Road taken just weeks apart.

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‘Stein’s Hardware’ back in February.

 

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Bargain Stop on May 9.

There is no historical answer to this except that Weston for some reason is a popular place to make movies and in February, Bargain Stop had a makeover to emerge (briefly) as a hardware store.