Litter plagues Weston Village

Looking towards Weston and Lawrence.
Looking towards Weston and Lawrence.

In the future, Weston Village could be a showcase of how to do retail but currently it’s a showcase of how not to do it. In the GTA, Bloor West Village, Roncesvalles and Streetsville come to mind as old established neighbourhoods whose stores have successfully made the transition into the post-big box and shopping mall era. ‘What’s holding Weston back?’, you may ask. Well, there are many things – one is the stubborn refusal of the citizens of Weston to shop locally and another is the filth and litter that seems to pervade the place (perhaps the two are linked).

Near the bus stop on Weston Near Lawrence.
Near the bus stop on Weston at Lawrence.

Part of the problem is that the intersection of Weston Road and Lawrence Avenue West is a transit hub. Many people are coming and going and as a result lots of litter is generated. Let’s not dwell too much on the people who do the littering. It’s a fact of life in a big city. What is obvious though is a tolerance for litter that exists on the part of shopkeepers and also the people responsible for removing it. What’s also obvious is that the same litter stays in place for days if not weeks on end. This attracts yet more litter.

The guano may have been washed from the seats but Weston's own experiment in composting proceeds apace.
Recent rain may have washed the guano from the seats but Weston’s own experiment in leaf and litter composting proceeds apace.

While it is Winter and litter is sometimes difficult to remove at this time of year with salt and snow everywhere, thats an excuse you won’t hear in the places mentioned above. It’s certainly no excuse in the current snow-free spell.

Five minutes with a good broom should take care of this.
Five minutes with a good broom could take care of this.

If retail establishments find that the City isn’t taking care of the litter problems, they should complain. Property taxes go towards street cleaning and transit hubs need more of it. It also might be an idea for businesses to spend five minutes daily to clean up around their properties. It might be another idea for our councillor and the Weston Village Business Improvement Area to tackle this problem. This is something that can be implemented quickly with beneficial results.

Even the Royal Bank's entranceway is dirty.
Even the Royal Bank’s entranceway is dirty.

As citizens, we too can play a part. 311 is the Toronto City Council number to call about litter (and many other) issues. Calls from several people about the same problem may mean quicker action.

To discuss the matter more directly call Councillor Nunziata at 416-392-4091 or Weston Village B.I.A. at 416-249-0691.

Post Script. Not having seen any action on the clean-up, I phoned 311 on Thursday 22nd January to report the mess and was assured that there was nothing to do as the area had been cleaned up. On walking through the intersection today, it was clear that nothing had been done.

Thursday January 23: problem reported to 311 and this time I have a reference number. Apparently it takes about 3 business days.

 

2 thoughts on “Litter plagues Weston Village”

  1. Roy, first of all I have to complement you on your photos, you make the wasteland which is Weston and Lawrence eerily beautiful.

    I’m happy to see the Weston Web has gone back to anonymous comments, I stopped visiting for a while after the dramatic “Shut it down” which took place in October. I guess Facebook, Disqus, and obeying Thumper’s mother (watch Bambi) didn’t work.

    it’s great to read someone who has a passion for the area in which they live, too bad there are not more like you in Weston.

    I think you diagnosed the problem in one of your previous posts. The people of Weston Village are not complaining because it’s hard to spot the garbage as one is speeding up Weston road to get to the nearest box store plaza.

    Weston will not become a “neighbourhood” until everyone stops being afraid of each other. Keep it up Roy. You may be a voice crying in the wilderness, but you have a lovely voice and take great photos.

  2. I agree with what you’ve said 100%, a clean community encourages shopping. I’ll add a few more thoughts to “what will get you shopping in Weston”, as I’ve been on mat leave for the past 9 months and am a big proponent of shopping locally and giving my $$ to the independent business owner.

    1. Accessibility: I know it costs money to change you entrance to a ramp from a step and lord know you probably have to get city approval. Etc, etc. But i’ve been shopping in Weston with the smallest infant stroller I can find. I can maneuver the thing pretty well. But any shop short of Shopper Drug Mart and Popeye’s that I try to enter has 1 a step and/or 2 no assist on the door (push-button to open). A quick walk around the neighborhood will reveal that we have a lot of stroller-totting-mommas and people with mobility issues. Some stores will be inaccessible once one does enter, just with narrow shevles, etc, but get me in the door at least!

    2. Businesses not open – i’m looking at you, P&M and Perfect Blend. Especially after Perfect Blend had a banner in the Santa Claus parade I though “great! The local independent is finally open!”. We arranged a day for our mommy-pack (the “Weston Baby Train”) to go out. We were met with a locked door and a couple staff shouting through the glass that they aren’t open. Tim Horton’s got our money that day and we often push the babies up the hill to Starbucks. I want to give the little guy my money, just open already!

    … but I think i’m preaching to the choir.

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