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September 28, 2006
Toronto scores high on clean and beautiful
  
Toronto’s Clean and Beautiful City action plan paid off when the City achieved a “five bloom” rating with its score of 875 out of a possible 1,000 marks in the competitive category of the nation-wide Communities in Bloom competition. This is the highest score the City of Toronto has ever achieved in the program, and it is the first time since amalgamation that the City has entered the program’s competitive category.

“This is a significant achievement for Toronto,” said Mayor David Miller. “The Clean and Beautiful City initiative put us in an excellent position to earn top marks with the Communities in Bloom judges. Congratulations to the many community organizations, members of the private sector, and the City staff who continue to achieve real results for the Clean and Beautiful City campaign.”

Communities in Bloom is a non-profit Canadian organization committed to fostering civic pride, environmental responsibility and beautification through community participation and the challenge of friendly competition. The judges, who visited Toronto in August, evaluated the city according to eight criteria: tidiness; environmental awareness; community involvement; natural and cultural heritage conservation; tree/urban forest management; landscaped areas; floral displays; and turf and ground covers. Toronto, which competed with other municipalities from around the world, received a special mention as a “City within a Park” from the judges.

The City’s submission to the Communities in Bloom competition was led by Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, which has been making notable progress in the implementation of its 15-year strategic plan, adopted by Council in 2004. The plan, called Our Common Grounds, places renewed emphasis on the importance and value of City parks and open spaces.

“I am extremely proud of the efforts of our parks and horticulture staff. Their exceptional work has served to beautify our parks, gardens and public spaces, and has been a source of inspiration for many residents, community organizations and business to join the effort,” said Brenda Librecz, General Manager of Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation.

Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation produces over a million plants and flowers in its greenhouses annually. Last summer, parks staff created 28 new and innovative horticultural displays, cleaned up and beautified 48 ‘orphan spaces,’ increased grass cutting in parks, and worked with new enforcement officers to control litter in parks.

This year, building on 2005 efforts, parks staff implemented a new horticulture program called, Taking the Gardens to the Neighbourhood Parks. Through this new initiative, parks staff identified eight to 10 projects in each ward for horticultural upgrades, which included planting new trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs and creating new ‘hard-scapes’ by adding rocks and irrigation systems. An additional 11 sites were added to the orphan spaces program this year.

In their evaluation of Toronto, the Communities in Bloom judges made special mention of the City’s ‘significant gems,’ including the Clean and Beautiful City campaign, the orphan spaces initiative, boulevard and flowerbed plantings, the Music Garden, Rosetta McClain Gardens, the Brickworks, Sunnybrook Park sports fields, and the Franklin Children’s Garden. The judges also extended kudos to the City of Toronto for the strong leadership of its Parks, Forestry and Recreation staff, and the support of the Mayor and Members of Council.

Staff from many divisions across the City, including Solid Waste Management, Transportation Services, and Toronto Water, contributed significantly to both the Clean and Beautiful City initiative and Toronto’s submission to the Communities in Bloom competition. “Great job,” said Mayor Miller. “I’m proud of our achievement.”

About Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation
In addition to being responsible for the stewardship of nearly 8,000 hectares of green space and 1,470 named parks, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation provides a wide range of programs and services for people of all ages and abilities. The division strives to ensure all Torontonians enjoy active, healthy lifestyles and a high quality of life, supported by leisure and recreation programs, services and facilities, provided in partnership with the community. For more information, visit http://www.toronto.ca/parks.

Media contact:
Wynna Brown, Communications, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, 416-397-4059


 

 

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