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May 28, 2008
City of Toronto spring planting is underway to beautify Toronto - one flower at a time
Councillor Paula Fletcher, Chair of the Parks and Environment Committee, joined City horticulture staff along University Avenue today to plant just a few of the 1.3 million flowers that will be cultivated in parks, gardens and public spaces across the city.

“More than 40 hectares of vibrant and innovative horticultural displays will be planted in our communities and neighbourhoods that, once in full bloom this summer, play a vital role in building a clean, beautiful, and liveable city,” said Councillor Fletcher.

This year’s planting project highlights include:

• Eye-popping floral displays and beautifully-manicured landscapes, known as WOW Gardens (up to three per ward) that make a significant impact on the City’s beautification efforts in support of Council’s Clean & Beautiful City initiative.

• Taking the Gardens to the Neighbourhood Park program which identifies up to five sites in each ward for improvements to the existing horticulture such as infilling with new hardscape, including rocks and irrigation, and adding trees, shrubs, perennials and bulbs.

• The Orphan Spaces project that transforms vacant medians and traffic island into enhanced landscape and horticultural displays that add a splash of colour to the urban infrastructure, created in partnership with Transportation Services.

• Project Sunflower which teaches children in Toronto’s priority neighbourhoods to plant, grow and maintain sunflowers and learn about environmental benefits and responsibilities, while developing life skills.

The Parks, Forestry and Recreation Division’s planting initiatives were key factors that contributed to the City’s top placement at the 2007 Communities in Bloom, a Canadian non-profit beautification program, winning the prestigious national award in the large city category. This year, the competition will be stronger as Toronto enters the international category for the first time.

“I invite all Toronto residents to take up the Communities in Bloom challenge by doing their part to beautify Toronto,” said Brenda Librecz, General Manager, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation. “Plant your own garden and enter the City’s gardening contests, get involved in community plantings or start a community garden; participate in City gardening programs; and be sure to watch our city bloom this summer.”

Toronto is Canada’s largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. In the past three years, Toronto has won more than 70 awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. Toronto’s government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Parks, Forestry and Recreation media hotline, 416-560-8726,



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