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August 12, 2009
Youth helping beautify Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods this summer
On August 13, more than 100 youth in Toronto’s 13 priority neighbourhoods will present the results of 17 beautification projects to clean and green their neighbourhoods through the “take BAC 13” (BAC means Beautiful And Clean) program. The presentation will take place at the Toronto Botanical Garden, 777 Lawrence Ave. E., from 1 to 4 p.m. For its third year, the project brings together City of Toronto priorities under the Public Realm Section - Streets Beautiful initiative, engaging youth in creating environments that are safe, clean and beautiful.

Under the direction of a team leader, groups of six youth in each of the 13 priority neighbourhoods chose an area of their neighbourhood to transform - and designed the projects they would undertake. Each team contributed at least 10 hours each week to the project for which each member received a $300 honorarium for their six-week participation.

Past projects have included cleaning up neglected spaces and planting flower beds; removing graffiti and creating outdoor art; planting and maintaining community gardens; and other initiatives that made a safe, green, clean and beautiful difference in their community. Not only were the teams responsible for choosing and designing their own project, they were also required to document and track their progress for presentation and judging by their peers at the conclusion of the project on August 13. The team scoring the most points within the categories of creativity, visible positive impact on the community, and ease of maintenance will receive $500 to continue their project.

“Torontonians care about their neighbourhoods, and they are willing to work hard to help make Toronto one of the world’s most liveable cities,” said Mayor David Miller. “Take BAC 13 allows youth in our priority neighbourhoods to improve their communities so that they are safer, stronger, cleaner and greener.”

Supporting and implementing take BAC is a partnership between Toronto Community Housing, Evergreen, Toronto’s Public Realm Section (Transportation Services), Toronto Police Service, Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation, and the Toronto Parks & Trees Foundation.

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. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contact:
Cristin Lazier, Clean and Beautiful City Secretariat, 416-392-8234,
Taiwo Bah, Toronto Community Housing, 416-896-2169,



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