Letters to the Editor for Dec. 1, 2015

A challenge for readers: let’s do something positive

RE: Letters from Carole Wilson and Paul Romanuk (Letters to the Editor, Nov. 17):

I agree that many sections of Queen Street East look appalling, ranging from dirty or sadly outdated store windows to downright dilapidated buildings. I doubt that our BIA or councillor can talk sense into landlords to reduce commercial rents though.

Instead of complaining and platitudes that “someone” should do “something,” we need some positive civic action; that someone can be you!

I know it’s hard to motivate and form volunteer groups. Yet look at the beautiful upgrades the Gerrard East Community Organization did near Coxwell, and the amazing labours of love by volunteers from the Danforth East Community Association. They transformed and beautified several stores and entire blocks in their neighbourhood. What it took was positive energy, devising a plan with store owners, and the time and energy to paint, make small repairs, and in some cases help redesign store interiors.

Even if you’re unable to swing a paintbrush, if you can sew, draw, make phone calls, cook or bake, you can help a community initiative to organize a storefront beautification and help feed the volunteers. Surely local stores will help donate some paint and tools.

I challenge readers: If you want to see store exteriors and windows improved, contact our councillor’s office at 416-392-1376 or councillor_mcmahon@toronto.ca. They will collect names and I’ll get this ball rolling!

Martina Rowley


Kew Gardens ‘help’ not necessary

Re: More questions than answers on Kew Gardens redesign, Letters to the Editor, Nov. 17:

Some additional benches and restoration of the northwest corner of Kew Gardens would be useful, but the current plan would obliterate the flower beds we all admire, diminish our park and cost a great deal of money that could surely be put to better use.

I find it difficult to believe that a serious case can be made that all of this would help the Beach merchants, whose well-being is undeniably a cause for concern. Perhaps the community should be asked for ideas about how to improve the use and appearance of our main streets without tampering with one of our historic attractions.

Jean Cochrane


Ashbridges Bay garbage a cause for concern

For many years it has been bothering me about the volume of garbage being carelessly thrown at Ashbridges Bay.

The area is home to many animals: birds, fish, beavers, raccoons, rabbits, opossums, and the occasional coyote. We are fortunate to have such a lovely park in the city.

Over the months of March to November I have made a list of garbage that myself and friends pick up. [Attached to the letter were three double-sided pages of litter picked up by the author.  – Ed.]

I hope that some who litter will read this and think about how it affects themselves, others, animals, and the environment.

We all, including city council, need to focus on stopping littering.

C. Charlwood

De Grassi Street

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