By JAYSON DIMAANO
In recognition of Earth Day coming up on April 22, the Toronto Lakefront Community (TLC for short) is planning a community cleanup event for the Beach which will take place for the entire month of April
Jane Anderson is one of the founding members of the TLC group, which was formed back in November of 2020.
“We picked that name because of the acronym, TLC. We all need TLC and our beach needs it,” said Anderson. “We’re very focused on the lakefront, the beach and the water. We love the neighbourhood and care for the beach.”
Anderson said the members of the group saw an increase in the number of people who use the beaches and the lake last summer, mainly due to COVID-19 and people gathering outside as businesses were closed.
While it was nice to see people out and about during the warmer months enjoying everything the community has to offer, there was also a notable increase in the amount of litter and garbage being left by the lakefront.
“(Beaches-East York) Councillor Brad Bradford did a great job in addressing that, by doubling the number of garbage and recycling bins along the paths and we wanted to continue that great effort,” said Anderson.
“We are mainly focusing on the safety and the cleanliness of the beach and the water.”
Other initiatives by TLC will include requesting additional signage along the Boardwalk and the beaches (reminding people there no fires, no camping and no littering allowed.
Signs will be requested to make boaters aware of the safety laws. A fatal crash involving a motorboat striking rocks in Ashbridges Bay took place on Sept. 3 of 2020.
Anderson said the lakefront ecosystem is very sensitive, especially in the Beach area, and litter in the water can have a severe impact on wildlife, fish and plants.
A kayaker and long-distance swimmer, Anderson always takes a bag wither her to pick up any litter floating she sees in the water. She said people would be surprised with how much litter there is and that is a major concern.
Which is why they are organizing this Spring Sweep cleanup that will take place for the entire month of April as opposed to one specific day.
“April is a good time to clean the Beach. The weather is warmer. The snow is (hopefully) melted, which leaves behind lots of interesting litter and garbage,” she said. “It’s a COVID-friendly activity…because we’re spreading it through the month of April, it allows people to physically distance. We would have loved to have a single day where we all get together but that is not possible.”
The TLC group reminds people taking part in cleanups to wear masks and gloves and not to handle anything that they think might be a hazardous material. If something potentially hazardous is spotted, she said the City of Toronto should be called at 311 so that trained professionals can deal with it.
TLC is teaming up Friends of Cherry Beach for this month’s Spring Sweep, and will also be promoting the cleanups on social media.
“We’re hoping if people do come out to the Beach cleanup, they can post photos and post some photos to Instagram with the hashtag #TLCspringsweep,” Anderson added. “The more we do this as a community, the better we’ll be in the long term.”
For more information on the Toronto Lakefront Community, the Spring Sweep event and a blogs and newsletter, please go to https://www.tlfcommunity.ca
For any questions, please email TLC at email@example.com