The Emery Village BIA: Addressing the present while planning for the future

By Al Ruggero As fall descends upon us, thoughts naturally shift to the upcoming winter season. However, due to seasonal constraints, certain tasks on our “to-do list” often remain incomplete, postponed to the following spring. Many take pride in the well-maintained residential and commercial properties that make up our work and living spaces. Conversely, properties with overgrown grass and unkempt boulevards can be unsightly.

Not long ago, an employee from one of Emery’s many businesses reached out. She felt obligated to highlight that while her employer invests significantly in property maintenance, a neighboring property had an untidy, weed-infested boulevard. While most residents recognize that maintaining the boulevard lawn falls upon the homeowner, this responsibility becomes a tug-of-war between property owners and tenants in some commercial settings. There’s also a common misconception that the city should handle such maintenance.

Fortunately, proactive solutions can motivate property owners to tackle these concerns. An underappreciated yet environmentally progressive city initiative comes to mind: the Green Infrastructure and Environmental Policy. This policy provides guidelines on plant types, heights, and conditions for boulevard planting. It promotes the use of non-sod grasses, pollinators, and other low-maintenance plants that look appealing and require minimal care. Such green measures decrease the carbon footprint through reduced mowing and watering and more effectively manage rainwater, reducing strain on storm sewers. Though these plantings require some maintenance, like weeding and occasional pruning, they break the monotony of regular mowing. This innovative approach to urban horticulture encourages homeowners and employees alike to revel in the multifaceted benefits of gardening.

Employers are even establishing gardens, inviting staff to engage in the selection, planting, and harvesting processes. The therapeutic advantages of gardening, known for stress relief and promoting mental and physical health, cannot be overstated. With the reintroduction of native species, there’s a chance for everyone to contribute positively to the environment, fostering sustainability and aiding pollinators. Additionally, the PollinateTO program might offer grants to those who meet the criteria.

For further details, please visit the Toronto Green Infrastructure Resources by scanning the provided QR code. Al Ruggero, the Project Manager at Emery Village BIA, can be reached at: