Harbord Village Green Plan


The Harbord Village Green Plan maps out ways to transform neglected public spaces such as street corners and laneways into much-needed green spots. It came from a long process of planning and preliminary work. Articles in the Fall 2015 HVRA newsletter reported on these preliminaries. Thanks are due especially to Sue Dexter, co-author of the report with Kahlin Holmes from the Councillor’s office. Other early supporters include Jane Perdue, Gail Misra, Carolee Orme, Barbara Donaldson and Rochelle Rubenstein.

Toronto East York Community Council endorsed our Green Plan in Spring 2016 as an official planning document, and the Transportation Department has started to work with HVRA and groups of residents on implementing its ideas. Three of the first projects are described below. (See also the Harbord Village Gardeners’ page for more detail and relevant advice.)

Concrete Street Planters

Harbord Village combines greening and traffic calming through plantings placed by the City at internal intersections. For many years, Harbord Village residents living near 17 concrete-box planters have done their best to make them into miniature gardens. Their volunteer efforts increased the odds that their trees would survive and created small patches of green and colour on street corners. In 2018-19, in recognition of our efforts, the City is installing larger in-ground planting areas to replace the boxes. For more details, see the Harbord Village Gardeners’ webpage.

Croft Street Greening

Croft Street is a broad laneway running from College northwards. It’s noted for the scattering of residences opening onto it (along with garages and back fences), and was targeted early on for collaborative greening. A core group of residents met during the 2015-16 winter to consider other examples of laneway greening, solicit support from organizations like the David Suzuki Foundation, and envision green possibilities. By spring 2016 they had brought about scenes like these (with thanks to Jode Roberts and  the Croft Greening Instagram page). 

HVRA group setting up Croft St. planters, summer 2016

Laneway Greening

Other laneways have also caught the greening bug. These photos show that a few inches of soil accumulated alongside the asphalt of Alan Powell Lane can become an attractive urban garden. Neighbours pitched in to beg and buy materials, do the planting, and care for the new gardens.