Leaving a Mark With The Laneway Project
The pandemic has highlighted the importance of green spaces in providing a place for the people of Toronto. When we think of green spaces, we often think of parks. What would challenging and modifying this perception look like for the city of Toronto?
As advocates for the Urban Orchard, we love that The LaneWay Project has passionately altered this common perception through public laneways. Public laneways are a hidden opportunity to engage with nature and community spaces, in close proximity to areas we partake in our day to day lives. The LaneWay Project was conceived as a Covid-19 recovery program, to help address geographic inequities in parkland provision and distribution.
In 2021, we partnered with the Laneway Project to park-ify Toronto’s laneways, improving two public laneways, including the Central Hospital Lane (running from Carlton Street to Gerrard Street) and the Leslieville Laneway (running from Logan Avenue to Morse Street). NFFTT supported the planting of 393 plants, shrubs and medicinal plant species, and engaged 14 volunteers to spend their weekend planting in the two laneways.
Together, we created Toronto’s first Healing Corridor in Central Hospital Lane, complete with medicinal gardens, planted from contemporary Indigenous Medicine Ways. The storytelling mural depicts The Gift of The Jewelweed (a plant used to treat poison ivy rash), by Indigenous artist Nyle Miigizi Johnston and Monica Wickeler, and a series of murals by emerging Indigenous youth creators to pay homage to Moss Park-Cabbagetown’s heritage as a multicultural medical centre.
With the support of NFFTT, these laneways have been transformed into a welcoming public space with colourful murals and green life. The LaneWay Project believes that parks and public spaces are an essential component of healthy and resilient communities- and we are strong advocates for their vision. Thank you to all volunteers for their continuous support in bettering the city of Toronto and how we serve its people!
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