Church Street parklets a first for Toronto: Wong-Tam

Many hope to expand the program next year for WorldPride

Community members took to the new Church Street parklets on Aug 17 to help cut the ribbon for the official launch of the bright pink and orange street-side patios.

Ward 27 Councillor Kristyn Wong-Tam joined the Church Wellesley Village BIA and the 519 Church Street Community Centre to celebrate the success of the Village’s 10 new extended patios, which were installed last month.

“The Church Street parklet program is the very first in the City of Toronto,” she says. “I think that this is a new chapter for Church and Wellesley.

“We’re here today because we are introducing new urban parklets and having new urban experiences, as we reclaim public spaces across Ward 27 and across the City of Toronto, because public spaces are for people, not just for cars.”

The project is modelled after last summer’s Celebrate Yonge event, which saw Yonge Street from Gerrard to Queen streets closed to two lanes to create additional pedestrian space and extended patios. Wong-Tam says she hopes to see other neighbourhoods launch similar initiatives.

The summer seating will remain in place until Oct 20, when the parklets will revert back to parking spaces.

“Next year, the BIA is going to do this initiative again, but they will be doing it on their own,” Wong-Tam says.

Those present thanked Home Depot, which donated $20,000 in building materials, and the Carpenters Union Local 27, which donated the manpower to build the parklets.

Elsewhere on Church Street, on Aug 17, reggae and calypso bands played music from the back of pickup trucks to entertain those kicking back with drinks.

The Streetside program is bringing pop-up street parties to Toronto, Markham and Hamilton throughout the month to mark the two-year countdown to the 2015 Pan Am Games.

Read More About:
Power, News, Media, Toronto

Keep Reading

Job discrimination against trans and non-binary people is alive and well

OPINION: A study reveals that we have a long way to go to reach workplace equality for trans and non-binary people

The new generation of gay Conservative sellouts

OPINION: Melissa Lantsman’s and Eric Duncan’s refusals to call out their party’s transphobia is a betrayal of the LGBTQ2S+ community

Over 300 anti-LGBTQ2S+ bills have been introduced this year. This doesn’t mean we should panic

OPINION: While it’s important to watch out for threats, not all threats are created equally. Some of these bills will die a natural death

Xtra’s top LGBTQ2S+ stories of the year

The best and brightest—even most bewildering—stories from a back catalogue brimming with insight