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©2015 Erin MacDonald / LEAF
My experience as a resident and volunteer on the Danforth


I have had the pleasure of being a Danforth resident, on and off, since I moved to Toronto three years ago. No matter where else I have lived or visited in this great city, the Danforth has always felt like home. That is why volunteering with LEAF's Adopt-a-Street-Tree program is so exciting for me; I get to work with people who care about the streets I walk down every day.



Currently I am a resident of east Danforth, near Main station, but when I first moved here I lived between Pape and Chester. I worked for the magazine On the Danforth, which focuses primarily on the west end of Danforth and reinforces the stereotype that the west is known as the heart of the Danforth.  Through my time spent canvassing the east end with LEAF, I have come to see how much the businesses and shop owners along this stretch have to offer the community. There are pockets of personality all over that are not always present in a more gentrified area.

One of the most interesting aspects of working on this project is getting to interact with businesses in a different way than just being a customer.  I get to meet the people who are committed to the community and have an interest in maintaining and growing the visual landscape. I have been introduced to new businesses that I may have not gone into, but have found a welcome surprise, such as Areej Art Gallery. The shop is tucked away and I walked passed it many times not knowing that inside was a beautiful gallery.


On a recent trip to California, I became very inspired by the idea of conservation. Once I was back in Ontario I quickly searched for a group I could work with to help protect the plants I encounter every day. Awareness is the greatest gift I've received from my work with LEAF. I've gone from shamefully locking my bike to a tree when there were no available bike rings to actively sharing information with my friends and people in my neighbourhood on how to properly care for and protect the trees lining our streets.



Moving to a new area of the city can be intimidating. As it turns out, the majority of the volunteers working on the Adopt-a-Street-Tree program are Danforth residents! So not only am I doing work to improve my community, I also get to meet neighbours I wouldn't otherwise know. I have really enjoyed meeting such a group of strong and engaged people.


LEAF’s Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program is supported by TD Green Streets and the City of Toronto.

Rachel Kovach works as a typesetter and proofreader in the publishing industry. In an effort to get outdoors and engage with nature, she became a volunteer with LEAF to learn about conservation projects taking place in the city.


Good job, Rachel, thanks for doing this. :) Proofreader & typesetter = sounds like an interesting job! I shall look these up now. :)

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