It’s not spring yet, but officials in Bloor West Village have imported a bit of green to spruce up the neighbourhood. All it took, according to Coun. Sarah Doucette, was a bit of artificial grass.
“I’m interested to see how it works out,” Doucette said. “I think it’s a good idea.”
Over the summer, crews installed new neighbourhood sidewalks and replaced older trees. To make the community more welcoming, the Bloor West Village BIA put down wood chips around the trees, but the rain largely washed them away.
So, to protect the new trees, Toronto’s Urban Forestry Services in co-operation with the Bloor West Village BIA installed AstroTurf.
Sarah Doucette, councillor for Ward 13 Parkdale-High Park, described how the artificial grass was installed.
“They’ve dug out some of the dirt,” she said. “(Then) they put a plastic comb in there, like a honey comb with gravel in it, and then they put this AstroTurf on top … The idea is to see if it will keep some of the moisture in for the trees.”
Dean Hart, manager of Forest Reparations for the City of Toronto, explained that under the AstroTurf is a grid with gravel.
“It’s perforated so moisture and oxygen gets through it,” Hart said.
And in the summer, Hart said, it will also reduce the amount of weeding needed.
Alex Ling, owner of Ling’s Importers and past chair of the Bloor West Village BIA, requested a starter pit cover outside his store. He said the cover looked good for a while, but noted a new problem.
“It’s a shame, it’s next to a bar,” Ling said. “There’s a lot of people smoking outside. The first day everyone respected it, but afterwards they just threw their butts on it.”