On April 19 Torontonians took part in the 20-Minute Makeover and deputy mayor Joe Pantalone, along with city councillors Shelly Caroll and Glenn DeBaeremaeker, pitched in to clean up Christie Pits Park. They were joined by participants from three other groups.
Organizers handed out free garbage bags, gloves and bottles of water to the participants.
Nearly 50 members of the Korea Town Business Improvement Area and 20 students from the University of Toronto Korea Student Association (UTKSA) also joined the cause. They helped clean Christie Pits and nearby Koreatown.
Pantalone said events such as the clean-up help residents and business owners to keep focused on the issue of litter.
“We all know that litter is a problem,” Pantalone said. “It’s human beings that create litter, but we also know that as a community, we can do something about this.”
Nearly 300 groups registered to participate across the city. According to Pantalone, the city spends $20 million dollars a year to clean up litter on the street. The 20-Minute Toronto Makeover preceded the Mayor’s Community Clean-Up Day, now in its 10th year.
Pantalone agreed that the money spent on cleaning garbage off the streets can go towards other worthy causes if individuals did their part every day.
“We could have more child care centres, more beautiful parks, more youth employment, transit – you name it,” Pantalone said.
Sarah MacRitchie, a grade 11 student at Harbord Collegiate Institute, came out to Christie Pits Park with 25 of her classmates to help.
“I think it’s important to clean up our beautiful city and parks,” MacRitchie said. She suggested that the city spend money on school programs that help educate students on litter awareness.
“We can teach people how to clean up garbage and not spend the money on the problem,” she said.
After the cleanup, organizers collected a total of 220 small-sized bags and four large bags of garbage.