One by one, plants are beginning to disappear from the garden beds that line Roncesvalles Avenue — pulled out by the volunteer gardeners who have tended them for years.
The Roncyworks Green Team, a shifting group of gardeners in the neighbourhood, have been designing and tending 21 beds that have lined the busy commercial street for the last decade.
This week, they quit en masse following months of back and forth with the local Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (BIA) over the look and direction of the gardens.
In an open letter published on Sunday, the group wrote that a “small outspoken group” within the BIA had been pressing for the garden beds to have a “commercial style” and uniform look.
“I think the people who instigated this idea have just totally misjudged the nature of the community,” said Jackie Taschereau, a gardener who has worked on two of the beds for 10 years.
“I can’t believe that they would go back to this sort of old-fashioned formal gardening.”
Both sides describe a long series of meetings over the last six months as the BIA looked for a company that could help redesign and maintain the beds.
Adam Langley, vice-chair of the Roncesvalles Village BIA, told CBC Toronto that some business owners had aesthetic concerns, with “a disparity between some of the beds, where some are tended to a little more closely and some aren’t.”
As a new plan was made to bring in outside help,…