There’s more than business at the Leaside Business Park

Leaside Litterati

The Leaside Business Park (LBP), bordered by Eglinton Ave., the Don Valley Park system, Millwood Rd./Laird Dr., and Overlea Blvd., is positioned as ‘an industrial park in the heart of Toronto’. The Leaside Business Park Association’s (LBPA) mandate is ‘to promote the LBP as a desirable location to conduct business’.

So how does the LBP measure up from a litter perspective? And what litter abatement programs do the LBPA and its membership have in place? Off I went to see what I could find out.

The deplorable state of some areas of the LBP has been a bee in my bonnet for a while. I spend a fair amount of time driving and walking through it, and in my opinion the amount and assortment of accumulated litter make this experience both nasty and off-putting. For example, the fence and grassy area on the north side of Wicksteed are always strewn with garbage. The south side along the Smart Centre and Home Depot is equally littered with plastic bags caught in trees and refuse caught in bushes.

The litter continues eastbound with coffee cups, water bottles, etc. on the roadside and business properties, and extends on to Beth Nealson and Overlea. Laird is equally as beleaguered as Esandar Dr. where Waste Management is located. In the past I have notified offending property management companies and businesses and they have cleaned up. But really, I shouldn’t have to initiate these one-time activities. There should be a plan driven by the LBPA with its membership, and activities should be ongoing.

Next, I emailed the LBPA and was told that my question had been forwarded to the president. As of my deadline date I have not had a reply. I checked their website and learned that over 50 companies are members. From a ‘green’ perspective, the LBP is located in an area that has the potential to affect Wilket Creek, which is part of the Don River Watershed. The LBPA met in 2009 to discuss the potential initiatives they could, as a group, undertake to reduce their environment impact. The concern is the overflow of combined sewers sending potentially contaminated water and raw sewage into the Don River system. From a ‘clean’ perspective, in 2004 the 132nd Scout troop and parents were treated to a BBQ to thank them for all of their efforts in cleaning up the Business Park.

So what’s happening in 2018? If I find out, I’ll let you know. I’m sure there are many businesses that take pride in their grounds and endeavour to keep them clean. But if the LBPA mandate is to ‘value the park area that remains and to create an environment where entrepreneurial innovators want to locate’, the whole area needs a good cleaning and an ongoing plan to keep it green and clean.

About Cheryl Vanderburg 31 Articles
Cheryl Vanderburg writes the monthly column "Leaside Litterati." She is a local 'plogger' who combines her love of walking with picking up litter. She hopes to inspire all Leasiders to join this newest craze to stay fit and keep our neighborhood green and clean.