Meet your neighbour
There are two important numbers in the life of Barry Schneider:
38 and 15.
It was 38 years ago that he bought his home on Randolph Rd. because of a plant: trees.
“I used to drive through the neighbourhood on my way to work from East York,” he says, “and on my way I fell in love with the tree-lined streets.”
It was 15 years ago that he retired, and went to work part time on plants, this time garden plants.
Every Monday morning from April to October you can find him at one of his favourite places in Leaside—weeding and trimming plants as a volunteer at the Toronto Rehabilitation – Lyndhurst Centre.
He had been a teacher but “after I’d become a member of the Leaside Garden Society, the president at the time, June Murdoch, asked if I’d help out during the summer. When I retired, I took the job on for the full season.”
The creation and maintenance of the seven gardens at Lyndhurst is part of the ongoing community outreach by the Leaside Garden Society.
“We do the planting for the gardens and maintain them through the season,“ Schneider says. “There’re usually at least four or five other volunteers helping as well.“
One of his team’s projects this year was the complete overhaul of one garden, as part of the Leaside 100 celebration.
The volunteer work he does at Lyndhurst is recognized every year by the centre, one of the leading research and rehabilitation facilities in North America. It treats over 2,500 patients in continuing care programs and accommodates over 140,000 annual outpatient visits.
Apart from tending his own garden (it has been included on the annual Garden Tour twice), he enjoys hiking the ravines in and around the city once a week with a group of like-minded friends. He also curls, enjoys overseas trips and up to a couple of years ago was an avid skier.
What does he like so much about Leaside?
Like most in the community, he likes the fact he can walk to almost anywhere he wants but also has easy access to downtown or highways out of town.
“Leaside feels at the centre of things,” he says, “but also pretty much protected from the natural hub-bub of the city.
“The neighbourhood has a nice homey, small-town feel to it.”
Schneider is pleased that the community is getting a new arena, even though he won’t be a user. “We’re an older community,” he observes, “It means we’re showing a bit of wear.”