It’s time to do something with graffiti


Hi Cheryl:

I took a break this morning and did my rounds, until the fingers of my picking-up hand froze. I used my left hand because I’ve gone through all my right-hand gloves and have three lefties left over. Oddly, though I had woolly gloves on both hands, only the one covered by a plastic glove froze. My other hand wasn’t even cold.

Found two discarded dog-pooh bags on the street, one squashed so I didn’t go near it.

I saw a woman picking up garbage alongside the path near McDonalds. She told me she has some pet peeve areas that she de-litters regularly. I was in a hurry so I didn’t have time for more than a one-minute exchange. Nice to know there are a few others similarly inclined, but sad that the situation is so awful that they feel the need to. 

graffitiHow about creating a customized button reading:  ‘My Leaside is De-Pigstyed’ for us litter pickers to proudly wear.

Jeff Walker, Donegall Dr.

Hi Jeff:

My latest crusade is graffiti. We have a budding artist who has painted a swath along Millwood, Laird, Bayview and Rumsey around the park. I’ve just discovered that our ward has a graffiti officer, PC Brenda Dolenc, who will notify property owners to remove the tags. I’ve sent her over a dozen photos of building walls, city parking meters/traffic signal boxes/bridges/signs and Hydro/Rogers utility boxes. I hope to see some improvement soon.

I’ve spoken to Trae Zammit (BIA) about creating a community wall for street artwork and he says “The graffiti (on Bayview) really is an eyesore and a community wall is a great idea.”

While doing my Trace Manes Park patrol I spoke to the Boy Scouts about their Christmas tree lot. In the past they have left a lot of debris including strings, branches and coffee cups. A neighbour who cleaned up one year found $50. Nice reward for his good work! I’m happy to say that this year the lot is pristine… nice!

I’m working with the police to do weekend patrols to move the kids along as I’m weary of picking up dozens of beer cans, wine bottles and cigarette butts on Saturday and Sunday mornings. I thought it might stop when the weather turned cold but not so.

I like your idea of the button. How about Take Pride in Leaside?


Dear Toronto Star:
Let me begin by saying that our household is a Toronto Star subscriber and we enjoy home delivery and reading the paper each day. However I have two pet peeves that I hope you can help me with.

The first one is the amount of street litter created by carriers who snip the ties off the newspaper bundles and leave them on the street or drop elastics. I cannot tell you how many I have picked up along Rumsey Rd. and how many I pass by on my daily walks. It does not reflect well on your brand.

It would be great if your industry could educate your carriers to carry litter bags in which to put the leftover ties/elastics and dispose of them either at their home or in a city trash bin or return them to you as part of a recycling process.

The second pet peeve is the condition of your newspaper boxes. Many of them in our neighbourhood are littered with graffiti, which is quite an eyesore and encourages more of the same. It would be great and efficient if whoever loads the papers would report the condition of the boxes back to you.

Dear Cheryl:

Thanks for taking the time to write. We will address the litter issues as described in your note. We have already advised our area supervisors and the carriers about it.

It seems a bit odd to us that they would be leaving trash on your street. There is only one carrier that services the area, and they are required to pay for their supplies such as elastics, etc. to curb abuse.

If you would let us know where exactly on the street the litter is being left, we will look into it further. I believe we are the only newspaper in the city that uses blue strapping, so it is easy for us to identify.

We had sent our box cleaner out to your area over the weekend to clean all of our boxes. We have quite a robust cleaning program. We’ll remind our team to sweep through your area more often to catch these.

It is helpful if you let me know the location of the boxes you describe and we’ll ensure we didn’t miss any.

Thanks for bringing all of this to our attention.

Terry Willows, Director, Circulation Operations

About Cheryl Vanderburg 44 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.