If you walk through the streets of Toronto, you’ll likely come across brightly coloured canoes filled with milkweed, grass, and native wildflowers in surprising places. This grassroots initiative, called Community Canoe, is a network of pollinator-friendly canoe gardens stretching across the former Garrison Creek. This is one of the many lost rivers in the city as countless were buried or diverted as a result of urbanization during the 18th and 19th centuries. In an effort to naturalize urban areas, these canoes create new habitat for birds, bees, and butterflies and foster ecological diversity. They run along a new butterfly corridor, created as part of the larger Homegrown National Park project, stretching across the city. This initiative not only illuminates Toronto’s ecological heritage but also encourages communities to take action in conserving their local wildlife and wetland ecosystems.
Check out the video below to learn more!