By Jon Pressick
Caroline Taron’s Mountain bike is as pretty as the community gardens she tends throughout the west end of Toronto. Festooned with flowers and ornaments, she rides her bike to these gardens, extending the idea of minimal footprint, and expanding that ethos in the gardens.
When people see her ride by on her bike of eternal spring, she notes that hardened and sour faces light up. People relax and smile and strike up conversations with her about her natural-looking bicycle. Neighbourhood children have taken to collecting and saving little trinkets she might want to add to her collection.
As a member of the West End Flower Fairies, Caroline works hard to engage the public in community gardening. The group also maintain these core principles: They meet in the gardens, they aim to make work “play,” they transform public spaces, and strive to make magic. The gardens required a tremendous amount of bureaucracy to get started, but over the past decade, the hard work of Caroline and the other fairies has resulted in six West End gardens and a sponsorship arrangement with the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC).
The West End Flower Fairies recently opened the Grafton Community Garden near Queen and Roncesvalles with a potluck, for which Caroline made two trips with supplies on her bike. We’re guessing she brought a smile to many as she rode past.
For more information, email Caroline at firstname.lastname@example.org