How we Live in Cities at Big on Bloor Festival
Over the weekend of July 22 – 23, the Bloor Street Business Improvement Area hosted a two day street festival of arts and culture from Dufferin Street to Lansdowne ave in Toronto. Dyan Marie from “How we Live in Cities” coordinated a series of art and garden workshops that got the public involved in place making and garden creating at home by distributing “Spot gardens” which members of the public would plant in their yards.
Eric Anthony Charron brought BIG lights and Wind catchers to the festival and helped interested upcyclers create their own garden solar lamps out of reclaimed plastic bottles, and multi-coloured wind catchers from the off-cut pieces. Bees and other pollinators are attracted to intense and deep colours of blue, green and purple. By teaching how to create solar bottle bubbles for gardens and encouraging their placement in yards and gardens, they will act as targets to pollinator species that will be attracted to flowers and trees.
The workshop was a resounding success, engaging passersby with the dynamic and busy work table and the hanging examples around the tents. The work both brought awareness to methods of promoting and assisting the expansion of pollinator species as well as methods of reducing the quantity of plastic waste going to landfill through upcycling.
Additionally, some people inquired about the use of solar bottle bubbles in community gardens to deter aviary pests. When the sun is out, the solar bubbles dazzel with many reflections and movement, which could act as scarecrow-like artwork. This would be a great way to collectively divert plastic waste by getting many people to save used plastic bottles to create solar lamps as well as animating public community gardens with colour while attracting pollinator bees.
The Card Yard – designed by the same creators of the PULP Party – was also another popular feature brought back to the festival this year in which paper tubes, boxes and other waste were transformed into a public playground and imagineering zone. Many children of all ages had a hand in creating new ways of occupying the street.