Growing plants AND humanity

Roncesvalles Ave. is looking spiffy this summer. I’ve noticed that every tree planter on the street is spruced up with a homey collection of flowers and sometimes even vegetables. Yesterday, I picked up a well-trod on village newspaper from the floor at the bottom of our stairs. Postal workers regularly open the door and toss in flyers and assorted junk mail (and sometimes even real mail), and occasionally, when it’s ankle deep, I shovel it up and throw it all into a recycling box. I don’t know what prompted me to pick up the paper and open it, but I was rewarded with an article on page 2 that explained the background behind the pretty flowers.
The Roncesvalles Business Improvement Areas, and some property owners in the neighbourhood, have hired a very special company called Parkdale Green Thumb Enterprises to do the roadside gardening. What’s special about PGTE is that it’s founded, run, and staffed by psychiatric survivors. Here’s more:

Parkdale Green Thumb Enterprises(PGTE)
This Parkdale-based group of psychiatric survivors is an alternative business under the management of the Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses (OCAB). PGTE’s 25 employees offer top quality residential and commercial landscaping to beautify the Parkdale area. Reviews of the business and its work have been phenomenal. Under the leadership of John Rogers, a skilled supervisor and trainer, the company plants and maintains gardens, planters and hanging baskets. For a timely, competitive estimate please call the office.
Services Offered Include: landscape design and implementation, lawn maintenance, plant care (indoors/outdoors), planter set-up and maintenance (indoors/outdoors) and yard cleanup.
Contact Barry D’Costa or John Rogers for more information:
A: 1499 Queen Street West, 2nd Floor M6R 1A3
P: 416.537.2815
F: 416.537.1810

The business is part ofThe Toronto CED Network, and was nurtured by The Ontario Council of Alternative Businesses, the Toronto Community Economic Development Homeless Program, and the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health. To quote the PGTE founders,

"when we plant, we look forward to a future that’s growing (both) plants and our own humanity."

# discuss