An article appeared in the Toronto Star today about the City of Toronto Transportation department squashing a family’s front-yard veggie garden. A garden where they were growing food to teach their four young children about urban agriculture. Because of “encroachment on city property.” Instead, Allan Smithies, Manager, Traffic Planning/Right-of-Way Management at City of Toronto thinks that sod (and maybe a few flowers) is the only thing that’s appropriate.
Mr. Smithies, you need to get with the times. Ever heard of the urban agriculture movement? If there was an issue with sight lines at an intersection (blocked by say, tall stalks of corn, for example), I could see having a discussion with the family letting them know that this causes a safety concern and that they should keep lower-growing vegetables in the problem area. But this guy just send them a letter saying the vegetable patch must go, or else. What an ill-informed, head-in-the-sand, Draconian bureaucrat.
I have a mind to write Mr. Smithies a letter of complaint. Thankfully, my raised beds are on my property. I should also note that the other day I noticed another small raised bed on the front lawn of a house one street north of me! In this neighbourhood, I can’t tell you how heart-warming that is. Hope they don’t get a letter from the evil Transportation pencil pushers.