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    “It’s a reason to get out of the house. Before, we were just watching the garden from the balconies. And then one day we came out and asked to have one.”

    Gardeners Orig

    Anyone living in an apartment in Ward 33 is welcome to apply for their own plot in The Oriole Community Garden where they can grow their own herbs, vegetables and flowers. The gardeners here come from all over the world and many have only recently arrived in Canada.  On a summer evening you will hear Farsi, Urdu, Arabic, Romanian, Mandarin and Cantonese spoken. You will see people of all ages tending to their yellow beans, cucumbers, mint, fenugreek, tomatoes, chives, green onions, peppers, lettuce and parsley. When you’re in the midst of this garden it’s easy to forget the Don Mills Road traffic streaming by on either side.

    The garden is also a meeting place where people of different backgrounds and different generations spend time together.  “It’s not just a garden.  It’s more than the garden.  It’s the outdoor living room on a Friday night.”  One gardener explained that the garden is a place where women can “sit and talk about our different cities, our different traditions. They talk about their city. I talk about mine. It’s good because I can’t talk to anybody else.” The garden is also a “multi-generational” space.  A young volunteer said, “I meet wise, older people with a lot of experience that always talk to me, give me some life advice.  They look out for me and I’m doing my job by letting them.”  And a group of girls playing in the raspberry patch told us, “We feel like we’ve grown here. We don’t even go to the same school but you can make friends by going to the youth program. It’s a very trusted place.”


    Oriole Garden     Memory Archive