Green Force is head up by an outdoor design/environmental expert and a whole lot of hard working gardeners, all with one goal in mind, to turn unused urban landscapes into usable, sustainable green spaces. We are going to bring green back to the hospices, the subway stations, the daycares, the asphalt parks, the downtown buildings and anywhere else the concrete jungle has taken over.
Our compassionate host/designer, Carson Arthur, will meet the people, find out what’s wrong, assemble an extensive team and take action. We will learn how to design the perfect community garden or how to take a cold lifeless building and transform it into a living organism. One day we will visit a women’s shelter that’s in desperate need of the healing that only nature can bring. Next time we’ll take over a bus station that wants to trade its concrete and brick for a living wall and a water fountain. All of these scenarios involve how and why a design works and how to implement the design so that it is environmentally friendly and sustainable.
Episode 1 – Art Galleries
The new hot spot for the “in” crowd, in Toronto, is Ossington Street. its home to new art galleries, coffee houses, restaurants and rising property values, but it still needs a lot of work. This is where Green Force comes in along with a trusty sidekick, the students of OCAD.
Episode 2 – Blake B
Located in the high density, neighborhood of Jones and Gerrard is the Blake Boultbee Youth Outreach Centre. This centre sees 20 – 40 teenage kids daily and provides services such as, intensive counseling. Green Force wants to help out this not for profit centre by transforming their rundown backyard into an outdoor therapy garden.
Episode 3. Community Garden
Located in the middle of Don Mills Road and Sheppard Avenue lives a little community green space called the Peanut surrounded by high-rise building, consisting of nothing but weedy grass, a few trees and an Anglican church.This is where Carson and his Green Force team come in and gives this garden a much-needed makeover.
Episode 4 – Dog Playground
Located in the upper beaches area of Toronto there is a state of the art doggie daycare, called The Wagging Tail. Carson Arthur and his Green Force team comes in and helps this community based doggy daycare create an outdoor dog playground that is in keeping with the inside.
Episode 5 – Factory Theatre
Located at the busy downtown intersection of Bathurst and Adelaide lives a truly neighborhood playhouse called The Factory Theatre. It’s a local community theatre that has been producing Canadian plays and cultivating homegrown playwrights for 37 years and is home to several large festivals that generate well over 45,000 patrons a year. Outside of this playhouse lays a pebble laden courtyard which has been described as, “The largest ashtray in the world.”
Episode 6 – Indoor Garden
Located underneath one of Toronto’s most prestigious hotels and at the beginning of the Toronto PATH system exists a space that commuters and local business employees call “the dead zone”. It’s an area that is screaming out for some usable indoor green space like an indoor garden. Watch Carson and his Green Force team design and build the perfect outdoor garden, indoors. Carson is going to install two indoor water features that would be perfect in any home. He is going to plant tons of tropical plants just because he can (the temperature never drops below 68 degrees).
Episode 7 – Mindwerx
Mindwerx for Kids is a newly created daycare geared towards children with fine and gross motor skill difficulties. The problem is that the daycare ran out of money as they were finishing off the inside of the building, which left them with an outside comprised of weedy grass, oil stained asphalt and absolutely no shade. Not a conducive atmosphere for the toddlers to play or learn in. So it’s Green Force to the rescue as they rid the world of yet another patch of asphalt.
Episode 8 – Native Centre
The Native Child and Family Services of Toronto (NCFST) bought a house on the corner of Kingston Road and Galloway to address the needs of the large First Nation’s population mostly living in subsidized housing in the local area. In June of this year, the agency purchased a second house that is joined in the back yard to the house they presently run services out of. The problem is that the 2 back yards combine for 3,170 sq. ft. of pure asphalt.
Episode 9 – Pigeon Park
Located in downtown Toronto north of Gerrard Street and east of Parliament Street is one of Toronto’s original downtown neighbourhoods, called Cabbagetown. There is a small triangle of land named Anniversary Park, which acts as the gateway to Cabbagetown, and unfortunately this park has become extremely neglected and overrun with undesirable characters.
Episode 10 – Senior’s Home
Fellowship Towers is located on Yonge Street just north of Bloor Street and is a not for profit senior’s residence and drop in centre. It houses over 250 senior citizens and serves as a gathering place for hundreds more. The problem is that this tower is right in the middle of the concrete jungle known as downtown Toronto. There is no green space close by and in the winter it is too risky for these old people to walk to the closest park.
Episode 11 – St. Clarens
At the corner of Dupont and St. Clarens lives an unsightly strip of land surrounded by newly developed high-rises, businesses and lots of traffic. Due to long-term neglect this patch of concrete has become a problem area at night not to mention an eyesore to the neighborhood and commuters passing by. One neighbourhood resident has described it as “quite possibly the ugliest corner in North America”.
Episode 12 – Trinity Triangle
Toronto like all major cities in the world is working towards increasing urban green space to help combat growing green gas emissions. So Green Force is doing it’s part as it takes over a barren traffic triangle located in downtown Toronto and turns it into a beautifully designed garden, complete with hundreds of low maintenance plants, several large scale arbours and custom built houses for birds, butterflies and bats.