Did you ever have a festival taking place in your neighborhood? Perhaps certain aspects, such as noise, loud music, crowds or even traffic interruptions bother you.
To clarify the local residents’ point of view in this matter, we spoke to Katheryn Money, volunteer at Friends Of Trinity Bellwoods – a group that looks after the interests of the local community.
Milénio Stadium: How does the community feel about the street festivals that happen around the area?
Katheryn Money: I can only speak for the Friends of Trinity Bellwoods when I say that our group fully supports the development of a vibrant community and using public parks and space for the betterment of the community, including developing programming which celebrates the community ‘flavours’.
MS: What would you say that are the pros and cons of having street festivals being held in the area?
KM: Street festivals are a known in the downtown area, and I think you’d find most local residents are in support. Downtown residents are typically transit users, plugged into local networks so know things are happening. The biggest challenge is figuring out your commute when something un-planned disrupts something on the streetcar lane, and there’s no sign at your stop telling you clearly what your options are. But that’s not part of the street festival issue, more of a TTC communication issue. Also, street festivals provide a safe destination, a chance for local vendors to stretch their marketing reach, and a chance for residents to sample different neighbourhoods as well as different cultures in Toronto.
MS: Would you say that there are more positive or negative aspects?
KM: In keeping with the Friend’s mandate of celebrating culture in public spaces, I’d have to say there’s more pros than cons. Personally, I’m also in support. As a non-driver, the challenge of avoiding a small congestion in the downtown core is easy to do and worth it. And the fun of walking my bike through as I get to see the sights is a highlight of summer for me. I love coming around a corner and running into the marching band of the church at Bathurst and Wellington once a year, Momo Walks, DoWest, etc and always scout it out for the TinyToms truck in case they also got a spot.
MS: Has the group Friends of Trinity Bellwoods involved in the organization of some of these festivals? If not, would you like to be involved?
KM: The Friend’s mandate ends in the park, so we’re often not involved. However, we’re happy to support our BIA and work in partnership with them to offer the park as a location for summer events as well.