Tuesday, October 24, 2006


MICHAEL LOUIS JOHNSON, NEW TORONTO - Augusta avenue is buzzing. the
garden got towed. How do you tow a garden? Well, it's a little easier
when it's planted in a car. Since the end of June, there's been one less
parking space in Kensington Market. Streets Are for People. . . planted
the reclaimed junker. . . For months now, the flourishing garden has
been winning the affections of passersby, mothers who showed their
children how to rub the mint or sage and smell their fingers,
butterflies and buzzing bees, tourists posing for photos. Yes, grass can
grow where the violent explosion of pistons once roared. But it seems
the hand-painted licence plate, "Ontario, yours to recover," wouldn't do
for one 14 Division cop, who recently had the green machine ticketed and

The officer was unswayed by the local councilor's endorsement of the
community art project or by a letter from the area supervisor for
parking enforcement, Louis Isaacs, assuring Streets Are for People that
the car wouldn't be towed. Member Yvonne Bambrick got word and
immediately called Isaacs, who caught up with the garden halfway to the
Keele and St. Clair yard. Three hours and $234 later, the garden was
home again, but questions remain. . .

Peter Wong at the Lieza Mart across the street sees the garden car as a
symbol of people power. "Why does every space have to be for cars? The
city needs to breathe." . . . The skaters outside Adrift aren't so
supportive. Aidan Johnston is the first to pipe up. "I hate it." When I
ask why, he can't really say. Virgil chimes in, "It makes me feel like a
bad person for having a car, like you guys are judging me."



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