Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Live Green Toronto Festival, 2012

Toronto, ON

***This article was written by TransitHub, an interections-based app for exploring the city***

Last week, the TransitHub crew posted an article outlining nine different festivals that were happening over the July 21-22nd weekend—a true testament to Toronto’s busy summer buzz. With so many events to choose from, it was a great weekend to explore the city!

It can be hard to pick which festival to attend, but given that I was already in the area, the Live Green Toronto Festival was the obvious choice for me. If you missed this lively outdoor exhibit, don’t you worry—read on, and see what was going on last Saturday at #YongeDundas Square!

#YongeDundas Square, looking north

Saturday’s festival was organized by Live Green Toronto, a city-run environmental taskforce which has been hosting this festival since 2006. Every year, LGT organizes a get-together for all of Toronto’s green businesses, developers, not-for-profit organizations, and—of course—enthusiasts; from what I hear, it’s only getting better and better! It was great to see Yonge St. turned into a pedestrian-friendly area between Dundas and Queen. As you can see, the turnout was great, and the streets were full of people having a jolly ol’ time! Exploring #YongeDundas from an unhurried, pedestrian perspective was rather fantastic; when you take the time to really check it out, this busy hub proves strange, beautiful, and unlike any other part of the city.

#YongeDundas Square festivities

The famous square itself was full of activity. There was music on the main stage, a good number of food & beverage vendors, and even various booths showcasing Toronto’s city services. It was a great place to spend a Saturday afternoon, and to explore what Toronto’s green scene has to offer.

Something for the family

As usual, there was even something for the young’uns. Kids got the opportunity to paint, play with worms & dirt, watch a reptile show, and attend various family-friendly presentations.

#YongeDundas Square, looking south

The Green Street Market provided visitors with a chance to buy some from some of their favourite eco-conscious brands, and to discover new ones at promotion prices. Shoppers could find everything from soaps and jewellery to solar panels and eco-friendly bottles.

Truly Local, creative entrepreneurs

The festival is a great venue for small businesses to reach their target audience. Truly Local, a Toronto-based business didn’t even need a booth—they simply walked around wearing their product, and talking with people about the benefits of home-gardening. Festivals like this provide a very necessary platform for the eco-entrepreneur, and serve as a place to exchange ideas & meet interesting people!

Back to the Roots, ideas from abroad

Other vendors found the festival useful for expanding into new territory. Back to the Roots, a California-based company was busy building local hype in preparation for their products’ introduction to Loblaws Supermarkets. Home-grown oyster mushrooms!? I’ll definitely be on the look-out for these!

Environmental Defence, something to consider

Last, but not least, the festival functions as a place for not-for-profit organizations to make themselves heard. There were all sorts of eye-catching posters on display, and many had important messages to convey. I had some inspiring conversations with people from Environmental Defence, Cultivate Toronto, Fatal Light Awareness Program (FLAP), Sustainable TO, and a couple other green groups. Over all, it was a great festival, and I learned quite a bit!

How was your weekend, TransitHubbers? Did you catch any festivals? Share your experiences in the comments below!