West Queen West Becomes First Bee City Business in Canada

Shely Candel, Director of Bee City Canada with Rob Sysak, executive Director of WQW and Andrew Roy of Restorative Landscapes

West Queen West Becomes First Bee City Business in Canada

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Bee City Canada is very excited to announce the launch of the Bee City Business program along with a partnership with the West Queen West Business Improvement Association (WQW BIA), the first participant in this new initiative!

The Bee City Business program opens the door to businesses and non-profit organizations wishing to join the growing Bee City family. More importantly, it provides an opportunity for businesses to show that they are socially responsible and committed to taking actions that will help our troubled pollinators.

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West Queen West recently introduced their “Pollinator Paradise” project, creating Toronto’s first bee-friendly streetscape. The strip of Queen street between Bathurst Street and Gladstone Avenue has been lined with large, artfully decorated, concrete planters seeded with a mix of pollinator, edible, and medicinal plants. Several bee hotels have also been installed on 10-foot-high birch poles that have been set in the planters. Work for this project was done with the help of Restorative Landscapes and has received positive reviews from area residents, visitors, local businesses and, quite certainly, Toronto’s pollinators!

Rob Sysak, the Executive Director of the WQW BIA explained why the project became a priority for this community.

“The bee population loss is such a big problem and sometimes it seems overwhelming. People ask themselves; what can I do, I’m just one person? Well, WQW believe that even though we are only a 2-kilometre strip in a large city, if we take care of our area and become a “Pollinator’s Paradise”, we will not only help pollinators but also become an example to others.”

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Planter and bee hotel. Photo by Nick Savva.

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Shelly Candel, the founder of Bee City Canada, agrees and points to this initiative as an example of how businesses can act to help our troubled pollinators. “There’s an opportunity for businesses to take a leadership role to make things better for pollinators. The WQW BIA has found a clever way to do this. They’ve beautified their neighbourhood, making it more attractive to visitors and residents, while also helping pollinators in the city. Visitors to the area love how great everything looks, the business owners fully support the initiative and the bees are happy. It’s truly a win-win scenario!”

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Planters and seating at the corner of Queen and Tecumseth are inviting for area visitors, the local community and pollinators. Photo by Nick Savva.

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