This should be invisible

My Street Has No Trees

Toronto bike posts turned into plant-based street art

It's the smallest of interventions, but sometimes those are the best kind — especially when it comes to street art. Over the last month or so, you might have noticed mini planters adorning Toronto's ring and post bike stands. Crafted out of a Gatorade or Vitamin Water bottle, these impromptu micro gardens are all part of an initiative called My Street Has No Trees.

Dreamed up by Hayley Imerman and Angel Chen back in spring, on the surface the project has a relatively simple goal: to brighten up streets that are otherwise lacking in natural vegetation. The installations do accomplish this, of course, but there's also a little more to it than that.

Street No Trees

"My Street Has No Trees (MSHNT) is a public and participatory installation that utilizes the vestigial design of Toronto's Post and Ring bike stands as armatures for micro-gardens," reads a note on the project's website. "The intent of the project is to raise awareness about the imbalance between the hardscapes and softscapes of our streets, to encourage people to think critically about the transformative possibilities of our everyday environments, and to increase the beauty and joy of our neighbourhoods."

That last part sounds like a goal most people could get behind. So far I've noticed planters on Dundas West and along King West near David Pecaut Square. Recent additions include an orange ribbon in honour of Jack Layton and his work to bring Toronto the bike locks that serve as the site for each installation.

Here's the best part. You can make your own! In keeping with the participatory nature of the idea, there are instructions (click on participate) on how to fashion the planter and what plants are most likely to survive. So far I know that Blacksmith Cycle got involved by sponsoring a planting and installation session, so we might be seeing more of these if the idea catches on.

Additional Photos:

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Final image by Ian Muttoo. Prior images from the My Street Has No Trees website.


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