The Lauder Avenue Conservation Area and Botanical Gardens

There’s an abandoned house on my street.  According to my neighbours, it’s been empty for about ten years.  The front yard has grown into a jungle of weeds, some of them extending more than six feet high, and the City has posted violation notices on the front door.  Weed violations:


Many people view it as an eye-sore, a neglected mess.  But it occurred to me recently that the property is really nothing less than a naturalised habitat!  Rather than fretting about the abandoned property, why not embrace it as a neighbourhood treasure?  So I made my own sign and posted it on the yard.  Voila!!

Botanical Gardens

[click image to enlarge]



From neighbourhood shame, to neighbourhood pride.  All for the low cost of $40.



13 responses to “The Lauder Avenue Conservation Area and Botanical Gardens

  1. does it attract bees and butterflies?

  2. What a great idea. Who mounted the image? Looks very professional.

    • Hawkridge Custom Framing! 826 St Clair Ave W.

      • I am a big fan of Hawkridge framing, Dave’s a very talented framer. On this post, really appreciate your creative labelling of a Toronto “garden gone wild”. We need to rethink our over-control of nature and rediscover the beauty of the natural wild.

  3. Great reframe and seeing what is really there with fresh eyes. I believe it is Flint that buys abandoned houses and lots and sells same to a next door neighbour. The neighbour will take care of property with owrnership but not some other persons property. Could the city be moved to buy such a place and sell it to a local rate payer group for a nominal cost? Then people would keep it up (maybe) knowing everyone’s value and values would increase?

  4. I can’t think of a better example of “reframing.” Zay geszundt, Mez.

  5. heidieisenhauer

    Let me know if the fine still holds.. I will send on to

  6. heidieisenhauer

    Also I have native plant seeds if you send me your addy..

  7. This is another example of the use of this bylaw which does not permit things to be more than 20cm tall. How many gardens in your area have things taller than that? I suggest you report all those gardens as well. This antiquated bylaw is from the days when someone did not mow their lawn. Although this is clearly a neglected property, the only real issues are health and safety–are there noxious weeds, does it obscure traffic sight lines? Poor bylaw officers, of which there are few, have to go out and check gardens for anything taller than 20cm if a neighbour complains. If the home owner wants, there is an application for a ‘natural garden’ process, allowing for gardens that are not grass, but subject to a fee of $200 and a promise to keep it ‘maintained’. After you turn in yourself and all your neighbours for having front gardens with things in excess of 20cm, write your councillor and ask why this bylaw is still on the books.

  8. I have to wonder how this neighborhood treasure is affecting the property values of the adjacent dwellings. Something tells me when they try and list their property on MLS as “adjacent to conservation area” they are going to get some funny looks!

  9. This is very forward thinking. Keep up the good fight…and there WILL be one. Overgrow the bylaw! Cheers

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