U of T landscaper gives us the dirt
by Eileen Brine
As a groundskeeper at U of T, it is my task to make spaces inviting and pleasing to the senses. After all, who wants to live or study on an ugly campus? The Lash-Miller Davenport Garden is one of the grounds I keep, and is a spectacular example of ingenuity, teamwork, and creativity. When I first started working here this space was a concrete pad, uninhabited and neglected except for the underground parking lot it covered.
Today this space is rich with hundreds of daylilies, grasses, coral colored shrubs in the fall, delicate birch trees, and a water fountain that jets up into the sky. Further on, a bridge now connects Physics and Chemistry, providing a shortcut between classes. This once desolate place is full of life and activity - students now come to study and relax on this erstwhile concrete slab.
In the same vein, the Spadina Circle houses a historical medical research building. While working outside there, I often encounter visitors from all over the world, map in hand, asking, “Is this the Casa Loma?” The impression one gets from the exquisite architectural design, the lush carpet of grass surrounding the variety of trees, and the striking rose gardens explains this honest mistake. But it is the hundreds of people passing by every week and their looks of admiration that make my job an inspiration. When you stop to smell the roses that we have planted, may you continue to envision all that is possible in U of T’s many corners. Dare to dream landscapes.