'Let your imagination run wild': Toronto parking alley transformed into backyard oasis
TORONTO -- Desperate for an outdoor space for their kids to play, a group of neighbours teamed up to transform their Toronto parking alley into a backyard oasis during the COVID-19 pandemic, complete with an outdoor movie theatre and yoga lessons.
Jesse Goldfarb, corporate plant designer, enlisted the help of his neighbours to transform the concrete parking alley into a more livable area where kids and adults could hang out while physically distancing.
“We started with Kijiji finds. We were looking for things that would make it enjoyable for our two-year-old, the neighbour’s four-year-old and my daughter who is eight,” Goldfarb told CTV’s Your Morning Monday.
“We found some pretty good stuff and gave it a good COVID wash.”
What started as a simple space with a kids table, pool and a few toys soon evolved to include potted plants and flowers, a makeshift movie theatre, and a large roll of artificial grass to create a true backyard feel.
“Everyone pitched in, contributing items and elbow grease to make the space more and more fun,” Goldfarb recounted in a recent Instagram post.
“We love our neighbors [sic] and the sense of community that’s developed out of these weird circumstances. Anything can happen when you band together and let your imagination run wild!”
Speaking to CTV’s Your Morning, Goldfarb said the backyard oasis has not only transformed his family’s living space, but their entire pandemic experience.
“We [knew our neighbours], but we didn’t really interact with them. Everybody gets up, gets in their car and leaves the space,” he said. “This was a parking space for about four cars. But since COVID we’ve all… come together as a group of people and made it our own.”
Goldfarb’s neighbour, a yoga instructor, has even begun hosting family yoga lessons there.
The group has plans to make the space even more elaborate, with the expected arrival of an overhead misting system to beat the Toronto heat and hopes to build an enclosed netting system for future soccer games.