A failed ‘shop local’ marketing plan has turned Roncesvalles into a slippery yellow road.
On the night of Wednesday, December 1, the Roncesvalles Village Business Improvement Area (BIA), as part of its ‘There’s No Place Like Roncy’ holiday shopping campaign, painted a golden path Wizard of Oz type on the Roncesvalles Avenue sidewalk, south of Dundas Street West.
However, with the rainy weather, the water-soluble paint that was used is now washed away. It’s smeared on sidewalks, puddles like lemonade, and gets all over people’s shoes, boots, clothes, the tires of their strollers and bicycles.
Area resident Victoria Meyerink’s rescue pup, Amelia, now has golden paws and a yellow belly.
“I’m going to give him a bath and hope it comes out,” she said toronto.com.
Meyerink lives right next to Roncesvalles. She had gone out with her white dog on Thursday morning to run some errands.
“Everyone is tracking this painting everywhere. …I just think it’s a half-baked idea. It’s good that (the trade association) wanted to do something special on the street, but they should have checked the weather forecast first,” she said.
“It’s definitely a hot yellow mess. … We just had snow. I don’t really know what they were thinking. It’s just ridiculous.
And now, on social networks, many residents are seeing red.
Who thought painting a mile of sidewalk yellow was a good idea, then forgot to check the weather? is it a local gimmick that turned against you? #shoplocal #public spaces #roncevalles #roncevallesBIA #toronto #topolis pic.twitter.com/2XshhoGyKn
—Scott Barker (@scottbarker) December 2, 2021
Scott Barker, who also lives in the area, contacted the BIA to complain.
In an email, the trade association informed him that the sidewalk paint is “non-toxic, safe and approved by the City of Toronto for use on sidewalks.”
The BIA blamed wet weather for the mess.
“Rain, which is of course beyond our control, unfortunately played a part here, and we have crews currently working to clean up any paint that has started to run off the intended path,” they wrote.
“We assure you that this project is being developed with our community in mind, and we are taking every step to create something special for the neighborhood, despite some weather effects.”
The Roncesvalles Village BIA also said the aim of this project was “to bring a creative and artistic approach to exploring our neighborhood this festive season, bringing to life a bright and colorful journey that everyone can follow when he finishes his holiday shopping. We know how important it is that we all continue to shop and support local businesses here in Roncesvalles as we continue to recover from the impact of the pandemic .”
The BIA also suggested Barker clean the paint with a rag or brush with warm water and, if necessary, mix in some detergent.
In an email, Maria-Paula Galia, who handles public relations for the BIA, said the plan was to complete the project and reveal it in full on the morning of Saturday, December 4.
“In a perfect world, dry weather conditions would have allowed the team to paint the entire two-kilometre stretch of sidewalk in one go, but this was not possible and instead small sections of the sidewalk have been painted every day this week We are sorry that the rainy weather caused the paint to bleed this morning but our cleaning crew worked diligently to clean the sidewalk all day As it stands , the campaign is still ongoing and the goal is to reveal the whole project on Saturday morning,” she wrote. We have asked Roncesvalles Village BIA for advice, but have yet to receive a response.
The BIA also tweeted earlier today about the situation and advised people not to worry.
Thank you for registering. The rain comes into play here, but the cleaning crews are there to deal with it. The paint is non-toxic and safe. https://t.co/91pYxMhoxP
— Village of Roncesvalles (@RoncesVillage) December 2, 2021