Humber River clean up attracts volunteers

Sep 15, 2014 | News

By Jordan Burton

One of Toronto’s most historic landmarks received a much-needed makeover Monday with the fourth annual river clean up.

Surrounded by Canada’s largest city, the Humber River is a hidden gem that flows through the west end. However as the city has grown, the river has begun to be used for waste disposal as much as it has for leisure activities.

“It’s a national historic site, it’s where Toronto began,” said Rick Crawford, owner of Rid-Of-It which founded the event four years ago.

“I’m a kayaker, so seeing all this something dawned on me. I have the staff, I have the trucks and I have the motivation, let’s do it.”

An estimated two-dozen volunteers lent a helping hand on land, while a few more used canoes on the river.

For a native of the area such as Crawford the motivation for the clean up is logical, but with the event now in its fourth year, volunteers are coming from all ends of the city lend a helping hand.

“We really think that it’s important to give back, and what better way to do it than in our own community,” said Erica Adelson, a volunteer cleaner who brought her company Contiki Group out to help contribute to the cause.

In 2013, over two thousand pounds of trash was removed from the river, and today almost a dozen bags have already been filled in the first few hours of the cleanup.

“All the help is so appreciated, I mean it’s a Monday. People have things to do,” said Jessica Herrera, an employee of Rid-Of-It.

“The amount of volunteers have definitely grown from last year and everyone is so helpful,” she said.

While events like this help the environment and city alike, preemptive measures like making better choices on a daily basis can be even more helpful, says Crawford.

“I think people need to be aware of how they dispose of their garbage,” he said.