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Awesome CSI funds Community Canoe Gardens because...its awesome

By Heather Laird, Dean of Awesome

Awesome CSIAwesome CSI is jolly well pleased to announce the newest winner of our $1,000 grant: Aidan Dahlin Nolan, who is going to kick start a pretty amazing canoe-project here in Toronto. Aidan’s ambitious plan includes establishing a network of “Community Canoe Gardens” that will use “retired” canoes as planters to create a pollinator corridor along the Garrison Creek, and establishing a canoe sharing system along Toronto Harbour to bring more people into contact with the water. 

We chose Aidan’s project because of its potential, and because it otherwise may not have happened. Aidan’s project aims to save bees, rally people to think about and care for their neighbourhoods differently, and re-tell the history of Toronto. It will model something that could work elsewhere in the city if it succeeds for Garrison Creek. Finally, we chose this project because the money is really needed and the scheme is far-fetched enough to need early support from Awesomers.

In Aidan’s words: “The Community Canoe Project is a ‘park service’ of the Homegrown National Park Initiative being led by the David Suzuki Foundation.  It is devoted to making Toronto North America’s most canoeable city.  Through our developing Community Canoe Garden Network, we are evoking Toronto’s ecological history as a city built on top of creeks, streams, and gullies that were once vibrant wetland habitats. And as we use old canoes as planters to bring some of this habitat back to life through the creation of a community maintained pollinator corridor throughout the watershed of the old Garrison Creek, we are also working with canoe clubs and paddling organizations to bring people into more frequent contact with the waters along Toronto’s shoreline.  We want to create a Community Canoe Network, similar to bixi, but at a fraction of the cost as the infrastructure is already in place.  We would like to thank Awesome CSI for helping to make these dreams of a canoeable city - lined with ecologically vibrant habitats - more possible.”

Thanks Aidan, wishing you awesomeness! The next pitch session will be in September, so get your awesome juices flowing. If you're thinking of applying for our next round, the Awesome Foundation site ( is a great place to get inspired and get a feel for what Awesome CSI is up to. To submit your awesome idea, go to