Fleurs de Villes’ inaugural Toronto floral trail bloomed in August in the lush Bloor Yorkville neighbourhood. Stretching from Charles Street in the East to Avenue Road in the West, this lively area is treasured as the heartbeat of the city. Here, you’ll find the luxurious Yorkville Village, iconic department stores, chic global boutiques (and the city’s brand new Eataly food emporium) along the famous “Mink Mile” … and for five days in early August, more than 30 floral installations for Fleurs de Villes.
Flowers festooned doorways, decorated swings, packed cars and covered dramatic mannequins in key spots throughout the area. “Fleurs de Villes added an uplifting pulse to the heart of the city,” says Briar de Lange Executive Director of the Bloor Yorkville Business Improvement Area (BIA). “They felt like a sign of hope.”
The timing couldn’t have been better, noted de Lange. The city had only just moved into phase 3 of loosened COVID restrictions and the floral trail was one of the only events happening in a city starved for colour and celebration. “The tour spread joy across the area, and in a smart socially distanced manner that made people feel comfortable. It gave everyone a lift and we all needed that this summer.” The mix of indoor and outdoor highlights encouraged traffic to flow throughout the neighbourhood which gave customers an opportunity to discover new shops and stop by forgotten favourites. Indoors, masked customers posed for flower selfies. Outdoors, their bubbles admired the profusion of flowers on swings and doorways. Cameras from the city’s morning shows and news programs competed with selfie sticks from customers clutching their maps of the installation.
Citing her favourite exhibit - an explosion of flowers under the hood of a sexy Alfa Romeo in a Yorkville courtyard (created by Flowers by Kata) – de Lange described the creative challenge the florists were given as “thought provoking and incredibly complex. It represented a brief moment of time in art.”
“Flowers make people happy,” says de Lange, echoing Fleurs de Villes philosophy. She’s already looking forward to next year’s Fleurs de Villes trail in May, an annual event that her neighbours will be marking on their calendar.