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St. Leonard's Society

Project type: 
Community Initiatives Green Funds

Fall 2006

Good things are happening at the southeast corner of Dundas and Colborne Street in downtown London. Inside, a former grocery store has been transformed into the new home of St. Leonard’s Society of London, an organization that provides services for youth involved in the criminal justice system. The centre celebrated its grand opening at the end of October 2006.

Outside, an empty grassy lawn with a dying tree has been transformed into beautifully landscaped space built by community partnerships. St. Leonard’s teamed up with ReForest London, the City of London, and Fanshawe College to create this downtown space.

Students in Fanshawe College’s Integrated Land Planning program prepared a design for the site and the landscape design students constructed the central focal point. This feature includes a long retaining wall of decorative stone, decorative pillars and a garden of native shrubs and flowering perennials at the corner of Dundas and Colborne. Professors Darcy Decaluwe and Ron Koudys have been working with an enthusiastic team of students who are excited about making a positive contribution to this neighbourhood.

Sixteen native trees have been planted along Dundas and Colborne Streets. Sugar maple, hackberry, and serviceberry trees now fill this once empty lawn. The trees were installed by the City of London and ReForest London.

Perhaps the most eye-catching addition to the space is a sculpture carved from a tree trunk. Local artist Robbin Wenzoski has carved an 8 metre trunk of a tree into a stairway with open doors and windows leading to a hand holding a sphere, a vision of the hope and progress being made by the young people involved in St. Leonard’s.


The lawn before, from the corner of Dundas and Colborne.


The lawn before, looking down Colbourne street toward Dundas.


Students from Fanshawe College’s Integrated Land Planning program planned the design and created a stone wall in front of the building.