though, resulting in the foundation distributing more than 30,000 milkweed plants and a half-million seeds. Milkweed mania spread throughout the rest of the monarch’s northern range, from eastern Manitoba to the Maritimes, with countless groups and individuals adding milkweed and other butterfly-friendly plants to gardens, schoolyards, parks and roadsides.
Volunteer “rangers” with the foundation’s Butterflyway Project have found particularly creative ways to add butterflyfriendly habitat. They’ve planted neighbourhood networks of “canoe gardens” filled with native wildflowers, hosted fun musical parades and filled laneways with colourful butterfly-inspired murals by local street artists. City governments have also taken flight. Markham became the first monarchfriendly city in Canada. Toronto became the largest city in North America to sign the Mayors’ Monarch Pledge, while also adopting one of Canada’s most ambitious pollinator strategies. More than a dozen Ontario communities and nine municipalities have all joined the growing movement to bring monarchs back.
Milkweed can now be found in many garden centres and nurseries in Toronto and elsewhere, and an Plant your milkweed indoors in December. Transfer outdoors after the last frost.