Trees and the city

Today's blog is inspired by an article in the Toronto Star ( about trees being cut down in and around Regent Park in order to make room for the new development and restoration of that area.  Let me start by saying that the work being done in Regent Park is long overdue and I sincerely hope that it makes the difference that city council (and anyone who lives in that neighbourhood) hopes it will.  Having said that it is a little hard to imagine almost 1600 trees being felled in one neighbourhood alone even if they are replacing each and every tree with a new sapling!

My neighbour is also in the process of erecting an extension to her house, luckily for me one of our shared concerns when she started in on this project was that the trees along our two properties be protected from any construction going on.

For a lot of people this may not be the case and that is at least partially why in 2006 the city of Toronto adopted a 'green policy' regarding trees stating:

"The City of Toronto has implemented by-laws to protect trees on both public and private lands in recognition of the multitude of social, economic and environmental benefits trees provide and as a means of protecting and enhancing the City's natural heritage. Through its Official Plan policies and various tree protection by-laws, the City of Toronto has demonstrated its desire and intent to protect healthy trees. In particular, the City recognizes that long-lived, large-growing, tree species are an important component of a healthy, diverse urban forest. These trees are, therefore, regarded and recognized as a priority for protection and staff will work in communities to encourage responsible development that protects these and other significant trees."

So what did this mean?  Simply put any tree measured 1.4m above the ground that has a diameter of 30cm or more are regulated from being harmed.  One cannot cut down any tree this size, nor can they dig a hole in the ground or store heavy materials anywhere near its roots.  Before I start sounding like an employee of the Urban Forestry Services let me come to my point.  Trees are and should be protected in this city.  They are great for the environment and they add a level of Canadian friendliness to the city that we should be proud of. 

Here is another reason to take care of your trees (and for some equally as compelling); they add to the overall resale value of your neighbourhood.  One only has to take a drive through Cabbagetown, Rosedale, Riverdale, Leslieville or High Park to see that some of the highest performing streets in these high demand areas are covered with beautiful old trees.  Think of taking care of trees as a way of adding resale value to your property much like you would when adding a front porch or installing a new front door!

If you have any questions or concerns regarding the health of your trees check out the City Of Toronto's website at

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