Toronto’s Urban Forest Canopy is so good to us, but we’re currently losing more trees than are being planted. Trees help reduce the urban heat island effect, they provide shade so we can use less air conditioning, help prevent global warming by sequestering CO2, make Kyoto Protocol targets attainable, look great, provide habitat, prevent erosion, contribute to biodiversity, mitigate urban storm water runoff, and make neighbourhoods beautiful. Recent studies have proven that they even reduce crime. Need I go on? Time to get planting!
We are lucky in Toronto to have organizations that help with our City’s beautification. Trees that would normally run between $350-$600, with planting that could set you back an additional $200, are being heavily subsidized for city residents.
A local non-profit group LEAF is offering backyard tree planting in Toronto for the reduced cost of about $80-$130. This is amazing. LEAF is dedicated to improving Toronto’s urban forest, so if your backyard could also use a little sprucing up (pardon the pun) then you should contact them at:
LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests)
Subsidized trees for your yard
T 416 413 9244
LEAF’s service includes on-site advice on appropriate species and planting location, a 1.2 to 1.8m tall native tree, and the planting service. Native shrubs are also available.
If are interested in planning a tree on your front lawn you can get a free tree from the City of Toronto. Urban Forestry Services plants trees on City owned street allowances fronting residential properties for free.
City of Toronto Urban Forestry Services
Free tree for your front lawn
T 416 338 8733
Thanks to our local tree-hugger Alissa for pointing out these great resources! I recently planted two trees and have to say that they make me happy every day.
One of the reasons I love living in Toronto at this particular time is the growing energy going into making the city a truly great place to live. There’s an increasing interest amongst everyday citizens in civic issues: topics like housing, transit, streetscapes, art, outdoor life, pollution, and economic vitality are fast becoming part of everyone’s sphere of interest. And just as importantly, there’s an increasing willingness and capacity to change things. Unlike many other cities I’ve visited, Toronto is a place where you can actually change the way the city works, and accomplish it in your lifetime. It’s a huge reason to live here.
If this line of thinking resonates with you, and you’ve been seeking ways to get more engaged within the city, there is a program you need to know about: The City of Toronto is launching the “Urban Fellows Program“, an initiative aimed at attracting new high caliber professionals to the Toronto Public Service.
As I understand it, it’s one half boot-camp, one half incubator for smart people who want to make the city better. Participants get “an intensive introduction to the governance, operations and administration of Canada’s largest city through a combination of full-time work experience and participation in a series of seminars, tours and workshops.”
The program is one year long, with two six-month rotations in city positions. They’re seeking Masters – and Ph.D.-level experience, although that doesn’t seem to be an absolute requirement… I read it as, “we want whip-smart, well-educated people who are fired up about making the city better”. There are a limited number of positions. And it’s paid: the salary is almost $62K, some serious cash.
I love this concept, and I hope they net some really great thinkers. Applications are due May 30, and the first cohort starts this September. Please help spread the word.
This post is also cross-posted on MyOwnPirateRadio.
 I readily admit to being biased by the people I surround myself with.