Last-Minute City Council Decision Saves Toronto’s Oldest Tree

Toronto’s oldest tree, which is believed to be over 250 years old, was about to be axed when…
Last-Minute City Council Decision Saves Toronto’s Oldest Tree

Toronto’s oldest tree, which is believed to be over 250 years old, was about to be axed when the property was purchased by a new homeowner. However, due to a last-minute city vote, the tree will be saved for future generations.

On 26th November 26, the Toronto City Council voted to ensure this mighty oak stays preserved by authorizing the purchase of the property for the creation of a mini-park.

Due to its age, size, cultural importance, and beauty, this huge tree is already seen as a heritage tree under the Heritage Tree Program of Forests Ontario.

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10 years back, a commemorative plaque was unveiled by Heritage Toronto, which captured this great oak’s place in the city’s natural heritage, which reads in part:

The large red oak (Quercus rubra) situated in the backyard of 76 Coral Gable Drive is more than 250 years old, making it one of the oldest in the city. Before Europeans colonized this area, the Humber River branch of the Toronto Carrying Place trail system Opens in new window passed nearby. The tree was part of its delicate savannah ecosystem. This network of trails and portages was used by Indigenous peoples to travel between Lake Simcoe and Lake Ontario and to trade throughout what is now Southern Ontario and beyond. The tree survived European settlement despite logging along the Humber River, clearance of the land for agriculture, and the development of this suburban neighbourhood in the early 1960s. The Coral Gable Drive red oak is a remarkable specimen of its species.

The economic, social, and ecological benefits inherent to preserving and fostering canopy cover are many, which includes reducing fine particulate matter air pollution, providing habitat for wildlife, reducing storm-water runoff, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere and providing a link to the natural history of the area.

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