Toronto has been described as a “city of trees”. This description reflected a civic belief that trees were an amenity that mitigated the impact of intense urban construction. Yet over the years the citizens of Toronto have tolerated “densification”, a policy of current city planners. As buildings grow taller and crowd out to the boundaries of property, trees disappear.
I recall a law school lecture on planning where the lecturer, a downtown Toronto lawyer, explained that it was less expensive for his clients to take down trees and retain him if there were any legal repercussions. In the long run, this was cheaper than engaging in long negotiations with neighbours.
Many developers take a very pragmatic attitude toward trees. They tolerate trees provided they do not limit the scope of construction. Some developers cut down trees as a matter of course, permit or no permit.
Perhaps that attitude continues. How else to explain the most recent confrontation on Chatsworth Avenue where the City Councillor, Karen Stinz, and her neighbours “blockaded” heavy equipment that had cut down border trees?
In the context of global climate change, trees are more than an amenity, they are a necessity. Toronto City Council must act where possible to preserve what we have, and plant for the future.
Come and hear more at our Community Forum!
Thursday, 13 February at 7.30 – 9 pm. Doors open at 7:00
Lawrence Park Community Church, 2180 Bayview at Lawrence
See Events for More Details and on line registration!