ash, black locust, Broadview, Don Mills United Church, East York, Hassard, LEAF, Leigh Davidson, linden, Manitoba maple, Margaret McRae, Mary Fragedakis, MoreTrees29, mulberry, Norway maple, O'Connor, oak, Pape, red maple, red oak, Robyn Stewart, Siberian elm, silver maple, Stanhope, Taylor, Torrens, tree tour, Ward 29, white oak, William Burgess, Woodville
On Sunday, July 27, approximately 100 people gathered at the corner of Torrens and Broadview avenues for the Old East York Tree Tour. This tour was conducted by Robyn Stewart from LEAF and Leigh Davidson from MoreTrees29. The tour was supported by Ward 29 Councillor, Mary Fragedakis. (Click on any photo to see a larger version.)
A homeowner on Torrens encouraged our group to help themselves to the apricots on his tree.
A bit further east along Torrens we stopped at a very old and healthy elm tree.
Our next stop was at a home located at 54 Torrens Avenue. The home located here had a very large mature silver maple on its property.
On the boulevard, the City has planted a Norway maple tree, which will grow and mature to eventually replace the silver maple as its life comes to an end.
We then turned left onto a laneway that runs north to Woodville Avenue. The laneway is just west of Pape Avenue and Robyn showed us a Manitoba maple growing beside a garage. The Manitoba maple is a hardy and fast-growing tree that produces heavy seeds that offer food for urban wildlife.
Also in the laneway was an example of an invasive species of tree called “tree of heaven” which was the basis for the book “A Tree Grows In Brooklyn.” Examples of ragweed, garlic mustard and other invasive weeds were also present in this laneway.
We proceeded east along Woodville, crossed Pape Avenue and entered the schoolyard of William Burgess Public School, which was originally known as the Todmorden New School in 1914.
Leigh and Robyn told us about the emerald ash tree located in the schoolyard. This particular tree was tagged and has been sprayed for the ash borer, which has affected a considerable number of ash trees in Toronto.
Next door to the Legion on Woodville is a honey locust tree.
Just north of the Legion on Pape Avenue is an enormous heritage oak tree.
We continued north on Pape Avenue to O’Connor and headed west on O’Connor to Don Mills United Church. The graveyard at Don Mills United contains the graves of many of the early settlers of this area, including members of the Taylor, Smith, Skinner and Helliwell families.
Located in the cemetery is a black locust tree bordering Stanhope Avenue.
This tree is planted on the boulevard outside the cemetery. Due to the lack of mulch at its base, the tree is sustaining damage from either lawnmowers or weed wackers.
Just a bit north at 7 Stanhope Avenue is this massive red oak tree. It provides shade for not only the homeowner’s property, but also for his neighbours on each side. This tree probably dates back to early European settlement in the area.
We headed south on Stanhope to O’Connor and then west to Hassard Avenue. Hassard contains several workers’ cottages that remain in good condition today. The homes at #9, 11 and 13 were built by George Taylor for some of the Taylor mills’ important workers and their families.
We continued south on Hassard Avenue and then turned west onto Woodville Avenue. In Livingston Park there is a Siberian elm tree that suffered damage from the ice storm last winter. Its leaf growth now appears as pom poms!
Continuing along Woodville, we turned south on Broadview Avenue to number 1253, which is the home of Margaret McRae. Margaret’s front garden has been planted to support butterflies.
Our tour ended where it began at Torrens Avenue. It was a great day and I learned so much about the importance of tree planting and the need for us all to develop the street tree canopy in Toronto.
Many thanks to Robyn, Leigh and Mary for a spectacular afternoon in East York.