Our Tree Canopy
SAHRA submitted a letter to the Dec 15th City Council meeting supporting the Infrastructure and Environment Committee’s recommendation that the City reaffirm Toronto’s target of 40 percent tree canopy cover by 2050 to align with the City’s TransformTO NetZero Strategy. But we also supported FoNTRA’s requests for additional measures that need to be taken now:
- Actually protect the private trees that are of protected size.
- Strength the Tree Protection By-laws.
- Increase enforcement of existing (and hopefully enhanced) Tree Protection By-laws.
- Increase replacement planting when trees are to be removed.
- Maintain or enhance protection of soft landscaping in the Zoning By-laws.
Review the i-Tree website at https://www.itreetools.org/. iTree calculates the economic worth of urban canopies down to the dollar. A non-profit group called Tree Pittsburgh used i-Tree to determine that the trees planted along sidewalks and medians throughout the city provided $2.4 million worth of environmental and aesthetic value every year. As the city spends only $850,000 a year on street planting, that’s quite a return on investment.
The program is free and very easy to use. It is being used locally in a tree appreciation program with a local elementary school. Use it to calculate the ‘value’ of the trees on your property.
Tips to discourage raccoons and skunks from living in our area
In Toronto, we have an over-population of raccoons and skunks. The attached contains some information/tips on how to discourage the critters from visiting your property.
Tips to discourage raccoons and skunks from living in our area
Upper Avenue Care and Improvements – August 19 2020
The trees on Upper Avenue are also very important for the appearance and enjoyment of the public areas. SAHRA submitted an inventory of 169 trees from Wilson down to Lawrence (both east and west sides) to Councillor Colle and Urban Forestry in Sept, 2019. In Feb, 2020 we did see a Tree Service pruning some of the trees. We submitted today (Aug 19th) an updated inventory to Urban Forestry. The new inventory shows 14 trees on the west side and 30 trees on the east side where either pruning has not been done or more branches have died and need to be pruned. We have been advised that we need to submit 311 requests so we will now start this process for the trees on the east side of Avenue from Joicey down to Brooke.
As of August 18th, we are pleased to report that all the fire hydrants on Upper Avenue have been repainted a fresh, bright yellow.
In the Survey 2020, members commented on the importance of the care/appearance of our Upper Avenue. There are several initiatives underway or in progress to maintain and/or improve the enjoyment of our ‘main street’.
- Back in 2004, arrangements were made with Works & Emergency Services to assign a full-time Bag ‘n Broom person to Upper Avenue. This is still in effect today – you might see our Bag ‘n Broom person going up and down Upper Avenue or you may see the ‘vacuum machine’ being used for the clean-up.
- Back in 2009, after the release of the Avenue Road Avenue Study, Public Realm added a number of the litter bins, benches and bicycle rings on Upper Avenue.
- An inventory of the existing litter bins, benches and bicycle bins from Wilson down to Brooke on both the east and west sides of Avenue Road was done in June, 2020. Requests were submitted to Street Furniture Toronto for additional litter bins, benches and bicycle links based on the current mix of shops and services. The requests are currently being reviewed and we would hope that we would see the new street furniture in the near future.
- The trees on Upper Avenue are also very important for the appearance and enjoyment of the public areas. SAHRA submitted an inventory of 163 trees from Wilson down to Lawrence (both east and west sides) to Councillor Colle and Urban Forestry in Sept, 2019. For each tree, we defined its situation with regards to Suckers (that need to be removed), Dead Wood (a safety hazard) , Weeds at the base, if it is Not Thriving and requires some attention, or if it needs Pruning (low or going over road or roofs) or Bracing (if bent over). Urban Forestry was to review what work needed to be done. In Feb, 2020 we did see a Tree Service pruning some of the trees. We are now working on an updated inventory so that we can determine which trees have not received attention, for resubmission to Urban Forestry.
- In August, 2020 we submitted a request to 311 asking that all the fire hydrants on Upper Avenue (401 down to Lawrence) be repainted as they are all in a very rusty/faded state. Toronto Water is currently reviewing our request.
It’s that time of year when our yards and the street boulevard need a Spring clean. If you could spend some of your ‘outside time’ cleaning up your yard and the boulevard in front of your house, it would make a most pleasant difference to our community. The street cleaning machines aren’t an ‘essential service’ and the annual Community Clean-up in April will have to be cancelled, so it is up to us to clean-up our property/community.
A neighbourhood sense of community has been shown to be linked to so many positives: creating a sense of belonging, providing a physical and mental health boost, and even lowering crime rates. With benefits like these, we should all strive to strengthen our neighbourhood ties.
Here are a number of ideas for building community in our Neighbourhood – Our Neighbourhood Sep 2019
If you have some additional ideas on how to build our community, please send them on to [email protected] and we will add them to the Ideas List.
Inventory of Condition of the Trees on Upper Avenue – update Mar 4, 2020
SAHRA submitted an inventory of the condition of 127 trees on the east and west sides of Avenue road between Joicey down to Lawrence to Councillor Colle’s office in Sept, 2019. This was in turn submitted to Urban Forestry for their review and scheduling of the appropriate pruning. We are pleased to report that pruning was initiated in late February. We look forward to reviewing the results of our hopefully healthier trees in the Spring.
The trees on Avenue Road between Joicey down to Lawrence are in need of some care/attention. There are 64 trees on the West side and 63 on the East side. SAHRA submitted an inventory in Sept, 2019 identifying the location of all trees on both the east and west sides, with a statement of their need for care in terms of removal of suckers, elimination of weeds at the base and/or the need for pruning or elimination of deadwood. The report has been submitted to Councillor Mike Colle for discussion with the appropriate City Departments. We are hoping that the care can be completed this Fall.
Census Profile Information on Bedford Park-Nortown
SAHRA is within the neighbourhood known as Bedford Park-Nortown. It is an affluent neighbourhood located south of the 401, north of Lawrence set between Bathurst to Avenue Rd/Yonge Street. Bedford Park-Nortown is a very family friendly environment. There are park spaces, community centres, access to good public, private and separate schools, excellent shopping, restaurants, TTC accessible and close to major highway routes.
Most of the homes were established between 1890 and 1950. The community began as a farming hamlet, a place where farmers could stop during their travels from farm to market. There is a mix of detached and semi-detached homes; many of the smaller original homes have been recently renovated and replaced by larger custom designs. The lot sizes are generous, the neighbours keep their properties well kept and the community has an abundance of excellent amenities. Although house prices tend to be high; there is a high demand to move in.
Schools: John Wanless (PS), Blessed Sacrament (CS), Bedford Park (PS), Glenview Senior (PS), Lawrence Park Collegiate Institute (PHS), Havergal College (P), Toronto French School (P), Bannockburn School (P), Armour Heights Public School (PS), Ledbury Park Elementary and Middle School (PS), St. Margaret Catholic School (CS) and Loretto Abbey Catholic Secondary School (CSHS).
Green Spaces: Ledbury Park, Brookdale Park, the Toronto Cricket Club and the Don Valley Golf Course.
Community Centres: Armour Heights Community Centre and Ledbury Park Community Centre.
Exits to Highway 401 include Yonge, Avenue and Bathurst, while public transit options include the York Mills subway station and bus lines along Yonge, Bathurst, Avenue, Eglinton, Lawrence and Wilson Avenue.
2016 Preliminary Neighbourhood Census Profile data prepared by the City of Toronto for Bedford Park-Nortown provides some interesting facts and figures.
PDF files follow if this is your preference: