City makes settlement agreement with Builder
A builder applied to have an oversized house built on an undersized lot. The oversized house would require the Black Barn Maple of Long Branch to be destroyed. The builder took their application to the Committee of Adjustment (COA) who approved it and then the City and the neighbourhood appealed it to the Toronto Area Local Appeal Board (TLAB). The City originally objected to the tree’s removal both at the COA and TLAB. Then withdrew from the TLAB hearing the morning of the first day of the hearing. They with drew their tree arborist from the hearing and said they no longer objected to this 160 year old tree removal. The City said they had reached a settlement with the builder ( numbered company). The neithbourhood has been left to defend this iconic tree on their own. After pulling, the public were first told that that it was “ as of right “ which it is not. Now they are being told it is under litigation, cannot be discussed and are being deflected to the City’s Lawyer. The City has the authority to protect this tree through a motion of Council as a protected tree. If the City waits and does not take action now it will be too late.
Long Branch has lost 43% of it’s tree canopy
Long Branch’s Tree Canopy has dropped from 27% in 2009 to 15% in 2018. Long Branch has lost more of it’s tree canopy than any other neighbourhood in Ward 3 ( Etobicoke Lakeshore ). Study was done by UofT Forestry. If the City of Toronto will not save Long Branch’s oldest, largest and most historic tree what will they save.
An application to build two oversized houses on two undersized lot at 36 Ash Cres. Will be heard by the Committee of Adjustments on April 27th. The tree is close to the property line on number 42 Ash. If is approved the Heritage tree at 42 Ash Cres. will lose at least half its roots and half its tree canopy.It will die. This will also set a precedent that no tree in Toronto is safe, no matter it’s size or even if it is a Historical Tree. This Silver Maple is only one of four trees in Long Branch that has been recognized an Historical Tree by Forest Ontario. Over 100 years old, an old growth tree from the original urban forest that covered Long Branch when it was developed back in the 1920. Back in the early 1900’s Long Branch was originally promoted as “Close to Nature and close to the City”, still the most notable physical characteristic of the neighbourhood. Almost all of Toronto’s Urban Forest policy’s are being tested with this application. The City’s Official Plan on urban forest, Every Tree Counts, Green City, Nature Matters to Health, Long Branch Character Guidelines Tree Protection and even the City’s target of a 40% tree canopy by 2050. If approved no tree in Toronto will be safe. The Official Plan states the urban forest should not be “compromised” by development pressures. The City of Toronto Strategic Forest Management Plan has established a target to grow the tree canopy in the City to 40%. This target is not achievable without the preservation of large canopy trees. The destruction of this tree is in violation of City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapters 813. This tree can not be replaced by planting any number of new trees, not in this generation. This application goes to the heart of Toronto’s urban forest policy, if approved Toronto’s tree policy is put aside and it is development over trees. Because of recent Provincial changes to the Planning Act if the builder wins this application it cannot be appealed.
What can you do: Send a letter of objection to the Committee of Adjustments saying you want this application for 36 Ash Cres to be refused. The precedent that Heritage Trees are not protected is not acceptable and the destruction of Toronto’s Tree canopy cannot continue.
Email your objections to email@example.com for COA meeting April 27th, 36 Ash Cres. File B0018/22EYK, A0460/22ETK, A0219/22ETK. Send no later than 4:30 pm April 20th. Also contact your City Council member (Etobicoke-Lakeshore is Amber Morley at firstname.lastname@example.org ) and let them know of your objection. Also let you friends and neighbours know. We need as many letters of objection as possible.
City Council is looking at reaffirming Toronto’s target of a 40% tree canopy cover by 2050 (IE26.6 for vote by Council in 2022). Included in the motion is an official arboreal emblem, tree planting and support canopy expansion on private land. All fine and good but the City has been expanding the as-of-right removal of mature and growing trees at an exponential rate.Using the Long Branch Neighbourhood as an example. The move to allow Garden Suites will result in the as-of-right removal of old growth and what was protected trees in most of Long Branch. Green space will be paved over giving no where for new trees to be planted. The proposed OPA 544 will again expand the as-of-right removal of trees in order to dramatical increase density targets. It will also result in large oversized houses on undersized lots at prices that only the well to do or rich can afford (starting at $1.7 million to over $3. Million is not affordable housing).. The removal of 14 plus trees on City property on Dwight Ave to make way for a side walk that no body wants is another example. The whole idea of forcing the removal of almost all trees in West Long Branch for a “Major Transit Station Area” on and right beside a flood plane is not increasing the tree canopy. Have we forgot Hurricane Hazel. Long Branch is one of Toronto’s oldest neighbourhoods going back to the 1870 as the Cities cottage area. Long Branch is known for it’s trees since it started yet in the last nine years it’s tree canopy has gone from 27% to 15% and will be heading for below 10%. South Long Branch has been experiencing significantly more flooding in the last 5 to 8 years (flood insurance is harder to get). With the continued expansion by the City of as-of-right tree removal Long Branch has no hope of hitting a 40% tree canopy by 2050 or ever. Giving lip service to the tree canopy is one thing actually doing something is another. Expanding as-of-right tree destruction first and then figuring out how we are going to grow the tree canopy is not planning. Toronto’s as-of-right tree removal has to come to an end and real tree protection has to be put in place before any Garden Suites, OPA 544, Transit Station Areas. Replacing a mature tree with a sapling will not make up for Tree canopy loss by 2050. Flood Impact Studies have to be done on Neighbourhoods before the next big one hits. Toronto has done a good job of identifying all the benefits of trees but has done little to protect them. Long Branch is a case study of everything going in the wrong direction and it will lead to a natural disaster eventually.
The City originally objected to the tree’s removal then withdrew their objection to have this 160 year old tree destroyed. The City says they have reached a settlement with the Applicant/owner (numbered company). With the City’s ‘every tree counts’, increasing the tree canopy and ’environmental emergency’, destroying one of the landmark trees in Long Branch asks the question what is Toronto’s real tree policy. Long Branch’s tree canopy has decreased from 27% to 15% since 2009.
The City is now saying they will not do anything while it is in front of a tribunal Toronto Local Appeal Board (TLAB) but it will be too late. City Council has the authority to STOP this destruction but they need to hear from YOU! To prevent this from happening City Council needs to act now to protect this iconic tree.
If trees could talk! Our Black Barn Maple located at the rear of 95 James Street has witnessed the many trials and tribulations that only a local old growth tree could. When it was a natural sapling in the 1860’s, James and Martha Eastwood purchased 500 acres of the Samuel Smith Tract, running south of Lake Shore King’s Highway from Etobicoke Creek to about Thirty First Street. This land became known as the Eastwood Farm lands and was dominated by the ‘Eastwood Black Barn’ which stood prominently in its place well up to the early 1960’s. The Black Barn Maple of Eastwood is well over 160 years old, this beauty is healthy, vibrant, and full of wildlife. Luckily our Black Barn Maple tree was not felled for development but was allowed to mature to be one of “Long Branch’s oldest remaining potential Heritage Trees”. The view of this tree can be enjoyed from most of west Long Branch The view of this tree can be enjoyed from most of west Long Branch. You can also see it when you’re driving south on Brown’s Line. If you Google “the Black Barn Maple of Long Branch” has some of the media coverage.
Johannes said at August 31:
I believe a place to live with the sun off your back and the rain off your head is much more important than a tree. Trees can be planted anywhere but a home is security.I find too many people put more importance on vegetation or an animal the human beings.
Donna W said at August 28:
Every old growth tree we lose before its natural end affects our planet in a terrible domino effect. Our descendants need every available tree in order to still breath & survive.
Wolfed Prendergast said at August 17:
Not sure if anyone noticed the absolute dump of a house behind that tree. Save the tree cut down that house.
Nicole said at July 11:
Atrocious!! Do not allow this to happen.
laura said at June 8:
In England we have tree preservation orders to protect older trees from being felled. So you can own your land, however you are prohibited from randomly removing trees. This is what is needed.
Robert Brehn said at June 7:
With all due respect, and as an amateur tree enthusiast, I wakes 5 blocks to see this tree and was disappointed to observe that it appears to be a hybrid of a Silver Maple tree, considered a weed tree by most people who know trees. Not to diminish from the trees long history, it is very likely, both visually and statistically speaking, near the end of its natural life. All good things come to an end.
Editor: You are wrong on both counts. We had a professional arborist Ian Bruce ( testified at many TLAB hearings) who gave a report saying this tree is healhly and has at least 30 years of life left. If you removed all the silver maples in Long Branch there would not be much left. Our tree canopy in Long Branch has gone from 27% to 15 % in less than 10 years. The builder bought the property with the intent of cutting this tree down . Where is it going to stop?
Samie Lim email@example.com said at June 7:
Suggestion to the home owner: Why not hire an architect to build the house or yard around the tree as a feature? There are many examples found in the internet where a house is built AROUND an existing tree, thus preserving it. The result is BEAUTIFUL!
Dale Spurvey's a former resident of 95 James Street, said at June 5:
"Makes me cry-feel to be losing such a loved 1, Please save the Maple at 95 James Street"
Annmarie Vrscaj said at May 29:
We need to save this tree for future generations. Why is it always money first.
Matt said at May 17:
How can I get a sign to save the maple? I see most of my neighbors have them and we'd love to show our support! Matt and Brittany.