Can We Get Our Trees Back?

In the last 10 years, Harbord Village has lost 30% of our trees and 23% of our canopy cover. Now two reports point the way towards recovery.

University of Toronto Master of Forest Conservation students have analysed our 2007-8 and 2017-18 tree inventories, and they recommend a pilot project to correct the serious tree loss. The report, called Reaching 40% canopy cover in Harbord Village: establishing the basis for a pilot project, was authored by Mamta Goyal, Mariaelena Guarrasi, Johnpaul Loiacono, Yichao Zhou, working along with HVRA members Sue Dexter, Carolee Orme and Robert Stambula. Professor Danijela Puric-Mladenovic provided comment and direction.

You can download the report here and a graphic suggesting possible tree planting sites here.

And on Jan. 9, the City’s Urban Forestry Department presented a report called Canopy TO to the City’s Infrastructure and Environment Committee. The report notes that while the city’s overall tree canopy has increased in the last ten years, many trees are not in good condition, and some areas are harder-hit than others. Harbord Village (called University area in the report) has the second-worst canopy loss among all city areas.

As the Toronto Star reported, Sue Dexter’s presentation to the committee eloquently described our loss and the challenges we face in combating it.

UPDATE: The Committee’s recommendation for a pilot project targeting the five worst-hit areas (including Harbord Village) was passed by Council on Jan. 29. The Urban Forestry Department is now tasked with preparing area-specific action plans. Harbord Village is eager to take part, and has already implemented several local projects. See our Treeing Harbord Village page for unfolding news.