Erin MacDonald's picture
Posted by Erin MacDonald /
© 2015 Erin MacDonald / LEAF
What motivates a Danforth business owner to care for the trees on her street?


As the Danforth Adopt-a-Street-Tree Pilot Program has grown over the past couple months, we’ve gotten to know some of the great business owners and community members who have adopted street trees.  Our outreach volunteers have been taking to the street along Danforth East to secure adopters as well as deliver educational materials (do’s and don’ts of street tree care) and stewardship supplies (watering cans, gloves, etc.) to the businesses (and some residents) that have adopted trees.

To date, we have 73 trees adopted by 51 different adopters - some people have taken more than one tree!



One of the businesses that stands out as a stewardship champion is Kato Animal Hospital. Christine Kato and her staff are now up to four adopted trees and have offered to help with any other trees on their block that do not have caretakers.

We asked business owners what motivated and inspired them to adopt a tree (or in some cases, multiple trees). Here’s what Kato shared with us:


“I am very happy to be a LEAF volunteer. I love trees and plants and I am excited to see more green living things along the Danforth giving us much needed shade, oxygen and beauty.  I am really hoping the trees and plants do well in the sweltering heat and the cold and salt of winter. It will be very hard for them to survive, so I am going to do my utmost to ensure their best chance for survival by doing my small part.

For 15-20 minutes, twice a week, my employee and I water four trees near us. While watering I have met and talked to a number of people - city workers, other volunteers, neighbours from nearby stores, clients and people who pass by. It has been interesting to talk to these people as I water as most of the comments have been very positive and supportive. Everyone seems excited to have a nicer looking neighbourhood. 

I would encourage other shop owners to consider adopting a tree and other volunteers to keep watering. The heat will be very hard on the trees and they need our help. Watering one tree doesn’t take up much time and there are a number of trees that have not yet been adopted.

You will have the good feeling of helping a tree survive and when the tree does well, we will all enjoy its beauty and shade for years to come.”



If you have adopted a tree or if you are considering adopting one and want to learn more about proper tree care, join LEAF for a free 30 minute Tree Stewardship Mini-Workshop.  Learn how to help your tree thrive!

Thursday August 13th @ 12:00pm

Friday August 14th @ 8.30am

Saturday August 15th @ 10.00am

Monday August 17th @ 6.30pm


Location: Coleman Park. 19 Coleman Ave.

Sign up: erin[at] or 416-413-9244 x12


We thank all of the businesses and residents that have adopted trees along the Danforth and hope that others will join in. If you are interested, please contact erin[at] There are still plenty of trees in need of adoption!




LEAF’s Adopt-a-Street-Tree Program is supported by TD Green Streets and the City of Toronto.

Erin MacDonald is LEAF’s Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator.

In 1982, Dr. Christine Kato founded the Kato Animal Hospital in Toronto, ON, and since that time, she has helped hundreds of pets (and their owners) stay in good shape.


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