Tasty Tree Tour in Christie Pits


Pizza in the pits tree tour

(July 04, 2013, Toronto, ON - FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) On Friday July 12, 2013, LEAF’s Andrea Bake will uncover the secrets of this downtown park with Jode Roberts of the David Suzuki Foundation, Monica Gupta of Friends of Christie Pits and Cristina Juarez of Christie Pits Residents’ Association.


The tree tour through historic Christie Pits will begin at the northwest corner of Bloor St. West and Christie St. and move up through the park discussing the diversity of native and non-native species and the ecology of the area. Tour leaders will also explore what local residents are doing to improve the park and will conclude by offering freshly baked pizza from the park’s often overlooked wood-burning oven.


The park was originally called Willowvale Park for its stunning willow trees.  They were supported by the water of Garrison Creek, which once ran through the park but is now buried underground.  The park now takes its name from the Christie Sand Pits that were on site until the early 1900s. Attendees of the tour will have an opportunity to learn more about the site’s history as well as how to identify some of the local trees. 


Native species growing in the park include tulip trees, redbuds, hackberries and swamp white oak. In 2010, the park was visited by documentary photographer Vincenzo Pietropaolo who was commissioned by LEAF to capture the favourite trees of famous Torontonians. Guests of the tour can find out whose favourite tree lies within this park.


Christie Pits is a key component of the David Suzuki Foundation’s Homegrown National Park project, which aims to engage residents, businesses and institutions in crowd-sourcing a green corridor through the heart of Canada’s largest city. 


“Like most Torontonians, I can’t identify most of the trees in my neighbourhood’ says Jode Roberts from the David Suzuki Foundation. “Through the Homegrown National Park Project we hope to connect residents with nature that surrounds them. And this tour will help us all learn more about the trees of the area and how important these leafy assets are to the health of the neighbourhood.”


The tour will end by the wood-burning pizza oven, where local groups and the David Suzuki Foundation have begun hosting a monthly Pizza in the Pits event. Pizza and drinks will be available by donation.  


LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest and engages citizens in urban forest stewardship through planting, education and training. LEAF’s Tree Tours are supported by Ontario Power Generation, York Region and the Ontario Trillium Foundation. 



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