Media Release

Walking Tour Explores Complex Balance Between Development and Tree Preservation

Monarch Park


(May 4, 2014, Toronto, ON – FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE) Can trees and development co-exist? How can we accommodate new living space alongside a mature tree canopy? What voice can residents have in decisions regarding development and tree preservation? A Jane’s Walk in the Kingsway neighbourhood offers an opportunity to discuss these complex questions while exploring the magnificent oak trees in the area.

What: Kingsway Tree Haven: Our Majestic Oaks (A Jane’s Walk)
When: Sunday, May 4, 1:00 p.m.
Where: Meet on the north side of the Brentwood Public Library 36 Brentwood Road North, Toronto
Who: Peter Foley, Kingsway Tree Preservation Nancy Newton, Kingsway Tree Preservation Philip van Wassenaer, Urban Forest Innovations Janet McKay, LEAF (Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests)


Jane’s Walks are free walking tours inspired by Jane Jacobs’ community approach to city-building. The walks get people to explore their cities, celebrate their neighbourhoods and connect with neighbours. “The ideas that flow out of Jane’s Walk are practical, optimistic and help build resilient communities,” said Denise Pinto, Director of Jane’s Walk. In this walking conversation, we’ll discuss the importance of preserving older trees and ways to protect them in the face of development.


Kingsway Tree Preservation was formed by residents concerned about the loss of majestic oak trees in their neighbourhood. “We hope to raise awareness about our unique urban forest of mature oak trees and how, with the pressures of development, citizens can engage in the process of protecting and nurturing these special trees,” said Nancy Newton, co-founder of the group. “In the summer, oak trees provide shade and beauty, whereas in the winter, their craggy limbs make unique patterns in the sky. They lift our eyes and our spirits with their magnificence.”


This tour will be co-led by Philip van Wassenaer, a consulting arborist with over 20 years of experience in arboriculture and heritage tree preservation. “Many of the oaks in the Kingsway area are quite old and some may be much older than people would expect,” said van Wassenaer. “The oaks have been preserved through time and through all the development of the last 150 years. We should be careful that short term goals associated with temporary ownership of the land do not compromise the health of the trees; or worse, lead to their removal.” Van Wassenaer will address the geographical and glacial history that makes the area ideal for oak trees as well as how people can help to preserve these impressive specimens.


For more information on LEAF or this event, visit


Photo opportunities and interviews available upon request.



Robyn Stewart
Education & Outreach Coordinator, LEAF
416-413-9244 x.14 (office) | Robyn[at]


Janet McKay
Executive Director, LEAF
416-413-9244 x.17 (office) | janet[at] 


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