Project Swallowtail

COVID-19 Update: This education campaign continues through blogs and social media posts. Residents within the project area are encouraged to create habitat for swallowtail butterflies.

Creating Pollinator Habitat

Black swallowtail

LEAF and Project Swallowtail are working together to increase pollinator awareness and habitat in west Toronto (see map for the project area).

Project Swallowtail is a collaborative effort led by Pollinator Partnership Canada and WWF-Canada to connect communities, street by street, and to empower residents to restore nature in west Toronto. Through this neighbourhood network, residents are joining forces to enhance pollinator habitat in their outdoor spaces, in their gardens and in local parks. In doing so, they are also taking action on two of the most pressing issues we face: climate change and biodiversity loss. 

Throughout the duration of this joint campaign:

  • We will share content on the importance of swallowtail butterflies, how to support the planting of native trees and shrubs towards the creation of pollinator habitat and the careful maintenance of gardens. 
  • We will offer a variety of native, pollinator-supporting trees and shrubs through our subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program. 




Project Swallowtail collaborators include Pollinator Partnership Canada, WWF-Canada, the Horticultural Societies of Parkdale and Toronto, the David Suzuki Foundation, the High Park Stewards, the North American Native Plant Society, as well as Lorraine Johnson, Pete Ewins and many others.

Spicebush swallowtail

Below are native trees and shrubs offered in our subsidized Backyard Tree Planting Program that provide food and/or shelter to swallowtail butterflies and other pollinators. 



black cherry (Prunus serotina) American hazelnut (Corylus americana)
paper birch (Betula papyrifera) common elderberry (Sambucus canadensis)
pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia) common witchhazel (Hamamelis virginiana)
pin cherry (Prunus pensylvanica) eastern redbud (Cercis canadensis)
red oak (Quercus rubra) pagoda dogwood (Cornus alternifolia)
serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.) purple-flowering raspberry (Rubus odoratus)
tulip tree (Liriodendron tulipifera) pussy willow (Salix discolor)
  serviceberry (Amelanchier spp.)
  spicebush (Lindera benzoin)


Please, note: our goal is to plant the right tree and shrub in the right place. The abovDelete Tablee selection of trees and shrubs is subject to yard conditions and space. Our arborists will help you select the right species for you and your property, based on your yard's soil, sunlight and available space. Species are available on a first-come, first served basis, while supplies last.

Close up of eastern tiger swallowtail caterpillar

Follow LEAF and Pollinator Partnership Canada on our social media channels to stay-up-to-date on this campaign. Share your native plant and pollinator stories and photos using the hashtag #ProjectSwallowtailTO, and tag us so we can share them too!

Twitter Facebook Instagram
  Project Swallowtail  
@LEAF LEAF - Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests @leaf_org
@pollinators Pollinators Partnership Canada @pollinatorpartnership


Joining Project Swallowtail is about connecting with neighbours, as well as with nature! Participants support each other through the sharing of native plants and seeds, gardening advice and much more.

Join this community

Canadian tiger swallowtail

Are you curious about the types of swallowtails that exist in southern Ontario? Wondering how best to support these and other pollinators throughout the year? Interested in creating a pollinator patch right outside your door? Look no further than resources listed below. 

Read our media release:


Read our blog:



Read more resources:

Get Involved

© 2016 Brenna Anstett

What are my options?

LEAF helps property owners plant the right trees in the right places. We plant native species, which are well-suited to our climatic conditions, require less maintenance than exotic species, and provide essential habitat for wildlife. Our siting services, extensive advice, and resources on proper tree care help to ensure that the trees and shrubs we plant survive and thrive. Roughly half the value of our services is covered by our funding partners, so you get top-notch programs at a more affordable price. Read on to discover what we can grow together!


Full Service Tree Planting

Available to residents of Toronto, York Region and some municipalities within Durham Region.
Perfect for property owners who want in-person advice and the convenience of a complete planting package.

Our most popular service includes an in-person consultation with an arborist in your yard, as well as delivery and full planting service. We’ll assess the conditions in your yard and ask about your needs and preferences, and help you decide on the tree species and planting locations that best suit your yard. LEAF does all the heavy lifting – you just sit back and enjoy a greener backyard! Please note, LEAF only plants trees in backyards or fenced in side yards. If you’d like to plant a tree in your front or side yard, check out our Do-It-Yourself Program below!


Do-It-Yourself Tree Planting

Available to residents of Toronto, York Region and some municipalities within Durham Region.
Perfect for property owners looking to plant a tree in their front or side yards, or for those who simply want to get their hands dirty and plant their own tree!

Our online videos will help you get the right tree in the right place.  We’ll ask you some questions about your property and your preferences, then give you customized recommendations for species and planting locations in your yard.  Place your order and we’ll deliver the tree right to your door for you to plant! 


Shrubs, Garden Kits, & Pawpaws 

Available to residents of Toronto, York Region and some municipalities within Durham Region.
Perfect for anyone wanting to add colour, beauty and biodiversity to their yard.

Easy online or telephone ordering of native shrubs and perennials with subsequent delivery right to your door.  Not only will these native plants brighten up your yard and provide essential habitat for songbirds, native bees and butterflies, many will also offer tasty treats for humans too!

Learn more

© 2016 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Bundle Your Shrubs to Beautify your Yard!

We are now offering themed shrub bundles, designed to help you beautify your yard! A bundle of four native shrubs, delivered to your door with mulch, a planting and care guide and a specialized fact sheet will cost you only $100 + HST- that's like buying four shrubs for the price of three! 

Choose from our themed bundles below:

Edible Bundles are designed to help you create your own edible urban garden. This bundle allows you to select your favourite shrubs based on taste, bloom time, fruit type, flower and fall colour, mature size or hardiness! Select any four of the following: American hazelnut, black chokeberry, common elderberry, highbush cranberry, lowbush blueberry, nannyberry, northern wild raisin, pasture rose, purple flowering raspberry and serviceberry.

The rest of our bundles contain pre-determined species. As species sell out, substitutions may be made.

Native Bee Bundles are designed to provide habitat and food sources for our native bees. This bundle contains shrubs of varying mature sizes including St. John's wort, snowberry, common ninebark and grey dogwood.

Songbird Bundles are designed to provide food and shelter for songbirds throughout the year. This bundle contains shrubs of varying mature sizes including lowbush blueberry, red osier dogwood, common elderberry, and serviceberry.

Small Yard Bundles are designed for smaller spaces while still adding beauty and biodiversity to your yard. This bundle includes lowbush blueberry, St. John's wort, and meadowsweet and snowberry.

Privacy Bundles are designed to help you attain privacy while still adding biodiversity to your yard. This bundle contains tall and dense growing shrubs including red osier dogwood, black chokeberry, bayberry and common ninebark.

Contact us to order

© 2016 Brenna Anstett / LEAF

Ordering Native Garden Kits

Naturalize your yard with LEAF's Native Garden Kits. Our kits come in small ($145 +HST) and large ($265 +HST) sizes and include an assortment of perennials* and shrubs that offer a simple way to beautify your outdoor space - and help the environment at the same time! 

Native Garden Kits are available for spring delivery only. All kits include garden designs, a species information guide and tips to help your garden succeed.

*Please note plant species offered in the kits may change seasonally, depending on availability.

Garden Kits are only available to residents of Toronto, York Region and some municipalities within Durham Region.
We've sold out for 2022! Register to receive an early bird notification when Native Garden Kits become available for the Spring 2023 season.

Sign-up for an early bird notification


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