Free Trees and Shrubs for TCH Communities!


Trees planted on Toronto Community Housing Corporation properties

Welcome TCH tenants! If you’re reading this, you’re likely interested in planting trees and shrubs on your TCH property, and we couldn’t be happier. 



LEAF is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to making our city greener and healthier through tree planting and tree care! LEAF has beautiful native trees and shrubs available for TCH properties for free. We plant native trees and shrubs because they are perfectly suited to the area and provide the greatest benefits!

This program is funded in part by the City of Toronto Community Planting & Stewardship Grant. If you want to learn more about the program which began in 2018, you can read more here


Many TCH communities have few trees or old ones that need to be removed in the coming years. Recognizing this, LEAF and TCH are working together to green your community. Planting and caring for native trees and shrubs can have many positive impacts on the community, beyond positive environmental benefits. Past participants couldn’t agree more: 

“A key benefit to me is that this project was able to bring the community together through the tree care parties that were held, which got tenants out and engaging with each other while caring for the trees! “ – Program participant

“Through the project, I was able to learn how to properly care for trees and other plants and developed a greater respect for greenspace and mother nature” – Program participant

Other benefits include:

  • Learning new skills 
  • Spending time outdoors
  • Getting more active
  • Sharing knowledge with others
  • Teaching children how to care for the environment
  • Connecting and celebrating with neighbours
  • Beautifying the community
  • Replacing trees that were removed
  • Improving air quality 
  • Reducing noise
  • Creating shade and cooler temperatures 
Trees planted on Toronto Community Housing Corporation properties

Trees can be planted in communal spaces (by playgrounds, hills, walkways etc.) and in yards. Approved Tree Request Include:

  • Free, beautiful native tree(s) 
  • Tree planting provided by a contractor 
  • Depending on the number of trees, free watering equipment 
  • Free training on proper tree care 
  • Annual mulch for up to two years after planting
  • Support from LEAF for questions or concerns
  • An honourarium for tenants on the Tree Care Team who commit to caring for the trees

Shrubs can be planted in or along fence lines of community gardens and in garden beds alongside buildings. Approved Shrub Request Include: 

  • Free native shrubs 
  • Delivery of shrub(s) and mulch 
  • Shrub planting by the tenants 
  • Free training on proper shrub planting and care 
  • Support from LEAF for questions or concerns


These trees and shrubs were chosen because they are able to grow in a variety of soil and light conditions. 

Trees (click on the links for photos and information)

Shrubs (click on the links for photos and information)


The species listed are native to southern Ontario. This means they have been growing in the local area since before European settlement. Native plants are easier to care for and support local wildlife, such as birds and pollinators. 

Trees planted on Toronto Community Housing Corporation properties


Steps for Approved Tree Requests

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Work with LEAF to engage the community in reviewing the tree planting locations
  3. The trees are planted by contractors
  4. Attend a free training workshop (see “Your Commitment” below)
  5. Care for your trees weekly with support from LEAF for two years after planting
  6. Receive an honourarium for your commitment once one year of care has passed

Steps for Approved Shrub Requests

  1. Complete the online application
  2. Attend a free training workshop (see “Your Commitment” below)
  3. Receive the shrub delivery
  4. Plant your shrubs
  5. Care for your shrubs weekly


Please note that the Landscape Designer and Community Safety Advisor for TCH will review all planting requests. There is no guarantee that each tree or shrub will be approved, but all requests will be considered. 


Tree planted on a Toronto Community Housing Corporation property

Did you know that the number one stress for newly planted trees and shrubs is lack of water? Growing in a new environment takes a lot of energy. That is why proper care from dedicated tenants is important to make sure your trees or shrubs thrive in their new home. 

Free training will be provided and is required as part of this program. Please see “Your Commitment to Training” for more information. 

Tree planted on a Toronto Community Housing Corporation property

To support you, free training will be provided and is required as part of your commitment to the program. At least one representative from each site must attend the workshop to learn about proper tree and shrub care. 

The training will take place virtually in the comfort of your home or on-site, where possible. The session will be fun and interactive, with opportunities to connect with other tenants and get your hands dirty if in-person.

Tree Care Training

WHEN: LEAF will organize training to take place after the trees have been planted.

WHAT: The focus of the training is hands-on tree care.

WHERE: The location will be at a TCH property that is part of the program. The exact location will be determined after tree planting occurs.


Shrub Planting/Care Training

WHEN: LEAF will host an online training in the weeks leading up to the shrub delivery. 

WHAT: The focus of the training will be on proper shrub planting and care. 

WHERE: Online using Zoom. A link will be sent to everyone who had their shrub request approved.



For more information on proper tree or shrub care techniques, please see the section on “Your Commitment to Care”.


Tree planted on a Toronto Community Housing Corporation property


You play the most important role in the growth of your tree or shrub once it has been planted. But don’t worry, LEAF is here to help you at every step of the way. We’ll  ensure that you have all the knowledge and skills required to provide the best care.

For the first two years after planting, your trees and shrubs will focus most of their energy below ground, establishing a strong root system. Don’t be discouraged if there is not much growth above ground. With proper care, we know that your trees and shrubs will thrive. 

For the first two years after planting:

  1. Water your trees and/or shrubs one to two times per week from May to October.
  2. Replenish the mulch at the base of your trees and/or shrubs as it decomposes. 
  3. Protect your trees and/or shrubs from lawn mower and other physical damage.
  4. Avoid using chemical fertilizers or pesticides - these can cause harm.



We can’t wait to hear from you. Please have the following information on hand before beginning your request:

The location(s) where you’d like trees and/or shrubs planted on TCH property. We’ll ask you to be as specific as possible when describing the locations. 

Contact information for your Community Services Coordinator (CSC) 

  • For shrub requests: 
    • Ensure that either you or another member from the community is able to attend the training workshop. 
    • A delivery location must be identified.

Request for 2021 have now closed. Please contact Lam Tran at lam[at] or 416-413-9244 ex.15 if you would like to be notified when future requests are open. 


I want trees

I want shrubs


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