TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative

COVID-19 Update: This initiative continues with some modifications to engagement activities.

The TCHC Project

Person planting trees in front of a building. Fall time.

LEAF is working with Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) and the City of Toronto to engage communities in the planting and stewardship of native trees and shrubs on TCHC properties. 

Unfortunately, trees and, by extension, their benefits are not equitably distributed across the city, with lower-income communities often having lower canopy cover. Many trees on TCHC properties have been severely affected by extreme weather events over the past decade and thousands of trees have been removed and/or infested by emerald ash borer. The majority of remaining trees in these communities are limited to a handful of species, many of which are non-native such as Norway maple and Austrian pine. 

The project aims to engage tenants and staff in TCHC communities to improve the local tree canopy, providing local residents with the many benefits that trees offer - from shade and cooling to social and psychological benefits.

A central element of the project is the engagement of local tenants and site staff in both the planting plans and the stewardship of the trees once they are planted. Training and tree care resources are provided to ensure each tree thrives. 

Project sites are identified in consultation with TCHC tenants and TCHC Facilities Management staff. The supply and installation of large caliper trees is provided by the City of Toronto. In 2021, we helped green 21 TCHC communities with over 300 native trees and shrubs through the TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative. Planning is underway for 2022!

    Person providing specialized tree care

    The following TCHC communities across Toronto welcomed nearly 300 new trees as part of this initiative since 2018. The supply and installation of large caliper trees is provided by the City of Toronto.

    13A Albany Ave 3847 Lawrence Avenue East*
    15 Tobermory Drive 4100 & 4110 Lawrence Avenue East*
    17 Brimley Road 4455 Bathurst Street*
    110 Mornelle Court* 50 Norway Avenue
    111 Kendleton Drive* 6 Glamorgan Avenue*
    140 Adanac Drive 65 Greencrest Circuit*
    1615 Dundas Street East* 7 Capri Road
    1901 Sheppard Avenue West* 7 Glamorgan Avenue*
    20 & 30 Falstaff Avenue*

    75 Tandridge Crescent*

    10, 30 & 40 Gordonridge Place* 2020, 2021 Scarlettwood Court, 58 Waterton Road*

    At each site, we work with tenants and site staff to initiate Tree Care Teams. The teams operate differently at each property, but are generally made up of tenants that are interested in helping the trees thrive.

    “Through the project, I was able to learn how to properly care for trees and other plants and developed greater respect for greenspace and mother nature” – Tree Care Team member

    Each team receives specialized, hands-on training from LEAF about proper tree care along with resources to help them carry out their stewardship efforts with confidence. The main responsibilities of the teams include regular watering, keeping tree bases free from weeds and mulching the trees when needed. 

    We work with the Tree Care Teams to host fun and educational community events that celebrate the trees and the people that help care for them. “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! “ – Tree Care Team member

    * The supply and installation of large caliper trees was provided by Cohen & Master.

    Man standing with shrubs in pots

     

    Another way this project supports TCHC tenants in greening their communities is by offering free native shrubs that can be planted on TCHC properties, in or along the fence lines of community gardens and in garden beds alongside buildings. Applications for shrub requests are opened annually in the spring. Tenants can request the shrubs through LEAF and LEAF staff will provide training on proper planting and care. The requests are reviewed by Landscape Design and Community Safety at TCHC. Once approved, LEAF delivers the shrubs for tenants to plant themselves. 

    Since the project started in 2018, almost 700 native shrubs have been planted by tenants at over 40 properties. 

     

    Young bur oak in front of a building

    Implementation Partners

    Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) is Canada's largest social housing provider. TCHC is owned by the City of Toronto and provides homes for nearly 60,000 low- and moderate-income households in 106 of the city’s 140 neighbourhoods. Their 2,100 buildings represent a $9-billion public asset.

    LEAF (Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the protection and improvement of the urban forest. Beginning in 1996, LEAF has been designing and delivering successful planting and stewardship programs, as well as education and training programs across the City of Toronto. LEAF plays the lead role in the planting, stewardship and education activities.

    The City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch provides the critical services needed to protect, maintain and enhance the urban forest. With funding for this project provided in part through a Community Planting & Stewardship Grant, the City of Toronto is investing in tree planting and stewardship on private land to help grow the urban forest. Additional support provided includes the supply and installation of large caliper trees.

    In-Kind Support

    Thank you to the following companies for providing mulch throughout the year!

    Cohen & Master Tree and Shrub Services

    TS Arborist Services

    Young honey locust in front of a multi-unit

    Follow and Share

    Follow our social media channels to stay up-to-date on this project and join the conversation by using the hashtag #TCHCTrees.  Be sure to tag us so we can share them too!

    Twitter Facebook Instagram
    @LEAF LEAF - Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests @leaf_org
    @TOHousing Toronto Community Housing @torontohousing
    @TOTrees Nature in the City - Toronto  
    @CM_Trees Cohen & Master Tree and Shrub Services Ltd. @cmtrees
      TS Arborists Services @tsarborsits

     

    Supporting Partners

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