Toronto Community Housing, the City of Toronto and partners celebrate Earth Week by offering free trees and shrubs to tenants

April 21, 2021 — FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

TORONTO, ON — Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) tenants can now order trees and shrubs for planting in their communities as part of the TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative.

This program is offered by TCHC in partnership with local non-profit Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) and the City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch. Funded in part by a City of Toronto Community Planting and Stewardship Grant, the program aims to increase tree canopy in TCHC communities.

The project is tenant-driven, focused on connecting tenants with the necessary tools to beautify their communities. Interested TCHC tenants are invited to request trees and shrubs through an online application form. All requests are assessed and, if approved, the shrubs will be delivered this spring for tenants to plant, while trees will be planted by the City in the fall.

The project aims to plant 96 trees and 200 shrubs this year—new additions to the 180 trees and 475 shrubs that have already been planted in TCHC communities since 2018 when this partnership began.

Apart from adding beauty to the sites, the trees and shrubs also provide a slew of environmental and social benefits. Communities with higher tree density benefit from summer cooling, increased shade, improved mood, increased physical activity and more.

As an added incentive, Tree Care Team volunteers also receive an honorarium for their time and efforts. To learn more about the project, visit: https://www.yourleaf.org/tch-planting-and-stewardship-initiative.

 

QUOTES:

“Having residents plant trees in their neighbourhoods adds to Toronto’s tree canopy and provides a great way for individuals and community volunteers to enjoy some fresh air while making our city greener. I applaud the City’s Urban Forest Renewal team, Toronto Community Housing and LEAF the for this innovative partnership that is improving air quality, the local environment and quality of life for TCHC tenants and their neighbours.”

—Toronto Mayor John Tory

"We are proud to be able to invest in community-driven action to help grow our canopy cover. The partnership between LEAF, Toronto Community Housing and the City will help ensure that communities right across Toronto will be able to enjoy the tremendous benefits of trees for years to come."

—Raymond Vendrig, Manager, Urban Forest Renewal, City of Toronto

“The tree planting program has been really well received by tenants. It gives them a chance to take an active role in enriching their communities while helping to tackle broader environmental concerns for the City. We are very happy to be part of this program in partnership with the City and LEAF.”

—Sheila Penny, Acting President and CEO, TCHC

“We receive the greatest benefits from mature trees. That’s why it’s so important to not only plant trees, but also provide them with the care they need in order to survive and thrive. We work with the tenants of the sites selected for tree planting to create special Tree Care Teams. These volunteers water the trees throughout the summer months and give them the care they need to establish in their new homes.”

—Erin MacDonald, Community Programs Manager, LEAF.

“Over the years that I’ve lived here, many trees have been blown down. I hope that other people will learn from this project, help to maintain the trees and further tree planting in different areas. I want to thank LEAF for the wonderful and professional job.”

—Len Mirander, tenant of the Gordonridge TCHC community and project participants

 

PARTNERS:

Toronto Community Housing (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 144 neighbourhoods. Their 2,100 buildings represent a $10-billion public asset.

Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) 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 is home to one of the largest urban forestry programs in Canada. It is responsible for the management, growth and stewardship of Toronto's urban forest through maintenance, planting, protection and planning. Toronto's urban forest comprises more than 11.5 million trees and is valued at $7.04 billion.

 

MEDIA CONTACTS:

Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC):

TCHC media line (416) 737-1352 or media@torontohousing.ca

Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF):

Daniela Serodio, Marketing and Communications Manager at daniela@yourleaf.org or 416-413-9244 x14

City of Toronto

Media@toronto.ca