The City is investing in tree planting and stewardship on private land to help enhance and expand our urban forest, and to improve the health of the environment. With some of the greatest potential on private land, everyone’s help is needed to reach our 40% canopy cover target.
These programs support partnerships and collaborations with homeowners, landowners and not-for-profit organizations that advance the City’s strategic priorities to invest in people and neighbourhoods, and to tackle climate change and build resilience.
The Community Planting and Stewardship Grant supports tree planting and stewardship on private land by non-profit organizations within Toronto.
The Greening Partnership Grant supports partnerships with public school boards, hospitals, colleges, universities, and non-profit housing providers that will increase canopy cover through tree planting and stewardship on private land.
The Neighbourhood Tree Giveaway Program supports community-led tree giveaway events through financial support, free native trees and shrubs, and technical support and training.
The City of Toronto has partnered with Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) to offer backyard tree planting services to Toronto residents at a subsidized cost. This includes a full-service option (in-person consultation, delivery and planting) and a do-it-yourself option.
The City of Toronto has partnered with the Toronto and Region Conservation Authority (TRCA) as part of the Toronto Tree Cover Project to offer tree planting services to eligible industrial, commercial and institutional landowners on a cost-shared basis. This includes a site visit by TRCA staff, supply, delivery and installation of plant materials for landowners who have space to plant 30+ trees on their property. This service is offered on a first-come, first-served basis while funds are available. Contact Brittany.Ballagh@trca.ca. for more information.
The City of Toronto has partnered with the Arbor Day Foundation to offer free trees to Toronto residents through the Community Canopy Program. Residents can reserve free trees using an online mapping tool that identifies the ideal location to plant a tree on their property.
From 2017-2020, the Urban Forestry Grants and Incentives Program has invested and leveraged a total of over $13 million and funded 132 projects across all 25 wards in Toronto. Together, with the help of our partners, we were able to plant over 53,000 trees and shrubs on private land and engage over 150,000 people. Our 2020 Impact Report highlights our achievements increasing canopy cover on private land between 2017-2020 and showcases the successes of our partnerships and collaborations with our many community partners.
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Download the 2020 Urban Forestry Grants and Incentives Impact Report.
Fourteen projects were selected from 20 applications submitted to receive funding in support tree planting and stewardship on private land.
Over 13,000 trees and shrubs will be planted through these projects. They will engage and educate communities through planting events, educational workshops, citizen science, and youth programming.
Through the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign thousands of trees will be planted along Highway 401 as a living memorial to each soldier who died during wartime. Planting sites in Toronto will be located along the 401 provincial right-of-way.
FoodShare Toronto is creating a shelterbelt at the Burnhamthorpe Collegiate Institute Schoolyard farm using native trees and shrubs. The shelterbelt will increase canopy cover, create wildlife habitat and provide an outdoor classroom for students to learn about urban forestry and career paths in arboriculture.
Toronto and Region Conservation Authority’s (TRCA) Toronto Tree Cover Project will help expand Toronto’s canopy cover by engaging community members and property owners in native tree and shrub planting throughout the city. Through a series of planting events and school programming, communities will learn about the urban forest and stewardship.
The Urban Tree from Seed program teaches elementary school students how to gather and prepare seeds for planting from local native trees adapted to the urban environment. Successfully grown trees will be distributed back into the community for planting.
Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF) is working with the Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) to engage communities in the planting and stewardship of native trees on TCHC properties. TCHC residents and staff will contribute to planting plans and the stewardship of the trees once they are planted. Training and tree care resources are provided in order to ensure each tree thrives.
The Young Urban Forest Leaders (YUFL) Program offers youth a 5-month mentorship/training program in arboriculture and urban forestry. In collaboration with local community groups, program participants will plan and undertake outreach and engagement activities promoting tree planting on private property. The project will involve distributing native trees and shrubs for planting on private property.
The Long Branch Neighbourhood Association (LBNA) works with residents, students and volunteers to identify suitable planting sites for trees and shrubs on private property throughout Long Branch and neighbouring communities. Native trees and shrubs will be distributed for planting and a variety of workshops and community events will promote the continued health and stewardship of Long Branch’s trees.
The Campus Forestry Student Planting Initiative will see living and study spaces on university campuses across Toronto enhanced with native trees and shrubs. This student-led initiative will engage students in planting and stewarding the newly planted trees and shrubs.
Seneca is creating a more sustainable and naturalized landscape at its Newnham Campus. Native trees and shrubs will be planted to increase canopy cover and existing lawns will be replaced with native grasses and groundcover to create a more inviting learning environment and reduce Seneca’s overall carbon footprint.
The Reunion Crossing development by Habitat for Humanity Greater Toronto Area (GTA) will provide safe, decent and affordable homes for Habitat partner families in Toronto. Landscaping, consisting of native trees and shrubs, will increase canopy cover and provide much needed green space for residents and the surrounding community.
The University of Toronto Scarborough Campus Farm, a 10-acre former brownfield site, is mainly covered in grass and offers a great opportunity to increase Toronto’s canopy cover. A variety of native shade trees and shrubs will be planted on and around the campus farm while students and surrounding communities will be engaged through tree planting events and workshops.
Supporting existing tree planting programs, the Toronto District School Board (TDSB) will continue to plant native trees on school properties throughout Toronto. TDSB will also provide tree care maintenance to improve the survival rate of new and existing trees with the goal of providing a vibrant, healthy and diverse urban forest across all TDSB schools.
Centennial College will convert a portion of the Story Arts Centre Campus from grass lawn to pollinator habitat by planting native trees, shrubs and perennials. Work will be undertaken by Centennial College staff and students with attendees learning about the importance of native species, increasing canopy cover and pollinators in urban spaces
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