Celebrating Five Years of Increasing Tree Canopy Through the TCHC Planting and Stewardship Initiative
TORONTO, April 12, 2022—The Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC) Planting and Stewardship Initiative is celebrating its fifth year of increasing tree canopy by offering free native trees and shrubs to tenants of TCHC properties.
This program is operated in partnership between TCHC, a Toronto-based non-profit urban forestry group, Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), and the City of Toronto's Urban Forestry Branch. Funded in part by the City's Urban Forestry Community Grant, the program has engaged a wide range of TCHC tenants to get involved in increasing tree canopy in their communities, greening their neighborhoods and bringing nature's beauty a little bit closer to home.
The project is tenant-driven, with a focus 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 90 trees and 250 shrubs this year—new additions to the nearly 300 trees and 700 shrubs that have already been planted across more than 50 TCHC communities since the partnership began in 2018.
Apart from adding beauty to the sites, the trees and shrubs will provide a host of environmental and social benefits. Communities with higher tree density benefit from summer cooling, increased shade, improved mood and increased physical activity.
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.
In December 2021, City Council recommitted to achieving a 40-per-cent tree canopy target city-wide by 2050. For more information about the City of Toronto's tree programs and ongoing initiatives, please visit https://www.toronto.ca/trees.
"Residents can play an important role in making our city greener. Planting trees is a great way for individuals and community volunteers to do their part, support their community and get out to enjoy some fresh air. It's because of this commitment to our natural environment that Toronto is regularly listed as one of the greenest cities on earth by MIT's Green View Index. Congratulations to the City's Urban Forest Renewal team, Toronto Community Housing and LEAF for going into the fifth year of this innovative partnership that is improving quality of life, the local environment and air quality for TCHC tenants and their neighbours."
— Toronto Mayor John Tory
"The tree planting program continues to well-received by tenants. It gives people a chance to take an active role in enriching their communities, while helping to tackle broader environmental concerns for the City. Beyond its environmental impact, a tree-filled neighborhood has a huge social benefit, as well. In our mission to create vibrant communities for our tenants and employees, the natural environment is a significant contributor. As such, we are very happy to be part of this program in partnership with the City and LEAF."
— Jag Sharma, President and CEO, TCHC
"The biggest thing for me is if you plant it, it will grow. No matter where you live, having access to green space is always a positive. I hope that in the future we can find more opportunities through our partnership with LEAF to address the food insecurity issues within our community."
— Annisha Stewart, TCHC tenant and LEAF volunteer
"We are proud to invest in community-led planting and stewardship across Toronto. We are especially thrilled that for a fifth year, the partnership between the City, LEAF and Toronto Community Housing will help to ensure that everyone across Toronto will be able to enjoy the tremendous benefits of trees."
— Raymond Vendrig, Manager, Urban Forest Renewal, City of Toronto
“We are incredibly proud to see the success and growth of this program over the last five years. Building relationships with TCHC tenants and staff and supporting them as they take an active role in greening their communities has been extremely rewarding. We would like to recognize the TCHC tenants and staff who care for the trees and shrubs on their properties, ensuring their success. With the support of the City of Toronto and TCHC, we look forward to continuing our work to improving Toronto’s communities, one tree at a time.”
— Brian Millward, Acting Community Programs Manager, LEAF.
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.
Toronto Community Housing Corporation (TCHC):
Local Enhancement and Appreciation of Forests (LEAF):
Meandra Provencal, Marketing and Communications Coordinator