Concerns arise over plans to replace mature trees

Seven mature trees that have been part of a lush, park-like setting on the grounds of the Canadian Film Centre for decades, are slated to be cut down for the centre’s upgrade plan. They may be replaced with twice as many of saplings, but is it a fair trade?

Jack Radecki, executive director of the Ontario Urban Forest Council, has his doubts. “It’s still very deficient,” he said. “The way to look at a tree is to look at the number of leaves … those … provide the oxygen.”

Last month, councillor Jaye Robinson opposed the motion to cut down the trees, but the motion was passed anyway.

As per a city bylaw, the trees must be replaced, but Radecki is concerned the centre’s upgrade will reduce the amount of soil on the property, soil that will be crucial to the development of so many young trees.

“Roots need a lot of space,” he said. “What they’re planning sounds like a crock.”

Meanwhile, Tamara MacKeigan, communications manager for the Canadian Film Centre, said they are happy the application has been approved and they are continuing with their renovation plans, which include building a one-storey actor’s conservatory.

“We see no problems whatsoever,” she said, “and we’ll be working closely with the Urban Forestry Council.

Article exclusive to TRNTO