Widgetized Section

Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone

Trees buried by an avalanche of construction debris

Some people who disregard city bylaws tend to be sneaky about it, but not those who piled tonnes of concrete around a vulnerable young tree.

The mountain of busted-up concrete chunks burying it is so spectacular that it’s hard not to conclude that the knuckleheads who did it have never heard of Toronto’s tree protection bylaw.

Two trees at the point where Berney Cr. comes to a dead end are buried under construction debris, including a mountain of busted-up concrete surrounding the smaller of the two. Toronto's tree protection zone bylaw requires them to be surrounded by fencing.
Two trees at the point where Berney Cr. comes to a dead end are buried under construction debris, including a mountain of busted-up concrete surrounding the smaller of the two. Toronto’s tree protection zone bylaw requires them to be surrounded by fencing.  (JACK LAKEY)

The city puts a lot of effort into maintaining our lush canopy of trees, which provides oxygen, shade from sun and an essential infusion of life and colour to our drab and grey streetscape.

It has well-defined rules to protect trees from developers who would chop them down because they get in the way, or others who don’t understand their value and would fell them on the flimsiest of excuses.

Most developers and construction contractors are aware of tree protection rules, which are enforced by the city’s urban forestry department, and make a reasonable effort to comply with them.

Article Continued Below

With the sheer volume of development and infill housing shoehorned onto residential lots not much bigger than a snooker table, the rules are sometimes are bent, if not ignored.

But that doesn’t adequately explain the pile of debris surrounding two trees at the point where Berney Cr., a block-long street near Bayview Ave. and Millwood Rd., comes to a dead end.

Rene Fan sent us a note that included photos of chunks of concrete heaped around the younger of the two trees, while the larger tree is besieged by other construction material and junk.

“Can you help these two trees on Berney Crescent?” asked Fan, who added that the stuff is a by-product of construction at a nearby apartment complex.

We went there and were astounded by the sheer volume of concrete and other stuff material in proximity to the trees, and the absence of fencing around them that is required by the tree protection bylaw.

STATUS: Andrew Pickett, a senior official with urban forestry, emailed to say he has asked its compliance and enforcement group to figure out who’s responsible, and enforce the applicable bylaws.

What’s broken in your neighbourhood? Wherever you are in Greater Toronto, we want to know. Email to jlakey@thestar.ca or follow @TOStarFixer on Twitter

TORONTO STAR