City of Toronto needs cash to save 250-year-old oak tree

So there’s this oak tree in Humbermede (that’s North York, folks) and needs a new home.

Amazingly, it’s been there since before Toronto existed.

The tree, which one local resident called “the Rolls-Royce of heritage trees,” is at least 250 years old – older than Canada. Much older. Some estimate the natural landmark to be up to 350 years old.

To ensure it lives another 350 years, the City of Toronto is calling on donations to build a park that will ensure its longevity. The goal is to raise $430,000 in order to buy the property, dress it up a bit, and finance maintenance costs. Preserving such an old, fragile life is not cheap.

Here’s what the new park will look like:

The problem is that only around $130,000 has been raised to date. If the full amount isn’t raised by December 12, 2020, the funds collected will go to Toronto Urban Forestry. That’s good, but it won’t ensure a prosperous future for the oak tree.

“Now in its full maturity, this red oak’s branches span 24 metres with a trunk circumference of over 5 metres – a natural cathedral and a shining example of our urban forest,” writes the City glowingly. Trees like this are essential in achieving Toronto’s goal to have 40 per cent canopy cover in the city.

If you want to marvel at the tree, you’ll find it in the back yard of 76 Coral Gables Drive.