Archive for the ‘trees’ Category

Thanks to DECA’s amazing Tree for Me team for this post!

In an effort to increase tree cover in our neighbourhood, DECA is partnering with Tree for Me to give out free trees to Toronto residents. Together we are hosting two events on September 27th and 29th at East Lynn Park! To get your free tree, simply head over to treeforme.ca and register for one of the DECA events. Each household is eligible to receive up to two free trees per season. Pick up the trees at the event and learn how to plant and take care of them. The trees will be a mini size and easy to carry home.

Please register by September 24 to reserve your tree. Walk-ups will also be welcome at the event for whatever tree is available.

Why plant more trees?

There are many great reasons for planting more trees but chief among them are the environmental benefits. By taking in carbon dioxide and turning it into oxygen, trees help to remove harmful fossil fuel emissions from our atmosphere. Below ground, tree roots prevent soil erosion by keeping the soil from being washed away. Tree roots also absorb and retain water and boost the water-holding capacity of the surround soil, which can help reduce flooding, especially in urban environments.

DECAxTreeForMe event posterLess well known are the public health benefits of trees. A 2014 study found that in one year alone, trees prevented 850 human deaths and 670,000 cases of acute respiratory symptoms in the US. The researchers attributed this to the 17 tonnes of air pollution that trees removed from the air by trapping dust, pollen and other pollutants. Other studies have shown that just looking at trees can help people lower their heart rates, reduce stress and even recover faster from surgery.

With all of these environmental and public health benefits, why aren’t we planting more trees? That’s where Tree for Me comes in. Tree for Me is a community-based partnership to help Toronto residents get free trees for their front and backyards. As part of the Every Tree Counts campaign sponsored by the City of Toronto and Toronto Parks and Tree Foundation, Tree for Me aims to boost the city’s tree cover to 40%

How it works

Step 1: Register for your free trees at www.treeforme.ca. Take a look online to choose your trees. They’ll be in mini size and easy to pick up.

Step 2: Come to the one of our events for your free trees and tree care workshop.

When: Thursday, September 27 from 3 pm – 7 pm
Saturday, September 29 from 10 am – 12 pm (workshop and tree pickup)

Where: It all happens at East Lynn Park, our workshop and tree pickup location!

For those with mobility issues, the City can come to your home on October 25th or 27th and plant your tree for you. If you live in a condo or cannot plant a tree in your backyard, we recommend the Serviceberry tree – they’re great on balconies or in planters. If the tree gets too big, you can always donate it back to the program!

Tip: Before you register, take Tree for Me’s short quiz to determine which tree you is right for you. The quiz will ask you a series of questions about where the tree will be planted (soil quality, amount of sunlight, etc…) and your goals for planting the tree (conserve energy, privacy, etc…). These questions will help match you with the best tree to suit your home’s environment and needs. All the trees provided through Tree for Me are native species to the area.

If you have questions about the event, please email info@deca.to or visit us at the Farmer’s Market on Thursdays. A tree for you, benefits for all!

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DECA Tree logo

Happy Spring from DECA Tree!

Thanks to our wonderful DECA Tree volunteers, Catherine and Anne, for this post and for their neighbourhood tree heroics!

Take a moment to stop and look, and you will see signs of new growth on the trees! Buds swelling and branches elongating and changing colour. For newly planted trees, care starts as soon as the ground is warmed up.

So, we’re kicking off 2014 with a TREE CARE EDUCATION session. Please come and meet other people who care about trees, and learn to care for your trees. We also have trees up for adoption!

DATE: Wednesday April 23 at 7:30 to 9:00 p.m.

PLACE: Danforth and Woodbine (southeast quadrant).

For the address, please email decaaat@gmail.com or call Anne Howatt at 416-617-6431.

There will be wine and beer, and coffee and tea. Please feel free to bring a snack, something to share or something to drink OR JUST SHOW UP! Bring along friends or neighbours who care about trees (their own) or are interested in adopting a tree (or two).

Thank you!

Anne Howatt and Catherine Dorton (Volunteers DECA TREE)


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Happy Thanksgiving!

Does too much gravy have a scientifically proven effect on cognitive functioning?   I’ve been staring at the computer for 20 minutes and still, no clever theme is coming to mind.  How about this?  We live in a great neighbourhood, and it just keeps getting better and better.

Here are four things that prove that our neighbourhood is awesome:

1. Our subway station is getting upgraded, and we can give input into the mural that will be painted on the construction hoarding

(PS – Did you know that those boards around a construction site is called ‘hoarding’?  Well, now you know.)

A message from Susan Kohler, Senior Arts Consultant, East District Arts Services:
City on the Move, Young Artists in Transit – East is a partnership program between the Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) and Toronto Cultural Services with community partners Arts for Children and Youth and Children’s Peace Theatre, aimed at building youth skills in visual storytelling, self expression, engagement and community leadership.
As part of this project, murals are created by youth in the community under the leadership of a professional artist and a Youth Mentor, to be displayed on construction hoarding at transit stations.  To date, two murals have been painted for Coxwell Station to be installed in early 2014.  We hope you will help us on the design of the Woodbine mural by clicking on http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/XR6PGXM  
The survey will take only a few minutes to complete. We really value your input!  Please forward to anyone you think may be interested in participating in the survey.
If you have any questions please email Susan here.

2. Our parks are getting more trees!

Thanks to Mary-Margaret McMahon for letting us know that East Lynn Park, Oakcrest Park and Merrill Bridge Park will all be getting new trees.   With the fall colours in full effect right now, I’m sure we are all appreciating our trees even more than usual.  We’ll let you know the details as they become available.

3. Our ice cream shop is staying open over the winter and has a mouth-watering lunch menu

Carter’s Ice Cream (3 Woodmount Ave, near Danforth and Woodbine) is now open over the winter. The hours are Mon-Fri 11:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. and they will be serving ice cream and lunch!! You can also order birthday cakes all year.  “Like” them on Facebook to keep up with all their news.

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4. RH McGregor is having an awesome school fair on Saturday, October 26, 2013

555 Mortimer Avenue, October 26, 11:00 a.m.-2:00 p.m.

R H McGregor Fall Fair

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We are doing our best to keep up with the neighbourhood, but with jobs, kids, vacations and a relentless summer cold, we’ve been a bit behind! Here are a couple of events and volunteer opportunities to note!  

First off, our dear friend, Board member, pop-up queen and all-around volunteer extraordinaire Catherine Porter is leaving us for a year abroad.  Here is her own column about her latest adventure to Senegal – we’ll miss you Cath!


Wheels on the Danforth – Saturday, August 10

It might not be on our section of Danforth, but there is a pretty fun-sounding event going on east of us that you should know about: Wheels on the Danforth.  Car show, kids zone, entertainment, craft fair, beer garden – all to raise money for the community!  Check out their website for more info: http://www.wheelsonthedanforth.ca


Movie Under the Stars @ East Lynn – August 22

We’ll remind you again, but mark you calendars with this year’s date for Movie Under the Stars at East Lynn Park. On August 22, come for the market and stay for the Princess Bride.  Bring your blankets, snacks and six-fingered friends for this family classic.

Volunteer Opportunities:

Monarch Park Adopt-a-Tree

In addition to DECA’s own adopt-a-tree program, (click here for our blog post about that) the Friends of Monarch Park have a program in Monarch Park and are looking for more volunteers.  Please visit http://friendsofmonarchpark.com/adopt-a-tree/ for more information.


Canada Day at Stan Wadlow

Did you attend this year’s festivities?  Were you waiting around for hours for the rides to get going? Did you think the rides were a bit rough around the edges?  DId the roller coaster operator keep your kids waiting while he walked around under the ride tightening all of the hitches with a cigarette hanging out of his mouth?  There were lots of great things about the event, but there’s definitely room for improvement – I mean, Canada’s birthday deserves nothing but the best!

A casual chat about it in passing with Janet Davis revealed that the organizing committee needs people on it.  If you are able to volunteer to add your 2 cents to the decisions that are made about East York Canada Day 2014, please email Councillor Davis by clicking here.  CIty money goes into this event, so it’s in all of our interest to make sure that it’s spent on top quality fun for our whole community!!


Since I’m writing about volunteer opportunities, I would be remiss if I didn’t put in a plug for DECA.  While people may think that we’re a well-oiled machine of neighbourhood do-gooding, (ha!) we are actually just regular neighbourhood volunteers, and we’re always looking for more help.  Do you have a great idea for our ‘hood? Let us know!  Email us here with your thoughts and we’ll figure out the next steps.

Follow us on Twitter @DECAdiaries – why not?

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This time of year I’m so thankful for the glorious shade provided by the trees along my street. The DECA Tree group is looking for volunteers to ensure that our community trees can grow and thrive – thanks to those of you who have already taken this on, but we need more help.  Keep reading to learn more…



Thriving trees clean and cool our air, and provide wonderful shade.

Every year, the City of Toronto plants thousands of young trees in our front yards, on our boulevards and in our parks. Sadly, most go without water and suffer from stunted growth. Too many more die from neglect. For so many good reasons, we need these trees to thrive!

Would you like to adopt a tree in the neighbourhood? It can be a rewarding project for individuals, families and streets.

The DECA Tree group is busy compiling an inventory of City trees that need water this summer. Trees can lose up to 95% of their roots when transplanted so they need to be watered regularly during this critical phase.  If you are interested in adopting one of these trees, please contact DECA Tree by clicking here. We will give you the basics of tree care and find a tree near you.

Thank you!

Five valiant golden honey locust trees, just north of Woodbine subway station along Strathmore Avenue, have been adopted by East Toronto Climate Action Group (ETCAG) with support from Valu-mart. Perhaps you have seen volunteer extraordinaire Susan Crofts with her buckets, giving these beauties the many gallons of water they need each week? These trees were planted in fall 2010 as a joint effort between the TTC and local tree advocate Mary-Margaret McMahon (who has since been elected to City Council!). Thank you Susan and ETCAG!


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Thanks to Friends of Monarch Park for the following message:

As many of you know Monarch Park lost some very mature trees during the big wind storm last fall. Friends of Monarch Park has been working closely with the cities Parks department and LEAF to try and have these trees replaced as well as having new trees planted to replenish the parks tree canopy.

This fall there will be new trees planted and Friends of Monarch Park would like all interested members of the community to come out to see the proposed plan and give their feedback. Uyen Dias, Natural Resource Specialist, Parks, Forestry and Recreation, Urban Forestry Services for the City of Toronto has tried to include a diversity of species, as well as groves and native species where possible as well as flowering trees for interest.

Please come out on Thursday, June 13th at 7:00 p.m. to the North-East corner of Monarch Park to review the proposed plan and give your feedback.

Hope to see you there!

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So many options for an awesome Saturday, all of which give you a chance to engage with your neighbours.  Here is the recap:

1. Danforth East Garage Sale, 8:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m. rain or shine, all over our neighbourhood

Did you hear Matt Galloway give us a shout out this morning on Metro Morning about our simultaneous yard sales taking place tomorrow?  Our sale is THAT COOL!  (Like, CBC-cool)  Over 100 households, a bunch of street sales, a rummage sale, and probably even more than what shows on our map.  Here is our post on it from yesterday in case you missed the map.

If you are hosting a garage sale, or even if you are not, please note that you can take all of your leftover stuff to Councillor Janet Davis’ environment day, and your used goods will be donated to people in need in our city.  That is awesome, right.  And it’s a nice segue to my next point.

2. Councillor Janet Davis’ Environment Day, 10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m., East York Memorial Arena 888 Cosburn Avenue @ Woodbine

In addition to the stuff you know about Environment Day, did you know that you can bring lots of stuff to be donated to people who need it??  Here is the list from the City website:

Items donated to local schools for reuse

  • Art supplies (e.g. pencils, markers, crayons, etc.)
  • Buttons, keys, and collectors’ coins and stamps
  • Clipboards, corks and cork boards
  • CDs and cases
  • Children’s books
  • Costume jewelry including broken/old watches and clocks with hands
  • Dress-up clothing (e.g. costumes, prom dresses, uniforms, etc.)
  • Fabric pieces, yarn
  • 35 mm cameras and equipment

Items donated for reuse (please keep separate from others)

  • Sporting goods(e.g., skates, hockey equipment, bikes, rackets, etc.)
  • Books (excluding school/university curriculum books)
  • Medical equipment in good condition (e.g. eyeglasses, walking aids, hearing aids, etc.)
  • Small household items (e.g., dishes, ornaments, kitchen utensils, artistic drawings, games, etc.)
  • Textiles in good condition (e.g. clothing, linens, etc.)
  • Non-perishable foods will be donated to a food bank

Here is the recent invite from Councillor Davis.

Bring all the stuff you’ve stored in the basement or garage all winter. Don’t forget the batteries, paint cans, electronic equipment, re-usable goods and clothes. Replace your bins, pick up important information, and learn more about what you can do to be green. Find out about Toronto Water and TRCA projects in our neighbourhood.

Bring your friends and enjoy a BBQ, local musicians, seed planting, plant sale, face painting and crafts for kids. Thanks to our community partners EY Community Garden, EY Garden Club, Toronto Parks and Recreation, EY Skating Club and others for their contributions.

We will also be joined by terrific local groups like Local Enhancement & Appreciation of Forests (LEAF), and Women’s Healthy Environments Network (WHEN), and the Stan Wadlow Off-Leash Dog Park Association.

New this year, we have free on-site bulk paper shredding. Bring your confidential documents for a safe means of disposal.

For a full list of items you can dispose of visit:

As always, there will be free compost created from leaves picked up last fall. City staff will be on hand to help residents load up free compost. Be sure to bring your shovels and buckets.

Make sure you stop by my table to discuss your local concerns, share ideas or just say hello! And don’t forget to enter our draw.

If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact my office. Thanks. See you Saturday.


So when you get your compost, what will you do with it?  Maybe plant a tree?  But how will you know how to take care of it?

3. Tree Care 101, 11:30 a.m. – 1:00 p.m., 79 Hiawatha Road (near Coxwell and Gerrard)

Now that you’ve bought stuff at the yard sales that you will re-use, you have donated your stuff, safely disposed of your household waste, and obtained free compost, you need to go learn how to take care of our wonderful trees!! (A logical next step, no?  You can also go to this workshop before environment day.  I know, the world is your oyster.)

What exactly is this workshop all about?  How can I say it any better than our poster can?  Here it is again!

tree care 101 poster final version

Happy Weekend everyone!!

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