Tory to restore Toronto’s total tree coverage to 28 per cent in next 10 years
John Tory announced his “28 in 10” plan today which will see the planting of 3.8 million trees over the next 10 years to restore Toronto’s tree coverage after it was devastated by the ice storm. Tory made the announcement while planting a tree at the Evergreen Brickworks. Tory’s plan will restore the city’s green urban landscape to match historic 2012 levels.
“One of the greatest things about living in Toronto is our green space. Neighbourhoods across the city are losing thousands of trees due to aging and catastrophic events like the ice storm,” said Tory. “Keeping Toronto forested is essential for our communities, making them more liveable by providing environmental benefits. It also helps make our city more affordable by helping to save on energy costs.”
Combined, damage from last summer’s flood and ice storm has reduced Toronto’s tree canopy to dangerously critical levels. To maintain the city’s 2012 tree cover of 28 per cent, 3.8 million trees need to be planted over the next 10 years, approximately 380,000 annually. Currently, the city’s budget will allow for only 120,000 new trees this year.
As Mayor, Tory will protect Toronto’s beloved urban landscape by aggressively replanting trees to ensure future generations of Torontonians will continue to enjoy forested parks and green spaces. The “28 in 10” plan includes:
- Doubling the city’s current annual expenditure of $7 million over five years to as much as $14 million by 2019; and
- Rallying city organizations, charities, community groups and businesses that already fund projects that support the greening of our city to focus on working collaboratively with the city to fund the planting of 380,000 trees each year.
“This isn’t just smart environmental planning, it’s smart economic planning,” said Geoff Cape, CEO of Evergreen. “For every dollar we spend on Toronto’s green space, almost $18 is returned to us through reduced energy costs. More tree cover in our communities means less air conditioning at expensive peak times. This is a great idea at a critical time in our city’s history and it expresses real vision for the future”
Under this plan, the decline of the forest canopy will be halted in three years. Over a 10-year period, the city’s canopy will be restored to 2012 levels.
“Just like I did at the United Way, as Mayor I will lead the charge to bring businesses, charities and the city together to solve this environmental and economic challenge,” said Tory. “A liveable Toronto starts with doing the right thing and restoring our beloved urban landscape.”