( Acer saccharum) Neighbourhood: Lawrence Park Address: 119 Rochester Ave. Height: Unknown; diameter: 127 cm (4 feet, 2 inches)
It’s one of the most plentiful tree species in Toronto, but there are few big and brawny sugar maples on city streets. According to city records, there are about 30 city-owned sugar maple trees growing on road allowances that measure one metre or more in diameter. In comparison, there are more than 100 city-owned silver maples in the same size range. This particular sugar maple in Lawrence Park is among the largest city-owned of this species and looms up above the single-family homes on Rochester Ave. Douglas Hart, a board member of the Lawrence Park Ratepayers’ Association and chair of the parks and trees committee, says residents are fiercely protective of their big trees. In 2015, the association helped co-ordinate a campaign, including resident surveys, lawn signs and yellow ribbons tied around tree trunks, to prevent the city from cutting down 349 trees as part of a stormwater management project. Work- ing with city staff, Hart says the association managed to bring the number of trees facing the axe down to 20 or 30. He hopes the biggest ones, like this magnificent sugar maple, will survive long past any city project. “These big trees are such a feature of our neighbourhood. They give it its character.”
This sugar maple in Lawrence Park is among the largest city-owned of this species — there are few big and brawny sugar maples on city streets.