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September 29, 2009
New tree awareness program unveiled at Queen’s Park
City of Toronto Parks and Environment Committee Chair Paula Fletcher (Councillor, Ward 30 Toronto-Danforth), along with William Thorsell, Director and Chief Executive Officer of The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM), and ROM staff were on hand today to unveil interpretive panels and tree identification signs as part of Trees for Toronto.

Trees for Toronto is a collaborative project between the City of Toronto and the ROM to renew the urban forest in Queen’s Park. The Royal Ontario Museum contributed $100,000 to help plant trees and create interpretive panels and signs identifying the 47 varieties of trees in the park.

The new interpretive signs were created by the ROM and are located in two clusters within the park. One details the natural and cultural history of Queen’s Park while the other focuses on Toronto’s urban forest and the identification of trees through the seasons. Over 90 trees, representing all 47 species in the park, now have identification plaques enabling people to identify the trees and their leaves throughout the year.

“Trees for Toronto has rejuvenated interest in and stewardship of the grand old trees in Queen’s Park,” said Deborah Metsger, assistant curator of Botany in the ROM’s Department of Natural History and co-author of The ROM Field Guide to Wildflowers of Ontario.

Queen’s Park, dubbed “the People’s Park” as far back as 1884, is a green oasis with a mixed canopy that includes large mature red and white oaks, butternuts, Norway maples, lindens and pines. Located steps away from the ROM, the City of Toronto park originally opened in 1860. The trees in the park require ongoing management and a managed succession tree planting program to ensure the continuing health of the urban forest. Through Trees for Toronto, the ROM is helping to renew the tree canopy by planting over 60 trees, as well as maintaining the diversity and succession of the 47 different species and cultivated varieties of trees already growing in the park.

“The City of Toronto is deeply committed to maintaining and expanding the city’s tree canopy and Trees for Toronto will help accomplish that goal by fostering a deeper appreciation of the diversity of trees in Toronto’s urban forest,” said Councillor Fletcher.

Opened in 1914, Canada’s largest museum combining both natural history and world cultures holds six million objects in its collections and presents public galleries showcasing art, archaeology and natural science. Renaissance ROM is an ambitious expansion and heritage renovation project that reasserts the Royal Ontario Museum as one of North America's great museums and a leading cultural attraction for the city, province and country. Renaissance ROM continues until 2010 with several new and renovated galleries to be created at the Museum. The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) is an agency of the Government of Ontario.

For 24-hour information in English and French, call 416-586-8000 or visit the ROM’s website at

Toronto is Canada's largest city and sixth largest government, and home to a diverse population of about 2.6 million people. It is the economic engine of Canada and one of the greenest and most creative cities in North America. Toronto has won numerous awards for quality, innovation and efficiency in delivering public services. 2009 marks the 175th anniversary of Toronto's incorporation as a city. Toronto's government is dedicated to prosperity, opportunity and liveability for all its residents.

Media contacts:
Toronto Parks, Forestry and Recreation Media Line, 416-560-8726,
David McKay, The Royal Ontario Museum, 416-586-5559,



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