Monthly Archives: June 2012

Watch Your Ash!

The Emerald Ash Borer (EAB) which has devastated ash trees in southwestern Ontario and parts of the United States since its discovery in Detroit, Michigan in 2002, has been detected in the City of Toronto. The EAB is an introduced insect pest from Asia that attacks and kills all species of ash (genus: Fraxinus) trees.

What is the Emerald Ash Borer (EAB)?

EAB is an introduced insect pest from Asia that attacks and kills all species of true ash trees (genus: Fraxinus) by feeding beneath the bark and disrupting the flow of water and nutrients within the tree.

How much damage can the EAB cause to trees?

Tree mortality will result if a tree has been infested with EAB. Mortality may occur in as short a period as one year, however, death normally occurs within 2-3 years of a tree becoming infested.

How can I tell if I have an ash tree on or near my property?

Link: How to identify Ash Trees (PDF)

Link: City of London ash tree identification document (PDF)

How can I tell if an ash tree is infested by EAB?

Unfortunately, this is extremely difficult. Without cutting the tree down and skinning off most of the bark, it can be difficult to determine whether a tree is infested. A lot of the symptoms associated with EAB, such as shoots (suckers), cracking bark, D-shaped holes and thinning crowns only become evident after two or more years of infestation. One or more of these symptoms may appear even without the presence of EAB.

Link: Canadian Forest Service “A Visual Guide to Detecting Emerald Ash Borer Damage” (PDF).

What will happen to the City-owned ash tree on or near my property?

Urban Forestry plans to remove dead and dying City-owned ash trees and will replace them, where space permits, as soon as possible.  Homeowners will be notified of tree removal and replacement planting.

What should I do if I have a privately-owned ash tree on my property?

Property owners are responsible for taking care of privately-owned trees. The City recommends you monitor the condition of your tree, looking for signs of infestation. Most ash trees in Toronto are expected to deteriorate considerably and die over the next several years. When you see signs that your ash tree is dead or dying, you should contact a professional tree care company (you can find these in the Yellow Pages and other business directories). You should choose an arborist certified with the International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) or registered with the American Society of Consulting Arborists (ASCA). Make sure to ask if there is a fee for inspection and quotes; some companies provide these services free of charge.

If your ash tree appears healthy, you may consider asking your arborist to assess whether the tree may benefit from TreeAzin injections (link to TreeAzin portion of `Managing the Impact of EAB.) In some cases, TreeAzin may be able to slow the EAB infestation within a single tree.

Private property owners are strongly encouraged to consider planting new trees before or after ash tree removal. Healthy trees can increase property value, help cool your home and clean the air, along with other environmental, economic and aesthetic benefits. 

Do I need a Tree Removal Permit?

For trees on Private Property.Click here.
For trees within a Ravine Protected area. Click here.

For more information visit:

UPDATE: Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility


On-site Activity

The new Ashbridges Bay Maintenance and Storage Facility is one step closer to being built. Crews and equipment will arrive this week to prepare for installation of water monitoring wells, a dewatering system and a storm water management pond at the south-east corner of the property.

When will the Work take place?

The contractor is expected to be on site six days per week, from 7 am to 7 pm on weekdays and 9 am to 7 pm on Saturdays, as per City of Toronto bylaws.

Traffic Details and what to expect

Truck traffic associated with work around the main facility will be restricted to using Commissioners Street. This will minimize any impact to those wishing to visit businesses on Leslie Street, south of Lake Shore.

Further Information

The Ashbridges Bay Facility will maintain and store Toronto’s new low-floor accessible streetcars. The streetcars are scheduled to arrive in 2013 and will be operational on city streets in 2014.

For more information or if you wish to be added to our e-mail distribution list, please contact the Community Liaison:

Tel:                   416-397-8699

Vision Study Launched

IMPORTANT UPDATE: Applications for Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee (SAC) have been extended to June 29th.

A Note from Councillor McMahon:

We kicked off our Queen East Vision Study on June 16, 2012 with a full house at the Fire Academy – about 100 people showed up to offer their insights, expertise and dreams for the Beach.

Dozens of committed locals, city planners, urban designers and volunteers were on hand to listen and engage in this critical dialogue. We are lucky to have a talented and seasoned third party facilitator, Nicole Swerhun, to guide the process. She’s earned her stripes orchestrating input sessions and vision studies for the city’s Official Plan Review and the Waterfront community consultations.

All present were given an overview of the process and invited to describe and note what they hoped to see for Queen Street East in updating the Beach Guidelines from 1987. Using green stickers to mark what they liked and red stickers for what they disliked, residents made clear what they valued on this street and what they wanted to see changed. The new Queen East design guidelines will outline how development will proceed and ensure that the street will be treated with the sensitivity to local character that it deserves.  Click to view the Queen Street East Vision Study Presentation by the city staff.

We want to ensure EVERYONE is involved so please spread the word to your neighbours, friends, relatives, business owners, etc. There will be more opportunities to attend in-person workshops as well as online surveys and comments. A website is under construction to facilitate info exchange and input, but we also continue to have full updates posted here on our website.

At the workshop a handout was distributed that outlines the schedule and parameters of the Vision Study – click here. Feedback on four key questions is requested and can be emailed directly to the facilitator at

These are the sorts of questions people have been encouraged to consider and comment upon:

  • What are the current urban design elements of Queen Street East that you like best and would like to protect?
  • What are the current urban design elements of Queen Street East that you like least and would like to see changed? Why?
  • What is your vision for the future of Queen St E?

The deadline for the first round of comments is June 30th. There will be two more big community sessions with feedback opportunities.

If you are interested in even more involvement, please apply to be on the Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee (SAC). The facilitator is in charge of selection and will organize three more meetings with the SAC.  Click for Stakeholders’ Advisory Committee Application FormDEADLINE EXTENDED TO JUNE 29TH

We will also ensure our local papers and our social media forms promote the Visioning Study.  The Beach BIA will help us by having hard copies available in some of their shops. Please help us spread the word about this exciting opportunity for our neighbourhood!

We are hoping the study is all wrapped up with a report going to community council November 2012. Now’s your chance so make sure your voice is heard!

For more information:
Kate Green, SWERHUN’s Office
Tel: 416 572 4365




Dog-strangling vine or pale swallowwort is blooming

Dog Strangling Vine is an extremely aggressive plant species from the milkweed family.  It is a perennial with a horizontal woody rootstalk or rhizome (Figure 2). The stems can range in length from 60 to 200 cm (24 – 80 inches) with a twining or scrambling configuration, hence giving it the “strangling” moniker. The leaves are ovate (oval) in shape, have smooth margins, with hairs being present on the margins and major leaf veins on the underside of the leaf (Figure 3). According to DiTommaso et al. 2005, the flowers of Dog Strangling Vine are a pink, red-brown or maroon, while “Black” Dog Strangling Vine has flowers that are dark purple to blackish. Flowers will produce pods containing seed that is similar in appearance to common milkweed.

You can try to do something about it by recognizing DSV in all its stages and removing it immediately from your property or common lands nearby.
  • Cut (don’t pull) the stem off at the ground level. Pulling can break the roots underground, encouraging the plant to throw up new shoots at each of the break points.
  • Do not rototill if DSV has infested your property. Each root segment can produce a plant. Cut vines to the ground, and smother the area with heavy plastic or a heavy layer of wet newspaper and mulch.
  • Do not compost roots, flowers or pods.
  • Burn or boil any seed pods before discarding them.

Click for more information:

2012 Construction List in Ward 32

The City is working on numerous infrastructure projects in ward 32.  To see what projects are underway and where within the ward click here: Ward 32 Project List 2012

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