November 4, 2020
Mayor John Tory accepted the Champion of Trees Award on behalf of the City of Toronto on Oct. 1. The award, presented by the Arbor Day Foundation, recognizes the City for exemplary leadership in developing and implementing new policies and practices for tree planting and care, natural area stewardship and arboriculture.

The City was recognized for its leadership and commitment to advancing urban forestry through various initiatives including:
  • Planting more than one million trees across the city since 2005.
  • Investing $605.6 million in its urban forest from 2008-2018.
  • Planting approximately 120,000 trees and shrubs per year.
  • Engaging more than 23,000 volunteers in over 1,000 community planting and stewardship events since 2013.
  • Investing more than $3.62 million in private land tree planting and stewardship programs since 2016, resulting in approximately 25,000 additional trees being planted on private land, around 72,000 residents engaged, 36 projects funded and leveraging more than $6.5 million in matching funding from other sources.
  • Becoming one of the first Canadian cities to undertake an i-Tree Eco (formerly known as UFORE) study in 2008 which was used to develop a comprehensive Strategic Forest Management Plan.
  • Increasing Toronto’s canopy cover from 26.6 to 28 per cent in 2008 to 28 to 31 per cent in 2018 based on the 2018 tree canopy study.
Past award recipients from the Arbor Day Foundation include Nobel Peace Prize winner Wangari Maathai, Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley and the United States Forest Service. More information can be found at