Premiere Ave at Carleton Ave loses a big tree to development

The intersection of Carleton Avenue at Scott Street is a main gateway to our community, for pedestrians and vehicles alike. For more than a year many of us have watched with vigilance as two new houses have gone up at the corner of Carleton & Premiere Avenues.

What will happen with the two majestic silver maples on the property, we wondered? The community association diligently cajoled the developer into promising to retain and protect these two trees, in exchange for their support for the variances required. Many visits by forestry services and discussions with the developer about keeping machinery away and minimizing excavation ensued. As construction drew to a close it seemed the trees would survive, to provide relief and life next to the tall exterior of the buildings. More than a year of effort and worry seemed to be behind us.

This week the tree in the backyard of the property was severely damaged by new excavation on either side of the vital roots. Two pits, one on each side of the silver maple’s majestic trunk, may be designed for hot tubs. (See photographs of the backyard tree with one of the 5 ft deep pits in foreground).


Forestry Services has concluded that the new excavations have destabilized the tree to such an extent that it is a safety hazard and will need to be removed. The developer will be charged with violating the Urban Tree Conservation By-law (damage to a distinctive tree).

This is something but is it enough? Not when our community once again loses something that makes it a unique and desirable place to live: a really big tree. They are falling one by one. A main gateway to our community will never again be graced with anything so lovely as a healthy, thriving silver maple tree. We mourn its loss.

–submitted by Daniel Buckes & Debra Huron
The Champlain Oaks project reported on and chronicled the demise of this tree during 2014:

6 thoughts on “Premiere Ave at Carleton Ave loses a big tree to development

  1. You cannot bargain with these developers. Give an inch…etc. Now they have their variances approved and the tree is gone.

    I do not agree with cash in lieu either.


  2. Max fine is $100,000. CA shud insist on it. Plus require replacement with equivalent mature tree.

    It sure looks like an act of wilful disregard of the law. R

  3. This is horrible. I have never been involved in this kind of community conversation before but I am compelled to comment. This is not how i would want to move into an established neighbourhood.

    I hope these people enjoy their hot tubs.

    If civil action for breach of contract is being considered against these unscrupulous ‘builders’ I would be happy to contribute monetarily to help fund the action.

    Peter Jupp

  4. This is a travesty, and speaks to the greed and carelessness of these developers. Can’t zoning bylaws be changed to reduce the height and footprint of new infills? They are literally squeezing the life and beauty out of our neighborhood.

  5. Thanks for kind words of support. It is hard to see what has been going on in this ‘hood for the last number of years. Even people who live on streets that are zoned R1 (singles) are being affected in the trend to tearing down smaller houses in favour of new and humongous buildings–where 2 people live! Something I should say is that it is speculation that the pits were being dug for hot tubs. It may be that they are for the footings for porches. I will try to obtain better information on this in the coming days. What I do know for sure is that Forestry services is proceeding with by-law infraction notices in 4 instances of damage to distinctive trees in the last couple of months in Champlain Park community. Given that this dept. used to have nothing to do with prosecuting for damage to trees, this is a step in the right direction. Unfortunately, two trees have paid the highest price by being so badly damaged that they have died.

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