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: