Planting Trees on Bloor Avenue in Downtown Toronto Case Study

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The report is based on a case study on the tree planting project along the Bloor Avenue in Bloor-Yorkville. It covers the aspects of rezoning this area so as to ensure that it has residential areas as well instead of the usual office apartments and retail stores. This has necessitated the planting of trees in the area. The rezoning of the area is also meant to eliminate throughway passages across the residential areas.

The report analyses the zoning of the area and looks into the appropriate amendments made on the zoning bylaws. There has been need to amend the Toronto zoning by-laws so as to allow the restructuring of Bloor Avenue. This is supposed to affect the construction of new structures, readjusting the packing zone as well as ensure order in the development of the area.

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With the constructions of multipurpose storey buildings that have offices, commercial and residential units, there has been a move to amend the zoning laws so as to ensure that trees are planted on Bloor Avenue. Efforts have been made to allow for larger parking spaces meant to serve the office/commercial units as well as the residential units and increase the size of the pedestrians’ sidewalks.

The Site and the Surroundings

Bloor-Yorkville is between Church Street and Avenue Road. The area has been divided various section which include; institutional areas, open space areas, apartment neighborhoods and residential neighborhoods, like the Yorkville Triangle.

To maintain the forest cover and keep a healthy ecosystem, especially at the residential areas, there has been a push to plant trees on Bloor Avenue. This has particularly been taken up by non-profit making organizations, individuals and the city council.


Bloor Avenue Transformation Project

Bloor-Yorkville is among the best shopping and entertainment districts in Canada. This was particularly one of the reasons for the Bloor Avenue transformation project. The project was aimed at ensuring that the center has beautiful plane trees in sustainable soil cell systems.

This is meant to ensure optimal growth for the trees. The project was also aimed at ensuring wider pedestrian sub-ways and maintaining beautiful seasonal flowerbeds as well as attractive lighting for the trees.

The transformation has made Bloor Avenue a preferred shopping center for the local and international tourists. This project might have taken more time but the efforts were worth. In the 1990’s, for instance, there was an advice from the City of Toronto concerning the overhaul of a water system that was serving Bloor-Yorkville’s Bloor Street from Church Street to Avenue road.

The corridor was then to be transformed with interesting upgrades. The transformation was done in phases and was completed in 2010. The upgrades made Bloor Avenue to be among the most preferred shopping streets in Canada and hence among the most expensive.

Boor Street has some of the most expensive residential units and hotels. It also has one of the largest museums in Toronto, which is at the Bloor and Avenue Road intersection. The transformation project was started with the aim of ensuring wider sidewalks, mature trees, beautiful flower gardens, well lit streets and public artwork.

Picturesque gardens and quiet residential units have characterized the suburbs in this area. Construction of Bloor Street implied the conversion of most residential units into commercial units and offices. There has been a significant rise in the prices of these units.

Bloor-Yorkville BIA is a non profit making organization which aims at bringing more traffic and investment to the area. It is composed of 700 members and it organizes various events annually so as to ensure that its objectives are met. Due to this, Bloor-Yorkville has continued to blossom as a shopping center. The area has major name brand retailers like Prada and Gucci.

The transformation project for Bloor Avenue had been planned for a long time and it commenced in 2008. It was aimed at ensuring that the street is at per with other renowned streets and avenues like Park Avenue in New York and Michigan Avenue in Chicago. The revitalization of the avenue continued at a slow pace due to a number of challenges that were encountered.

For instance, there were logistical problems due to the poor infrastructure. At that time, Toronto was grappling with economic difficulties due to the economic recession that was being witnessed across the globe. The expenditure on this project, therefore, met with a lot of opposition from different groups.

However, the project continued to its completion. By then, trees were planted on the avenue and new flower gardens installed. This turned the old Bloor Avenue into a new beautiful and vibrant area.

Upon the completion of this project, besides the announcement, the Bloor-Yorkville BIA organization had to change the perception among the people that the project was a waste of money. A red carpet event was therefore held and the area between the Church Street and Avenue Road was covered with a red carpet.

The event was advertised in the media and on the internet and it was a great success. The prime goal of restoring Bloor Avenue to its beauty and glory had been achieved. The transformation of Bloor-Avenue has made Bloor-Yorkville to be among the most attractive areas to the local and international tourists and even those who search for residential units.


The area adjacent to the Bloor Avenue has several parks that portray the scenic beauty of the town. A good example is the Village of Yorkville Park. It is composed of unique gardens that were designed with the aim of bringing out the diversity of Bloor-Yorkville’s landscape and the wider Canadian region.

The park has been well designed with attractive pine trees that grow outside circular benches. It also has well groomed crabapple trees and a waterfall. Its design has resulted in the park receiving recognition as being among the best parks in Toronto.

Other parks included the Frank Strollery Parkette, which is an urban park, the Jesse Ketchum Park that has a playing ground and it is next to Jesse Ketchum School. There is also the Town Hall Square which is situated near the Toronto Public Library. It is an urban oasis that has benches and pathways between the well maintained hedges, trees and large pots.

Tree Bylaws

Even though most trees grow on private property, they are perceived as an important part of the urban forest. For this reason, it is upon the Urban Forest Service to nurture and protect them. They are protected by the urban municipal laws. In 2004, the city of Toronto municipality came up with a municipality code that regulates the damaging or removal of trees from private property.

The code is aimed at protecting the urban forest hence ensuring a healthy ecosystem. To destroy or remove a tree on private property, a person is supposed to acquire a permit from the Urban Forest Service and he/she is expected to pay some application fee. To remove a dead, diseased or a hazardous tree, a permit is not required but a report from an arborist is to be sent to the Urban Forest Service.

The zoning bylaws are aimed at ensuring that the area remains within a healthy and attractive environment. They also ensure that the multi-use areas for pedestrians are protected from encroachment and hence are open and easily accessibility.

The bylaws were also enacted so as to protect residential areas from intensive commercial projects or developments. They help protect historical artifacts and buildings as well. They are also aimed at ensuring that any developments are in line with the required standards.


The Bloor-Yorkville is known to be a commercial as well as a residential town. It is among the well designed cities in Northern America. This has made it a tourist attraction site. The area has well kept parks that add to the scenic beauty of the town, with a good example being the Village of Yorkville Park. Planting trees along Bloor Avenue has been quite crucial in protecting the residential units.

The area has some multipurpose storey buildings that have both the offices/commercial units and residential units especially on the upper floors. The planting of trees on Bloor Avenue has particularly been vital in protecting the pedestrian sidewalks hence ensuring that these sections are not encroached.

The transformation project for Bloor Avenue was supposed to ensure that all the construction and development projects are done in accordance with the appropriate set standards.

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