Planting Trees in Toronto as Part of Two Billion Trees

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TORONTO, Aug. 6, 2021 /CNW/ – There is no path to net-zero emissions that does not involve Canada’s forests. Planting trees is a natural climate solution that removes and stores carbon from the atmosphere while providing other benefits such as better air and water quality, particularly in urban settings, supporting biodiversity and decreasing the risk of wildland fire in rural communities. It also provides spaces for recreational opportunities that improve our quality of life and connection to nature.

Today, Robert Oliphant, Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs, on behalf of the Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr., Minister of Natural Resources, announced $196,478 to the City of Toronto in support of the Government of Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees over 10 years. This project will see 10,000 trees planted along the Betty Sutherland Trail and will enhance local forest cover. The afforestation of existing grassland areas will provide a significant urban forest area to a region with many high-density housing units.

The Two Billion Trees program continues the Government of Canada’s existing efforts to advance tree planting as an important part of the solution to climate change. Canada’s plan to plant two billion trees is projected to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by up to 12 megatonnes annually by 2050. It will create up to 4,300 green jobs.

With the help of dedicated organizations across the country, we are growing healthy, vibrant and sustainably managed forests, leaving behind a green legacy for future generations.

Natural Resources Canada is implementing this plan with support from Environment and Climate Change Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. Planting two billion trees represents a 40 percent annual increase in the number of trees planted in Canada and will see trees planted in both urban and rural areas across the country. In 10 years, the new trees will cover more than 1.1 million hectares, an area twice the size of Prince Edward Island.


“Anyone who has enjoyed the many parks and trails along the Don Valley will appreciate the importance of trees and forests in our ecosystem. Forests help to keep our air and water clean and store carbon from the atmosphere. We owe it to young people all across Canada to protect the environment and wildlife and to create good jobs.”

Robert Oliphant

Parliamentary Secretary to the Minister of Foreign Affairs

Member of Parliament for Don Valley West

“Planting two billion trees is more than a plan for climate action. It’s a plan for creating thousands of good, green jobs. We’re rolling out tree-planting projects right across the country. Planting trees gets us to net zero.”

The Honourable Seamus O’Regan Jr.

Minister of Natural Resources

“I’m delighted to accept this funding on behalf of the City of Toronto to support the planting of 10,000 trees along the Betty Sutherland Trail Park. These trees will cover 5.5 hectares of land and assist the City in reaching its goal of 40 percent canopy cover in Toronto. Thank you to the Government of Canada for making this investment. Once again, we see the positive impact that we can have for our city, our residents and our environment when governments work together.”

John Tory

Mayor, City of Toronto

“Once the 10,000 trees become established along Betty Sutherland Trail Park, they will extend the forest cover and provide many ecological benefits to nearby neighbourhoods.”

Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong (Don Valley East)

Deputy Mayor, City of Toronto

“Trees and public green spaces are particularly important in urban environments like the City of Toronto, where many residents live in apartments and condominiums. The planting of 10,000 new trees in our city will ultimately strengthen our tree canopy while removing carbon from our air and enhancing our natural infrastructure. Thank you to Natural Resources Canada for its support.”

Councillor Jennifer McKelvie (Scarborough-Rouge Park)

Chair of the Infrastructure and Environment Committee

City of Toronto

Quick facts

  • The Government of Canada has committed up to $3.2 billion over 10 years, starting in 2021–22, to deliver on this commitment.
  • This is part of a broader Government of Canada approach to embrace the power of nature, recently announced as part of Canada’s strengthened climate plan, A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy. 
  • The government has established an advisory committee of experts on nature-based climate solutions to advise on program delivery to maximize emission reductions and deliver on key biodiversity and human well-being co-benefits to improve the quality of life for Canadians.

Associated Links

2 Billion Trees Commitment

A Healthy Environment and a Healthy Economy Backgrounder

Nature-based solutions for climate change mitigation and adaption

SOURCE Natural Resources Canada

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