Construction of the Community Rec Complex will require the removal or relocation of trees that are encroaching on the building footprint or would not survive the construction.
The building design maximizes the buildable space on the site, in part to ensure that there is no interruption to services while new facilities are being built. Removal of the trees for construction purposes is permitted by the City’s Tree Bylaw.
The site has 146 trees. Over the course of the four-year construction period:
- 24 trees will be preserved – 7 trees will be retained on the site, and 17 trees will be relocated.
- 122 trees will be removed.
Approximately half of the trees will be removed late February on the north side of the site to prepare for construction starting in March.
Removing the trees prior to bird-nesting season will also help to minimize the disturbance to birds.
The City recognizes the loss of trees will have a significant impact on the site until new trees are planted, and will leave the remaining trees standing as long as possible.
The trees on-site include a variety of different species, such as cherry, maple, spruce, pine, holly, hazel, Hawthorne, oak, Cypress, magnolia, sequoia, sweetgum and London Plane. These trees were planted during the various stages of expansion and renovation of the existing buildings.
Of the 122 trees to be removed:
- 64 trees are encroaching on the building footprint of the new complex.
- 58 additional trees have been identified for removal by a consulting arborist and City parks staff for the following reasons:
- Many of the species are no longer recommended today due to root, disease and structural defects.
- Many have poor structure because they were planted too close to hydro lines and have been severely pruned over the years as they grew into their semi-mature state.
One tree, an 18-metre-tall Douglas Fir near the current Kingsway Avenue entrance, is identified as a significant tree in the City’s Tree Bylaw due to its size and species. The tree must be removed as it has been impacted by hydro line clearance pruning and because it falls within the footprint of the new complex. Given the size of the tree, transplant would be very costly and survival is unlikely.
The Tree Bylaw permits the removal of significant trees for construction of buildings.
Ventana Construction applied for and received a Tree Removal Permit for the necessary work.
In total, the City was able to preserve 24 trees, including Japanese Cherry, Deodar Cedar, Red Oak, Pin Oak, Red Maple, Flowering Dogwood and Weeping Giant Sequoia.
- 7 trees will be retained on the site, along the perimeter. The trees will be protected from the construction with fencing and signage.
- 17 trees that are young and small enough to survive a relocation will be moved to other City properties and parks.
Repurposing the Trees
The City is working with the contractor to determine suitable uses for the wood, such as interior features, carving projects, outdoor kiosks, benches, interpretive signage posts, gazebo or split-rail fencing, educational materials (e.g. tree cookies/tree rings) and natural play features.
The City will also evaluate chipping the branch and stem debris for natural area and specimen tree planting mulch.
Future Trees on the Site
New trees will be planted on the site as part of the project’s landscaping plan, which is still in development.
While the exact quantity has yet to be determined, at the very minimum the City plans to plant at least one tree for each one removed.
The landscaping plan will ensure that the appropriate species are planted in the right locations on the site.