Toronto Parks Chainsaw Massacre

Extremists in Toronto's forestry department have decreed that the natural evolution of Toronto's ravine parks, including Sherwood Park, will be taken over by central planners armed with chainsaws, herbicides, hazmat suits, fencing, and barriers. Their mission is the destruction of shade trees that they claim are "non-native" in all Toronto's park ravines. Their weapons include Garlon and Roundup, herbicides so toxic that the Ontario Pesticides Act can impose fines of $200,000 per day and a year in prison for their use. This extremist minority is destroying our magnificent shade trees, poisoning the places where children once learned to love nature, and building barriers to change our ravines into bureaucratically-managed theme parks where nature can only be observed, not experienced. This tax-funded madness must be stopped.   Start Slideshow   Comment Blog
00_2011-05-00 00.00.00    The Sherwood park ravine was once a place of freedom and exploration. Now the central planners are demanding that we "Stay on defined paths". When the chainsaws and poison came to Sherwood Park in 2002, there was an immense variety of species, not the "non-native monoculture" claimed by the extremists. A decade of killing and herbicides has actually  reduced  diversity in pursuit of their nativist fantasy.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.00.00    Before the extremists, Toronto's parks were for people. In those days, the city recognized that parks were to be used and enjoyed, where people could escape pavement and experience nature first-hand. The city also realized that the natural environment would adapt and thrive. All that has changed. Now, our parks are brutally managed places where children can  observe  from fenced-off paths the extremist's version of what nature  should be , but can no longer experience first hand what nature really is.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 12.31.52    NOTICE TO PARK USERS:  "Staff will be using the products Roundup (active ingredient glyphosate) and Garlon 4 (active ingredient triclopyr) which are absorbed into plants' root system causing the plants to die within 1 growing season."  Persistence over one growing season combined with multi-year application means that the toxicity of these poisons will remain present and expose park users, especially children and pregnant women, to the  known toxic effects of Garlon 4  and Roundup.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.36.54    The  toxicity of Garlon 4  includes:   "severe eye damage, skin sensitization, dizziness and/or drowsiness, respiratory irritation, and gastrointestinal irritation... blood, kidney, liver, and nervous system toxicity in animals... reproductive and developmental abnormalities, including: increased fetal death, skeletal malformations, as well as liver and kidney defects" . The central planners of Toronto's  Parks, Forestry & Recreation  have decided  for us  that these risks are a small price to pay for turning our natural ravines into Native Species Theme Parks.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2007-11-19 10.41.38    When city workers applying toxic Garlon and Roundup herbicides to the chainsawed tree stumps require hazardous material (hazmat) suiting, eye protection, full head covering, respiratory filters, and rubber gloves, are we to believe that these substances are harmless? When the  Ontario Pesticides Act  can impose fines of $200,000 per day and a year in prison for the use of these pesticides, are we to believe the goal of this program is so beneficial that it warrants the use of such obviously toxic agents?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.42.16    When city workers applying toxic Garlon and Roundup herbicides to the chainsawed tree stumps require hazardous material (hazmat) suiting, eye protection, full head covering, respiratory filters, and rubber gloves, are we to believe that these substances are harmless? When the  Ontario Pesticides Act  can impose fines of $200,000 per day and a year in prison for the use of these pesticides, are we to believe the goal of this program is so beneficial that it warrants the use of such obviously toxic agents?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.40.56    When city workers applying toxic Garlon and Roundup herbicides to the chainsawed tree stumps require hazardous material (hazmat) suiting, eye protection, full head covering, respiratory filters, and rubber gloves, are we to believe that these substances are harmless? When the  Ontario Pesticides Act  can impose fines of $200,000 per day and a year in prison for the use of these pesticides, are we to believe the goal of this program is so beneficial that it warrants the use of such obviously toxic agents?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.45.23    City workers with chainsaws and hazardous material suiting depart the scene of their activities when confronted with questions from a park user.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2007-11-19 10.45.35    City worker in full hazmat suiting departs the scene of poisoning shade trees when confronted with questions from a park user.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.32.12    Now we witness the grip these extremists have on City Hall. On the 2002 May long weekend, city workers were paid overtime union rates to build fences and barriers. What was the urgency?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.32.32    Now we witness the grip these extremists have on City Hall. On the 2002 May long weekend, city workers were paid overtime union rates to build fences and barriers. What was the urgency?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.33.00    Now we witness the grip these extremists have on City Hall. On the 2002 May long weekend, city workers were paid overtime union rates to build fences and barriers. What was the urgency?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2002-05-18 12.37.18    Non-native invasive species thwarted by the extremists' taming of Sherwood Park.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-07-20 11.13.49    The extremists take priority at City Hall. This drinking fountain in Sherwood Park was dead for at least three years, despite numerous calls to the Parks Department requesting its repair. Yet city workers could be paid overtime union rates to build fences and barriers that no one wanted and for which there was no urgency on the 2002 May long weekend. Can we please hear the the explanation for such an apparently bizarre setting of priorities and spending of tax dollars?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-07-20 11.17.06    City workers building ever more barriers to deny acces to ever greater areas of Sherwood Park. Did any taxpayers beyond the extremist core ever request that their taxes be spent for such an undertaking?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.54.42    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2013-10-07 14.54.47    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.55.03    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.55.20     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in the once-beautiful Sherwood Park glade beside Blythwood Road. Run-off from this clear-cut slope enters the creek immediately below, and flows to the Don River.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.55.30     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in the once-beautiful Sherwood Park glade beside Blythwood Road. Run-off from this clear-cut slope enters the creek immediately below, and flows to the Don River.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2013-10-07 14.56.02     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in the once-beautiful Sherwood Park glade beside Blythwood Road. Run-off from this clear-cut slope enters the creek immediately below, and flows to the Don River.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.58.09    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.58.51    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 14.59.05    In 2013, after 11 years of fencing, chainsawing and poisoning our park ravines, the extremists clearcut and poisoned this beautiful shaded pathway beside Blythwood Road. It was such a pleasure to step from the heat of Blythwood Road into the cool of this pathway, shaded under green arching boughs. Now it is a clearcut, poisoned wasteland with no trees to protect the slopes from erosion. The creek that feeds the Don River is below this slope. And the extremists are planning more of the same devastation.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2011-08-00 00.00.01    Thanks to Google, we can see the satellite view from August 2011 of the beautiful shady grove at the Blythwood entrance before it was clear-cut, poisoned and fenced by Toronto Parks, all in the name of improved sight lines into the park for surveillance and the renaturalization of an already natural setting.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2011-08-00 00.00.02    Thanks to Google Street View, we can see the view from Blythwood Avenue in August 2011 of the beautiful shady grove before it was clear-cut, poisoned and fenced by Toronto Parks, all in the name of improved sight lines into the park for surveillance and the renaturalization of an already natural setting.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-12-17 12.06.12    Clear-cutting and poisoning a beautiful shady grove to "improve sightlines". Sightlines must be one of the feeblest excuses for clear-cutting a city park. What are the sightlines for? Who is being monitored? By whom? How much more clear-cutting will be required for "sightlines" deep into the park? Did a single park user or taxpayer asked for this? This sounds more and more like the work of people obsessed with monitoring and controlling users in THEIR park and of bureaucratic domain builders within Toronto's Parks, Forestry & Recreation department. Something is clearly rotten at city hall.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-12-17 12.05.19    With ever-expanding fencing and barriers, park users are being coralled into ever-diminishing corridors. The architects of this monstrosity clearly believe that the parks belong to them to do with as they please, and park users are no more than an infestation to be monitored, regulated and controlled. Is this the chainsawed remains of a non-native invader?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2013-12-17 12.05.35    With ever-expanding fencing and barriers, park users are being coralled into ever-diminishing corridors. The architects of this monstrosity clearly believe that the parks belong to them to do with as they please, and park users are no more than an infestation to be monitored, regulated and controlled.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-12-17 12.07.22    With ever-expanding fencing and barriers, park users are being coralled into ever-diminishing corridors. The architects of this monstrosity clearly believe that the parks belong to them to do with as they please, and park users are no more than an infestation to be monitored, regulated and controlled.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-12-14 13.46.42    The Sherwood Park Advisory Committee (SPAC) explains the clear-cutting:  "Forestry has completed the removal of invasive trees and shrubs throughout the Blythwood entrance area. The result shocked a lot of people but when the situation was explained to them, they appreciated the work and the plan for the future of this area... A contractor has been hired to install fencing around thre Blythwood entrance area."  Perhaps the SPAC should read the unvarnished opinions of park users in the Comment Blog (link below) to the ongoing chainsawing of shade trees, toxic herbicides, and the fencing off of once beautiful and accessible areas, all of which thrived before these invasive meddlers infested Toronto's parks.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-12-14 13.46.46    The Sherwood Park Advisory Committee (SPAC) explains the clear-cutting:  "Forestry has completed the removal of invasive trees and shrubs throughout the Blythwood entrance area. The result shocked a lot of people but when the situation was explained to them, they appreciated the work and the plan for the future of this area... A contractor has been hired to install fencing around thre Blythwood entrance area."  Perhaps the SPAC should read the unvarnished opinions of park users in the Comment Blog (link below) to the ongoing chainsawing of shade trees, toxic herbicides, and the fencing off of once beautiful and accessible areas, all of which thrived before these invasive meddlers infested Toronto's parks.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2002-07-20 11.29.29    Beth McEwen, Manager, Urban Forestry Renewal has stated,  "The trees in the picture are mature red oaks, a species which is highly valued in the Sherwood Forest."  Not only are these magnificent native red oaks thriving in Sherwood Park, but they are overwhelmingly the dominant species of shade tree in the ravine area. And the red oaks achieved this dominance despite competing with "invasive species" since long before these majestic trees were tiny acorns, and despite receiving no help from chainsaws, poison or barriers. The dominance of these native species is  absolute proof  that the desecration of Toronto's ravines by these extremists does not even serve their own stated goal. Nature will always do a better job than high-minded meddlers.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-07-20 11.31.52    Beth McEwen, Manager, Urban Forestry Renewal has stated,  "The trees in the picture are mature red oaks, a species which is highly valued in the Sherwood Forest."  Not only are these magnificent native red oaks thriving in Sherwood Park, but they are overwhelmingly the dominant species of shade tree in the ravine area. And the red oaks achieved this dominance despite competing with "invasive species" since long before these majestic trees were tiny acorns, and despite receiving no help from chainsaws, poison or barriers. The dominance of these native species is  absolute proof  that the desecration of Toronto's ravines by these extremists does not even serve their own stated goal. Nature will always do a better job than high-minded meddlers.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.41.26    Two  non-native invasive species and a toxic herbicide that could land you or me a year in jail for its use. It is clear from the prohibitory signage, fences and barriers that the extremists do not want their botanical fantasy messed up by shade trees, children, bikes or dogs.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-20 13.37.21     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in Sherwood Park.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2007-11-19 11.53.19     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in Sherwood Park.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 11.42.14     Garlon  and Roundup persist in the stumps of the chainsawed trees in Sherwood Park.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-21 13.30.33     Garlon  and Roundup are being applied on slopes beside and above waterways in Sherwood Park. This creek feeds into the Don River. Killing tree growth on slopes is the number one cause of slope erosion.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 12.32.18    The Native Species Manifesto declares  "bike activity at this site is causing substantial tree damage and slope erosion in the ravine"  But clear-cutting slopes with chainsaws and poisoning the stumps somehow does NOT cause tree damage and slope erosion? And now we are supposed to turn in fellow park users:  "Your cooperation in reporting bike activity... would be appreciated" . So in an era when kids should be riding their BMX bikes and having fun without adult intervention, these extremists want us to turn them in for a $5000 fine.  "Additional trees have been marked for removal... for increased surveillance" . Stay between the fences, observe but don't explore, stay off your bikes, and remember - WE ARE WATHCING YOU! Who are these control-obsessed, fun-destroying meddlers?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2007-11-19 10.25.23    If you or I drove our cars, or now even our bicycles, into Sherwood park, we would be in big trouble. And yet, a volunteer associated with this mission regularly drives and parks this car all over Sherwood Park. Who has granted this privilege to a private citizen?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.26.25    Janice Palmer, the operator of the car apparently granted the right to drive and park in Sherwood park, with her volunteers. Ms Palmer recently informed a park user who expressed his displeasure at her activities that "We know where you live" and that she could have a citation served against him banning him from all Toronto parks. While Ms Palmer's intentions are no doubt selfless and her spirit of volunteerism laudable, the public interest requires that Toronto taxpayers and park users have the right to question and understand the goals of, and the participants in, any particular program affecting our public parks, whether volunteer or tax-funded, especially when such a program has the potential to affect the health of park users, including children.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.23.36    With growing concern over childhood obesity epidemic and detachment from the real world in favor of an artificial online existence, the extremists demand an end to bike riding and the free exploration of nature. How did the city forget what our park ravines mean for the people of Toronto, and let this dictatorial minority hijack our tax dollars for such a regressive mission?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2002-05-18 12.28.21    No acess. Trail closed. No walking. No bicycling. No anything other than what the enlightened extremists permit.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2002-05-18 12.30.20    The forest is closed! Who can close a forest? And how do chainsaws and toxic herbicides control erosion and encourage regeneration? The extremists insult our intelligence when they claim that clear-cutting on slopes will "control erosion".     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 15.09.48    How many park users want to see magnificent shade trees, nature's air-conditioning, replaced with fenced-off, look-but-don't-touch, "native grasses and wildflowers"? And how many believe that bureaucrats with chainsaws, poison, fences and barriers can do a better job than nature at selecting species that are best suited to any natural setting? And how many want to pay for it with their tax dollars? And how absurd to believe that the "native species" they claim are the natural flora of Toronto’s ravines must be planted by humans, defended with chainsaws and poison, and barricaded behind fences.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 15.11.29    This notice leaves no doubt as to the single-minded obsession of the extremists and their determination to turn our beautiful park ravines into their twisted vision of some bygone nativist paradise for which there is no accurate record. Their malignant vision has been allowed to metastisize out of control, feeding on our tax dollars. It must be stopped now!     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2013-10-07 15.12.29    They say the road to hell is paved with good intentions, and this collections of "volunteers" is proof of that old adage. Under the righteous umbrella of volunteerism, the Sherwood Park Advisory Committee participates in a campaign of destruction that involves chainsaws, toxic herbicides, fencing, and barriers. Do we have to thank these selfless volunteers for destroying the joy and learning that comes from free, unstructured exploration of Toronto's natural ravines? Or can we politely tell them that their services are not wanted, and that their misguided project must end... NOW?     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case
2013-10-07 15.13.08    The effect of all the party animals, thoughtless dog owners, and litterbugs that we are encouraged to report is of no consequence compared to the grotesque damage to Sherwood Park and its users caused by the "Native Species Program". One has to laugh when so-called "native species" - the "natural" flora of Sherwood Park, according to the extremists - require humans to plant them and chainsaws, toxic herbicides, fencing and barriers to thrive. More of a toxic fantasy than a return to nativism.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case 2007-11-19 10.41.38 Title    Toronto City Hall restoring nature.     Public Comment Blog       The City Makes its Case