Update from CCFEW via Ruth Grier regarding apple orchard in Lakeshore Hospital Grounds

View of apple orchard at Lakeshore Hospital Grounds. Jaan Pill photo

In a previous blog post, David Switzer has outlined the history of past discussions about the apple orchard on the Lakeshore Hospital Grounds.

I’ve received permission from Ruth Grier to share the following update regarding the apple orchard. The update is from CCFEW (Citizens Concerned About the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront) via Ruth Grier.

Update from CCFEW via Ruth Grier

Some time ago the Toronto Catholic School Board presented early plans for their new elementary school to the Lakeshore Grounds Co-ordinating Committee on which I represent CCFEW (Citizens Concerned for the Future of the Etobicoke Waterfront). Part of the orchard is on the ground leased to the TCDSB but the main remaining trees are south of the east-west path between Humber College’s buildings on 23rd St. and the central campus.

There is agreement that the apple trees should be preserved but whether the work will be done by the Board or by Humber is unclear. Humber wants to lease from the City the wooded setback from Lakeshore Blvd. at the south-west corner of Kipling and Sam Smith for an administrative building and Welcome Centre. The 1996 Master Design and Implementation Plan for the Lakeshore Grounds maintains a green setback along Lakeshore Blvd. so if this is to be changed the community needs to ensure that there is compensatory green space provided elsewhere and some commitments made to finally restore the orchard.

In 1997 Etobicoke Council adopted a resolution that called for “Maintaining as much of the orchard as possible integrating this extant feature into future site development”.  The Board’s lease requires that only the kindergarten playground be fenced but they want to fence more than that and to have a paved area as well. They do not want apple trees because of allergies (to wasps and to fruit) and because of what elementary students can do with apples! I sympathise slightly with the latter point!

CCFEW’s 1997 report by Michael Harrison “Toward the Ecological Restoration of South Etobicoke” [see link below] recommends “daylighting” the two creeks that cross the Lakeshore Grounds and it would be great if as part of these new plans for the site we achieved some of those recommendations. Maybe even the recommended Public Advisory Group! No final plans for the school have been filed by the Board as yet – all they need from the City is site plan approval but they have indicated that they would provide an opportunity for public comment at some point.

The text refers to the following document by Michael Harrison:

Toward the Ecological Restoration of South Etobicoke

Heritage Bike Ride

I first learned about the apple orchard during a Heritage Bike Ride in June 2012. Jane’s Walks, Heritage Walks, and Heritage Bike Rides offer great ways for residents to learn about local history and heritage features.


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