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Trees and Plantings

Part of the Campus Core Revitalization 2019 project includes a greening strategy that considers community safety, landscaping aesthetics, and plant health and sustainability.

Community safety

Community safety and security is a key concern in the greening strategy. Tree species were selected with leaf canopies and shrub/ground-cover plantings that will provide clear sight lines.

Landscaping aesthetics

Feedback from a March 2018 community survey on public realm concept designs indicated the desire for more green areas on campus. Choices have been planned for blooming across seasons, trees that change to beautiful colours in autumn, and a diverse canopy throughout the year.


Rendering of proposed Nelson Mandela Walk as it will appear with mature landscaping on both sides of the walkway.

Plant health and sustainability

The Campus Core Revitalization greening strategy aims to broaden the survivability and ecological function of our urban treescape. Our current species composition is not adequately diverse and is vulnerable to devastating loss due to disease and/or pest devastation. In fact, a significant number of trees on campus are rated to be in less than fair condition for these reasons.

Although it is always unpleasant to cut trees down, a number of diseased trees need to be removed, including mature ash trees along Nelson Mandela Walk showing signs of Emerald Ash Borer infestation, external link. Some of the material from these tree cuttings will be repurposed as mulch for landscaping on campus.

The cut trees will be replaced with a more diverse collection of species better suited to our urban environment and the challenging climate of southern Ontario. Nearly 15,000 large shrubs, perennials and grasses will be planted in the project area, introducing several new varieties of local plant species to the landscape and increasing plant diversity and resilience.

Plant growth and vitality will also be supported by replacing tree grates with models that are expandable to meet tree growth. Trees planted in paved areas will go into underground soil cells, which will allow for appropriate root growth, drainage and protection from harsh environmental damage.

Contribution from the City of Toronto

Ryerson would like to acknowledge the generous contribution of $7 million in funding towards the overall budget of this project from the City of Toronto and the tremendous support from Toronto City Councillor Wong-Tam.

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