Canadian Contractor

Tree-hugging contractor

Have you ever cut down a tree for a job?

June 11, 2012
By Robert Koci
Robert Koci

By Heidi Filici

The residents of Holmwood Avenue in Ottawa were absolutely outraged on Tuesday morning when they walked outside to find their neighbourhood park looking a little bare. The EllisDon Corp. contractor had no choice but to apologize, as he had proceeded to cut down trees for the Lansdowne Park project without proper authorization from the City representative.

You’ll be pleased to know that of the 39 comments that were posted under the CTV Ottawa article describing the incident, many were in favour of the contractor. Here were some of the comments:

“The Friends of Lansdowne have lost many court challenges and it’s time to move on. Lansdowne is being developed and will be better than before. In order to do that, things need to be dug up, re-built, etc… If it makes you happy keep hugging the tree on your own yard.”


“Enough is enough! These “Friends of Lansdowne” need to realize that they lost their court battles, and it’s time to move on. The city should sue these people to recover any cost overruns associated with delays due to silliness such as this.”

“Has anyone read the entire story? The first question is, “Why are the trees being cut down.” The answer isn’t because of Lansdowne re-developments or because the city wants to piss people off.  The answer? Because of the contaminated soil beneath them! How else does anyone expect the city to clean up the property? The only way to take care of contaminated soil is to remove it and replace it. Can’t do that with a tree in the way, now can we?”

“What’s wrong with these people? Are they sick in the head, neurotic… what? What’s next… oh, there’s an ant. Stop work! You’re not talking old growth forests here… plant NEW trees when you’re done. It’s just more sour grapes from those that lost the battle and just don’t have thesense to know when to call it quits… Any more interruptions, sue those interrupting.”

“The residents of the Glebe want 48 hours notice of the demolition of the trees. Why? If the trees are coming down, what difference does 48 hours make? Well. It will allow them to set up a demonstration, chain themselves to the trees, etc. Why else?”

However, there were some conflicting comments…

“How bad could the soil be if trees were growing in it?”

“The city is very disorganized. On one hand they need to remove trees for the re-development of Lansdowne. However, as previously stated in an article a few days ago, the city wants more trees. The fact remains that for any development work the city and/or developers prefer to clear cut mature trees and then plant saplings that take 50 years to grow again. If more thought would be put into this area, then many of the trees could be saved.”

“When citizens don’t care, the city gets ruined. When a democracy does not ask questions, the system fails. Do not criticize the community who tries to speak out. They are raising their children here, they are planting gardens here and they are breathing the air that is soon to be contaminated with loose toxic particles… with less of a defense, as CO2 absorbing plants are being destroyed. Today’s tragedy is that the city did not inform any of the residents of this morning’s excavation of century-old trees. I’m disgusted that the city is fine with making backroom deals and planning the city based on short-term profit instead of long-term vision. City Council, you have wasted an opportunity. Pat yourself on the back.”

“So the city is trying to keep us informed about the demolition of what little green space is left for this so called “park”. Way to go city! Just come in unannounced and start chopping down mature trees. It is interesting that it is against city by-laws to cut down mature trees and yet that is what the city itself is doing in the name of re-development. Very few people or businesses in the Glebe want this. It is shameful to be turning what is left of the green space at Lansdowne into un-needed buildings.”

Have stories or comments of your own? Feel free to post below!



Heidi Filici is a freelance writer based in Toronto and a part-time contributor to Canadian Contractor.







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1 Comment » for Tree-hugging contractor
  1. Michael Vickers says:

    An interesting video surfaced showing one of the workers involved with the tree cutting nearly being flattened by one of the felled trees:

    I believe that because of political pressures, the City and developers’ desire to remove this park as a location of protest and possible occupation, the contractor was in such a hurry to cut all the trees before the day was done, that this worker’s health and safety was most definitely endangered.

    Apparently the Ministry of Labour is investigating this incident. But between the “accidental” premature cutting, and an obvious health and safety violation on the subcontractor’s part, this is not an auspicious beginning to the works at Lansdowne Park.

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