Maple Leaf Forever tree lives on through offspring

Great story in today’s Star (July 21) by Jessica McDiarmid:

Toronto ‘Maple Leaf Forever’ tree lives on through offspring

Bill Wrigley and Carolyn Swadron grew a sapling from famous historic tree and planted it in Maple Leaf Forever Park nearby.

The Maple Leaf is forever, after all.

Friday night’s storm felled the storied silver maple said to have inspired Alexander Muir’s “The Maple Leaf Forever.” But the tree will live on, not only in history and fond memory, but in the small park behind Maple Cottage on Laing St. in the east Toronto neighbourhood of Leslieville.

That’s where its 13-year-old offspring grows. How it got there is quite the tale.

Engineer Bill Wrigley retired at 63. By 65, he was bored. So he went to the University of Toronto and did an undergraduate degree in aboriginal studies and anthropology. And then a masters in archeology (he says he “ran out of steam” halfway through a doctorate).

On a dig at the Ashbridge Estate, a nearby historical property once owned by one of Toronto’s founding families, Wrigley’s fellow students told him they hadn’t heard the song that was so iconic to earlier generations.

So he took them to see the tree. Wrigley does talks on a wide array of subjects such as Canadiana, aboriginal history and the history of Muir’s poem that became an unofficial anthem.

See the full story:
Toronto ‘Maple Leaf Forever’ tree lives on through offspring

Photo gallery in Toronto Star:
Maple Leaf, not forever

Maple Leaf Forever - descendant tree

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