Come to the rally to save S.H. Armstrong pool Sun. Feb. 12, 2017

Sunday February 12, at 12 p.m. please show your support for our community pool. S.H. Armstrong Community Recreation Centre, 56 Woodfield Road.

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Stay up to date on the pool situation at the Facebook groups:
Save SH Armstrong/Duke of Connaught Community Pool 2017
Ashbridge’s Neighbourhood — Greenwood-Coxwell

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Penny Oleksiak’s tweet supporting Duke/S.H. pool gets a positive response from Mayor Tory

January 11, 2017

Thanks to Penny Oleksiak, you are even more awesome than before.

Mayor John Tory tweeted this morning “Gold medal message received, . I’ve asked Budget Chief Gary Crawford to find a way to save these pools.” He was responding to Penny’s tweet of yesterday:

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Penny Oleksiak tweets her support for keeping the Duke of Connaught / S. H. Armstrong pool open

Our local Olympian and Monarch Park student Penny Oleksiak has tweeted penny-oleksiak-twitter-supports-duke-sh-pool-jan10-2017her support for our swimming pool at Duke of Connaught School / S.H. Armstrong Community Recreation Centre, Woodfield Road.

And thanks a million to the local parents who are lobbying Mayor John Tory and Toronto City Council to not implement this proposed cut to the City budget.

Join the Facebook group to keep up to date: Save SH Armstrong/Duke of Connaught pool 2017.

Join the Ashbridge’s Neighbourhood Facebook group to keep up to date on what’s going on in our community.

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GO Train electrification — Metrolinx Public Open House at Riverdale Collegiate – Nov. 16, 2016

Wednesday, November 16, Metrolinx is holding a public meeting at Riverdale Collegiate to talk about their plans for their electrification and expansion of the GO track system in our neighbourhood associated with Smart Track and GO RER. There is an Open House from 6:30 to 7 p.m. and formal presentations at 7 pm.

From Councillor Paula Fletcher, Ward 30

Applegrove community events – Punkin-Grove Nov. 1 and Pasta Fest Nov. 5, 2016

Applegrove events –

Tuesday November 1 at the Ashbridge Estate – bring your jack-o-lantern to Punkin-Grove. Starting 5:30 to receive pumpkins, the event is from 6 to 7 p.m.

Then on Saturday November 5, the social event of the year – Pasta Fest at Baron Byng Beaches Legion Hall, Coxwell just south of Gerrard East.

See more on the Applegrove events page.

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The Ashbridge’s baby willow lives on – photos of the giant willow that went down September 29, 2016

If you go by the Ashbridge Estate on Queen Street East, and you see a large willow tree, you might wonder: didn’t I hear that the big willow tree fell down? Yes it did, on September 29, 2016 in high winds. For years, its trunk was showing signs of severe rot, so its fall was a matter of time.

It lived for 97 years, about 20 more than the average lifespan for a weeping willow. At least that’s what a forester friend told me.

What about the tree you see now, in the photo below? It’s the baby of the old tree, but the baby is more like a teenager now, already taking its place on the estate, growing in the moist earth above the Ashbridge’s Creek, now buried under its roots.

Scroll down to see a couple of photos of the old tree, taken today September 30, 2016.
Also see the article in the Toronto Star by Evelyn Kwong, who I enjoyed speaking with last night:
Beloved 97-year-old weeping willow crashes on Ashbridge’s Estate

And a photo of the old tree about a year ago, by our local ace photographer Diane Walton:
The Great Toronto Tree Hunt – vote for your favourite tree, such as the willow on the Ashbridge Estate

And:
The Ashbridge Estate’s giant willow has gone down – September 29, 2016

Ashbridge willow down - photo September 30, 2016 by Robert Miller

Ashbridge willow down – photo September 30, 2016 by Robert Miller

"Baby" willow, now a teenager, growing strong in front of the empty space left behind by its now-deceased parent.

“Baby” willow, now a teenager, growing strong in front of the empty space left behind by its now-deceased parent.

Ashbridge Estate willow, planted 1919, down September 2016.

Ashbridge Estate willow, planted 1919, down September 2016.

In March 2016 the giant willow was showing deterioration in its trunk. Looking north to Duke of Connaught School from the back yard of the Ashbridge Estate.

In March 2016 the giant willow, right, was showing deterioration in its trunk. Looking north to Duke of Connaught School from the back yard of the Ashbridge Estate.

The Ashbridge Estate’s giant willow has gone down – September 29, 2016

Photos by Elayne Crilly-Gauthier

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The mighty willow has gone down.

The majestic willow on the Ashbridge Estate - sadly today is on the ground, barely missed Duke of Connaught School on the left.  Photo taken looking east from the front of S.H. Armstrong.

The majestic willow on the Ashbridge Estate – sadly today is on the ground, barely missed Duke of Connaught School on the left. Photo taken looking east from the front of S.H. Armstrong.

Farewell to the gracious giant willow on the Ashbridge Estate.
See more on the Ashbridge’s Neighbourhood Facebook page.

Here is an appreciation of the tree written in 2015, when this blog entered the willow in a “favourite Toronto tree” contest:

This amazing willow tree, almost 100 years old, is a striking feature of the Ashbridge Estate, a green oasis on Queen Street East. The tree is one of many gorgeous specimens on the Ashbridge Estate, which is a green remnant of the much larger Ashbridge Estate (farm) which extended from Ashbridge’s Bay to Danforth Avenue, between Greenwood and Coxwell Avenues.

A September 2014 tree tour of the Ashbridge Estate was led by Philip van Wassenaer of Urban Forest Innovations, an arborist who has worked to preserve the trees on the property over the years:

“A central stop on the tour was this amazing willow tree. We know from diary entries that it was planted by Emma Rooney (married to Jesse Ashbridge) way back in 1919. Willows are water-loving trees, and back then, a stream ran through the area to nearby Lake Ontario. This tree has been slated for removal several times, but Philip has fought to keep this striking specimen alive. To ensure it does not pose a hazard, he has removed some of the larger branches and put a fence around its base to keep people away from where branches might fall.”

(excerpted from this article about the tree tour.)

The stream where the willow stands is the Ashbridge’s Creek, now buried below ground, but its “valley” is still visible. Damp areas are of course a favourite of willows.