TORONTO FIGHTS THE EMERALD ASH BORER BEETLE WITH WASPS NATIVE TO CHINA

TORONTO’s ash trees, which make up 8.5% of the city’s tree canopy, are under attack from the Emerald Ash Borer beetle (EAB). Once the EAB is on an ash tree, its larvae use the tree as a feeding ground and restricts the tree’s nutrient flow, killing it within a few years.

Natural Resources Canada is breeding Tetrastichus planipennisi, a species of wasp native to China, to act as a predator of the beetle. Female wasps, once released, fly to the beetle-infested trees and lay their eggs on EAB larvae. Once they hatch, the wasp larvae will eat the EAB larvae and use their eggs as a home.

While the entire city of TORONTO is considered infested, there are still other cities like Winnipeg, Halifax, and Vancouver, that are anticipating the arrival of the EAB.

<IMAGE – Tess King/The Varsity> Read the entire article at http://thevarsity.ca/2017/04/03/torontos-forests-fight-back/

FOR 5 YEARS NOW RYERSON U. STUDENTS & STAFF HAVE BEEN FARMING UP ON A ROOFTOP

You’d never guess it was there, but four storeys above busy Church Street at Gould, the Ryerson University Urban Farm (RUF) is turning out thousands of pounds of fresh, organic and local produce.

The farm is a student-run initiative to grow fresh food atop the George Vari Engineering & Computing Centre in the middle of the concrete jungle.

RUF produces an amazing 10,000 pounds of produce annually, and distributes it among Ryerson Eats, the Gould Street Farmers’ Market and a Community Supported Agriculture Program. On the ground level the Ryerson campus also hosts a food forest, flower farm, two rain gardens (under development) and a pollinator plant garden.

All of this is within a 15-minute walk of downtown’s epicentre.

DESPITE THE STRIKE AT TORONTO ZOO, MOTHER NATURE HAS DELIVERED 10 EXOTIC CATS

  The Toronto Zoo is proud to announce the healthy births of snow leopard cubs, clouded leopard cubs and cheetah cubs.

The snow leopard cubs arrived on May 18, born to mother Ena and dad Kota. Ena came to TORONTO from Japan’s Tama Zoo.

For the first time in the Zoo’s history, two clouded leopard cubs were born on Saturday afternoon, May 13 to mom “Pavarti” and dad “Mingma.” Both parents came originally from the Nashville Zoo.

On April 30 five cheetah cubs came into the world. Laini and Patonga are the parents. The arrival of these cubs brings the number of cheetahs born at the Toronto Zoo to 53.

CABBAGETOWN’S RIVERDALE FARM ANNOUNCES THE ARRIVAL OF SEVERAL NEW BORNS

It’s springtime at Riverdale Farm, located among acres of parkland and ravine at Sumach & Winchester Streets in Cabbagetown. Run by the City of TORONTO, the animals here are well-looked-after and the farm and park are partially financed by local residents. For details on their ‘buy-a’brick‘ program go to http://www.frpw.org

To reach Riverdale Farm take the #506 eastbound streetcar to Sumach Street and walk north.

TORONTONIANS LOVE THEIR NEW BERCZY PARK REDESIGNED BY MONTREAL’S CLAUDE CORMIER

<PHOTO – Berczy Park as it was in November/2016>

Brilliant Canadian landscape architect CLAUDE CORMIER now has a second TORONTO iconic park to his name. The creator of Sugar Beach on the eastern waterfront has redesigned Berczy Park, between Front and Wellington Streets behind the Flatiron Building.

The $7.2-million remake – thanks to Vancouver’s Concert Developments – is very spacious, with lots of grass and benches, and rows of trees.

The “dog” fountain is the centre piece. It’s surrounded by 27 cast-iron dogs and one cat, with a coveted bone on top. Dog walkers and kids love it. This park is a hit already and it’s only just opened.

Berczy Park is one of three downtown parks being renovated.  The Grange and Barbara Ann Scott parks are the other two.

THE LUNGS OF WEST-END TORONTO – HIGH PARK – 400 ACRES (161 HECTARES) OF RECREATION & NATURE

Opened in 1876, served by the subway’s Line 2 and the #506 streetcar, TORONTO’s High Park is a mixture of nature and recreation, with a dash of theatre, a museum, a zoo, bike paths, formal gardens, a lake (Grenadier Pond), hiking trails, educational facilities and playgrounds. It’s the largest park entirely within city limits and stretches from Bloor Street West to The Queensway, north of Lake Ontario.

Colborne Lodge, designed and built by John George Howard, now a museum, was the residence of Mr. Howard and his wife Jemima Frances Meikle. The Howards named their property High Park because it was situated on the highest point of land along Humber Bay.

High Park Zoo is home to Bonnie and Clyde and their family of three.  These two Argentinian capybaras became front page news when they went on the lam in 2016.  They eventually returned to the Zoo and found time to produce three little ones.

High Park Zoo has many other animals including llamas, and its free.

The amphitheatre at High Park is home to Shakespeare under the stars.  The upcoming season is #35 and it’s free.

The Jamie Bell Adventure Playground Castle was burnt to the ground by some firebug destroyer.  It was completely rebuilt by television star MIKE HOLMES and his crew, and reopened a couple of years ago.

The story of High Park and how it came to be, is summarized in this excellent Wikipedia posting – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/High_Park