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Urban Forests: The Value of Trees in the City of Toronto

Key Message

An investment in urban forests is an investment in the overall economic and environmental well-being of urban society. 

Source

Alexander, Craig, and McDonald, Connor. (2014). Urban Forests: The Value of Trees in the City of Toronto. TD Economics.

Purpose

This report describes the dollar value of some of the benefits provided by Toronto’s urban forest. Urban forests are made up of the trees, shrubs and other flora and fauna that line the streets, parks and ravines of our cities. Urban forests play a much greater role than just beautifying the scenery. The green space provided by Toronto’s urban forest is a critical factor in environmental condition, human health and the overall quality of life. Using the City of Toronto’s urban forest as an example, the report demonstrates how an investment in urban forests is an investment in the overall economic and environmental well-being of urban society. 

Evidence

Some of the report's highlights: 

  • Toronto’s urban forest provides residents with over $80 million, or about $8 per-tree, worth of environmental benefits and cost savings each year. For the average single family household, this works out to $125 of savings per annum.
  • For every dollar spent on annual maintenance, Toronto’s urban forest returns anywhere from $1.35 – $3.20 worth of benefits and cost savings each year.
  • Maintaining the health of our urban forests is the best way to protect the value of our green investment
  • Urban forests do more than beautify the scenery. They represent an important investment in environmental condition, human health and the overall quality of life.

Benefit Statements / Outcomes

Leadership Provided By:

  • Leisure Information Network (LIN)
  • Alberta Recreation and Parks Association

On Behalf Of:

  • Canadian Parks and Recreation Association (CPRAA)

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