Tree Planted in Honour of Long-Time Supporter and Toronto Island Aficionado

TORONTO – The residents of the Toronto Islands have planted a Jack pine for Jack Layton. The late NDP Leader and former city councillor was a frequent visitor to the island and a strong supporter in the community’s struggle over the decades.

Olivia Chow was present at the dedication ceremony on Centre Island. According to the community the rare Jack pine was chosen for the following reasons:

The tree is hard to find. Its needles are in pairs – like Jack and Olivia. Also the needles go up and out – emblematic of embracing the world. The small cones are pointed forward – as though always looking towards the future.

The cones do not open easily but they do open in case of a fire when the seeds fall to the ground and then sprout. So in tough times, they are able to handle stress and demonstrate their resilience. This particular tree has an additional feature – it leans to the left.

When the Toronto Islanders were faced by the prospect of eviction and loss of property by city administration, Jack Layton fought tirelessly to protect the community.

Further reading: Maclean’s article