Toronto’s official tree, after an online public vote sadly almost completely ignored, is the…oak.
This does not surprise me, nor you. Ask a Torontonian to name a tree and well, how about oak, something he associates with wine barrels? If you asked them to name a wood, they’d say Ikea, which stands for MDF (medium-density fiberboard) with a laminated veneer, but Ikea doesn’t make trees (yet), so let’s have oak for the municipal win.
The survey also included maple, birch and pine. I suspect that people don’t think of maple as a tree but as a leaf. I wanted to vote for the birch but I didn’t want to offend anyone.
On the other hand, the city trees are for pissing, unofficial bike stands, suffocation and root compression centers, stapling and poster tagging. A white birch, so peelable, wouldn’t last a week.
That left pine (there were two types listed compared to eight types of oak), which would have been the better choice. We are a winter city that needs evergreen trees to soften the angles of its drab, boxy architecture.
A pine tree works hard every month, while deciduous trees send veins and arteries into the gray sky for most of the year, a kind of “The Scream” in tree form.
However, the oak won. So solid, so sensible. Toronto’s coat of arms reflects that: the industrious beaver; the eagle (the oak of the world of birds); the honeycomb, which represents energy and productivity; and then a peculiar choice, the bear, which supposedly embodies the strength, determination and protection of its offspring.
Bears eat people. It is what they are known for. Also, there are no Toronto bears. If there were, they would be quickly removed, so who are we kidding here?
However, there are raccoons, skunks, squirrels, and chipmunks, the latter of which are attractive and quite sweet, responding to my little bag of almonds in High Park with gratitude and remarkable efforts at saving cheeks.
Human beings having eating contests; the squirrels save it for later. Isn’t that the kind of Presbyterian work that should put a chipmunk on the coat of arms?
I’m not surprised to see our coat of arms without Chippy the Chipmunk. As someone said, when Toronto names its official dish it will be the sandwich. Our official rock is cement, our official blanket is microfiber fleece, and our official sofa is the one we found on the sidewalk, can you believe it?
Toronto’s slogan is Diversity Our Strength, which I quite like, but the problem is that nobody says it out loud, while people often say and sing “I love New York”. I think of the cities I love. Lisbon’s slogan, quite singable, is Very Noble and Always Loyalo Very Noble and Always Loyal.
Toronto’s actual catchphrase is “Fix The Bins.” They won’t, you know.
If Toronto wants to reveal its essence to the world, why not conduct a survey that names the city’s official cover material? Vote for pressure-treated lumber, Trex, or cedar.
This is a short form of the Toronto class system. There are three eligible answers: “Well, it’s cheaper”, “You’ll regret it”, and “Aren’t we stylish?”.
But in real life, it’s “Not so cheap in the pandemic”, “I already do” and “Yes”.
Some people in Toronto want to be able to legally drink in the park, with their territorial picnic blankets spread out under a pretty oak tree, because they are confined to balconies while others have backyards. They are the same people who support tent camps.
In fact, one activist tweeted that it was classist and possibly able-bodied to ban alcoholic beverages. outdoor. Without alcohol, she said, people in the camps could end up going through delirium tremens.
Faced with arguments like this, Mayor John Tory and the city council postponed the decision for another year. And that’s why Toronto can’t and will never have nice things. It’s too much trouble.