Well, dear readers, it’s tempting to write about Omicron, that Covid variant that is taking over our lives, once again. But honestly, do you really want to read about That? Wouldn’t we all rather go for a walk in the forest somewhere and pretend that Covid doesn’t exist?

Trees are so majestic, and yet so comforting! They provide homes for birds, and tiny mammals. Some of them give us food – maple syrup, chestnuts, and other edibles. They supply oxygen to the planet. And at Christmas, trees create a focal point in our public spaces and in our homes. So I decided to take a look around the city to see what trees can offer us this holiday season.

I started with a trip downtown. Here are the Christmas trees at Toronto City Hall and (the tallest), the Eaton Centre:

Toronto City Hall
Eaton Centre

These decorated trees are in place to make us feel festive. But I wanted to dig a little deeper and find some more meaningful trees. I found them in a heritage building in Mississauga. The small Arms Inspection Building was designed in 1940 and used as a munitions plant during World war II. In 1974 it was given a heritage designation and now hosts many arts and cultural events.

One such event this year was the “Festival Of Trees.” Just inside the front door is an eye-catching one called the Mother Tree. Over 300 strands of wood, plastic, burlap, beads, shells and other found materials created by over 200 artists, hang down and form roots, symbolic of the connections that trees have to the earth, and that people have to nature.

Mother Tree

Another stunning tree was called Twice Blessed, a lacy creation made from men’s cast-off white work shirts, cut into delicate branches and leaves. This tree is a reminder of how often we discard barely-worn clothing that could be re-purposed – into something beautiful.

Twice Blessed

A third creation that caught my attention was Diversitree, a tree whose boughs are covered with garments from various donors of diverse backgrounds. When the show finishes, the garments will be removed and donated to a local charity.


Another gorgeous installation was an entire forest of trees, titled We Remember. This installation focuses on Covid and how we are all cocooning – one of the life stages of butterflies – as we wait for the end of the disease. At the same time, we remember all the loved ones we have lost. Visitors are invited to write the name of a deceased friend or family member on a paper butterfly, and add it to a branch.

We Remember

And so we are talking about Covid after all. Please try to celebrate the holidays in whatever way feels safe. Gather around your Christmas tree if you have one, or visit a local forest. And think positive thoughts about all the good things in our lives.


7 thoughts on “Trees

  1. Lovely and very clever blog as always Sue. I wondered if you thought of Uta as your deceased person. Christmas can be such a happy time and for others very sad and full of memories. Are you able to join with family? Andrew is coming over Thursday afternoon and they will all be tested prior to arrival. If not all clear then it will be a driveway party—again! Then they will go to Martin’s to see his lights. Martin and family will be with us. I do hope you celebrate with some of your family, you are inventive and usually come up with some way of getting together. I wish you and Peter a Merry Christmas and hopefully a safer and freer New Year. Luv Mxx

    Sent from my iPhone



  2. “The Bomb Girls” place where they made the bombs I believe?? Maybe not, on second thought I think they worked in Scarborough somewhere? You always find such interesting things to visit. How do you find out about them all? M.

    Sent from my iPhone



  3. I’m constantly amazed at all the things you find to write about and places to visit. The COVID lockdowns don’t seem to be an issue for you. I never realized that there were so many types of non-tree trees. Thanks for all the entertainment and Merry Christmas to you and Peter.


  4. Trees ….. what a great theme Sue! And what an interesting and meaningful display of creative trees in the heritage building in Mississauga. I’m planning to send you and Peter a photo from King Townships “Trees of Giving” a new tradition started two years ago in the King township Heritage and Cultural Centre. Christmas blessings to you and Peter.


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