Forests Ontario

News & Events

Majestic Toronto Christmas Market tree milled and converted into usable wood products

TORONTO, ON, January 10, 2015 – The 2014 Toronto Christmas Market was a massive success, attracting more than 300,000 visitors to the Distillery Historic District between November 28th to December 21st. One of the star attractions was the 52 foot white spruce that stood as the centerpiece of the market. Decorated with 18,000 ornaments, the tree served as the backdrop of countless pictures and brought the beauty of our forests to the city.

Although the market had ended, the beautiful spruce had a lot of life left in it. Earlier today, the tree was taken down and milled as part of a public event where community members were invited to learn first-hand how trees become the countless products that we use in our everyday lives.

First, Weller Tree Services lowered the tree and then real life lumberjack Sawmill Sid was on hand to mill the tree on the spot. The lumber was donated to Habitat for Humanity for the building of new homes.

As part of the event, the City of Toronto also donated logs salvaged from ash trees that had been infested by the Emerald Ash Borer. Attendees also had the opportunity to meet wood artisans from across the province who were on hand to showcase local wood products. Branches from the big tree were also converted into ornaments that were given away to attendees. The event was sponsored by TD Bank Group through the TD Forests program.

“Every day, whether we realize it or not, we use products that come from Ontario’s forests,” said Rob Keen, Forests Ontario CEO. “What we usually don’t see is the process by which trees become those products and the people who make it happen. This event was the perfect opportunity for folks to get to know some of the faces of forestry in Ontario and learn more about the advantages of choosing local wood products.”

There are so many artisans and woodworkers all across Ontario, all of whom are making products that are not only unique and beautiful but also local and sustainable. We hope that having the opportunity to meet some of these artisans face to face and seeing them at work will encourage everyone who visited the Distillery District today to think about choosing local wood.

Bringing forestry to the city is just one of the many ways that Forests Ontario works to connect people with nature. Forests Ontario also supports landowners through planting programs such as the 50 Million Tree Program and offers education programs designed to engage youth in experiential education. Supporting sustainable solutions, like the reuse of the Toronto Christmas Market tree, helps Forests Ontario ensure the health and well-being of our forests for generations to come.


About Forests Ontario

Forests Ontario was created in 2014 as a result of the merging of not-for-profit organizations Trees Ontario and the Ontario Forestry Association (OFA). Trees Ontario is the forest restoration arm of Forests Ontario. Forests Ontario is committed to the re-greening of Ontario through tree planting efforts on rural lands and in urban areas, as well as the renewal and stewardship of Ontario’s forests through restoration, education and awareness. Visit or follow us @Forests_Ontario.

For more information, or to schedule interviews, please contact:


Shelley McKay

Director of Communications & Development

Forests Ontario