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NATURAL HISTORY, TORONTO REGION

 

If the flowers of Toronto have grown more beautiful, the trees have degenerated sadly. Umbrageous groves of oak, beech and maple, diversified by occasional clumps of towering pine, seem to have characterized the scene

" When wild in woods the noble savage ran."

Many noble elm-trees were scattered through the city fifty years ago, and a few still survive. One splendid specimen is to be seen east of the Queen's Park, and just north of Wellesley Street. The pines do not seem to be able to endure civilization any better than the noble savage himself. The new tree surgery, or rather dentistry, is being applied to a number of the survivors of the forest, with what success remains to be seen. The favourite imported tree for shading purposes was the horse-chestnut, which, had it been planted regularly, as in Bushy Park, near Richmond, would have made the University Avenue one of the sights of America. But the effort was made to imitate nature, for the avenue was laid out in the days of the romantic movement, which in this case had a far from romantic result. The hatred of trees which was a heritage of the early settlers survived in Toronto till quite recently. In the University grounds the trees are labelled with their scientific names, as in Boston. May the fragrance of flowers and the beauty of trees combine with other pleasant memories in the minds of our visitors, as typical of Toronto, the "place of meetings"!

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