Lansdowne tree removal begins amidst protest

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Work complies with Migratory Birds Convention Act, city official says

CBC News

The $300 million redevelopment of Lansdowne Park has officially kicked off as workers begin removing trees from the park's northern edge.

The work began late this morning as protesters gathered along Holmwood Avenue, including a number of children. A city spokesperson said it would continue "with caution".

Coun. David Chernushenko was bombarded with questions from protesters early Monday, many of them area residents. They argue the trees are an important part of the community.

The approximately 60 trees sit near another city park at Bank Street and Holmwood, Sylvia Holden Park, and some of the residents argue that will be damaged due to the redevelopment.

Protesters post signs along construction fence

Multiple signs were posted on the fence that separates the road from the construction site. Each talks of the trees' importance to the children of the neighbourhood, as well as the importance of Sylvia Holden Park.

Residents posted a series of signs on a protective fence saying trees at Lansdowne Park are important to the community and should not be cut down.Residents posted a series of signs on a protective fence saying trees at Lansdowne Park are important to the community and should not be cut down. (Jaimie Kehler/CBC)

They were first posted last Tuesday when tree removal was halted because the contractor started prematurely. Residents were not notified in advance, as was required, and the city ordered a stop to the work.

Residents also said the nesting of some birds also should delay the tree removal but city manager Marco Manconi said they are complying with the Migratory Bird Convention Act.

He added the contractor's biologist and Environment Canada officials would be at the work site to ensure the workers do not violate the Act.