Stories of Support

A Bountiful Partnership for U of T, the City and the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation

The Landmark Project’s plans for new flowering trees, gardens and green space on Front Campus inspires a $100,000 gift from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, with funding from the City of Toronto.

Cherry Blossoms Rendering

The University of Toronto will plant more than 200 new trees around King’s College Circle and Hart House Circle—and preserve approximately 300 existing trees—as part of its Landmark Project to revitalize the historic centre of the St. George campus.

The plan, which will help the city toward its goal of 40 per cent tree cover, recently received a $100,000 grant from the Toronto Parks and Trees Foundation, with funding from the City of Toronto.

Amory Ngan, the project manager for Toronto’s tree-planting strategy, says U of T’s Landmark project gives the city the opportunity to add trees to one of the municipality’s largest and most heavily used green spaces on private land.

Another big plus is the University’s commitment to ongoing care. “Putting trees in the ground is a good first step,” says Ngan. “But you need to maintain and support those trees.” The Landmark Project, he adds, “serves as a great example for what other institutions in the city might be able to achieve. It’s absolutely fantastic.”


Launched in 2015, the Landmark Project will renew 35,000 square metres of green space in the heart of the St. George campus. The planting of dozens of new trees and gardens around King’s College Circle—and throughout the whole project area—along with the replacement of existing roads and sidewalks with shared roads and pathways, prioritizing pedestrians and cyclists, will be among the most noticeable transformations.

Joseph Bivona, a project manager with Michael Van Valkenburgh Associates (MVVA), the landscape architecture firm working on Landmark, says his team has purposefully selected indigenous and native plant species that highlight the change of seasons, particularly winter to spring, offering the U of T community and visitors to the campus a much-needed boost after a long Canadian winter.

As students write their final exams in April, King’s College Circle will burst with colour from pink cherry blossoms, bright yellow dogwood buds and magenta redbud blooms. “We’ve chosen trees that will flower early and bring lots of joy,” says Bivona. As the leaves turn in the fall, the circle will shimmer with red, orange and gold.

Because people use Front Campus for recreation, MVVA will plant flowering trees in clusters around the outside of the field and ensure that taller oaks and maples provide shade for studying and relaxing at the corners of the site. Small plazas and seating areas will offer a chance to take in the view.

Additionally, the University will create a new single-level parking garage under King’s College Circle that includes 50 charging stations for electric vehicles and additional bike storage. A geothermal field below the garage will both melt snow on roads and paths and help to heat the surrounding buildings, saving 15,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions annually.


The Landmark Project is one of the most significant open-space projects at the University of Toronto in the past 100 years.

Thus far, nearly 2,100 alumni and friends have contributed more than $5.9 million to the project—an indication of how strongly the U of T community and Toronto residents feel about the central campus landscape and the University’s plans for it.

Join fellow alumni and friends in reimagining U of T’s downtown campus as an even more inspiring place to learn, live and work. Read more of our donor storiestake a look at the renderings and discover how you too can leave your mark!

Posted on September 3, 2019