Events held in 2011:

3rd Annual Black Creek Xmas Bird Count. Wednesday, December 26, 2011

Seven of us walked from Shoreham Dr. to Finch Ave. counting birds. This was the same section of the valley where we held our prevous counts.
Results were submitted to the Audubon Society's 112th Xmas Bird Count.

We saw 146 birds belonging to 16 species:

  • Mallard - 17
  • Red Tailed Hawk - 1
  • Ring Billed Gull - 13
  • Rock Pigeon - 33
  • Downy Woodpecker - 4
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 1
  • Bluejay - 1
  • American Crow - 3
  • Black Capped Chickadee - 6
  • White Breasted Nuthatch - 1
  • Red Breasted Nuthatch - 3
  • Northern Cardinal - 13 (10 males, 3 females)
  • House Finch - 40
  • American Goldfinch - 1
  • European House Sparrow - 8
  • European House Starling - 1

End of season wildflower planting.    Sunday, October 30th, 2011

1000 perennial plants were left at the end of the month that had to be planted before freeze up.
Downsview Dells Park (south side of Sheppard Ave. between Jane St. & Keele St).

TRCA's Black Creek SNAP program.    Saturday, October 22nd, 2011

The BCCP was involved in a community action project in the Jane-Finch neighbourhood under our participation in TRCA's Black Creek SNAP program.
Work involved a number of 'demonstration' gardens and plantings on the property of one of the apartment towers south of Jane & Finch.
We were cooperating with the Jane & Finch Community Family Center Green Change program on this one.

Hurricane Hazel Tree Tour.    Sunday, October 16th, 2011

The Humber Valley Regenerated - 57 years later.
Hosted by LEAF, the BCCP, and the Humber Heritage Committee.

The walk started from the parking lot near the Old Mill and ended North near St. Marks Road. Participants were invited by Madeleine McDowell to Lambton House to view a video of the hurricane damage and enjoy a hot drink.

ROM Displays & Presentation Event, held on August 5th, 2011 at the Museum.

Partners in Protection: The Black Creek Conservation Project and the Humber Watershed Alliance (HWA)

There were display tables and live presentations:
Gary Wilkins, TRCA: on conservation authorities, TRCA , the HWA and introduce community involvement,
Gaspar Horvath, BCCP: on the history and activities of the BCCP,
Madeleine McDowell, Humber Heritage Society: on the historical, first nations and settlement history of the Humber and west Toronto area.

  click on thumbnail to enlarge, use back arrow to return

Third Aeroplan Planting event was held on June 16th, 2011

16 volunteers planted 425 trees along the wetlands in Downsview Dells Park.

The planting
and the Volunteers

Our second Bird Walk of the year was held In Downsview Dells Park on May 21th, 2011

Despite the soggy ground we enjoyed our walk and saw 18 different species and heard 2 more:

  • Red Tailed Hawk
  • Bluejay
  • Scarlet Tanager
  • Northern Cardinal
  • Rose Breasted Grosbeak
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • Great Crested Flycatcher
  • American Robin
  • Common Grackle
  • Brown Headed Cowbird
  • Red Winged Blackbird
  • Baltimore Oriole
  • European Starling
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Red Eyed Vireo
  • Chestnut Sided Warbler
  • American Goldfinch
  • Song Sparrow
  • Black Billed Cuckoo (heard only)
  • Black Capped Chickadee (heard only)
      Click on Pictures to enlarge.


Smythe Park Trail Restoration, on Saturday May 14th, 2011

Working together with the Humber Heritage group, we have started to reestablish a natural plant community along a section of the historic "Carrying Place Trail".
12 volunteers planted 300 plants; 1.5 cubic yards of mulch was used to protect the plants.


On Saturday, April 23rd, 2011 our Earth Day Tree Planting Event was held at Downsview Dells.

18 volunteers planted 250 trees and shrubs.
We have seen a mink in Downsview Dells Park running on the bank of the creek.

On March 19th, 2011 we held our first Bird Walk of the year at Smythe Park.

14 of us enjoyed a 2 hour walk under sunny blue skies and we saw 20 different species:

  • Turkey Vulture
  • Red Tailed Hawk
  • Ring Billed Gull
  • Canada Goose
  • Mallard
  • American Crow
  • Bluejay
  • Northern Cardinal
  • American Robin
  • Red Winged Blackbird
  • Common Grackle
  • European Starling
  • Mourning Dove
  • Rock Pigeon
  • Downy Woodpecker
  • White Breasted Nuthatch
  • Black Capped Chickadee
  • Song Sparrow
  • House Sparrow
  • Slate Coloured Junco
      nest from last year (click to enlarge)
     robin in tree (click to enlarge)

Events held in 2010:

BCCP's 2nd Annual Christmas Bird Count.

First count on Dec 11th from Shoreham Dr. south to Finch Ave.: 12 species, 79 individual birds
Second count on Dec 31st from Finch Ave. south to Sheppard Ave.: 15 species, 83 individual birds

We saw 162 birds belonging to 16 species:

  • Mallard - 2
  • Red Tailed Hawk - 4
  • Sharp Shinned Hawk - 1
  • Ring Billed Gull - 10
  • Rock Pigeon - 21
  • Downy Woodpecker - 7
  • Bluejay - 3
  • American Crow - 3
  • Black Capped Chickadee - 40
  • White Breasted Nuthatch - 5
  • American Robin - 2
  • Northern Mockingbird - 1
  • Northern Cardinal - 24 (14 males, 8 females)
  • Slate Coloured Junco - 7
  • House Finch - 20
  • American Goldfinch - 12
  • House Sparrow - 2
The First Annual Christmas Bird Count was held on 2009 Dec 27th from Shoreham Dr. south to Finch Ave. with totals of 17 species and 140 individual birds
Refer to details further down.

Bird Boxes & Tree Mulching at Chalkfarm Park.

A small operation was conducted at Chalkfarm Park this fall to apply wood chip mulch around previously planted trees. Approximately 2 tonnes of wood chips (donated by Bruce Tree Ltd.) were spread around trees planted during our Earthday 2010 event.

This site which has been planted over the past three years now holds an estimated 1500 trees and shrubs.

20 new bird box structures were also installed by volunteers between the trees on the north edge of the Black Creek. The bird boxes had been assembled by one of the local Chalkfarm Boys & Girls youth groups during the past summer.

Planting in Pelmo Park.

2010, October 30th

Once again the BCCP together with ACORN undertook a tree planting in Pelmo Park. Another 175 trees were added to the belt of trees along the north boundary of the park.

In addition, 25 new bird boxes were installed between the trees.

This is the fourth planting in this area bringing the total number of trees planted here to approximately 480.
Trash (50 kg) was also cleaned up from the site during the event.

Planting at Driftwood Park.

2010, October 23rd

The planting alongside Driftwood creek was expanded this fall with the planting of 200 new trees and shrubs by 35 ACORN volunteers. This is the second planting at this location and the 6th along driftwood creek in the past 3 years. Altogether 1,100 trees and shrubs have been planted in Edgeley and Driftwood Parks.

Some of our volunteers remained after the planting to undertake a cleanup of the local area. An estimated 200 kg of trash was collected.

Building a home for Birds.

Chalkfarm Park, July 2010
6 bird boxes constructed

Some local residents spent a few hours on a rainy Saturday to assemble wooden bird boxes. The bird boxes will be installed between the trees previously planted during our Earthday event held in Chalkfarm Park earlier this year. It is hoped that small native birds such as wrens, chickadees or swallows will find the boxes and use them as nesting sites in the years to come.

Tree planting with Velux Canada.

Giovanni Cabotto Park, July 2010
280 trees and shrubs

The makers of sun tunnels (Velux Canada) came out to the Black Creek to volunteer some of their time as environmental stewards.

Over 2 days volunteers planted about 280 trees and shrubs along Heathrow Creek. This planting was intended to increase the width of the creek's riparian zone and to reduce the area of Grass mowing on the steep slopes bordering the creek in this park. Over 100 rodent guards were placed on the larger trees in order to protect them from hungry wildlife.

Tree Planting with Aeroplan Canada.

Giovanni Cabotto Park, June 2010

The Staff from Aeroplan Canada's Toronto Office came out to plant trees with the Black Creek in Giovanni Cabotto Park this spring.

Aeroplan has previously worked with the BCCP on other sites.

This year 222 trees and shrubs were planted along the banks of Heathrow creek. Heathrow is a small and short tributary of the Black where much of the original creek is buried in the City's storm sewer system. Over 5 cubic yards of wood chip mulch was spread around the trees as a form of weed and moisture control.

Tree planting at Driftwood Park.

On Saturday, June 12th, 2010.

1275 trees: White pine, red oak, sugar maple, silver maple, dogwood and nannyberry were planted.

Although it was a somewhat cool and wet morning, about 30 residents of the Jane - Driftwood community once again joined forces with the Black Creek Project to plant 275 trees along the edges of Driftwood Creek.
The objective of this tree planting was to extend the riparian zone along Driftwood Creek in the area near Driftwood Public School. Altogether about 1300 trees have been planted along Driftwood creek since early 2009.
Councillor Anthony Perruzza's office and staff and ACORN supported the efforts with by organizing volunteers and providing pizza and refreshments. of Pelmo Park.
This is the third tree planting held with residents of Weston Community and ACORN since 2009.

Weston Community Tree Planting in Pelmo Park.

On Saturday, May 29th, 2010

18 people, young and old, came out to plant 130 elderberries, nannyberries and maples in the back areas of Pelmo Park. This is the third tree planting held with residents of Weston Community and ACORN since 2009.

Altogether 305 plants have been added to the screen of trees at the north end of the Park.

Tree Planting event in Driftwood & Edgeley greenbelt.

Saturday, May 15, 2010.

The Black Creek Conservation Project hosted a tree planting event in Edgeley Park in the Jane-Finch Community.
With the support of our co-hosts, ACORN and Councillor Anthony Peruzza's office, 60 volunteers and the BCCP planted approximately 275 trees and shrubs along the upper reaches of Driftwood creek. This is the 4th tree planting along this section of the creek since the project began in the spring of 2009.

To date we have planted almost 1000 trees along the creek in order to create a riparian buffer strip 10 meters wide and over 150 meters long.

Funding for this project was received from the City of Toronto's Live Green Program and from the Community Program for Stormwater Management.

Tree Planting In Mount Dennis - Westlake Park (formerly Jasper Park).

   Wednesday,May 5th, 2010.

On May 5 the Mount Dennis community came out to turn the hillsides of Westlake Park green once again.

Students from Dennis Ave. P.S. join local community volunteers and the several local after-school Boys & Girls Clubs to plant trees and shrubs on the upper slopes of Westlake Park. Although late afternoon thunderstorms brought a sudden end to the event, the community still managed to plant over 300 trees on the slopes. This was the second planting undertaken on this hillside and there is plenty of room for more trees over the next few years.

The Mount Dennis Community Kitchen helped out at the event with a hotdog BBQ. Staff at the Learning Enrichment Foundation (LEF) also supported the event by assisting to bring out the community volunteers!

The event was supported by the City of Toronto's Live Green Program.

Earth Day.

Thursday, April 22nd, 2010.


This year's event was held at Chalkfarm Park in the afternoon, jointly organized by Doorstep Neighborhood Services and The Black Creek Conservation Project.
Over 500 participants attended during the course of the day, 641 native trees and shrubs were planted, 1500 kgs (1.5 tonnes) of trash was collected, 2 tonnes of wood chips were used to mulch around the trees, and over 700 hotdogs were consumed.

The event was attended by representatives of our Earth Day sponsors: Sobeys and Earth Day Canada.

This event will be followed up with tree tending and possibly bird house installations between the trees.

Events held in 2009 and earlier:

Christmas Bird Count.

Sunday, December 27th, 2009.

Volunteers spent three hours walking along the Black Creek on a quiet winter morning looking for birds as part of the Audubon Society's Annual Christmas bird count ( The most exciting sighting was the red tailed hawk we saw hunting along the far side of the creek! Unfortunately we did not see if it was successful or not.

We counted 140 birds of 17 species:
  • Canada Goose - 28
  • Mallard - 2
  • Ring Billed Gull - 10
  • Coopers Hawk - 1
  • Red Tailed Hawk - 1
  • Rock Pigeon - 27
  • Mourning Dove - 7
  • Downy Woodpecker - 6
  • Hairy Woodpecker - 2
  • Bluejay - 3
  • Black Capped Chickadee - 18
  • White Breasted Nuthatch - 2
  • American Robin - 8
  • European Starling - 18
  • House Sparrow - 2
  • Slate Coloured Junco - 2
  • Northern Cardinal - 3
The Black Creek Project will seek to undertake and document this event each year into the future.

Lavender Creek Walk.

Tuesday, December 8th, 2009.

A group of 10 people participated in the walk led by Ian Wheal. The walk followed the original course of Lavender creek from it's once headwaters near Fairbank park (south of Dufferin St. & Eglinton Ave.) towards the west along small side road such as Kitchener Ave. The walk passed through Prospect Cemetary and continued further west towards Keele St. at Rogers Rd. Near Keele St. between the numerous steel scrap yards the modern day Lavender creek can be found above ground once again. Along the walk the group stopped to observe remnants signs of the original early 1900 housing in the area as well as the few remnant large trees still surviving from that era.

Archbishop Romero C.S.S. and the BCCP have been working to preserve and clean-up the existing portions of Lavender Creek.

Ian has been a Black Creek Conservation Project member for almost 15 years. He is an avid historian of Toronto, with extensive knowledge of the city's cultural development and the changes of the natural environment. Mr. Wheal has lead numerous walks with the BCCP and other Toronto area environmental organizations.

New Bird houses in the Black Creek.

An additional 35 bird houses were installed at two locations on the Black Creek in the fall of 2009. As well the 100 or more existing bird houses were checked for damages and cleaned. Grade 3 students from 2 Black Creek co-operator schools were involved in checking and installing the bird houses.

An older tree planting site near Shorham Ave. in Black Creek Parklands North. Visible are red maples (red) and sugar maples (yellow) with white pines and white cedars.

Third tree planting at Driftwood-Edgeley Greenspace.

Saturday, Oct. 24th, 2009

Another 200 trees were planted in Driftwood-Edgeley Greenspace this fall bringing the total trees planted along Driftwood creek to 650 trees and shrubs. A total of three tree planting events were held on this site in 2009. The events were coordinated with the local ACORN ( community porganization at Jane & Finch.

Tree Planting at Velmo Park, Weston.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

15 people came out to plant trees in the greenbelt along the north edge of Pelmo Park in the Weston area. 85 white pine and sugar maple were added to the screen of trees that blocks sight and sound from the 400-401 highway exchange.

This is the second BCCP planting in this park this year, co-hosted with ACORN's Weston Community group.

A quick count of the trees planted in the spring showed that 48 of 50 white pines planted were surviving and doing very well!

Public Displays at 'WoodEver' (Black Creek Pioneer Village).

August 29, 30, 2009.

What else happened on that day? Click here to see other activities.

At the recent (August 29 & 30) 'Woodever' event, hosted by the Black Creek Pioneer Village, the BCCP held 2 tree walks around the village for interested visitors. A public viewing of BCCP programs was also on display. The Village has a large collection of both native and introduced tree species from across Canada. During the walks visitors were shown a comparison of several oaks and maple species of Canada. Also seen were several rarer Carolinian species such as honey locust and Ohio buckeye. During the walk, attended by 12 or more people each day, the discussion focussed on how to identify the trees and also on how the trees would have been used during the 'pioneer' times.

Tree planting with Driftwood community near Jane & Finch.

August 22nd, 2009

A third tree planting was held in the Edgeley Park greenspace along Driftwood Creek near Driftwood Ave. and Jane St. Approximately 25 people planted about 200 trees to join the 450 trees previously planted on this site. A combination of white pine, sugar and silver maple, black walnut, red osier and gray dogwood and elderberry have been planted on this site.

The event was co-hosted with ACORN, the Live Green Program animators for the West end of Toronto.

Community Walk in Derrydowns Park.

August 19th, 2009

More than 35 people from the local community around Derrydowns Park turned out on Wednesday evening to take a walk along the trails of the park and learn about the trees and the environment.
Some of the highlights of the evening walk included staying late until darkness fell to see the local bats come out to feed on the mosquitos!

Bird House installations Near Alliance Ave.

May 25th, 2009

Students from the woodshop classes of Archbishop Romero C.S.S. have been building and supplying small birdhouses to the BCCP for several years.

Again this year students from the woodshop class attended events along the Black Creek to install 24 bird houses. Another 50 birdhouses were provided for installations at other locations along the creek by elementary students in other schools.

In the spring of 2009 Tree Swallows were found nesting in some bird boxes installed the previous year by Archbishop Students.

Funds and Materials for this project were provided through grants from Environment Canada's EcoAction Program.

Jane-Finch Community Tree Plant with ACORN - LiveGreen Toronto.

May 16th, 2009

A small tributary of the Black Creek flows through Edgeley Park near Jane St. and Driftwood Ave.

Previously the grass was mowed to the very edges of this creek. 27 local community members came out on a cool rainy weekend to plant 190 trees and shrubs. Even though the rain began to fall heavily halfway through the event, everyone stayed and finished planting all the trees. Afterwards the volunteers wanted to do more planting! The project will continue at a later date.

Funds and materials for this project were provided through Grants from the City of Toronto's Community Program for Stormwater Management.

Weston Community Tree Plant with ACORN & Live Green Toronto.

May 3rd, 2009

Local community volunteers in the Weston area came out to plant trees and shrubs along the northern edges of Pelmo Park.

40 large white pines and 50 elderberry shrubs were added to the existing screen of trees along the edges of the park. This screen of trees is meant to block the noise of traffic on the highways near the park and to act as a wind break.

About 25 volunteers attended this event.

York University Russian Students Federation Planting Day.

April 26th, 2009

On the edges of the new Stong Pond on York University's Toronto campus 415 trees and shrubs were planted.

On another day threatening rain, 35 York students volunteered their time and effort to re-naturalize the north shores of this large storm water pond.

A mix of white cedars, sugar maple, dogwood and elder berry were planted on this site.

Earth Day at Chalkfarm Park.

April 22nd, 2009

Over 200 people attended our Earthday Events at Chalkfarm Park this year.

Throughout a rainy and windy day, students from a local elementary school, local community volunteers, staff from two Toronto area firms and even a volunteer all the way from Montreal came out to plant about 250 trees and shrubs along the creek.

A trash clean-up was also conducted across the park.

This project was funded in part by the City of Toronto's Community Program for Stormwater Management and Environment Canada's EcoAction Program.

The Black Creek Storytelling Parade with the Art Centre of York University.

Tree planting with participants of the Storytelling Parade in Downsview Dells Park.

October 2008.

In the Fall of 2008 The Black Creek Storytelling parade was conducted through Downsview Dells Park along with members of the Driftwood Community Boys & Girls Club.

University of Toronto 'oUTreach' Volunteers Day.

Tree Planting in Gulliver Rd. Green Space.

September 2008.

As part of the University of Toronto's 2008 oUTreach program, 35 students and faculty volunteers came out on a rainy Saturday to plant over 850 trees in the green space near Keele Street and Gulliver Road.

Despite the continuous rain and drizzle and the somewhat cool temperatures all the volunteers stuck with the job for the full day. This is the second year that UofT oUTreach volunteers have worked with the BCCP.

The planting program was supported by the City of Toronto's Community Program for Stormwater Management.
The purpose of this type of project is to cover the grassy steep slope site with trees and shrubs. The new tree canopy will intercept rainfall and reduce surface water flow.

BCCP - L.E.A.F. Tree Tour.

A Walk along the South Black Creek.

July 2008.

More then 50 local residents came out to enjoy a 2 hour walk along the southern stretches of the Black Creek for a Tree Tour co-hosted by the BCCP and L.E.A.F.

Starting from Alliance Ave. and Cliff Street the tour passed through Black Creek Parklands East and West between Alliance Ave. and Jane St.

The group discussed such issues as invasive species, flooding along the creek, and the history of the concrete channelization.

Tree plantings, bird house installations, and native garden plantings undertaken by cooperators Archbishop Romero C.S.S and Rockcliffe M.S.,of the Black Creek Conservation Project were seen during the walk.

York University Environment Club.

Tree Planting near Danby woods.

May 2008.

35 York University students undertook a tree planting project near Danby woods. Members of the Environmental Students club and the Russian Students Federation joined together to plant over 150 trees.

Earth Day 2008 Tree Planting.

Tree Planting in Chalkfarm Park.

April 2008.

Through out the day on Earth Day 2008 the BCCP conducted 3 tree planting operations with local schools and community volunteers. In the evening a public information display was held at Sherridan Mall (Jane St. & Wilson Ave.) where environmental displays from 12 groups were available for viewing.

Over 200 people stopped by to view the displays from the BCCP, Earth Day Canada, L.E.A.F., as well as several local community programs throughout the course of the evening.
60 students from Shoreham P.S. joined volunteers from the Toronto Region Conservation Authority's Head Office to plant almost 150 trees in the Black Creek Parklands North near Historical Pioneer Village.
Approximately 50 students from Archbishop Romero C.S.S. planted almost 200 trees near the junction of Lavender and Black Creeks.

Volunteers from the Chalkfarm Neighbourhood and Doorsteps Neighbourhood Services (North of Wilson Ave & Jane St.) joined BCCP members to expand a tree planting site along the edge of Black Creek through Chalkfarm Park. Over 450 trees have been planted as part of this riparian planting project in 2007 and 2008.