Arts, Environment, News

This Famous Maple Tree Will Live… Forever

The chandelier that was created out of the Maple Tree Forever Project. Image: BROTHERS DRESSLER
The chandelier that was created out of the tree. Image: BROTHERS DRESSLER

In 1867 when Canada was created, a towering Silver Maple tree standing in front of Alexander Muir’s house in Toronto gave him an idea.

He would write a poem and a song about the majestic tree, so common in Canada and so symbolic, to celebrate Canada’s confederation.

His song was called The Maple Leaf Forever and it has been the unofficial Canadian anthem to this day.

Last July during a major storm, the tree was knocked down. It fell across a house and a street. But because it was an important historic tree, most of the wood was saved rather than being destroyed or made into mulch.

Recently woodworkers at The Evergreen Brick Works in Toronto, a community projects centre, cut the wood into logs and other usable pieces. The pieces were given to artists to create about 150 different projects.

One artist took a hollow piece of trunk. On it, he’ll carve a series of historical Canadian scenes. Another wood carver is making beautiful round wooden bowls. Yet another made an interesting chandelier from the tree’s branches.

Other woodworkers are making wood wig stands for cancer patients who lose their hair. Still others are taking small pieces of wood and making them into pens. And some of the wood was made into gavels to be used by Toronto’s city councillors.

Headphones that were created out of the tree. Image: © 2014 Matthew Higginson / LEAF
Headphones that were created out of the tree. Image provided by LEAF; © 2014 Matthew Higginson / LEAF

Some of the projects will be on public display while some will be personally owned.

The people in Toronto who lived near the tree for years, and tried to protect it from harm, were very sad to see the old tree go.

But they are glad to see that their maple tree will live forever in the hearts and homes of many people.

By Kathleen Tilly

Writing/Discussion Prompt
If you were one of the artists who was given part of the tree to create a meaningful sculpture or object, what would you create and why?

Reading Prompt:
Have you heard the song, Maple Leaf Forever? If not, listen to it using the Internet. Compare this song to the Canadian national anthem, Oh Canada. How are they similar or different? Which do you prefer? 

Make judgements and draw conclusions about the ideas and information in texts and cite stated or implied evidence from the text to support their views (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Evaluate the effectiveness of both simple and complex texts based on evidence from the texts (OME, Reading: 1.8).

Grammar Feature: Ellipsis
An ellipsis is a series of three dots (…) and it is used in the title of this article. Why do you think the journalist chose to include an ellipsis? How does the ellipsis change how you read and understand the title of the article?