The 'Usta' Tree

Dec 2016

By Peter A. Morris

You know the tree that ‘usta’ be in the garden next door to where we live on Simcoe Street. ‘Our tree’ we used to call it, and we watched it grow past the top of our apartment on the fourth floor, which actually looks out onto Toronto Street.

I wrote about it and all the critters that called it home, and the house that had hosted it for many years. We used to see the many varieties of birds raise their young there and later watch the young gathering to take off to pastures new. I remember one year when over seventy Flicker woodpeckers were shouting and yelling there; this year I saw one, and he didn’t hang around.

A glance out of our window now shows five framed-up townhouses that just about fill the space that was once a haven for a happy family of fruit trees and birds of many kinds.

I guess that’s progress! It’s happening all over the city, and I’m not sure that I like it. But maybe I’m just growing old!