Neighbours lament death of Emily, the iconic Cordova Bay oak tree

Urban development means continued loss of urban tree canopy

Emily the tree is dead. She was felled in the name of development.

Emily, if you weren’t aware, is the name bestowed by locals to the iconic pin oak tree whose scarlet leaves invigorated the tired Cordova Bay Plaza with a splash of life. Whether you knew Emily by name or not, you couldn’t miss the giant tree, an oasis in the deserted Cordova Bay Plaza parking lot. Recently, Emily inspired an outcry from a number of Cordova Bay villagers in the final moments before the new Cordova Bay redevelopment was approved. (The removal of Emily and other trees were included in the plans.)

The new shopping centre is comprised of three four-storey buildings with multiple ground-floor commercial suites, underground parking and 91 residential homes.

And so, it was a down moment earlier this month as villagers happened upon the iconic Emily who, for the first time in decades, was no longer in the regal upright stance overlooking the Haro Straight. Instead, Emily was reduced to logs in a box.

Steve Corner was among those who took the chance to memorialize the great oak. “It was a sad and unnecessary ending to [Emily’s] life,” said Corner. “[Emily] could have provided many more years for all to enjoy with a little thought in the design of the new development.”

Before it was felled, the tree inspired 18-year-old Claremont grad Matthew Cain to paint it. He not only captured the tree’s essence but also spoke to Saanich council – prior to the development approval – on behalf of retaining the tree for its spiritual and community value.

Others equally lamented the loss of Emily.

Development continues to result in urban tree canopy loss at a consistent rate across Greater Victoria and Saanich. Most urban trees are felled for development, which remains strong, likely at a pace similar to the 378 hectares of tree cover lost between 2005 and 2011.

reporter@saanichnews.com

Just Posted

Cops corral pig on the loose in Cordova Bay

Pig was trotting towards Pat Bay Highway from Cordova Ridge

Iconic Mount Douglas beach rock vandalized with graffiti image

Saanich Parks staff will try to remove at low tide

Sooke Road project remains on time and budget

Six bus stop needed to be re-done due to incorrect height

BCSPCA’s proposed limits on chickens go too far: urban food advocate

Capping the number of hens at 12 an unnecessary solution, Aaren Topley tells Victoria council

Victoria-area orthotist giving dogs a new leash on life

Since he started 10 months ago, Tim Witoski has supplied orthotics for some 25 dogs

Manak calls Const. Ian Jordan fallen hero

Late Victoria cop mourned at funeral by officers from numerous local, out-of-town jurisdictions

Spring Home Show this weekend in Colwood

West Shore Parks and Recreation will be transformed to showcase everything home related

Unions set for national strike against CP Rail

Locomotive engineers, conductors and signals specialists seeking new collective agreements.

Camosun launches cannabis training courses

Growing Cannabis for Professionals is available online through continuing education

RCMP seek missing Vernon woman

Aislynn Hanson, 18, last seen April 13; known to travel throughout B.C. by hitchhiking

B.C. court relies on Facebook to track down missing defendant

A court in Princeton, B.C. relied on Facebook to track down a B.C. missing his court date

Accused in B.C. school stabbing found unfit to stand trial

Decision will put hold on upcoming trial for Gabriel Klein

Producer, DJ Avicii found dead at 28

Swedish-born artist Tim Bergling, was found in Muscat, Oman

Updated: Cars lined up around the block as gas hits 109.9 in B.C. city

The gas wars continue in Vernon, B.C. with prices as low as $109.9 in North Okanagan

Most Read