Five poplar trees on the eastern side of the walkway through Tulista Park (here looking south) will come down, being replaced with five London plane trees as part of efforts to widen the sidewalk. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Five poplar trees on the eastern side of the walkway through Tulista Park (here looking south) will come down, being replaced with five London plane trees as part of efforts to widen the sidewalk. (Wolf Depner/News Staff)

Sidney to remove and replace five poplar trees in Tulista Park

London plane trees will replace poplars as part of sidewalk project

Five mature poplar trees are coming down as part of improvements to a popular sidewalk in Sidney.

Council voted 5-2 Monday, with Couns. Terri O’Keeffe and Chad Rintoul opposed, to approve an amended staff recommendation to widen the sidewalk through Tulista Park paralleling Fifth Street but separated by a berm.

Staff said in a report that the sidewalk is not wide enough to accommodate users and does not drain adequately. It also notes that trees along the sidewalk frequently heave the surface, “creating trip hazards and a surface undesirable for some wheeled modes of transportation.”

The sidewalk will be widened to 2.5 metres from 1.5 metres, impacting five trees on the east side of the walkway, with work scheduled to start in the summer.

“Although the existing sidewalk has an iconic feel with mature poplar trees on both sides, these trees are not the most suitable species in this location,” reads the report. The five poplar trees will give to way to five London plane trees, which would be more suitable for several reasons, including their non-intrusive root system, very long lifespan and broader canopy. The remaining poplar trees on the west side of the sidewalk still have a significant lifespan and staff recommends their removal and replacement with London plane trees on an as-needed basis.

RELATED: Sidney residents angry about removal of downtown tree

Council’s decision comes after the municipality received public criticism for allowing the removal of a historic downtown tree. Council voted 4-3 in March to allow the removal of a tree estimated to be 18 metres tall and several decades old. Mayor Cliff McNeil-Smith as well as Couns. Sara Duncan and Peter Wainwright had opposed removal of that tree.

Speaking in favour of widening the sidewalk rather than re-routing it as per the other option, Wainwright said Sidney values trees, but poplar trees are not high on the list of valued trees. He also also noted that the trees will be replaced, a point that the municipality will make in an upcoming release informing the public. The original staff recommendation only spoke of informing about the impending tree removal.

Council also asked staff to consider (without requiring) the planting of additional trees along the east side of the walkway.

Rintoul said he was uncomfortable with removing the five trees and suggested that council explore the option presented by O’Keeffe to move the path onto the berm in light of the possibility that Tulista Park could be the future site of pickleball courts.

The approved budget for the entire project is $200,000.

Do you have a story tip? Email:

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

Victoria-born, 16-time Grammy winning musician David Foster penned a letter to the Greater Victoria School District May 7 urging them not to cut music programs. (THE CANADIAN PRESS)
David Foster joins fight to save music in Greater Victoria School District

‘Music is the great equalizer’ Foster wrote in a letter to the district

‘Nindanikoobijiganag: We are Star People’ by Mississauga Nishnaabe Lucbanin artist Estrella Whetung. (Jane Skrypnek/News Staff)
Victoria beadwork exhibit speaks to evolving, enduring nature of Indigenous art

On Beaded Ground features work from West Coast artists and a Cedar Hill Middle School group

Former Victoria HarbourCat and Chicago White Sox player Andrew Vaughn. (Photo courtesy of Chicago White Sox)
Former Victoria HarbourCat hits first MLB home run, adds another two days later

Andrew Vaughn is the first HarbourCat alumni to hit a homer in the majors

A seniors housing complex proposed for Cedar Hill Road in Saanich was supported by council after a public hearing on May 12. (Rendering by Jenson Group Architects)
New 85-unit seniors housing development gets green light from Saanich council

Four-storey rental complex would be located on Cedar Hill Road

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

On Friday, May 14 at Meadow Gardens Golf Club in Pitt Meadows, Michael Caan joined a very elite club of golfers who have shot under 60 (Instagram)
Crowds at English Bay were blasted with a large beam of light from an RCMP Air-1 helicopter on Friday, May 14. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Marc Grandmaison
Police enlist RCMP helicopter to disperse thousands crowded on Vancouver beach

On Friday night, police were witness to ‘several thousand people staying well into the evening’

Sinikka Gay Elliott was reported missing on Salt Spring Island on Wednesday, May 12. (Courtesty Salt Spring RCMP)
Body of UBC professor found on Salt Spring Island, no foul play suspected

Sinikka Elliott taught sociology at the university

The first Black judge named to the BC Supreme Court, Selwyn Romilly, was handcuffed at 9:15 a.m. May 14 while walking along the seawall. (YouTube/Screen grab)
Police apologize after wrongly arresting B.C.’s first Black Supreme Court Justice

At 81 years old, the retired judge was handcuffed in public while out for a walk Friday morning

Queen Elizabeth II and Clive Holland, deputy commonwealth president of the Royal Life Saving Society, top left, virtually present Dr. Steve Beerman, top right, with the King Edward VII Cup for his drowning-prevention work. Tanner Gorille and Sarah Downs were honoured with Russell Medals for their life-saving resuscitation. (Buckingham Palace photo)
Queen presents Vancouver Island doctor with award for global drowning prevention

Dr. Steve Beerman receives Royal Life Saving Society’s King Edward VII Cup at virtual ceremony

Former UFV Cascades wrestling coach Arjan Singh Bhullar is now the ONE heavyweight champion after defeating Brandon Vera via TKO in round two on Saturday in Singapore. (ONE Championship)
Former UFV wrestling coach wins MMA championship

Arjan Singh Bhullar captures ONE heavyweight title, first Indian origin fighter to achieve honour

Astra Zeneca vaccine waits for injection in a Feb. 3, 2021 file photo. A Langley man has become the second B.C. resident to suffer a blood clot following an injection. (AP Photo/Frank Augstein)
B.C. man required emergency surgery after AstraZeneca vaccination

Shaun Mulldoon suffered ‘massive blood clot’ after jab

Chilliwack’s Kile Brown, performing as drag queen Hailey Adler, dances and lip syncs in front of hundreds of people during the inaugural Chilliwack Pride Barbecue at the Neighbourhood Learning Centre on Aug. 24, 2019. Monday, May 17 is International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of May 16 to 22

International Day Against Homophobia, Talk Like Yoda Day, Sea Monkey Day all coming up this week

Most Read