Here’s another reason I love living here.
We had a dead tree on the front lawn, a big sugar maple, whose branches fell off every time a baby exhaled down the road. It was only a matter of time before persons or property were harmed so we looked into getting the poor thing cut down. An arborist suggested it might be on city property, so I called the Forestry department and asked them to check it out.
That was last week. Yesterday morning a guy in a hard had and orange vest knocked at the door and said they’d like to take it out right now if I’d kindly move my vehicle. Okay! In about an hour a crew made quick work of the tree, leaving – as we requested – big branches for us to cut up as firewood, which we did. A neighbour with a bigger chainsaw and a trailer cut up the huge pieces, leaving only one massive chunk for the city to retrieve, which currently sits like an odd sculpture on the sawdust-strewn lawn.
In Toronto, if you have a dead tree there is a two year backlog for the city to come and look at it, let alone take it down. Here, it was a few days. It’s never nice when a tree dies but there are several sugar maples on the street that are deceased and like ours, will probably eventually undergo cremations, a little at a time, on cold winter nights.
This city isn’t perfect. Some of its roads are in horrible shape and that becomes apparent when you travel them by motorcycle. Council spends money on stupid things, like bailing out a little-loved orchestra when it pre-books an expensive event hall that it eventually doesn’t have a use for. But its size means residents can get access to services a little more directly and a little more efficiently. And I like that.