Historical gingko trees lost in office move

By on June 1, 2006

In the end, not even the fact that they were historical could save two gingko trees that had been planted by the first Anglican and Canadian bishop of Honan, China -William Charles White – outside the old Anglican Church of Canada’s national office at 600 Jarvis St., Toronto. The gingko trees are no more – cut by the developer to whom the property was sold when the national office moved to its new quarters on 80 Hayden St. two years ago this month. There was an effort to save them – the former primate, Archbishop Michael Peers, and the former general secretary, Archdeacon Jim Boyles, had searched for ways to prevent them from being chopped. Vianney Carriere, General Synod director of communications and information resources, consulted an arborist at the University of Guelph but was told that the trees, whose leaf extracts are believed to stop memory loss, could not be transplanted. “I was told you can’t graft them either. They’re very delicate trees,” he said. “The only way would be to re-grow them. But there’s no space in our new location for big trees.” And since the move to the new office proved more time-consuming, the trees’ fate was overshadowed by more pressing matters, he said. (See related story)It is not known when the trees were planted, only that Bishop White, who was the first Canadian bishop to be consecrated for service in the mission field, planted them when he returned to Canada from China. Bishop White was also the man after whom the Royal Ontario Museum named its collection of rare and ancient Chinese art – the Bishop White Gallery of Chinese Temple Art.

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