The Ashbridge Estate’s giant weeping willow has fallen

Photo:  Elayne Crilly-Gauthier

Photo: Elayne Crilly-Gauthier

The mighty weeping willow that stood for 97 years at Ashbridge Estate has gone with the wind. 

A beloved local landmark and familiar sight traveling along Queen St. East, the willow tree fell in the rainstorm and gusty winds that swept Toronto Thursday. 

The majestic weeping willow was the treasure among the lush sanctuary of the grounds at 1444 Queen St. E. Its remarkable canopy had a graceful broad-rounded crown of branches sweeping downward to the ground. 

Nearly a century old, the gnarled willow lived through 97 years of changing seasons within an environment that shifted from bucolic to urban. The tree survived being lit on fire and was slated for removal several times, steadfastly preserving its place on the grounds with the help of vocal arborists.

According to the Ashbridge's Neighbourhood blog, the willow was planted in 1919 into the soil next to a small stream that led to Lake Ontario. It wasn't long before the towering tree would become a symbol of the neighbourhood.