Check out what is happening at St.James Park! LAWNS are just as good as trees

Media Release

December 6, 2011

Breathing new life into St. James Park
New turfgrass will revive green space damaged by Occupy Toronto protest

TORONTO — After five weeks playing host to Occupy Toronto protesters, the lawn at Toronto’s St. James Park suffered severe damage, with the lawn trampled to death.

But local residents concerned about the condition of their communal gathering space can be assured it will be brought back to life. Landscape Ontario is partnering with the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario, Project EverGreen and the community to restore some greenery in St. James Park with a new lawn. Turfgrass is an enormous environmental benefit that is so often underestimated with its incredible ability to keep Toronto clean, green and healthy.

“There is a huge volunteer effort that will be happening here,” says Tony DiGiovanni, executive director of Landscape Ontario. “There will be more than 10,000 rolls of sod and at least 23 dump trucks of soil and an incredible number of people being very charitable.”

Volunteers from member Landscape Ontario and Nursery Sod-Growers Association firms will be on site Wednesday to begin preparation work, but the noticeable difference will happen Thursday as an army of volunteers lays the new sod to replace that which was damaged during the Occupy Toronto protest.

Restoring the lawn at St. James Park is an effort on par with planting a forest of trees when it comes to cleaning our air and creating the best situation for a healthy environment.

“A green and healthy lawn is just as important as a tree,” says Kyle Tobin, owner of LawnSavers Plant Health Care and a manager of the St. James Park project. “We have a unique opportunity right now before winter to restore the lawn and take advantage of ideal conditions. We will get in there and it will go from brown to green immediately and flourish next spring.”

A lush, green lawn is more than just pleasing to the eye. Did you know:

  • That 220 square feet of turfgrass produces enough oxygen for a family of four; that means restoring the turfgrass in St. James Park will produce enough clean air for 545 families;
  • North American Lawns store billions of tonnes of carbon, making turfgrass a leading contributor to offset carbon and reduce global warming;
  • The average front lawn has the cooling effect of 8.5 tonnes of air conditioning; Lawns will be 18°C (30°F) cooler than asphalt and 7°C (14°F) cooler than bare soil in the heat of summer.
  • Turf improves water quality by storing and filtering the water that would otherwise go into catch-basins and into the lake.
  • A 10,000 square foot lawn will contain six grass plants per square inch,
    850 plants per square foot and 8.5 million plants total. Think of your lawn as a forest of grass plants.

Community members interested helping out with the transformation of St. James are invited to come to the park on Thursday to support the massive volunteer effort.

“When you consider the immense environmental benefits of turf, we are going to make a huge impact with the revitalization of St. James Park,” says Alan White, owner of Turf Systems Inc. and a manager of the St. James Park project. “A new lawn in the park will have the equivalent impact of producing enough clean air for 2,180 people each day. It will help maintain a healthy temperature in our environment and work to keep our air and water clean.”

Landscape Ontario Horticultural Trades Association, one of the most vibrant associations of its kind, is comprised of more than 2,000 members, 10 sector groups and nine local chapters. Its trade mission is to promote the horticulture industry in Ontario, and its public mission, Green for Life, promotes the joys and benefits of plants and green spaces. Visit for more information.

Formed in 1960, the Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario (N.S.G.A.) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the betterment of the turfgrass sod industry. The main objectives of the association are to develop and maintain high standards of turfgrass sod quality, to stimulate consumer knowledge of quality turfgrass sod, to work in close co-operation with allied professions to the benefit of consumer and trade alike, and to gather, analyze and disseminate information of general interest to the public, governmental agencies and other organizations.

Project EverGreen is committed to informing the Canadian public about the positive effects of well-maintained green spaces, including lawns and landscapes, sports turf, golf courses and parks. We want to inspire you to get involved and get passionate about green spaces!


Media Contact:

Stephen Murdoch

Enterprise Canada

Tel: 905-682-7203 X24

Project Contacts

Alan White

Turf Systems Inc.

Phone: 905-336-9500

Kyle Tobin

LawnSavers Plant Health Care

Phone: 905-707-9994

Email: through this website:

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  • Transitioning to less restrictions -Covid Update: (updated 10/14/21)

    Hi Everyone, 

    LawnSavers managed to persevere through this last pandemic year with the loyal partnership of our clients.

    We are able to authorized and able to service lawns and perform pest control services in all our GTA service areas as an essential service.

    Our office remains open in addition to some remote staff.   Please note with many people working from home, our service is experiencing a higher demand and volume of calls.
    We know how much everyone hates being left on hold, so please feel free to  leave us a message,  or email and we will get back to you in less than 24 hours.  (you can also text us at 905-707-9994)

        Please be patient with us, we will get back to you as fast as we can and do
    our very best to help you.

    You can also sign up for services on our website by clicking here.

    2020 is now well behind us.  Together with our customers, we face Covid-19 head-on as a community-minded local small family business and are extremely grateful to be able to survive and keep all of our loyal employees working hard with us through it all.

    2020-21 important turf and tree high (and low) lights:

    • Nine days of snow, ice and wintry weather in May 2020
      2021 was the driest April May and June in 51 years See Actual GTA daily weather records by clicking here.
    • One of the hottest driest summers on record in 2020 with long spells of grass-killing heat and drought. Read more here in our 2020 summary blog.
      2021 carried on this trend with only a few days of rain in July and August, with extreme dryness and heat.
    • A bumper crop of crabgrass that germinated in the perfect (rainless) storm. Expect even more this summer in 2021!
    • Chinch Bug numbers in 2020 were record breaking and persisted through the dry heat they love, secretly killing lawns while dormant! We can help with Chinch bug damage  Expect even more this summer!
    • We put together an easy to read lawn care service timeline that you can use to know when to expect us for each scheduled service in your package. 

    Our number one priority remains the health and safety of our employees and customers.  Safety, Integrity and honesty are our most important core values.  We will continue to follow strict safety guidelines that ensure “low/no touch”.  We will not let our guard down on exercising our safety protocols!

    Thank you all for your understanding and extra patience during these challenging times. Our team works hard, so if you are met with our exceptional service from our technicians or office team members- please give them a thumbs up to make them smile or let me know through a quick email to

    We thank you for supporting our local, family-owned business of 31 years.
     genuinely appreciate you and promise that we will do our part to ensure our mutual safety.

    Thank you in advance,
    Kyle Tobin
    Chief Environmental Officer