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Commemorative Tree and Bench Program

Urban Forest

Bench & Tree

The City of Thunder Bay’s Commemorative Tree and Bench program is a wonderful opportunity for the public to celebrate a person or occasion by purchasing a tree or bench for installation in a public park. Commemorative gifts can be donated for life events such as marriages, births, deaths, graduations, anniversaries, birthdays, baptisms, retirements or special events. Whatever the occasion, the legacy is yours to give.

The program contributes in a very special way to the greening and beautification of our city and increases park amenities. It is coordinated and maintained by the Parks & Open Spaces Section of the City of Thunder Bay. Commemorative trees and benches are installed between May and October of each year. 

Your tree or bench will serve as a legacy for generations to come!


Commemorative trees will be large-caliper (50mm diameter) hardwoods, such as maples, oaks, crabapples and lindens, that when planted stand 2-4m (8-12 ft) high and weigh up to 204kg (450 lbs) with their root ball. Tree species will be selected by, or in consultation with, the City's Urban Forestry staff and only trees that are appropriate to Thunder Bay’s hardiness zone will be planted. For an approximate list of available tree species please see the planting list.

Your commemorative tree will be a living tribute that grows!


The location of a planting site or bench installation will be affected by proposed future development within a park, the location of utilities, and any other site restrictions. City parks that allow for bench installation include: Waverley Park, Hillcrest Park, Boulevard Lake Park, Junot Park, Chippewa Park and Vickers Park. Some parks may already be at capacity and therefore a tree or bench location may not be possible for that particular park. Tree planting or bench installation dates cannot be specified. Every effort will be made to accommodate the request of the donor for tree species and location of tree or bench; however, final decisions are subject to City approval and changes may be made at the supervisor’s discretion. In the unlikely case that a tree species or installation site cannot be mutually agreed upon, the full donation amount will be refunded.


If you are donating a bench or would like a ground-level plaque with your tree, please follow the guidelines below for your personal wording.  

  • Wording must be approved by Parks staff
  • Plaques for trees are ground level. There are two tree plaque options based on the donor's budget. 
  • Plaques for benches are placed on the upper portion of the seat
  • Common phrases used include ‘In memory of…’, ‘In honour of…’, ‘To commemorate…’

Any person or group wishing to donate a tree or bench in a City park should contact the City of Thunder Bay’s Parks & Open Spaces Section. Requests will be acted upon within one year. When making a request please be prepared to provide:

  • Name
  • Address, phone number and email
  • Preferred City park
  • If you select a tree, your preferred tree species (see planting list)
  • Whether you would like a plaque, and if so, what you would like it to say (please see the Plaques section above)


This program is a full-cost-recovery initiative. Your donation helps beautify and green Thunder Bay’s municipal parks as well as celebrate a life event. Each large-caliper commemorative tree is $500, which includes the supply of the tree and its installation and maintenance. An associated plaque can be purchased for $295 (cement), $485 (unpolished granite) or $595 (polished granite). Each commemorative bench is $2,750, which includes the plaque. There are three payment options: pay in person at Infrastructure & Operations (address below), call Infrastructure & Operations with your Visa/Mastercard number, or send cheques payable to the City of Thunder Bay, Infrastructure & Operations Department.


Trees, benches and plaques are the property of, and will be maintained by, the City. Commemorative trees will be replaced at no cost to the donor within three years of the original planting date if required. Commemorative benches and plaques will be maintained by the City of Thunder Bay for a maximum of 10 years at no cost to the donor. Bench and plaque repair/replacement after 10 years will be at the City’s discretion. 


Donations to the Commemorative Tree and Bench program are tax deductible. Donations must be received by the City of Thunder Bay by Dec. 1 for tax receipts to be provided for the current year. A letter confirming the request for either the commemorative tree or bench, and thanking you for your participation in the program, will be sent with the tax receipt.

Become the change you want to see!

For more information contact:

City of Thunder Bay
Urban Forest Program Specialist
Parks & Open Spaces Section - Victoriaville Civic Centre
Syndicate Ave S
Thunder Bay, ON P7E 6S4
Phone: (807) 625-2956
Fax: (807) 625-3258

Recognize a Tree