Mar 13, 2023

Old Elm’s History in Stouffville

Did you know that our Elm & CO. community in Stouffville is named after a rare local 200-year-old elm tree?

Standing strong at 40 meters tall, with a canopy 40 meters wide and a 4-metre trunk circumference, this two-century old tree is one of the oldest trees in Stouffville. Many elm trees in the area have been wiped out by the Dutch Elm Disease in the 1970s and 1980s — the fact that this tree survived is nothing short of a miracle.

The Dutch Elm Disease was a fungus that was brought to North America from Europe, which devastated elm trees across the continent. The disease was first identified in the 1920s, and by the 1970s, it had killed millions of elm trees. At its peak, the disease was killing tens of thousands of trees every year. The loss of these majestic trees was a significant blow to many communities, as the elms were often the centrepieces of parks and public spaces.

Despite the devastation caused by the Dutch Elm Disease, there are still some elms that have managed to survive. One such tree is this 200-year-old elm in Stouffville. This tree is not only a survivor, but it is also a testament to the resilience of nature. It has endured harsh weather conditions, disease, and even the threat of development. With the new GO Transit Station underway in Stouffville, many thought that this tree would have to be cut down. However, Stouffville residents were not going to let that happen! The Eco Club at St. Brigid Catholic Elementary School collected 400 signatures to save the tree, and other locals made earnest efforts to ensure the tree was preserved. 

The 200 year old elm tree in Stouffville is a treasured part of the community and its history.

Thanks to the efforts of residents and the consideration of Metrolinx, the ancient elm tree in Stouffville is being preserved and allowed to remain in the same spot it has called home for the last two centuries. Metrolinx even went a step further, renaiming their Lincolnville GO Station the Old Elm Station.

In honour of this legendary tree, we have named our new community in Stouffville as Elm & CO. This name not only pays tribute to the elm tree but also reflects the values of this future community. Like the elm tree, Elm & CO. is green, environmentally conscious, strong, and well-built. The building ethos behind this community stands for preserving the environment, natural heritage spaces in the area, and creating a sustainable future.

The name “Elm & CO.” is more than just a catchy title. It is a reminder of the importance of nature and the role that trees play in our communities. We hope this ancient elm tree continues to stand tall and strong, inspiring generations to come!