Hug Me Tree in Toronto

The Return of the Hug Me Tree

After a brief hiatus, the Hug Me tree on Queen St. W. is back again.

For as long as I can remember, an abandoned tree stump on the north side of Queen and Peter was decorated as the Hug Me Tree.

One day, almost as mysteriously as it appeared, it vanished. As of last week, it's back again.

It looks like the city put one of those metal stumps in its place at first, but then it got covered up with paper maché, spray-foam and paint.

The woman at the hotdog stand right behind the Hug Me Tree had no idea of its existence. Yet she said she's there every day and has been for a very long time.

I find it odd that so many people pay no attention to this obviously different tree along the wide sidewalk on the north side of Queen St. W.

Upon closer inspection, I noticed someone scrawled graffiti on the Hug Me Tree in several places, posing the question, "I wonder if my bark went into making paperbacks?"

What purpose does this tree serve in our community?

Is this just another signpost to be plastered with flyers over and over? Or will it remain as an important piece of urban street art and be celebrated (or ignored) by the masses as such?

Hug Me Tree in Toronto

On the side facing west, "Return of the Jedi" was spray-painted on one of the "branches."

Hug Me Tree in Toronto

Have you noticed the Hug Me Tree when passing by this corner? If not, have a look next time and see how it's evolved. It's not just for tree huggers.

Photos by Roger Cullman.


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