A donation through the City’s commemorative program is a lasting and rewarding way to honour the memory of a loved one, celebrate a special occasion or recognize an accomplishment.
Your donation becomes a special tribute for your occasion, as well as an enduring gift to all Londoners within our public parks. Donations provided through the commemorative program are eligible for a charitable receipt.
The City offers three types of commemorative features including benches, trees, and our memory wall.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, we continue to experience some delays in these programs, resulting in longer than normal timelines.
Commemorative benches offer a place for peaceful reflection. The donation amount for a commemorative bench is $4500.00. The donation covers the costs of the bench, plaque, installation, maintenance, and repair of the bench for a duration of the lifetime of the bench which is estimated at about ten years.
Commemorative benches will be installed in pre-approved locations only.
- A maximum of 20 commemorative bench applications will be accepted by the City of London per year.
- The applicant’s donation covers the costs of the bench, plaque, installation, maintenance, and repair of the bench for a duration of the lifetime of the bench which is estimated at about 10 years.
- The City will replace a commemorative bench if necessary, during the lifetime of the bench. If a commemorative plaque has been vandalized or severely damaged, the City will pay for one replacement plaque within the lifetime of the bench. Additional plaque replacements will be an additional cost to the donor.
- Commemorative plaques will be ordered by the City once proofs have been approved by the donor and the City has received payment.
- Once a donation has been made, the bench becomes the property of the City of London.
- The payment deadline for a commemorative bench is March 31, 2023.
- Installations of commemorative benches will occur in the spring of 2023 and is weather dependent.
- Commemorative benches are to be installed in pre-approved locations only.
- The placement of flowers, wreaths, or any other memorial item on, or near the bench is prohibited.
- If required, the City has the right to remove and relocate a commemorative bench. The City will do all their efforts to contact the donor prior to removal and relocation.
Commemorative tree applications open April 3, 2023 and close June 30, 2023. The application form for the commemorative tree program will first be made available to the program’s waiting list from 2022. The application form will then be posted to this webpage on April 24, 2023 if there is still availability for this year's program.
Help enhance our “Forest City” by making a donation to plant a commemorative tree in one of our parks. The City of London is part of the Carolinian eco-region. Carolinian trees improve air quality, provide food and habitat for insects and animals, create shade, and look beautiful too.
The donation amount for a commemorative tree is $550.00. The donation covers the cost, installation, and maintenance of the tree.
Locations may be determined based on individual park needs and optimal tree growth. The City is supportive of adding commemorative trees in most parks other than Victoria Park, Ivey Park, the Civic Garden Area of Springbank, The Green in Wortley Village, and City-owned Golf Courses. Plaques cannot be installed with commemorative trees.
The City only offers native deciduous trees (50mm caliper) and offers selected species only.
- A maximum of 20 commemorative tree applications will be accepted by the City of London per year.
- The applicant’s donation covers the cost, installation, and maintenance of the tree.
- If the tree dies within two years of the initial planting, it will be replaced under warranty. Any replacements after five years will be an additional cost to the donor.
- Commemorative trees do not include plaques. Plaques cannot be installed in the future by the City, donor, or a third party.
- The City only offers native deciduous trees (50mm caliper) and offers selected species only.
- The City will examine the applicant’s requested location for a commemorative tree to ensure there are no conflicts with utility, recreation uses, or future improvements to the park. Please note that not all parks are available for commemorative trees and the City has the right to make the final decision as to the location.
- The payment deadline for commemorative trees is June 30, 2023.
- Installations of commemorative trees will occur in the fall of 2023 and is weather dependent.
- The placement of flowers, wreaths, or any other memorial item on or near the tree is prohibited.
- If required, the City has the right to remove and relocate a commemorative tree. The City will do all their efforts to contact the donor prior to removal and relocation.
Tree species options
London is located in the Carolinian Life Zone, one of the most diverse natural environments in Canada. To help support and enhance this environment, certain tree species are recommended for Commemorative Trees. These tree species are native to our region and have the best chance for survival while maintaining a healthy and diverse public park system and urban forest.
List of recommended tree species
- Basswood/Linden (Tilia americana): A large tree than can grow up to 35 metres tall. Its leaves are large and heart-shaped with toothed edges. The fragrant yellow flowers and round graying-brown fruit hang from the centre of a leaf-like bract. When released, the bract acts like a helicopter wing and carries the seeds away in a breeze.
- Tulip Tree (Liriodendron tulipfera): A large, fast-growing tree that can grow up to 35 metres tall, with a thick trunk up to 160 centimetres in diameter. Its leaves are light green and turn yellow in the fall. This tree produces beautiful yellow-green flowers that bloom in the spring.
- Northern Hackberry (Celtis occidentalis): The largest native hackberry that can reach up to 15m tall. Its asymmetrical leave have long pointed tips that turn yellow in the fall. Single, reddish-purple fruits hang below the leaves and may persist into winter.
- Ironwood (Ostrya virginiana): This medium size tree can reach up to 12m tall and has alternating oval-shaped leaves with sharp teeth that turn a yellow-orange in the fall. Male flowers, called catkins, hang in early spring to release pollen.
- Downy Serviceberry (Amelanchier arborea): This is a small tree with alternating oval-shaped leaves that turn a yellow-orange-red in the fall. Clusters of white flowers appear in the spring, and berries ripen early to mid-summer.
- Red Maple (Acer rubrum): A medium-sized oval tree that can grow up to 25 metres tall, with a trunk that’s 60 centimetres in diameter. Its green lobed leaves turn an outstanding red in the fall. Seeds of maples are contained in “keys” that float down from the tree’s branches.
- Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum): A large tree that can grow up to 35 metres tall, and can live for more than 200 years. The shape of its leaves are well known – it is found on the Canadian flag as the Sugar Maple is the national tree of Canada. In the fall, its leaves turn yellow, brilliant orange, or red.
- Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum): A large, fast-growing tree that can grow up to 35 metres tall with a trunk that’s more than 100 centimetres in diameter. The silver maple is similar to the red maple – except that its leaves turn pale yellow or brown, not red, in the fall.
- White Oak (Quercus alba): A large tree that can grow to be more than 35 metres tall and can live for several hundred years. It drops acorns in the fall which serve as food for birds, squirrels, and other animals. Leaves are typically bright green on top and paler green underneath. They turn red-purple in the fall before falling off. Oaks are best planted in spring.
- Bur Oak (Quercus macrocarpa): A large tree ranging from 15-30 metres tall and is the most common oak in Ontario. Its large leaves are shiny green on top and pale and hairy underneath. Its leaves turn yellow-brown in the fall and drops acorns during this time.
- Swamp White Oak (Quercus bicolor): A large tree that can grow up to 22 metres tall. Its shiny dark green leaves have pale green fuzzy undersides and rounded lobes which turn coppery-bronze in the fall. As the name suggests, it prefers to be grown in wet and heavy soils, it does not like drought.
Memory Wall engraving applications open June 1, 2023 and close September 1, 2023. The application form for the Memory Wall program will first be made available to the program’s waiting list from 2022. The application form will then be posted to this webpage on June 26, 2023 if there is still availability for this year's program.
Located in Springbank Park’s Graham Arboretum, the Memory Wall features granite tablets with personalized engravings in a peaceful and reflective natural setting. The Memory Wall is located off of Arboretum Avenue just south of Storybook Gardens.
For a donation amount of $1500.00, a custom inscription will be included during the annual autumn engraving of the wall. A portion of your donation is used to help maintain and enhance the Arboretum.
- A maximum of 20 memory wall engraving applications will be accepted per year.
- The applicant’s donation covers the cost of the engraving, and a portion of the donation is used to help maintain and enhance the Graham Arboretum.
- Engravings will be installed once proofs have been approved by the donor and the City has received payment.
- The placement of flowers, wreaths, or any other memorial item around the memory wall is prohibited.
- The payment deadline for memory wall engravings is September 1, 2023.
- Installations of engravings will occur in the fall and is weather dependent.
Frequently asked questions (FAQ)
Why is there a limit on the number of application forms that are accepted yearly?
Over the past three years, there has been a significant increase in the number of commemorative feature installations. Having a limit of how many applications will be accepted helps support City staff coordinate efficient and manageable installations throughout the year.
Why are donors only allowed to choose pre-approved bench locations?
In past years, many donors have selected locations for commemorative benches in parks that already had several benches. This year, the City is providing pre-approved bench locations in parks that need benches.
What happens to the commemorative bench after 10 years?
If the commemorative bench becomes unsafe and unusable after 10 years, the City will remove it and the plaque will be provided to the donor. The donor will have the option to contribute to a new commemorative bench.
Why does the City not offer plaques with commemorative trees?
The City discontinued adding plaques with commemorative trees in 2008 based on feedback.
How do I pay for my commemorative feature?
Once the City has received your application form, an electronic invoice will be emailed to the donor. Payments can be made with cash, Debit, Visa, or Mastercard. Payments can be made in person at selected locations, by phone, or online. Please note that if there are multiple individuals contributing to a commemorative feature, payments must occur by phone, or in person. Online will not be an option.
When will I receive my charitable receipt?
Charitable receipts for the prior calendar year will be issued by February 28.
Donors who have not received their charitable donation receipt by March 13 should contact email@example.com
In your email, please include the following information:
- Subject line: Donation receipt for 202X (indicate the donation year)
- In the body of the email, please include:
- Name of donor
- Address of donor
- Date of donation
- Type of donation/Program donated through
- Amount donated