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Highway of Heroes Tree Tribute Memorial

The Highway of Heroes Tree Tribute honours all Canadians who have served during war, conflict and peace time since the War of 1812.

Milton, ON

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All wars and conflicts

Visitor Information

Within 30 km of Highway 401, mainly between Trenton and Toronto, Ontario

Open 24 hours


Database Information

Municipality/Province: within 30 km of Highway 401, mainly between Trenton and Toronto, Ontario

Address: 7856 Fifth Line South, Milton, ON L9T 2X8

GPS coordinates: Lat: 43.899057 Long: -78.6778307 (central location)

View Canadian Military Memorials Database

Canadians pay their respects

After terrorist attacks on the United States in 2001, Canada joined international efforts to secure and rebuild Afghanistan. While participating in our country’s military efforts there, 158 Canadian Armed Forces members lost their lives in service.

Once the fallen CAF members were repatriated to CFB Trenton, Ontario, a very Canadian thing began to happen. As the fallen’s remains were escorted from the airbase to the coroner’s office in Toronto, the public gathered to pay their respect. Hundreds, and then thousands, of people turned out to stand on the side of the road and on bridges along the 170-km stretch of Highway 401 between the two cities. Together, they quietly offered their respects as the official cars drove past. They reflected on the meaning of the sacrifice, and waved Canadian flags in a final patriotic salute to Canada’s heroes. 

Soon after the first Canadian soldiers were taken along the route in 2002, it became unofficially known as the Highway of Heroes, which the Government of Ontario made official in 2007.  

History of the remembrance campaign

In 2014, Canada’s mission in Afghanistan was coming to an end. A group of Canadians were inspired to transform the Highway of Heroes into a living tribute to Canada’s Veterans.

The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign was born!

In total, the Highway of Heroes Tree campaign is planting two million trees—one for every Canadian who has served in uniform since the War of 1812. Of these, 117,000 trees will be planted directly along the Highway of Heroes as a living memorial to each military member  who died in service.  

The Highway of Heroes Tree Tribute Memorial will symbolize our collective duty to protect the land and freedom for which our fallen have fought. 

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Volunteers plant trees at Baltimore Road and Highway 401 in Cobourg, Ontario. 20 October 2018 Photo: Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Where to find the trees

You can see The Highway of Heroes Tree Tribute at more than 50 sites along Highway 401 in Ontario, especially between Trenton and Keele Street in Toronto. For specific locations, please refer to the map.

Traditionally, yellow ribbons are used to symbolize public support for our troops. Inspired by these ribbons, yellow tree wraps are used to mark the Tribute trees.

Tree wraps, also called rodent wraps, help to deter rodents and other small animals from chewing on the small, growing trunks. The wraps also stabilize seedlings while they grow and make the trees more visible during grounds maintenance. The Highway of Heroes yellow wraps are easily identifiable by their vibrant colour. They are unique to the Tree Tribute, as other trees are wrapped in white.

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Trees along Highway 401 at the 412 interchange in Whitby, Ontario. 3 November 2017
Photo: Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Stainless steel plaques

The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign has installed stainless steel plaques at each of its public planting sites. This includes: Canadian Forces Base Trenton; Division Street, Cobourg; Chris Garrett Park, Cobourg; Petticoat Creek, Pickering; Soper Creek Trail, Bowmanville; Farewell Creek Trail, Courtice; and Grafton Playground.

Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

Plaque installed at Chris Garrett Park in Cobourg. Ontario
Photo: Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign

To learn more, visit the Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign at www.hohtribute.ca


Conflicts related to this memorial

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