Our mission is simple: honour our military, protect the environment and beautify North America’s most travelled highway.





A generation ago, Canadians worried that the memory of those who gave their lives for our freedom would be forgotten as people who experienced World War II were dying off. Then along came the Afghanistan War, and Corporal Nick Kerr volunteered to serve in active duty. He saw a lot of things he’d like to forget. And he attended the funerals of eight of his fellow service friends. Eight. One of them was his best friend, James Arnal.

In September 2016, Corporal Nick Kerr drove himself from CFB Petawawa to Whitby to plant trees in memory of his fallen comrades. That is about a six-hour drive. Alongside project co-founder, Mark Cullen, he spent the day digging, planting and mulching. The next day, a Sunday, he showed up at another Highway of Heroes tree planting event in Ajax, about 15 minutes west of Whitby. Dig and plant. All day. And then he drove himself home. Another 6 hours.

We owe a great debt to military personnel like Corporal Kerr and their fallen comrades. In the words of Corporal Kerr, “I do this to help deal with my sense of loss.”

When a member of Canada’s Armed Forces falls in combat, his or her final journey is along the Highway of Heroes from CFB Trenton to the Coroner’s Office in Toronto.

We are planting 2 million trees along the 401 Highway of Heroes, a tribute to the men and women who fought for Canada in our wars, and a living memorial to the 117,000 who sacrificed their lives for freedom.

As Canadians, we’re proud of our values that guide us to respect green spaces and wilderness, yet too few of us realize we have the highest carbon footprint per capita in the world. We can and will do better.

They have fought to protect our land and our freedom. It is now our collective duty to protect what they’ve fought for.


Mark Cullen,
Campaign Chair & Co-Founder

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During the war in Afghanistan, Canada lost 159 servicemen and servicewomen. Once repatriated at CFB Trenton, their bodies were driven to the coroner’s office in Toronto. A very Canadian thing happened during those years: hundreds of people turned out to stand on bridges along Highway 401 to quietly reflect on the meaning of this sacrifice, hold flags and salute the fallen heroes passing by in hearses.  Since then, the 170-km route has been known as the Highway of Heroes. 

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In 2014 a group of tree-loving people were inspired to transform the Highway of Heroes into a living tribute that honours Canada’s war dead -  117,000 since Confederation. In addition to honouring our troops  the   commemorative trees would clean the atmosphere, cool the environment and provide an inspired drive down an otherwise pedestrian stretch of asphalt. The Highway of Heroes Tree Campaign was developed to make this a reality.  

Since that time, support has grown, as have the project’s ambitions. The 117,000 most prominent trees will be planted in honour of those who lost their lives, and in addition,  a total of 2 million trees will be planted to recognize all Canadians who have served during times of war. Already underway, tree planting events educate volunteers about sacrifices that have been made. Military personnel and veterans frequently attend these events themselves.



Since we first broke ground on our living memorial, we have been honoured to receive the support of a variety of highly respected Canadians.




Each year we join with communities along the Highway of Heroes to plant thousands of trees honouring our Canadian heroes. Every planting is special, just like the communities we work with. Here are just a few of their stories.


For information or to inquire about hosting a planting in your community please contact us today!



Our campaign focuses on remembering our Canadian Heroes, enhancing our communities and protecting our natural environment. Our impact in these areas continues to inspire.



Canadians value their freedom and honour those who fought to preserve our way of life.



We are beautifying our communities, fostering social connections and providing a natural space to
cope loss and celebrate life.



Those who serve in our military protect our land and our freedom; we must do our part to protect what they’ve fought for.


Join us in creating the world’s largest living tribute.