Royal Ottawa preparing for annual Christmas Tree sale in support of hospital

Christmas trees sit waiting to be picked up. The sun is setting in the background.
Christmas Trees will be available for purchase at the Royal Ottawa from Dec. 2 until they sell out. Twitter photo by Andrea Tomkins.

By Charlie Senack

We’ve all heard of going to the hospital to access health care, but what about to get a dose of the Christmas spirit? 

If you’re looking to purchase a real Christmas tree this year, look no further than the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre, which is gearing up for their 38th annual volunteer-run sale.

Over 925 balsam fir trees grown in Nova Scotia will be up for grabs starting at 10:00 a.m. on Dec. 2. Annmarie Nicholson, director of volunteer service at the Royal, said prices are competitive, quality is top notch, and all proceeds raised will go towards supporting patients and families.

“If you’re going to spend $75 on a tree, why not spend it where you know a big chunk of it is going back towards supporting mental health?” she said. “Every year we sell out earlier and earlier, and last year all the trees were gone in six days.” 

The Christmas sale picked up popularity during the COVID-19 pandemic when more families celebrated the holidays from home. In the years that followed, tree shortages and a rough growing season were also to thank for their success. 

Last year $64,000 was raised. All proceeds help the volunteer association provide additional funding for resources and programs at the hospital. 

“It’s always been used for types of items that we know are really important to recovery and quality of care that are sometimes a little more difficult to cover. If we don’t have to stretch quite as far in this area, it leaves more stretch for other areas,” said Nicholson. “It can be food for cooking groups, material for adult educational programs or equipment for recreation therapy activities. The proceeds raised can also be used to purchase basic needs for folks like underwear and socks.” 

The Christmas tree sale will run in the back lot of the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre located at 1145 Carling Ave, Monday to Friday from 3:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m., and weekends from 10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.

A person walks through rows of Christmas trees.
Last year the 925 Christmas trees sold out in two weeks. Twitter photo by Andrea Tomkins.

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