It all started in the 1990's when George Sarasin put a pair of work boots in the tree that he didn't need anymore in case someone else could use them. It was a habit that was passed down from his mother, who grew up in Kirkland Lake during the depression. Today, the tree is covered with shoes. Obviously not every pair that winds up in the tree is reused. It has suffered some damage because of the weight.
A few years ago a branch broke, and now this tree across the road has started to take shape. And so the trend continues.