Programs for Residents

Draft Pollinator Protection Strategy

Background

Since 2016, City of Toronto staff have been working together with expert stakeholders and concerned residents to develop a Pollinator Protection Strategy, which will be a component of the City's broader Biodiversity Strategy.

The goal is to identify what additional actions can be taken by the City and the community to protect, enhance and create habitat for pollinators, such as bees and butterflies.

The City of Toronto is already doing many things to support pollinators, but we know there is more to be done.

 

The final strategy will build upon and expand current activities and create opportunities to establish new initiatives, partnerships and collaborations.

Why is a pollinator protection strategy necessary?

Conserving and properly managing Toronto's diverse pollinator community is a key component of a sustainable, resilient, and biodiverse city. As pollinators, bees provide an invaluable service to the ecosystem. Without bees, much of the food we eat and the natural landscapes we enjoy would not exist.


Butterflies are also an essential component of our ecosystem. Caterpillars have important roles as natural herbivores and food for birds.

It is critical to ecosystem functioning to maintain healthy populations of bees and butterflies.

The decline in some species of pollinators is alarming. Once a species is lost from an area, it is extremely difficult to reintroduce it. The actions proposed in this strategy are intended to ensure that species still found in our city can survive and be sustained.

Draft Pollinator Protection Strategy: vision, priorities and proposed actions

The vision is for Toronto to be home to healthy pollinator populations that support resilient ecosystems and contribute to a rich urban biodiversity.

To achieve this vision, six priorities have been identified:

  1. Create and enhance habitat
  2. Design and connect green spaces
  3. Partner and build relationships
  4. Invest, incentivize and inspire
  5. Educate and train
  6. Celebrate and recognize achievements

 

For each priority, a series of proposed actions have been developed that will help the City of Toronto achieve its vision.

These proposed actions will not only support native bees and butterflies, but will also be beneficial to all pollinators, including non-native honey bees.

Habitat creation in particular will have a positive impact on all pollinators, and is the foundation of the City's actions.

 

Read the Draft Pollinator Protection Strategy (pdf 14 KB)


This draft strategy document provides:

  • an overview of Toronto's bees and butterflies;
  • a summary of the key guiding priorities that shape the strategy; and
  • a series of proposed actions that will help us to protect and sustain healthy pollinator populations in Toronto.

We have published this document to invite further input as we begin to finalize the strategy. 

 

 

Next Steps

While a great deal of work has been done to date, there are several additional actions that need to be taken to develop the final Pollinator Protection Strategy, including continued public engagement, consultation with the expert advisory group and internal working group, and additional research.

The final Pollinator Protection Strategy, to be completed this year, will form a part of the City's Biodiversity Strategy.

What's the buzz? Have your say!

We want to hear from you! Please email us at livegreen@toronto.ca to respond to these questions and share your ideas.

  • How can the City help you create pollinator habitat?
  • What more should the City do to help pollinators?
  • In your opinion, which actions are the most important?
  • What is missing from these proposed actions?
  • How should we celebrate pollinators?