Urban Forestry is responsible for maintaining approximately 3.5 million trees in parks, ravines and natural areas. Toronto has many natural areas that exist on both private and public property, including ravines, woodlands, and the shoreline of glacial Lake Iroquois. If your property is located either entirely or partially within a ravine protected area, you may be required to apply to the City for a permit prior to undertaking any work that includes the injury or removal of a tree, placing or dumping fill or refuse, or altering the existing grade of land.
The Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-law, City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 658, is a tool used to protect important natural features that are vulnerable to degradation due to removal of trees, changes in grade or lack of management. The Ravine and Natural Feature Protection By-law provides for better management of public and private natural areas within the city.
In the areas protected by the by-law you may not, without a permit:
- injure or destroy any tree;
- change the natural land topography, by excavation or adding soil or other materials on slopes;
- dump or place any type of debris including garden waste, leaves and branches;
- construct new or replacement structures or retaining walls.