Ravine Bylaw – There Are New Rules!

There have been issues in the valley related to the new ravine bylaws and cutting of trees and shrubs.

If your property falls into the area defined as part of the ravine by the city, you are not allowed to remove any trees or shrubs without permission from the city – regardless of their size. The 10” diameter rule does not apply to ravine properties. The bylaws came into effect in 2002 to help prevent erosion and to try ensure soil stability. They were recently updated. For the most recent updated information please go to the city website http://www.toronto.ca/trees/ravines.htm. On the city webpage, there are links to all the critical information including the bylaws and a link to the maps that show clearly which properties and areas fall under the bylaws.

Here are some excerpts from an email – edited to shorten- from city staff to the valley executive, August 2008:

“As well, the ravine bylaw has been amended again just this past May. It cleans up some of the wording in the bylaw itself, affords some additional protection, and allows for better compensation where trees are permitted for removal. Thus, the information that is on the website is currently outdated. We are hoping to have the revised bylaw and information on the website and out to the public by the end of next year. ….

Most professionals in the development community are aware or should be aware of our bylaw and requirements. In Hogg’s Hollow, we typically see the same developers repeatedly. We work closely with applicants to ensure they are compliant with our bylaw and its objectives. We are aware that there are people who do not know about our bylaw or choose to ignore it and we try to deal with these people as we can. Urban Forestry staff is typically in Hogg’s Hollow once every week or two, or more often. As there are only 5 staff members dealing with 30,000+ ravine protected properties in the City we do rely on the public a lot for information.

Ravine bylaw requirements need not be onerous if the public is informed. The information may be overwhelming so it is a good step to add this information to your newsletter. Our staff is available to answer questions as well. … Please do not forget to contact Toronto Region Conservation Authority regarding such issues at 416-661-6600×5250. They have jurisdiction in Hogg’s Hollow as well and deal with drainage, slope stability and erosion etc. issues.

Residents should also be contacting private professionals for advice regarding trees, ravine stewardship, slope stability, drainage and other issues. Urban Forestry reviews such plans when reviewing applications.”