Protecting Toronto’s Trees

Council adopted amendments to the City’s tree bylaws to better protect both City-owned trees and trees on private property. Under the approved new fee structure, a construction-related permit application to request the removal of a private tree will cost $300 per tree (with no maximum), instead of $200. The non-construction-related permit application fee to remove a private tree is still $100 per tree, but the previous maximum fee of $300 has been removed. Residents who wish to apply to remove a healthy City-owned tree are now required to pay $300 per tree (with no maximum). Previously, there were no fees associated with requests to remove healthy City-owned trees. The amendments will strengthen the bylaws and improve inspection of potential infractions. The city-wide Private Tree Bylaw has been in effect since September 30, 2004 and regulates trees on private property that have a diameter of 30 cm or greater measured at 1.4 metres off the ground. The City’s Street Tree Bylaw protects all trees located on public streets, lanes and highways. The minimum fine for illegally injuring or removing a privately- or publicly-owned tree is $500 per tree up to a maximum fine of $100,000, as determined by the courts.