Help Save Toronto’s Urban Forest
Last summer, our neighbour announced that she would be cutting down a beautiful, healthy, shared maple growing on our property line. Since the tree is common property, we assumed this would be illegal. We were then shocked to learn that the city would grant her a permit despite our objection and that there was nothing we could do about it.
Every year in Toronto, hundreds of healthy, mature trees growing on property lines are cut down, even when one neighbour objects – all because of loopholes in Toronto’s city bylaws that were lobbied for by developers.
By going to court, we were able to defend our tree. According to the landmark ruling in our case by the Ontario Superior Court, it is now a criminal act in Ontario to destroy a shared tree without the consent of a co-owner. This is great, but the problem is the City’s by-laws still allow one co-owner to obtain a permit to destroy a shared tree without the consent of the co-owners. The city is essentially saying that neighbours have to fight out the legal issues in court as we did. Not everyone has the time or money to do this.
The real solution to saving our urban forest is for the City of Toronto to fix its by-laws and bring them in line with the provincial ruling. The City used to require the consent of both owners before issuing a permit to destroy a tree. They also used to require property owners to use only certified arborists when evaluating a tree.
Please sign our petition asking:
1. That the City of Toronto require the consent of both owners before issuing a permit to injure or destroy a shared tree;
2. That only reports prepared by certified arborists be accepted by the City when applying for a permit.
For more information about our case, please see: