Private Tree Protection Bylaw Approval

On May 24, 2016 the Town of Aurora Council approved a revised by-law regarding the destruction of trees on private property and enacted  Bylaw 5850-16.  The new bylaw is called the "Private Tree Protection Bylaw.

The purpose of this bylaw is to regulate the cutting and injuring of trees within the Town of Aurora. It also helps to preserve the very valuable urban tree canopy now estimated to cover 28 per cent of the Town's overall land which is considerably more coverage than many other Greater Toronto Area (GTA) Municipalities.

Please see below the significant changes and guidelines to the new bylaw.

  • Number of trees that can be removed from a private property in a 12 month period without obtaining a permit has been reduced to two (2) trees from four (4) trees.

A permit to be obtained prior to removal of a single heritage tree or a single tree in any heritage district as described by the bylaw.

For larger properties, owners shall be permitted to remove two (2) trees per .25 ha. of property in a 12 month period without obtaining a permit. (For example: Owner of a 1 ha. property can remove eight (8) trees in a 12 month period without obtaining a permit.)

For more information please call 905-727-3123, ext. 3223.

Tree Removal Documents

Processing Times

The typical processing time for applications is thirty (30) days from the submission of a complete Application. The length of time to process the application may be impacted if additional information is required or if the Tree Permit Application is to be reviewed in conjunction with other development applications.

Consideration of a Permit

When the Manager of Parks receives an application for a permit, he/she shall prepare a report forthwith to be heard by Council. Council will decide whether to approve or refuse the tree permit. The owner may appear before Council to make representation regarding the application by notifying the Clerk.

Revocation of a Permit

  1. Council may revoke a permit issued pursuant to this Bylaw if it was issued because of mistaken, false or incorrect information received from the owner.

    Posting of "Notice to Destroy Trees"

    The Owner shall post a "Notice to Destroy Trees" sign on the subject property, in a location visible from the street edge, for a minimum period of two (2) weeks prior to the Council meeting. The sign shall be supplied by the Town and shall advise the following:

    a) The date of the Council meeting in which the application for the Tree Permit will be considered.

    b) The name of the Town official to contact for further information.

    Once a Permit is approved
  1. The approval of a Tree Permit shall be valid for only one (1) year from the date of issuance.
  2. The approved Tree Permit shall be posted on the lot from which the trees are to be injured or destroyed in a location visible from the street edge for the period during which the tree(s) is being injured or removed.

    Appeal of an Application

    An owner can appeal an application to the Ontario Municipal Board (OMB) 

    The following are the circumstances under which an owner may appeal an application to the Ontario Municipal Board:

    a) If Council refuses to issue a permit, provided it is within 30 days after the refusal;

    b) If the municipality fails to make a decision on an application, within 45 days after the application is received by the Clerk; 

    OR

    c) If the owner objects to a condition in the permit, provided it is within 30 days after the issuance of the permit.

    Offences
  1. Any persons who contravenes any provision of this Bylaw is guilty of an offence and is liable:

    a) On a first conviction, to a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars ($10,000) or $1,000 per tree, whichever is greater; and

    b) On any subsequent conviction, to a fine of not more than twenty thousand dollars ($20,000) or $2,500 per tree, whichever is greater.
  2. Any corporation that contravenes any provision of this Bylaw and is guilty of an offence is liable:

    a) On a first conviction, to a fine of not more than fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) or $5,000 per tree, whichever is greater; and

    b) On a subsequent conviction, to a fine of not more than one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000) or $10,000 per tree whichever is greater.

    Frequently Asked Questions

    When is a permit is not required?
    For the injury or removal of up to two (2) trees within a twelve (12) month period, each with a diameter greater than 20 cm (8 inches) or for the injury or removal of any tree with a diameter of 20 cm (8 inches) or less.

    How do I measure the diameter of a tree?
    You can estimate the diameter of the tree by using the template attached in the tree kit and placing it around the trunk of the tree approximately 140 cm (55 inches) above the existing grade. For an accurate measurement of the diameter, measure the circumference of the tree at 140 cm (55 inches) above the existing grade and divide by 3.14.

    What if there are multiple trunks on my tree?
    A multiple trunk tree will be considered as one tree. The diameter of the tree shall be determined by combining the diameter of the three (3) largest trunks or stems measured approximately 140 cm (5 inches) above the existing grade.

    Do I have to apply for a separate permit for every tree I cut down?
    No, under one application you can include as many trees as you wish.

    My neighbour is cutting down trees. What can I do?
    If a neighbour has been issued a permit to remove trees, the permit is to be posted in a visible location on the property during the period the trees are being removed. If you do not see a permit, you may contact the Parks division at 905-727-3123 ext. 3223 to find out if your neighbour has obtained a permit or is required to obtain a permit. An Enforcement Officer may be sent to inspect the site to determine if the neighbour's tree removal may be in contravention of the Tree Permit Bylaw. The telephone number for Bylaw Enforcement is 905-727-3123 ext. 4241.

    Do I have to apply for a separate Tree Permit if I have already applied for a Building Permit, Pool Enclosure Permit, Site Pan, Official Plan Amendment, Rezoning, Subdivision, Minor Variance, Consent or Topsoil Removal Permit?
    Yes, but only if the proposed development will cause the injury or removal of a tree that is regulated by the Tree Permit Bylaw.