This past summer, 40 trees were illegally removed by a developer on Bayview Avenue. This is one of the most significant violations of the tree bylaws in Toronto to date.
In October, I requested that city staff prosecute this case at the Ontario Court of Justice and pursue the maximum penalty.
To stop developers from committing similar violations in the future, I also moved a motion directing staff to strengthen the city’s tree bylaws. In particular, I asked for improvements to the investigations process to make it more transparent, efficient and accessible.
Most importantly, I’ve requested staff to consider stiffer penalties for bylaw contraventions, including higher fines, stop work orders and the suspension of building permits.
Incidences of illegal tree removals are occurring across our city, and the City of Toronto needs to take a tougher stance and send a clear message that cutting down trees without permits is unacceptable and will be met with severe penalties.