Urban forest canopy

Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link
Sun shining through trees, casting shadows

The City of Peterborough recognizes the critical role the tree canopy plays in supporting community health and well-being. Currently, the City has a tree canopy of 29 percent, which we are committed to preserve.

We understand that a successful tree conservation by-law needs to balance preservation of canopy cover to achieve wider community benefits with the need to respect the rights and responsibilities of individual property owners. Ontario Bill 68 requires municipalities to identify the way we protect and enhance the tree canopy and natural vegetation. To accomplish this, we are conducting a public consultation so that we can hear from residents and stakeholders to help us develop a revised approach to tree conservation and replacement.

Other municipalities have adopted tree by-laws, citing the overall community benefits of the urban forest, including:

  • Providing protection from the wind and sun, leading to home energy savings by 30% for cooling, and 20-50% for heating;
  • Reducing heat build-up in the City (known as the ‘urban heat island effect’) by between 2°C and 8°C;
  • Improving the overall neighbourhood aesthetic and increasing property values;
  • Supporting the physical and mental health, safety and an improved quality of life for the entire community;
  • Improve air quality, through the absorption of pollutants and trapping of dust and other fine particles;
  • Promoting biodiversity by providing habitat and food for wildlife;
  • Absorbing as much as 150kg of CO2 per year per tree, helping to mitigate climate change; and,
  • Reducing storm water runoff and instances of flooding resulting from erosion, reducing summer evaporation and increasing groundwater recharge – leading to improved water quality and quantity.

The City of Peterborough recognizes the critical role the tree canopy plays in supporting community health and well-being. Currently, the City has a tree canopy of 29 percent, which we are committed to preserve.

We understand that a successful tree conservation by-law needs to balance preservation of canopy cover to achieve wider community benefits with the need to respect the rights and responsibilities of individual property owners. Ontario Bill 68 requires municipalities to identify the way we protect and enhance the tree canopy and natural vegetation. To accomplish this, we are conducting a public consultation so that we can hear from residents and stakeholders to help us develop a revised approach to tree conservation and replacement.

Other municipalities have adopted tree by-laws, citing the overall community benefits of the urban forest, including:

  • Providing protection from the wind and sun, leading to home energy savings by 30% for cooling, and 20-50% for heating;
  • Reducing heat build-up in the City (known as the ‘urban heat island effect’) by between 2°C and 8°C;
  • Improving the overall neighbourhood aesthetic and increasing property values;
  • Supporting the physical and mental health, safety and an improved quality of life for the entire community;
  • Improve air quality, through the absorption of pollutants and trapping of dust and other fine particles;
  • Promoting biodiversity by providing habitat and food for wildlife;
  • Absorbing as much as 150kg of CO2 per year per tree, helping to mitigate climate change; and,
  • Reducing storm water runoff and instances of flooding resulting from erosion, reducing summer evaporation and increasing groundwater recharge – leading to improved water quality and quantity.
  • CLOSED: This survey has concluded.

    We conducted a community survey in Fall, 2019 as part of our efforts to:

    • Engage community members in consultations to inform the development of the City’s tree conservation policies, including a revised Tree By-law;
    • Gauge community support of municipally led efforts to protect the City’s tree canopy, specifically on private property;
    • Identify barriers and opportunities to preserving and replacing trees on private property;
    • Obtain community input on potential components of the revised by-law;
    • Understand what did and did not work well with respect to the previous Tree Conservation By-law.

    Survey in now closed
    Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Share on Linkedin Email this link