Canada's Urban Forests

Urban forestry has over a 50 year-long history in Canada. The term "Urban Forestry" was coined at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto in 1965 (Jorgensen, 1993). Over the years, Urban Forestry (UF):

  • Has evolved and expanded 
  • Has been practiced, with different intensity, from small towns to large metropolitan areas
  • Has been embedded in various municipal departments and is practiced under different labels 
  • Includes a wide range of elements, from policies and by-laws, diverse management and stewardship activities to spatial planning, and conservation of urban forests
  • Consists of diverse elements that are often hidden within other disciplines and municipal activities

As a result, the extent and intensity of urban forestry activities across Canada‚Äôs urban municipalities is not known and is larger than what is typically perceived.

To address these gaps, this project aims to capture and map urban forest activities and use that information to assess the state of urban forestry and stewardship activities across Canadian municipalities.

Click here to download the Information Flyer (PDF): Measuring Footprint of Urban Forestry in Canada

Project SummaryInteractive MapsResources and Links
Project Summary (PDF)Interactive MapsResources & Links

The results of this project are presented in the following:

  • Interactive Maps
  • Full Report (upcoming)
  • State of Urban Forest Policy and By-laws across Ontario Municipalities. Master in Forest Conservation Capstone Paper (available in January 2018)
  • Upcoming Publications
  • Resources and Links

The project is led by Dr. Danijela Puric-Mladenovic, with support and guidance from Dr. Adrina C. Bardekjian, Tree Canada and Peter Wynnyczuk, Ontario Urban Forest Council.

The project was funded by Mitacs and Tree Canada, which enabled Yuki Yung, a Master of Forest Conservation (MFC) student at the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto to become involved in this research and to further focus on tree protection in Ontario for her MFC capstone project.


Funding for this research was provided by Mitacs and Tree Canada. Resources and support were also provided by the Faculty of Forestry, University of Toronto and the Ontario Urban Forest Council.

MitacsTree Canada
 MitacsTree CanadaFaculty of Forestry, University of Toronto

Ontario Urban Forest Council
Ontario Urban Forest Council

We would like to
acknowledge Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources and Forestry for making the inital forest conservation by-laws data available to this project.

We would also like to state our deep appreciation and gratitude for the help provided by the following professionals and organizations:

  • Tree Canada, for making the State of Canada's Municipal Forests Survey conducted in 2014 available for this project
  • National Steering Committee of the Canadian Urban Forest Network
  • Michael Rosen, Tree Canada
  • Meagan Hanna, City of Montreal, for providing us with the information about urban forestry activities in Quebec
  • Kyla Maslaniec, Manitoba Sustainable Development, Province of Manitoba
  • Erin Gorby, City of Coquitlam, British Columbia
  • Heather Fraser, City of Moncton, New Brunswick
  • Ian Tucker, City of Calgary, Alberta
  • Robert Liveanu, City of West-mount, Quebec
  • Sherry Boerefyn, City of Edmonton, Alberta
  • Darren Platakis, Geospatial Niagara
  • Robert G. Cormier, R&B Cormier Inc.
  • Maria Al Zayat, Forest Conservation Science student at the University of Toronto for her initial data collection on by-laws and urban forests in Southern Ontario
  • Shannon MacDonald, for her help with the mapping

We extend our thanks to students Anne Blondin, Joe Broughton, Kimberly Farias, and Laura Gerencser at Fleming College for their help in collecting the preliminary data about by-laws from the municipalities in Ontario as a "Credit for Product" project, January to April 2015, under the supervision of the Ontario Urban Forest Council.