Friday, September 30, 2022
EnvironmentKeeping Aurora Green? Aurora Tree By-Law

Keeping Aurora Green? Aurora Tree By-Law


By Paul McIntosh, Aurora ON. It doesn’t take long here in Aurora as you drive around in and just outside of town before you see them, the trees.

Rising up and providing a glorious spectacle of green throughout the warmer months and a dazzling spray of colours for us in the fall.

We are blessed here to be surrounded by forested areas of many tree species. Small and large tree alike they provide a multitude of benefits. Cleaner air for one, they filter out the harmful carbon dioxide and return to us much needed oxygen.

Cleaning the waters and holding that valuable six inches of top soil that we use to feed ourselves.

Yet, here in Aurora we seem to be neglecting portions of this value. (Aurora Tree By-Law)

For the sake of what? Nicer greens? Another subdivision? More urban sprawl?”

Presently, and for the last 5 years, Town Council have been sifting through documents to come up with a way that the trees, forests, woodlands and woodlots of the area can be maintained, sustained and grown.

One sticking point with a number of residents is the exemption of golf courses from any kind of supervision or accountability when it comes to woodlot sized areas of the hundreds of acres they manage.

Just for clarification, according to the present Aurora tree by-law [file link is now not available on the Aurora site], a woodlot is any property from .2 to 1.0 hectare of land. Here’s an excerpt from that bylaw:

u) “woodlot” means land at least 0.2 hectare in area and no greater than 1 hectare in area, with at least:

(i) 200 trees, of any size, per 0.2 hectare;

(ii) 150 trees, measuring over five (5) centimetres DBH, per 0.2 hectare;

(iii) 100 trees, measuring over twelve (12) centimetres DBH, per 0.2 hectare; or

(iv) 50 trees, measuring over twenty (20) centimetres DBH, per 0.2 hectare;

but does not include a cultivated fruit or nut orchard, or a plantation established and maintained for the purpose of producing Christmas trees or nursery stock.

Let’s put this into something we all can imagine, I know for me it made things clearer. A woodlot is about the size of a football field, about 2.75 acres or 107,639 square feet. Now along with the number of trees that can occupy this sized area, that’s a small forest.

A tiny microcosm filtering out the air we breathe, the water we drink, providing a home for any number of animals, birds, insects and plants.

I ask you, should this not have the same amount of governance applied as with the woodlands?

And more to the point, should not the golf courses be held to the same regulations as anyone else? Why is it they are exempt?

In 2011/2012 one of the golf courses removed 303 trees from their property. Yes, they did have a permit from the region for removal of the trees on the woodland areas, which by the way are a part of the Oak Ridges Moraine on this particular golf course. Though the permit was for the removal of 108 trees, there were an extra 195 mature trees for a total of 303, removed from the smaller woodlot type areas. Never mind the countless number of saplings that were likely killed as a result, I don’t know what that number is.

And these 195 were removed without any permit.

As we move through this 21st century and the awareness of the role our environment plays in the grand scheme of things I feel it is unfathomable that this type of damage to the environment is allowed to happen. For the sake of what? Nicer greens? Another subdivision? More urban sprawl?

Isn’t it time to increase the awareness of the role these woodlands and woodlots, and forests in general play in our lives?

It would be nice to see Aurora Town Council take a leadership role here and do what’s best for all of us. Maybe pass the authority to regulate the woodlots over to the region as all the other towns in the region seem to have done.

I think so.

Paul McIntosh
Aurora, ON

Anna Lozyk Romeo
Anna Lozyk Romeo for Mayor of Aurora

Important Links

Latest Blog Posts

Anna Lozyk Romeo for Mayor of Aurora, Municipal Elections 2022

To my Living in Aurora blog readers: I am running for Mayor of Aurora.  It is a great opportunity now...

From Shining to Shameful – The Continued Loss of the Oak Ridges Moraine

A picture-perfect vista of soft, rolling hills where wild turkey, deer and coyote once roamed has been reduced to...

North East Quadrant of Wellington St & John West Way Development Appealed

At the February 22nd, 2022 Council meeting, Aurora Council UNANIMOUSLY (7-0) voted to refuse a 6-storey, 150 unit residential...

Town of Aurora – Elections 2022 Mayoral Candidates

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Town of Aurora Mayoral Candidates, Municipal Elections 2022. Town of Aurora residents will vote...

Town of Aurora – WARD 1 Council Candidate(s)

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Ward 1 Municipal Candidates Nick Biase – Aurora Ward 1 Candidate Sandra Humfryes – Aurora...

Town of Aurora – WARD 2 Council Candidate(s)

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Ward 2 Municipal Candidates Alison Connolly – Aurora Ward 2 Candidate Marco Di Girolmo –...

Town of Aurora – WARD 3 Council Candidate(s)

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Ward 3 Municipal Candidates Alexandra Bonham – Aurora Ward 3 Candidate Wendy Gaertner – Aurora...

Town of Aurora – WARD 4 Council Candidate(s)

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Ward 4 Municipal Candidates Iwona Czarnecka – Aurora Ward 4 Candidate Carson Day – Aurora...

Town of Aurora – WARD 5 Council Candidate(s)

Living Document: Last Update August 23rd, 2022 Ward 5 Municipal Candidates Ian Clark - Aurora Ward 5 Candidate Steve Fleck - Aurora...


Soaring Red-Tailed Hawk Over St. Andrew’s Valley

Soaring Red-Tailed Hawk over St. Andrew's Valley Golf Club....

Striving for Simplicity in a Brand Name Town

By K. Taylor, Aurora ON.  Striving for simplicity in...

Black Garbage Bags? Clear Bags? How About Plaid …

By K. Taylor, Aurora ON. There has been a...

Aurora Council Meeting November 27, 2012 – Reporting From Town Hill

Welcome to our report from Town Hill for the...

Aurora Sports Hall of Fame, Aurora SPORT Exhibit at the SARC

The Aurora Sports Hall of Fame (ASHOF) ongoing exhibit...

Dandelion Fields & Everything Else Healthy As Ever

Dandelion, aha. One morning I was driving on McMaster...

You Might Also LikeRELATED
~ happy reading ~