Do I Need a Permit to Remove a Tree in Toronto?

The answer is yes, you do need a tree removal permit Toronto. Significant trees in the city and private properties are protected under the Municipal Code, Chapter 813. This is the Tree Protection By-law. According to the by-law, you need to obtain a permit if you wish to remove, injure or cut down a tree that has a diameter of more than 30 cm (12 inches). The diameter of the tree must be taken at 1.4 meters (4.5 feet) above ground level. This applies to trees on all properties including single family residential properties. Trees of all diameters on private properties within the Ravine Protection Areas of the City of Toronto are protected under provisions of the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 658, Ravines.

With that information in mind, here are the steps you should take when applying for a permit for a tree removal.

Step 1: Prepare an Application

When submitting an application for a tree removal permit, you will need to provide the following items in order to complete the application. Incomplete applications are discarded without processing. Additional information may be required depending on the nature of your application.

Application to Remove/Destroy a Tree
  • Completed application form
  • Arborist report
  • Photos of the tree
  • Replanting/landscape plan
  • Elevations and site plan (if the application is construction related)
  • Application fee (money order and certified cheques are accepted)
  • Site plan with the Ravine Line Delineation (if on ravine protected areas)
Application to Injure
  • A completed application form
  • Arborist report
  • Application fee
  • First-floor plan
  • Basement plan
  • Elevations
  • Site plan
  • Construction details
  • Site plan with the Ravine Line Delineation (if in the ravine protected area)
  • Photos

An incomplete application will not be processed. It is also good to note that the permit application will expire a year from the date of submission. You can download an application here.

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Step 2: Submit the Application Package

The completed application form and related documents should be submitted to the Urban Forestry Tree Protection and Plan Review district office. The submission of the application doesn’t guarantee you will be issued with a permit. The Urban Forestry only considers the provisions of private tree by-law when determining the issuance of a tree removal permit. You can submit the application to any of these four Tree Protection and Plan Review (TPPR) district offices:

  • Etobicoke/York

    399 The West Mall, Main Floor – North Block, M9C 2Y2
    Fax: 416-94-5406
    Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., M-F

  • Scarborough

    150 Borough Ave, M1P 4N7
    Fax: 416-396-4248
    Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., M-F

  • North York

    5100 Yonge Street, 3rd Floor, M2N 5V7
    Fax: (416)-395-7886
    Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., M-F

  • Toronto/East York

    50 Booth Avenue, M4M 2M2
    Fax: 416-392-7277
    Hours: 8:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m., M-F

Get A Free Quote

In need of high-quality tree and shrubbery services in the Toronto area? Get in touch with us today to begin benefitting from our fully insured team of expert arborists. We can further inform you on our services, possible solutions to your plant-related problems, and we can even provide a free estimate!

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Step 3: Application Review

The Urban Forestry staff review the application to make sure it is complete. You will be notified in writing if any of the required items is missing. A site visit will then be arranged to verify the details on your application. The visit helps determine if a tree removal permit Toronto should be issued and/or a public notification process is needed.
When needed, the ‘Notice of Application’ to destroy will be posted on your property for a period of no less than 14 days. The by-law doesn’t authorize the Urban Forestry to consider any comment received in response to the posting during the review process.
Where the application has been posted by the Urban Forestry, approval of landscaping and replanting plans is required. Comments gathered during posting will also be reviewed by the ward councilor. If the application is denied, comments are available upon request. 

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