Natural Garden Exemptions – Have Your Say!

When Nina-Marie Lister’s garden blew up the media in 2020, many TFNers shook their heads in dismay. The City of Toronto had just spent years drafting and passing its official Pollinator, Ravine, and Biodiversity Strategies, and yet Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 489, an antiquated bylaw meant to wag a scolding finger at those Torontonians who permitted “grass and weeds” to grow higher than a 1950s crew-cut, was still on the books and being enforced. And it still is today. As hard as it may be to imagine, you actually need a special permit to have native plants over 20cm in height grow in your yard.

Maybe that can change.

The City is currently seeking feedback on its Natural Garden Exemption process. You have until 11.59 p.m. on March 31, 2021, to email and tell the City to remove the natural garden permit requirement and let Torontonians grow a “natural garden” without applying for an exemption.

Learn More and Act Now!

The Toronto Field Naturalists wish to acknowledge this land through which we walk. For thousands of years it has been the traditional land of the Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississauga of the Credit River. Today it is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to be on this land.