A permit is required to remove, cut down or in any other way injure a tree with a diameter of 30 cm (12 inches or the approximate thickness of a telephone pole) or more on private property. The tree diameter measurement must be taken at 1.4 m (4.5 feet or approximately at chest height) above ground level. It applies to trees on all land use types including, single family residential properties.
Trees of all diameters on private property within Ravine Protection Areas of the City of Toronto, are protected under the provisions of City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 658, Ravines.
Private tree permit exemptions
A tree that is dead, terminally diseased or imminently hazardous does not require a permit, however the applicant must send a detailed Arborist report and receive approval from Urban Forestry before proceeding with any tree work. For details see: Private trees – Urban Forestry certification a tree is dead – terminally diseased or hazardous
Fines for illegal tree removal
A person convicted of an offence under City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 813, Article III is subject to a minimum fine of $500.00 and a maximum fine of $100,000.00 per tree involved in an offense; a special supplementary fine of $100,000.00 is also possible.