Restore And Research 

Policy Documents & Reports

Natural Heritage Policies Protecting High Park

High Park Woodland & Savannah Management Plan, 2002 pdf (City of Toronto report, 2 mb)

Maps from High Park Woodland & Savannah Management Plan High Park Management Plan maps (pdf) (City of Toronto report, 1.3 mb)

Park's Protection Expanded In 2015 City Council approved an Official Plan amendment that adds High Park’s Tablelands to the map of Toronto's Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs). Policies covering ESAs and ANSIs were also strengthened. 2012 ESA Report   More details

High Park Protocol - A Discussion Paper, 1997 by Charles Kinsley pdf

Proposals for the Rehabilitation of Grenadier Pond et al, Gartner Lee, 1995 Part 1,Part 2, Part 3, Part 4, Part 5, Part 6, Part 7, Part 8

What is an ANSI?

An ANSI is a designated Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. Read more

ANSI Report - A Botanical Inventory and Evaluation of the High Park Woodlands, S. Varga, 1989 pdf

What are ESAs?

Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs) are natural spaces within Toronto's natural heritage system that require special protection to preserve their environmentally significant qualities. There are 86 Environmentally Significant Areas in the city. Development is not permitted in ESAs and activities are limited to those that are compatible with the preservation of their natural features and ecological functions.

Environmentally Significant Areas (ESAs) in the City of Toronto background document and booklet

High Park Environmentally Significant Area (ESA) Factsheets

Notes on Planning & Natural Heritage Protection & Application to High Park, November 2014

Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 658: Ravine and Natural Feature Protection

Toronto Ravine and Natural Feature Protection brochure

Toronto's Environmentally Significant Areas booklet

The Environmental Commissioner of Ontario (ECO) is an independent officer of the Legislature who reports on government progress on climate change, energy and other environmental issues. The ECO is the province’s environmental watchdog and champion of Ontarians’ environmental rights.

Environmental Commissioner of Ontario website

ECO 2017 Full Report

Presentation to HP Stewards: Protecting Biodiversity in Ontario:Part 1, Part 2, Part 3, Part 4

Ontario MNR Invasive Species Discussion Paper 2013

Rare Vascular Plants of Ontario list

Natural Environment Trails Strategy This strategy will help to ensure the protection of the City of Toronto’s natural areas while offering safe and enjoyable recreational opportunities for all natural environment users by creating a sustainable multi-use trail system.


PARKS PLAN - The 2013-2017 Parks Plan was adopted by City Council on May 7, 2013.

What is an ANSI?

An ANSI is an Area of Natural and Scientific Interest. A total of 73 ha (45%) of High Park has been designated an ANSI. The ANSI is included in the designated Environmentally Significant Area (ESA).

The ANSI is protected for the long term by the Provincial Policy Statement and its guideline the Natural Heritage Reference Manual (NHRM). (Municipalities need to either follow the guideline or take measures that have the same effect and explain how the effect is achieved.)

Significant features should be protected by a buffer. One function of the buffer is to prevent the penetration of light and noise into the natural heritage feature (see Table 13-1 on page 130 of the NHRM). The minimum width of buffers to protect wildlife habitat should be 100m (NHRM page 136), and the buffer should have native vegetation.

Life science ANSIs are significant representative segments of Ontario’s biodiversity and natural landscapes, including specific types of forests, valleys, prairies, savannahs, alvars and wetlands, their native plants and animals, and their supporting environments. They contain relatively undisturbed vegetation and landforms, and their associated species and communities. Provincially significant life science ANSIs include the most significant and best examples of the natural heritage features in the province, and many will correspond to other significant features and areas such as wetlands, valleylands and woodlands.

ANSIs play an important role in the protection of Ontario’s natural heritage, since they best represent the full spectrum of biological communities, natural landforms and environments across Ontario outside of provincial parks and conservation reserves. In addition, ANSIs provide a focus for both public and private sectors to contribute to the protection of Ontario’s natural heritage.

Source: Natural Heritage Reference Manual (NHRM) for Natural Heritage Policies of the Provincial Policy Statement, 2014

Native Woody Plants support Insect Species

Douglas Tallamy’s 2007 book Bringing Nature Home includes detailed information about the number and types of insect species various native woody plants support. Oaks are at the top of the list, with 517 lepidoptera species. Toronto-based native plant expert Charles Kinsley has adapted Tallamy’s list for the Ontario context:

Funding for Park Groups The Partnership Development Unit of Parks, Forestry & Recreation helps grassroots community groups with their fundraising projects, and we welcome support and funding from corporations, foundations and philanthropists. Working together, we have successfully raised millions of dollars for parks, recreation and urban forestry projects for the benefit of Torontonians and visitors. Please contact us to discuss your needs and projects.

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Content last modified on July 17, 2018, at 06:14 PM EST