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Is It Illegal To Climb A Tree In Toronto? [Must Know Law]

Did you know someone was fined $365 for illegally climbing a tree in Toronto? As it turns out, it is illegal to climb a tree in Toronto, and anyone can be punished!

Several Canadian bylaws prevent a person from climbing or moving a tree on municipal property in Toronto, including attaching, fastening, or placing objects on the tree or part of it.

Are you wondering why? Let us tell you about the respective Canadian Laws.

Is Tree Climbing Illegal in Toronto?

Yes, it is illegal to climb a tree in Toronto, and anyone attempting to climb is punishable by law.

The police fined a Toronto local, Dylan Deziel, $365 for illegally climbing a tree at Bellevue Square Park, Kensington Market in 2013.

As much as we know, he climbed a government property without legal permission, which led to him being handcuffed and charged by the police.

Illegal to climb a tree in Toronto
The Toronto Law clearly states that no person shall interfere with a tree located on municipal property.

Nonetheless, this incident clarifies that it is illegal to climb a tree in Toronto for the following reasons.

TrespassingClimbing a tree on private/public property without permission is trespassing, which is a legal violation.
Property DamageIf it leads to damage to the tree or surrounding property, you could be held responsible for the costs of repair or restoration.
Safety ConcernsIt can be risky, especially if the tree is unstable or poses a safety hazard.

Moreover, the rule disallows a person from misusing the tree and any other municipal property, such as a building, pole, rocks, etc.

However, the law does not only apply to Toronto but nearby cities as well, including Oshawa.

It will serve you best to remember this law if you are about to move to Toronto anytime soon.

Understanding Canadian Laws and Bylaws

While climbing a tree is not illegal, federal law disallows it, especially regarding public and private property.

Municipal bylaws in Toronto involve various federal, provincial, and municipal orders creating Canadian Tree Climbing Regulations.

These rules intend for public safety and environmental preservation to minimize trees’ harm, ensuring their protection.

Moreover, illegal tree climbing would also invite personal liability and insurance considerations, meaning risks.

The municipal bylaws deny a person from climbing or using the trees on the municipal property.

Additionally, a person must get permission from the owner when climbing a tree on private property.

1. Climbing in Parks Prohibited

Remember, local municipalities have bylaws in place to ensure the well-being of residents, the preservation of public spaces, and the protection of property.

For example, the City of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 608, Section 6, under BY-LAW No. 854-2004, states:

No person shall in a park: a) Climb a building, structure, or equipment, unless it is equipment designed for climbing; […] c) Unless authorized by permit, climb, move, or remove the whole or any part of a tree, rock, boulder, rock face or remove soil, sand or wood.

Therefore, without prior approval, you cannot climb trees, poles, buildings, or rocks in Toronto parks.

2. Climbing Stuffs in Yonge-Dundas Square (Downtown Toronto) Prohibited

The same rule applies to Yonge-Dundas Square, located in Downtown Toronto.

Article III, 636-11 (Public Squares) from the City of Toronto By-law No. 1001-2001 states:

No person shall, within the limits of a square: a) Climb or be on any tree, the roof of a building, or any part of a building, structure, or fixture, except any portion of a public walkway.

3. Climbing Street Trees and Posts Prohibited

Similarly, climbing public property in Toronto, like trees and posts, is prohibited by By-law No. 375-2012, Chapter 743-9, Fouling and obstructing streets.

No person shall climb on or over a railing, bridge, or fence along or across any street, or climb on any tree in the street, or on any post, pole, or structure installed on any road.

Enjoying Trees Responsibly

Did you know Canada is the world leader in sustainable forest management, with a deforestation rate as less as 0.02%?

Therefore, they encourage their citizens to endorse the nation’s biodiversity protection by protecting local trees, such as oak, spruce, and birch.

For your part, you can enjoy trees responsibly to get benefits without harming them.

1. Respect for Nature and Wildlife

When enjoying trees in the park, remember that you are entering the habitat of various creatures, from birds and small animals to insects.

Therefore, keep your presence as modest as possible to avoid disturbing the local wildlife.

Also, avoid climbing or using trees in any way that affects their natural condition.

2. Obtain Permission

If considering climbing a tree, get the government or private owners’ permission.

Don’t forget to avoid entering trees in restricted areas and private land to prevent breaking a severe law.

Pacific dogwood climb trees in toronto
Pacific Dogwood is one of the protected trees in Canada and is a floral emblem of British Columbia.

3. Minimize Impact

When using trees for recreation, minimize your impact on the tree and surrounding.

Also, avoid breaking branches for firewood, stripping bark, or causing other damage that could harm the tree’s health.

4. Educate Others

Take the time to educate your friends and family about responsible practices.

Besides, share your knowledge about selecting trees, safety precautions, and the importance of “Leave No Trace.

From Editorial Team

Adhere to local bylaws and guidelines for tree climbing in the area to avoid punishment.

Some places may hold cultural or historical significance to the local community, primarily indigenous or native tribes.

Therefore, care to research the place and respect these trees by avoiding activities that could damage their importance.