Buttonbush flowers
Stewardship on Private Land

Manage Water

How can water damage ravine land?

The physical movement of water down ravine slopes can contribute to soil erosion and the chemicals in water can pollute ravine streams.

How can you manage water?

Make changes to prevent excessive water from flowing into your ravine property: Try to:1

  • Observe how water moves on your property and into the ravine during a heavy rain. Watch where it pools and where it erodes any soil.
  • Operate your sprinkler system judiciously, being careful not to run excess water down your slope.
  • Re-direct your downspouts away from your ravine slope 
  • Loosen garden soil in garden beds around your property to ensure soil is permeable and doesn’t create unnecessary runoff. Creating soft soil areas so rain water can infiltrate the ground on stable slope will ensure water stays up top and doesn’t further erode slope stability.
  • Water also damages land by heavy raindrops compacting the soil by the impact of the rain hitting the soil. Cover the soil with live plants, woody material and leaves to reduce the impact of raindrops. It will also act as a sponge to hold water in the area longer for the plants to use.
  • Use a rain chain to direct water away from your ravine slope
  • Create a rain garden: an indent in your yard that catches flowing water, making sure to keep it at least 10 metres away from the edge of the ravine slope to prevent slope collapse 
  • Plant trees and shrubs at the edge of your ravine property to act as a natural rain filter 
  • Find ways to prevent water from flowing heavily into the ravine by creating a trickle using multiple spouts to diffuse runoff.
  • Never drain water from swimming pools and hot tubs into the ravine–it is illegal!
  • Create a water feature like a bird bath for birds and other pollinators 

Learn more about how to manage water with: A Property Owner’s Guide to Healthy Ravines and Environmental Best Management Practices for Private Swimming Pools, Hot Tubs /Spas in the City of Toronto 


1 – City of Toronto. (n.d.). A property owners guide to healthy ravines. Retrieved from: https://www.toronto.ca/data/parks/pdf/property-owners-guide-to-healthy-ravines.pdf