Stewardship on Private Land

Your legal rights and responsibilities as a private ravine landowner

The law can be confusing – especially when it comes to stewardship on private ravine property.

Don’t be discouraged by confusing by-laws. There is plenty of stewardship you can do on your ravine property that is easy and legal!

Everything we recommend is legal, unless stated otherwise. Managing invasive plants and planting native plants is within your legal right and furthermore, is your responsibility as a ravine landowner. In cases where a permit is necessary, a link to the permit process will be provided.

Ravine and Natural Features Protection By-law

If your property is on ravine land, it falls under the Ravine and Natural Features Protection By-law.

Under the Ravine and Natural Features Protection Bylaw:

YOU CAN DO THIS (No permit required)

YOU CAN ALSO DO THIS (Permit required)  

  • Remove invasive trees. Trees are under more protection than regular invasive plants, so they require a permit to remove. Obtain a permit to remove invasive trees.
  • Prevent erosion of slopes by excavating, adding soil or other materials to your slope. Obtain a permit to excavate or add soil and other materials to your slope.


  • Harm, destroy, or remove any tree without a permit. 
  • Dump fill (e.g., earth, sand, gravel, and garbage) or construction material into the ravine without a permit
  • Throw garden waste (e.g., leaves, branches, and logs that have not fallen naturally) into the ravine without a permit.
  • Change the grade of land without a permit.
  • Construct new or replacement structures or retaining walls without a permit