Encroachment results from any use of City-owned land by individuals for their own purposes.
Property owners are prohibited from intruding on, in, under or over the ground space of an
adjacent City-owned property such as parklands, greenbelts, road allowances and easements.
The unauthorized use of City property is illegal under By-law
Common types of encroachments include:
- fences and sheds
- playground equipment
- flower and vegetable gardens
- irrigation systems
- unauthorized mowing, cutting or pruning
- unauthorized removal of grass, turf,
ground cover, wildflowers, shrubs or trees
Why the City monitors encroachments in natural
To prevent environmental damage and protect our existing natural areas
It is important to keep the areas next to your property in their natural state.
Encroachments can damage the natural environment and cause irreparable damage to sensitive
ecosystems. Natural ecosystems in our parks, woodlands and greenbelts play a crucial role in
flood prevention, erosion control, protecting air and water quality and provide valuable
wildlife habitat. The City acts on behalf of residents as stewards of all public lands to
ensure our existing natural areas and trees are protected and continue to grow.
To protect public access and safety
The City's natural areas and public lands are maintained for the benefit of all residents.
Property owners who encroach on public lands will be held responsible for any claims resulting
in bodily injury or private property damage related to the encroachment.
To minimize restoration costs
Encroachments cost everyone both financially and environmentally and may result in increased
costs to the taxpayer for removal of any encroachment and the restoration of public lands.
Contravention of the Encroachment By-law may also lead to violations of other City by-laws
such as Zoning
- An encroachment inspector will assess the property and adjacent land where the
encroachment has been reported.
- Written notification will be provided to the property owner to rectify the encroachment
and to restore the public lands to their former conditions.
- If compliance is not met within 30 days the City may complete the required work at the
Know your property boundaries
When purchasing a property that is adjacent to a natural area it is important to request a
survey and know your property boundaries. If you purchase a home with an existing encroachment
you may be responsible for all related restoration costs.
To avoid encroaching on public lands, identify your boundaries by accessing the City's
interactive mapping tool emaps for an aerial view of your
To report encroachments on City parkland, woodlands or natural
areas, please contact Forestry
3-1-1 or 905-615-4311 if outside city limits.
To report encroachments within road allowances, creeks or storm
water management ponds, contact Transportation
and Works at 3-1-1 or 905-615-4311 if outside city limits.
"No person shall erect, place or maintain, or cause to be erected, placed or maintained,
an encroachment of any kind on public lands, or on any right of way or easement in favour of
the City, except where permitted to do so in accordance with this by-law."