Urban Forest Management Plan

Putting Down Roots for the Future

A pathway surrounded by trees with sun shining through the trees.What is the urban forest? 

Ottawa's urban forest includes all trees and their habitat within the city's urban area boundary. This includes trees on both public and private property: along city streets; in parks, open spaces and natural areas; and in the yards and landscaped areas of residences, offices, institutions, and businesses. The urban forest is a shared resource that provides a wide range of benefits and services to the entire community.

Project Overview and Timeline

The City is developing an Urban Forest Management Plan (UFMP) for Ottawa. As one of City Council's Strategic Initiatives, the UFMP will provide a comprehensive and strategic approach to protecting, maintaining and enhancing the urban forest.

Many municipalities across North America have developed and implemented urban forest strategies to set long-term visions and objectives for their urban forests, along with specific actions to achieve them. The City of Ottawa has many policies, programs, initiatives, and regulations related to trees but is lacking a comprehensive, long-term vision and strategic direction for protecting and enhancing the urban forest.

Canada's capital city has an opportunity to become a leader in urban forest management reinforcing the value of its green assets.

The Urban Forest Management Plan project was launched in September 2015 and will be completed by December 2016. The project will consist of two phases. The first phase will provide the public with an opportunity to discuss key issues and opportunities facing the city's urban forest and provide input to the vision and direction for the City of Ottawa's UFMP. The second phase will provide an opportunity for the public to input to the draft vision, objectives, and actions of the UFMP.

  • September 23: Project launch
  • November 24: Phase 1 consultations
  • Winter/Spring 2016: Development of draft UFMP
  • September 2016: Phase 2 consultations
  • Fall 2016: Development of final UFMP
  • December 2016: Committee and Council meetings

Public Consultation

The Phase 1 Public Consultation for the Urban Forest Management Plan was held on Tuesday, November 24 from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. The consultation was very well attended; over 150 residents participated. Each participant received a Workbook and Survey [PDF 370 KB].

The session started with time to view Display Boards describing what the urban forest is and challenges faced by urban trees and forests.

  1. Welcome [PDF 154.05 KB]
  2. Study area [PDF 2.98 MB]
  3. What is the urban forest? [PDF 104.05 KB]
  4. Urban forest benefits [PDF 171.47 KB]
  5. The urban forest management plan [PDF 1.41 MB]
  6. Challenges to the urban forest 1 [PDF 1.75 MB]
  7. Challenges to the urban forest 2 [PDF 1.4 MB]
  8. Urban forest management strategies 1 [PDF 2.9 MB]
  9. Urban forest management strategies 2 [PDF 2.49 MB]
  10. Current initiatives 1 [PDF 5.77 MB]
  11. Current initiatives 2 [PDF 2.44 MB]

Participants gathered in Council Chambers to hear a presentation [PDF 2182 KB] on Urban Forest Management Planning and related key considerations.

The large group was divided into 7 breakout groups for facilitated discussion. The survey questions were used as the basis for the discussion. Each group collected their key points and reported these back to the full group at the end.

The Phase 1 Stakeholder Consultation Report [PDF 853 KB] is now available! This “as heard” report summarizes the input received in the first round of public consultations and through the surveys submitted.

The consultants are currently developing a Draft Urban Forest Management Plan. It will be available online this summer and the Phase 2 consultations will follow shortly after in the fall of 2016.


The launch for an Urban Forest Management Plan for the City of Ottawa took place on September 23, 2015. More than 200 people attended this celebration. The event included: an expo of 17 different local tree and environmental organizations, an exhibit of essays and photos on urban trees assembled by Tree Fest Ottawa, and presentations about the importance of a long-term urban forest strategy by local Councillors as well as guest speakers Graham Saul from Ecology Ottawa and Philip van Wassenaer from Urban Forest Innovations Inc.

For more information:
Martha Copestake
Planning and Growth Management
613-580-2424, ext. 17922
E-mail: martha.copestake@ottawa.ca