Glendon Project: Highlighting Canadian, Ontarian, Torontonian and York University policies regarding the use of native plant species

Canada helping native plants:

As the population of alien and invasive plant species increase more and more, our native plant species are rapidly declining. Ignored to protect thee species Throughout Canada there are policies being created to help stop this problem.  Although Canada does not have a specific policy on the use of native pants, areas all across Canada have taken individual strong initiatives in part with various organizations, to implement native plants within their communities.

One Canadian organization referred to as the North American Native Plant Society (NANPS) founded in 1985, has taken measures to preserve native plant habitats in wild areas as well as restore indigenous flora to developed areas. In order to protect natives, this group partakes in actives such as managing conservation properties in Ontario and operating one of Canada’s largest native annual plant sales (NANPS 2016).

An example of an initiative taken in British Columbia was with the creation of The Green Links Project in 1997, as way to counteract habitat fragmentation by further improving linkages between greenspaces. British Columbia Hydro, British Columbia Gas, mainland municipalities, and the Douglas College’s Institute of Urban Ecology, came together  to provide corridor sites to reduce fragmentation. One of the major activities done to reduce fragmentation was to partake in planting native species in various strategic areas, in an attempt to strengthen connectivity between spaces (Evergreen 2001). Another initiative held by British Columbia helping native plant species, followed in response to the Livable Region Strategic Plan responsible for making regional land use and transportation decisions. This initiative involved the City of Burnaby that had created designated Green Zone lands that were restored with the use of native plants (Evergreen 2001).


The image above is an example of a native plant species in Canada called the Coryphantha and Opuntia.
Image Source:

Ontario helping native plants:

In order to help preserve Canada’s remaining native plant species, Ontario has adopted an Invasive Species Act in 2015. Introducing this act attempts to stop new invasive species from arriving and establishing, so that plant and animal species native to Ontario can flourish. By preventing invasive species, we can attempt to restore our native plant species. With this act we can prevent current and future invading species form producing devastating effects on the native plant species in Ontario (Government of Ontario 2016).



The image above is an example of an alien invasive plant species in Ontario named the Alliaria petiolata (Garlic mustard).
Image source:

Toronto helping native plants:

One local policy that the city of Toronto has produced, in helping protect native plant species, is the project named The Official Plan (City of Toronto 2016). This plan is the city’s guiding land use document. The Official Plan, has assigned areas of Toronto to be a part of the Natural Heritage System (NHS) (City of Toronto 2016). The NHS are areas that provide a habitat for a wide variety of native plant and animal species as well as sustain local biodiversity. The City of Toronto has made it a goal to protect these areas so that native species of plants are able to be restored to the city.

York University Helping native plants:

            Just as Canada, Ontario, and Toronto have been contributing to protecting native plants species, York University has also been partaking in helping the growth of native plants. York University along with many other organizations such as Environment Canada and The City of Toronto, have funded and taken part in a green roof project which was constructed in York University in the year 2001 (TRCA 2006). This green roof was constructed on the Computer Science and Engineering building as a way to help support and conserve rare native plants of concern (TRCA 2006).


Figure 1. The above figure represents the blueprint used for the York University green roof project helping native plant species in 2001.
Image source:


About the North American Native Plant Society. 2016.North American Native Plant Society. Available from

Breen D, Chisholm S and Irvine S. 2006. A Policy and Program Guidebook. Shrubs & vines of toronto.TRCA. Evaluation of an Extensive Greenroof :167.

Guide to Toronto Native plant lists. 2016.City of Toronto. Available from,%20Shrubs%20&%20Vines%20of%20Toronto.pdf  

Ingram J. 2001. Urban naturalization in Canada: a policy and program guidebook. Evergreen.

Ontario’s Regulatory Registry. 2016. Government of Ontario. Available from




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