To protect, maintain and improve the ecosystems and well-being of the green infrastructure of Thunder Bay.

Why it matters

A sustainable community focuses on the planning, planting, and protection of our urban forests and ecological environment. Green infrastructure, such as trees, forests, and green spaces, beautifies our community, increases civic pride, and enhances our sense of well-being.

Green infrastructure helps fight climate change, pollution, and crime. It provides a cleaner environment while increasing the health, wellness, and economic prosperity of our community.

Factors such as de-icing salt, construction, lawn mowers, vehicles, and contaminated soil all affect our green infrastructure.

Suburban development and large scale, unregulated tree cutting on private land threaten our rural forests. Climate change directly impacts our forests through drought, forest fires, and pest infestations.

Green infrastructure impacts walkability, downtown economic vitality, property values, energy savings, storm water mitigation, and traffic calming.

The annual value of benefits from Thunder Bay's street trees is over $1.5 million, and for every dollar the City spends managing its 20,000 street trees, it recoups $2 in services.


  • By 2020 city tree and shrub canopy cover has increased to 30% (from 25% in 2012) within urban limits.
  • By 2020, the City of Thunder Bay has a more integrated approach to community planning (i.e. policies/procedures consistent with Official Plan (OP), UFMP, and Urban Design Guidelines (UDG)).
  • By 2020, Thunder Bay's citizens are actively engaged in Community Greening through new private-public partnerships, educational events, tree programs and social media.
  • By 2020, Thunder Bay's natural areas and urban forests are comprised of a healthy and diverse mixture of flora and fauna that are resilient to the effects of climate change.
  • By 2020, plant trees to have adequate soil volume and quality to ensure the living green infrastructure's full lifecycle, and associated ecosystem services, are achieved.
  • By 2020, the City's urban forest section has developed official research partnerships with academic institutions such as Lakehead University and Confederation College, to create greater synergy 

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