Ma propriété urbaine

We live in one of the fastest-growing urban areas in Canada. It’s great to be part of such a vibrant community, but we need to do our part to reduce our impact on the environment. There are many ways an urban landowner can implement small and large projects on their property to support the natural function of the environment.

To determine projects that would benefit the natural features on your property, please complete our Landowner Inquiry Form.

A rain garden filled with native species of flowers in front of a house.

Many urban areas are developed around a natural area, such as a forest, meadow, wetland or ravine. These natural features provide ecological services to the surrounding community by capturing stormwater, absorbing carbon and cleaning the air that we breath and water that we drink.

What you can do:

  • Participate in municipal waste programs or bring your household waste to the dump
  • Allow native trees and shrubs to grow wild around creeks, wetlands and other natural areas
  • Plant gardens only within your property boundary and obey “setbacks” when building structures on your property
  • Never mow, prune or remove trees, shrubs, flowers or debris in natural areas

Pollination is the transfer of pollen grains from flower to flower, resulting in fruit and seed production. Canada is home to more than 1000 species of pollinating insects, including bees, butterflies, moths, flies and beetles. Many of our native pollinator species are under threat from habitat loss, pollution, pesticides, and disease. Without these insects, there would be widespread loss of native plants and animals, and major disruption to our food systems.

What you can do:

  • Learn how to identify invasive species and remove them from your property
  • Remove hazard trees and invasive plants but leave native plant species and allow them to grow wild
  • Choose a variety of shapes and colours of native flowering plants to attract a diverse variety of pollinators
  • Select plants that flower and produce nectar at different times throughout the season to support a diverse variety of pollinators
  • Plant the garden in groups or “clumps” to better attract pollinators
  • Create nesting sites by leaving hollow plant stems and piles of leaves for insects, or build bee boxes and insect hotels
  • Adapt your garden to be pesticide-free or use ecological alternatives

Descriptions of these projects and guidelines for eligibility can be found in the Urban Properties Guidelines for the Water Quality and Habitat Improvement Program.

Despite dense human populations, some wildlife have adapted to living in our communities. There are things you can do to prevent unwanted wildlife, attract the species of wildlife that you want and protect the wildlife that has already taken up residence, as well as your family, pets and yourself.

What you can do:

  • Cats are the number one killer of native bird species, so keep them indoors or on a leash when they are outdoors.
  • Store your garbage in animal-proof containers and if possible, put it on the curb the morning of collection, instead of the night before.
  • Patch holes and cracks in your home and other buildings to prevent rodents and birds from nesting indoors.
  • Feed the birds, but that’s all. Feeding other wildlife is unlawful and puts them at risk by teaching them to rely on humans for food.
  • Be sure to clean your bird feeders on a regular basis to prevent the spread of disease.
  • Consider a screened porch, bug-proof clothing or bug repelling lotion, instead of using outdoor insect sprays.
  • Use heat and light to your advantage to attract insects away from outdoor entertainment spaces.
  • Keep your property free of litter, because animals may become trapped or injured in careless debris.
  • Prevent birds from flying into windows by putting deflectors on the windows and leaving the blinds down.
  • Only illuminate what is necessary, because light can disrupt the natural patterns of nocturnal animals and migrating birds. Try motion lights and install fixtures that aim outdoor light downward.

Descriptions of these projects and guidelines for eligibility can be found in the Urban Properties Guidelines for the Water Quality and Habitat Improvement Program.

In a natural environment, rainwater returns to the ground, where it is filtered and becomes available for plants and animals. As our urban environments expand, the amount of impervious surface, such as driveways, sidewalks, rooftops, and compacted soil, is increased. In cities, more than half of rainwater runs off of impervious surfaces and into storm sewers or ditches. As the water runs over these surfaces, it picks up oil, salt, litter and pet waste. This unfiltered urban runoff causes erosion, increased amounts of sediment, changes to water temperature and loss of fish habitat.

What can you do?

The best way to manage rainwater on your property is to send it back into the ground by directing downspouts to the lawn or garden. This will not only prevent surface runoff, but it will also reduce the amount needed for watering the garden or lawn and provide the soil with water of a higher quality. Rainwater is better for gardens because it is free of salts and pollutants, it does not contain chlorine and its temperature and pH are favorable to plants.

If there is often too much water on your property, you should considering using Low Impact Development (LID) to deal with rainwater where it falls, before it reaches impervious surfaces. LID features mimic the natural water cycle by infiltrating water back into the ground. LID can range from simple rain gardens or soak away pits to permeable driveways or bioswales. LID design is cost-effective and can provides solutions for properties of all sizes, including those which are very small.

Descriptions of these projects and guidelines for eligibility can be found in the Urban Properties Guidelines for the Water Quality and Habitat Improvement Program.

Conservation Halton offers a program to reduce the cost of rainwater conservation projects. Click here to learn more about financial assistance programs.

The chemicals that we use to keep pools clean and safe for swimming, such as chlorine, bromine, salt and algaecide, can be harmful to our environment. Improper drainage of swimming pools can lead to these chemicals being transported into creeks, streams, ravines and lakes, where they are toxic to aquatic species.

What you can do:

  • De-chlorinate the water by not adding chemicals for at least one week, leaving the pumps running, and allowing the chlorine to dissipate, prior to draining.
  • Test the water in your pool to ensure that chemical levels are as low as possible before draining.
  • When draining your pool, drain the water directly onto your lawn, so that the water can infiltrate slowly, and sediments can be filtered out.
  • Never drain the water from your pool into natural areas, such as ravines, as this can cause erosion and other forms of damage.
  • If you have a saltwater pool, it should be drained into the sanitary sewer or taken away for proper treatment. Never drain a saltwater pool into a natural area, as the chloride is toxic for aquatic species.