Site Alteration and Tree Preservation By-laws

Read the Draft By-laws:
Helpful Infographics:

Need for a Site Alteration By-law and Tree Preservation By-law

The Township of The Archipelago is situated in the middle of the Georgian Bay Biosphere Reserve, designated as a world biosphere reserve by UNESCO. It is comprised of many islands in Georgian Bay and a number of inland, freshwater lakes, all of which are used for recreational purposes. The impetus for creating the Township originated from a strong desire by its inhabitants and the Province to preserve the natural environmental and recreational land use in the area. 

The shoreline of the Georgian Bay in the Township, the numerous islands, and inland lakes provide a highly desirable recreational waterfront community. A significant contribution to the high level of appeal of the shoreline, island areas, and inland lakes of the Township is generated by the Crown land base that, for the most part, remains in its natural state.

The Township’s existing regulatory framework contains a comprehensive set of policies regarding landscape and waterscape alteration. These policies encourage the conservation of the overall natural landscape and waterscape to preserve the natural appearance, character, and aesthetics of the Township. They also encourage development to conform to the natural environment as opposed to the natural environment being altered to accommodate development, as reflected in the Township’s Strategic Plan (2022-2026). 

Protect & Preserve

Sustainable & Cost-Effective Services

Effective Relationships & Partnerships

Leadership & Communications

In early 2021, Council directed staff to proceed with the development of a draft Site Alteration By-law, and to provide further information with respect to the costs of the administration and enforcement of the by-law. This direction was given, in part, due to recent development within the Township which proceeded without the benefit of full federal, provincial, and municipal approval. On this basis, the Township would like to enact a Site Alteration By-law and a Tree Preservation By-law to provide itself with additional regulatory tools to realize Council’s strategic priorities for the Township. 

If adopted, the Site Alteration By-law and Tree-Preservation By-law will provide an additional layer of protection for the natural environment, over and above the minimum requirements for development as per the Township’s Official Plan and Zoning By-law, and an additional tool for the Township to ensure that development occurs in a way that is sensitive to and respectful of environmental features that make the Archipelago a great place to live, work, and play. 

See below for links to previous presentations made to Township Council over the span of this project:

Public Engagement & Report

Open Houses

As an integral part of this process, the Township and its consultants hosted a virtual Open House and an in-person Open House in January 2024 to update the public as to the process and to give participants an opportunity to provide input on the draft Site Alteration and draft Tree Preservation By-laws. 

A recording of the January 30, 2024 virtual Open House is available below. *Note, results from the Discussion Polls section will be available once the data can be made visibly presentable.


In 2022, the Township retained J.L. Richards and Associates (JLR) to assist in the preparation of a Site Alteration and Tree Preservation By-law. Seeking your feedback on the draft Site Alteration By-law and the draft Tree Preservation By-law, the Township and JLR held a survey from December 2023 to February 2024, which closed Friday, February 2. 

Based on the feedback gathered through this survey and the January 2024 open houses, JLR will refine the draft by-laws to better reflect your community vision before presenting the revised by-laws to Council for decision on adoption.  

Public Feedback Report

Following a public engagement phase between December 2023 and February 2024, J.L. Richards prepared a report containing a summary of the public feedback received and recommended next steps, which was presented to Council on March 22, 2024. A copy of the report and slideshow that were presented are available below for the public to review:

*Note, the next steps in the report were not adopted exactly as recommended - an excerpt of the minutes from March's Council Meeting will be provided here once they are approved with the official direction to staff



If you have any questions or comments about this project, please contact:

Cale Henderson
Manager of Development and Environmental Services
Township of The Archipelago
(705) 746-4243 ext. 305


Rebecca Elphick
Consultant Planner
J.L. Richards & Associates
(343) 803-4095