Town of Canmore

Protecting Canmore's Trees

Trees on public land have a value to the community. They provide shade and shelter for humans and wildlife, act as important barriers to wind and erosion, increase property value, and improve the aesthetic appeal of a community.

The Town of Canmore has a bylaw to protect trees from removal and damage, in particular during the development phase of private lands. The intent of the bylaw is to protect these trees through a formal process that begins with a conversation with the property owner with emphasis on tree protection. It also recognizes that in some cases it makes sense to remove a tree with means to assess valuation for future replanting.

A Town of Canmore tree is any portion of a tree that has any portion of its trunk on public space. It is important to know where your property lines are, as most properties do not extend to the sidewalk. 

Many public trees are lost through the development process where public trees are located adjacent to lands proposed to be developed. Public trees have been removed because of sightlines, site access during construction, or driveway installation.

Each building or development application will now include identifying public trees on the site. A discussion will occur between administration and the developer to determine if the trees can be saved based on some site redesign. If this is not possible, the developer has the opportunity to pay an amount (as valued by an arborist) before the trees can be removed.The funds will be used for future planting or maintenance of trees on public lands. A similar process will be available for residents who wish to remove a dead, unhealthy, or hazardous tree.

The bylaw also includes a requirement to protect public trees during construction. A protective barrier must be constructed around the tree so the tree does not become damaged during construction.

This bylaw will not affect activities like tree thinning for Firesmart or wildlife attractant removal.

There are fines for violations of the bylaw. The updated Master Fee Schedule will outline the amounts.

A copy of the approved bylaw can be found pdf here (2.38 MB) .

The Town of Canmore is located within Treaty 7 region of Southern Alberta. In the spirit of respect, reciprocity and truth, we honour and acknowledge the Canmore area, known as “Chuwapchipchiyan Kudi Bi” (translated in Stoney Nakoda as “shooting at the willows”) and the traditional Treaty 7 territory and oral practices of the Îyârhe Nakoda (Stoney Nakoda) – comprised of the Bearspaw First Nation, Chiniki First Nation, and Wesley First Nation – as well as the Tsuut’ina First Nation and the Blackfoot Confederacy comprised of the Siksika, Piikani, Kainai. We acknowledge that this territory is home to the Métis Nation of Alberta, Region 3, within the historical Northwest Métis homeland. We acknowledge all Nations who live, work, and play and help us steward this land and honour and celebrate this territory. We commit to working to live in right relations and to advance Truth and Reconciliation.

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