Natural Heritage Network Study


The study will assess the role of the existing Natural Heritage Network (NHN) in maintaining elements of biodiversity and ecological functions for the long term, consistent with Provincial Policy Statement (PPS) 2.1.2, and propose additional NHN areas to meet biodiversity and ecosystem function targets.



The study will build on the recent natural heritage review by AECOM, which primarily identified remaining natural features consistent with Section 2 of the PPS. MNR recently completed a wetland evaluation for the East Humber (August 2010) and the Region of York recently completed a significant forests study (2005). As a result, the two focus areas of further study involve a significant wildlife habitat assessment and a headwaters evaluation. Proposed additions to the NHN to maintain and/or improve wildlife habitat shall focus on land securement in the Greenbelt Plan area and Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan (ORMCP) area. Maintaining overall watershed health shall focus on maintaining and/or improving the function of headwater streams. Hence, the study will be guided by the Significant Wildlife Habitat Technical Guide (MNR 2000) and the Evaluation, Classification and Management of Headwater Drainage Features: Interim Guidelines (TRCA 2009) to:

  • Determine the viability and conservation contribution of the current NHN with respect to persistence of elements of biodiversity and ecological functions;
  • Identify suitable ecosystem targets for the NHN in the City of Vaughan balanced with the population and employment targets in the Growth Plan for the Greater Golden Horseshoe and the Region of York land budget and preferred growth scenario;
  • Specify and/or delineate potential additional NHN areas to meet the proposed ecosystem targets; and
  • Deliver a refined Natural Heritage Network (including in a GIS format with appropriate attribute information), for ease of use for all Planning staff.



Phase 1 of the Natural Heritage Network Study is complete - Final Report - November 2012.

1. Phase 1 Public Consultation Meeting #1 – June 28, 2012


2. Phase 1 Public Consultation Meeting #2 – October 4, 2012


Phases 2-4 of the Natural Heritage Network Study

Phases 2-4 - Public Consultation

Thank you to everyone who participated at the November 13, 2013 public forum!

Newsletter Issue #1 > view


Public Meeting #1 - November 13, 2013

  • Notification > view
  • Presentation by North-South Environmental > view
  • Presentation by Orland Conservation > view


Committee of the Whole (Working Session) - December 3, 2013 > Notice and Report


Public Meeting #2 - May 22, 2014 - Public Open House - NHN Phases 2 - 4

  • Notification > view
  • Presentation > view


Committee of the Whole (Public Hearing) - June 17, 2014

  • Notification > view
  • Staff Report and Presentation - June 17, 2014 - Committee of the Whole (Public Hearing)
  • Phase 2-4 NHN Study - Draft Final Report (May 29, 2014) > view
  • Conservation Land Securement Strategy > view


Committee of the Whole Staff Reports


The following Committee of the Whole staff reports seek Council endorsement for a process to approve Schedule 2 (Natural Heritage Network) by the Ontario Municipal Board


If you have additional comments or suggestions relating to the maps, goals and criteria, please contact Tony Iacobelli, Manager of Environmental Sustainability at:


Environmental Management Guideline

The City of Vaughan is seeking input from the public on the draft Environmental Management Guideline (EMG). The EMG sets out the general requirements for specific studies, such as an Environmental Impact Study or Master Environment and Servicing Plan, in support of development applications with potential to impact the Natural Heritage Network (NHN). Comments can be provided to Tony Iacobelli, Manager of Environmental Sustainabillity via e-mail at or by phone (905) 832-2281 ext 8630, by November 29 2013. This is part of the public consultation component of Phases 2-4 of the NHN study, to view Notice click here.


Click here to view a draft of the Environmental Management Guideline (EMG).