Vaughan is a Bird-Friendly City!

Photo of Mayor, Members of Council and City staff

Nature Canada presented the City with official certification

The City of Vaughan is now a Bird-Friendly City! This means the City has implemented practices and policies across the organization and held events to help save birds, protect their habitats and improve the local ecosystem.


In June 2022, Vaughan Council endorsed a Member’s Resolution (PDF) for the City to become a Bird-Friendly City through Nature Canada, the oldest national nature conservation charity in Canada. Nature Canada developed a standard to certify eligible municipalities and recognize efforts made to save birds. The City met the criteria and received the official certification during the May 30, 2023, Committee of the Whole (1) meeting.


Why are birds so important to protect?

Birds play an essential role in maintaining healthy and resilient ecosystems – they help to pollinate plants, disperse seeds and control insects. Birds also provide vital sources of information. By studying them, we can understand the ecosystem's overall health, collect statistics about the environment and more.


In the last 50 years, North American bird populations have dropped by more than 25 per cent. Three-million birds, including urban species that live in Vaughan, are gone due to domestic cats and collisions with cars and windows. This is why it is so important to protect them.


What makes Vaughan bird-friendly?

The City undertook initiatives related to threat reduction, habitat protection and restoration, cutting carbon emissions and community education. Achieving Bird-Friendly City status through Nature Canada is one example. Here are some others:

  • On May 13, 2023, the City proclaimed World Migratory Bird Day. A free, community event was held at City Hall in celebration – residents were encouraged to attend to enjoy an indoor bird-watching activity, bird-themed arts and crafts for kids, watch a short film about birds, speak to bird-focused vendors, learn what Vaughan is doing to protect the birds and more.
  • In May 2022, through the City’s Sustainability Metrics Program, Vaughan Council endorsed the City’s Bird-Safe Design Standards to ensure all new private and City-owned developments meet certain sustainability requirements with bird-safe design treatments.
  • Updated in 2020, the City’s Animal Control By-law 066-2020 (PDF) helps protect wildlife and provides guidelines about licensing cats, running at large and leash requirements. The By-law assists in reducing the threat of predation to birds.


You can help save the birds – at home!

Here are some tips you can follow to make your home safer for birds:

  • Plant a native, bird-friendly garden. Bird-friendly gardens provide both shelter and food. Some examples of trees, shrubs and flowers you can plant include maple and oak trees, milkweed, harebell, hawthorn, juniper, dogwoods, coneflowers, and black-eyed susans.
  • Tweak your daily routine. At night, turn off lights or draw the blinds to prevent light-seeking birds from crashing into windows. You can also mark windows with bird-friendly coverings/tape to make them visible to birds when flying. Refer to FLAP Canada for window covering guidelines.
  • Be a conscious consumer. When shopping for items such as coffee, chocolate and paper products, look for certifications like Bird-Friendly, Rainforest Alliance or Forestry Stewardship Council; these certifications help protect bird habitats.


To learn more about the City’s efforts to protect birds and their habitats, visit



“As a municipal leader in the fight against climate change, the City of Vaughan takes pride in our certification as a Bird-Friendly City. Vaughan is green-focused, with sustainability at the heart of our city-building efforts. This certification adds to the growing list of initiatives the City has undertaken to mitigate risks for birds, including introducing bird-safe design standards and sustainability metrics for all new developments. Planning with purpose to protect birds and other wildlife reflects our commitment to building a better, brighter community for generations to come. I want to express my appreciation to Nature Canada for supporting cities like Vaughan to become a more welcoming, safe haven for birds.”

- Mayor Steven Del Duca


“Birds and biodiversity connect us all and remind us that no matter where we may live we can admire birds all throughout the year whether by birding or just hearing their songs on a morning walk.  Nature Canada is excited to welcome the City of Vaughan to join many other communities across the country working towards making Vaughan a safer place for birds. This commitment is a step in the right direction towards making truly sustainable development possible while acting as stewards for local bird populations.”

– Autumn Jordan, Urban Nature Organizer, Nature Canada



  • In June 2022, Vaughan Council endorsed a Member’s Resolution (PDF) for the City to become a Bird-Friendly City through Nature Canada.
  • The City received official Bird-Friendly City Certification from Nature Canada in May 2023.
  • Being a Bird-Friendly City means the City has implemented practices, policies and events to help save birds, protect their habitats and improve the local ecosystem.