Column: June 8, 2017

Wild Parsnip Strategy

The Wild Parsnip Program for 2017 has started, the goal of which is to reduce the growth of wild parsnip in areas that are highly infested while ensuring that environmentally sensitive areas and public safety are not adversely impacted. The strategy includes monitoring, mapping, herbicide use, mowing and evaluation.

Approximately 800 kms of roadsides and over 60 locations of passive parkland will be treated this year. Roadside cutting is underway and additional herbicide application will be considered again for the fall season, if needed. The treatment area map and program details, including how opt out of the program, may be accessed on

Wild parsnip is an invasive plant that is common in areas of uncultivated land, roadside ditches, nature trails, and on and surrounding rural and residential properties. It may pose a health risk to humans, as the sap contains chemicals that may cause skin and eye irritation and make the skin prone to burning and blistering when exposed to the sun

Rural coach houses

Rural coach houses may soon be found on smaller properties after the Agriculture and Rural Affairs Committee (ARAC), on June 1, 2017, received recommendations to modify current requirements. These modified requirements will be incorporated in the Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan Control By-law, allowing small, detached dwellings on existing rural lots as small as 0.65 hectares – and even smaller, with minor variance applications. The report also recommends not requiring site plan control for lots smaller than 0.65 hectares, where a Committee of Adjustment approval would be required, and for lots with municipal water connections. Staff will now initiate the formal public process to bring the amended Official Plan, Zoning By-law and Site Plan By-law forward to ARAC and Council for consideration and approval.

A coach house is a separate dwelling unit that is subsidiary to and located on the same lot as an associated principal dwelling unit, but is contained in its own building that may also contain uses accessory to the principal dwelling.

Mayor's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors

I have a limited number of tickets available to give to seniors in Ward 5 who are interested in attending Mayor Watson's Canada Day Celebration for Seniors at Lansdowne Park on July 1. If interested, contact Sylvia Bell at or 613-580-2424 x32272.