Town of Midland: Native Species List for Development Proposals


Situated at the southern end of Georgian Bay's 30,000 Islands, Midland is the economic centre of the region, with a 125-bed hospital and a local airport (Midland/Huronia Airport). It has a year-round population of 17,000, but during the summer months, the area's population grows to over 100,000, hosting seasonal visitors to more than 8,000 cottages, resort hotels, provincial and national parks in the surrounding municipalities.

Project Name and Description

The Planning and Development Department created an Approved Landscape Species List to encourage the planting of landscape species indigenous to the area, and to discourage the use of non-native species. This list includes approved tree species, approved shrub species, approved grass, vine and flower species.

Project Contact(s)

Wes Crown, Director of Planning and Building Services

P: 705.526.4275 x.2216


Date of Completion/Implementation

July 2012

Project Goal

The introduction of invasive species can result in threats to local species and irreparable changes to the habitat and biodiversity of the invaded ecosystems. Non-native species can kill or crowd- out native species through disease and competition. Invasive species have altered ecological processes such as the water, nutrient, and energy cycles, thus completely changing how ecosystems function. In recognition of this, the Town wanted to:

  • Develop a list of native species for use in development throughout the community,
  • Utilize the list to contribute to a resilient local ecosystem comprised of native tree and plant species, and
  • Inform and educate the community and municipal staff on appropriate species for planting and/or landscaping.

List of Project Partners

(i.e., other municipalities, businesses, organizations or community groups)

Severn Sound Environmental Association (SSEA), Sustainable Severn Sound (SSS) and Bob Bowles, a well-known local naturalist, educator and writer contributed to the creation of the list.

List of Key Stakeholders

(i.e., Open houses, community information sessions, presentation to community or cottage associations)

  • Developers
  • Business owners
  • Residents


What was the municipalitiesí main reason for moving this project forward? Who was the biggest champion for the project?)

Protection and enhancement of the natural environment through the recommendation and planting of native species.

Financial Considerations

What was the cost of the project? How was the project funded? Internally or externally? If externally, where was the support acquired (i.e., grant program, community donations, multiple methods)?

No additional cost was incurred beyond regular staff time.

Measures of Success

How has the project helped the municipality or department achieve its sustainability goals? Is the Town collecting any specific metrics on the impact of the document, and if so, what are those impacts?

The Planning and Development department successfully compiled the list to encourage the planting of landscape species indigenous to Ontario, and to discourage the use of non-native species. Although no measures were specifically selected, the document was provided as part of the Planning process, and was made available on the Town website. If a developer wishes to use landscape species that are not on the Approved List, a formal request must be made to the Planning and Development Department for approval.

Project Impact (Summary)

Why should other municipalities adopt/implement a similar practice?

Native plants are part of the natural local ecosystem and support the integrity of the natural environment. Landscaping in Midland and the surrounding community should be dominated by native plants and demonstrate a landscaping aesthetic that celebrates and promotes, rather than replaces, the native diversity of the Severn Sound. Also, native plants are adapted to local conditions (i.e., soils, climate) which reduces maintenance of these areas. Low maintenance landscaping is considered more environmentally-responsible and should be promoted over landscaping that requires regular watering, mowing, trimming or chemical treatments.

Municipal Contact Information

Town of Midland

575 Dominion Avenue

Midland, Ontario L4R 1R2

P: 705-526-4275



Document Link or Attachment

Native Species List for Development Proposals

Type of Case Study

☐Education and Outreach

☒Policy Adjustment or Development

☒Partnerships & Collaboration

☒Enforcements & Incentives

☐Implementation of Programs & Services

☐Facilities & Infrastructure Improvements

Website: Visit Site


575 Dominion Avenue
Midland, Ontario, L4R 1R2