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Legal Ease
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 95645
Experience:  Lawyer
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Hello, I am very much concerned about vandalism

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Hello, I am very much concerned about vandalism in Blythwood Park, Toronto. A young man, 23-24 years old, comes with a big hunting knife on a regular basis and cuts junior trees (firs, pines, maples, dogwood, etc.) and cuts low branches of big trees (up to 8-9 feet, he is a very tall man) severely damaging trunks and bark of the trees. The Blythwood Park was a beautiful, clean, well maintained forest before the man appeared a month ago. And now the forest is full of poor damaged trees and of cut trees and branches on the ground. I can't believe that this vandal is untouchable by law. Is he? Thank you. Galina XXXX, retired, volunteer.

Thank you for your question.

Before I begin I want to explain a bit about how the site works.

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Did you tell the police that he is actually harming the trees?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Yes, I did tell the police that the man cut and damaged trees.

And I repeat, surprisingly, the police officer said: "It's all right, because he did not threaten YOU with the knife".

The vandalism increased severely after I had been to the Police Headquarters 10 days ago.

That is nonsense.

I know the park well. It Is beautiful.

It's also not the least bit acceptable for someone to be there with a large knife. There are families in the park.

It is an offence to vandalize property.

I suggest that you call again and say that there is repeated vandalism and you are worried about it.

If that does not work then there is another route you can go if the police will not assist you.

You can attend at the Justice of the Peace's office in any criminal court.

You simply walk in, tell the JP's secretary what you want to do, and he/she will give you a form to fill out (basic information and your allegations).

Then after you hand it in, you'll speak to the JP and explain the basis for the allegations.

Then if the JP decides there is enough to lay the information, he/she will schedule a pre-enquete (relatively brief in camera hearing to determine whether or not to proceed).

Be prepared to bring any evidence or witnesses you might have for that.

As well, it may make sense to report this by-law enforcement. They may agree to get involved.

And if you are in the park and see this, so long as it does not put you in any danger, take some pictures of the guy cutting the trees or walking around with a knife.

Does that help?
Customer: replied 3 years ago.

Thank you. I will certainly follow all of your advices.

But I have a question (I need your answer to justify my further action):


Please tell me what section of Canada (or Ontario) Law speaks of tree damaging on public property. I need exact reference/number/name of the law.


One more thing: I am certainly is the only witness of the man performance - he is careful, he operates in the middle of the forest, and when nobody is around. I could catch him only because working in the forest I watched visitors, I knew he comes at 6 - 6.30 PM (some day he cut my chair, backpack, even my dog's leash between 6 and 6.30 when I worked in some other part of the forest leaving my things unattended).

And I am not sure I will have the courage to take his picture, but I remember his appearance very well.

Here is the section in the Criminal Code. The offence is called "mischief" and this is "mischief to property".
Customer: replied 3 years ago.


Thank you, XXXXX XXXXX hope there is something more specific concerning parks, urban forestry, etc.

I think that's where by-law enforcement would come in and that's why I think you should call the city tomorrow, explain your role, what is happening and ask if there is a role for by-law enforcement here.
Legal Ease, Lawyer
Category: Canada Law
Satisfied Customers: 95645
Experience: Lawyer
Legal Ease and other Canada Law Specialists are ready to help you
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Thanks and take good care!

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