Corp Comm Connects

Enhancing tree maintenance operations using map-based technology

July 8, 2022

Service Excellence is always top-of-mind for the City of Vaughan, and the Public Works team continues to introduce innovations using cutting-edge technology to enhance operational performance and the citizen experience. Namely, a new and more efficient way to manage forestry requests.

Forestry Maintenance

The City is improving its approach to tree maintenance across Vaughan. Staff manage about 130,000 street trees and assume more than 5,000 trees per year, and Vaughan's forest canopy continues to expand.

The City has implemented a new map-based tool to reinvent forestry work order dispatching. Using business intelligence software, staff can quickly determine where high-priority cases are, which jobs require special treatment, which cases have the longest lead times and more. This new approach has already contributed to a 23 per cent increase in operational productivity management helping staff successfully decrease system-wide wait periods by reducing unproductive travel time. In addition, the implementation of this modern process ensures Vaughan citizens receive efficient, reliable and high-quality tree maintenance services.

This new system is just one important piece of the City's new and improved Tree Maintenance Strategy.

New Tree Maintenance Strategy

Through a new Council-endorsed Tree Maintenance Strategy (PDF), every City-owned street tree will now be pruned at seven-year intervals. This strategy - which also includes increased tree inspections - allows the City to adopt a more cost-effective approach to tree maintenance and reflects the ongoing commitment to good governance and financial stewardship, as outlined in the 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan. The Tree Maintenance Strategy also prioritizes quality services by managing and improving the urban forest and increasing canopy cover - an important element of green infrastructure and the overall health of the Vaughan community and its ecosystem.

City staff prune trees routinely according to species, age and, in some cases, location. There are many benefits to regular tree pruning, including:

For more information about the City's Forestry Operations, visit

Here are some of the other recent innovations from the City's Public Works portfolio:


SmartParks is a pilot project that allows park visitors to access amenity and facility bookings, report a problem such as litter, and make a service request with the scan of a QR code on their smartphone! This exciting technology that's designed to connect residents with City services is available in the following parks:

The QR codes are located on lamp posts near entrances or amenities, as well as fencing by gateway entrances to sports facilities. For more information on the City's SmartParks pilot project, visit

IrisGO for Road Operations

IrisGO is a device that's been installed on City vehicles to identify road-related issues as staff drive around and work throughout the community. IrisGO uses artificial intelligence to collect data on deficiencies, such as broken light fixtures, debris on roads and potholes, and then automatically creates a work order to address them. This results in safer, more efficient processes to identify and resolve road-related matters.

Ultimately, this new technology provides City staff with real-time automated road condition monitoring, leading to significant cost savings from manually collecting this information. For details on the City's road operations, visit

Stormwater Ponds Automated Monitoring

The City has implemented a proactive approach to stormwater pond monitoring with an innovative technology that automatically monitors the quantity and quality of stormwater in select City ponds, 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

The monitoring system provides location-based real-time data utilizing a secure and private wireless data network and industrial-grade water and air sensors to remotely measure a variety of data from water temperature and salinity to pH and water levels. The monitoring system will provide early warnings to City staff to resolve any issues quicker than ever before and allow City staff to make more strategic decisions for stormwater pond maintenance by using real-time data. To learn more about the City's stormwater ponds, visit

The City's dedication to these initiatives is reflected in the city-building priorities of the Council-approved 2018-2022 Term of Council Service Excellence Strategic Plan. Enhancing operational performance and fostering a culture of continuous improvement is central to the mission of Vaughan's Public Works employees. Their achievements continue to receive national recognition for innovative thinking, the development of new best practices and a commitment to Service Excellence.