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Controlled Burn and Prairie Management

April 4, 2022

This spring, Royal Botanical Gardens (RBG) will be conducting controlled burns at two sites in the Cootes Paradise Nature Sanctuary to improve rare plant habitat, with financial assistance from the Ontario Trillium Foundation.


  1. Princess Point: 335 Longwood Rd N. Hamilton, Ontario
  2. North Shore Landing: (RBG Arboretum) 16 Old Guelph Rd Hamilton, Ontario

The burns will occur on a single day based on appropriate weather conditions in April.

There will be no access to Princess Point Trail or the east end of the Anishinaabe waadiziwin Trail on the day of the burns. Signage and staff will be positioned at entrance points.

2022 Update:  Please be advised that 2022’s planned burn has been cancelled as the damp, cool weather prevented the necessary conditions for these operations. Controlled burns require specific weather conditions before they can be conducted safely and successfully. Burns are an important means of controlling invasive species and preserving rare native plant communities, and RBG will plan for the opportunity to conduct another next spring.

Controlled burns require specific weather conditions and accurate forecasting before an exact date can be established. A second notice will be posted on our website and on social media (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram) once the date is confirmed. Lands & Forest Consulting will be partnering with Royal Botanical Gardens to conduct the burn.

Tallgrass Prairie and Oak Savannah Management at RBG

This is intended to be the seventh operational controlled burn for Princess Point and the second for North Shore Landing. The burn is an important means of controlling invasive species and preserving rare native plant communities, including tallgrass prairie and oak savannah. Many of Ontario’s endangered plant species are restricted to prairie and savannah habitat —less than 1% of the existing habitat remains in the Hamilton region. Several interpretive signs on this theme are displayed at Princess Point.

Fire Safety

RBG’s controlled burns will take place under the supervision of prescribed burn specialists from Lands & Forests Consulting Ltd. This will ensure that controlled conditions exist throughout the course of the event. The local fire department and the municipality have acknowledged the burn plan.


Smoke will be present during the burns and may last on site for up to 48 hours after fires have been extinguished. For health reasons, it is recommended that individuals with asthma avoid prolonged exposure to the smoke. In addition to this, the smoke may contain small amounts of poison ivy oil. Those individuals who are sensitive to poison ivy should avoid exposure to the smoke. If respiratory irritation occurs, please move immediately to an area with fresh air and contact a physician.