Environmental Studies are characterizations of natural heritage features, functions and objective assessments of the direct and indirect impacts from proposed development. ABOUD & ASSOCIATES’ team of arborists, ecologists, and wildlife experts are trained and experienced to evaluate and document natural heritage features in accordance with established protocols.

With study sites ranging in size from several hundred hectares to less than one hectare in urban and rural settings, our team uses a reliable approach to create a comprehensive and defendable study. Typically this involves policy/legislation review, and preliminary consultation with the reviewing agency to determine the terms of reference. This guides the biophysical inventory to describe the condition and function of natural systems, and evaluates the ecological impacts of a proposed development using state of the art GIS/GPS technology. Where impacts are unavoidable, mitigation measures to minimize impacts are proposed along with monitoring programs to ensure long-term success.


Christmas Fern (Polystichum acrostichoides), . Toronto  


 - Botanical Inventories
 - Environmental Impact Studies
 - Ecological Land Classification
 - Wetland Evaluation and Delineation
 - Vegetation Community Assessment
 - Constraint Rating Assignments

 - Natural Heritage Assessments
 - Subwatershed Studies
 - Wildlife Inventories
 - Habitat Assessment
 - Monitoring







Community Planning Area Subwatershed Study

County of Wellington, Township of Centre Wellington, 2009- present


As part of a multi-disciplinary study team, Aboud & Associates prepared the biological component of a 215-hectare subwatershed study on the site of a future institutional campus that will showcase a new hospital and several County services. Natural heritage elements studied include: 3-season botanical inventory, floristic quality analysis, ELC assessment, delineation and evaluation of wetlands, breeding bird and amphibian call surveys, snake hibernacula surveys and assessment of potential fish habitat and significant wildlife habitat. Based on the detailed natural heritage assessment, we assessed the ecological values of all natural features and provided conservation priority rankings of high, moderate and low to provide recommendations of protection and guidance with future development planning scenarios.



Spotted Joe-Pye Weed (Eutrochium maculatum) on the banks of the Grand River, Centre Wellington

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Arkell Springs Dam Rehabilitation Scoped Environmental Assessment

City of Guelph, Guelph, 2010-present


Aboud & Associates prepared the aquatic and terrestrial biological component of a scoped environmental assessment for the rehabilitation of Arkell Springs Dam in collaboration with Gamsby and Mannerow for the City of Guelph. Natural heritage elements studied using existing data from public sources include: fisheries species assessment, classification of habitat and thermal regime (i.e. warm water, cool water, coldwater), identification of known spawning habitat, identification of known Species at Risk (SAR), and general classification of terrestrial habitat.

This information was evaluated to provide a general description of the habitat and features at the site. It was also applied to the Ministry of Transportation Environmental Guide for Fish and Fish Habitat which was used to assess the sensitivity of the habitat at the site and the potential risks associated with the proposed works.

Recommended mitigation techniques were also developed to address the negative effects of the proposed construction on the aquatic and terrestrial features and species located at the site to prevent the Harmful Alteration Destruction (HADD) of fish and fish habitat.



Existing Dam Structure, Guelph








Summit Park - Environmental Impact Study

Corporate Client, Hamilton, 2010-2011


Aboud & Associates prepared a Scoped Environmental Impact Study for the development of a stormwater management facility located within an abandoned quarry in the Mount Albion Conservation Area for the Summit Park Phase 5 Development in the City of Hamilton.

The study focused on the identification and evaluation of breeding bird habitat and snake hibernacula locations within proposed development areas and the development of monitoring and mitigation strategies, including the design and installation of Northern Rough-winged Swallow nesting cavities in the quarry wall, to ensure these ecological features and habitats were maintained or enhanced under post development conditions. 




Cliff Face Nest Cavity Habitat . Hamilton

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Windsor-Essex Parkway

Ministry of Transportation, Windsor, 2010


As a sub-consultant to LGL Limited and as part of an international multi-disciplinary consulting team, Aboud & Associates completed botanical investigations as part of the ongoing Windsor-Essex Parkway expansion project providing a direct connection from the 401 to the new international Windsor-Detroit border crossing.

Working within Tallgrass Prairie habitat and candidate restoration sites within and outside of the proposed 10km highway corridor, our ecologists conducted detailed botanical inventories, vegetation community assessments and Species at Risk surveys of two plant species listed as Threatened under the Endangered Species Act, 2007 as part of a long term management strategy. Analysis of field data was conducted to determine associate plant species lists and preferred soil conditions for the two Threatened species (Dense Blazing Star and Willowleaf Aster). Based on these studies, matrices were developed to evaluate the suitability of candidate restoration sites and assist with future restoration efforts. 





Monarch butterfly (Danaus plexippus) caterpillar . Windsor

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Mill Pond Park Biological Studies

Town of Richmond Hill, Richmond Hill, 2010


Aboud & Associates completed breeding bird surveys and detailed 3-season botanical inventories as part of an overall Ecological Land Classification (ELC) assessment of Mill Pond Park, home of the Summer Concert Series in the Park and Winter Carnival. The baseline assessment will assist Town staff in the future development of a management strategy for the natural features and park redevelopment plan.




MIill Pond Park . Richmond Hill

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Poultry Facility Renewable Energy Natural Heritage Assessment

Corporate Client, Elora, 2010-2011


Aboud & Associates completed a Natural Heritage Assessment for a Renewable Energy Project on the behalf of a poultry farming facility under Ontario Regulation 359/09 Renewable Energy Approvals under the Ontario Environmental Protection Act. This included detailed research into background data from various government agencies and a site assessment to identify, verify and evaluate natural heritage features surrounding the proposed development.



Row of Sugar Maple Trees . Elora









Oak Ridges Community Centre Environmental Impact Study

Town of Richmond Hill, Richmond Hill, 2008-2010


As a member of a consulting team lead by Shore Tilbe Perkins + Will, Aboud & Associates was retained to prepare an Environmental Impact Study for the development of the of the new 57,000 sq ft. Oak Ridges Community Centre and 21 hectare park on the shores of Lake Wilcox.

The Natural Heritage Evaluation, in accordance with Toronto and Region Conservation Authority and the Oak Ridges Moraine Conservation Plan requirements:

  • Defined the boundaries of the environmental areas on the site including wildlife linkages, buffers, zones of influence, and ecological restoration areas;

  • Described the relationship of the environmental areas to the proposed development and adjacent lands;

  • Demonstrated how and where development can proceed without negative impact to the environmental area(s); and

  • Developed management guidelines to demonstrate how the natural areas will be protected, and/or enhanced and monitored before, during and after the period of construction.





Shores of Lake Wilcox . Richmond Hill

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Cottrelle Boulevard Extension

City of Brampton, Brampton, 2006-2008


The City of Brampton retained a team of consultants led by R. J. Burnside & Associates Limited to complete an Environmental Assessment and design of a 725 metre road connection between Humberwest Parkway to Goreway Boulevard through a valley feature with two watercourses. Aboud & Associates characterized the natural heritage resources (ELC), tallied trees and documented rare faunal species within the project area of this publicly owned valley feature. 


Aboud & Associates also prepared mitigation concept plans designed to reduce impacts to the wooded feature, manage hazard trees and enhance woodlot edge woody vegetation. A streetscape concept plan was also prepared to guide future detailed landscape plans. Consultation with the City, Conservation Authority and the public was required throughout the project to ensure that adequate documentation and mitigation were provided. 




Cottrelle Boulevard Extension . Brampton








Shell Canada Proposed Heavy Oil Refinery Expansion Project

Corporate Client, Sarnia, 2006- 2009


As part of a multidisciplinary consulting team, Aboud & Associates conducted a complete ecological baseline inventory of vascular flora and vegetation communities as part of a proposed significant oil refinery expansion project comprised of a 2,900 hectare mosaic of forests, woodlands, swamps, marshes, thickets, hedgerows, meadows and agricultural fields. 

Our ecologists identified vegetation communities in accordance with the ELC system, delineated and evaluated wetlands in collaboration with the Ontario Ministry of Natural Resources, and identified and mapped provincially and globally rare species, vegetation communities, and species at risk (SAR). 




Papilio glaucus on Lilium michiganense . Sarnia








Upper Thornhill Estates - Trail Impact Study

Corporate Clients, City of Vaughan, 2006-2010


As part of a multidisciplinary team, Aboud & Associates prepared a Trail Impact Study for all community trails through natural valleylands and wooded areas in Upper Thornhill Estates, a new master planned community of 11,500 residents. The study identified vegetation communities and assigned high, moderate or low constraint rating of each individual community. Potential impacts were identified based on the level of constraint and Aboud & Associates' construction review experience. Mitigation measures were also provided as a means to reduce the long and short-term impacts to enhance the natural interpretation experience of the residents in this new community. 


American Beech Leaves (Fagus grandifoliai) .  Vaughan

Carex grayii (Asa Gray Sedge)

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Functional Servicing Plan - Woodland Preservation Component

Several Corporate Clients, King, 2004-2006


As part of a multi disciplinary team lead by Malone Given Parsons, Aboud & Associates prepared a Woodlot Preservation Plan for a new master planned community in King Township that:

  • Enhanced identified linkages between existing Environmental Protection Areas;

  • Provided additional protection to identified Environmental Protection Areas from the proposed development, including future occupancy;

  • Enhanced the ecological quality and function of Environmental Protection Areas as habitat for flora and fauna, including enhancement of species diversity; and

  • Created additional/new habitats and thereby increased the size of Environmental Protection Areas.


Woodlot Preservation .  King









Arthur Street Sanitary Sewer Environmental Assessment

City of Guelph, Guelph, 2003-2006


Aboud & Associates was retained to provide an assessment of natural resources in the Speed River floodplain to determine the impacts and mitigation methods for the replacement of a trunk sewer main, as well as follow-up inspections.


Existing Condition of the Speed River Floodplain 

@ Arthur Street . Guelph







Red Hill Creek Expressway

City of Hamilton (in association with Dougan & Associates), Hamilton, 2003-2007 


An 8-kilometre long, four-lane highway through 700 hectares of parkland and valley land, Aboud & Associates conducted an inventory of all trees to be impacted by the construction of the proposed highway, infrastructure upgrades and stream realignment work to calculate a critical replacement tree ratio. 

As part of a large multi-disciplinary consulting team, our arborists, ecologists, and landscape architects assisted the prime ecological consultant (Dougan & Associates) with the monitoring and warranty inspections for riparian, floodplain and wetland restoration initiatives throughout the valley. 



Red Hill Valley .  Hamilton

Existing Conditions Greenhill Floodplain - Red Hill Valley, Hamilton King Street from the Air - May 2004 - Red Hill Valley, Hamilton View of Construction from Escarpment - Red Hill Creek, Hamilton

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Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in Rondeau Provincial Park

Rondeau Leaseholder’s Association, Chatham, 1996


Assessment of Forest Ecosystem Health in Rondeau Provincial Park, Ontario. A field assessment of selected forest plots, and a literature review of the current and historical conditions of the health, structure and diversity of the Park’s forest were conducted. The study determined that while the Park’s forests were influenced by numerous factors, browsing by an overabundance of deer was the controlling element in the regeneration of the Carolinian forest canopy.


Rondeau Provincial Park .  Chatham