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Director, Parks and Forestry (SM150)

by City of London

Reference #: COL01289-4063
Position Type: Full-time
Location: London, Ontario
Date Posted: Jan 25, 2023
City of London

Job Description

Summary of Duties

Reporting to the Deputy City Manager, Environment and Infrastructure, the Director, Parks and Forestry provides leadership to the Corporation and is responsible for the stewardship of all things “green and growing” including, but not limited, to the strategy, management and care of street trees, urban forests, and woodlots and the planning and operation of parks, open spaces, and recreational amenities with a focus on the spaces and places that make the City of London the Forest City.  The Director, Parks and Forestry oversees a team that maintains, plans, and constructs all parks and their amenities, trees, and horticultural features within the City of London.

As a member of the Senior Management Team, the Director, Parks and Forestry provides trusted guidance and direction to the Senior Leadership Team, the Mayor and Council and promotes outstanding customer service to address the interests of the community and other stakeholders, and as an insightful and effective people leader, leads the transformation of Divisional culture aligned with the Council’s strategic priorities.   

Work Performed

  • Develop and implement strategic initiatives for the Parks and Forestry Division to meet Council’s Strategic Plan and effectively deliver the business responsibilities of the Division.

  • Direct the planning, management, and administration for Parks and Forestry Division; develop and maintain comprehensive policies, programs, procedures, and protocols.

  • Provide advice to Deputy City Manager, Environment and Infrastructure on strategic priorities with responsibility to operationalize those goals and strategies.

  • Provide professional opinion, and information to the Senior Leadership Team, Committees and Council on policies, programs, and services as required.

  • Identify and develop internal controls in the form of policies, procedures, practices in relation to the general and specific risks of the Corporation; ensure internal controls are implemented and adhered to within the Division.

  • Oversee a team of experienced Managers in the management of the Division; delegate authority and accountability for the delivery of services and programs including, but not limited to:
    • Direct and oversee the work related to the strategic long-term planning, design and management of the public and private places and spaces, as well as the planning and implementation of capital construction projects for the City’s parks and open space design program. Implement and revise the relevant sections of the Parks and Recreation Masterplan.

    • Provide effective negotiation, interpretation, and resolution of contracts and contract issues; ensure relevant reporting and communication is completed for each project.

    • Direct and oversee the work related to the City’s Urban Forestry Program and implementation of the City’s Urban Forestry Strategy, as well as all aspects of the City’s forestry operations including but not limited to the planning and maintenance of trees and tree-health.

    • Oversee the operational area responsible for maintaining and planning the street landscaping and various gardens around the City.

    • Maintain and seek to continuously improve the quality of life for residents of the City of London through development, implementation, and care of shared community outdoor spaces.

    • Lead staff in managing partnerships with private sector, community groups, other governmental bodies, and outside agencies to deliver valued and cost-effective services to the community.

    • Oversee, contribute, and deliver on the by-laws associated with the division including but not limited to the City’s Tree Protection By-law, the Boulevard Tree Protection By-law, the Parks, and Recreation (PR-2) By-Law.

  • Lead and encourage Divisional employee participation and commitment to organizational objectives. Actively mentor, provide development opportunities and build team performance with direct reports; ensure managers within the division are providing the same among their direct reports.

  • Direct the staffing of the Division including hiring, administration, and performance aspects of reporting employees. Respond to sensitive and confidential human resource issues as required.

  • Build and encourage employee commitment to a high level of performance in all areas of customer service and delivery.

  • Create and maintain a culture of enterprise-wide collaboration. Seek opportunities to work across Divisions and Service Areas in support of the strategic initiatives.

  • Demonstrate commitment to supporting anti-racism, anti-oppression, and human rights through interactions with stakeholders, employees and individuals and ensure that policies, programs, and protocols reflect this commitment.

  • Champion commitment to Health & Safety legislation and programs; demonstrate commitment to the Corporation’s culture of safety.

  • Prepare or delegate the preparation of written reports and correspondence as required to advise Council and Committee; seek direction from Council and Committee on related issues as required.

  • Implement proactive progressive change in redesign and implementation of business processes; support organizational change-management projects, communications, and transition plans.

  • Provide direction, guidance, processes, and tools needed to increase efficiencies and improve the effectiveness of services provided by the Division.

  • Build capacity across the Division for evidence-informed decisions supported through strong data analytics and stakeholder engagement.

  • Adhere to the Procurement of Goods and Services Policy; includes the responsibility of delegation of procurement initiation approval authority and delegation of approval authority for professional consulting services as per policy amounts.

  • Establish, administer, forecast, and monitor the annual operation budget for the Parks and Forestry Division to ensure that expenditures are managed within approved budgets.

  • Represent the Division on the various boards and committees of external organizations and government partners to promote the City of London as a leader, share best practices, build relationships, and recommend solutions.

  • Liaise with respective unions on issues that affect bargaining unit employees. Promote and foster constructive working relationships with employees and bargaining units and monitor collective agreement compliance.

  • Administer provisions of various collective agreements to promote resolution of grievances and provide representation at mediation and arbitration proceedings.


  • Completion of an undergraduate university degree in Parks, Forestry, Environmental Services, Planning, Landscape Architecture, or a related field of study. Additional qualification in Business Management and completion of the Project Management Professional program are assets.

  • Ten (10) to fifteen (15) years of related experience with several years of successful experience in a leadership role, supervising employees, preferably in a municipal environment; or equivalent combination of education and related professional and live community experience.

Skills and abilities in the following areas are necessary:

  • Demonstrated knowledge and experience in the above identified areas of accountability with an in-depth understanding of the Division’s programs and services.

  • Demonstrated ability to co-create a vision for the Division aligned with strategic priorities, build common purpose and direction, and deliver outcomes to strengthen overall organizational performance.

  • Highly developed analytical and business planning skills with a proven track record for long-term visioning and big-picture thinking.

  • Demonstrated successful experience in a management role; positive and proactive leadership capabilities, adept at leading a diverse group of employees, contracted services and consultants; demonstrated commitment to developing high performance teams.

  • Ability to be a trusted advisor and/or advocate in sensitive and/or emotionally charged situations.

  • Demonstrated ability to inspire the people they lead through, productive and honest dialogue, with personal integrity and actions.

  • Ability to skillfully communicate complex issues clearly to a wide and varied audience including facilitation, negotiation, and conflict resolution skills; Political acumen to identify and manage issues.

  • Proven ability to establish purposeful relationships and work effectively with senior leaders, elected officials, representatives of other levels of government, bargaining units, management, peers, employees, business community and the general public.

  • Strong financial management skills and accountability for operating and capital budgeting.

  • Proven commitment to the safety of employees with knowledge of the Occupational Health and Safety Act and applicable regulations as it relates to the position.

  • Ability to provide a high level of attention to detail, make sense of data and solve problems.

  • Ability to understand the vital importance of internally and externally focused service delivery and develop and implement initiatives that support customers in a timely and effective way.

  • Computer literacy in Microsoft Office, and related software and database applications.

  • Demonstrated successful experience in leading continuous improvement and change management initiatives and projects that shape culture and enhance service delivery.

Compensation and Other Information

$143,247 to $188,599

Our hiring process is in accordance with the Mandatory Proof of COVID-19 Vaccination Administrative Policy


As an inclusive employer, we are committed to providing a fully accessible recruitment process. Please contact us at any time during the recruitment process and let us know what accessible supports you may need.



Application Contact Information

Company Name:   City of London
Application URL: Click here to apply online