Toronto City Council has approved a bylaw making downspout disconnection mandatory, City-wide. It will come into effect in three phases beginning with the central area of the city in late 2011. This includes all buildings, including industrial, institutional and commercial locations as well. Three phases: On-line Map of Phases #1, #2, #3
Property owners can check out when they are required to disconnect by consulting the map on the Toronto Water website. The map requires a property owner to enter their address. To identify the phases, click on the Legend in the sidebar.
Toronto City Council has approved a bylaw making downspout disconnection mandatory, City-wide. It will come into effect in three phases beginning with the central area of the city in late 2011. This includes all buildings, including industrial, institutional and commercial locations as well.
On-line Map of Phases #1, #2, #3
Benefits of disconnecting
Disconnecting a home's or building's downspouts from the City's sewer system is an important step in helping to reduce the risk of both basement flooding and releasing polluted rainwater into our local waterways.
In some cases, it may not be technically feasible to disconnect all downspouts. There will be exemptions for properties where the City determines that disconnection is not feasible or would create a hazardous situation. Property owners must apply to the City to receive an exemption (you must apply for an exemption under this program, even if you were advised you did not need to disconnect under Voluntary Program). Residents requesting to reconnect their downspout will need to apply for exemption. Contact 311 to be connected to Toronto Water who can provide more information about reconnecting your downspout.
Exemption Applications are available on the City website.
Property owners can also request an application by e-mailing firstname.lastname@example.org
Frequently Asked Questions
What happens after I submit my application?
Once an application is received, a letter is issued back to the homeowners to acknowledge it's receipt. Toronto Water staff will review exemption application to ensure they are complete. If there is any missing information, staff will notify the property owner. Each application will be reviewed to determine which, if any, downspouts are eligible for exemption from the by-law. A site visit may be required as part of the review. Staff will contact the property owner directly to make any necessary arrangements.
Once an application has been reviewed, the property owner will receive a letter notifying them of the decision.
I have applied for an exemption but have not yet received a decision letter. Will I face a fine?
No. If you have submitted your exemption application to the City, you will not face a fine.
My property was assessed under the Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program and my downspout(s) could not be disconnected, do I need to apply for an exemption?
Yes, property owners assessed under the Voluntary Downspout Disconnection Program and deemed non-feasible for disconnection must apply. If the conditions on the property have not changed, owners should only complete page 1 and 5 of the exemption application.
Financial assistance is available to reimburse the costs of labour and/or materials for performing downspout disconnection work, up to a maximum of $500, for low-income seniors or low-income persons with a disability.
Who is eligible?
To qualify, you must:
The alternative is to hire a City-licensed and experienced eavestrough or roofing contractor to do the work. The Toronto Water website provides guidelines for hiring a contractor - How can I find a City-licensed building contractor professional?
Bylaw enforcement will take place only after November 20, 2011 in the Phase 1 area. For properties that are non-compliant after this date, the City may use its authority under the Municipal Code, Chapter 681 - Sewers, to issue a warning notice followed by enforcement procedures which could include a fine.
* includes map of affected areas (Phase 1, 2,3)
Mandatory Downspout Disconnection - Potentially misleading information from downspout contractors
Toronto Water has received reports that at least one independent contractor may be distributing potentially misleading communications (such as flyers and notices placed on door knobs) that appear to be designed to look like they are communications from the City about its mandatory downspout disconnection program.
The City is not sending out any mass communications, such as flyers or door knockers entitled "Notice" or "Final Notice", to residents about mandatory downspout disconnection.
The City is investigating these incidents and will take appropriate action. Please contact 311 to report receipt of any of this material.
The City of Toronto does not endorse, recommend, or partner with, any private company to either carry out downspout disconnections or enforce mandatory downspout disconnection.
No private contractor has the authority to identify a property for non-compliance with a City bylaw.
It is also important to note, that property owners have the option to apply to the City for an exemption if they believe that disconnecting is not technically feasible or would cause a safety hazard. Residents can also disconnect their downspouts themselves.
Please refer to the City website for complete mandatory downspout disconnection information.