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Bylaws

Question Where can I find City of Toronto bylaws online?
Answer All bylaws passed by Council since January 1, 1998 are available online. In the new City of Toronto Municipal Code, chapters are being added as the bylaws of the former Cities/Boroughs are consolidated.

Please note that the Municipal Codes of the former City of Toronto, City of Etobicoke, City of York and the bylaws of the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto, Cities and Boroughs are still in force. Contacts are available in each of the district offices to assist the general public and staff. There are approximately 183,000 bylaws which over time will be consolidated and incorporated into the new City of Toronto Municipal Code. At the present time only the Etobicoke Municipal Code has been added to our pages.

The former City of Toronto Municipal Code is available in hard copy format and can be viewed at Toronto City Hall. It is also available in electronic format and requests for a particular chapter should be sent to clerk@toronto.ca
In addition, the bylaws of the former Municipality of Metropolitan Toronto are available only in hard copy format at Toronto City Hall - City Clerk's Office. - 12th floor, West Tower, Monday to Friday - 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

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Question What bylaw legally requires my landlord to turn on the heat or the air conditioning (if equipped)?
Answer Legally, the period for heat to be turned on is September 15th through to June 1st. It is enforced by date not temperature. Rental housing temperature must be at least
21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit). You can find the bylaw on our website. If the building is equipped with air conditioning, Article IV of Chapter 629-38 of the Municipal Code states: "air conditioning systems shall be operated from June 2 - September 14 so as to maintain an indoor temperature of not more than 26 degrees Celsius."

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Question What are the bylaws regarding animals, fences, noise, or trees?
Answer View the animal bylaw. If you require more information please contact Animal Services or call 416-338-7297.

View fence bylaws. You do not require a permit to build a fence, unless it is for a swimming pool enclosure, but be aware that some restrictions do apply. Contact your local buildings office before you build. A line fence, also known as a division fence, is any fence marking the boundary between an owner's property and an adjoining property. To help resolve any disputes between property owners, the City of Toronto has established an impartial arbitration process under the Provincial Line Fences Act, R.S.O. 1990, Chapter L.17. You can find more information and download an application for fence viewers from the City's Line Fence page. Infractions of the fence bylaw can be reported to Investigation Services, Municipal Licensing & Standards.

On February 7, 2003, Municipal Code Chapter 591, Noise This bylaw repealed the noise bylaws which were passed prior to amalgamation. Late night partying, yelling, etc. are handled by the police. Barking dogs are dealt with by Animal Services.

Private property tree bylaws On September 30, 2004, Toronto City Council enacted a City-wide bylaw (effective immediately) to protect trees situated on private property. A copy of the bylaw can be found in the City of Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 813, Article III, 'Tree Protection' (PDF). This bylaw protects privately-owned trees on private property which measure 30 cm in diameter or more as measured at 1.4 m above ground level. A permit is required to injure or destroy such a tree. In order to receive approval from Urban Forestry Services of the City of Toronto to injure or destroy a protected tree, you must first fax a detailed arborist report to 416-392-1915. For more information, contact Urban Forestry at 416-338-TREE or visit www.toronto.ca/trees/operations.htm.

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Question Are there bylaws regarding mutual driveways?
Answer Mutual driveways and pathways are described in a homeowner's deed of ownership and refer to property that is "shared" by two neighbours. The City has no bylaws or guidelines with respect to this as it is a private property issue. It is generally understood that both neighbours share in the maintenance of this area and that this area is not obstructed by parked vehicles or the placement of permanently-fixed objects. If the area is in serious disrepair and one neighbour refuses to contribute to the cost of repair, a Municipal Standards Officer can issue a work order to both owners. Disputes between neighbours regarding the mutual driveway can only be legally settled in civil court.

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Question Where do I find details on Toronto's Smoking Bylaw?
Answer The Bylaw was implemented in three stages:
  • Phase One - October 8, 1999: Smoking in workplaces prohibited
  • Phase Two - June 1, 2001: All Restaurants, dinner theatres and bowling centres must be smoke-free, except in a designated smoking room
  • Phase Three - June 1, 2004: All bars, billiard halls, bingo halls, casinos and the racetrack must be smoke-free, or provide an approved designated smoking room

As of 2006, the Smoke Free Ontario Act addressed smoking in public places, work places and youth access to tobacco.

Find detailed information and frequently asked questions on our website.

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Question Which bylaw covers maintenance of private property and who do I contact to report a property that is neglected and has junk and debris in the yard?
Answer Property Standards Bylaw 629 (PDF) is enforced by Investigation Services, Municipal Licensing & Standards.

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