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Licences and permits

Question Where do I get a licence to operate a business?
Answer The Municipal Licensing & Standards Division issues licences and monitors vehicles, businesses and trades to ensure they follow all applicable municipal bylaws.

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Question How do I apply for a liquor licence?
Answer There are two different types of liquor licences.
For a permanent establishment (restaurant, bar, tavern) licence you must contact the Alcohol & Gaming Commission, of the Ministry of Consumer & Business Affairs. Liquor licence approvals are managed by staff in the Registry Services of the City Clerk's Division. Approvals must meet Fire and Building codes and Health regulations.
Contact 311 and we will direct you to your district Registry Services office.

A Special Occasion Permit is needed if you plan on serving or selling beverage alcohol at any location which is not a licensed establishment, or a private place or residence. The event must qualify for a Special Occasion Permit under the criteria set out in the application form - which you can obtain at any LCBO store. The completed application must be taken to the designated permit-issuing LCBO store in the municipality where the event is to take place. Store staff can tell you where that is, or you can call the LCBO at 1-800-668-5226 or in Toronto at 416-365-5900.

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Question Where do I get a marriage licence?
Answer There are certain requirements you must meet in order to be eligible for a marriage licence. Call Registry Services at 416-392-7036 or e-mail them at registryservices@toronto.ca.

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Question Do I need a permit to cut down a tree on my property?
Answer Contact Urban Forestry at 416-338-TREE (8733) for information on Toronto's tree by-laws. You may require a permit prior to cutting down a tree on your property.

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Question Do I need a permit to sell food or merchandise on the sidewalk?
Answer Vendors must contact Municipal Licensing & Standards at 416-392-6700 to apply for permits. Requests to vend at privately sponsored street festivals and events are handled by the organizers of that particular event.

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Question How do musicians and performers (buskers) get permission to perform on city sidewalks or on TTC property?
Answer Buskers must contact Municipal Licensing & Standards at 416-392-6700 to apply for sidewalk permits. Auditions for TTC subway musicians are held yearly at the Canadian National Exhibition (CNE) in the summer. Full details and a downloadable application form can be found on our website.

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Question Can I get a parking permit for my street?
Answer The Residential Permit Parking Program for Toronto provides on-street parking and visitor parking (upon availability). Please note that there are no permits issued for Scarborough and North York at this time. Off street parking is a whole different issue handled by our Right of Way Office.

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Question Do I need a permit to build or renovate a house, deck, garage, shed or driveway?
Answer Most projects will require a visit to your area Building Permit section - with plans and drawings. A "Fastrack" system is in place for certain smaller or simpler projects. Find out if you are required to get a building permit for your next project - before you start!

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Question Do I need a permit to build a fence?
Answer You don't require a permit to build a fence unless it is for a swimming pool enclosure. Be aware, however, that some restrictions do apply so contact your local buildings office before you build or view the fence bylaw online. 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 or download an application for fence viewers on the City's Line Fence web page. Infractions of the fence bylaw can be reported to Investigation Services, Municipal Licensing & Standards.

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Question Do I need a permit to have my wedding or take wedding photographs in a park?
Answer Permits are required for wedding photography and costs vary depending on the park and length of time requested. Marriage ceremonies are only permitted in the following parks: Edwards Gardens, Rosetta McClain Gardens, Guildwood Park (at Guild Inn), St. James Gardens, Sunnyside Pavilion, Allen Gardens Conservatory, and Centennial Gardens Conservatory. Very small ceremonies (20 max.) are permitted at the Music Garden but there is no parking at this location. Call our Parks Permit office at 416-392-8188 for reservations and more detailed information.

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Question Do I need a permit for a dumpster, a bin, or hoarding?
Answer You will need a Street Occupation Permit before starting a demolition, renovation, or construction project if you will be using an area beyond your property line (sidewalk, roadway or public lane). Contact 311 Toronto for information on contacting the Right of Way Management office for the area in question.

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311
Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
TTY customers: 416-338-0TTY (0889)
Fax: 416-338-0685
E-mail: 311@toronto.ca

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Question Do I need permission to take photographs, video or film on TTC property and/or vehicles?
Answer A commercial film/photography project requires you obtain permission from the TTC. If you would like to take advantage of TTC's various modes of transportation and great property locations to enhance your film production, what you need to know can be found at the Filming On TTC Property. Tourists, families and individuals filming or photographing within the public areas of the transit system for non-commercial purposes, are not expected to contact the TTC to obtain permission or a permit so long as such filming/photographing does not interfere with the safe and orderly operation of the transit system and/or our customers.

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