Problems caused by grade changes on neighbouring properties are generally considered to be a private civil matter.

If the neighbour has failed to provide adequate ground cover (i.e., sod, interlocking brick, etc.) in order to prevent recurrent ponding of water, unstable soil conditions or erosion, a service request can be submitted for investigation online at:, or call by calling 311.

  • Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 629-11. Landscaping, drainage and grading A.1.
    (1) Graded so as to prevent recurrent ponding of water and direct the surface water away from the building. (3) Landscaped,
    so as to prevent unstable soil conditions or erosion, with any
    combination of the following:
    (a) Trees, shrubs, grass or flowers;
    (b) Decorative stonework, walkways or screening; and
    (c) Any other horticultural or landscape-architectural elements
  • Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 629-20. Roofs and roof structures. C. Drainage.
    • (1) Where a rain-water collection system is not provided, the drainage from all
      roof surfaces of buildings shall discharge into an eavestrough or roof gutter
      and then into a downpipe that discharges directly into the building drain or not
      more than 150 millimetres above grade.
    • (2) Any above-ground discharge from a downpipe or pipe shall be directed to
      discharge and be contained on the property in a manner that is not likely to
      cause damage to any adjoining property or create a hazardous condition on
      any stairway, walkway, street or boulevard.

Under Toronto Municipal Code 629 - Property Standards, downpipes are to be properly installed for proper drainage so that no damage will be caused to any adjoining properties.

Any above-ground discharge from a downspout should be directed to discharge and be contained on the property so as to avoid damage or hazardous conditions to any adjoining property.

If water is directed to a neighbour's property, on purpose, it is a bylaw violation. Contact 311 to submit a service request for Municipal Licensing & Standards to investigate.

If there is no lengthy extension on the downpipes and the water flows there naturally, there is no violation. This may be a civil matter if damage is being caused to your property by natural flow.

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