Listed below are topics to assist you in planning your special event on city property. Each topic area includes:

  • An overview of the topic, approvals and permits and when required
  • Key contacts
  • Checklist/process
  • Timelines
  • Fees and Costs
  • Applications, Guidelines and Reference Materials
  • Associated areas and permits

Event organizers are encouraged to contact the relevant permitting bodies at the City or Toronto Police Service officers/liaisons they have been working with. Alternatively, event organizers can contact the City at eventsupport@toronto.ca.

311 is the City of Toronto’s information line for residents, visitors and businesses. Staff at 311 maintains a comprehensive database of information.

To enter information into the 311 database regarding events, please use the Toronto Festivals and Events Calendar.

The 311 office does not take information directly from private organizations to enter in the knowledge base except when it pertains to major events and events sponsored by the City.

Contact

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311
Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
TTY: 416-338-0TTY (0889)
Fax: 416-338-0685
Email: 311@toronto.ca
Website: 311 website
Twitter: @311Toronto

Checklist:

  • Contact 311 with questions about City of Toronto programs, services and activities.
  • To ensure your event is accessible to 311 staff via the 311 database,  please enter your event into the Toronto Festivals and Events Calendar.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • As required

Fees

  • No fees

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

  • None

Diverse communities and groups make up the population of Toronto. The City of Toronto values the contributions made by all its people and believes that diversity among its people has strengthened Toronto.

The City of Toronto is committed to building an inclusive society and providing an accessible environment in which all individuals have access to the City’s services and programs in a way that respects the dignity and independence of people with disabilities.
– City of Toronto Statement of Commitment to Creating an Accessible City, Toronto City Council (August 2009)

The City of Toronto supports the goals of the Accessibility for Ontarians with Disabilities Act (AODA) and encourages all event planners to make their events as accessible as possible to all members of the public.

Checklist

Consider the following items when planning your event:

  • Have staff and volunteers been trained in accessible customer service?
  • Are people with mobility devices physically able to move around the building and spaces during an event without barriers or limits to their movements?
  • Is information presented in a variety of formats including large print, Braille, audibly, accessible electronic formats, American Sign Language or real time captioning?
  • Do music and video materials have captioning and audible description available?
  • Are accommodation service providers such as American Sign Language interpreters or attendant care support persons available for all parts of the event, in both formal and informal activities?
  • Have allowances been made for accessible parking, drop-off areas and washroom facilities?
  • Are considerations given for people with food allergies and scent sensitivities?

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • N/A

Fees

  • N/A

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

To serve/sell alcohol in Toronto you need a liquor licence from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO). Depending on the type of licence you require you may also need additional documentation from the City of Toronto to support your licence application to the AGCO.

There are 2 types of temporary licences that may be required as part of your event:

  • Special Occasion Permit (SOP)
  • Temporary Extensions (e.g. patios or hours)

To determine which permit your event requires, please refer to: Types of SOP

Special Occasion Permit (SOP) – AGCO Requirements

  • Obtain a copy of the Special Occasion Permit Application and Guide from the AGCO website or local LCBO outlet.
  • Refer to Regulations on the AGCO Website
  • Request a Declaration of Municipal Significance (as required) – refer to Declaration of Municipal Significance section

For more information regarding completing your application, please refer to the: SOP Application Guide.

General Information for Serving Alcohol

Municipal Requirements

  • If an event is on City-owned property, obtain a copy of the City of Toronto Municipal Alcohol Policy.
  • Liaise, if required, with facility staff and the AGCO to determine whether you meet the requirements to serve alcohol.
  • If you are (a) directly or indirectly selling alcohol,  (b) not a registered charity or not-for-profit, and (c) not using a Catering Endorsement, along with your SOP application you must submit a letter from City Clerks declaring that the event is an “Event of Municipal Significance” (see section on Declaration of Municipal Significance for details on how to obtain).
  • Provide an insurance certificate with a minimum liability as required.
  • Identify security needs. Liaise with Toronto Police Services and/or private security as required regarding your alcohol area or site
  • Obtain and complete a Special Event Temporary Food Establishment Application prior to your event.
  • Important Notes:
    • An alcohol menu must include 35 per cent low alcohol (i.e. 4 per cent alcohol or less for beer, 11 per cent alcohol or less for wine) and non-alcoholic drink choices;
    • High alcohol beers (over 5.6 per cent) are not permitted;
    • Free drinking water must be made available. Non-alcoholic beverages must be available at less than half the price of the lowest-priced alcoholic beverage;
    • Organizers and participants may not sell, bring or drink home-made or their own alcoholic beverages at a City Event;
    • Drinks must be served in plastic or paper cups or unbreakable containers;
    • Any person(s) serving alcohol at your Event must not serve any person more than two alcoholic drinks at any one time;
  • Arrange for an adequate number of on-site portable washrooms including a minimum of one unit for the physically challenged;
  • Complete a Waste Diversion Plan, liaise with Solid Waste Management as required;
  • Arrange for tents, barricades or fencing as required to delineate your alcohol service area; and
  • Ensure all person(s) serving alcohol at your Event are certified in Smart Serve Training.

Municipal Alcohol Policy

The City of Toronto’s Municipal Alcohol Policy (MAP) promotes the health and safety of participants at Special Occasion Permit (SOP) or Catering Endorsement Events on City property through a responsible, managed approach to the serving and consumption of alcoholic beverages. The goal of the MAP is to make event organizers aware of operating practices and standards and their responsibility to ensure that these are in place during events.

Please review the City of Toronto Municipal Alcohol Policy 2017

Contacts

General SOP information, application and LCBO information:

Timelines/Deadlines

Applicant must submit a SOP Application for a Private Event permit 10 days prior to the event.

SOP Applications for all other event types must be submitted 30 days prior to the event if estimated attendance at the event is fewer than 5,000 per day.

SOP Applications must be submitted at least 60 days prior to event date if estimated attendance at the event is 5,000 or more per day.

Fees

  • Yes, a non-refundable licensing fee will be required at the LCBO.

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

In general, Amusement Rides are governed by the Technical Standards and Safety Association (TSSA) who administer and enforce public safety laws in the Province of Ontario. In order to have amusement ride be considered for use at a special event/festival you must have the appropriate TSSA Certification and Insurance.

Venues and facilities may also have restrictions and policies governing the use of Amusement Rides.

  1. The Owner/Operator must have a valid Ontario License to Carry on the business of operation Amusement device for this operating season.
  2. The device (each device) must have a valid Permit for this operating season.

Contacts

To find out more information on Certification requirements to be an OPERATOR of an Amusement Device contact:

Technical Standards and Safety Association (TSSA)
Phone: 1-877-682-TSSA (8772)
Email: customerservices@tssa.org
Website: TSSA Regulated Amusement Devices

Timelines/Deadlines

  • N/A

Fees

Checklist

  • To use amusement rides at your special event/festival please contact the venue to ensure amusement rides are allowed.
  • You will need to retain an operator license by the TSSA (see above) to operate the equipment. Producing a copy of this licence and having a site inspection of the equipment may be requirements of the venue.
  • Insurance will be required from the event organizer to cover the operation of the amusement rides.

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

City of Toronto Animal Services, part of Municipal Licensing and Standards, regulates animal welfare and well-being in Toronto.

Events with Animals

Animal Services does not issue permits for events with animals. If you are holding an event with animals, such a street event or for filming, please call the event support unit at 416-395-0490, who will advise if a permit is required.

Contacts

Toronto Animal Services
Phone: 416-338-PAWS(7297)
Email: TASEMRU@toronto.ca
Website: Animal Services

Checklist

  • Contact with the event support unit at 416-395-0490, which will advise if a permit is required.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • As required

Fees

  • Not applicable

Associated Topics/Reference

  • Animal Services issues licences to Toronto residents who own dogs and cats.  Learn more at www.toronto.ca/epet.
  • Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349 generally prohibits keeping certain animals on a temporary or permanent basis, listed here. However, for certain events, these animals may be allowed.

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

If you are a grassroots organization/collective/artist and your event is one performance or one event with multiple performances, won’t draw more than 250 people, and doesn’t include regulated activities (e.g. selling or serving food), you might be eligible for an Arts & Music in the Parks Free Permit.

Contact

Permit Officer
Phone: 416-338-3326
Email: PFRArtsandmusic@toronto.ca
Website: Arts, Music or Movie Night in a Park

Checklist

  • Review the eligibility requirements and approved locations. Contact the Parks, Forestry & Recreation division to discuss, if required
  • Complete and submit the application form

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Minimum of three weeks prior to the event
  • If a Noise Exemption permit is required, a minimum of two months prior to the event

Fees

  • Insurance is required
  • Cancellation fee applies, if needed

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Transportation Services regulates the installation of banners on bridges over Expressways.

Contact

Transportation Services, Street Events
17th Floor, Metro Hall, 55 John Str,
Toronto M5V 3C6
Phone: 416-392-7877
Fax: 416-696-4149
Website: Transportation Services – Street Events Website

Checklist

  • Obtain and review the guidelines and “Application to Install Banners on Bridges Over Expressways”.
  • Research areas for banner installation – note locations. Create a list and/or map.
  • Create a drawing of the banner design – note requirements for size and content. Arrange for an installer of the banners from the approved list of installers.
  • Complete and submit the “Application” along with the non-refundable application fee.
  • Upon approval from Technical Services, Structures and Expressways, and Transportation Services, provide Insurance Certificate with liability and named insurers as required.
  • Pay the permit fee and hoisting fee.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks prior to event, though space is limited and requests are received year round.

Fees

  • Yes, Non-refundable Application Fee
  • Yes, Permit Fee
  • Yes, Hoisting Fee

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

A Business Improvement Area (BIA) is an association of commercial property owners and tenants within a defined area who work in partnership with the City to create thriving, competitive, and safe business areas that attract shoppers, diners, tourists, and new businesses.

Toronto has more than 80 BIAs across the city, representing over 45,000 businesses. Together, they generate over $25 million in funding towards street and sidewalk beautification, marketing and promotional campaigns, street festivals, clean street/graffiti-removal campaigns, and crime prevention strategies.

Contacts

City of Toronto BIA Office
Phone: 416-392-1291
Fax: 416-392-1380
Email: biaoffice@toronto.ca
Website: Toronto BIA Office

Toronto Association of Business Improvement Areas (TABIA)
Phone: 416-263-3229
Fax: 416-263-3125
Email: info@toronto-bia.com
Website: TABIA Website

Checklist

  • Contact the individual Business Improvement Area where you are planning to hold your special event to engage them.
  • Business Improvement Areas should be consulted regarding any street closures in their area.
  • Business Improvement Areas have jurisdiction to hang street and pole banners in their areas, and you must seek their permission.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • N/A

Fees

  • N/A

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

If you are planning on holding a demonstration, march or rally you should fill out a Notice of Demonstration form and submit it to the Toronto Police Service for review.

The Toronto Police Service does not issue permits for demonstrations or rallies.

Please note: The information requested by the Toronto Police Service is solely to ensure public safety, and to assist them in effectively carrying out policing duties. You do not need a permit to hold a demonstration or rally.

Contacts

Toronto Police Service
Public Safety – Special Events

330 Progress Ave,.
Toronto, ON, M1P 2Z4

Phone: 416-808-5049
Fax: 416-808-5052
Email: EMPOSpecial.EventsUnits@torontopolice.on.ca
Website: Toronto Police Service: Public Safety – Special Events Website

Checklist

  • If you are planning to use a City of Toronto property such as a Civic Square or Park you will need to speak to the Division that permits that particular space.
  • If using a private venue you must have approval from the property owner.
  • Contact the Toronto Police Service and complete a Notice of Demonstration form.
  • Provide insurance certificate from your organization as required by the property owner.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 2 – 3 weeks prior to Demonstration

Fees

  • N/A

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Under the provisions of the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, any electrical equipment installed in Ontario, temporary or otherwise, must have an application for inspection. This includes all film, television, live performance or event productions including but not limited to live productions regardless of site or location. Failure to comply could result in unsafe working sites, production downtime and/or fines.

Contacts

Electrical Safety Authority
400 Sheldon Drive, Unit 1
Cambridge, Ontario N1T 2H9
Phone: 1-877-ESA-SAFE (1-877-372-7233)
Fax: 1-800-667-4278
Email: esa.cambridge@electricalsafety.on.ca
Website: Electrical Safety Authority

Checklist

  • If using electricity in your event, check the site/venue requirements
  • If using a generator or if “tying in” to a power source, contact the ESA to determine whether you require an inspection
  • If so, obtain an “Application for Electrical Inspection”
  • Fax or Email or phone the Application/request to the ESA Customer Service Centre a minimum of 48 hours prior to the production set-up
  • Have the inspection conducted prior to utilizing the power source

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Request for inspection must be submitted a minimum of 48 hours prior to the production set-up

Fees

  • Yes. Please see Section 6 of the Electrical Inspection Fee Guide located on the ESA website

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Public safety is an important element of special event planning. The City of Toronto requires that organizers ensure their event designs include various methods for mitigating and managing risks associated with their event.

The Emergency Action Plan (EAP) form is designed to assist special event organizers in developing plans to respond to any emergency situations that may occur during their event, and how to link into the City of Toronto’s Emergency Response Structure.

The City of Toronto’s Emergency Response Structure includes emergency services provided directly to the public by Toronto Police, Toronto Fire and Toronto Paramedic Services. It also includes the support and coordination of all other City of Toronto and external agency responses (Transportation, Water, Public Health, Hydro, TTC, Public Utilities, Provincial and Federal Government, etc.) in accordance with the Toronto Emergency Plan.

Event organizers are required to complete an EAP as a condition of a City of Toronto location permit (park, civic square, street event, etc.). The completion of an EAP is not required for events with an expected attendance of less than 200 people.

Information from the EAP is reviewed by a City of Toronto team, which consists of staff from the Toronto Police Service and City divisions, in order to determine if the plan is appropriate to address public safety concerns for the event.

Contact

Toronto Office of Emergency Management
Phone: 416-392-4554
Email: OEMSpecialEvents@toronto.ca
Website: Office of Emergency Management

Checklist

  • During the planning process, review the risks associated with the event, including risks to health, safety and security of staff, volunteers, attendees and the public.
  • Draw on the history of the event, or of similar events, to identify hazards and risks, and then develop strategies to prevent or reduce those risks
  • Conduct your own research and use City resources to develop a risk management plan and emergency procedures
  • Complete and submit the EAP, attaching required documentation

Timelines/Deadlines

  • A minimum of 8 weeks prior to your event; however, more lead time may be required depending on the size, scope, attendance, and complexity of your special event.

Fees

  • None for consultation about emergency planning

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

All Film and Television permits for City of Toronto parks, property and streets are issued by Film and Entertainment Industries, Economic Development and Culture Division.

  • Permits are currently only being issued to professional film crews filming for commercial purposes, with license agreements in place for distribution of the content on television or cinematic purposes.
  • The Film Office is not issuing permits for live broadcast at the moment.

Please read the Section 21 Film and television industry Safety Guidelines and the Provincial enhanced public health and workplace safety measures for Media Industries before applying for a permit.

What is a commercial film or television production?

  • A commercial film or television production is a professional enterprise whose purpose is to produce film or television content for commercial purposes, such as sale, licensing, or distribution for profit.
  • The film or television content must have an agreement in place to be broadcasted on television or in cinema.  These are the only activities permitted at the moment that are classified as “film”.

Contacts

Film & Entertainment Industries, Economic Development & Culture
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Main floor, Rotunda North
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2

Tel: 416-338-3456
Fax: 416-392-0675
Email: filmtoronto@toronto.ca
Website: Toronto Film and Television Office

Checklist

  • Productions are required to submit all film permit requests, insurance certificates and park maps through the web portal, FilmPAL.
  • The City of Toronto requires evidence of insurance, in the form of a certificate of insurance in the amount of $2 million General Liability Insurance per occurrence adding the City as additional insured from all permit applicants.
  • Productions are required to submit a Letter of Notification for residents/businesses to Film & Entertainment Industries for review and approval before being circulated to residents/businesses where filming is proposed to take place (minimum 48 hours notification to the public is required).
  • A Film Permit Coordinator will review your application and advise you of any conflicts, concerns or if further notification is required.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • The film office requires a minimum of two full business days, not including day of submission, to issue a filming permit. Road Closures or complex requests may require more time.
  • The film office requires a minimum of three full business days, not including the day of submission, to issue a permit if the request includes filming in a City park.

Fees

  • No application fee for permit.
  • Use of some City properties and/or paid on-street parking costs may be incurred as a requirement of the filming permit location.

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

The discharge of consumer fireworks for special occasions, outdoor open-air burning or outdoor flame effect or the display of fireworks, pyrotechnic or special effects are only permissible if a permit is obtained from Toronto Fire Services. Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 466, Fireworks regulates the sale and discharge of fireworks within the City of Toronto, and the Ontario Fire Protection and Prevent Act, Article 2.4.4.4 regulates open-air burning.

Exceptions to the By-law and Act require approval from Toronto Fire Serivces and a permit.

Many City venues, such as civic squares and parks, prohibit the use of fireworks and open flames. For privately-own property or venues, event organizers should consult the owners, receive written approval, and apply for a permit from Toronto Fire Services.

Contacts

North Command Fire Prevention Office

Ward 6, York Centre; Ward 8, Eglinton-Lawrence; Ward 15, Don Valley West; Ward 16, Don Valley East; Ward 17, Don Valley North; Ward 18, Willowdale
General Line: 416-338-9150

East Command Fire Prevention Office

Ward 14, Toronto-Danforth; Ward 19, Beaches-East York; Ward 20, Scarborough Southwest;
Ward 21, Scarborough Centre; Ward 22, Scarborough-Agincourt; Ward 23, Scarborough North; Ward 24, Scarborough-Guildwood; Ward 25, Scarborough-Rouge Park
General Line: 416-338-9250

South Command Fire Prevention Office

Ward 9, Davenport; Ward 10, Spadina-Fort York; Ward 11, University-Rosedale; Ward 12, Toronto-St. Paul’s; Ward 13, Toronto Centre
General Line: 416-338-9350

West Command Fire Prevention Office

Ward 1, Etobicoke North; Ward 2, Etobicoke Centre; Ward 3, Etobicoke-Lakeshore; Ward 4, Parkdale-High Park; Ward 5, York South-Weston; Ward 7, Humber River-Black Creek;
General Line: 416-338-9450

Email: TFS_Events@toronto.ca, attention to District Chief Special Events, Planning and Projects

Website: Fire Prevention Command Offices, by region

Checklist

  • Contact the venue/location you wish to discharge fireworks, have pyrotechnics, special effects or open-air burning, and confirm that fireworks are allowed and under what conditions
  • Obtain and review the Toronto Fireworks By-Law and Fire Prevention Act
  • Engage a licensed fireworks supervisor/pyrotechnician as certified by the Chief Inspector of Explosives under the Explosives Act.
  • Prepare a site plan which clearly identifies and conforms to requirements (health and safety, discharge and fallout zones, authorized persons, disposal)
  • Contact the appropriate Toronto Fire Services Command Fire Prevention Office to obtain more information about the permitting process specific to the request
  • If you are approved to move forward with the fireworks or special effects permit application process, send the completed application to the Toronto Fire Service email address
  • The permit application process for open-air burning is listed below

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 to 6 weeks prior to the event date, depending on the size and scope of the special event

Fees

  • Yes, varies by permit type
  • Proof of insurance may be required

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Emergency medical care is an important aspect in planning a special event.

Toronto Paramedic Services (TPS) are specialists in event medical support for a range of events, including festivals, concerts, parades and motor vehicle races. TPS assists the event organizer in identifying event-related medical risks and developing measured solutions to prevent, mitigate and respond to medical incidents.

Toronto Paramedic Services is the authority having jurisdiction for the City of Toronto that is legislated by the Ambulance Act of Ontario. As the sole Paramedic service provider for the City of Toronto, event medical support can include, but is not limited to, on-site ambulances, bike paramedics, gator paramedics, and/or a field hospital staffed by paramedics, nurses and physicians that is monitored by the Toronto Central Ambulance Communication Centre.

Public and worker safety is your number one priority. Toronto Paramedic Services along with partner City divisions can help you achieve a safe and successful event.

Event organizers may choose to hire a private company that provides first aid/onsite medical services.

Contacts

Toronto Paramedic Services

Phone: 416-392-2000

Email: emsplanning@toronto.ca

Website: Toronto Paramedic Services

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, review the programming and activities and assess the onsite first aid requirements
  • Consider the varied first aid needs for attendees, entertainers, employees, etc. Plan to have first aid for the event load-in/build, event dates, and load-out/tear down.
  • Create a site plan that clearly indicates the location of the first aid area and accessible lanes for ambulances and emergency services
  • Create signs and maps for the paramedics and event staff so that they can easily locate someone that needs assistance via reference points onsite
  • Plan to minimize the impact of your event on normal health care system services
  • Ensure that adequate signage is present so that emergency medical/first aid facilities are easily identifiable
  • Contact Toronto Paramedic Services or your preferred private first aid company to help develop an emergency medical plan and recommend the appropriate medical services for your event

Timelines/Deadlines

  • Toronto Paramedic Services requires a minimum of three weeks prior to event, depending on size, scope, and complexity of the event, and longer if it is a major event

Fees

  • No fees for consultation about emergency medical planning
  • Fees apply for Toronto Paramedic Services onsite staffing and resources

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Toronto Public Health (TPH) provides programs and services to prevent foodborne illness. For events that feature food and beverages (non-alcoholic), TPH may assist with: providing consultation, inspecting food vending booths, reviewing the plans for sanitary disposal of waste, tobacco control, drinking water safety, environmental issues (dealing with health hazards), communicable disease control, complaints related to food and suspect food poisoning investigations.

Event organizers are responsible for knowing what is required of them and of their food vendors to keep the event food-safe and minimize the risk of food borne illness.

Contacts

Toronto Public Health 

Phone: 416-338-7600

Email: PublicHealth@toronto.ca

Website: Toronto Public Health – Food Safety at Special Events

Checklist

  • As a part of the event planning process, review if your event will have a food component; selling, giving away, sampling, etc.
  • Create a site map noting all food service, storage, preparation, etc areas
  • Consult the Toronto Public Health Food Safety at Special Events webpage for more information about food safety
  • Event organizers must ensure there is adequate and approved food storage, handwashing facilities, and garbage and waste water disposal
  • Coordinate with any food vendors or caterers for their food safety credentials and plan. Food and beverage must be made in a compliant commercial facility and not be home-prepared. Limited preparation is permitted on-site.
  • Event organizers complete the Notify Toronto Public Health of a Special Event form
  • A vendor information package is sent to event organizers to distribute to their food vendors/caterers, who must complete and submit the forms to TPH
  • Consult the Solid Waste Management handbook and complete a solid waste management plan
  • Notify TPH of any significant changes to the original application
  • During the event, Public Health Inspectors may inspect food vendors to ensure proper food handling is being implemented and to prevent any health hazard that might result in a food poisoning. Often during the inspection immediate corrective action may be required of the vendor and/or organizer. Examples of this are: providing accurate indicating thermometers, maintaining hot and cold holding temperatures of food, providing adequate supplies of potable water for cooking and hand-washing, and the condemnation of food.

Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 to 6 weeks for event organizers to submit the initial notification to TPH, longer depending on the size, scope, attendance, and complexity of your special event
  • Note: all vendor forms must be submitted prior to the start of the event

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Public funders have the ability to offer grant programs to not-for-profit or charitable organizations. Programs, requirements and amounts available can change and vary frequently.

The City of Toronto offers limited grant programs to the organizers of special events. In addition, the Government of Ontario and related agencies have a variety of grant programs.

In general, a public funder will only fund a minority percentage of an event, so other sources of funding must be obtained and be achievable.

Contacts

See individual programs in Reference section.

Checklist

  • Once you have planned your event and developed an estimated budget and critical path, research grant and funding programs.
  • Read guidelines, eligibility criteria, and application requirements carefully to ensure your event and your organization are eligible to be funded
  • Note grant deadlines carefully, especially if you need to collect information or have approvals or permits in order to submit. The majority of programs will not accept incomplete applications.
  • Liaise with grant program staff or attend an information session to clarify aspects of the program and application requirements

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Vary from program to program – you should plan for public funding a minimum of a year prior to your event, sometimes longer.

Fees

  • In general, there are no fees to apply for a grant program

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

City of Toronto

Province of Ontario and Provincial Agencies

Federal Government

Other

A lottery licence from the Gaming Services Unit of the City Clerks Office will be required if you want to hold a lottery at your event including bingo or raffles (i.e. elimination draw, 50/50 or stub draw).

Gaming Services issues lottery licences to eligible charitable, religious or not-for-profit organizations.

Contacts

Gaming Services
City Hall, Floor 1 – North 100 Queen Street West
Toronto, Ontario M5H 2N2
Phone: 416-392-7037
Email: lotterylicences@toronto.ca
Website:Lottery and Gaming Office

Checklist

  • Information required depends on type of lottery you wish to hold. Please view the website, choose the specific for lottery type and review the information.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 6 weeks minimum from time of submission.

Fees

  • Yes. Fees for eligible organizations are based on the value of prizes.

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

As a part of a Street Event permit, Special Event park permit, and permit for civic squares event organizers must create, submit a waste management plan. The plan can consist of City Solid Waste Management services and contracted waste management services. The plan must be submitted for approval to the Solid Waste Management team.

Event organizers must consider the type and amount of waste their event will generate. They are responsible for the cleanup and removal of garbage and debris and restoring the public right of way to its original condition. Failure to restore the public right of way to its original condition will result in the City taking responsibility for the clean-up and the applicant held responsible for all fees incurred.

Contacts

Solid Waste Management Services

Phone: 416-392-7171 or 416-392-7745

Email: SWMSSpecialEvents@toronto.ca

Website: Solid Waste Management – Special Events

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, consider what kind and amount of waste is expected to be produced as a result of the event
  • Consider waste from vendors, attendees, load-in/out, etc.
  • Obtain and review a copy of the Waste Management Plan for Street Events or the Waste Management Plan for Runs/Walks
  • Refer to the Special Events Waste Diversion Handbook to guide you through the planning process of your street event
  • Develop your site plan and waste management needs, based on the type of activities occurring at your event
  • Review Blue Bin and Green Bin services, recycling and organic toters, and recycle roll-off bin requirements. Nightly curbside collection of properly packaged cardboard boxes, recycling and organic waste may be provided based on event needs.
  • Submit the waste management plan
  • Request a pre-event meeting with SWM staff to determine event waste management needs and receive recommendations about your event waste diversion plan

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 to 6 weeks in advance; however, more lead time may be required depending on the size, scope, attendance, and complexity of your special event.

Fees

  • No fee for development of a waste management plan
  • Charges  may apply for the collection and removal of garbage during and after event

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference:

Destination Toronto, originally incorporated in 1926 as the Toronto Convention and Visitors Association, is a non-profit mission-driven organization with over 750 members, made up of businesses and organizations that embody and support Toronto’s visitor economy. The strategic and financial direction of Destination Toronto is overseen by a volunteer Board of Directors.

Destination Toronto’s mandate is to reflect the breadth and diversity of Toronto’s people, places and culture to inspire residents and visitors to meet, visit and explore our city. Operating in partnership with the City of Toronto, the Greater Toronto Hotel Association and the Ontario Ministry of Heritage, Sport, Tourism and Culture Industries, Destination Toronto markets and promotes the city to global travelers, attracts and supports major meetings and events, and supports local businesses to maximize the opportunities of visitor spending.

Contacts

Tourism Toronto
Jennifer Main
Director, Destination Services
Email: jmain@destinationtoronto.ca
Website: www.destinationtoronto.com

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, develop a list of hotel and hospitality needs for your event
  • Forward your Request for Proposal (RFP) to Destination Toronto, or contact Destination Toronto for assistance prior to securing your event in Toronto
  • Services include:
    • Site inspection support
    • RFP distribution and introductions to local meeting and event services to help you find the right partners in Toronto
    • Information about bringing your convention to Canada including customs brokers, visitor and work visas, and the federal foreign convention tax rebate
    • Attendance-marketing collaboration including online communication tools, promotional video, social media outreach and photo library
    • City information
    • Special Event venues and networking/social event services
    • Assistance with local volunteer support, group volunteer experiences and sustainable meetings and events

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • As required prior to the event

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference:

A standard requirement of hosting a special event is obtaining insurance coverage. Insurance can cover many aspects of the event, from liabilities to cancellation to emergencies. Event organizers are responsible for the participants and audience members taking part in your event.

Applications for city facilities, civic squares, and road closures all required the event organizers to obtain a minimum of $2,000,000 in liability insurance, some venues require $5,000,000. The amount of insurance can also depend on your activities (e.g. high performance sport to local family fun fair).

Contacts:

Insurance coverage is provided by private insurance providers. We suggest starting with your organization’s or your personal insurance provider. For reference we provide the following website links to these external organizations:

Checklist:

  • Build in time to research and obtain insurance into your critical path.
  • Ask for and obtain insurance requirements from venues and service providers.
  • Obtain “Certificates of Insurance” from insurance company for venues and service providers.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines:

  • As soon as possible

Fees:

  • As per your insurance rates

Associated Topics/Reference:

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/ Reference:

The City of Toronto, City Clerk’s Office, Strategic Protocol and External Relations (SPER), prepares official documents from the Mayor and City of Toronto (letters of greeting, congratulatory scrolls and proclamations) and reviews requests for flags raised on courtesy flag poles at City Hall, Scarborough Civic Centre and North York Civic Centre.

SPER also oversees the City’s ceremonial events, visits, courtesy calls and corporate awards, and can advise on matters of protocol including how to address the Mayor and Councillors, speaking order, invitations and more.

Contacts

City of Toronto, Strategic Protocol and External Relations
Phone: 416-392-7666
Fax: 416-392-1247
Toronto City Hall 2nd Floor West, 100 Queen Street West, Toronto ON M5H 2N2
Email: protocol@toronto.ca
Website: Awards and Tributes Website

Checklist

Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 weeks prior to event date or date which program would be printed

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

  • None

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

The Noise By-law provides standards for noise in Toronto. This includes decibel limits and time restrictions for some types of noise. Noise Exemption Permits can be requested for events or activities that may exceed the limits in the Noise By-law, such as special events that feature amplified sound, like concerts or other use of loud speakers.

Event organizers are responsible for ensuring the event complies with the Noise By-law. Alternatively, event organizers can seek an exemption to the By-law.

The Noise By-law – without an exemption:

  • No person shall emit or cause or permit the emission of continuous amplified sound, measured with a
    sound level meter at a point of reception in an outdoor living area. Sound levels (expressed in terms of Leq for a ten-minute period) shall not exceed 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. or 55 dB(A) or 70 dB(C) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.
  • Noise level is measured at the point of complaint and must be less than 55 dB(A) between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m.. An outdoor living area could be on a balcony, by an open window or open door, etc. If there is no outdoor living area and sound is being measured at the indoor point of reception, the levels must be less than 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m., or 45 dB(A) or 60 dB(C) at all
    other times.

The Noise By-law – with an exemption:
The sound emitted from any equipment shall not exceed a sound level (expressed in terms of Leq for a ten-minute period) of 85 dBA when measured 20 metres from the source. With an Exemption Permit, the specifications are different and it specifically mentions the source. The noise levels must be within 85 dB(A) when measured 20m from the source over a 10min period.

If you are on a large site with multiple speakers, the measurement will be taken from the speaker/s closest to
the perimeter of your event.

There are no time restrictions with an exemption; it is the decibel limit of 85 dB(A) that is important.

Contacts:

Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S)
Phone: 311
Email: NoiseTO@toronto.ca
Website: Municipal Licensing & Standards – Noise

Checklist:

  • During the event planning process, review your event programming and activities and determine if noise volume (including low bass) or duration may in contravention of the Noise By-law.
  • Obtain and review the Noise By-law
  • Create a noise mitigation plan for your event to lessen any impact to the neighbouring business and/or residents
  • Obtain and complete the Noise By-law exemption application
  • Liaise with ML&S staff to review your event
  • Depending on the requirements, ML&S monitoring staff may be required to ensure compliance

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines:

  • 2 months prior to the event date

Fees:

  • Yes, for the application and potential fees for onsite noise monitoring

Associated Topics/Reference:

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference:

The City of Toronto requires that all organization and individuals adopt the “Human Rights and Anti-Harassment/Discrimination Policy Declaration Form” as a condition of receiving funding or other support from the City.

Declaration: On behalf of and with the authority of the organization named below, I hereby declare that this organization adopts and upholds the City of Toronto’s policy statement which prohibits discrimination and harassment and protects the right to be free of hate activity, based on age, ancestry, citizenship, creed (religion), colour, disability, ethnic origin, family status, gender identity, gender expression, level of literacy, marital status, place of origin, membership in a union or staff association, political affiliation, race, receipt of public assistance, record of offences, sex, sexual orientation or any other personal characteristics by or within the organization.

Contacts

Human Rights Office
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
14th Floor, West Tower
Toronto, ON  M5H 2N2
Email: humanrights@toronto.ca
Website: Accessibility and Human Rights

Checklist

  • Check with your city venue or permit issuer to determine whether you are required to sign a Declaration.
  • Complete and submit declaration.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • As required within other timelines

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

If you wish to hold a parade on a street, you need to contact the Toronto Police Service and submit an application to obtain a permit.

Contacts

Toronto Police Service
Public Safety – Special Events
330 Progress Avenue
Toronto, ON, M1P 2Z4
Phone: 416-808-5049
Fax: 416-808-5052
Email: EMPOSpecial.EventsUnits@torontopolice.on.ca
Website:Toronto Police Service: Public Safety – Special Events

Checklist

  • Create site map or event outline which identifies impacted streets.
  • Liaise with the Toronto Police Service to inform them of the parade and provide information for a parade permit.
  • Liaise with Toronto Paramedic Services and Toronto Fire Services if required, for Emergency Planning. Liaise with Toronto Parking Authority, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Solid Waste Management as required.
  • Arrange for signage, barricades and security as required.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks

Fees

  • No

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

The Toronto Parking Authority (TPA) owns and operates public Green P parking lots throughout Toronto and also regulates on-street metered parking (the “Pay and Display” machines). These lots can be of great convenience to attendees of special events.

If you wish to utilize Green P Parking lots or close a street that has on-street metered parking or sole access to a Green P Parking lot, you will need to inform and seek permission of the Toronto Parking Authority. Charges are levied for lost revenue to these sources.

Contacts

Toronto Parking Authority
33 Queen Street East, Toronto ON M5C 1R5
Phone: 416-393-7275
Email: customerservice@greenp.com
Website: Toronto Parking Authority

Checklist

  • As a part of the event planning process, review your event location and requirements and create a site map
  • Note where there is metered parking on the street that will not be in operation as a result of your street closure
  • Note any Green P parking lots that will be used exclusively as a part of the event, will have disruptions to the entrance/exits, or otherwise disrupted as a result of the event
  • Contact TPA staff to coordinate onsite operations and/or discuss lost revenue charges and neighbourhood notification
  • Ensure any event neighbourhood and/or marketing communications mention any disruptions to TPA services

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks prior to event and longer depending on the size, scope, attendance, and complexity of your special event.

Fees

  • Yes, lost revenue for parking spaces

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Toronto Parks, Forestry & Recreation allows not-for-profit and charitable organizations to use parks and community recreation centres for special events, provided they meet all criteria and regulations.

If your gathering or event includes:

  • the sale or service of alcohol;
  • serving food to the public;
  • amplified sound;
  • structures or other more complicated elements;

your booking is a special event. If your event doesn’t include any of the above, you can book one-time use of facilities. This includes photo shoots, meetings, kitchen, fire pit, BBQ or oven.

For-profit, commercial or non-recreation groups are allowed in designated parkland across Toronto

Contacts

Permits, Parks, Forestry & Recreation

Phone: 416-396-7378, option 2
Website: Services locations
Website: Parks & Recreation Facilities Booking 

Checklist

  • As a part of the event planning process, determine if your event is suited to a park or recreation facility by reviewing the Special Event Requirements
  • Obtain and review the Special Event Guidelines for City of Toronto Parks and Trails PDF
  • Complete and submit your application in person at one of the Client Services Locations
  • Liaise with the Parks Supervisor about details of your event
  • Complete and submit a Solid Waste Management Plan. Other permits may be required depending on the characteristics of the event
  • A Conditional Letter of Approval will be provided at least 30 days prior to their event date, and 60 days prior if the event includes alcohol.
  • The permit will be issued prior to the event

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks minimum prior to the event date

Fees

  • Yes, for permit and damage deposit

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Required/Guides/Reference

Special events (including conventions, expos, shows, and fairs) in the City of Toronto that offer personal services on-site must comply with infection prevention & control guidelines and with all applicable sections of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care, Infection Prevention and Control (IPAC) Best Practices for Personal Services Settings (PSS) document (January 2009), under the Health Protection and Promotion Act, R.S.O., 1990.

BodySafe is Toronto Public Health’s (TPH) safety program that inspects personal service settings (PSS) including hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, micropigmentation, ear and body piercing, injectable personal services, electrolysis, manicure, pedicure, and aesthetic services.

Event organizers are responsible for knowing what is required of them and of their personal service vendors to keep the event safe and prevent the spread of infections.

Contacts

Toronto Public Health (TPH), Control of Infectious Diseases/Infection Control, Personal Services Settings Program
Public Health Inspector
Phone: 416-338-7600
Email: bodysafe@toronto.ca
Website: BodySafe – Special Events

Checklist

  • As a part of the event planning process, review if your event will provide personal services such as hairstyling and barbering, tattooing, ear and body piercing, manicures and pedicures, etc
  • Create a site map noting all personal services locations, vendor names, washrooms, hand washing stations, disposal areas and food locations (as applicable)
  • Consult the Personal Services Safety and Application Guidelines webpage for more information
  • Event organizers must ensure there is adequate and water supply, handwashing facilities, disposal of equipment and waste, etc
  • Coordinate with personal services vendors for their safety credentials and plan
  • Event organizers complete and submit the Coordinator’s/Organizer’s Application Form to TPH
  • Vendors must complete and submit the Vendor’s Application Form to TPH
  • Consult the Solid Waste Management handbook and complete a solid waste management plan
  • Notify TPH of any significant changes to the original application
  • During the event, Public Health Inspectors may inspect the site and each vendor. Often during the inspection immediate corrective action may be required of the vendor and/or organizer.

Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 to 6 weeks for event organizers to submit the initial notification to TPH, longer depending on the size, scope, attendance, and complexity of your special event
  • Note: all vendor forms must be submitted prior to the start of the event

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

The City of Toronto has a bylaw that prohibits posters on public property (such as bus shelters, utility poles, litter containers and post boxes). The City enforces this by-law.

The bylaw does allow for posters to be placed on City of Toronto “InfoToGo” kiosks and Public Message Centres throughout the City.  There are regulations for the content and display of these posters.

Contacts

For additional information, call 311 or visit Municipal Licensing & Standards website.

Checklist

  • Obtain and review a copy of the Sign By-Law  and information regarding Posters on Public Property
  • Obtain information on what is allowed to be posted on public kiosks and message centres, how they must be formatted, and where they are located. For example:
    • Posters can be no larger that 22 cm (8.5″) x 28 cm (11″) in size
    • Posters must include date of posting and contact information
    • Poster can only be displayed between 30 before the advertised event and five days after the end of the event
  • Ensure you remove your posters post event.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Posters can be displayed on City of Toronto kiosks 30 days prior and up to 5 days after the event.

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Transportation Services issues permits for the temporary closure of streets and sidewalks to facilitate special events and foot races.

Contacts

Transportation Services, Street Events

Website: Transportation – Street Events

Toronto & East York District
Metro Hall
55 John St., 17th Floor
Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
Telephone: 416-392-7877
Email: streetevents@toronto.ca

Etobicoke York District
Etobicoke Civic Centre
399 The West Mall, 3rd Floor, South Block
Etobicoke, ON M9C 2Y2
Telephone: 416-394-8418
Email: tprowey@toronto.ca

North York District
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St., 4th Floor
Toronto, ON M2N 5V7
Telephone: 416-395-7112
Email: tprowny@toronto.ca

Scarborough District
Scarborough Civic Centre
1530 Markham Rd., 6th Floor
Toronto, ON M1B 3G4
Telephone: 416-396-4245
Email: ROWScarborough@toronto.ca

Checklist

  • Obtain and review the guidelines and applications as applicable.
  • Create map/drawing or route of area impacted by closure and provide dimensions and indicate what items are being placed on the sidewalk or road.
  • Create a Traffic Control and Public Safety Plan to ensure that Emergency Access is maintained as per guidelines.
  • Note disruptions to TTC, Street Parking, etc.
  • Create a Waste (Garbage) Management Plan.
  • Consult with Transportation Services, Toronto Police Service, TTC, Toronto Paramedic Services, Municipal Licensing and Standards, Toronto Public Health, and other relevant agencies.
  • Create an Emergency Action Plan and submit to the Office of Emergency Management (*Note: This is only required if your event is expected to have more than 200 attendees).
  • Consult with and provide notices to impacted business, BIA and residents of potential closure with a copy to be provided to Transportation Services
  • If serving alcohol, you must have a Letter of Municipal Significance and written documentation from the Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario (AGCO).
  • Upon approval from Transportation Services, provide an insurance certificate with minimum liability coverage of $2 million, naming the City of Toronto as additional insured with a cross-liability clause, and pay the required permit fee and signage costs installed by City staff.
  • Arrange for signs, barricades, cones, security and police as required.
  • If required, complete an Application for Bicycle/Foot Race on City Streets and have participants sign a Release, Waiver and Indemnity form.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks prior to the event for a closure on any boulevard and on any Local Road.
  • 12 weeks prior to the event for a closure on a Collector Road.
  • 16 weeks prior to the event for a closure on an Arterial Road.
  • 52 weeks prior to the event for a closure on an Expressway.

Fees

  • Yes. Daily Fee for Street Closure
  • Yes, Sidewalk sale fee for a period of up to 3 days

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

The Municipal Licensing & Standards Division issues various licences and permits for businesses, trades and professsions, as well as monitors these businesses and trades to ensure they follow all applicable municipal bylaws related to vending and selling merchandise.

Vendors must contact Municipal Licensing & Standards to apply for permits. You may be required to obtain a business license as well as a Road Allowance permit to operate your business

Requests to vend at privately sponsored street festivals and events are handled by the organizers of that particular event.

Contacts

Municipal Licensing & Standards
Phone: 416-392-6700
Website: Municipal Licensing and Standards

Checklist

  • Contact Municipal Licensing and Standards to discuss your requirements

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 2 weeks from receipt of application

Fees

  • Yes, which depend on the permit

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

  • None

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Event organizers wishing to erect temporary signage – including projections – in the public realm require approval from the Economic Development & Culture (EDC) and Toronto Building Divisions. The Toronto Municipal Code (By-laws) regulates Temporary Signage and states: A temporary sign is one that is not permanently attached or fixed to a structure or surface.

In order to receive an exemption to the bylaw, event organizers must ensure that the focus of the signage is of the special event. Event logos and messaging should comprise at least 80 per cent of the total area of the sign. Any corporate sponsorship or partnership recognition on the sign must not exceed 20 per cent of the total area. Event organizers should also keep in mind that the placement or affixing of the sign or projection does not create a public safety hazard.

This regulation authority exists with an exemption in Chapter 694, Signs, General, which is enforced by Toronto Building, Sign Unit to allow temporary signs associated with special events that meet the required criteria and have the approval of EDC (Section 694-2 Scope, point 5). The Temporary Sign By-law is enforced by Municipal Licensing and Standards.

Contacts

Economic Development and Culture, Film & Entertainment Industries, Event Support Unit
Phone: 416-395-0490
Email: eventsupport@toronto.ca

Toronto Buildings, Sign By-law Unit
Phone: 416-392-8000
Email: signbylawunit@toronto.ca
Website: Building – Sign ByLaw Unit

Checklist

  • During the planning process, consider if the event requires signs or projections to be located in the public realm
  • Create a site map of potential locations for the signs/projections
  • Obtain permission from property owners if the sign/projection is on, in front of, or otherwise impacts the business or residents
  • Create mock-ups of the signs/projections, ensuring that 80 per cent of the sign area is devoted to the special event logo, messaging, etc.
  • Any corporate recognition must be no more than 20 per cent of the sign area.
  • Contact Event Support Unit to obtain an application form
  • Submit the application form, site map(s), sign mock-ups, and letters of support from property owners
  • Event Support Unit will send the recommendation to Toronto Buildings, Sign By-law Unit for further review and to ensure your proposal meets all temporary sign requirements
  • Once all requirements have been completed, Toronto Buildings, Sign By-law Unit will notify you as to whether your request has been approved and the next steps.
  • Depending on the nature of the sign/projection, additional permits and approvals from Toronto Buildings, Sign By-law may be required, in addition to a certificate of insurance

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 2 months prior to required date

Fees

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Toronto Building Division reviews permit applications, issues permits and conducts inspections in accordance with the Ontario Building Code, the City of Toronto’s zoning bylaws and other legislation.

Toronto Building can consult with event organizers on permit requirements for structures such as stages, tents and scaffolding.

As an event organizer you may need to retain your own engineers and professionals to advise of proper policies, provide structural drawing and other documents. Note that most rental tent companies will guide you and provide proper documentation.

Contacts

Contact the Building Consultant in your area: Contact Toronto Building

Website: Toronto Building Division – Apply for a Building Permit

Checklist

  • Contact Toronto Building to verify if a building permit is required for structures utilized within your event.
  • Some examples of when a permit is required:
    • Tents:
      • A tent greater than 60 m2
      • A grouping of tents greater than 60 m2
      • If attached to a building, or
      • Within 3m of another structure or property line.
      • When erecting any structure, be it a temporary tent or stage a building permit may be required if you plans include:
    • Stages:
      • In general, a building permit is required for any stage over 10 m2 and over than 600 mm above the grade/floor level
      • However, there may be other factors that require event organizers to submit an application for a building permit.
      • Please contact Toronto Buildings to discuss further.
    • Re-purposing Buildings always require a permit
    • Other:
      • Access and egress is limited based on capacity, fire alarm and life safety issues.
      • Structure load is changed due hanging or attaching equipment from tent or structure
  • Obtain certified structural drawings from a licensed Ontario engineer, as required
    Obtain and complete the application for a permit and pay applicable fees.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 4 to 6 weeks minimum prior to the event date, depending on the size and scope of the special event

Fees

  • Yes an Application/Processing Fee will apply

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Transportation Services regulates the installation of banners over the public right of way whether on a Toronto Hydro or Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) owned pole.

Contacts

Transportation Services, Street Events (application)
17th Floor, Metro Hall, 55 John Street
Toronto, Ontario M5V 3C6
Phone: 416-392-7877
Fax: 416-696-4149
Website: Transportation – Street Events – Banners

Toronto Hydro (permission to use Hydro Poles)
Email: bannerpermits@torontohydro.com
Website: Toronto Hydro – Pole Attachments

Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) (permission to use TTC Poles)
Richard Vella
Email: richard.vella@ttc.ca

Checklist

  • Obtain and review the guidelines and application for Application to Install Banners and Decorations Over the Public Right of Way.
  • Research areas for banner installation and note pole numbers and property address of where the pole is fronting. Create a list and/or attach a map showing the pole locations.
  • Contact and file an application directly with Toronto Hydro and/or TTC to confirm if the poles are feasible and owned by them. Obtain written confirmation that the poles can be used.
  • If poles are in a Business Improvement Area (BIA), obtain a written letter of consent from the local BIA indicating they have no objections to the banner being installed on the pole within their boundary.
  • Create a drawing of the banner design and note requirements for size and corporate recognition not to exceed 20 per cent of the total area of the banner sign.
  • Hire/contract/find an installation company (from those authorized by the City of Toronto) to install banners.
  • Obtain an engineer-stamped drawing showing the details of the bracket and hardware used to install the banners on the poles.
  • For banners strung across the road from building wall to building wall, obtain written consent from the property owner(s) and provide an engineer-stamped drawing showing the brackets and hardware used are structurally sound.
  • Fill out and submit request with Transportation Services for permission to install the banners over the public right of way providing documentation of all the steps above.
  • Pay the non-refundable application fee.
  • Upon approval from Transportation Services, provide an insurance certificate with minimum liability coverage of $2 million, naming the City of Toronto as additional insured with a cross-liability clause;pay a hoisting fee and permit fee based on number of poles approved, as required.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 8 weeks prior to event, though space is limited and requests are received year round

Fees

  • Yes. Non-Refundable Application Fee
  • Yes, Hosting Fee and Permit Fee

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference


The City of Toronto’s Tourism Services unit offers services and information to help people enjoy and navigate Toronto – once here. They offer a variety of programs to support event organizers including:

City of Toronto Festivals & Events Calendar: Attracts over 1 million visits directly and is a free database feeding numerous independent event calendars and media outlets. Please submit your event in order to benefit from this calendar/database.

Union Station Tourist Information Centre: A year-round visitor information service, located in the west wing of Union Station (65 Front Street West). Please provide information/promotional materials on your event in order to benefit from this program.

INFOTOGO: Mobile visitor information kiosks that engage visitors and residents at events, festivals, venues and attractions city-wide from May to October each year. Please provide information/promotional materials on your event and if applicable arrange for an on-site presence in order to benefit from this program.

Toronto Map: Thousands of free maps are distributed each year. Request free paper maps for your guests or the electronic base map if creating your own mapping product.

Contacts

Tourism Services
Email: visitorservices@toronto.ca
Website: Visiting Toronto

Checklist

  • As a part of the event planning process, visit the Tourism Services webpages and determine if any services are required
  • Submit an application form for the Festivals & Events Calendar
  • Check the calendar frequently to find more information about other events happening on or around their event date(s).
  • Request the INFOTOGO seasonal mobile unit at your event
  • Contact the Tourism Services team to request Toronto maps

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines:

  • Minimum of two weeks prior to the event

Fees:

  • None

Associated Topics/Reference:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference:

The Toronto Transit Commission (TTC) provides public transportation in Toronto and encourages all event producers to promote public transit as a viable option for special event attendees.

Event organizers can advertise their event to transit-riders and to the community in a variety of ways:

  • TTC assets and billboards through Pattison Outdoor Advertising. Assets include: street-level billboards, busses, streetcars, subways, print and digital advertising in TTC stations.
  • TCONNECT, the TTC’s Wi-Fi service
  • Transit shelters through Astral/Bell Media

Contacts

Vehicle and Station Advertising, Digital Platform Screens

Pattison Outdoor Advertising
Email: ttcinfo@pattisonoutdoor.com
Website: Advertising on the TTC

TTC Wi-Fi: TCONNECT

Email: info@tconnect.ca
Website: Advertising on the TTC

Transit Shelters
Astral/Bell Media
Contact and Website: Transit shelter advertising

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, review the event’s marketing plan and assess if TTC assets are needed
  • Review the TTC criteria and advertising standards
  • Create mock-ups and determine locations of advertising
  • Contact Pattison Outdoor Advertising and discuss marketing opportunities
  • Contact TTC’s TCONNECT for advertising opportunities over Wi-Fi
  • Contact Astral/Bell Media for advertising opportunities on transit shelters

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • 7 to 8 weeks prior to event
  • It’s suggested that the campaign starts a minimum of four weeks before the event
  • A minimum of three weeks is required for processing

Fees

  • Yes

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

  • Upon request from TTC

The Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) first priority is to provide scheduled bus, streetcar and subway service. However, the TTC does take requests to utilize TTC vehicles as charters for shuttles or site seeing.

Charters are not permitted for surface vehicles during rush hour Monday to Friday, 6 to 10 a.m. and 3 to 7 p.m.

Contacts

Toronto Transit Commission

Email: charters@ttc.ca
Website: Chartering TTC vehicles

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, create suggested route for the charter, noting pick-up and return locations, timing and anything else that is pertinent to the route
  • Complete the Charter Request Form and submit to the TTC Charter Vehicles
  • Note Terms and Conditions of charters

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Minimum of two weeks

Fees

  • Yes

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

  • Upon request from TTC

The Toronto Transit Commission’s (TTC) first priority is to provide scheduled bus, streetcar and subway service. If your special event will impact TTC services, such as a change to a transit route or stop, or the utilization of buses instead of streetcars, you must receive approval from the TTC. Costs will be incurred by the event organizer to re-route TTC vehicles and pay for staff and notifications to transit riders of the service disruption.

The TTC, upon request, may increase or alter service (for example, add additional buses for more capacity) dependent on the nature of the event.

Contacts

Toronto Transit Commission

Email: ttccclosuresanddiversions@ttc.ca
Website: Toronto Transit Commission Services Changes

Checklist

  • During the event planning process, create a site map and note which streets will be impacted by the event due to road and/or sidewalk closures
  • Research which transit routes will be impacted by the event and other planned service disruptions
  • Contact the TTC directly to consult about impacts and costs, and to complete the required forms
  • Apply for a street closure permit through Toronto Transportation – Street Events, who will also engage with the TTC as part of the approval process.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Minimum of eight weeks in advance, depending on the road closure request and size and scope of special event or festival
  • As applicable, submit your diversion request to TTC along with your road closure application to City of Toronto Transportation Services 8 to 52 weeks in advance, depending on which road(s) are requested to be closed.

Fees

  • Yes – for re-route costs and/or additional service or vehicles

Associated Topics/Reference

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

  • Upon request from TTC

The Toronto Police Service will supply help and assistance for security, control and support for your events. Request for police assistance requires at least four weeks’ notice and longer for large or summer events

Please view the Toronto Police Services: Public Safety- Special Events website for a letter from the Chief of Police addressing Toronto Police support of community events and parades.

Local Police Community Response Unit can attend an event or festival and show or answer questions regarding any police community service (e.g. safety, crime prevention).

Requirements for Paid Duty Police officers may be levied by the City of Toronto as a condition of a permit (such as if serving alcohol, a street event or park event) depending on the scope and nature of the event. If required, the Toronto Police Service will determine the minimum number of officers that are needed.

Paid duty services are performed by off duty officers and are subject to their availability. The Toronto Police Service makes best efforts to fill all paid duty requests, but there are no guarantees. Generally, the earlier the request is received, the greater the chance of it getting filled.

Contacts

Toronto Police Service

Central Police Paid Duty Office
Phone: 416-808-7880
Fax:  416-808-5042
Website: Toronto Police – Paid Duty Office
Hours: Monday to Friday: 07:00 to 21:00; Saturday, Sunday and Statutory Holidays: 09:30 to 18:00

Toronto Police Service
Public Safety – Special Events
330 Progress Avenue
Toronto, ON, M1P 2Z4
Phone: 416-808-5049
Fax: 416-808-5052
Email: EMPOSpecial.EventsUnits@torontopolice.on.ca

Local Police Divisions:
Phone: 416-808-2222

Checklist

  • Determine whether you require Paid Duty Police needs. Contact the Central Paid Duty Office who can direct you as needed.
  • For the first time you or your organization is requesting Paid Duty Police Officers (PDPO), obtain, complete, and submit the “new customer account” form.  This form will generate an account number to facilitate your request for PDPO. The submission of a TPS 743 – “Request for New Customer Account” must be received FOUR (4) WEEKS prior to your event date.
  • Obtain and review the Paid Duty Police Request Form, Terms of Agreement (included as part of the form) and review Current Rates. Complete and fax to the Central Paid Duty Office.  If your event is classified as a major event you will be directed to contact Public Safety – Special Events.
  • You will be notified of your fulfillment or possible unfilled request by the Central Paid Duty Office. Paid Duties will be attempted to be filled right up to one hour before the scheduled start time.  If you need to cancel your requests, you must do so, in writing, twelve (12) hours prior to the start time or fees might apply.
  • All payment must be made in advance of the paid duty through Toronto Police Services Central Paid Duty Police Office

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • Minimum 4 weeks prior to event date.

Fees

  • Yes – Paid Duty Officers are paid an hourly rate in advance of the event based on estimation of officers required
  • Yes – Administrative and vehicle/equipment rentals fees may apply

Forms Required/Guides/Reference

Toronto Water is responsible for delivering safe drinking water, collecting and treating wastewater, and providing storm water management services.

For event organizers, Toronto Water operates “HTO To Go” a mobile water trailer that hooks to a safe supply of potable water (usually a fire hydrant or connection to a water main). A crew will deliver the trailer to select public events and connect it, and give information about Toronto Water’s programs and services. There are two mobile water trailers available for special events throughout Toronto. The season generally runs from May through September.

Toronto Water also monitors and enforces the Toronto Sewers ByLaw  and Toronto Water Supply ByLaw which includes ensuring proper disposal of wastewater for all mobile food vendors and events. Catch Basins (sewer grates) are only for rainwater and melted snow. Wastewater should never be poured into them. Wastewater poured of flowing into a catch basin in consider a spill and may result in enforcement of the Sewers Bylaw

Toronto Water also provides permits for approved fire hydrant useage associated with special events. Improper use of fire hydrants can cause hydrant damage or potential contamination of the drinking water.

Contacts

Phone within Toronto city limits: 311
Phone outside city limits: 416-392-CITY (2489)
Toronto Water Service Counter – open Monday to Friday 8:30 am to 4:30 pm
North York Civic Centre 5100 Yonge Street, 2nd floor
Email: 311@toronto.ca
Website: Toronto Water 

Checklist

  • Contact 311 with questions about Toronto Water programs, services and activities
  • Visit the HTO To Go website to learn about the event criteria and submit an online request.

Suggested Timelines/Deadlines

  • At least 8 weeks to request the HTO To Go water trailer.

Fees

  • There are fees associated with utilizing water from City fire hydrants

Associated Topics/Reference

The following areas may also be applicable:

Forms Required/Guides/Reference