The Dust Bylaw requires those carrying out residential construction or landscape activities to limit the creation of dust and its impact on neighbouring properties.

For questions or to report a concern about dust from residential construction or landscape activities, contact 311. For health concerns related to dust, contact Toronto Health Connection.

The bylaw applies to residential properties in Toronto and does not apply to:

  • municipal work
  • work on commercial and industrial properties
  • the construction of multi-residential buildings (seven or more units), and
  • demolition activities with an approved demolition permit.

As specified in the bylaw, those carrying out residential construction or landscape activities need to take measures to limit the creation of dust and its impact on neighbouring properties.

These measures may include:

  • wetting the construction material
  • using a wet saw
  • using dustless saw technology
  • tarping or otherwise containing the source of dust
  • installing wind fencing or a fence filter, or
  • using a vacuum attachment when cutting

Property owners, builders and contractors should consult the City’s Good Neighbour Guide for requirements, best practices, and communication tips for residential infill construction.

If the issue is at a commercial construction site that has a building permit, residents may contact the district Toronto Building office to request that a Building Inspector visit the site and ask that the dust be kept down.

Dust that poses a risk to an employee

The Occupational Health and Safety Act, enforced by the provincial Ministry of Labour, regulates dust if it is a hazard to workers. Residents or workers may contact the Ministry of Labour to enquire about workplace health and safety, and to report unsafe work practices.

Dust that poses a risk to the environment

The Province of Ontario, through the Ministry of Environment, Conservation, and Parks, regulates contaminants released to the natural environment by industrial and commercial facilities. The province also monitors air pollution data, in real time, through Air Quality Ontario.

Residents can contact 311 to submit complaints about dust from residential properties.. If there is a complaint or information about a possible violation, Bylaw Enforcement Officers investigate, educate and/or take enforcement actions.

The goal is to resolve issues and ensure that residents and business are following bylaws. Each issue is addressed on case-by-case basis to make sure reasonable, fair and appropriate actions are taken. For example, in some cases the issue may be resolved through education. In other cases, further enforcement action may be required.

If businesses carrying out residential construction or landscape activities do not comply with the Dust Bylaw, they are guilty of an offence. If they are issued a ticket and convicted, they may have to pay a fine for the offence set out in the table below.

If businesses are issued a summons to court and convicted, they may have to pay a fine up to $100,000 or a daily fine of up to $10,000 for each day the violation continues. In addition they may have to pay a special fine for economic gains from the bylaw violation. If it is a corporation, every director or officer may have to pay a fine of no more than $100,000.

Offence Bylaw Provision Fine
Cause/permit dust resulting from residential construction to escape a residential property 417-2.1A $305.00
Direct/cause a person to cause/permit dust resulting from residential construction to escape a residential property 417-2.1B $305.00
Contribute to/take any action/fail to take any action that results in an offence under subsections 417-2.1 A or 417-2.1 B 417-2.1C $305.00
Fail to comply with a notice of violation/direction/order – dust resulting from residential construction escaping a residential property 417-3.1A(a) $305.00