Fences Bylaw Review
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The City of Toronto is doing a review of the Fences Bylaw. The fence bylaw is a set of rules for all fences on private property in Toronto. It outlines requirements for the height and construction materials of fences. The rules also apply to any hedge or shrub that functions as a fence. The bylaw has specific rules about pool fences to enhance safety around pools.
The goal of the fence bylaw review is to modernize the bylaw to ensure it is continues to meet community needs. The bylaw should ensure that fences in Toronto contribute to a welcoming and safe community while also allowing residents with flexibility regarding their property
The following potential changes are being considered in the review:
- Increasing fence height
- Changing height for all hedges and shrubs that act as fences
- Update pool enclosure requirements to provide further flexibility
- Remove opportunity for fence viewing from bylaw
- Changes to fence exemption application process
- Increase maximum fine amounts for fence violations
General fence requirements:
- Maximum height for most front yard fences is 1.2 m
- Maximum height for most other fences is between 2.0 m and 2.5 m
- Fences within 2.4 m of a driveway much be an open-fence construction (fence that does not obstruct view, example: chain-link fence)
- Most fences cannot be made of barbed or chicken wire and sheet or corrugated metal
Pool fence requirements
- Anyone installing a swimming pool must apply for a permit for the swimming pool enclosure
- To control access to any swimming pool, the pool must be entirely enclosed by a fence or wall; there can be no entrance to a pool from a building
- Any entrance gate to a swimming pool must meet requirements of the bylaw and must be locked at all times when the pool is not in use
The City is expected to report on the results of the fence bylaw review at the Licensing and Standards Committee on May 4, 2018.