News Release
June 24, 2021

The City of Toronto is encouraging residents to protect their properties from the devastating impacts that can be caused by basement flooding. Summertime can bring more rain events and, during heavy rainfall, the sewers can become overloaded. It is essential that homeowners take appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding.

Some of the causes of basement flooding can include: stormwater (from rainfall) or groundwater seeping into the home (drainage failure) due to a crack or leak in the home’s foundation, basement walls, or basement windows or doors; poor lot grading or drainage; failure of the weeping tile system (foundation drains); failure of a sump pump used to pump weeping tile water; overflowing eavestroughs; and/or leaking or plugged downspouts.

To help reduce the risk of basement flooding, the City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices. Eligible work includes: installation of a backwater valve; installation of a sump pump; and severance and capping of a home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.

To aid property owners in better understanding how they can prevent basement flooding, the City has launched a series of videos called “How to Flood-Protect Your Home”. These videos show potential exterior and interior causes of basement flooding and provide practical tips on how to help prevent them.

“How to Flood-Protect Your Home: Part 1” explains how the City’s sewer system operates and the relationship to private property, how to clean blocked or plugged eavestroughs, preventing overland flooding, disconnecting downspouts and the importance of sewer cleanouts. “How to Flood-Protect Your Home: Part 2” provides information on flood prevention devices, such as weeping tiles, sump pumps and backwater valves and the up to $3,400 financial subsidy available (per property) from the City to install flood prevention devices.

Over the next 10 years, City Council has approved capital investments of more than $2.2 billion to upgrade infrastructure as part of the Basement Flooding Protection Program. The City also undertakes regular inspections and cleans and maintains more than 10,000 kilometres of sewer pipes to ensure the sewer system operates well and has crews available 24/7 to respond to flooding calls.

Information on the Basement Flooding Protection Program is available here

Information on the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program is available here

To learn more about how property owners can help protect their home from basement flooding and to view the videos visit here .  Individuals experiencing basement flooding should contact 311.

Toronto is home to more than 2.9 million people whose diversity and experiences make this great city Canada’s leading economic engine and one of the world’s most diverse and livable cities. As the fourth largest city in North America, Toronto is a global leader in technology, finance, film, music, culture and innovation, and consistently places at the top of international rankings due to investments championed by its government, residents and businesses. For more information visit the City’s website or follow us on Twitter, Instagram or Facebook.

Media contact: Media Relations,