When redirecting the rainwater from the disconnected downspout, water should flow onto the ground or run off safely. It is important to ensure that:

  1. Water flows away from your foundation walls.
  2. Water does not negatively impact your neighbour’s property.
  3. Water does not flow directly onto a City sidewalk.


  • Hacksaw
  • Tape measure
  • Hammer
  • Screwdriver
  • Drill
  • Pliers
  • Metal file


  • Sheet metal screws
  • Wingnut test plug and concrete (optional)
  • Rubber cap or PVC cap

Additional materials

  • Downspout elbow
  • Splash pads
  • Ladder
  • Downspout pipe extension
  • Brackets to secure the downspout to the building
  • Protective equipment (gloves, safety glasses, etc.)

Step one

Measure 23 cm (9 in.) from where the downspout enters the sewer connection.

Step two

Cut the downspout with a fine blade hacksaw. Make sure to remove the cut piece and do not drop it down the drain. Use a metal file to remove the rough edge of the downspout.

Step three

Be sure to cap the sewer standpipe — the open pipe remaining when the downspout is disconnected. This prevents water from going in. It also stops animals from falling into the opening, getting trapped, and having to be rescued. You can use a simple rubber cap secured by a hose clamp, PVC cap or a wingnut test plug and concrete if available cap sizes don’t fit.

Placing a cap on the exposed sewer standpipe. Sewer standpipe being secured with a cap.

Step four

Insert the downspout into the elbow (if you put the elbow into the downspout, it will leak). You may need to crimp the end of the downspout with a pair of pliers to get a good fit.

Inserting the downspout elbow to the bottom of the downspout.

Step five

Attach a downspout pipe extension to carry water away from the house and foundation. You can use a hacksaw to cut the extension to the desired length. Be sure to insert the elbow into the extension to prevent leaks. Drill a hole on either side and secure the elbow and extension with sheet metal screws. To prevent erosion where the water drains, you can place a splash pad at the end of the downspout extension.

The City cannot guarantee the accuracy or completeness of the information or its application to any particular property. Readers should where possible verify the information before acting on it. Where appropriate, professional advice and service should be sought from a knowledgeable and licensed contractor or civil engineer.

While we endeavour to provide accurate information, it is provided strictly “as is” and the City makes no representations or warranties as to the accuracy, reliability, completeness, currency, or suitability of the information provided. Readers relying on this information and this web site do so entirely at their own risk. In no event will the City of Toronto be liable to you or anyone else for any decision made or action taken by you or anyone else in reliance on this information. The City does not accept and specifically disclaims any and all liability for any injury, loss or damage whatsoever incurred as a result of the use of, reliance on, the information provided by the City and in no event will the City, its Councillors, officers, directors, employees or contractors be liable to you or to any third party for any direct, indirect, incidental, consequential, special or exemplary damages or lost profit, including any property damage or loss or personal injury, associated with, resulting from or arising out of any use or misuse of this information.