As of January 1, 2022, the Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines apply to all new development applications received by the City of Toronto under the Ontario Planning Act, except for Committee of Adjustment applications.


Foundation drainage is the collection of water around the foundation of a building or structure from infiltrated stormwater and/or groundwater. The Foundation Drainage Policy was developed to preserve sewer capacity in the City’s sewer systems and to sustain future development growth through managing foundation drainage on-site rather than discharging to the City’s sewers.

Foundation Drainage Policy

The Foundation Drainage Policy (“Policy”) provides direction to development applicants seeking to determine how foundation drainage on private property should be managed in relation to the City’s sewer systems. This Policy applies to all new proposed buildings or structures that require a Planning Act application.

Foundation Drainage Guidelines

The Foundation Drainage Guidelines (“Guidelines”) is a supporting document that provides minimum expectations for groundwater monitoring plans, analysis and document submission requirements needed to assess development proposals in the implementation of the Policy.

Foundation Drainage Summary Form

The Foundation Drainage Summary Form must be included with a Foundation Drainage Technical Brief, as part of the complete Application Support Material submission requirements for a development application.

Additional information about the Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines

The information in the Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines FAQ will help to clarify terms and expectations regarding the Policy and Guidelines.

Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines timelines

The Policy and Guidelines were made available online on November 1, 2021, and apply to all new applications as of January 1, 2022, including all new Official Plan Amendments, Zoning By-Law Amendments, or Plan of Subdivision applications, as well as new Site Plan applications.

All new applications submitted on or after January 1, 2022, are subject to the conditions of the Foundation Drainage Policy and Guidelines.