Property owners, developers and contractors can apply for a Permit to have the City turn a fire hydrant on and off, in order for applicants to measure the flow rate and pressure of a hydrant. Flow tests are often needed to help applicants determine how to configure or upgrade a property’s private fire flow system.

Permits are typically granted between April 15 and November 15; however, the weather must be above zero degrees Celsius to conduct a test. If unseasonably cold, please contact 311 to confirm if Permits are being granted.

The last day to submit an application for a Fire Hydrant Flow Test Permit is November 1.

The fee for a Fire Hydrant Flow Test Permit is determined by Toronto City Council annually. The fee for 2017 is $281.33.

Method of Payment

Payment must be made by one “payor.” Cheques from multiple different names or companies will not be accepted.

  • Debit card or credit card (American Express, Visa and MasterCard).
    • The name on the card must match the person submitting the application.
  • Bank draft or money order made payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto”
  • Cheque:
    • Less than 1,000: Personal cheque made payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto.”
    • Equal to and greater than $1,000: Certified cheque made payable to “Treasurer, City of Toronto.”

Application and payment must be made in person at:

Toronto Water Customer Service Counter
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge St., 2nd floor
Hours: Monday – Friday | 8:30 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Permit Process

1. Applications must be made at least 10 business days in advance of the desired flow test date. Applicants will be asked to provide the following:

  • Contact name, address and telephone number.
  • Location(s) of the requested hydrant(s).

2. Once the application and payment is processed, applicants will receive a receipt and the Permit, which will feature a Customer Service Request (CSR) number for future reference.

3. Within five days of receiving the application, Toronto Water staff will contact the applicant to:

  • Confirm the location of the hydrant(s) to be tested.
  • Confirm the contact name and information for the certified contractor(s) that will conduct the test(s).
  • Schedule a time to test the hydrant(s). Appointments can be made between 8 a.m. and 8 p.m., Monday to Friday.

4. The certified contractor must meet staff on-site on the agreed upon date and time.

  • Applicants are responsible for ensuring public safety is protected when conducting the test. This includes supplying any barriers or other protective measures, as needed.
  • The certified contractor is responsible for connecting the test device and fittings to the hydrant.
  • Once Toronto Water inspect and approve the above, staff will turn the hydrant on so that the contractor can conduct the test. Once complete, staff will turn the hydrant off.

  • Requests must be made at least 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.
  • Please contact the Toronto Water staff who booked the test.
  • If cancelling, the permit fee will be refunded by cheque, which will be sent to the applicant within six to eight weeks of the cancellation date.

Applicants are responsible for:

  • Supplying all equipment to conduct the fire flow test (i.e. gate valve, pito and pressure gauge, etc). Toronto Water staff are only responsible for turning the hydrant on and off.
  • Protecting public safety when the water is on. If staff deem public safety to be at risk, the permit may be cancelled.
  • Ensuring the contractor hired to conduct the flow test is certified.
  • Any claims that may arise while using the hydrant. Applicants must agree to compensate and hold the City of Toronto harmless for any claims.
  • Ensuring that hoses do not cross roadways or sidewalks.

Hydrants can only be operated by City staff. Any unauthorized use of fire hydrants is considered water theft and can result in enforcement of the Water Supply By-law and possible prosecution.