The City of Toronto grants permits to allow the use of water from fire hydrants between April 15 (pending suitable weather*) and November 15. The last day to apply for a Fire Hydrant Use permit is November 1. Application and payment must be made at least 10 business days in advance of the requested date.
Permits during the off-season (November 15 to April 15) are granted on a case-by-case basis and applicants must adhere to strict criteria. If you require a permit during the off-season period, please contact TWC@toronto.ca for an exemption.
Permits can be requested for:
- filming (e.g. television, movies, etc.)
- special events (e.g. Taste of the Danforth, Pride Toronto, Toronto Marathon)
- watering plants for a Business Improvement Area
- construction projects for Toronto Water (you will be required to provide a City of Toronto contact name and contract number)
- filling a swimming pool
Permits cannot be requested for:
- private construction, development or landscaping
- charity car washes
- power washing
- filling a water tank or vehicle
*The weather must be above zero degrees Celsius to access a hydrant.
Apply in Person
Application and payment must be made at least 10 business days in advance of the requested date. Once the application and payment are processed, you will receive a receipt, the permit(s) and Customer Service Request (CSR) number(s) for future reference.
Application and payment can 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.
Information needed to apply
- Contact name, address and telephone number
- Reason for the hydrant use
- Location(s) of the requested hydrant(s)
- Start and end dates for use
For Toronto Water construction projects: You will be asked to provide a City of Toronto contact name and contract number.
For pool filling: Hoses cannot cross a street or sidewalk. Should you wish to use a hydrant that may result in the hose crossing a neighbour’s property and/or driveway, it is recommend that you get the neighbour’s verbal permission before you submit an application. Failure to get permission could result in the hose being removed or the request being declined.
Fees & Methods of Payment
Fees for fire hydrant use permits are approved by Toronto City Council annually.
If you require less than or equal to 50 m³ of water
You will be charged the annual permit fee + the cost of 50 m³ of water at the Block 1 Water Rate.
If you require greater than 50 m³ of water
You will be charged the annual permit fee + $500 deposit.
- The City will install a water meter on the hydrant to record the amount of water used.
- Water use will be charged at the Block 1 Water Rate.
- If the amount of water used at the Block 1 Rate equals less than $500, you will be issued a refund.
- If the amount of water used equals more than $500, you will be issued an invoice.
Methods of payment for online applications
If you are applying online, payment must be made by credit card (American Express, VISA or Mastercard).
Methods of payment for in-person applications
If you are applying in person, payment can be made by:
- 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”, or
- 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”
The payment must be made by one payor. Cheques from multiple different names or companies will not be accepted.
Process Following Application (same for in-person or online applications)
Step 1: Book “Turn On/Turn Off” appointment
Toronto Water staff will call you within four business days of completing the application to:
- confirm the location of the hydrant(s) to be use
- schedule a time on the requested date(s) to turn the hydrant on and off. Appointments can be made between 8 a.m. and 1 p.m., Monday to Friday.
Step 2: Hydrant “Turn On” date
On the “Turn On” date, you must bring the following for each hydrant:
- Hose – a 2-inch (5 cm) fire hose is recommended.
- If you are hosting an event, you can request the installation of a hose bib (faucet) from Toronto Water. In these instances, a garden hose can be used.
- Industrial chain and lock (available at most home improvement stores).
Please meet staff at the agreed upon time and location. Staff will then:
- install a backflow prevention device to the hydrant to protect the water supply from contamination
- install a water meter to track the water use
- connect the hose (supplied by you) and hose bib, if requested
- secure the above items with a chain and lock (supplied by you)
Step 3: Hydrant “Turn Off” date
- Meet staff at the agreed upon date and time so that they can remove the chain and lock, hose, meter and backflow prevention device.
- Should you fail to arrive, staff will attempt to call you.
- If you cannot be reached, staff will turn off the hydrant, cut the chain and remove the backflow device and meter.
- Staff will record the amount of water used, as captured by the water meter. This will be used to process any refunds or invoices.
Refunds & Invoices
- If you paid a deposit and the amount of water used at the Block 1 Water Rate equals less than $500, you will be issued a refund by cheque within six to eight weeks of the turn off date.
Should you have a question about a refund, please contact the Toronto Water staff who booked your appointment.
- If you did not provide a deposit and used more than 50 cubic meters of water, you will be issued an invoice for the difference based on the Block 1 Water Rate.
- If you paid a deposit and used more than $500 worth of water at the Block 1 Water Rate, you will be issued an invoice for the difference based on the Block 1 Water Rate.
Should you have questions about an invoice, please contact the Revenue Services representative listed on the invoice.
How to Cancel, Change or Extend a Permit
- Please contact the Toronto Water staff who booked the turn on/turn off date at least 24 hours before the scheduled appointment.
- Requests to extend hydrant use will not be accepted when staff arrive on-site to turn off the water.
- 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:
- the use of the hydrants only on the dates covered under the Permit.
- supplying a hose and industrial chain and lock for each of the requested hydrants.
- any claims that may arise while the hydrant was in use. Applicants must agree to compensate and hold the City of Toronto harmless for any claims.
- protecting the fittings, backflow prevention device and water meter supplied by the City. This includes damage from frost or extreme cold weather.
- covering the costs of any repairs or damage made to the fittings, backflow prevention device, water meter or hydrant.
- 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.