Toronto Municipal Bylaws

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Toronto Municipal Bylaws

The main resource for Toronto Municipal bylaws is: http://www.toronto.ca/legdocs/bylaws/lawhome.htm

The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. Check the list of “Recent amendments” for changes to specific Code chapters since the last Code update. These by-laws must be consulted along with the Code chapter.

Toronto By-law Status Register

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. Many of these by-laws (including Official Plan and Zoning amendments) are still in force today. The City Clerk’s Office uses a by-law status register to track the history of how the municipalities amended by-laws along with other details that include the relationship between by-laws and amendment history.

Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services

Toronto Municipal Code: City Council periodically enacts new by-laws to amend existing or add new chapters to the Toronto Municipal Code (TMC). Noted below are the Chapters from the TMC that Municipal Licensing and Standards enforces and a brief outline for each Chapter.

Want to open a barbershop? Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 545 – Licensing:

Several trades, businesses and occupations in the City of Toronto require a licence in order to operate. For information on how to obtain a licence or whether you require a licence for a certain trade, business or occupation contact Licensing Services. Investigation Services is responsible for the enforcement of most licensing requirements, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Stationary Businesses
  • Adult entertainment parlours
  • Barbers and hairdressers
  • Car washes
  • Dry cleaners
  • Pet shops
  • Public garages

If you have any questions or would like to report a violation stationary business, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

Investigation Services also deals with the enforcement of mobile (non-stationary) business licences, which includes but is not limited to:

  • Mobile Businesses
  • Taxicabs
  • Pedi cabs
  • Tow trucks
  • Limousines
  • Hot dog and refreshment carts
  • Driving schools

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. The Chapters from Toronto Municipal Code are enforced by officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services.

If you have any questions or would like to report a violation of a mobile business, contact the Licensing Enforcement Unit and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

How high is your fence? Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 447 – Fences:

The Fence Chapter provides standards regarding the location, type and height of fences. Noted below are some examples:

  • Back yard fence – cannot be more than 6 feet 6 inches in height
  • Front yard fence – cannot be more than 4 feet high but the first 8 feet must be no higher than 39 inches if the material is opaque
  • Pool fences – you must have a fence around a pool to prevent entry to the area where the pool is located

If you see a fence that you think is in violation of the Chapter, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint. There is also a section in the Chapter that deals with Fence Viewers, appointed by City Council under the provincial Fence Viewers Act. A Fence Viewer can be hired (an information sheet is available from the City Clerk) by a property owner if there is a dispute over a fence erected on a property line.

The grass is NOT always greener on the other side of the fence! Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 489 – Long Grass and Weeds:

The Long Grass and Weeds Chapter provides a definition for the term and compliance standards for property owners to meet. The Chapter states that every property owner shall cut the grass and weeds on their land and remove the cuttings when the growth of the grass and weeds is more than 20 centimetres high (8 inches).

If you see long grass and weeds in your neighbourhood, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint. However, there are cases where what appears to be a condition of long grass and weeds, actually constitutes a natural garden.

In order to obtain an exemption for a Natural Garden, a property owner must make an application to the City Clerk. A report will then be prepared by the District Manager and sent to the local Community Council to deal with the request.

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. The Chapters from Toronto Municipal Code are enforced by officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services.

Have fun … within the limits! Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 591 – Noise:

The Noise Chapter provides standards for noise and applies to all properties within the City of Toronto. The purpose of the by-law is to reduce the impact of unwanted sound on the residents of the City.

The general prohibition prevents persons from making, causing or permitting any noise, at any time, which is likely to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the inhabitants of the City.

A further amendment to the Noise Chapter applies to construction noise. Operating vehicles or equipment in connection with the construction of any building after 7:00 p.m. and before 7:00 a.m. Monday to Friday is considered a violation (7:00 p.m. to 9:00 a.m. on Saturday and all day on Sunday and statutory holidays).

If you are experiencing noise-related problems, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint. Any person can make an application for an exemption to any noise prohibition described in the Chapter. (See 591-10 of the Municipal Code for further details.)

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. The Chapters from Toronto Municipal Code are enforced by officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services.

Don’t even think that you are a master of your own property! Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 629 – Property Standards:

The Property Standards Chapter provides standards of maintenance and occupancy and applies to all properties within the City of Toronto. The Chapter states that all property owners are required to repair and maintain their property in accordance with the standards outlined in the Chapter.

Complaint Protocol for Residential Tenants

Any tenant that wishes to file a complaint with the City regarding the lack of maintenance in his/her dwelling, should first advise the landlord in writing of their concerns. This will allow the landlord the opportunity to address the maintenance issue first. If the concerns are not addressed adequately contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

Noted below are some examples of the standards contained in the Property Standards Chapter:

  • All structures are required to be structurally sound and all exterior walls, roofs and foundations are required to be free of water leaks and painted or otherwise treated or waterproofed
  • The interior and exterior of all buildings must have an adequate level of lighting
  • All interior hallways and stairwells of buildings must be kept clean and free of hazards
  • All heating, plumbing and mechanical systems and elevating devices must be maintained and operational, in good working order
  • All dwelling units must be equipped with a refrigerator, stove, hot and cold running water and proper bathroom facilities
  • All driveways, walkways, ramps and parking areas on private property must be kept clear of accumulations of ice and snow and free from pot holes
  • All land and yards are to be kept clear of inoperative vehicles, lawns and landscaped areas are to be maintained in a reasonable condition

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. The Chapters from Toronto Municipal Code are enforced by officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services.

Landlords! Don’t forget that the minimum temperature in the units you rent out has to be 21oC from September 15th to June 1st. Municipal by-law: Chapter 835 – Vital Services:

The Vital Services Chapter requires a landlord to provide adequate and suitable vital services for rented or leased dwellings or living accommodations. The following are considered to be vital services:

  • Fuel
  • Hydro
  • Gas
  • Hot or cold water

The Chapter states that the supplier of fuel, hydro, gas or hot or cold water cannot stop providing the vital service to a rental unit unless notice of a discontinuance of the vital service has been given in writing to the City at least 30 days before the vital service is turned off.

If you are a tenant and wish to register a complaint regarding the discontinuance of a vital service, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint. The Chapter does not apply to a rented or leased dwelling unit where the tenant has agreed to pay for and maintain the fuel, hydro, gas, or hot or cold water.

Chapter 497 – Heating

The Heating Chapter states that a landlord shall provide heat to a rented or leased unit at a minimum temperature of 21 degrees Celsius (70 degrees Fahrenheit) from September 15th to June 1st. If you have informed your landlord that you are experiencing inadequate heat and he/she has failed to deal with the situation, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

The City of Toronto and the former municipalities that make up the amalgamated City have passed more than 180,000 by-laws. The Toronto Municipal Code is a compilation of by-laws organized by subject. Each chapter is a by-law. For example, Chapter 591 – Noise; or, Chapter 447 – Fences. The Chapters from Toronto Municipal Code are enforced by officers from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division Investigation Services.

“Waste” rules for commercial and residential properties. Toronto Municipal by-law: Chapter 841 – Waste Collection, Commercial Properties:

The City of Toronto provides communities with information regarding the placement of their waste (garbage) – when, where and how it is to be placed at the curb side. The collection of waste is carried out by the City’s Solid Waste Management Division. The Waste Collection, Commercial Properties Chapter states that waste generated from commercial properties must be placed in pre-paid City authorized yellow bags and placed at the curb side according to the garbage collection schedule which is outlined in the Chapter. Failure to do so will result in fines and/or prosecution by the City.

Recycling

In 2001, the City of Toronto established the Waste Diversion Task Force 2010. The goal of the Task force was to divert waste (recycle, reuse or compost) from landfill by the year 2010. The City is committed to the recycling program. Garbage is regularly inspected to ensure that recycling materials are not being included in the garbage intended for a landfill. If you have any questions or would like to report a violation of this Chapter, contact Waste Enforcement and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

Chapter 844 – Waste Collection, Residential Properties

The City of Toronto provides communities with information regarding the placement of their waste (garbage) – when, where and how it is to be placed at the curb side. The collection of waste is carried out by the City’s Solid Waste Management Division. The Waste Collection, Residential Properties Chapter states that general garbage and recycling items are to be placed at the curb side no earlier than 8:00 p.m. on the day before collection and no later than 7:00 a.m. on the day of collection.

Recycling

In 2001, the City of Toronto established the Waste Diversion Task Force 2010. The goal of the Task force was to divert waste (recycle, reuse or compost) from landfill by the year 2010. The City is committed to the recycling program. Community recycling depots are located throughout the City.

Yard Waste

The City collects yard waste, beginning in the spring of every year, on an every other week, according to your waste collection calendar/zone. The City does not collect grass clippings and you can no longer take them to a transfer station. Recycle your grass — leave your grass clippings on the lawn or compost them at home.

Christmas Trees

The City collects Christmas trees beginning January 2nd for two weeks only. Please leave your Christmas tree at the curb side and the City will pick it up and recycle it.

Illegal dumping

Dumping of garbage on private property, boulevards and City streets is illegal. Anyone found dumping garbage on City or private property will be prosecuted. If you have any questions or would like to report a violation of this Chapter, contact Waste Enforcement and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

Chapter 659 – Refrigerators and other appliances (abandoned)

The Refrigerators and Other Appliances (abandoned) Chapter provides rules for disposing of appliances, such as:

  • Refrigerator
  • Freezer
  • Clothes washer or dryer
  • Dishwasher, ice box or other similar appliance or container

The Chapter prohibits the disposing of an appliance or container in a place that is accessible to children without first removing the doors and taking adequate precautions to prevent any person or animal from being trapped in the appliance or container.

The only exemption is where the appliance or container is being displayed or stored outdoors by the manufacturer or retailer for sale purposes, provided that adequate precautions are taken to prevent any person from being trapped. If you notice an improperly disposed appliance or container, contact your District Office and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

Chapter 548 – Littering and Dumping of Refuse

The Littering and Dumping of Refuse Chapter prohibits the accumulation of litter and debris on all City and private property. The Chapter also requires that areas on private property that have an accumulation of water and dangerous situations such as open pits or wells are filled or drained immediately. The Chapter does not apply to natural ponds or water courses.

If you are a property owner and have experienced problems with illegal dumping on your property it is a good idea to take steps to prevent future problems by posting “No Dumping” signs or restricting access to your property.

If you are the victim of illegal dumping or if you have witnessed illegal dumping on private or City property, contact your District Office or the Waste Enforcement Unit and an Officer will investigate the complaint.

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