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Fence Bylaw Review – Public Meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2018

This information has been provided by: Amy Buitenhuis, Senior Policy and Research Officer, Policy and Strategic Support, Municipal Licensing & Standards, 416-392-5129. amy.buitenhuis@toronto.catoronto.ca/mls

City of Toronto is doing a review of Municipal Code Chapter 447 Fences and to invite you to participate. The fence bylaw is a set of rules for all fences on private property in Toronto and has specific rules about pool fences to enhance safety around pools. There is more information at the bottom of this email regarding the fence bylaw and the review.

The City is holding a public meeting on Wednesday, April 4, 2018, from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3, to seek input from the public on the fence bylaw and we invite you to attend if you are interested. If you cannot attend this meeting, we encourage you to provide your ideas for changes to the current bylaw by emailing mlsfeedback@toronto.ca.

Please feel free to share this information widely with any interested parties. We are committed to accountability and transparency. If you are contacting Municipal Licensing & Standards staff, you may be required to register as a Lobbyist. The City of Toronto’s definition of lobbying is quite broad. Check for more information by visiting toronto.ca/lobbying or contacting the Lobbyist Registrar at 416-338-5858  or lobbyistregistrar@toronto.ca.

Fence bylaw review

The goal of the fence bylaw review is to modernize the bylaw to ensure it is continues to meet community needs. The bylaw should ensure that fences in Toronto contribute to a welcoming and safe community while also allowing residents with flexibility regarding their property.

The following potential changes are being considered in the review:

Increasing fence height

Increasing height for all hedges and shrubs that act as fences

Update pool enclosure requirements to provide further flexibility

Remove opportunity for fence viewing from bylaw

Changes to fence exemption application process

Increase maximum fine amounts for fence violations

Next steps

The City is expected to report on the results of the fence bylaw review at the Licensing and Standards Committee on May 4, 2018.

Current components of fence bylaw
The fence bylaw is a set of rules for all fences on private property in Toronto. It sets rules about the height and construction materials of fences. The rules also apply to any hedge or shrub that functions as a fence. The bylaw has specific rules about pool fences to enhance safety around pools.

General fence requirements:

Maximum height for most front yard fences is 1.2 m

Maximum height for most other fences is between 2.0 m and 2.5 m

Fences within 2.4 m of a driveway much be an open-fence construction (fence that does not obstruct view, example: chain-link fence)

Most fences cannot be made of barbed or chicken wire and sheet or corrugated metal

Pool fence requirements

Anyone installing a swimming pool must apply for a permit for the swimming pool enclosure

To control access to any swimming pool, the pool must be entirely enclosed by a fence or wall; there can be no entrance to a pool from a building

Any entrance gate to a swimming pool must meet requirements of the bylaw and must be locked at all times when the pool is not in use

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