Municipal Licensing & Standards

Municipal Licensing & Standards

Looking for a business licence?  Want information about pet adoption? Need an exemption for your natural garden? Have to make a complaint about a property in your neighourhood? Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) is responsible for bylaw administration and enforcement throughout the City.

Officer in bylaw enforcement truck

Bylaw Enforcement

Bylaw enforcement and investigations services units inspect and investigate private and public property, as well as municipally licensed and permitted businesses and premises to ensure compliance with Acts, bylaws and regulations.

What's happening at ML&S

ExpandCouncil repeals total ban on choke collars

At its meeting of March 28-29, City Council repealed section 8.1 of Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 349, Animals. This means that the total ban on the use of choke collars, choke chains and pronged collars is no longer in effect.

However, the new bylaw that came into effect on March 1, 2017, prevents the use of a choke collar, choke chain or pronged collar for tethering your dog. According to the OSPCA, tethering a dog using choke collars, chains or pronged collars can bring physical harm to the dog and can be dangerous if the tether becomes tangled on other objects. It also leads to increased stress levels and aggression in dogs.

City staff have been directed to undertake consultations regarding the use of choke and pronged collars with veterinarians; experts and professionals involved with the humane and ethical treatment of dogs; residents who rely on service dogs; residents with mobility issues; dog trainers; dog groomers and the general public.

Staff will report back to Licensing and Standards Committee on September 18, 2017.

ExpandThe Good Neighbour Guide

The Good Neighbour Guide outlines mandatory requirements and "good will" measures that can be taken to help the bar and restaurant industry comply with regulations and operate in harmony with its neighbours, particularly residential neighbours.

There are many areas in the city where neighbourhoods are not only residential, but also have a very vibrant nightlife. The bar and restaurant industry is an important part of our city and needs to operate in harmony with its neighbours, which can be challenging.

The guide was developed by the City of Toronto, in partnership with ORHMA, TABIA, AGCO and Toronto Police Service. 

ExpandRemember: Not everyone loves Max

Toronto: 2.8 million people. 230,000 dogs.  With so many people who love dogs (and many others who don't), we have to all work together to live in harmony.

Here's how:

  • Leash and control your dog in public.
  • Stoop and scoop.
  • Exercise, train and socialize your dog.
  • Spay/neuter and license your dog.

More information about living with your pet in Toronto.

See the City's 57 off-leash dog park locations.

Ad Campaign poster of dog and recommendations on how to be a responsible dog owner

ExpandOpening a new business? You may need zoning clearance first.

Effective December 1, 2015, if you're applying for a business licence in a number of categories, you require a Preliminary Project Review for Business Licence Request Form (LPR) from Toronto Building first, to make sure that your business complies with zoning bylaws.

What businesses require a Preliminary Project Review for Business Licence Request Form (LPR)?

  • Billiard Hall
  • Commercial parking lot
  • Entertainment establishment and nightclub
  • Holistic centre
  • Place of amusement (go karts, mini golf)
  • Public garage (gas station, vehicle repair or rental)
  • Restaurant

How do I apply for a LPR?

You can submit an application online or visit a Toronto Building customer service counter.

What will I need to apply?

Application details can be found here.

Is there a fee to apply?

Yes, both for the LPR and business licence application. These fees are non-refundable and are due at the time of submission.

Once I have a LPR, how do I apply for a business licence?

You will be issued a Notice of Zoning Compliance from Toronto Building, which can then be submitted along with your business licence application.   

ExpandCanine Distemper in Raccoons

Back to the Animal Services home page

Canine Distemper (CDV)

Canine Distemper (CDV) is a virus that is generally present in the raccoon population, but at low levels. Dogs can also contract this virus.

Raccoons with distemper may approach people, or curl up to sleep in open areas in close proximity to people. They generally act disoriented or lethargic, but can become aggressive if cornered. They may have seizures.

Canine Distemper does not pose a threat to human health. Dogs that have not been vaccinated for distemper can become infected if they come in contact with a raccoon with distemper.

If residents notice a raccoon displaying abnormal behaviour, they should call 416-338-PAWS.

Residents are not to approach or feed the raccoons.

What is normal raccoon behaviour?

Raccoons in an urban setting can become quite tame and seem to have little or no fear of humans. They are nocturnal and sleep during the day however during breeding season you may see an active raccoon during daylight hours. Raccoons may also be seen during the day if they have been flushed from hiding. They are not true hibernators which means they may be seen during the mild winter weather. Raccoons are only aggressive if cornered -  they would sooner run away if confronted.

Male raccoons are solitary and these are usually the ones you will find sleeping on deck, roof tops, etc. Females usually have a den site and prefer protected elevated areas for the protection of their young.

What is abnormal raccoon behaviour?

They appear blind and confused and may wander aimlessly and may become aggressive if cornered. A mucus discharge will often be present around the eyes and nose and may be accompanied by coughing, tremors, seizures or chewing fits.

What is Canine Distemper?

Canine Distemper is a viral disease affecting animals in the canine families, in addition to some other mammals. It affects the respiratory, gastrointestinal and nervous systems. Raccoons, dogs and skunks can be infected. The disease is most often fatal and animals that recover may display permanent neurological damage.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. Can humans catch Canine Distemper? No. Humans cannot get Canine Distemper.

2. Can my dog catch Canine Distemper? Yes. If your dog has not been vaccinated against distemper, and comes into contact with a raccoon with distemper. Most dogs are vaccinated as puppies, and then have regular boosters. Puppies that have not been vaccinated are at particularly high risk.

3. How can I keep my dog safe? Keep your dog on a leash and check your backyard before letting your dog out.

4. What are the symptoms of a raccoon with distemper? Raccoons with distemper may move slowly or stumble as they walk. They lose their fear of humans, appear blind and confused and may wander aimlessly and may become aggressive if cornered. A mucus discharge will often be present around the eyes and nose and may be accompanied by coughing, diarrhea, vomiting, tremors, seizures or chewing fits. They may only exhibit some of these symptoms and otherwise appear quite healthy.

5. What should I do if I see a raccoon that I think has distemper?  Do not approach them. Do not feed them.  Call 416-338-PAWS and give them the location and time of the sighting.

6. Can anything be done to help the raccoons? Once a raccoon is infected, there is little to no chance of survival for the animal. It can take several weeks for the disease to run its course in the raccoon. Young raccoons are most susceptible to this virus. 

7. Should I feed the raccoons? No. Do not feed raccoons or leave food out for them. Any food that is left out may only attract other wildlife, or attract sick raccoons to areas that pets frequent.

To discourage raccoons or any wildlife from coming onto your property: 

  • Do not leave any food out. At this time, it would also be advised to take down any bird feeders, or regularly clean up the area around the bird feeder so you do not attract raccoons
  • Ensure all garbage, recycling and green bins are secure and left out on the morning of your regular pick up
  • Keep your pet on a leash when on a walk and scan your yard before letting them outside
  • Explain to your children why they should not approach raccoons or any wildlife even if they seem docile
  • Check with your vet to ensure your dog has been vaccinated against distemper if you are not sure


ExpandReview of Prohibited Animals in Toronto

Have your say on the City's review of prohibited animals through an online survey and public meeting. 

Stakeholder Meeting

A stakeholder meeting will be held for business owners who handle prohibited animals during the week of April 24th. In addition, a stakeholder meeting will be held for animal welfare groups, during the week of May 8th. If you would like more information about these meetings, contact Mohamed Shuriye at

Public Meeting

10:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Friday, April 28, 2017
City Hall, Committee Room 3
100 Queen St W., Toronto, ON M5H 2N2

Public Meeting #2

6:30 p.m. to 8:30 p.m.
Monday, May 1, 2017
Metro Hall, Room 310
55 John Street, Toronto, ON M5V 3C6
This meeting will be live streamed on the Toronto Animal Services Facebook Page. Login to Facebook to watch. 

After the meeting, a complete recording will be available on the Get Involved Toronto YouTube Channel.

Online Survey

Have your say through our online survey. It will be available until May 5, 2017. 

Send us your comments

Send us your feedback and comments to


Read More

Have your say

ML&S Public Consultations

ML&S is currently reviewing municipal legislation in a number of areas, such as Boulevard Cafes and Marketing, Dog Behaviour and Responsible Dog Ownership, and Holiday Shopping. Learn how you can get involved!