Fence Exemptions


Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 447, Fences, outlines standards for fences on private property in Toronto. Standards address a wide variety of factors, such as fence heights, materials, use of voltage, obstructions and swimming pool enclosures. More information about these standards is available at our Fences page and in Chapter 447 .

Some of the bylaw standards include:

  • Back yard fences cannot be more than 6 feet 6 inches in height.
  • Any outdoor swimming pools on private property must be surrounded by a swimming pool enclosure, described below.

Property owners may be exempt from Chapter 447 provisions in different instances. Examples include:

  • Situations in which owners are required to erect a certain fence for a site plan or subdivision agreement, or a City, provincial or federal law, statute or regulation.
  • Swimming pool owners who have swimming pool enclosures that were lawfully erected before the day current bylaw was passed. (When the fence or swimming pool enclosure is replaced, the replacement fence or swimming pool is required to come into compliance with current by-law requirements.)
  • Outdoor whirlpools, hot tubs or spas which have a substantial, structurally adequate cover permanently attached to them or to their supporting structures, which have covers which are securely fastened and locked to prevent access at all times when not in use.
  • Situations in which a swimming pool enclosure is not practical for a resident with a disability.
  • Other instances in which the Community Council has imposed other conditions to prevent pool access by young children.

Request a Fence Exemption

To request a fence exemption, property owners may submit this completed application form. If the owner would like to contest the NOV and apply for a Fence Exemption, they should apply by the Notice expiry date.

The application can be submitted in person or by mail to the appropriate ML&S District office. Offices are open Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., excluding holidays.

To determine which office serves your area, verify your ward here and use the table below to find the appropriate office. You can also contact 311 for assistance.


The fence exemption review process:

Upon receiving a completed application including the application fee, ML&S will advise the Ward Councillor and prepare a staff report for the appropriate Community Council (CC) with the application information.

In the case of rear-yard fences, adjoining owners will be notified by the City Clerk's office of the date that the application will be considered by the appropriate CC. In the case of front-yard or flankage-yard fences, all property owners within a 60-metre radius will be notified by the City Clerk's office of the CC date.

ML&S will provide the applicant with a public notice with details of the CC hearing, which the applicant is required to post in a visible location on the property for 10 continous days prior to the CC meeting.

What if a property doesn't appear to meet standards?

If a property is not in compliance, the property owner may be issued a Notice of Violation (NOV).

If an owner or occupant fails to comply with a Chapter 447 Notice or is refused an exemption and fails to comply with the original notice given, they may be charged with an offence and upon conviction, liable to a fine or penalty.

If you notice a property which does not appear to be in compliance with Chapter 447, please contact us at 311 Toronto, listed on the left..