Municipal Licensing & Standards

Pile of Licensing applications

Licences, Permits & Exemptions

Unsure of whether your business requires a licence?  Need a permit for an outdoor patio? ML&S issues these licences and permits for the health, safety and protection of Toronto and its residents.

What's new and popular with licences

ExpandVehicle Inspections Information Updated

Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 545 and 546, require all tow truck, driving schools, taxicabs, limousines and private transportation company (e.g. Uber) vehicles to pass mechanical inspections as a condition of licensing. 

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. 


The new Vehicle-for-Hire bylaw, in effect since July 15, 2016 substantially changes the city's approach to regulation within the ground transportation industry.

By creating the new Private Transportation Company (PTC) licensing category, companies such as Uber will be permitted to operate in Toronto, with regulation.

Read More

ExpandHow to adopt an animal

Where to find adoptable animals

You can find adoptable animals at our shelters and retail partners, and can be seen online. Animal shelters are open Monday through Sunday 10:30 a.m. to 6:30 p.m. and closed on Statutory Holidays. 

Finding the right match

Staff at shelters are ready to assist you in finding your perfect match, where you can fill out a questionnaire to make this process easier.  It’s also a good idea for all family members to meet any new pet before the adoption is finalized. In most cases, you will be able to take your new pet home that same day.

What you will need to provide in order to adopt

You must provide:

  1. A driver’s licence or identification with your current address, and
  2. Payment of the adoption fee in cash, debit, Visa, Mastercard or American Express.

What if your new pet is the wrong match?

We want you and your new pet to be happy with each other. In the majority of cases, new pets fit in well with their new families.  In the instance that they do not, you can return the animal to Animal Services.

ExpandCriminal Background Checks

When making a new application for a City of Toronto business licence, a Criminal Background Check is mandatory and must be submitted to Municipal Licensing & Standards (ML&S) prior to the licence being issued and again every four years.  It must be issued by a Canadian Police Service within 280 days prior to the application.

Please note:

  • Licensing Services requires original Criminal Background Checks and will not accept copies.
  • Criminal Background Checks must be completed by a Canadian Police Service. ML&S will not accept Criminal Background Checks completed by third party agency.

A Criminal Background Check can be obtained from a Canadian Police Service at one the following locations to complete your application or renewal.

Obtaining Your Criminal Background Check

We encourage you to contact the police agencies below to verify the requirements, costs and other information below, however they have been included here for ease of reference.

Toronto Police Service

 40 College Street, Toronto, ON M5G 2J3, Phone: 416-808-8240
Direct link to application.

Criminal background checks:

  • cost $20
  • are mailed within 10 business days (this does not include online applications)

York Regional Police

You can apply for the "Police Criminal Records Check" online or go to one of two locations:

Location 1: 111 Sandiford Drive, Whitchurch-Stouffville, ON, L4A 0Z8, South of Main Street, West of Mostar Street, Phone: 1 866-876-5423 ext: 6781. Open Monday to Friday 10 am to 6 pm. 

Location 2: 10720 Yonge Street, Richmond Hill, ON L4C 3C9, Phone: 1 866-876-5423 ext. 7655. Open Monday to Friday 8 am to 6 pm and Saturday 8 am to 4 pm.

Criminal background checks:

  • cost $60.00
  • are generally provided same day if there is no previous record
  • can be picked up at either of the two locations if ordered online

Durham Regional Police

Durham Police have advised that they will only provide background checks for residents of the Durham region. For Durham residents, you may go to any police station within the Durham Region.

Phone: (905) 579-1520 ext. 4104

Criminal background checks:

  • cannot be ordered online
  • cost $55.00
  • take 10 business days to process

Peel Regional Police

Peel Police have advised that they will only provide background checks for residents of Brampton or Mississauga.  Peel residents may go to:

7750 Hurontario Street, Brampton, ON  L6V 3W6, Phone: 905-453-3311 ext. 4391

Open Monday to Saturday. 

Criminal background checks:

  • cannot be ordered online
  • cost $45.00
  • must be requested one hour prior to closing




Licences, Permits and Exemptions Information by Category

Pet licences

How to license your dog or cat and the benefits.