Buskers, performers and sidewalk (chalk) artists

Busking means to play music or otherwise perform for voluntary donations in the street. Examples of buskers are singers, jugglers and mimes.

How to apply 

Applicants must complete the application form and apply in person at the Licence & Permit Issuing Office. To apply, applicants must pay the appropriate application fee. Applicants will have a photo taken at the office.

Where can a busker perform?

Buskers must not obstruct:

  • the passage of pedestrians (leave three metres of passable space)
  • transit stops, postal boxes
  • driveways, building entrances or exits, display windows or fire hose connections


  • must be at least nine metres from an intersection
  • must perform on public property only
  • that are performing music must operate at least 50 metres from other musical acts

What else do buskers need to know?

  • no part of your performance, equipment, or props can pose any risk to the public
  • you cannot permanently mark or damage pavement or use spray paint
  • artwork cannot advertise any commercial business or product
  • generators, amplifiers or sounds systems are not allowed

Are there specific rules for Buskers around the Eaton Centre?

From Monday to Friday, you can operate between noon and 2 p.m. and after 5 p.m. There are no time restrictions on weekends.

How long are permits valid?

Permits expire on March 31st each year. Permits issued in January expire on March 31st of the current year. Permits issued in February or later expire on March 31st of the following year. You must have your permit and City photo identification card available to show a City bylaw officer or a member of the Toronto Police Service, on request.



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