Toronto Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program

In 2011, the City of Toronto approved a bylaw, which now makes disconnecting your downspout mandatory. The Mandatory Downspout Disconnection Program was divided into three phases and includes all buildings city-wide. Since 2011, two phases have been completed, with the third now in the works, with an end date of December 3, 2016.Downspout-Connection

The City of Toronto has made it really easy to find out how your neighbourhood fits into the program by creating a map , which you can enter your address into.

Recently, a statement was released about an independent contractor who is misleading residents with flyers which appear to be from the city. This individual is trying to gain business through the program. If you receive any notices to your door, be cautious. The City is not communicating to residents through mass communications.

Here is a little more about the program and how Water Guard Plumbing can help you disconnect your downspout.

Benefits of Disconnecting Your Downspout

Not only can disconnecting your downspout help prevent basement flooding from occurring, but it can also prevent polluted rainwater from entering the City’s’ water system. There are few things that are worse than the surprise of basement flooding , this is just one of many ways that can help prevent flooding from occurring and save money from costly damages.


In some cases, it may not be possible to disconnect downspouts. Property owners can apply to be exempted from the program. In order to apply to be exempted, you can complete an application form or contact 311.

Financial Assistance

“Financial assistance is available to reimburse the costs of labour and/or materials for performing downspout disconnection work, up to a maximum of $500, for low-income seniors or low-income persons with a disability.”

To Qualify, You Must:

  • Own a residential property within the City of Toronto
  • Have a combined household income of $50,000 or less
  • Be 65 years of age or older
  • OR be 60-64 years of age and receiving Guaranteed Income Supplement under Old Age Security Act; if widowed, be receiving the Spouse’s Allowance under Old Age Security
  • OR be 50 years of age or older and be receive either a pension or a pension annuity resulting from a pension plan under the Income Tax Act (Canada)
  • OR be a person with a disability and be receiving disability benefits

To apply for financial assistance, you can fill out the application form.

If you aren’t comfortable with disconnecting your downspout alone, Water Guard Plumbing is able to help. We are licensed and listed on the City of Toronto’s website, as one of the businesses approved to complete the disconnection. Feel free to contact us at 647-832-1738. You can also download our guide, How to Protect Your Property Against Plumbing Disasters, to learn about other ways you can protect your property.