City of Toronto By-Law: Mandatory Downspout Disconnection

Toronto Property Owners to Disconnect Eavestroughing Downspouts by Dec ‘16

Eavestrough Cleaning and MaintanceThe City of Toronto is currently implementing a by-law that requires all property owners to redirect their downspouts from emptying directly into the city’s sewer system.  This was first applicable to property owners in the central area of the city (late 2011) followed by those in a defined study area (late 2013).  The by-law now encompasses all property owners in the remaining areas of Toronto, requiring that all downspouts be disconnected by December 3, 2016 (with certain exceptions based on feasibility).

There are two primary reasons for enacting such a program:

  • To reduce the risk of basement flooding (backed-up sewers due to water volume)
  • To reduce the amount of polluted rainwater entering directly into local waterways

For property owners in the third and final group that must comply with the by-law before the end of 2016, the process for disconnecting their downspouts from the sewer system may or will entail the following:

  • Cutting off the existing downspout about 9-12 inches from ground level
  • Adding an elbow to redirect rainwater/snowmelt away from the foundation
  • Laying a splash pad at the end of the elbow to help in dispersing the water
  • Capping the abandoned drainpipe that extends down below ground level
  • Moving one or more downspouts to different locations/positions (if needed)
  • Regrading the eavestrough slope to accommodate relocated downspouts

In situations that are relatively straightforward, that is, just the first four steps outlined above, homeowners/property owners may be able to disconnect their own downspouts.  However, when matters are more complicated, such as the repositioning of downspouts and/or the regrading of eavestroughing, Toronto residents and building owners would be advised to utilize the services of professional eavestrough installers such as the crews from Avenue Road Roofing.  The City of Toronto has identified Avenue Road Roofing as a preferred contractor to perform these disconnection procedures city-wide.

While all property owners in the City of Toronto must comply with this by-law, there may be circumstances where financial assistance will be provided to help reimburse the costs of materials and labour, the latter being dependent on the use of professional services.  The amount of aid/support is capped at $500.00 and eligibility requirements include:

  • Ownership of a residential property within the City of Toronto
  • A combined income for the household of $50,000.00 or less
  • At least 65 years or under 65 years and receiving disability benefits

Additional details on the qualifications for financial assistance can be obtained by visiting

Leading Contractor Offers Unique RainPro Eavestroughing for Toronto Homes.

Further to its endorsement for the downspout disconnect program by the City of Toronto, Avenue Road Roofing has been a leading roofing and eavestroughing contractor in Toronto and the GTA for more than 40 years.  With respect to its eavestrough services, the expertise of Avenue Road Roofing has been further recognized by its certification to install the RainPro series of gutters – it is also important to note that only a select few contractors have been afforded such status by this manufacturer.

The RainPro series offers the uniqueness of gutters with a 6” capacity while maintaining the appearance of traditional 5” capacity eavestroughs installed on most homes.  Such a design concept allows RainPro eavestroughs to deliver several advantages when expertly installed by an Avenue Road Roofing crew:

  • Greater and faster water/snowmelt flow and drainage
  • More protection for the building against water damage
  • Greater metal thickness for maximum strength/longevity
  • Aesthetics/curb appeal – available in many colour choices
  • Low maintenance – guaranteed not to crack, peel, scratch

More information on eavestroughing moving requirments available from City of Toronto website.

If you require assistance in complying with the City of Toronto downspout disconnection by-law, including the repositioning of downspouts and gutters, call the professionals at Avenue Road Roofing today at 416-785-5129 to arrange a service visit at your earliest convenience.