Help protect yourself against basement flooding
Basements can flood for many reasons. While the City of Toronto is working to make improvements to its complex system of underground pipes, sewers and catchbasins, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding. With the increasingly frequent and severe weather, it is essential that homeowners take the appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding on their own private property. Those who isolate their home from the City’s sewer system can significantly reduce the risk of basement flooding.
The City offers owners of single-family, duplex and triplex residential homes a financial subsidy of up to $3,400 per property to install flood protection devices including a backwater valve, a sump pump, and pipe severance and capping of the home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.
Work that is eligible
Each property owner is required to have a Plumbing Contractor, licensed by the City of Toronto and carry out a site assessment to determine the suitability of isolating their property from the City’s sewer system. The following items and works are eligible for a subsidy after proper installation:
A: Backwater valve
In consultation with a Plumbing Contractor or Drain Contractor licensed by the City of Toronto, homeowners may determine that a backwater valve on the sanitary sewage and/or stormwater connection could provide sufficient basement flooding protection.
Available subsidy = 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,250 including eligible labour, materials, permit and taxes.
B: Sump pump
In consultation with a Plumbing Contractor and/or a Building Renovator with an endorsement for concrete work licensed by the City of Toronto, homeowners may determine that a sump pump is required to manage the water normally collected by footing weeping tiles that drain to the sanitary, storm or combined sewer. Sump pumps need power to operate, so consider installing a back-up power source.
Available subsidy = 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,750 including eligible labour, materials and taxes.
C: Pipe severance and capping
In consultation with a Plumbing Contractor or Drain Contractor licensed by the City of Toronto, homeowners may determine that disconnecting foundation drains (weeping tiles) from the City’s sewer system by severing and capping the underground sewer connection is also required to protect the home from basement flooding.
Available subsidy = 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $400 including eligible labour, materials and taxes.
Eligibility requirements and information
The City of Toronto will determine the eligibility of properties that meet the requirements listed below:
- The property must be registered as a single-family residential, duplex or triplex property within the City of Toronto.
- The subsidy is available only to existing homes, not homes in the planning stages or currently under construction.
- The property must have its eavestrough downspouts properly disconnected from the City sewer system, where possible.
- A plumber currently licensed by the City of Toronto, must be hired to install a backwater valve.
- A plumber or contractor currently licensed by the City of Toronto must be hired to install a sump pump and/or perform severance and capping.
- A building permit and an approved inspection must be obtained for backwater valve installations.
- For properties with a parking pad instead of a driveway, all front yard paved areas must comply with the City’s Zoning By-law requirements.
- All installations must be completed before the applicant applies for the subsidy.
- Invoice(s) must show a cost breakdown of all charges, the total amount paid and be clearly marked as “paid in full”.
- The property owner or authorized legal representative must sign and date the application form.
- All documents must be originals. No photocopies will be accepted.
- Applications and supporting documentation must be received by the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program office within one year of the date of completion of the work, as listed on your original invoice(s).
- Subsidies for eligible work are subject to available funding and provided on a first-come, first-served basis.
- Subsidies are provided one time only for each eligible installation, per property, and on a no-fault basis.
How to apply for a subsidy
Consult with a plumber licensed by the City of Toronto for an assessment and recommendation of the appropriate installation(s) that will isolate your property from the City’s sewer system. More information on plumbing/contractor license information.
If you are NOT installing a backwater valve, continue to step number 2.
The following steps are applicable for backwater valve installations only.
If you plan on having a backwater valve installed on your property, you or your plumber must first:
- Obtain a permit from the City of Toronto Building Division.
- To obtain a permit, you must go to one of the City of Toronto service counters and provide the required fee and a drawing (signed by the property owner). If the proposed work meets the Building Code requirements, you will be provided with a permit.
Permits can be obtained at the following locations:
Toronto and East York District
Toronto City Hall
100 Queen Street West
Wards: 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 22, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31, 32
North York District
North York Civic Centre
5100 Yonge Street
Wards: 8, 9, 10, 15, 16, 23, 24, 25, 26, 33, 34
Etobicoke York District
2 Civic Centre Court
Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17
Scarborough Civic Centre
150 Borough Drive
Wards: 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40, 41, 42, 43, 44
- Request an inspection for the completed installation.
Backwater valve installations require an inspection by Toronto Building division. Please be sure to schedule an inspection before enclosing or covering the work. This will ensure the inspector is able to see if the installation meets the applicable Building Code requirements.
After the flooding protection work has been completed, obtain an itemized invoice marked “paid in full” from your City of Toronto-licensed plumber or contractor.
Mail the completed application form with all the required documentation to:
Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program
City of Toronto
PO Box 15266 STN BRM B
Toronto, ON M7Y 2W1
City staff will then review your application and determine if you are eligible for a subsidy.
If your application is incomplete or you have not included the proper documentation, it will not be processed and all documents will be returned to you. If your application is denied, you will be notified by mail.
Download the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy application form.