With the increase of flash weather events like heavy rainstorms and snow melts the thought of your basement filling up with Toronto sewer water may leave you feeling noxious. Fortunately, the City of Toronto has created an opportunity for property owners to prevent sewer water backup and to benefit by a program that offers up to $3,400.00 in financial subsidies on their residences.
The initiative is called The Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program and is available to residential single-family, duplex and triplex homes in Toronto.
The subsidy is available to those who install flood protection devices such as a backwater valve, a sump pump, and foundation drain pipe severance and capping of the home’s storm sewer or external weeping tile connection.
Peter Goffin, Staff Reporter for the Toronto Star wrote about the City of Toronto’s subsidy in May of 2017.
“Over the past decade, the municipal government has put $37 million toward the costs of flood-proofing for 21,500 properties, through the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.”
The average homeowner participating in the program has received up to $1,700.00 in subsidies. In order to participate, homeowners must obtain building permits and have their licenced contractors complete the work and pass city inspections in advance of submitting their application for subsidies to City Hall. The approval process can take several weeks. The demand for application submission may exceed the money available in the City’s allocated annual budget for flood prevention and the distribution of funds is based on a first come, first serve basis.
Demand for flood protection has increased over Southern Ontario. In the great rainstorm of 2013 when Toronto was deluged with a month’s worth of rain in a week, the equivalent to 12.6 m of rain according to Environment Canada weather reports, fell and drowned out highways, subway stations, roads, and backyards as well as basements. From that flood alone the city received over 4,700 complaints of flooding.
The following is a breakdown of the three types of flood protection work that is eligible for this financial subsidy:
A: BACKWATER VALVE Installation Cost Subsidy
You can expect an 80% refund of the cost of the contractor’s invoice for a backwater valve that includes the permit, materials, labour and taxes to a maximum of $1,250:
A1: Installation of a backwater valve
A2: Replacement of an existing backwater valve
A3: Installation of the alarm for the backwater valve
B: SUMP PUMP Installation Cost Subsidy
The available subsidy for a sump pump is 80% of the contractor’s invoice including the cost of the permit, materials, labour, and taxes to a maximum of $1,750.00
B1: Installation of a sump pump
B2: Replacement of an existing sump pump
B3: Installation of back-up power for the sump pump
C: FOUNDATION DRAINPIPE (weeping tile) SEVERANCE and CAPPING Installation Cost Subsidy
A refund of up to 80% of the cost of the contractor’s invoice for labour, materials and taxes, to a maximum of $400.00 is available for the foundation drainpipe severance and capping.
C1: Disconnection of foundation drainpipe from the City’s sewer system by severing and capping the underground sewer connection.
12 Conditions of the Installation Cost Subsidy for the City of Toronto, Richmond Hill, Vaughan, Pickering, Ajax, and Oshawa Rebate
- You must disconnect the downspouts from your eaves trough so that they are no longer connected to the City’s sewer system.
- It is important to know that disconnecting the downspouts from your property’s eaves trough system is not eligible for a subsidy under this program.
- You can apply to the city for an exemption in disconnecting your downspouts from your eaves.
- The subsidy is available only to existing homes, not homes in the planning stages or currently under construction.
- You must be the registered owner of a single-family residential, duplex or triplex property within the City of Toronto.
- All front yard paved areas of the property, including parking pads, must comply with the City’s Zoning By-law requirements.
- For backwater valve installations, a building permit must be obtained from the City and an inspection passed by a City of Toronto building inspector prior to your application for financial subsidy is made.
- At the time of the building inspection of the newly installed backwater valve or otherwise at the request of the City: You must agree to,
8a) Provide consent to the City and its personnel, to verify that the installation has been completed in accordance with the requirements and conditions of the Program.
8b) Provide consent to the City and its personnel to take digital images such as video and photographs of the flood protection device(s) to which this subsidy applies.
- Your contractor(s) and any sub-contractor(s) who will complete the installation of flood prevention device(s) must hold a valid licence from the City of Toronto for the installation work, at the time of installation
- Your submission to the city for the subsidy must include your completed application form together with your original invoices from the licensed plumber contractor(s) and any sub-contractor(s) who installed the flood prevention device(s).
- You must not have any outstanding taxes or debts owed to the City of Toronto at the time your application is processed.
- Submitting an application does not guarantee a subsidy. Subsidies are issued on a “first-come, first-serve” basis, and are subject to annual funding approved by City Council.
For more information on how to apply for Toronto residents click on this link:
Durham Region and the City of Vaughan
There are subsidies given to residents who live in the Durham Region and the City of Vaughan however, they are not identical. These programs differ in the following ways.
Durham Region offers a one-time interest free loan
- A) An interest free loan, not to exceed $3,000, with repayment in equal amounts added to the resident’s quarterly water and sewer bill. The repayment term is not to exceed 3 years.
- B) Loans are advanced upon receipt of original invoices for eligible expenses incurred by the homeowner for eligible contracting services relating to the installation of a sump-pump and approved backwater valve.
- C) The installation must be approved by a municipal plumbing inspector.
For more information see: http://www.durham.ca/departments/works/sewer/basementflooding/sump_pump_loan_application.pdf
City of Vaughan
A) 50% subsidy up to a maximum of $750.00 on the contractor’s invoiced cost for installing an approved back-water valve, including eligible labour, materials, permit and taxes.
B) The owner must obtain a plumbing permit and arrange for the necessary inspection for the back-water valve installation from the Building Standards Department
C) Each property owner is required to have their site assessed to establish the suitability of isolating their property from the sewer system. This has to be conducted by a plumber or contractor licensed by the City of Toronto or registered with the Regional Municipality of York.
For more information on the City of Vaughan see: