Confused by Toronto’s fence bylaw? The time has come for you to have your say! The City of Toronto wants to hear your feedback on how to improve and clarify the rules governing fences on private properties.
To condo dwellers in the downtown core, the idea of a community meeting to discuss a fence bylaw probably sounds unnecessary (or perhaps just boring). But as mundane as it may seem, property fences are a big deal for property owners!
The whole concept of single-family living is based on having your own land, so how you define the perimeter of that land is important. In some cases, people own a 3,000 square foot home on a 50’ lot, but that doesn’t mean their neighbour isn’t just a few feet away; many fence issues arise from neighbour disputes.
Earlier this year, an Aurora household had to officially complain about a legally built fence that covered three windows and blocked access to gas pipes and the fireplace air flow vent. Even more recently, two neighbours in London, Ontario got into a heated and expensive legal battle over a two-foot strip of land, a walkway, and a healthy hedge.
Last year, an altercation took place in Indianapolis where two men feuding over a dog and the location of a fence ended up arguing and fighting on either side of said fence. It actually led to gunfire and a man in critical condition.
We’re not saying you need to participate in the upcoming public meeting or else your neighbour will declare war on you, but clearly it’s a touchy subject here, in the rest of Ontario, and south of the border.
The City believes the fence bylaw needs to be modernized so it’s more understandable for residents and can address the safety and needs of the community.
Here’s a list of the considerations, via the City of Toronto:
- Increasing fence height
- Changing regulations around hedges and shrubs that act as fences
- Updating pool enclosure requirements to provide more flexibility for residents and recognize changes in the types and styles of enclosures in today’s market
- Changing the fence exemption application process
- Increasing maximum fine amounts for fence violations
The community meeting is on April 4th from 6 pm to 8 pm at the North York Civic Centre, Committee Room 3, 5100 Yonge St.