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.

To assist, 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 (T94, T92), 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:

Each property owner is required to have a contractor licensed by the City of Toronto carry out a site assessment to determine the suitability of isolating their property from the City’s sewer system.

Contractors with a valid City of Toronto business license will have a 9 digit license number beginning with the following: T94, T92, T87, T85.

Before work starts, verify that your contractor has a valid City of Toronto business license by contacting Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) at 416-392-6700 or checking online. If your contractor does not have a valid City of Toronto license, you will be denied funding for the work completed.

A: Backwater valve

In consultation with a City of Toronto Plumbing Contractor (T94, T92) or Drain Contractor (T87), homeowners may determine that a backwater valve(s) on the sanitary sewer and/or stormwater connection could provide adequate basement flooding protection.

Available subsidy = 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,250 including eligible labour, materials, permit and taxes. The subsidy for a backwater valve(s) is limited to the maximum subsidy amount of $1250, regardless of the number of valves installed at the property.

The following costs associated with the backwater valve installation also qualify for the subsidy.
Replacement of an existing backwater valve
Installation of an alarm

B: Sump pump

In consultation with a City of Toronto Plumbing Contractor (T94, T92) and/or a Building Renovator (T85) and/or a Drain Contractor (T87), homeowners may determine that a sump pump, along with a backup power supply is required to manage the water normally collected by footing weeping tiles that drain to the sanitary, storm or combined sewer. Seek advice from your contractor to see if installing a back-up power source would benefit your property.

Available subsidy = 80% of the invoiced cost up to a maximum of $1,750 including eligible labour, materials and taxes.

The following costs associated with the sump pump installation also qualify for the subsidy.
Installation of an alarm for a sump pump
Installation of back-up power for a sump pump
Installation of an additional sump pump
Replacement of an existing sump pump

C: Foundation Drain (Weeping Tile) pipe severance and capping

In consultation with a City of Toronto Plumbing Contractor (T94, T92) or Drain Contractor (T87) 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.

Note: Disconnecting the downspouts from your property’s eavestrough system is not eligible for a subsidy under this program.

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 downspouts from your property’s eavestrough must be disconnected from the sewer system.
  • 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.
  • You must submit your application within one year of completion of work as indicated on your invoice.
  • A permit must be obtained and inspection passed by a City of Toronto building inspector for a backwater valve.
  • Your contractor must possess a valid City of Toronto business license.
  • Original invoices must be provided.
  • Submitting an application does not guarantee a subsidy.

How to apply for a subsidy

For Backwater Valve installation proceed to step 1, for all other claims complete the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application form.

Step 1: In consultation with a City of Toronto licensed Plumbing Contractor, have an assessment of your property completed. If you plan to install a backwater valve on your property, you or your plumber must complete the following:

If are not installing a backwater valve, complete the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application form.

Step 2: Obtain a permit from the City of Toronto Building Division.

Permits can be obtained at the following locations:
Toronto City Hall, 100 Queen Street West
416-392-7539

Etobicoke York District
2 Civic Centre Court
416-394-8002
Wards: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 11, 12, 13, 17

Step 3: 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 confirm whether the installation meets the applicable Building Code requirements.

Step 4:  Complete the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application form.

Step 5:  Include original invoice(s) with your application. Invoice(s) must show an itemized cost breakdown of all work applicable to this subsidy and the invoice must be clearly marked “paid in full”. If your General Contractor uses a sub-contractor, please include an original invoice from the sub-contractor with your invoice(s).

You may also visit my community office Tuesdays & Thursday from 9:00 am to 12 noon or Saturday from 9:00 am to 1:00 pm.  My office is located at:
91 Via Italia, First Floor,
Toronto, ON M6H 3S2
(Ground Floor entrance of Green “P” Toronto Parking Authority)
Phone: 416-392-0399