Toronto offers up to $3,400 in flood protection subsidies for homeowners

Aug 9 2018, 12:55 pm

Tuesday night’s torrential downpour is a reminder to Toronto residents about home flooding.

And the City of Toronto has a basement flooding page that has tips on how to reduce flooding but also information on the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program.

“While the City of Toronto is working to make improvements to its complex system of underground pipes, sewers and catch basins, these improvements alone cannot completely protect a home from basement flooding,” reads the site.

With increasingly frequent severe weather events, the city states that it is essential that homeowners take appropriate action to reduce the risk of basement flooding on their own private property.

To help, Toronto 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.

For each of the devices, the city offers about 80% subsidy on the total cost.

As this is a city program, there are a few rules, such as these subsidies are available only to existing homes, not homes in the planning stages or currently under construction. Residents also must apply to the city for subsidy before installation, and 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.

The City of Toronto’s sewer system is designed to handle most storms, but not severe storms, such as this week’s intense rain.

Toronto also recommends homeowners to take these steps to help prevent their basements from flooding:

  • Ensure the ground is sloping away from your home’s foundation
  • Fix leaks in your basement and around windows
  • Seal window wells
  • Clear eavestroughs and downspouts of debris
  • Disconnect downspouts that empty into the sewer system, making sure they drain at last 1.8 metres/6 feet from your basement walls
  • Install soft-surface landscaping (e.g., shrubs, porous paving)
  • Insert sewer connection backwater valves
  • Install a basement sump pump
  • Avoid pouring grease into your drains

See also
DH Toronto StaffDH Toronto Staff

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