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How do Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Programs Work?

May 13, 2015 by

With climate change bringing an increase in the number of severe storms we experience, it is more important than ever to ensure your home has adequate flood protection measures in place. The City of Toronto is working towards improving the sewage and water supply system, a complex network of underground pipes, sewers, and catch basins, but this cannot provide 100% reliable protection against basement flooding.

Basement Flood Protection

For this reason, the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program was put in place. This program is open to the owners of residential buildings including single family homes and duplex or triplex apartment buildings, and provides financial reimbursement to cover the cost of flood protection measures such as backwater valves, sump pumps, and storm sewer connection severance.


Eligibility for this program is based on several factors including:

  • The property must be registered within the City of Toronto as a single-family, duplex, or triplex residential building.
  • Only pre-existing homes are eligible for the subsidy program.
  • Where possible, all eaves trough downspouts must be disconnected from the city’s sewer system.
  • The installation of your backwater valve must be performed by a plumber licensed in the City of Toronto.
  • The installation of a sump pump and sump pit and the severance of a storm sewer connection must be performed by a contractor licensed in the City of Toronto.
  • All backwater valves installations must be approved by inspection and obtain a valid building permit.
  • All properties featuring a parking pad instead of a driveway must comply with Zoning By-Law requirements.
  • All installations must be completed before application.
  • All invoices must display a clear breakdown of the services provided and their associated costs and must be clearly marked Paid in Full.
  • The property owner (or authorized legal representative) must sign and date the application form.
  • All supporting documentation must be originals, no photocopies will be accepted.
  • The completed application and supporting documentation must be submitted to the program office within 1 year of the completion of work as stated on the invoice.
  • All subsidies are subject to available funding and are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
  • This subsidy will only be provided once for each eligible installation per property on a no-fault basis.

How to Apply

In order to ensure your home is protected as much as possible from storm water damage, begin by consulting a licensed plumber for an assessment and a recommendation. If you wish to install a backwater valve, you will need to obtain a building permit from the City of Toronto Building Division. You will need to go to a Service Center and provided drawings and the required payment. If your proposal meets the city’s requirements, you will be given a permit.

Once the recommended work has been completed and paid for, obtain an itemized invoice from your plumber or contractor that is clearly marked Paid in Full. Complete the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program application form and mail it, with all required supporting documents, to:

Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy Program
City of Toronto
PO Box 15266
Toronto, ON M7Y 2W1

Once your application is received, the program office will review your application and determine your eligibility. If your application is incomplete or missing required documentation, it will be returned. If rejected, you will be notified by mail.

For additional information, you can visit the official Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy page or contact the City of Toronto by email at or by phone at 3-1-1.

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