As our climate changes, in addition to being energy-efficient, homes in Toronto need to be resilient to the shocks and stresses of extreme weather.
With greater and more intense rainfall projected due to climate change, residents should be prepared for flooding. Storms like the one on July 8, 2013, during which Toronto received more than 100 mm of rain within 90 minutes and resulted in almost 4,800 basement flooding complaints, are likely to become more common. Repeated basement flooding can result in the loss of insurance on your home homes or mortgages, and diminished property values.
Homeowners of detached, semi-detached or row-homes can take actions to reduce the risks of basement flooding. You can:
- Install upgrades like a sump pump with back-up power, flood alarms, and a backwater valve.
- Apply to the City of Toronto’s Basement Flooding Prevention Subsidy Program, to help offset the cost of these programs.
- Reduce water runoff by installing a green roof.
- Ensure that you have carried out the mandatory downspout disconnection from the City of Toronto sewer system (unless you have been granted an exemption).
- Learn about other steps to reduce basement flooding.
- Ensure that you have the appropriate insurance. Insurance for sewer backup and flooding often has to be purchased separately. You can find more information from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
Basement Apartment Tenants
Renters in basements of detached, semi-detached or row-home can:
- Use information from the City of Toronto’s basement flooding prevention page to make sure the property has taken actions to reduce the risk of basement flooding.
- Ensure that you have appropriate insurance. You can find more information from the Insurance Bureau of Canada.
- If flooding occurs, take the appropriate steps to minimize risk. Tenants, you can contact the Federation of Metro Tenants’ Association’s hotline (416-921-9494) to know more about your rights.