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How Tall Does Your Fence Need to Be?


Most municipalities have specific fence height requirements, depending on where the fence is located and if it’s in a residential or non-residential property. If you build a fence that’s too high or too low, you may have to tear it down at your own expense, and you may even be fined.


So how tall does your fence need to be? Here’s some basic information to get you started.


Fence measurements

When recording the height of a fence, be careful on where you place your measuring tape. Legal measurements use the “above average grade level,” which is measured perpendicular to and one metre away from either side of the fence. All the measurements mentioned in this article are above average grade level.


Maximum heights

Fences on most non-residential properties should be a maximum height of between 2 and 2.5 metres, according to Toronto’s fence bylaws. The exception is if your business or job site has a front yard that’s closer than 2.4 metres to a street. Then your maximum height should be 1.2 metres.


For institutional properties such as schools, the maximum fence height is 1.5 metres if the fence is adjacent to a public highway or right-of-way.


There are no maximum fence heights for tennis courts, baseball diamonds or other recreational facilities. There’s also no maximum height for properties that abut a rapid transit right of way.


Swimming pools

There’s a specific set of rules for properties that have swimming pools. Multi-residential properties such as condominium complexes and apartment buildings with outdoor swimming pools must have a fence that’s 1.8 metres high. There are also regulations for the maximum width of the fence’s slats or mesh size in chain-link fencing.


Remember, properties with swimming pools also need self-closing and self-latching gates.


Construction sites

Construction site fences also have specific regulations. Construction sites that are adjacent to a residential property need to be at least 1.8 metres high. If the construction site is a residential property, the maximum height is 1.2 metres.


Before beginning any fence installation project, be sure to check your local bylaws. Keep in mind, even municipalities that are close together may have different rules. For example, Toronto’s fence bylaws may differ from Mississauga’s.

Fence experts in the GTA

No matter the project, the fence builders at City Fence can design, install and maintain your commercial or industrial fences. We have more than 35 years of experience helping customers in the Greater Toronto area build fences that adhere to all applicable codes and regulations. Contact us today to talk to one of our experts or arrange a free on-site quote.


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