Automotive

Is it illegal to wash your car on your driveway in Ontario?

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  • May 12th, 2020 4:49 am
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2017
62 posts
176 upvotes

Is it illegal to wash your car on your driveway in Ontario?

Apparently you're only allowed to wash and clean your car with water, and only during specific times of the week depending upon your municipality's rules?

You can't use any car soap products?
33 replies
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
6112 posts
4722 upvotes
Well, what does your city say?

Most city's storm drain goes directly to the river untreated, unlike your sink/toilet. So they don't want soap and other product hitting the system.

Now I assume you may be able to get away with it if you live in some small 10,000 people rural communities.

Or you can do this and get a shopvac to suck and carry water to a proper drain.

[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2017
62 posts
176 upvotes
Xtrema wrote: Well, what does your city say?

Most city's storm drain goes directly to the river untreated, unlike your sink/toilet. So they don't want soap and other product hitting the system.

Now I assume you may be able to get away with it if you live in some small 10,000 people rural communities.

Or you can do this and get a shopvac to suck and carry water to a proper drain.

I couldn't find any information on the city's website. I'm going to contact them for an official response.
Deal Addict
Aug 17, 2008
1148 posts
565 upvotes
Many municipalities have a by-law against this, but it's not strictly enforced. If a neighbour complains, you will be "educated". After it is explained to you, if you keep ignoring the bylaw and neighbour complains, you could be fined. But this is rare, because most people assume it is perfectly normal to wash your car on your driveway.

https://www.wheels.ca/news/when-is-it-i ... -your-car/

For those in Toronto, here's the Toronto bylaw (passed in 2000). I'd say most municipalities have similar bylaws -- it would be under storm sewer run-off (e.g. Calgary, Markham, Ottawa all have similar bylaws as Toronto):
https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... -surfaces/
Deal Expert
Aug 22, 2011
35224 posts
21197 upvotes
Center of Universe
multimut wrote: Many municipalities have a by-law against this, but it's not strictly enforced. If a neighbour complains, you will be "educated". After it is explained to you, if you keep ignoring the bylaw and neighbour complains, you could be fined. But this is rare, because most people assume it is perfectly normal to wash your car on your driveway.

https://www.wheels.ca/news/when-is-it-i ... -your-car/

For those in Toronto, here's the Toronto bylaw (passed in 2000). I'd say most municipalities have similar bylaws -- it would be under storm sewer run-off (e.g. Calgary, Markham, Ottawa all have similar bylaws as Toronto):
https://www.toronto.ca/services-payment ... -surfaces/
Bunch of hypocrites, as I've seen city endorsed charity car washes by fire fighters and police.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Sep 2, 2006
5988 posts
665 upvotes
Stouffville, ON
en3rgy wrote: Apparently you're only allowed to wash and clean your car with water, and only during specific times of the week depending upon your municipality's rules?

You can't use any car soap products?
bored at home? just posting things that don't make any sense eh?
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Deal Addict
User avatar
Sep 23, 2009
3440 posts
867 upvotes
Oshawa, ON
No By-law for City of Markham, confirmed directly from their department. I do use biodegradable soap as well.
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Last edited by EnyCe on May 7th, 2020 8:01 pm, edited 2 times in total.
Deal Fanatic
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Apr 23, 2007
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Mississauga
This a troll thread?
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[OP]
Newbie
Jul 9, 2017
62 posts
176 upvotes
m4gician wrote: bored at home? just posting things that don't make any sense eh?
What part of my question doesn't make any sense? In many municipalities, there are restrictions set in place for watering your lawn (even or odd days depending on your street number, specific time periods, etc.) How is the public supposed to know if these same rules don't also apply to washing your car?
Deal Fanatic
Sep 1, 2004
6112 posts
4722 upvotes
en3rgy wrote: What part of my question doesn't make any sense? In many municipalities, there are restrictions set in place for watering your lawn (even or odd days depending on your street number, specific time periods, etc.) How is the public supposed to know if these same rules don't also apply to washing your car?


Or say which municipality you are from and the sleuths here will point that out to you.

But I think by this point, most should know that you should not wash car with products on your driveway unless you have a system to divert water to sewage and away from storm drain.

And most people don't care except for some Karens of the the neighborhood that may rat you out.
Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Dec 28, 2007
7957 posts
4573 upvotes
Alberta
The city dumps how many tons of salt, calcium chloride and what other chemicals on the road in the winter for deicer and you can't wash your car on the driveway. That's f*d up.
Deal Addict
Jan 1, 2013
1796 posts
977 upvotes
Durham
People insulting the OP. However this is in fact a by-law in many municipalities. But like others said its not really enforced.
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Deal Fanatic
User avatar
Jan 17, 2002
7357 posts
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Toronto
Yes it is pretty common now, most places there is a bylaw due to the pollution. There is still one guy on my street that does it though.
Deal Expert
User avatar
Feb 11, 2007
15638 posts
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Oakville
frogger wrote: Yes it is pretty common now, most places there is a bylaw due to the pollution. There is still one guy on my street that does it though.
Everyone on my street does it. Not sure what soap they use but I use a biodegradable one. I guess you could wash your car on your lawn and that would be ok.
Sr. Member
Sep 29, 2007
570 posts
160 upvotes
Port Colborne
What does this have to do with Ontario
Deal Expert
User avatar
Apr 21, 2004
54474 posts
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engineered wrote: Everyone on my street does it. Not sure what soap they use but I use a biodegradable one. I guess you could wash your car on your lawn and that would be ok.
Good to know. :)
Deal Addict
Jan 8, 2007
2740 posts
1275 upvotes
Calgary
I believe it can be up to a $3,000 fine if they find your car wash soap going into storm drain where I live.

Doing it on grass would be fine, or in the back alley on gravel or some such thing.
Deal Guru
User avatar
Jul 12, 2003
11444 posts
3710 upvotes
Toronto
jackrabbit000 wrote: The city dumps how many tons of salt, calcium chloride and what other chemicals on the road in the winter for deicer and you can't wash your car on the driveway. That's f*d up.
+1

What kind of logic is this lol
I hand wash my car few times in a year really depending on weather. Never have an issue.
Retired Forum Moderator February 2009 - June 2015
Jr. Member
Oct 16, 2019
113 posts
56 upvotes
I just pretend this bylaw doesn't exist

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