Fence By-law

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Municipal Office

395 Mulock Drive P.O. Box 328 Station Main, Newmarket, Ontario
L3Y 4X7
905-895-5193

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The Town of Newmarket's Fence By-law 2019-20 provides a clear regulatory framework for fencing, privacy screens and cost sharing in our community, including types of fences permitted, height and setback provisions and more. Residents are to consult the Fence By-law prior to building a fence, privacy screen or pool enclosure to ensure the minimum requirement of this By-law have been established.  

I want to build a fence. Do I need a permit?
A permit is not required to build or replace your fence, however, you are required to comply with the Fence By-law 2019-20. The Fence By-law sets out minimum standards for the installation, maintenance and repair. However, if the fence is to be used as a pool enclosure, you will require a pool enclosure permit.
What should I do before I erect a fence?
Before erecting a fence, please review the Town of Newmarket's Fence By-law 2019-20. If you have any questions or concerns with regards to the by-law, please contact the Town of Newmarket at 905-895-5193 or info@newmarket.ca. Remember to call before you dig to ensure it is safe to do so, by contacting the Ontario One Call to locate underground infrastructure at 1-800-400-2255. 
When erecting a fence in Newmarket, who determines the property lines?
You can determine your property lines by looking at the property survey, which you should have received at the time you purchased your home. The Town of Newmarket does not determine property lines, therefore, if you do not have a copy of your property survey, you must hire a private firm to survey the property.

Should adjoining property owners share in the cost of a divisional fence?
The cost of a fence between two property owners should be shared as both parties are legally considered joint owners of the fence. 

The Fence By-law helps neighbours to determine how the cost of divisonal fences should be shared. Neighbours should negotiate an agreement for the construction of a divisional fence. If an agreement cannot be reached, the neighbour requires a 14 day notice period before an owner can begin construction, repair or replacement of a divisional fence.

In advance of commencing construction, the owner wishing to proceed with building a fence must submit a Notice of Intent to the adjoining property owner, by registered mail, advising of the intent to construct/ maintain a division fence. The Notice of Intent must contain the following information: 
  • Three written quotes for actual cost of fence work
  • Statement indicating that the maintenance or construction may commence 14 business days after the mailing of the notice and that the owner may seek contributory payment for the work
  • Statement that the adjoining owner may seek three additional quotes for presentation to the owner no later than 10 business days from the date of mailing the Notice of Intent
  • A complete copy of the by-law must be attached 
For more information consult Bylaw 2019-21 for cost division by-law.
What are the height restrictions for erecting a fence?
The height of a fence is measured grade at the base of the fence. 
Front Yard - Front yard fences may reach a maximum height of 1 metre (3 feet).
Side Yard - Side yard fences may reach a maximum height of 1.8 metres (6 feet).
Rear Yard - Rear yard fences may reach a maximum height of 2 metres (7 feet). 
What are the set back provisions for putting up a fence and privacy screen?
Provided that where a driveway adjacent to a fence which abuts a municipal sidewalk, the owner shall ensure that there is 5 metre (16 feet) daylighting triangle. A daylight triangle means a triangular area of land on a corner lot, free of buildings or structures, formed by measuring from the point of intersection of the street lines, the distance required by this bylaw, along each such street line and joining such points with a straight line. A street line is defined as the boundary between a public or private street and a lot. Privacy screens in residential zones shall not be closer to a lot line or street line than a deck would be permitted to be located pursuant to the Zoning By-law.
What types of fences and privacy screens are permitted within the bylaw and the Town of Newmarket
The types of fences permitted as per the Fence By-law include:
  • wood
  • fibreglass
  • plastic
  • metal
  • lattice
  • wire
  • chain link
  • masonary 
To view what is not included as appreved fence materials, conult our By-law under the fences definition

The following are accepted materials to use for privacy screens:
  • pilings
  • lattice
  • rails
  • wire
  • chain link
  • masonary
What is a privacy screen and what are the height restrictions?
A privacy screen is a type of fence that can be a maximum height of 3 metres (9 feet, 10 inches), provided that it is placed at least 1.2 metres (4 feet) from any side or rear lot line and at least 4.5 metres (14 feet, 9 inches) from a front lot line. Any one individual section of the screen shall not be more that 9 metres (29 feet, 6 inches) in length and the total length of the screen cannot exceed 12 metres (39 feet, 4 inches) in length. To learn more about Privacy Screens, consult the By-law.

When can I build my new fence?
Homeowners should not install any landscaping or construct any structures which may alter the grading and/or drainage to their lot or neighbouring lots, until the grading has been completed by the developer and certified by the consulting engineer. This is to ensure the builder can perform work to complete grading and finish works within the subdivision. If you build a fence before the consulting engineer has approved the grading, your builder may ask you to remove the fence. And remember, always call before you dig to ensure the installation of a fence will not impact the underground infrastructure, by calling 1-800-400-2255. 
Does the Fence By-law pertain to swimming pool enclosures?
A pool is defined as a body of water capable of holding water with a depth at any point in excess of 0.61 metres (2 feet), including hot tubs or inflatable pools. All swimming pools within the Town must be fully enclosed in a safe manner by a fence, building or wall. The enclosure should:

  • Be no less than 1.2 metres (4 feet) in height.
  • Have openings that are no greater than 38 millimetres (1.5 inches) except for pool enclosures which are not chain link fences or wood latice, the opening will not be greater than 100 milimetres (4 inches)
  • Be equipped with a lock as well as a self-closing and self-latching device on all gates and doors
  • Not have any part or near the exterior face of the fence or gate that would facilitate climbing
  • Be completely constructed before the pool is filled with water
  • Be maintained in a safe and structurally-sound manner.
All pools require a pool enclosure regardless of when they were built. A pool enclose permit is required before beginning construction. Permits may be obtainer from the Town. For further information on pool enclosures, please refer to the Pool Enclosure By-law 2008-18.
Remember!
If your fence is in violation of the Fence By-law, or the Town receives a complaint regarding your fence, you will be required to modify the fence and bring it into compliance with the Town of Newmarket's Fence By-law 2019-20, as amended. This brochure is for general information only and should not be used as a substitute for the Town of Newmarket's Fence By-law, as amended.

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