The City's public right-of-way

Understanding the public right-of-way.

The public right-of-way, also known as municipal road allowance, refers to a piece of City-owned land. It includes the roadways, sidewalks and a section of land used for utility services (e.g. electrical equipment, water mains, gas lines and telecommunication cables).

On a residential street, this usually means that the section of the front lawn closer to the roadway is publicly owned. However, the section of the lawn closer to the house is owned by the homeowner.

How does Toronto Hydro use the City's public right-of-way?

We use the space for the installation and maintenance of our equipment. Some of it is underground while others, such as poles and grade transformers, are above ground and visible. Both types of equipment are equally important for providing customers with reliable service.

What happens to customer-owned structures and/or landscaping within the City's public right-of-way?

We understand the care and effort that residents put into beautifying and maintaining this piece of land, and we do our best to minimize any damage. However, please be aware that if damage occurs, our involvement with the costs associated for repairing customer-owned structures and/or landscaping may be limited.

If you have questions about how affected areas will be restored, please refer to the City’s Municipal Consent Requirements for guidelines.

Questions or concerns about upcoming work?

If you have questions or concerns about our planned work within the public right-of-way, we encourage you to reach out to our Customer Operations Communications Office. You can reach them by email at or by phone at 416-542-3366, Monday to Friday between 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. If you have any questions about the boundaries or permission of work within the public right-of-way, please contact the City of Toronto by calling 311 or by email at