Toronto - Beginning this Saturday, September 1, homeowners and tenants who violate Toronto’s Pesticide Bylaw will now be subject to fines ranging from $255 to $5,000.

The City’s Pesticide Bylaw restricts the outdoor use of pesticides on all properties. The first phase began in 2004 and focused on education and outreach. Since September 1, 2005, lawn care companies, landscapers and commercial properties have been subject to fines for violations. This is the first time charges have been applicable to homeowners and tenants.

“Pesticides can be harmful to human health, and I am pleased with the level of compliance with the bylaw so far,” said Dr. David McKeown, Medical Officer of Health. “Many other Canadian cities have also implemented pesticide bylaws to help protect the health of their communities.”

Dr. McKeown also reminded residents to dispose of unused pesticides safely rather than store them or throw them out in the regular garbage. Until September 30, residents who bring pesticides to a City waste depot or Community Environment Day will receive a small gardening gift along with information about alternatives to pesticides.

The Medical Officer of Health released findings earlier this year showing that 35 per cent fewer homeowners reported using pesticides in 2005 compared to 2003, the year before the bylaw came into effect. The report also indicated that compliance was high and complaints of pesticide use have decreased significantly since the first year of the bylaw.

Public Health Inspectors will continue to conduct surveillance and investigate complaints about pesticide use and issue a ticket or court summons for violations.

For further information about the bylaw or disposal of unused pesticides, call 416-338-7600 or visit