[MARCH 2 UPDATE]
Beginning today, residents in four wards in Toronto can keep hens in their backyards as part of the new Urban HensTO pilot program. This program, which allows Torontonians to keep up to four hens for the purposes of enjoyment and egg production, runs until March 2, 2021.
To be eligible to take part in the program, residents must:
- live in a house or townhouse with a backyard
- reside in Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore), Ward 13 (Parkdale-High Park), Ward 21 (St. Paul’s) or Ward 32 (Beaches-East York)
- register their hens with the City at http://www.toronto.ca/urbanhensTO
- construct the coop in compliance with local zoning requirements.
Hens continue to be prohibited animals in the City of Toronto unless the above criteria are met. Roosters are prohibited city-wide.
To help potential hen owners learn more about the pilot program, staff from Toronto Animal Services and the Toronto Food Policy Council are holding workshops, hosted by the local councillor.
At the following workshops, residents will have the opportunity to learn about pilot requirements, basic care for hens, how to prevent and detect disease, best practices for feeding and caring for hens, and coop designs:
- Ward 13 (Parkdale-High Park): Swansea Town Hall, 95 Lavinia Ave.
Wednesday, March 7, 7 to 9 p.m.
- Ward 21 (St. Paul’s): St. Matthew’s United Church, 729 St. Clair Ave. W.
Saturday, March 17, 10 a.m. to noon
- Ward 5 (Etobicoke-Lakeshore): Etobicoke Civic Centre, 399 The West Mall Saturday, April 14, 10 a.m. to noon
- Ward 32 (Beaches-East York): Danforth Mennonite Church, 2174 Danforth Ave.
Saturday, April 21, 10 a.m. to noon
Residents who have complaints about hens should contact 311.
More information about the pilot program and workshops is available at http://www.toronto.ca/urbanhensTO.
[FEBRUARY 28 UPDATE]
The UrbanHensTO pilot program runs from March 2, 2018 to March 2, 2021, and allows residents to have urban hens in four wards across the city. Keeping hens that are not registered with the City or are outside of the pilot areas is prohibited and could result in fines and/or charges.
Workshops are available to help potential hen owners learn more about the pilot requirements, basic care for hens, how to prevent and detect disease, best practices for feeding and care for hens, and coop designs.
Ward 5 Etobicoke workshop will be held on Saturday April 14, 10:00 a.m. -12:00pm at the Etobicoke Civic Centre, Council Chambers
Some general requirements of the program include:
- All pilot program participants must register with the City at www.toronto.ca/urbanhensTO
- Information sessions will be held in each of the four wards. Session dates and locations can be found at www.toronto.ca/urbanhensTO
- Hens must be at least four months olds.
- Hens are for enjoyment and egg production and not intended as livestock to eat. Eggs produced must be for personal consumption only and cannot be sold.
- Residents must provide a weather-proofed and insulated enclosure with an air temperature suitable for the health of the hen.
- The hen enclosure must provide adequate amounts of ventilation and light.
- Hens must remain on the owner’s property.
- Coop requirements are based on zoning requirements and must adhere to the zoning bylaw in place for the residential area within the pilot program.
- Staff may attend and inspect the property (as necessary) to ensure compliance with the requirements.
- Failure to register or provide hens with proper care could result in fines and/or charges.
- Keeping hens that are outside of the pilot areas is prohibited and will result in charges and fines.