For the first time in years, the Don Valley Parkway has closed to traffic three weeks ago because of flooding. Toronto experienced a downpour overnight that caused the Don Valley river to rise and set off the alarm on the Dundas Street Bridge at 3 am. Councillor Denzil Minnan-Wong, the chair of Toronto’s public works and infrastructure committee, said the day after that his committee had already received more than 200 calls because of flooding in the area. For homeowners in Scarborough, sump pump installation was on everyone’s mind that morning.

Prone to Basement Flooding

Scarborough is one of the Toronto districts most prone to basement flooding and as such is part of the city’s subsidy program for the installation of sump pumps. Since 2005, the city has been actively trying to reduce the risk of flooding in the area. Currently, Toronto offers a subsidy program to homeowners of up to $2,800 for the installation of equipment to protect their homes. Eligible equipment includes a sump pump and/or a backwater valve.

Professional Installation

The installation of a Scarborough sump pump needs to be done by a professional, however, to qualify for the subsidy program. Only a plumbing or drain contractor licensed by the City of Toronto can perform the installation of these items, and you have to complete the installation before you can apply for the subsidy. This means you have to pay the plumber yourself and submit your claim to the Basement Flooding Protection Subsidy within a year of the work being completed.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for a sump pump installation under this program you need to meet certain requirements, such as:

  • Your home must be registered in the City of Toronto and must comprise either a single-family residential, duplex or triplex property.
  • You must own an existing home, not one that is still being built or has yet to be built.
  • The downspout disconnection from the City sewers must be complete unless for some reason it’s not possible.
  • You’ll need to produce original invoices showing a cost breakdown of all charges and receipt of full payment.

Cost of Waiting

The main issue most homeowners face in delaying the installation of a Scarborough sump pump is financing. If you need both a pump and a valve this can be an expensive outlay. There’s no guarantee that you will get the subsidy, which is granted on a first-come, first-served basis. Even if you do get it, you may have to wait a number of months before actually receiving your payment, because City matters move at snail’s pace. Factor in the potential cost of cleaning up after basement flooding plus the higher insurance premiums you may already be paying, and you’ll realize that waiting could cost you much more in the long term.

Don’t let this be the year your home falls victim to basement flooding. Call us today for an estimate on a sump pump installation and to find out if you qualify for the City’s subsidy program.