Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Ontario, Canada


Can you have chickens in your backyard in the Canadian province of Ontario? Yes, you can, but it depends on the municipality wherein you live. Many municipalities in Ontario allow residents to keep backyard chickens under certain requirements.

Backyard chickens in Ontario, Canada

1. Toronto

The City of Toronto has a program that permits residents to have backyard chickens in specific pilot areas across the City. However, only hens are allowed in Toronto, the keeping of roosters is prohibited. In addition, hens are to be kept as pets for egg production only, not as livestock to eat.

A maximum of 4 backyard hens are allowed per eligible residential property within the City. All hen coops must not be located in the front yard. Furthermore, it is illegal to have backyard hens outside of the pilot areas or have backyard hens that are not registered with the City of Toronto.

In April 2023, CBC Canada reported that Toronto could pause its backyard chicken pilot program in light of avian influenza cases.

2. Ottawa

The City of Ottawa allows the keeping of backyard chickens in areas zoned for agricultural purposes. Chicken must not be allowed to run at large in the areas where they are allowed to be kept within the City. The keeping of Pigeons or Doves is also allowed in the City of Ottawa.

3. Brampton

The City of Brampton in Ontario’s Greater Toronto Area allows a maximum of two backyard hens per property. However, residents must obtain a license to keep the two hens. In addition to 2 hens, Brampton residents may also keep two pigeons on a lot.

4. Kitchener

In the City of Kitchener, residents are allowed to keep up to four chickens in their backyards. However, Kitchener residents must obtain a permit for a fee of $52 before keeping any chickens. And the issuance of the permit is subject to property inspection and neighbors' consent. Chicken coops must be kept 2.5m away from side lot lines and 1.2m away from rear lot lines.

5. Burlington

It is legal to keep chickens in your backyard if you reside in the rural part of Burlington, Ontario. According to the City's website, your property must be zoned as rural or agricultural to keep chickens in addition to other domestic fowl, including pheasants, grouse, guinea fowls, turkeys, and peafowls. Similar regulations are in place in the cities of Greater Sudbury, Chatham-Kent, Sarnia, and Cambridge.

6. Guelph

The City of Guelph allows the keeping of up to 10 backyard chickens, excluding roosters. Guelph residents are required to register their chickens with the City.

7. Kingston

If you live in the City of Kingston, Ontario, you may have up to 6 backyard hens, provided you are in compliance with the Backyard Hens Rules.

8. Waterloo

The keeping of up to 4 backyard hens is allowed on residential properties in the City of Waterloo. The City requires that residents obtain an annual permit for a fee of $26.27 before keeping any chickens. Waterloo prohibits the keeping of roosters, only hens are allowed. Hen coops or runs must be fully enclosed and kept at least 1.5 meters away from property lines.

9. Brantford

The City of Brantford's bylaw requires that residents obtain a $100 permit to keep backyard chickens within the City. A maximum of 10 chickens, including 1 rooster is allowed per property in Brantford, Ontario. Chickens must be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and at least 7.5m away from structures on other lots.

10. Niagara Falls

In Niagara Falls, a maximum of 10 backyard chickens are permitted within the Urban boundary. Roosters are not permitted in Niagara Falls. All hen coops must be located at least 25 feet from the rear lot line and 15 feet from any side lot line.

Other Cities That Allow Backyard Chickens in Ontario, Canada


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