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.

Questions or concerns about upcoming work?

If your question is related to a Toronto Hydro construction project, visit our Planning and Construction web page to learn about what you may be able to expect when crews are working in your neighbourhood, get answers to frequently asked construction questions and more.

If you have questions about the boundaries or permission of work within the City's public right-of-way, please contact the City of Toronto by calling 311 or by email at