Fence and enclosure regulations

Fences and pool/hot tub enclosures are regulated by the bylaw department. For questions, contact 519-747-8785 or municipalenforcement@waterloo.ca 

Fence regulations

You do not require a permit to build a fence on your property. The fence bylaw regulates fences.

Fences on a corner lot

  • maximum 0.9 m (3 ft.) high in the front yard
  • maximum 1.8 m (6 ft.) high in the flankage yard
  • maximum 2.4 m (8 ft.) high in the rear and interior side yards

Fences on interior lots 

  • maximum 0.9 m (3 ft.) high in the front yard
  • maximum 2.4 m (8 ft.) high in the rear and interior side yards

Shared fence on a property line

'Division' fences between two properties are governed by the Division Fence Bylaw (PDF). It explains the process for cost sharing agreements between owners on either side of the fence.

Common infractions to the fence bylaw

  • be built in the daylight visibility triangle
  • obstruct visibility to drivers or pedestrians
  • encroachment onto city-owned property

Daylight visibility triangle (DLVT)

The daylight visibility triangle (DLVT) and driveway visibility triangle (DVT) assist pedestrians and drivers with while driving around corners and entering/exiting their property.

Guidelines for the DLVT:

  • no fence can be constructed inside this triangle 

Measuring your DLVT:

  • start at the intersection where the front lot line and the flankage lot lines meet
  • measure 3 m (10 ft.) along the front lot line and make a a mark
  • measure 15 m (50 ft.) along front lot line and make a second mark
  • repeat this action along the flankage lot line
  • connect the 3 m (10 ft.) mark along the front lot line with the 15 m (ft.) mark along the flankage lot line
  • repeat this action along the flankage lot line
  • the two triangles formed in the corner of your lot represent the DLVT

Driveway visibility triangle (DVT)

The daylight visibility triangle (DLVT) and driveway visibility triangle (DVT) assist pedestrians and drivers with while driving around corners and entering/exiting their property.

Guidelines for the DVT:

  • no fence over 0.9 m (3 ft.) high can be constructed in this triangle
  • you are required to provide a DVT whether the driveway is on your property or the adjacent  property

Measuring your DVT:

  • start at the front lot line abutting a street
  • measure 2 m (6.56 ft.) starting from your drive across your lot and make a mark
  • measure 2 m  (6.56 ft.) diagonally from the first mark towards your 

Map of the DLVT and the DVT

map of the DLVT and DVT measurement

Applying for an exemption

You can apply for an exemption to the Fence Bylaw through the Committee of Adjustment

  1. Download and fill out a fence variance application (PDF).
  2. Include a property survey, a site plan with existing buildings, driveways and uses, and details about the size and construction of the fence.
  3. Submit complete applications in person to the Planning Approvals counter on the second floor of City Hall.
  4. The application fee of $589 is due upon submission. We accept cash, cheque, money order and debit.
  5. Meetings will be schedule as required, based on the number of applications filed.  

Questions regarding an exemption can be directed to Danielle Ingram at 519-747-8773.

Pool and hot tub enclosures

Enclosures are required for all pools and hot tubs with a depth of 60cm or more. Full regulatory details are in the pool enclosure bylaw.

Pool enclosure can include a fence, building or wall. Fences must comply with the fence bylaw. For hot tubs, the enclosure can be a fence or an approved lockable hot tub lid.


You need a set of drawings and the following forms to make an application:


Permit application

If hiring a contractor to complete the work please fill out your personal information as well as the contractor's personal information on the application form

Drawings and documentation

example of a survey drawing
Drawings must include:

  • location of the pool
  • pool enclosure located at least 1.9 m 
    (3 ft.) from water's edge
  • all existing structures on property including sheds, buildings on the property, abutting properties showing dimension and setbacks from property lines and adjacent streets
  • existing structures on abutting properties in relation to the pool enclosure such as sheds on neighbouring properties
  • elevations and cross-section views of proposed pool enclosure structure and gates including dimension, design and materials to be used including all locking mechanisms

Required on fence cross section drawing:

  • type of material used to construct fence
  • height of fence
  • spacing of horizontal and vertical members
  • size of spaces in fence such as the distance between boards or posts
  • ground clearance measurement from ground to the bottom of the fence
  • self-latching with lock location minimum 1.22 m (4 ft.) from grade on interior side
  • self-closing gate device
  • no climbable members on exterior

Application process

  1. Print your forms or load them on a digital storage device (DVD-RW, DVD+RW, and USB memory sticks are accepted).
  2. Submit and pay in person at the municipal enforcement counter on the first floor of city hall. Cash, cheque, debit and are accepted. The cost is $165.24. Fees are waived for hot tubs with lockable lids that meet ASTM standards F1346-91.

Tips and contacts

Design tips and bylaw requirements

  • pool enclosure must be a minimum of 1.52 m (5 ft.) in height from the ground
  • all gates must have a self-closing and self-latching device
  • pool enclosures must be located .6 m (2 ft.) from any structure or fence on the main property or neighbouring properties
  • enclosure must be 1.5 m (5 ft.) from any entrance way, gateway or doorway
  • ground clearance between the ground and bottom of the pool enclosure must not exceed 50 mm (2 inches)
  • all horizontal structural members must be located inside of the pool enclosure to prevent easy climbing from the outside of the enclosure 
  • entranceways through buildings must be equipped with doors that have a bolt of chain latch at a minimum height of 1.83 m (6 ft.)


  • Ontario One Call locates any buried infrastructure on the property and will identify it safely for you, call 1-800-400-2255
  • use our interactive map to determine how your property is zoned. For questions, contact Danielle Ingram in our planning division during business hours at 519-747-8773.
  • please contact our Building Division if building a shed or any additional structural units to accommodate your pool by calling 519-747-8712
  • Grand River Conservation Authority must be contacted if you are constructing a covered deck within the floodplain. Check this map (PDF) to determine if you are in the floodplain.