House and home – frequently asked questions

Radon: Is it in your home?

Radon is a naturally occurring gas that has no colour, smell, or taste.  It can leak into buildings from the soil, rock, and groundwater. The most common points of entry are foundation cracks, drains, and spaces around pipes.  Radon gas can accumulate in enclosed spaces, typically on the lowest level of the building.  High levels of radon can present serious health risks.  Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer after smoking.

It has recently come to our attention that the concentration levels of radon gas within certain areas of the City of Guelph may exceed current Building Code requirements.  Although the Building Code does not identify Guelph as a designated area with high concentrations of radon gas, its presence shall be taken into consideration during the design and construction of all buildings.

The presence of radon – and it’s associated concentration levels – can vary from one building to the next.  The only way to accurately determine if radon exists in your home it to test for it.  Test kits are fairly inexpensive, and can be purchased from most retail building and hardware stores.  Another option for testing your home is to hire a certified radon testing company.

For additional information regarding radon gas, including guidelines, testing, and remediation, please contact Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health, or Health Canada.

Wellington-Dufferin-Guelph Public Health
Health Canada

What types of vehicles can park on a residential property?

All vehicles that are permitted to park in front of a house are confined to the legal driveway only. This means that vehicles may not park on the front lawn or any other landscaped area of a front yard.

There are many instances where short term parking may be required in the driveway, in front of a house. When this is required for washing, servicing, loading or unloading, etc., short term parking in the front yard area on the driveway is permitted.

Read more about parking

Do I need a permit to install central air conditioning?

A permit is not required to install central air conditioning for single residential units. The location of air-condition units must comply with Zoning By-law regulations. The unit can project a maximum of 1.2 metres (3’11”) in to a required front or side yard and be situate a minimum of 0.6 metres (1’11” from any lot line). Air-conditioning is reviewed with the heating and ventilation on new multi-residential, commercial, industrial and institutional buildings.

Can I have a clothesline?

The municipality does not regulate clotheslines. There may be convenants in your deed prohibiting clotheslines.

Where can I put my composter?

Composters are regulated under the Property Standards By-law which requires:

  • Compost on every property shall be contained in a composter or an open pile that is not larger than 2 square metres (21.5 square feet) in area and 1 metre (39 inches) in height.
  • Every composter or compost pile shall be maintained to deter animals.

Learn more home composting

What do I need to know about garage sales?

Zoning regulations permit a maximum of 3 garage sales (yard sale, lawn sales, etc.) on any given property in any 1 calendar year. Each separate sale is limited to a maximum duration of 2 consecutive days.

If you are installing signs around the neighbourhood to advertise your garage sale, please keep in mind:

  • Garage sale signs are permitted to be staked in the ground on the road allowance (but not on traffic islands) and on your residential property
  • Signs must not be more than 2’ 7” (0.8 m) above the road surface with a maximum sign area of 5 sq. ft. (0.46 sq. m.).
  • Signs advertising your garage sales should be removed immediately after the event.

Do I need a permit for a decorative pond?

Building permits are not required for decorative ponds. Water contained in decorative ponds and bird baths must be changed every four days or be equipped with a pump to prevent standing water in accordance with City of Guelph Standing Water By-law (2003)-17192.

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Last Updated: June 19, 2014. Broken links or incorrect information? Let us know!