The City of Vaughan’s Business Licensing By-law 122-2022 (PDF) regulates which businesses must be licensed to conduct business in Vaughan and what information they must provide to residents. Here are a few things to keep in mind when looking to hire a contractor.
All renovators, fence installers, pavers, landscapers, pool installers and snowplow contractors must be licensed by the City. Through licensing, the City can better ensure businesses comply with all City by-laws intended to uphold public health and safety, consumer protection and nuisance control.
Businesses that perform any of the activities outlined in the City’s Business Licensing By-law 122-2022 (PDF) under the renovator, fence installer, paver, landscaper and pool installer business categories are required to be licensed. Examples of these activities include:
- alteration, repair or renovation of buildings or structures
- installation of swimming pools or hot tub
- installing fences, banisters or rails, including pool enclosures
- paving, resurfacing, repairing or sealing driveways or parking lots on private property, which may include municipal boulevards adjacent to such private property
- creating, altering or maintaining “soft landscaping,” which refers to vegetation, and “hard landscaping,” such as patio stones, concrete, decorative architectural structures or non-horticultural elements
- persons who solicit or advertise any of the above activities, or who hold themselves out to the public as performing any of these activities
For example, the following would require a City of Vaughan licence:
- tile setters
- tree removal companies
Some persons do not require a City of Vaughan contractor licence, such as those:
- who are employed by a licensed renovator, fence installer, paver, landscaper and pool installer, but who do not perform work outside of their employment.
- whose principal business is to construct new buildings covered by Tarion.
- in trades which are licensed or otherwise certified by provincial legislation.
For example, the following would not require a City of Vaughan licence:
As outlined in the City’s Business Licensing By-law 122-2022 (PDF), these businesses are required to take various measures to protect consumers, employees and the community at large, such as:
- provide services in compliance with all relevant City by-laws, regulations and related decisions.
- carry a minimum of $2 million in commercial general liability insurance coverage for their work.
- provide a list of all relevant City by-laws and required permits to a customer in writing prior to providing a written contract.
- provide a written contract to their customers, specifying the work that will be performed and the payment schedule, prior to accepting any payments.
- display their business name and licence number on a placard issued by the City on the dashboard of their business vehicles, as well as on any signs or advertising, where permitted.
Check if a contractor is licensed by the City
To check if a contractor is licensed by the City, contact By-law and Compliance, Licensing and Permit Services at 905-832-2281 or email@example.com. However, the fact that a contractor is licensed does not necessarily mean they will be a good fit for the job.
Do your due diligence
Residents must do their own due diligence to ensure the contractor is qualified and a good fit for the job. Residents should look for a contractor that:
- shows up on time.
- deals with questions and concerns directly.
- has solid experience with the type of work to be done.
- provides references.
Ask your friends, family, co-workers and neighbours for recommendations on good contractors. You can also contact accredited organizations like the Canadian Home Builders' Association and the Better Business Bureau, visit a home show and look at local advertising. Use caution when contacting companies that advertise illegally, such as placing stickers and posters on public property.