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Is it legal for someone to fix up old cars in their home garage in Toronto (north York specifically)? Including painting the car, engine etc, essentially trying to bring a dead car back to life.

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    Is this a business or a hobby? Apr 10, 2023 at 4:22
  • Title says "car" but text says "cars" - is it a one-time thing or a regular process? The latter sounds more like a business, although there's likely to be a grey area between hobbyist repairs (on a car you may subsequently sell) and a business buying and restoring old cars.
    – Stuart F
    Apr 10, 2023 at 11:42

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It could be. You would have to check the specific address here, although not all properties are covered by By-Law 569-2013. This will give you the allowed uses. Picking a random residential-looking location, you might be stopped by §15.20.20.100 of the zoning bylaw, which restricts service shops to being located in non-residential buildings. There are also specific laws about vehicle service shops, which may included a required 3 meter soft landscape perimeter and fence, depending on what is adjacent to the lot.

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Check zoning law

What is and is not permitted on a given parcel of land will be spelled out there.

Most “industrial” uses are prohibited in residential zones but restoring a single car as a hobby may be allowed.

Check environmental law

Spray painting is often regulated - usually it must be done in a proper booth. The disposal of hydrocarbons (fuel, oil, grease) is also controlled.

There will almost certainly be noise restrictions in these laws as well as zoning law.

Check work health and safety law

These are often broader than people expect and can cover hobbyists, not just businesses.

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