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Are you planning to build a new balcony, deck, swimming pool, or other permanent above-ground structure?

New building and/or extensions to buildings must maintain a required setback from overhead and underground power lines and pad-mounted transformers. Setbacks and minimum clearances are identified in safety regulations such as the Ontario Electrical Safety Code, the Ontario Building Code, and our Distribution Standards. It is the law to have your underground services located prior to commencing any work on your property.

Download our
Building Near Power Lines brochure  and visit our Underground Cable Locate section to learn more.

Planning to Build on Your Property?

The diagram below represents the minimum building setback from overhead power lines.

Building Power Lines

Measuring the Minimum Horizontal Distance

  1. The minimum horizontal distance is measured from the projection line of the outermost power line, to the projection line of the outermost portion of any building including a roof overhang, balcony, deck, or fire escape.

  2. To ensure compliance with all applicable standards and regulations, a minimum horizontal distance (setback) of 4.8 m is required.

  3. No building is permitted under a power line or overhead service line. Overhead service lines attached to a building are exempt from the minimum horizontal clearance requirements.


A setback is the horizontal allowable distance that any building or structure, including balconies and overhangs, must maintain from an overhead power line. Everyone must comply with setback requirements. To ensure compliance with all applicable standards and regulations, a minimum 4.8 m setback is required. This takes into account the maximum distance a power line might swing on a windy day.


Setbacks from Underground and Pad-mounted Transformers

If power lines are located underground, you may notice a green pad-mounted transformer box. You must comply with setback requirements to ensure public safety and accessibility for our team. The diagram below outlines the required minimum setbacks. A 3 m minimum setback is required on the side that hinges open. This can typically be identified as the side with the padlock.​

Pad Mount Transformer


An easement is a legal right acquired from property owners which allows us to construct, operate, access, and maintain its facilities on lands we do not own. Easements can be registered or unregistered, which equally grant us rights to use the property. Unregistered easements will not appear on the title of your property; however, you can find out if one exists on your land by doing a database search here.

You may also check out our registered easement FAQs here.

Unregistered Easements Search

An easement contains restrictions to uses such as, but not limited to, the construction of a building or the storage of materials.

​Building Plans

When submitting building plans to your local municipality for approval, be sure to:


  • Include in your drawings any overhead power lines on or in immediate proximity to the property

  • Locate any buildings​, overhangs, swimming pools, antennas, flag poles, or any other permanent above ground structures within the required setback of the power lines.


Failure to comply with required setbacks can pose public safety risks and will result in the relocation of any buildings, structures, or power lines at the property owner’s expense.

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Whether you are planning a home improvement project, planting a tree, or installing a fence, anytime you're digging you are required by law to obtain a locate. Requesting a locate is easy and free through Ontario One Call. Complete your request online at www.ontarioonecall.ca or call 1-800-400-2255. Ontario One Call will notify all underground infrastructure owners in the vicinity of the dig area that a locate has been requested. For your safety and the safety of others, you must obtain a locate by contacting Ontario One Call, respect the marks, following any guidelines provided by utilities, and dig with care.