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Driveway Permits in Toronto?

By | Asphalt, Commercial, Consumer Protection, Interlock, Residential | No Comments

Driveway Permit in Toronto

Do you need a Driveway Permit in Toronto to re-pave an existing driveway ?  The answer is yes.

The Toronto By-law states that you must obtain a Driveway Permit and you must only hire a paving contractor licensed to work in the City of Toronto.

The process for obtaining a permit varies depending upon which part of the City you reside.  What dictates an acceptable driveway also varies depending upon where you live.

Toronto is one of the only Cities who require a Paving Permit to replace an existing driveway.  Cities usually only require a permit if a brand new driveway is being installed to service a new dwelling or if an existing driveway is being widened.  Toronto requires a permit for any works done by a paving contractor.

This By-law has been challenged several times by Northland Paving at City Council meetings, with the Mayor, City Council Members and City staff alike.

The enforcement of and the reasoning behind this By-law has been evolving over the years and has not been evenly enforced across the City.

As there are several layers to what seems to be a simple process, “the need for a driveway paving permit” we will explore the topic further in subsequent blogs

 

Aftermath of Toronto’s Polar Vortex

By | Asphalt, Commercial, Maintenance, Northland, Residential | No Comments

Driveway devastation.

The great ice storm of 2013, frost quakes, polar vortex, wind chill factor and frost heaving all are terms we have heard far too long as Toronto strives to recover from the coldest winter on record for the past 20 years.

What is frost heaving and why is it effecting your driveway, patio, sidewalk and steps or retaining wall?

Moisture present in the soil will freeze and swell up.  The deeper the frost goes the further up these surfaces will raise.  Compounding the issue this spring is that the Toronto area experienced an unusually large amount of snow this past winter.  We had a few mild days absorbing the moisture from our melting snow and then got hit again with more cold weather freezing and swelling up the soil below our paved surfaces.

This winter has seen Toronto and its neighbouring Cities increase budgets for road repairs.  Many driveways have cracked due the heaving cycle and others have been damaged as snow ploughs have grabbed and peeled the edge of a swollen driveway.

The worst casualties will come from driveways and parking lots that were teetering on the edge of disrepair.

Northland Paving expects to see many road repairs in the summer of 2014 in the Toronto area.

From an industry perspective, it will be a late start to what will be a very busy 2014 paving season as frost is still present in the ground at this late date.

paving_frost_heave

How to Choose the Right Paving Contractor

By | Asphalt, Consumer Protection, Maintenance, Northland, Residential | No Comments

In an industry riddled with fly-by-night operators and a new crop of paving scams surfacing every year, it is little wonder that consumers are often perplexed on how to find a reputable paving contractor in Toronto.

There are of course some online searches a consumer can perform to pre-screen the contractors they wish to obtain quotes from.

A few choices like HomeStars and the Better Business Bureau while being wonderful resources are not the only options.  Sometimes a disreputable contractor can have a wonderful website and a good honest contractor may not.

There are paving contractors in the GTA who operate under several different names or change names and phone numbers frequently once bad ratings are presented online, unhappy clients are calling or creditors are closing in on them.

How is a consumer to choose the right contractor? 

Northland Paving advises you to be diligent and do your homework.  With the right paving contractor your project should last for many years after your warranty expires.

Get 3 written quotations. 

Make sure everyone is quoting on the same specifications, if not why not?

Is someone selling you more than you need or less then you should have?

If a price seems too low or too good to be true, the contractor may be planning to take short cuts or skimp on materials.

If an unusually long warranty is offered, be alarmed.  The promise of an extended warranty means nothing if a company is unable or unwilling to honour it.

Check with online resources. 

There are several sites and online forums that can help provide information about the contractor you are about to hire.  HomeStars, BBB and 411.ca are only a few of the options available.

How long has the company been in business? 

If a paving company tells you they have 30 years’ experience but the business is newly registered, perhaps this is a company who needs to change names frequently to avoid creditors, warranty work or bad online reviews.

Do they have an established place of business? 

It’s difficult to track a company who deals only out of the back of a pickup truck with a cell phone number and a PO Box for an address.  Check out their place of business to determine if this is really a company you feel comfortable dealing with.  If you think it’s too far for you to bother, chances are it will be too far for them to return and service your driveway or patio project should you require any warranty work.

Check their phone number on 411.ca.  Do a reverse search.  This will tell you if the phone number is legitimate or a cell phone that you will never be able to reach if they don’t want you to.

Is the paving contractor licensed and insured?

The City of Toronto and the City of Markham require paving contractors to be licensed to pave, this is the law.  The licensing process requires paving contractors to be insured.  Licensed contractors know how to install a legal driveway.  The City will ask you to restore an illegal driveway into compliance upon discovery regardless of how much money you spent to have it installed.

Licensing can be confirmed by clicking:  City of Toronto ,  City of Markham

Ask if the contractor is registered and in good standing with WSIB to stop any liability on your part should a worker become injured while working on your property.

Who did your friends use?

Word of Mouth is also one of the best methods in the decision making process.  If a paving contractor has been referred by someone you trust and they have been happy with the business practices and finished product then perhaps you will too.  A good contractor thrives on referral business.

A little time spent researching a company you plan to use and a good gut feeling, may help you avoid a nightmare down the road.

Last but not least, check out past finished projects in person.

Welcome to our new website!

By | Northland | No Comments

Spring has finally arrived!

Northland Paving is celebrating the new season with a brand new website and a brand new look.

Welcome to our first blog! While our look may be new rest assured we are the same trusted paving company with the same management team and the same talented professionals on our crews.

We will discuss in our blog what is important in the asphalt paving (both residential and commercial paving), concrete, interlocking stone and waterproofing industry.

Spring represents the birth of a new year.  And like we did with our new Northland Paving website, now is the time to spring clean, beautify, renew and de-clutter the inside of our homes and likewise head outside for some much needed fresh air.

After a long and unusually harsh winter we will begin our yard maintenance.  After cleaning up the defrosted remains of the old dead leaves and many branches of trees and shrubs that suffered under the “great ice storm” that blanketed the GTA last December, we finally see what remains.  Lots of ugly grey matter!

The hottest design trend for the backyard is to expand your living space.  It is no longer just a patio but an extension of where you want to be.  Now is the time to spruce up your yard and let Northland Paving create an outdoor living space that will invite you to spend quality time creating lasting memories in the great outdoors with people you love the most.  It’s time to broaden your living space by taking it outside to your own backyard oasis.

Northland Paving will help you create a beautiful new patio or walkway with Unilock interlocking stones and compliment the package with either an interlock or asphalt driveway allowing you to enjoy your time as your property value increases!