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Survey: Ban on Two-Stroke Engines


Last week the Infrastructure and Environment Committee passed a motion (IE5.1) recommending City Council support a ban on the use of two-stroke small engine equipment in Toronto, such as leaf blowers and lawnmowers, as a precaution against adverse impacts to human health and climate.

The motion which is expected to come to City Council July 19-21, 2023 requests a report, following consultation with residents and businesses, to provide “a detailed plan to establish, implement, enforce and encourage compliance with a ban”.

Amendments to the motion included further study of:

  • “clean transition support programs, such as a low-emission equipment lending library”;

  • “partnerships that encourage and incentivize a transition to low-emission equipment, with community organizations, service providers, equipment manufacturers and/or retailers”;

  • “diverse needs and challenges of residents and businesses who use two-stroke engines for their own use, and commercial operators who provide services using two-stroke engine equipment”; and,

  • “a phased approach to the implementation of a ban based on the ability of user groups to comply.”


City staff have determined that climate, health and noise do not individually provide a sufficient rationale for action to be taken to ban the use of two-stroke engines. However, “the City's climate, health and noise concerns, taken together, may provide a sufficient basis for City Council to enact a ban, depending as well on the ban's scope, adoption and implementation” (e.g. a phased in approach and an exemption for snow plows).


An additional report on the City of Toronto's transition plan and feasibility assessment of phasing out gas-powered leaf blowers for municipal use will be brought forward in early 2024.


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