Rain Ready Ottawa is a City of Ottawa program that helps homeowners manage rainwater on their properties.
You must complete a Rain Ready Ottawa Home Assessment or have a quote from a Fusion Landscape Professional who will complete the design and installation of your project.
- To book a Rain Ready Ottawa home assessment, visit our delivery partners EnviroCentre website
- To find a certified Fusion Landscape Professional
Terms and conditions
In the Rain Ready Ottawa application and claim form, the following words and phrases shall have the following meanings:
- “Applicant” means the individual applying to Rain Ready Ottawa
- “Certified Fusion Landscape Professional” means a company trained and certified in holistic landscape management and listed on fusionlandscapeprofessional.ca.
- “Contribution” means the maximum amount shown in the “Maximum Amount of Contribution from City” column for each project type described in Eligible Projects of the Rain Ready Ottawa Service page.
- “Project” means one or more of the projects described in described in Eligible Projects of the Rain Ready Ottawa Service page
- “Project Requirements” means the requirements shown in the “Project Description” column for each project type described in Eligible Projects of the Rain Ready Ottawa Service page
- “Property Owner” means each property owner named in this application.
- “Rain Ready Ottawa Home Assessment” means an assessment of the Applicant’s home and surrounding landscape by EnviroCentre (envirocentre.ca) for recommendations on projects that could improve stormwater management.
- “Directly Connected Impervious Area” means an area which produces run-off that can be captured and directed to a permeable surface (e.g. roofs and driveways).
- I/we agree and acknowledge that to be eligible for the Program rebate a Rain Ready Ottawa Home Assessment must have been conducted at the applicant residence, otherwise all practices must have been installed by a Fusion Landscape Professional certified contractor, or both.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that the Program is not retroactive, and any applications or supporting documentation pre-dating the Program approval date (February 24th, 2021) will not be eligible for the Program rebate.
- I/we hereby authorize the City of Ottawa to use information concerning the status of the tax account for the property for which this application is made for the purposes of evaluating and managing my/ our application under the Program. I/we understand that the information regarding the status of the tax account will be shared between City departments for this purpose.
- I/we agree to secure all necessary permits and approvals, prior to the start of any work associated with this application including contacting Ontario One Call to get buried cables, pipes and wires located. I/we acknowledge that failure to obtain the necessary permits and approvals will void the application and any opportunity for rebate(s).
- I/we agree and acknowledge that as the applicant(s), I/we am/are solely responsible for any and all costs associated with the work.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that should the cost of the work be less than the amount of the available rebate, the City shall rebate the lesser of the two (2) amounts.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that the City will only rebate up to the maximum available rebate, as set out in the Program as of the date of receipt of the application by the City.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that the availability of rebates is subject to the Eligibility Criteria and the Limitations as set out in the Program including availability of funding.
- I/we understand that all invoice(s) associated with this application and the work must be paid in full prior to submitting the application.
- I/we hereby agree to indemnify and save harmless the City from and against any and all loss, damage, costs, claims, causes of action, demands, expenses or liabilities (whether or not involving third party claim) in connection with or arising out of any negligent or willful act or omission of the property owner(s), or contractor(s) performing the work or any of their employees, agents or representatives in connection with this application; or any injury to persons (including injuries resulting in death) or loss of or damage to property which may be caused or suffered as a result of the work performed.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that by its involvement in the rebate program, the City is not guaranteeing the effectiveness of work and that the City will not be held responsible for any future failure for any reason whatsoever, including but not limited to,
- improper installation; or
- any modifications made by or arranged by current or future property owners.
- I/we authorize the City or its representative, by arrangement with me/us, to carry out all necessary investigations inside and outside of the property to review the work described herein.
- I/we agree to keep and make available proper books of account and financial records, including any invoices related to the work to be performed under this Application, in accordance with generally accepted business and accounting practices. I/we further agree to make such books of account and financial records available at all reasonable times for inspection, copy and audit by the City, its employees, agents, and the City of Ottawa Auditor General. These audit requirements shall survive four years beyond the date of this Application.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that the City is subject to the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O 1990, c.M.56, as amended, (“MFIPPA”), and that any information provided to the City in connection with the Program and this Application is subject to disclosure in accordance with the requirements of MFIPPA. I/we further acknowledge that any personal information provided to the City under this Agreement shall only be used by the City in accordance with the provisions of MFIPPA.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that this Application shall not be transferred or assigned.
- I/we agree and acknowledge that the signature(s) of the Applicant(s) hereto may be evidenced by a scanned email or internet transmission copy of this Application bearing such signature(s) and will be treated as an original signature(s).
Rain Ready Ottawa supports projects that can boost infiltration of water into landscapes. Modelling has shown that if these projects are adopted at a large scale, they will contribute to improving rainwater management conditions at a neighbourhood scale in the priority stormwater retrofit areas.
Rain Ready Ottawa supports:
- Downspout redirection
- Rain gardens
- Soakaway pits
- Permeable pavement, and
- Certified Landscape Design
See the project descriptions and requirements below for more information.
Note: Each applicant is responsible for ensuring that the project meets all legal requirements, including City by-laws, provincial and federal acts/regulations, and Conservation Authority permits/approvals.
100% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $1,000 for projects approved in 2021
75% of eligible costs up to a maximum of $1,000 for projects approved after December 31, 2021
Downspout redirection is the modification of the existing orientation of an existing downspout so that it drains to a permeable surface especially one designed to infiltrate rainwater such as a rain garden or soakaway pit.
- Redirected downspouts must drain to an area that is:
- set back at least 3m from the foundation of a building
- sloped away from the foundation of a building
- not going to cause water to flow onto an adjacent property
- Downspout redirection must not contradict the Site Alteration By-law
- Materials related to redirection of existing downspouts including additional downspout materials, downspout extenders, and hardware required to complete the redirection
- Materials related to preventing erosion at the end of the downspout such as a splash pad or rocks
- Materials related to the disconnection and redirection of downspouts that drain directly to storm or combined sewer systems
- Materials and labour related to the alteration of ground level surfacing (paths, walkways, driveways) in order to facilitate the redirection of a downspout
- Materials related to the application of new eavestroughs to a residence
- Materials that are solely decorative in nature
- Completed claim form
- Receipts for all relevant materials and labour
- Photo proof of work
$75/m2 of rain garden, not to exceed 20% of the directly connected impervious area, up to $2,500. Rain gardens and soakaway pits are subject to a combined maximum rebate of $2,500.
Rain gardens are shallow depressed gardens that promote the infiltration of rainwater and are planted with native perennial plants. Soil amendments are often made to increase infiltration rates and provide improved growing conditions for plants.
- Applicant must contact Ontario One Call to locate buried cables, pipes and wires so you can dig safely
- Rain gardens must have an identifiable and measurable directly connected impermeable area (DCIA) (i.e. the garden must receive runoff from a roof or other impermeable surface)
- Rain gardens must be sized to manage the runoff generated by the directly connected impervious area (generally 10-20% of the DCIA)
- Rain gardens must be located at least 3m away from any building foundation
- Rain gardens must have an erosion-resistant outlet that is lower in elevation than the inlet and that will not direct overflows to neighbouring properties
- Where infiltration rates are low (<15mm/hour), soil amendments using sand and compost (50:50) should be used to improve infiltration rates
- Rain gardens must be planted to cover at least 80% of the garden area once the plants are mature
- Native perennials should be used because they are drought tolerant, climate appropriate, and provide habitat to pollinators like bees and butterflies
- Shredded mulch (ideally shredded hardwood) should be used to cover soil
- Rain garden rebates are calculated based on the final installed rain garden area and not based on receipts for materials and labour.
- Portions of the garden that are not depressed relative to adjacent areas and therefore not promoting infiltration.
- Completed claim form
- Photo proof of work including base preparation and finished garden
$10/m2 of directly connected impervious area managed to a maximum of $2,500. Rain gardens and soakaway pits are subject to a combined maximum rebate of $2,500.
Soakaway pits are below-ground reservoirs of permeable material. They collect rainwater and allow it to slowly infiltrate into the ground in order to reduce run-off. Soakaways can receive rainwater from surface sources or buried sources (e.g. a buried downspout connection) and may be covered with garden, lawn, or decorative stone.
- Applicant must contact Ontario One Call to locate buried cables, pipes and wires so you can dig safely
- Soakaway pits must have an identifiable and measurable directly connected impermeable area (DCIA) (i.e. the soakaway must receive runoff from a roof or other impermeable surface
- Soakaway pits must be sized to manage the runoff generated by the directly connected impervious area (for sizing information see the STEP LID guidance for sizing infiltration galleries)
- Soakaway pits must use a fill material with a minimum void space of 40% (e.g. ¾ in. clear stone or plastic soakaway crate)
- Filter fabric must be placed on all sides and top (or choker course of 5-10cm of 5mm clear stone for top) of the stone reservoir to prevent sediment entering the void space
- Soakaway pits must be equipped with run-off pre-treatment such as screens and sedimentation chambers to avoid debris and sediments entering the infiltration chamber
- Soakaway pits must be at least 3m from any residential foundation and overflow must release to an area graded away from the foundation and away from neighbouring properties
Soakaway pit rebates are calculated based on the directly connected impervious area and not based on receipts for materials and labour.
- Completed claim form
- Photo proof of work including base preparation and completed soakaway pit
$50/m2 of installed surface area, up to a maximum rebate of $5,000
Permeable surfaces are hard durable surfaces that allow rainwater to infiltrate through the top surfacing into a subsurface that promotes infiltration into the ground. Common types include permeable interlocking concrete pavers, porous asphalt, pervious concrete, stabilized gravel, and other polymer-bound aggregate mixes. They can be used on driveways, patios, walkways or other hardscaped surfaces.
- Applicants must contact Ontario One Call to locate cables, pipes and wires so you can dig safely
- Driveways, walkways and patios must be compliant with the soft landscaping requirements established in City of Ottawa By-law 2020-289
- Permeable pavement projects must be installed by a certified Fusion Landscape Professional or a contractor certified by the Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute
- Permeable pavement projects must slope away from residential foundation
- Adjacent soft landscaping must not drain towards the permeable surface
- Permeable pavement installation must be sized according to Sustainable Technologies Evaluation Program (STEP) Low Impact Development Guidelines
- All aggregates must meet the following specifications
- Prosity of 0.4
- Maximum wash lss of 0.5%
- Minimum durability index f 35
- Maximum abrasin of 10% for 100 revolutions and maximum 50% for 500 revolutions
Note: Most Ontario Provincial Standard Specification (OPSS) aggregates are not recommended for use in permeable pavements, with the exception of 'Granular O' type.
- Base preparation must meet the following specifications:
- The sils below the installation must be sloped away from foundations and should be free of channels and depressions that may concentrate water
- The granular base must be clear, crushed 20 mm diameter stone conforming to ASTM C33 No 57
- If required, the granular subbase shuld be clear, crushed 50 mm diameter stone, graded in accordance with ASTM D2940. 'Rain ballast' aggregate (63 mm) would also be suitable
- If required, bedding shuld be clear, crushed 5 mm diameter stone, graded in accordance with ASTM C33 No 8, High Performance Bedding (1-9 mm diameter), or equivalent. Typical bedding thickness is between 40 mm and 75 mm
- The surfacing should be permeable and allow the entry of water into the base and the soils below
- Where geotextiles are used, they must be needle-punched or woven monofilament and should facilitate flow through the textile
- Paver surfaces should have appropriate edge restraints: metal or plastic stripping is acceptable in some cases, but concrete curbs are preferred
Permeable paving rebates are calculated based on the installed permeable pavement area and not based on specific costs for materials and labour).
Non-permeable pavement areas.
- Completed claim form
- Itemized invoice from a certified Fusion Landscape Professional or Interlocking Concrete Pavers Institute certified professional
- Photo proof of work including based preparation and finished surface
Certified Fusion Landscape Design
A Certified Fusion Landscape Design is a landscape that is designed and implemented by a certified Fusion Landscape Professional.
- Landscape design and installation must have been completed by a certified Fusion Landscape Professional, and;
- The designed and installed landscape must cover an area of at least 40m2 or at least 30% of the front yard (the portion of the yard between the address street and the residence) or the backyard (the portion of the yard on the opposite side of residence as the address street) where side yards can be included in either the front or back yard and;
- The landscape design must contain at least two of the following rainwater management practices:
- Downspout redirection to a permeable surface
- Rain garden
- Soakaway pit
- Permeable driveway, walkway, or other surface
Design services provided by a Fusion Landscape Professional
Design services provided by a non-certified landscape professional. Any services or materials not related to the design of a Fusion Landscape.
- Completed claim form
- Itemized invoice from a certified Fusion Landscape Professional
Ensuring you have everything required can help you apply quickly and avoid rejection based on missing information.
- Check your eligibility
- One of:
- Before photos of the proposed site (see below for the guidance)
- Project description (see below for guidance)
- Project drawing (see below for guidance)
- Directly connected impervious areas managed (see Helpful definitions to know)
- For downspout disconnection: estimated expenses
- For rain gardens: estimated rain garden size
- For soakaway pits: size of the directly connected impervious area
- For permeable pavement: estimated size of paved area, quote from a certified Fusion Landscape Professional or Interlocking Concrete Paver Institute certified professional
- Supporting documentation
- Copy of the property tax bill
- Letter of permission from the property owner (if the applicant is not the property owner)
- Relevant permits and approvals
- It is the respnsibility of the applicant to ensure that the project meets all legal requirements, including City by-laws, provincial and federal acts and regulations. Applicants should pay special attention to:
Call before you dig! 1-800-400-2255. Ontario law requires that you have your utilities located before you dig to avoid hitting a gas or other utility line. Contact Ontario One Call
Capturing before photos of the proposed site
Before photos should capture the state of the site before any work has begun. Including a standard sized object or a tape measure can help convey the scale of the photos. Take pictures from multiple angles and ensure you have a picture that captures the entire project site if possible.
Completing a project description
Project descriptions should be short and include the following:
- Which project elements you are pursuing
- Where the project elements will be located (distances from foundations and property lines)
- Directly connected impervious areas that will be managed
- Whether you are completing the project yourself or hiring a contractor
The project involves redirecting the downspout that handles run-off from the front half the roof of my house towards a front-yard rain garden 4m from my foundation. The rain garden will have amended soil of 50% compost and 50% sand and will be planted with native perennials and topped with shredded mulch. I plan to do the work myself.
Completing a project drawing
This sketch will help you to envision what the project might look like, what materials (including plants) you would like to include, and will help in estimating potential project costs and rebates available through Rain Ready Ottawa.
Your design sketch must include the following minimum details. You may, however, wish to include additional items, such as materials choices, plant species and locations.
- Property boundaries
- The location of your home
- Locations of utilities (from ON1Call)
- Location of redirected downspout drainage areas and their distance from your house and the nearest property line
- Location of in-ground projects like rain gardens and soakaway pits and their distance from your house and the nearest property line
- Identify the directly connected impervious areas that will be managed
- For rain gardens, identify the overall size as well as an inlet and an outlet for rainwater
- Indicate the slope (and direction) of the property
You may wish to use the Project Drawing Template to create a sketch of your planned project(s).
How is my application reviewed?
Applications are considered on a first come first serve basis and are screened for:
- Geographic eligibility
- Adherence to local by-laws
- Adherence to project requirements
The size of your project does not affect the way your project is considered.
Available program funds are divided between ‘do-it-yourself’ projects and projects that involve a Fusion Landscape Professional. A waiting list will be created for applications that are submitted after program funds are fully committed.
How long until I hear about my approval?
You should hear about your application in two weeks or less.
If approved, you will be sent a link to the claim form where you can claim your rebate once your project is complete.
Denial of Funding
If you are not satisfied with the decision of the reviewer, you may appeal the decision by submitting a letter of appeal to email@example.com within three months of the original decision by the reviewer.
Your appeal will be escalated to a panel of reviewers. The decision of the review panel will be issued within one month and the decision is final.
Visits to look at your completed project may be conducted by City of Ottawa staff or the Rain Ready Ottawa Home Assessment team. We will not enter your property without your consent. For projects that are not clearly visible from public right of ways, we will schedule a time that works for you to visit the site. This is also an opportunity to have any questions about operations and on-going maintenance answered.