Town considering tow truck and storage yard licensing

Thu, 20 Jun 2019

Draft by-law being presented at Special Council meeting on June 25

On Tuesday, June 25, following extensive public and stakeholder feedback, a tow truck licensing by-law will be presented to Oakville Town Council for approval. The by-law will regulate prices for towing that occurs without the owner’s consent and will ensure that only licensed tow truck companies and vehicle storage yards operate in town.

“Residents have been experiencing exorbitant towing fees,” said Mayor Rob Burton. “Council has asked staff to look at options that will put the appropriate – and necessary – controls in place.”

Following a number of complaints from the public about unsatisfactory service and fees after being towed from privately owned parking lots, Council directed staff to create a tow truck licensing by-law that would regulate the costs associated with towing operations on private property.

The proposed by-law will regulate tow truck companies, ensuring their trucks and drivers maintain safety standards. The by-law will also include regulations to provide consumer protection for those who are towed from private property, including required signage clearly posted at all entrances to the property identifying parking is for customers only and that unauthorized vehicles will be towed at owners’ expense.

Over the past year, staff consulted with representatives from the Halton Regional Police Service, Ontario Provincial Police and members of the towing industry to understand their operations and the impact municipal regulations would have on their operations.

Town staff also held a public open house in April 2019 and undertook a review of tow truck and storage facility regulations in several Ontario municipalities with specific attention on neighbouring municipalities such as Burlington and Hamilton.

Staff presented a proposed licensing by-law at a Special Council Meeting on September 11, 2018.  Following Council direction at the meeting, staff undertook further consultation with the industry and the public. An updated draft by-law is being presented at the Special Council meeting on Tuesday, June 25, 2019 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall. If approved, the by-law will take effect on January 1, 2020.

If you wish to speak at the Special Council meeting and provide your input, you must register as a delegate with the Clerk’s department by noon the day of the meeting at 905-815-6015 or by email

For more information visit the Tow Truck Licensing page.