Orillia Extending Backyard Hens Pilot Project To 2023

Orillia residents will be able to keep backyard hens for at least another four years

Orillia residents will be able to hang on to their backyard hens for at least another four years.

The City is extending its pilot project on certain properties until June 5, 2023.

“Extending the backyard hens pilot project another four years will hopefully encourage more residents to take part in the opportunity so that Council can further evaluate whether to make the program permanent. The initial two-year pilot resulted in only four hen coop licences being issued and Council agreed that more participants and time was needed to make a final decision.”

Orillia Mayor Steve Clarke

The pilot project allows for a total of 12 hen coop licences throughout the City. With only four hen coops licences currently issued, eight licences are available on a first-come, first-served basis.

In addition, the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs is developing educational programs for those wishing to keep urban chickens and for small-animal veterinarians.

It’s anticipated that these programs will be fully developed by the end of the extended four-year pilot project, at which time these resources will be available in Orillia.


  • A hen coop may be located on a property that is zoned Rural (RU), Residential (R1, R2, R3, R4), Open Space One and Two (OS1, OS2)
  • The property must be at least 500 sq. m. (approx. 5382 sq. ft.) in area to support a hen coop
  • No hen coop is permitted unless a valid licence has been issued by the City under the Hen Coop Licensing By-law
  • There is a one-time licensing fee of $100

The original pilot project began on June 5, 2017.

For more information visit here