Members are required to participate in Ontario One Call’s 360 Feedback Program. This program is designed to create a “full circle” communication with the excavator on behalf of the member. In this program, members may update the status of their locate requests via Ontario One Call (via a locate request management system [if applicable], or via the Ontario One Call website) thus allowing excavators to check in with Ontario One Call as to the status of locates, eliminating needless calls to the member.

External link Ontario Underground Infrastructure Notification System Act, 2012, S.O. 2012, c. 4

Infrastructure owners subscribing to Ontario One Call’s notification service may also enjoy the benefits of Automated Clearances. Ontario One Call’s state-of-the-art software allows for auto-clears based on criteria pre-determined by the utility.

For example, several of our members with infrastructure on public property only use auto-clears for private property work. Another group of our members with infrastructure buried a guaranteed depth underground use auto-clears for all work above a certain depth. Auto-clears can be implemented based on private property designation, depth, work type, method of excavation (i.e. hand digging) and more. The excavator is issued an immediate clearance from Ontario One Call on behalf of the utility, reducing unnecessary notification to the member and reducing downstream costs.

Members may advise Ontario One Call of a range of distance from their actual physical plant that they would like Ontario One Call notifications in. This range is called a “Buffer Zone”. This distance can vary depending on the level of confidence of the member in the accuracy of their plant location records, and the degree of risk associated with potential damages.

To minimize the risk of under notifications, the member should ensure that the buffer zone includes adjacent roads paralleling the plant location. The buffer zone must be shown by the member on the maps provided by Ontario One Call. When the process is complete for linear plant, the map will show a corridor consisting of the buffer zone around the plant location, as opposed to a single line on the map.

Ontario One Call will issue a cancellation at the request of the excavator or in the event the request is updated. A new request number is not issued for a cancellation requested by the excavator. “CANCELLATION” is typed in the top right field of the ticket.

A change of non-critical information in the original request. These revisions do not affect the extent of work field and do not require Ontario One Call to redraw the excavation polygon. The request number on the correction remains the same as the original request and the original call time is retained (the sequence number will change in the audit report). “CORRECTION” is visible in the top right field of the request. There will be no charge for these notifications.

Any impact, stress and/or exposure that results in the need to repair an underground facility due to a weakening or the partial or complete destruction of the facility, including, but not limited to, the protective coating, lateral support, cathodic protection or the housing for the line, device or facility.

An Emergency Locate Request is defined as a loss of service by a utility that in the circumstances would be considered essential, so that absence of the service can reasonably be expected to result in an imminent or significant safety or environmental hazard, or imminent threat to the person or the public. An excavator crew is either on site or has been dispatched. The circumstances therefore require facility owners to be on site within two (2) hours from the receipt of the emergency locate request on the system that the Member has designated for those purposes. Emergency Locate Requests are transmitted to the Member within fifteen (15) minutes.

Emergency and priority locate requests (i.e. anything less than five business day’s notice) will only be accepted through a phone call to Ontario One Call. Ontario One Call will then dispatch the emergency via a Phone Out to all participating members.

Note: Excavators reporting incidents of damage will be instructed by Ontario One Call to call the member directly.

An operation using equipment or explosives to move earth, rock or other material below existing grade.

Any individual, partnership, corporation, public entity that digs, bores, trenches, grades, excavates, moves or breaks earth, rock or the materials in the ground.

Ontario One Call receives excavator locate requests by web request, or telephone.

All requests submitted to Ontario One Call must meet minimum requirements or will be refused. Those requirements are contact name and number, city of dig site, dig street, 2 nearest minor intersecting streets and type of work. However, excavators are strongly encouraged to provide as much information as possible to create a high-quality locate request, including information such as a secondary intersecting street, marking instructions, hand digging/machine digging clarification, etc. This assists the member and locate service provider in identifying the dig site and ensuring an accurate locate is completed.

A separate excavator locate request is prepared for each street, road etc. where an excavation is planned. Multiple excavation sites on the same street will be included on the same Excavator Locate Request when the submitted addresses are sequential and in ascending or descending order so that they constitute a reasonable geographic entity. When these conditions are met, the limits of the request field lengths determine the maximum number of excavation sites that can be included on an excavator locate request.

Requests of five or more separate dig streets in a given Municipality are considered “Project Work” by Ontario One Call and will be processed as such. The difference between project work requests and single requests is the assignment of a Project Work Number. The project work number “batches” the project work requests together.

In support of the ORCGA’s “White Lining” best practice, pre-marking by the excavator is encouraged by Ontario One Call and is a scripted question in telephone requests. This practice is a part of “Outline Mark and Fax (OMF)”.

Every morning by 08:00 the operational status of each member’s receiving equipment can be tested. If the member requests it, a “good morning” message will be transmitted to confirm this. This test procedure is designed to alert Ontario One Call and members of a malfunction so that the problem may be corrected.

Each evening, Ontario One Call can transmit an “audit report” message or “good night”, summarizing that day’s notification numbers in numerical sequence, to each member’s location. Members can then check to make sure they did not miss any notifications during that day. These services are free of charge and are optional.

Ontario One Call requires excavators to provide information about the location of a dig site in order to position it correctly in the GIS base map. Civic address information as well as the 2 nearest intersecting streets to the dig site is also required in order to validate that the address information provided is correct. The excavator is then asked to identify the extent of the excavation at the dig site. Ontario One Call will then utilize the system software to identify the dig site location. The Ontario One Call software then automatically identifies member coverage that intersect with the dig location and member coverage deemed “All Clear” with the dig location.

When Ontario One Call is unable to accurately place the dig site location in the mapping database, a wider search is initiated to identify streets or municipalities in the vicinity of the dig site. It may be necessary to default to a larger polygon in order to ensure that members are not missed in the notification process. This could happen for a variety of reasons, including but not limited to information from the excavator, excavation in a newly developed area not yet mapped in the Ontario One Call map, etc.

Means notification by an excavator of proposed work to Ontario One Call. It may be a standard request, priority request or emergency request.

Excavator locate requests received will be prioritized and numbered sequentially when sent to individual members. Ontario One Call will reflect the excavator’s desired work to begin date on their ticket with the appropriate priority code: Standard, Priority, and Emergency.

Means markings on the ground made by the owner or operator of underground infrastructure indicating the location of its underground infrastructure; and providing to the Excavator a written document containing information respecting the location of the underground infrastructure.

The Underground Infrastructure Owner (UIO) is responsible to decide on the location and type of compatible receiving equipment they wish to install to receive notifications from Ontario One Call. The UIO is responsible to maintain the equipment in good working order and to ensure that their equipment is ready to receive notices from Ontario One Call at all times.

When a company that owns underground assets and infrastructure becomes a member of Ontario One Call they must provide Ontario One Call with information portraying the area they wish to receive notifications of excavator locate requests.

The notification coverage information must identify the limits of coverage by submitting a digital file from their internal GIS system, sending in a hard copy map format, or confirming municipal coverage (for Infrastructure owners with municipal-wide coverage areas). Member notification coverage (polygon(s)) will be overlaid on the Ontario One Call map that is used in the system. The member will be notified that the notification coverage information is ready for validation and will be provided with information to log onto the member coverage validation site. Each member must validate the coverage that is loaded into the system represents the coverage limits supplied by the member before the member is activated in the system.

When an excavator calls for a locate request, the location of the dig site is determined on the Ontario One Call map. The mapping software then determines which member polygons are intersected for that locate request and whether the member should receive a notification.

Ontario One Call depends entirely on the infrastructure owner (member) for the accuracy and up-to-date status of the plant location information. Because the coverage identified by a particular member is driven completely by the members themselves, all member companies are required to validate their existing Ontario One Call annually in a process called “Annual Validation”. The member will be contacted by a representative from Ontario One Call requesting validation for the given calendar year and will be provided a deadline by which to do so. Accurate mapping is the sole responsibility of the member.

Annual validation is critical for members. If a request for locates occurs at a dig site where a member has the infrastructure but has not provided maps the member will not be notified. This is not only non-compliant, but it puts infrastructure and the person digging at risk.

Members are asked to provide Ontario One Call with contact information at their company for billing/administration, operations, and mapping. Members are also asked to notify Ontario One Call if this information changes within their company, so as to avoid disruption of important communications Ontario One Call sends, invoicing etc.

  1. Every municipality in Ontario;
  2. Hydro One Inc.;
  3. Ontario Power Generation;
  4. Every gas distributor and gas transmitter;
  5. Every electricity distribution system operator;
  6. Every entity regulated under the Oil, Gas and Salt Resources Act;
  7. Every person or entity that owns or operates underground infrastructure that crosses a public right of way.

Ontario One Call will determine the status of each member for each excavator locate request, i.e. whether the member will receive a notification or not. Ontario One Call will inform the excavator as to which members will be notified. Where the member has signed the appropriate Selective Sending Addendum (see Selective Sending for more information), Ontario One Call will provide an “All Clear” on behalf of members who do not need to complete a locate for a particular excavator locate request. Ontario One Call will also inform the excavator of their responsibility to contact non-members directly.

Emergency notifications will be transmitted within 15 minutes. Priority and standard notifications will be transmitted within one hour of receipt. All incoming excavator locate requests will be transmitted to the appropriate members, except where machine, software, or network circuit failures prevent such notifications, or where the member is not prepared to receive the notification.

If, for any reason, Ontario One Call is unable to transmit an emergency notification to a member over the automated network, Ontario One Call will make such notification by telephone. As soon as it is able to do so, Ontario One Call will confirm the telephone notification with the transmission of the notification through the automated receiver system.

The Ontario One Call notification is part of our basic service. Infrastructure owners provide Ontario One Call with the location of their infrastructure (where they would like to receive notification of dig activity), and Ontario One Call transmits the notification (a “locate request”) every time dig activity occurs in the pre-defined area.

Notification service members enjoy a multitude of benefits, including but not limited to:

  • Servicing all excavator types, including homeowners, contractors, municipalities, Infrastructure owners, landlords and business owners
  • Consistent, detailed and accurate information obtained on each locate request
  • State-of-the-art GIS mapping system to ensure accurate member notification
  • Customized plant coverage over the base map to ensure notification only when there is plant in the vicinity of the dig
  • 24/7/365 service

A person who does not own the infrastructure in question but otherwise is responsible for its day-to-day operation. An operator may fulfill all the duties of the owner under legislation, but the owner retains responsibility for ensuring all legal requirements are met.

Any individual or legal entity, public or private.

Priority 0 – deferred emergency used only at the discretion of Ontario One Call. Members will do their best to complete locates in a timely manner, however, they still have up to 5 or 10 business days to complete their response, depending on the type of request (single address request or advanced request)

“Private lines” are not covered by Ontario One Call’s members. A separate locate must be arranged for lines of this nature. Private lines include but are not limited to pool heater lines, barbeque gas lines, and some secondary service lines (i.e. running electricity from a residence to a workshop/garage).

The Project Locate is defined as any or all of the following criteria; a request:

  • that encompasses an area greater than one city block in an urban environment or 1000 meters in a rural setting
  • that will take longer than 30 days’ duration to complete i.e. water/sewer replacement, deep servicing, utility relocation
  • where the same type of work is being requested in multiple geographical locations (i.e. pole replacements, tree planting, stump removal, anode replacement, mailbox installations, etc.)

Use this option if the work you are doing meets any or all of the criteria above.

Ontario One Call forwards notifications to members through a variety of mediums. Ontario One Call can transmit notifications via FTP, SFTP and email.

Members may also request a phone call be made to a representative from their company advising them of Emergency locate requests after-hours. This is called a “Phone Out”.

The member is responsible for installing and maintaining the receiving equipment at their end and advising Ontario One Call before any changes in their system that may impact the transmission of notifications. In return, if Ontario One Call makes any changes to their outbound notification protocol that may impact you as a member, you will be notified in advance so that you may make the necessary changes.

Generally, a locate expires after 60 days from the date the member or member’s locate service provider completes the locate request. After 60 days, an excavator may request a “Relocate” of the original request. The original request number, new request number, and “RELOCATE” are referenced on the request generated to the member. In the event that contact must be made with the member again at the request of the excavator before the 60-day expiry date, (i.e. locate markings have faded due to weather, locate not yet completed after work to begin date has passed, etc.), the excavator may request a “Remark”. The original request number, new request number and “REMARK” are referenced on the request generated to the member.

Standard: a Standard Locate Request is a single address request reasonably expected to commence within thirty (30) Days of the work to begin date. Members who received a standard locate notification are to complete locate or provide a clearance within (5) Business Days from its receipt.

After an original notification is sent to a member, Ontario One Call may receive additional information from the excavator that must be communicated to the member in a subsequent (follow-up) notification. There are three types of subsequent notifications: Correction, Update and Relocate/Remark.

Infrastructure owners can manage notifications from certain excavators based on their contractor ID.  Special arrangements can be made between the member and excavator through an Alternate Locate Agreement or Suppression, for specific types of work/methods of digging, risk-based tolerance etc.

An Alternate Locate Agreement (ALA) is for work that may not require a traditional field locate. The locate may not be sent to the typical locator, the excavator should know and understand the terms of their agreement to excavate safely and in compliance with the act.

A Suppression advises the excavator that a traditional field locate from the member is not required.

This could be for any of the following reasons, including:

  • The facility owner is doing work on their own plant and does not require a 3rd party locate
  • The facility owner has authorized the excavator to perform a locate for work they are doing on behalf of the facility owner
  • The locate will be performed by another locate service provider that has been authorized by the facility owner

For further information, please contact

A cable, line, pipe, conduit, or structure used to gather, store, or convey products or services.

A change of critical information to the original request. These revisions affect the location/extent of work field, member notification, or other pertinent dig information as well as pertinent contact information such as phone number, fax number or email address. An excavator may also subsequently notify Ontario One Call that they now have an emergency locate request and a change must subsequently be made from a standard or priority to an emergency request category. A new request number is issued and the old request number is referenced. “UPDATE” is visible in the top right field of the request. A cancellation is issued for the original request. This will be treated as a new request for billing purposes.

Ontario One Call strongly encourages using web requests as the primary tool for locate requests. Web requests are user-friendly and can be done at the convenience of the excavator. Web Requests allow the excavator to be more specific when mapping their dig location. Web Requests may require an audit by an Ontario One Call Representative to ensure all information is accurate and correct. Should a correction be required from the excavator, an email will be sent with the correction required for the excavator to complete.

Excavators may also export their data into Excel files for future reference/planning and transmit their web requests to a third party via email.

Homeowners and Contractors alike may process web requests. Please visit our web portal for further information or call if a tutorial is desired.