These materials will help you learn more about safe digging.

You can contact Ontario One Call to request a locate 24 hours a day, 7 days a week via phone or on the web.

Locates requests via Ontario One Call are free of charge.

That depends on who is doing the excavation. If you’re doing it, you’re responsible for getting a locate first. If you’re hiring someone to complete the excavation for you (landscaper, fence company, deck builder, etc.) they should get the locate. The person physically completing the excavation is responsible for obtaining locates, regardless of whose property the excavation is occurring on.

However, keep in mind that if you’re hiring someone, even if you’re not legally responsible for getting the locate, you should make sure they get one before starting any work.

Ontario One Call connects the owners of buried infrastructure with the people who want to dig across Ontario. Contact Ontario One Call, and when Ontario One Call receives a request to dig, we record the details and provide those details to the owners of infrastructure in that area. We call the act of providing them those details “Notification.”

The owners of buried infrastructure will receive the notification from Ontario One Call and respond back to the person requesting the locate. You can review the owners of buried infrastructure notified by checking the bottom of your ticket. Additionally, with your ticket number, you can view the status of your locates through our 360 Feedback program.

You must wait until all the notified owners of buried infrastructure have responded before beginning your work.

Please note that Ontario One Call reserves the right to refuse locate requests if the information is insufficient, conflicting, or confusing.

The locates are completed by the owners of the buried infrastructure or their respective Locate Service Providers. Ontario One Call does not perform locates.

When Ontario One Call receives a request to dig, we record the details and provide those details to owners of infrastructure in that area. We call the act of providing them those details “Notification.”

The owners of buried infrastructure will receive the notification from Ontario One Call and respond back to the person requesting the locate. You can review the owners of buried infrastructure notified by checking the bottom of your ticket. Additionally, with your ticket number, you can view the status of your locates through our 360 Feedback program.

You must wait until all the notified owners of buried infrastructure have responded before beginning your work.

Once notified, the owner of the buried infrastructure responds back to the person who requested to dig in one of three ways: a clear; a “completed” locate; or a request for more time to respond.

A clear is when an owner of the buried infrastructure reports that your dig activity has low to no conflict with their infrastructure. This clear may be based on any information you provide to Ontario One Call, so ensure you do not stray outside the plans you’ve provided. There must be paperwork that comes with this “Clear.”

A “completed” locate is when an owner of the buried infrastructure marks on the ground where their infrastructure is located and provides paperwork backing up their markings. In addition, this paperwork will have instructions on how to dig around the marked infrastructure. For example, “Dig by Hand within 1 meter of the markings.”

Sometimes this response is instantaneous but it may take up to 5 business days to receive a response.

You must wait until all owners of buried infrastructure notified have responded with the appropriate paperwork and either a clear or a “completed” locate.

Current legislation does not require the participation of First Nations, the Province of Ontario or the Government of Canada to register all their infrastructure, but all other infrastructure that crosses onto a public right of way is required to register with Ontario One Call.

Any privately owned infrastructure will not be notified by Ontario One Call. For example, you may have a gas line that goes from your gas meter to your pool or barbeque, or you may have an electrical line that goes from your house to your garage or you may be on a septic system or well. This would not be covered under an Ontario One Call Request to dig. You may need to contact and hire someone to find these pipes and cables for you. For more information on private locates please click here.

Ontario One Call requires a minimum of five business day’s notice to allow infrastructure owners enough time to complete their response.

Why does my gas/hydro company advertise three days to get a locate, and Ontario One Call advertises five?

Different infrastructure owners have different service levels. One member may have a service level of three days, while another has a service level of five depending on other regulations they must comply with.

Please provide as much lead time as possible. You will be helping yourself and permitting the owners of buried infrastructure to plan their workload effectively and to serve your needs in a timely manner.

There is basic, mandatory information Ontario One Call needs to complete your locate request:

  1. Your name
  2. Your phone number
  3. Your email address (kept in a confidential database used only by Ontario One Call affiliates for locate request purposes)
  4. The location of the dig site, including City, Address, Dig Street, and the two nearest minor intersecting streets to the property where you are excavating. Please note that our system will provide you with the nearest intersecting street we have available, all that is required is your verification.
  5. Type of work occurring on the property

Additional information that is good to have and may expedite your locates includes:

  1. Whether you’re excavating at the front, back, or side of the property and if you are digging near any property lines (i.e. if you are on public property or private property)
  2. Whether your property is a corner lot or not
  3. What side of the road your property is on (N,S,E,W)
  4. Whether you will be digging by hand (shovel, pick or spade), or machine
  5. If your type of work is a fence, whether the fence is being placed past the front corners of the house
  6. If your type of work is a pool, whether a fence is being installed at the same time
  7. Any special information you would normally give to someone visiting your house (ex. if you have a dog in the backyard)

Please review your ticket to ensure there are no errors or omissions. Errors or omissions may be corrected by contacting us at 1-800-400-2255. It is your responsibility to ensure that your ticket is accurate.

The first page of your locate request will be the ticket confirmation:

A: Ticket Confirmation. Use this number when obtaining a locate status from Ontario One Call’s 360 Feedback, calling Ontario One Call to inquire about your locate request or calling an Ontario One Call Member about your locate request.

B: Contact Information. Please review to ensure accuracy. This is the information the owners of buried infrastructure will use to contact you.

C: Dig Location. Please review to ensure accuracy. This is the address that will receive the locate. Please be as specific as possible with Dig Location. Ontario One Call prefers that, if possible, you situate your dig site between the two nearest intersecting streets. These would be the two streets that are to your immediate left and right when standing in front of your property.

D: Dig Information. This section tells Ontario One Call what type of work you are doing on the property and where you are doing it. Please be as specific as possible.

E: Members Notified. This section tells you who Ontario One Call notified of your intent to excavate. Review this section thoroughly and ensure that any other infrastructure Owners not mentioned in this section are contacted by you directly.

If there is a “C” beside the Member name, that owner of buried infrastructure has issued you a clearance for your work, meaning you are safe to commence your excavation as far as that Member is concerned (remember there are other owners of buried infrastructure on your ticket). If you have an “L” beside a Member name, that Member notification has been sent to Ontario One Call’s in-house clearance centre for a potential office clearance (called “Look-Up”). You may be contacted on behalf of that Member within the next 24 hours. If you have any questions about a notification that was sent to Ontario One Call’s in-house clearance centre, please contact 1-844-257-9491.

The second page of your ticket confirmation consists of disclaimers and information that is important to note. It is your responsibility to ensure that your ticket information is accurate. Please review this information thoroughly and contact 1-800-400-2255 if you have any questions.

Excavators request locates for a variety of reasons. Cities dig to repair water and sewer lines or rebuild roads/sidewalks. infrastructure owners dig to repair or upgrade their lines, etc. Please keep in mind that the municipality you live in, technically, “owns” the land up to your property line. If they must excavate on the publicly-owned portion of the property, they may do so without consulting you first. While there is no arguing that you own your private property, the infrastructure buried underneath that property is owned by the respective owner. It is the policy of most companies and certainly a courtesy to notify you of any planned excavation.

ON1Call’s Privacy Policy forbids ON1Call Representatives from discussing locate requests with anyone but the person who requested the locate, an ON1Call member, or a third party investigative body/legal body.

Pool heater lines and barbeque lines are a great example of “private lines”. Private lines are installed by private contractors (i.e. not utility representatives) and are not covered by Ontario One Call’s Members. A separate private locate must be arranged for lines of this nature. For information on private locates click here.

Please click here to see an example of a locate sheet and how to read it.

 

You must follow the instructions provided by each buried infrastructure owner in response to your request.  To see an example of a locate sheet, and how to read it, click here.

If you damage any infrastructure, please call the buried infrastructure owner directly. Even a sheath or coating nick can cause corrosion which may lead to a future problem. Leave the excavation open until it has been inspected.

Ontario One Call does not complete or schedule physical locates. We transmit your dig information to our members (buried infrastructure owners) or our member’s Locate Service Provider (LSP).

Once the ticket leaves our office, it becomes the responsibility of these parties. We have no “pull” with members or locators to expedite locates. If you cannot resolve your issue with the LSP directly and wish to file a complaint against a member or LSP, please contact the member company directly first.  If you cannot find the appropriate party, please speak to one of our agents at 1-800-400-2255.

 

If all reasonable attempts have failed with the member company, please reach out to our compliance department via our complaint form.

Whatever company is responsible for the excavation should have their name associated with the locates that are on-site. If there are multiple contractors working at one site, you may add multiple names to the Ontario One Call ticket.

If you want to share locates please follow Ontario One Call’s best practice on sharing locates with subcontractors.

The locate validity period is determined by the facility owner and in most cases locates are valid in 30 calendar day increments from the date you received your locate from the Ontario One Call member (buried infrastructure owner) or the member’s Locate Service Provider (LSP) unless otherwise specified by provincial or federal law. The facility owner will clearly identify the length and conditions of the validity period of the locate, please check the locate sheet sent to you from the member or their LSP or contact the member directly for the details. Work that extends beyond the life of a locate must be re-submitted by the excavator to Ontario One Call for a “Relocate”. Please request a Relocate at least 5 business days before the validity period expires to allow the member or LSP to refresh the markings.

If you require a certain member to remark their utilities before the life of a locate expires, you may contact Ontario One Call and request a “Remark”.