Ontario Newsroom

Ontarians get to air their laundry

Archived News Release

Ontarians get to air their laundry

McGuinty Government Lifts Ban On Outdoor Clotheslines

Office of the Premier

This summer, Ontarians will have the choice to dry their laundry on an outdoor clothesline.

Premier Dalton McGuinty said the province is putting an end to some restrictions that prevent people from using outdoor clotheslines. This includes agreements between home builders and buyers in some towns and cities in Ontario.

Using outdoor clotheslines instead of electric dryers can:

  • Save consumers $30 per year when they reduce their dryer use by 25 per cent.
  • Cut greenhouse gas emissions.
  • Reduce demand on the power grid -- home dryers use about 900 kilowatt hours of electricity per year.

Quick Facts

  • Florida, Utah and Hawaii have laws in place that ensure people can use clotheslines. Similar legislation is being considered in Vermont.
  • Electric clothes dryers use about six per cent of electricity in the home — as much as a refrigerator running 24-7.
  • Over the course of a year, five clothes dryers could result in roughly the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions as an average-size car.

Additional Resources


“There's a whole generation of kids growing up today who think a clothesline is a wrestling move. We want parents to have the choice to use the wind and the sun to dry their clothes for free.”

Dalton McGuinty

Premier of Ontario

“We want every Ontario family to have the tools they need to save energy and save money. Just using a clothesline instead of a dryer can make a significant difference to your pocketbook, reduce demand on the electricity grid, and help keep our air clean.”

Gerry Phillips

Minister of Energy



Environment and Energy