Know the facts about illegal Marijuana Grow Operations (MGOs)

​Law enforcement authorities proactively monitor residential areas to identify and dismantle illegal Marijuana Grow Operations (MGOs).  An illegal MGO can take place indoors or outdoors, in a residential neighbourhood, or a commercial business unit.  Since 2008, police agencies have identified and dismantled 138 MGO’s in Brampton—an average of 23 per year.  The City of Brampton supports the authorities and ensures that the City's property standards by-laws are upheld.

In 2006, the City of Brampton, together with Peel Regional Police, established a Marijuana Grow-Op Inspection Protocol.  The divisions and agencies involved in the administration of this protocol are:  City of Brampton Enforcement & By-law Services; City of Brampton Building Division; Brampton Fire & Emergency Services; Peel Regional Police; Region of Peel – Public Health, and the Regional Clerk; Hydro One; and, Electrical Safety Authority Technical Standards and Safety Authority.

MGO's impact on the community

Brampton residents can play an important role by being vigilant.  Should you suspect MGO activity in your neighbourhood, please report it to Peel Regional Police Major Drugs and Vice Bureau at 905-453-3311; or Peel Police Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) .

It is important to know the facts about how MGOs can impact the community.  Indoor grow operations may create many health and safety issues for inhabitants and future owners, in addition to causing structural, electrical, and mechanical damages to these properties:

  • increase in temperature and humidity within a sealed building often leads to toxic mould growth
  • dangerous and volatile chemicals in the plant growth process is often left behind or their lingering residues
  • increase in potential fire hazards due to chemicals and electrical alterations
  • alteration of unsupported openings in doors and walls leaving the building structurally unsafe
  • tapping into the hydro line by boring a large hole in the concrete foundation (hydro bypass)
  • reworking the heating and ventilation system in an effort to hide odours and generate heat

MGOs also negatively impact their surrounding community in many ways, including decreasing property values, and the potential violence and criminal activity that is associated with the illegal drug market.

Signs of an indoor MGO (streetview) - Source Peel Regional Police

  • unkempt homes and lawns
  • any tampering with the electrical metre or wires outside the home
  • odour of marijuana (sweet and pungent)
  • noises such as fans used in venting odours or heat
  • odour of moth balls/fabric softener used to disguise the smell of marijuana
  • rarely seeing anyone at the residence, and only using the garage door to enter
  • condensation on the windows
  • windows covered all the time, especially basement windows
  • no garbage on garbage day
  • in winter time, much less snow on the roof than others on the street
  • lights appear to be on timers and come on at the same time every night
  • large purchases of fertilizer, garden hoses, plastic pipes, lumber and different sized growing pots

For the Realtor or Home-Buyer (indoor signs)

  • mould in corners where walls and ceilings meet
  • painted concrete floors in the basement, or stained with circular marks from plant pots
  • evidence of tampering with the hydro metre, or evidence of modified wiring on the exterior of the house
  • brownish stains around the soffit that bleeds down along the siding
  • concrete masonry patches or alterations on the inside of the garage
  • patterns of screw holes on the walls, floors and ceilings that have been repaired or patched
  • alteration of fireplaces or rusting in the furnace and lining of chimneys
  • excessive moisture and staining on the walls and floors from condensation
  • altered showers and bathtubs (for watering plants)
  • chemical and/or fertilizer smell


For additional information, please contact:

City of Brampton Enforcement & By-law Services: or 905.458.3424

City of Brampton City Clerk's Office: or 905.874.2113