Clotheslines can no longer be banned in Ontario.

Clothesline Ban = Gone! (Finally)

Today I woke up to a familiar, but somewhat forgotten sight: shirts and towels fluttering in the gentle summer-like breeze. My neighbours have set up a clothesline in their backyard! The reason I seem to be so excited about this seemingly mundane fact is that up until a couple of days ago hanging out your clothes to dry would have been illegal for many home dwellers across Toronto. While there was no city-wide clothesline ban (at least I can't find any evidence of it), many subdivisions had anti-clothesline covenants in effect - restrictive clauses that tell you what you can and can't do with your property.

Well, as of last Friday all such restrictions are deemed void by the provincial government - when it comes to ground-level houses anyway. Apartment and condo dwellers may still be disallowed to hand their laundry on balconies - apparently due to "safety concerns". Funny - I used to think of clotheslines and clothes as rather benign objects.

Of course, encouraging people to use hang their clothes to dry instead of throwing them into a dryer is a step in the right direction. When it comes to household appliances, dryers are among the biggest energy hogs , gobbling down five to ten times more energy per hour than washing machines, and accounting for about 6% of the typical household energy consumption. And if you are a Toronto resident, you can even get a clothesline for free between April 26 and May 11, courtesy of Toronto Hydro.

What I found most interesting is the amount of debate this news generated on various blogs and discussion boards. Outlawing a ridiculous ban to help save energy seems like an absolute no-brainer to me - the only thing wrong with it is that it came so late! And yet more than a few folks on the web (though nowhere near the majority) seem to be objecting to the sight of neighbours' laundry, especially *gasp!* underwear. Talk about uptight!

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