Amendments to the Noise Bylaw

In our growing downtown communities, striking a balance between ensuring our neighbourhoods are the dynamic and vibrant places that draw so many to them, and ensuring we manage and protect against unreasonable levels of noise, is critical.

The Noise Bylaw provides standards for noise in Toronto. As of October 1 the Noise Bylaw amendments approved by Toronto City Council in April have come into effect. 

Bylaws are typically reviewed every five to 10 years. This is the first update to the Noise Bylaw since 2010. Since that time, Toronto has changed significantly. The City began reviewing the Noise Bylaw in 2015. As part of this process, the City convened a Noise Working Group composed of stakeholders from City divisions, agencies, resident associations, industry and the business community. MLS also conducted research and a jurisdictional scan to inform the new bylaw.

The new rules are based on more objective, measurable criteria such as decibel limits and includes time restrictions for some types of noise, including noise related to amplified sound, construction, motor vehicles, power devices, animals and other stationary sources.

As part of the bylaw enhancements, the City's Municipal Licensing & Standards (MLS) division has introduced a new dedicated noise team to help ensure effective implementation and compliance with the new regulations. The new team is composed of two dozen Bylaw Enforcement Officers, along with management and administrative support, and will be available to respond to noise complaints seven days a week from 6 a.m. to 2 a.m.

The new team will also be using:

  • modernized investigative techniques developed with sound engineering experts
  • a new case prioritization model to more effectively focus efforts on highly impactful and frequent duration events
  • new case management software to assist in investigation efforts and provide increased communication channels with the public.

Some of the other changes to the bylaw include:

  • updated and new definitions to assist with interpretation of the bylaw
  • more detailed and clearer regulations broken down by category
  • introduction of quantitative decibel limits for amplified sound and motor vehicles.

More informatoin on the bylaw regulations for the different types of noise is also available at toronto.ca/noise.