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Noise bylaw review

The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) Division is undertaking a review of the existing noise bylaw.

What's happening

Noise Working Group

The Noise Working Group includes representatives from the Toronto Noise Coalition, resident associations, construction and entertainment business associations, BIAs and other relevant stakeholders. The Noise Working Group was formed to provide advice to the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards on amendments to Municipal Code, Chapter 591, Noise; and enhance the relationship between the City, residents, associations and stakeholders.

The Good Neighbour Guide

The Good Neighbour Guide outlines mandatory requirements and "good will" measures that can be taken to help the bar and restaurant industry comply with regulations and operate in harmony with its neighbours, particularly residential neighbours.

Noise bylaw review

ExpandNoise bylaw review

Bylaw Review

The City of Toronto Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S) Division is undertaking a review of the existing noise bylaw.

Chapter 591, Noise, provides standards for noise and applies to all properties within the City of Toronto, with the intention of reducing the impact of unwanted sound on the residents of the City.  It prevents persons from making, causing or permitting any noise, at any time, which is likely to disturb the quiet, peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of the inhabitants of the City.

ML&S will complete research, analysis, and consultation with stakeholder groups, and the general public, described in detail below.

Key Terms

What does the term "noise" mean?

Noise is defined in the by-law as unwanted sound.

Why are there different provisions for noise by zone?

The bylaw sets out specific rules for noise dependant on the time and areas (also referred to as a zone in the bylaw). More specifically, the bylaw sets out that certain types of noise are prohibited in certain time periods and areas (or zones).

There are two types of zones referred to in the bylaw:

  • Quiet zone: Any property within the municipality used as a hospital, retirement home, nursing home, senior citizens residence, or other similar use.
  • Residential area: Any property within the municipality which is zoned for residential uses by an applicable zoning bylaw or which is used in whole or in part for human habitation.

The goal of the bylaw review

The goal of the bylaw review is to consider any changes which may be needed and to ensure that the bylaw is modern, up-to-date and easy for residents, property owners and business to understand. The review includes in-depth research, analysis and consultations with stakeholders and the public. ML&S will submit a staff report with recommendations to the Licensing and Standards Committee at its meeting of January 22, 2016.

Stakeholder and public input

The City is committed to an open and inclusive process which incorporates stakeholder and public participation. Staff will engage members of the general public, residents/community groups, and relevant business associations. 

Relevant legislation and decisions

City of Toronto bylaws that govern Noise includes:

 Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 591, Noise

A list of related decisions can be found here:

Excessive motorcycle noise

Construction noise offenses and specific prohibitions

Strengthening the noise chapter governing loudspeakers and other amplified sound projected in residential neighbourhoods

Chapter 591, Noise - Amendments After Further Consultation

Phases of the Bylaw Review

The review will proceed in three overlapping phases:

  • Phase 1: Research and Analysis - March to April 2015
  • Phase 2: Public and Stakeholder Consultations - April to August 2015
  • Phase 3: The Final Report - August to January 2016
  • Phase 4: Follow-up Report - September 2016

Each phase is described in more detail below.

Phase 1: Research and Analysis

Staff conducted research and analysis.

Phase 2: Stakeholder and Public Consultations

The purpose of this phase will be to obtain stakeholders and public input on the noise bylaw. Staff will accept input through consultations, meetings, online survey and comments/feedback form.

Phase 3: The Final Report

The final staff report is expected on January 22, 2016. The final report will be posted online and stakeholders and the public may depute on the final report at Licensing and Standards Committee.

ML&S reported to the January 22, 2016 Licensing and Standards Committee Meeting. The report proposed amendments to the noise by-law, included consultation findings and a jurisdictional scan.

Licensing and Standards Committee received communications and had a number of speakers participate during the meeting. Several Committee members also brought forward motions for additional information.

The Committee requested that ML&S undertake additional consultation and report back to Licensing and Standards Committee.

Phase 4: Follow-up Report

ML&S reported to the May 19, 2016 Licensing and Standards Committee Meeting. The report included proposed amendments that were revised to respond to additional public consultation.

The Licensing and Standards Committee deferred the item until September 21, 2016 with the request that the Executive Director, Municipal Licensing and Standards establish a working group with representatives from the Toronto Noise Coalition, Residents’ Associations, construction and entertainment business associations, BIAs, and other relevant stakeholders, and report back on September 21, 2016.

Additional research and information:

Toronto Public Health in collaboration with Ryerson University is conducting a study on noise levels in the City of Toronto from August to October 2016. The goal of the study is to characterize noise level exposures among Toronto’s residents. Outcomes of the study will be used to identify and address general and specific noise situations where potential health impacts are present and be used to inform the Noise Bylaw review by Municipal Licensing and Standards. Learn more about the Toronto Public Health noise monitoring study.

More information about this review and current regulations can be found at toronto.ca/mlshaveyoursay

ExpandNoise bylaw consultations details

Join other community members and stakeholders to discuss noise regulations. If you require accommodation to participate, please contact us as soon as possible. 

Please check back for future public consultations.