Skip to main content

Noise (By-law No. 2004-253)

The City of Ottawa regulates noise through the Noise By-law (By-law No. 2004-253). It is in the public interest to reduce the noise level in the City of Ottawa, so as to preserve, protect and promote public health, safety, welfare, and peace and quiet for the inhabitants of the City.

Highlights

The following would be considered violations under the by-law:

  • Ringing a bell, sounding of any horn, or shouting in a manner likely to disturb others (with some exemptions such as for places of worship).
  • Running equipment such as air conditioners, heat pumps, compressors, exhaust systems, and similar devices with noise exceeding 50 decibels when measured at the point of reception.
  • Using power equipment such as chainsaws, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, tools and similar devices between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays).
  • Operating musical instruments, radios, TVs, stereos and similar devices between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturday; noon (12 p.m.) on Sunday and statutory holidays), that disturbs others.

The Chief of By-law Services may grant an exemption for special events or construction work.

View the entire by-law:

Noise By-law (By-law No. 2004-253)

Report an issue:Online:

Due to the sensitivity and urgent nature of noise complaints, they are not currently available on-line.

Please call 311 to report a noise complaint.

Phone:

  • 3-1-1
  • (613) 580-2400
  • 1 (866) 261-9799
  • (613) 580-2401 (TTY)

In Person:

Visit one of the ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres

Disclaimer

By-laws contained in this section have been prepared for reference purposes only. Every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of this information; however it is not to be used in place of actual by-laws.

Actual by-laws can be obtained at the following locations:

City Archives
James Bartleman Centre
100 Tallwood Dr. (Corner of Woodroffe)
Ottawa, Ontario
tel.: 613-580-2857
fax : 613-580-2614
e-mail: archives@ottawa.ca

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room
613-580-2945

Information About the Noise By-law

This brochure has been prepared as a reference guide to the City of Ottawa Noise By-law No. 2004 253. For precise wording and a complete record of regulatory provisions, please refer to the official by-law.

The following would be considered as violations under the by-law:

ALARMS, BELLS, HORNS, SHOUTING

Ringing a bell, blowing a horn or shouting in a manner that disturbs inhabitants of the City. (Exempt - Ringing of bells in connection with a religious service.)

EQUIPMENT

Air Conditioners, Heat Pumps, Compressors, Condensers, Chillers, Cooling Towers, Exhaust Fan, Exhaust Systems, Intake Fan Generators, Commercial Dryer Pumps, Filtration Systems and similar devices
Noise exceeding 50 dBA when measured at the point of reception (a portable generator in an emergency situation would be exempt).

CONSTRUCTION and REPAIR

Operating vehicles or equipment in connection with the construction of any building, structure, highway, or motorcar after 10 p.m. and before 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Sunday and stat holidays).

LOADING and UNLOADING

From a motor vehicle after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m., if the noise from such activity is disturbing to inhabitants.

DELIVERIES

From a motor vehicle after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m., if the noise from such activity is disturbing to inhabitants.

VEHICLE NOISES

Idling
Idling in excess of five minutes; with exemptions for necessary cargo or passenger health and safety.

Muffler
Discharging exhaust from a motor vehicle without a muffler to prevent loud and explosive noise.

Unnecessary Noise
Causing unnecessary vehicle noise such as sounding the horn, revving the engine or squealing the tires.

POWER EQUIPMENT

Chainsaws, Power Lawn Mowers, Leaf Blowers, Power Tools and similar devices
Operating power equipment after 9 p.m. and before 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and stat holidays).

REFUSE COLLECTION

Operating refuse compacting equipment or solid waste bulk lift equipment after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on a Sunday or stat holiday), if the activity is disturbing to inhabitants.

SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICES

Includes; musical instruments, radios, televisions, stereos and similar devices
Operating such a device after 11 p.m. and before 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturday; noon on Sunday and stat holidays), that disturbs a person in a residence or at a place of business.

Operating a sound reproduction device in a residence between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. that exceeds 45 dBA when measured in a dwelling within the same residence, or 55 dBA when measured at or inside the property line of the person disturbed.

Operating a sound reproduction device in connection with a commercial establishment between 7 a.m. and 11 p.m. that exceeds 45 dBA when measured in a business or residence.

TO REPORT A NOISE VIOLATION: Call City Services at 311. TTY 613-580-2401

PENALTY
Fines range from $305 to $5,000.

Noise By-law Exemption Application

EXEMPTION REQUEST FOR SOUND REPRODUCTION DEVICES USED IN A SPECIAL EVENT

The Chief of By-law Services may grant an exemption for an event subject to the following conditions :

  • the event relates to live or recorded music or involves the use of a sound amplifying system or sound reproduction device operated in a reasonable manner in the context of the special event
  • the event shall not create noise likely to cause a nuisance or disturb the inhabitants or exceed 65 dBA when measured at the point of reception
  • the event shall not exceed eleven (11) calendar days
  • the time at which the event is to be terminated shall be agreed to by the affected Ward Councillor or Ward Councillors, the Director of By-law Services and the applicant and the event shall not continue beyond 0100 hours on Friday and Saturday and on Sunday only if the following Monday is a statutory holiday
  • an event shall not continue beyond 2300 hours on Sunday through Thursdays
  • the affected Ward Councillor or Ward Councillors are in agreement with granting the exemption
EXEMPTION REQUEST FOR CONSTRUCTION EQUIPMENT

The Chief of By-law Services may grant an exemption to subsection 7(1) for construction equipment subject to the following conditions :

  • the use of construction equipment shall not create noise likely to cause a nuisance or disturb the inhabitants or exceed 90 dBA when measured at the point of reception
  • the use of the construction equipment shall not continue for more than eight (8) hours on any one day
  • the duration of the exemption requested shall not exceed eleven (11) calendar days
  • the affected Ward Councillor or Ward Councillors are in agreement with granting the exemption
EXEMPTION REQUEST FOR TEMPORARY MOTOR RACING COMPETITIONS

The Chief of By-law Services may grant an exemption for motor racing competitions at temporary venues subject to the following conditions :

  • the competition does not exceed three (3) days
  • the affected Ward Councillor or Ward Councillors are in agreement with granting the exemption which will include the time of day at which the competition will commence and terminate
  • the motor vehicles shall be equipped with effective mufflers

A Noise By-law Exemption Application shall be made in writing to the Chief of By-law Services sixty (60) days prior to the special event, the use of the construction equipment, or the date of the temporary racing competition.

Forward the completed application request to :

Service Ottawa Client Service Centre
101 Centrepointe Dr.
Ottawa, ON
K2G 5K7
Mail Code 04-05

noiseexemption@ottawa.ca

 

Report a noise complaint

Due to the sensitivity and urgent nature of noise complaints, they are not currently available on-line.

Please call 311 to report a noise complaint.

For more information

Please refer to the Noise By-law for more information.

Review of the City of Ottawa’s Noise By-law