Skip to main content

Fence (By-law No. 2003-462)


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

Ottawa Public Library
120 Metcalfe, Ottawa Room

Fence (By-law No. 2003-462)

The Fence By-law (By-law No. 2003-462) sets minimum standards for the maintenance and repair of fences. The Fence By-law institutes a ‘good neighbour policy’ where the finished side of the fence must face toward the neighbouring property and street.


  • Hedges, bushes and trees that serve as natural screening are not defined as a fence and therefore the height and/or trimming of such is not regulated.
  • The by-law does not regulate where on or near your property line you should put the fence. It does not regulate how costs for the fence are determined by neighbouring property owners.
  • Generally, the Fence By-law sets a maximum height for fences on residential properties at 2.13 metres (7 feet) for side yards and rear yards and 1 metre (3 feet, 2.8 inches) for front yards. For industrial or commercial properties the maximum height for a fence is 3 metres (9 feet, 10 inches). Some exemptions apply; please refer to the by-law for further information.
  • It is a property owner's responsibility to:
    • Contact Black and McDonald at 613-526-1226 ext. 174 for street lighting locates.
    • Contact Ontario One-Call at 1-800-400-2255 for water and sewer locates, and to arrange for cable locates on your property. 

View the entire by-law:

Fence By-law (By-law No. 2003-462)

Report an issue:


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

In Person: 

Visit one of the ServiceOttawa Client Service Centres