The Noise Bylaw provides standards for noise in Toronto. This includes decibel limits and time restrictions for some types of noise.
Toronto is a growing, vibrant city, where noise can be common. We encourage residents to exercise a reasonable degree of tolerance and to review the bylaw regulations by type of noise (found below) prior to submitting a service request.
Individuals can apply for a noise exemption to work outside of the permitted hours as long as they meet the application requirement. Learn more about the noise exemption process.
Government work, bells, sirens or work needed to respond to an emergency are exempt from the Noise Bylaw.
More details can be found by viewing Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 591, Noise.
Amplified sound (for example, music from bars or concerts)
Noise will be measured by Bylaw Enforcement Officers using sound meters. Measurement will be taken by trained staff from the point where the noise is heard and compared against the standards as identified in the bylaw. Ambient (background noise) will be taken into consideration when conducting measurements.
Persistent noise from any animal is not permitted. Examples include persistent barking, calling or whining.
Noise is not permitted from:
- 7 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays
- All day Sunday and statutory holidays
Loading and unloading
Noise is not permitted from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. This includes noise from loading, unloading, delivering, packing, unpacking and otherwise handling any containers, products or materials.
Clearly audible noise from vehicle repairs, rebuilding, modifying or testing:
- Is not permitted from 9 p.m. to 7 a.m. the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays
- Cannot exceed the approved standards
- Will be measured by Bylaw Enforcement Officers using sound meters.
Unnecessary noise (for example, engine revving and tire squealing)
- Unnecessary noise that is clearly audible at point of reception is not permitted.
Power devices (for example, leaf blowers, chain saw, lawn mowers and grass trimmers)
Noise is not permitted from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. the next day, except until 9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. These rules do not apply to devices used to maintain golf courses or public parks and to snow removal devices.
Religious ceremony in a place of worship
Sound cannot disturb a religious ceremony in a place of worship.
Stationary sources and residential air conditioners
Will be measured by Bylaw Enforcement Officers using sound meter.
Unreasonable and persistent noise
Noise not covered in one of the above categories cannot be unreasonable and persistent.
If you have a concern, consider speaking with those responsible for making the noise to give them an opportunity to correct the issue.
If this approach does not work, you can call 311 or submit a service request online.
Please note that the Municipal Licensing and Standards Division does not respond to demonstrations, noisy parties or noise from people acting disorderly, such as yelling, screaming and fighting. To report these types of noise, call the Toronto Police Service non-emergency number at 416-808-2222. For emergencies, call 9-1-1.
- Our goal is to resolve the issue and achieve compliance with the bylaw.
- An Officer from the Municipal Licensing & Standards Division will be assigned to respond to your request and will contact you according to the assessed priority of the service request.
- If there is a possible noise bylaw violation, the Officer may conduct an investigation, which could include education, mediation, and/or enforcement actions.
- In the event that legal action is necessary, you may be asked to provide a witness statement and give evidence in court.
The City has partnered with St. Stephen’s Community House, an organization that provides free community mediation services to Toronto residents, as an alternative means to resolving a dispute with the help of neutral mediators.
Mediation can help deliver better service, divert some cases from bylaw enforcement, and get to the root cause of long-standing community or neighbour-to-neighbour issues. The process is separate from bylaw enforcement and completely confidential.