While tidy yards and gardens may be pleasant, the noise from your leaf blower can end up disturbing those around you. Let’s all be considerate of our neighbours! Learn about the rules for using your leaf blower and avoid using it too early, before 8 a.m. or too late, after 7 p.m. on weekdays.

You can also keep your yard clean without using your leaf blower. If you do have to use a leaf blower, consider using green technologies and taking steps to reduce the noise and other impacts from your device.

There are a number of alternatives to dealing with fallen leaves that will help you avoid or reduce the use of your leaf blower. You can:

  • Compost your leaves whenever possible; they are great sources of nutrients for gardens. Consider lawn mowers with mulch settings as these are also great options for composting light leaves.
  • Rake leaves and use a tarp to collect leaves.
  • Use natural landscaping to limit area that needs to be manicured but keep gardens free of prohibited plants that can pose a threat to human health or natural areas.

Many native species need leaves, plant stalks, or dead branches for hibernation. By removing leaves, we could be removing important wintering habitats for native wildlife. Check out the City’s Pollinator Protection Strategy, which aims to enhance and protect habitat in natural and urbanized areas, and additional tips for creating a pollinator-friendly garden.

If you do need to use a leaf blower, consider switching to greener technologies to reduce the impacts of your leaf blower usage.

  • If possible, use an electric and battery-powered blower.
  • Look for newer equipment if possible, as a newer leaf blower is required to emit fewer pollutants.
  • Each piece of equipment should have an approved evaporative emissions label.

If you do have to use a leaf blower, there are steps you can take to reduce the impacts on your neighbours:

  • Routinely check your leaf blower, especially the muffler, air intake and air filters, to make sure everything is working properly. Never modify blowers; use only as factory directed.
  • Stay as far away as possible from people or pets.
  • Speak with neighbors about best hours for usage and avoid using your leaf blower too early or too late.
  • When using a leaf blower, start on the edges of your yard. Blow away for your neighbours’ properties and streets.
  • Pay attention and do not point the nozzle or blow debris toward people, pets, vehicles, or windows or doors.
  • Keep the nozzle of your leaf blower pointed down to reduce spraying dust. Wet down dusty areas before using a leaf blower.
  • Use a vacuum or power broom with water to clean up construction dust, plaster dust, gravel or gravel dust, plaster, cement, concrete dust, or dry topsoil. Do not use your leaf blower.

You can reduce noise from your leaf blower by adopting the following practices:

  • Choose a blower that can operate at 65 decibels (dBA) or below. 65 dBA still provides the power needed to care for most residential yards, but is quieter than the more high-powered equipment.
  • Use the nozzle equipment of your leaf blower as that can help muffle sound.
  • Limit the number of leaf blowers in a small area as using multiple leaf blowers amplifies noise.

Before using a leaf blower, please familiarize yourself with the rules for power device use so that your device does not disturb your neighbours. Power devices include equipment used in the maintenance of lawns, including leaf blowers, lawnmowers, grass trimmers, chainsaws, or any other similar equipment.

Noise Bylaw

Avoid using your leaf blower too early or too late in the day and let your neighbours sleep in on weekends and holidays. Use your power devices from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays. Power devices are allowed from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays. Learn more about the rules for power devices in the Noise Bylaw.

Use of Streets and Sidewalk Bylaw

Help keep our sidewalks clean by not blowing leaves and lawn clipping onto sidewalks and roads. Learn more about the regulations in the Use of Streets and Sidewalk Bylaw.

What to Do if Rules are Not Followed

If you have concerns about leaf blower noise and leaves and debris being blown onto roads and sidewalks, consider speaking with those responsible to give them an opportunity to correct the issue. If this approach does not work, contact 311 to submit a service request.