The Noise Bylaw (Toronto Municipal Code, Chapter 591) provides standards for noise and applies to all properties in Toronto.
The Toronto City Council adopted amendments to the bylaw at its meeting on April 16 and 17, 2019. The amended bylaw came into effect on October 1, 2019 and includes:
- New and updated definitions to improve clarity and consistency in the interpretation of the bylaw
- Quantified noise level limits for amplified sound and motorcycles to enhance objectivity
- Introduction of an “Unreasonable and Persistent Noise” provision to be applied only when noise is not captured by a specific prohibition, and
- A more streamlined exemption permit process, with the ability to revoke permits and impose conditions when necessary, including submission of a noise mitigation plan.
About the Review
The City began reviewing the Noise Bylaw in 2015. In 2016, with direction from the Licensing and Standards Committee, a Noise Working Group (NWG) was convened with stakeholders from resident associations, business improvement areas, the music and entertainment industry, the construction and building industry and other city divisions and agencies.
The NWG met nine times and concluded in 2017. The group reviewed current and proposed amendments to the noise bylaw and highlighted outstanding issues. In April 2018, a report documenting these outstanding issues and next steps in the noise bylaw review was brought to City Council.
The City then undertook additional research and consultation, including:
- procuring an independent acoustical engineering firm to provide a technical review of 1) the current and proposed noise bylaw, and 2) the feedback collected from members of the Noise Working Group
- conducting broad and statistically significant public opinion research on resident attitudes, experience and concerns with noise in Toronto
- pursuing additional research and data analysis; including jurisdictional best practices/approaches, and
- consulting with the public and stakeholders at five consultations in January and February 2019.