The Noise Bylaw provides standards for noise in Toronto. This includes decibel limits and time restrictions for some types of noise.

Noise Exemption Permits can be requested for events or activities that may be in contravention of the Noise Bylaw. Examples include:

  • special events that feature amplified sound, such as concerts or the use of loud speakers
  • construction noises outside the allowable hours, including continuous concrete pouring and large crane work.

Note: Please submit your application at least four weeks in advance of the event or activity.

Government work and noise due to safety measures are exempt from the Noise Bylaw. Government work includes construction, rehabilitation or maintenance work conducted by the City, Province of Ontario, Government of Canada and any of its agencies or agents, including the operation of motor vehicles and equipment actually engaged in the work. Safety measures include bells or sirens operated by police, fire, paramedic services and bells or whistles operated by rail or transit services. This also includes other emergency measures as outlined in the bylaw (591-3.1).

Application Package

To apply for a Noise Exemption Permit, applicants must submit the following:

Additional Information

Upon review of an application, the City may require:

  • Reasons supporting an exemption permit. Applicant may be requested to provide supplementary reasons in greater detail in addition to the information required in this application.
  • Noise Mitigation Plan. Applicant may be required to submit a noise mitigation plan outlining actions to be taken to reduce and mitigate the impact of the noise event.
  • Statement certified by a professional engineer or acoustical consultant. Applicant may be required to submit a statement for any sounds that are not technically or operationally feasible to control.

Noise Exemption Permit applications can be submitted by email. All applicants must also pay the $100 application fee.

Email

Email the completed application to NoiseTO@toronto.ca. Once the application has been submitted, applicants will receive an invoice number by email. This invoice can then be paid online at the City of Toronto Licensing Services Payments webpage.

Application Fee

  • $100 (no tax)

Method of Payment

Payments must be made online at the City of Toronto Licensing Services Payments webpage.

Noise Monitoring Fee

This is an additional fee separate from the application fee. During review of an application, the City may determine that noise monitoring is required for permit approval. Noise monitoring is done by Bylaw Enforcement Officers.

The monitoring fee is $60 per hour per officer, plus applicable taxes. Events occurring after 7 p.m. may require two officers.

Applicants will be advised if this is a requirement, and payment must be received before a permit is issued.

A normal application takes three weeks to process, including two weeks with the City Councillor’s Office. More complex applications such as lengthy construction projects and those requiring noise mitigation plans could take longer. Please plan accordingly and submit your application at least four weeks in advance of the event or activity.

Approval Process

Noise Exemption Permits are provided in 591-3.2. On receipt of an application that is satisfactory to Municipal Licensing and Standards (ML&S), ML&S provides notice, in writing, to the local Ward Councillor(s) where the event or activity is to be held. The Councillor(s) has 14 days to review and respond to the notice. ML&S approves the application if:

  • the Councillor(s) does not respond within 14 days, or responds indicating that they have no objection to the application being approved;
  • the applicant has complied, to the satisfaction of ML&S, with the last exemption permit issued to them (if applicable);
  • the applicant has provided information as requested by ML&S (such as the purpose of the exemption permit, the description of any sound equipment, contact information, etc.); and
  • the applicant has paid all required fees.

Under 591-3.2 E (1), where ML&S refuses to grant Noise Exemption Permit, the applicant is notified in writing that they may appeal the decision to the Community Council which has jurisdiction for the location of the proposed event or activity. The timeline for filing the appeal is 21 days of the date of the notice. The appeal fee must also be paid.

Where an application for a Noise Exemption Permit is made for continuous concrete pouring or large crane work, the application is not sent to the local Councillor(s). An exemption permit for continuous concrete pouring and large crane work may be issued if the information requested by ML&S is satisfactory and the conditions of the permit have been met.

Displaying Permit

Unless waived by ML&S, the exemption permit must be posted in a visible location where the noise will occur, seven days before the noise takes place.

Depending on the location of the event, applicants may also require additional permits or approvals, such as a parks permit or a road closure permit.

As a response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Government of Ontario passed Ontario Regulation 130/20 and extended the permitted hours of construction work for essential construction projects. Construction related to the healthcare sector is allowed 24 hours a day, while other permitted construction activity is allowed from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m., seven days a week (inclusive of Statutory Holidays). This is in effect until October 7, 2021, unless revoked earlier by the Government of Ontario.

If construction work is required outside of these hours (and it is not related to the healthcare sector) then a noise exemption permit is still required, including continuous pour and crane exemption permits.

If you are granted a Noise Exemption Permit, Municipal Licensing and Standards may also request:

  • Noise monitoring
  • Noise mitigation plans
  • Statement certified by a professional engineer or acoustical consultant for any sounds that are not technically or operationally feasible to control.