Our city is alive, our parks and streets are bustling, and festivals and events are happening. As downtown residents we expect a reasonable level of noise. However, they key word is reasonable. The City of Toronto has an updated robust noise bylaw that came into effect on October 1, 2019. The new rules are based on more objective, measurable criteria such as decibel limits and include time restrictions for some types of noise, including noise related to amplified sound, construction, motor vehicles, power devices, animals and other stationary sources.

Residents with a noise concern are encouraged to consider speaking with those responsible for making the noise to give them an opportunity to correct the issue. If this approach does not work, residents can call 311 or submit a service request online.

Staff are preparing a full review of the Noise Bylaw in late 2023.

Who's Responsible for What?


Amplified sound (for example, music from bars or concerts)

Noise will be measured by Bylaw Enforcement Officers using sound meters. Measurement will be taken outdoors from the point where the noise is heard. The noise must not exceed:

  • 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m.
  • 55 dB(A) or 70 dB(C) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

If Bylaw Enforcement Officers are unable to measure from the outdoor space, they may measure the noise from indoors. In these instances, noise must not exceed:

  • 45 dB(A) or 60 dB(C) from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m.
  • 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m.

Ambient noise will be taken into consideration when conducting measurements.

Noise due to safety measures is exempt from the Noise Bylaw. 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.


Persistent noise from any animal is not permitted. Examples include persistent barking, calling or whining.

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.

Power devices (for example, leaf blowers, chain saws, lawnmowers 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.

A 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 meters. Sound should not exceed 50 dB(A) or the applicable sound level limit found in provincial noise pollution control guidelines. This does not apply to sources or facilities that have an Environmental Compliance Approval or have registered on the Environmental Activity and Sector Registry.

Unreasonable and persistent noise

Noise not covered in one of the above categories cannot be unreasonable and persistent. The noise has to be both unreasonable and persistent to be counted as an offence. Unreasonable noise is a noise that disturbs the peace, rest, enjoyment, comfort or convenience of a reasonable person. It does not include commonplace household or workplace sounds such as furniture being moved, children playing or people engaged in conversation. Persistent noise is continuously heard for a period of ten minutes or more or intermittently over a period of one hour or more.

Frequently Asked Questions

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