Ottawa Noise By-Law

The following Ottawa by-law illustrates regulation of neighbouring sound. There is no equivalent by-law for sound inside public or private spaces.

The City of Ottawa regulates noise through Noise By-law No. 2004-253. It is in the public interest to reduce the noise level in the City of Ottawa, so as to preserve, protect and promote public health, safety, welfare and peace and quiet of inhabitants of the City.

What is the intent of the by-law?The following would be considered violations under the by-law:

  • Ringing a bell, sounding of any horn, or shouting in a manner likely to disturb others (with some exemptions such as for places of worship).
  • Running equipment such as air conditioners, heat pumps, compressors, exhaust systems, and similar devices with noise exceeding 50 decibels when measured at the point of reception.
  • Operating construction vehicles or equipment between 10 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Sunday and statutory holidays).
  • Delivering from a motor vehicle between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. causing disruptive noise.
  • Vehicle noise including idling in excess of five minutes (with some exemptions), revving engines, squealing tires or lack of mufflers.
  • Using power equipment such as chainsaws, lawn mowers, leaf blowers, tools and similar devices between 9 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturdays, Sundays and statutory holidays).
  • Operating refuse compacting equipment or solid waste bulk lift equipment between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on a Sundays or statutory holidays) that disturbs others.
  • Operating musical instruments, radios, TVs, stereos and similar devices between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (9 a.m. on Saturday; 12 noon on Sunday and statutory holidays), that disturbs others.
  • Causing or permitting unusual noise or noise likely to disturb the inhabitants of the City.