noise bylaw toronto

New noise laws will give Toronto an extra hour of sleep every weekday

Get ready for an extra hour of undisturbed sleep on weekdays, as Toronto City Council just approved new restrictions on when workers can wake you up with jarringly loud power devices.

Council is also accelerating plans to address excessive vehicle noise and illegally modified vehicles, a frequent source of complaints in residential neighbourhoods.

As of summer 2022, crews with power devices like leaf blowers, lawnmowers, grass trimmers, and chainsaws can legally jolt you awake as early as 7 a.m. on weekdays and are permitted as late as 7 p.m.

But starting in September, noise restrictions are changing to begin at 8 a.m., meaning one more guaranteed hour of sleep on weekdays. Weekend and holiday restrictions will remain unchanged, restricted before 9 a.m.

The city is also moving forward with plans to submit a request to the provincial government that would stiffen up rules surrounding vehicle noise and add penalties for inconsiderate drivers.

This includes a request for fines and demerit points for modified exhaust and unnecessary vehicle noise offences under the Highway Traffic Act, stricter regulations like periodic exhaust inspections, and regulatory changes required to proceed with a noise-activated camera/automated noise enforcement pilot project.

City Council is in discussions with the Toronto Police Services Board regarding vehicle enforcement blitzes and talks of equipping cops with sound level meters.

"Excessive vehicle noise, which in most cases is a result of vehicles that have been deliberately modified to create such a noise, is a major nuisance to residents in many neighbourhoods across Toronto," said Mayor John Tory on Thursday.

"I strongly support today's Council decisions and remain committed to working with staff, the Toronto Police Service and the Government of Ontario to tackle excessive vehicle noise and other related concerns, such as speeding and stunt driving."

Going forward, the city plans on initiating a comprehensive review of its noise bylaw next year, and will consult the public on issues, including introducing a sound level limit for idle cars, noise-activated cameras, and the health impacts of noise on city residents.

Lead photo by

Dan Sedran

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