Rock n’ Roll Ain’t Noise Pollution! Toronto’s Amended Noise Bylaw.

Welcome to the revised Municipal Code Chapter 591, the first since 2002.  On Oct 29, 2019, MusicOntario hosted an info session at the Rivoli, led by Rod Jones, Jessica Stanley, and Mike Tanner from City Hall.  Here’s what I learned about the new law.  And it’s not all bad. 

The City consulted with local stakeholders, including residents, industries, and the music community, and also cross-referenced with other places like New York City and Austin, Texas to see what they do, and below are the highlights.

OUT with the old General Prohibition: the overarching stipulation that no one should create any clearly audible noise that disturbs anyone else. Before October 1, this clause could supersede anything else in the bylaw.

IN with the determined decibel limits from the “outdoor point of reception” as close as possible to the source of a complaint. This means that when a dB measurement is done by a City bylaw officer, that measurement will no longer take place at the property line of the music venue or the perimeter of the festival site – but instead take place on the premises of the complainant.

Amplified sound must not exceed these levels at “outdoor point of reception.”

  • 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) from 11 pm and 7 am  
  • 55 dB(A) or 70 dB(C) from 7 am to 11 pm

If measuring from an inside area, sound must not exceed;

  • 45 dB(A) or 60 dB(C) from 11 pm and 7 am 
  • 50 dB(A) or 65 dB(C) from 7 am to 11 pm

Things You Should Do

  1. Control your board.
  2. Invest in a half decent sound meter if you can.
  3. Know your limits and play within them. (I’m not talking about when you go to Woodbine racetrack)
  4. Check your sound & limits. Keep a log of sound readings and do it regularly. CYA folks, CYA.
  5. If the By Law Officer comes by, be nice. Their goal is resolution.  They use a special sound meter that will take a weighted average reading over 10 minutes.
  6. Invite your neighbours to your parties.

For more information visit

Don’t know what CYA stand for?  It’s Cover Your A** (or derriere, butt, behind, keister etc)