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When to call By-law and Regulatory Services

The City of Ottawa’s By-Law and Regulatory Services Branch addresses issues that are not criminal but that represent the day-to-day rules that we live by as members of our community. If you have a problem with a neighbour that relates to a city by-law and that you cannot solve by talking to that neighbour, you can report the violation to By-Law and Regulatory Services and someone will investigate your complaint.

Call 3-1-1 to report by-law violations. Here are some examples of by-laws in place in the City of Ottawa and some of the issues that they address:

Animal Care and Control

  • Dog bites/attacks, dogs at large, dog leashing, dogs in parks
  • Cat disturbance
  • Noise from animals
  • Prohibited animals

Traffic and Parking

  • No stopping permitted during peak hours
  • 3-hour on-street parking limit


  • Bells, horns, shouting
  • Construction
  • Power equipment

Property Standards

  • Building conditions
  • Residential and non-residential yards
  • Waste disposal and storage

Property Maintenance

  • Refuse and debris
  • Long grass and weeds
  • Snow and ice

Use and Care of Roads

  • Throwing snow on the road
  • Piling material on the road
  • Maintaining boulevards

Temporary signs

  • Permits
  • Banner, inflatable, mobile, portable
  • Sign placement

Parks and Facilities

  • Park hours
  • Access to fields in winter
  • Permits

Business Licensing

  • Food premises (restaurants, bakeshops, etc.)
  • Snow plough contractors
  • Taxis
  • Tobacco vendors

Graffiti Management

  • Placing graffiti
  • Keeping property free of graffiti


  • Public places
  • Workplaces
  • Smoke-Free Ontario Act

The City of Ottawa website offers a full list of city by-laws, and information about by-law violations and common by-law topics.

How to report by-law violations

It is important for neighbours to respect each other's rights and privacy, but there are times when boundaries are crossed. By-law violations in a neighbourhood include noise outside of appropriate hours (between 11:00 p.m. and 7:00 a.m.), the improper care or control of animals, inadequate yard maintenance and more. If you feel that a by-law violation has been committed, you can report it by calling 3-1-1 and a By-Law Officer will investigate.

If you report a by-law violation, a warning may be issued the first time, but continued violations may result in fines or court proceedings. Your name, address and telephone number will be kept confidential unless the matter goes to court. If that is the case, it may be necessary for you, as the person who made the complaint and witnessed the problem, to appear as a witness.