Loud noise in your neighbourhood can disturb your peace, your sleep and your overall sense of security and wellbeing. The City of Ottawa controls noise through the Noise By-Law.

It’s against the by-law to make noise in the following ways between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. (or 9 a.m. on Sundays and statutory holidays):

  • Using construction vehicles or equipment
  • Getting deliveries from a motor vehicle that cause disruptive noise
  • Idling, revving engines or other vehicle noise that goes on for more than five minutes
  • Running power equipment such as chainsaws, lawn mowers and similar devices
  • Using trash compacting equipment or solid waste bulk lift equipment
  • Playing musical instruments, radios, TVs, stereos and similar devices in a way that disturbs others

Also, you must not make the following noises at any time:

  • Ringing a bell, blowing a horn or shouting in a way that disturbs others
  • Running equipment such as air conditioners, compressors, and similar devices with noise exceeding 50 decibels

If you’d like to report a noise violation in progress, call 3-1-1.

Reducing noise from neighbours

If your neighbours are noisy, consider the following tips from Canada Mortgage and Housing Corporation:

  • Get to know your neighbours. This may help you cooperate on noise issues.
  • Speak reasonably and calmly with neighbours about noise to find a workable solution.
  • Speak with other neighbours. Ask them to discuss noise with the offending neighbour.
  • Remind neighbours that some occupants don’t have children and may be irritated by the noise. However, all neighbours must understand that children have a right to live there and to behave like children.
  • If you’re hosting a party, advise neighbours about when the party will take place, and consider inviting them if it will be an open party. Observe reasonable hours for noisy activities.
  • Do noisy activities such as vacuuming, moving heavy furniture or repairs during the day or at the times you agreed to in your lease or condominium agreement.

Always keep your personal safety in mind when dealing with noisy neighbours – don’t approach them if they’ve been drinking alcohol, as the situation could get out of control. Read our tips about neighbourhood disputes.

Reducing noise from your home

Here are some CHMC strategies to help you reduce noise from your home:

  • Place stereos and other audio equipment away from walls shared with other units
  • Avoid walking in high heels and other hard-soled shoes, particularly on hard floor surfaces
  • Use carpets or mats where objects are more likely to be dropped, and felt cushions under chair and table legs
  • Place objects, such as shoes, on the floor rather than dropping them
  • Keep music and TV volumes at a reasonable level
  • Be open-minded about comments from other neighbours, especially those with special needs