Noise control and nuisance party bylaws

Call 519-824-1212 to report a noise or nuisance party complaint. Guelph Police Service will dispatch a police or bylaw officer as soon as possible.

About Guelph’s noise control bylaw

The City of Guelph noise control bylaw addresses noise that is likely to disturb people—particularly in residential areas. The noise control bylaw is in effect 24 hours a day, with increased tolerance during the day and early evenings.

The noise control bylaw does not apply during:

  • Emergencies involving the protection of public health, safety or welfare
  • City work or maintenance of municipally-owned infrastructure, including snow removal
  • Events with a valid noise exemption permit

How the City responds to noise complaints

Noise complaints are directed to the Guelph Police Service non-emergency phone number 519-824-1212. If there are no major safety concerns (firearms etc.) the police dispatcher typically sends a bylaw officer to address the complaint.

Bylaw officers have the same authority as police officers to issue charges. If the situation escalates on-site, bylaw officers can request additional support from Guelph Police.

Immediate response noise complaints

The City responds to immediate noise complaints while they are occurring:

  • Loud music, parties, fighting or yelling
  • Squealing tires, excessive noise due to improper exhaust or loud vehicle stereo.
  • Horns, whistles, alarms, bells, gongs etc.
    (safety or warning devices and chimes used in association with a religious establishment are permitted)
  • Fireworks and/or other explosives

Persistent noise complaints

The City also responds to persistent noise complaints which occur over time:

  • A dog barking daily and excessively
  • Someone playing a loud stereo or musical equipment regularly
  • Someone operating construction equipment before 7 a.m. or after 7 p.m. (without a noise bylaw exemption permit)
  • Faulty equipment such as air conditioners or pool pumps

For precise wording and a complete record of regulatory provisions, please refer to the official noise control bylaw.

Noise control bylaw exemption

individuals and/or organizations can apply for a noise control bylaw exemption permit for things like community events, factory operations or road construction etc. Permit application fees may apply as the City recovers the cost of notices and advertisements letting people know where and when to expect uncommon noises and activities.

This process is not intended for house or block parties, residential concerts or outdoor celebrations etc.  Guelph bylaws still apply during such events and we recommend notifying your neighbours before hosting such an event.

Please submit your application at least 90 days before the event and it will be considered by City staff, Committee of the Whole, and then City Council. Your application should describe the nature of the activity, and the reason(s) the activity cannot be completed in compliance with the noise control bylaw.

Need other permits for an event?

Get your Special Event User Guide for help planning a successful community event.

About Guelph’s nuisance party bylaw

The nuisance party bylaw addresses parties that are or could become a public nuisance as a result of the following activities taking place:

  • Unreasonable noise, loud music or shouting
  • Littering
  • Damage or destruction of property
  • Public drunkenness, intoxication or disorderly conduct
  • Public disturbance, fighting or violence
  • People, crowds, vehicles or illegal parking that obstructs the free flow of traffic or could interfere with the ability to provide emergency services;
  • Unlawful sale, furnishing or distribution of alcoholic beverages or controlled or illegal substances;
  • Unlawful open burning or fireworks;
  • Public urination or defecation

Benefits of Guelph’s nuisance party bylaw

It’s an effective and efficient way to discourage unwanted behaviour and improve community safety and well-being. Guelph police and bylaw officers can issue a fine for party-related offences rather than resorting to criminal charges.

Fines start at $300 and are similar to fines already in place for other bylaw offences. The Ministry of the Attorney General approves set fines for all bylaw offences.

For precise wording and a complete record of regulatory provisions, please refer to the official nuisance party bylaw.