Council Approves Updated Noise Bylaw

Noise is an issue that must be addressed in any environment, but especially in an urban environment like Richmond Hill. Almost any activity that we undertake on a daily basis produces some level and type of noise as a byproduct of that activity. Like with any pollution, noise needs to be regulated so that people can carry out their daily activities in a reasonable manner while limiting the disturbance caused to neighbouring residents.
As we have grown and will continue to become a more urban environment, it became apparent that it was time to review and update the Noise Bylaw to reflect a more modern standard for various types of noise. Most importantly a new Bylaw needed to reflect public input from residents and their thoughts concerning noise in our environment.
Over the past months our Bylaw Policy staff have conducted public consultations about noise concerning what citizens would like included in new rules regulating noise.
I am in support of this new bylaw and in fact I seconded a motion made by Councillor Chan some time ago, to initiate this review.
As with noise itself, the bylaw is quite detailed and complex but a few of the key directions that are captured in the new bylaw are:
  1. incorporates quantitative regulations (e.g., prohibits noise levels using decibel measurements);
  2. sets standards based on more generalized classifications of noise;
  3. includes updated exemptions and an updated process for approval of Noise By-law exemptions;
  4. clarifies the applicability of regulations to amplified sound heard inside residential dwellings;
  5. eliminates use of “Quiet Zones” but continues to focus protection on residential areas;
  6. adjusts timing restrictions for some noise types;
  7. does not include idling regulations as idling will be addressed in a stand-alone by-law (see accompanying report SRCS.20.16) and,
  8. incorporates offences into the Administrative Monetary Penalty System (“AMPS”).
To read the detailed staff report outlining the changes to the Bylaw please visit .