Frequently Asked Questions
How much noise is too much noise?
Determining how much noise is too much noise can be complicated. People differ in their tolerance to noise, some being more sensitive than others. The time of day, the duration, and the location all play a part in whether a particular noise is perceived to be disturbing or not. For example, a weed-eater operated at 2:00 pm might not be considered bothersome whereas the same machinery operated at 2:00 am would likely generate complaints.
The Noise Bylaw recognizes the need for flexibility and has established different levels of acceptable noise for different situations. For example, continuous noise in a quiet zone shall not exceed 55 decibels during the daytime and 45 decibels at night. Whenever possible, objective criterion, i.e. the amount of decibels, is used to determine if a violation has occurred. In situations where it is appropriate, a Bylaw Officer will take measurements of the sound using a sound level meter and determine if a violation has occurred.
What can I do if I am disturbed by noise?
For situations that sounds violent or that you believe may escalate to violence call 911.
For situations not described above,
- Try to resolve the issue. Often noise problems can be resolved in a neighbourly fashion without involving City staff. If you live in a single detached dwelling and feel comfortable, approach the neighbour making the noise and talk to them about your concerns. They may be completely unaware they are creating a disturbance. If you live in a multi-family dwelling contact the manager or Strata Council. Perhaps others in your building have been disturbed and efforts are already underway to correct the problem.
- Call a Bylaw Officer. If you are not comfortable resolving the issue on your own, or if your attempts have failed, call a Bylaw Officer. Before calling be prepared to give a detailed and accurate description of the problem including:
- the address of where the noise is coming from,
- the type of activity creating the noise,
- when the noise started,
- the days and times of day the noise occurring,
- any pattern to the disturbances,
- any efforts you have taken to resolve the issue, and
- any police file numbers that are relevant.
How do I report a disturbance?
What happens after I report a noise disturbance?
A Bylaw Officer will contact you to discuss the matter. Follow up actions will include investigating the noise source, determining if a violation has occurred, and taking appropriate enforcement action.
If it is determined a violation has occurred and depending on the circumstances, the Bylaw Officer may issue a verbal warning, a written warning, or a violation ticket. If ticketing is involved, the Bylaw Officer may rely on your information as evidence to support the ticket and this information may be used if the ticket is disputed.