Noise

The following is a brief and legal summary of the City of Markham's Noise By-law taken from the City's By-law Guide for Markham Homeowners.

It explains, in plain language and with information links, what residents must know about specific City services and operations, which may affect a Markham homeowners' property.

Noise By-law Summary

In Brief

All of us have the right to live in peace, free from unwanted noise. By-law 2017-74 protects our home-life from loud noises and vibrations that become a nuisance.

What You Must Know

A Noise Exemption Permit (permission) must be obtained for all outdoor functions occurring on private property; noisy parties and other loud activities are not allowed. If you live close to Shouldice or Markham-Stouffville hospitals, you may be in a quiet zone with extra rules against noise—contact the By-law Enforcement and Licensing Department at 905-479-7782 for more information.

Please note that each year the City authorizes public activities to occur on Canada Day and Victoria Day, for Markham’s Fair and Heritage Days, and during the Thornhill Village and Unionville Village festivals.

A General Noise Guide

  • Fireworks, guns and rifles, and toys that use a combustion engine (such as model airplanes and cars, and track bikes, snowmobiles and other riding toys that are not allowed on city streets) must never be used on your property or in your neighbourhood. Quiet, electric or battery-driven toys are allowed.
  • If you keep an animal on your property, you must not let it continue to make noise, such as barking, calling or whining, for long periods of time. Wind chimes must be taken down from 7 PM until 7 AM the next day, every day.
  • Playing loud music outdoors is not allowed from 5 PM until 7 AM the following day (9 AM on Sundays). Shouting, whistling and singing is not allowed after 11PM
  • All other loud noises, such as honking horns and electronic sounds, are not permitted after 7 PM or on Sundays or statutory holidays (federal- or province-wide holidays).
  • The same is true for operating construction equipment or noisily moving around containers and materials of any kind (except for moving your household belongings).

Changes to Noise Bylaw

  • The City has extended the permitted times allowed for amplified music and sound to 11 PM on both Fridays and Saturdays.  As a result, residential and special events that take place on Fridays and Saturdays and end before 11 PM will no longer require an exception.
  • The City has changed the permitted times allowed for generation of noise in connection with construction equipment by limiting permitted times on Saturdays from 9 AM to 5 PM  Sundays and statutory holidays will continue to be prohibited at all times. Any construction project taking place outside of these permitted times will be required to apply for an exception.

Anti-Idling Information

Cars, trucks and motorized machinery must not be idled for long periods, except:

  • engines or motors that are essential to a basic function of the vehicle or equipment, such as ready-mixed concrete trucks, lift platforms, refuse compactors and heat exchange systems
  • when weather conditions justify the use of heating or refrigerating systems for the safety and welfare of the operator, passengers or animals, or to protect cargo
  • during low-temperature conditions that make longer idling periods necessary after starting up certain motors or engines
  • when homeowners are performing their own, reasonable maintenance on their cars or trucks. See Parking and Anti-Idling By-laws Summary for more information about operating vehicles in the City.

Step By Step

Operating motorized vehicles in such a way that they squeal, produce banging or clanking noises, or the engines race is not allowed, nor is honking the horn without a good reason, except in an enclosed, sound-muffling enclosure.

Combustible engines means fuel-driven engines of any type that don’t have proper mufflers. They cannot be operated in residential areas. This includes small, noisy toys such as airplanes and cars and construction equipment.

The noises produced by City equipment, fire trucks, ambulances and railway crossing bells are allowed.

When in doubt, check it out! Help is always available.

For more information call the By-law Enforcement and Licensing Department at 905-479-7782 or email customerservice@markham.ca.

Related information: