City & Police implement new measures targeting large unsanctioned social gatherings and nuisance parties
HAMILTON, ON – The City of Hamilton has enacted By-Law 22-235 to regulate nuisance parties with the City of Hamilton. The Nuisance Party By-Law which comes into effect immediately, provides Hamilton Police Service and Municipal Law Enforcement with additional charges to address the negative impacts on neighborhoods associated with large social gatherings across the City.
Under the authority of the By-law, an Order can be issued by Hamilton Police for large social gatherings within Hamilton to cease and disperse people not residing at residence or property where the social gathering is occurring.
If charged an individual host, property owner, or attendee can face up to $10,000 for a first offence and $25,000 for any subsequent offence related a nuisance party, additional remedial charges may also be imposed, acting as a further deterrent to individuals responsible for nuisance parties.
A nuisance party is a gathering of people where any of the following activities occur:
- public disorderly conduct
- public drunkenness or public intoxication
- the unlawful sale or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances;
- the deposit of refuse on public or private property;
- damage to or destruction of public or private property
- obstructing pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic, or obstruction that could interfere with the provision of emergency services;
- excessive noise including loud music, shouting
- unlawful open burning or fireworks;
- public disturbances, including public brawls or public fights;
- outdoor public urination or defecation; and
- use of a roof not intended for such occupancy
Responding to these events puts strain on the City of Hamilton and its services including Police, Fire, Paramedics, Municipal Law Enforcement and Public Works departments. The communities that comprise off-campus neighbourhoods are directly impacted by these events, damaging their sense of community safety. In Ontario, several municipalities including the cities of Waterloo, Guelph, Kingston, and Brampton have enacted Nuisance Party By-Laws to provide additional enforcement options beyond those available under existing By-Laws and statutes (e.g. noise or property standards) and beyond those that are already available to police services (e.g. cannabis, liquor or unlawful assembly).
The City, Hamilton Police and partners will be undertaking a public education campaign to ensure residents and post-secondary communities are aware of these new responsibilities.
University District Safety Initiative
In addition to the new Nuisance By-Law the City of Hamilton in partnership with Hamilton Police Service has developed a University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) to address unsafe and disruptive behavior that often accompanies large gatherings that have historically occurred during the ‘homecoming’ period and St. Patrick’s Day. The UDSI will be operational Wednesday September 28 12 am to Sunday October 2 at 11:59 pm.
During the specified time period the University District Safety Initiative will be subject to zero-tolerance enforcement of the Nuisance Party By-law to minimize negative effects of ongoing nuisance party and ensuring those involved are held accountable. The University District Safety Initiative for the City of Hamilton encompasses the western section of the Westdale neighbourhood and the Dalewood neighbourhood.
- The Nuisance Party By-Law is in effect all year long, and city-wide.
- The University District Safety Initiative will be in effect during specified time periods including homecoming and St. Patrick’s Day.
- Residents can report a Nuisance Party or Noise Infraction to the City’s Licensing & Bylaw Services Division at 905-546-2782 or [email protected]. For after hours, urgent complaints that are an immediate health and safety concern call 905-546-2489.
"We encourage everyone in our community to appreciate the importance of being responsible hosts and considerate guests, which means respecting homes and properties in their neighbourhoods. Hamilton's Nuisance Party By-Law fosters a safer community and helps all residents do their part to be good neighbours."Mayor Fred Eisenberger
“The City continues to prioritize healthy and safe neighbourhoods. Hamilton’s Nuisance Party By-law and University District Safety Initiative will provide our teams with additional tools to ensure for a safe and respectful community by addressing and holding individuals accountable for excessive noise, attending or hosting nuisance parties and gatherings.”Monica Ciriello, Director, Licensing and Bylaw Services
“We urge all community members to become aware of Hamilton’s new nuisance party bylaw and its potential consequences. The bylaw can mean large fines for anyone who attends a nuisance party, blocks traffic or roads or damages property. The best way to avoid these fines is not to go.”Chief Frank Bergen, Hamilton Police Services