By-laws and Enforcement

Municipal Law Enforcement

Municipal Law Enforcement is made up of MLE Officers who work in a team to:

  • respond to complaints
  • conduct investigations to determine if there is a violation(s) and take the necessary measures to ensure it is corrected

Common by-law that MLE enforces

Yard Maintenance By-law 10-118: addresses exterior property maintenance

  • Long grass and weeds (do not exceed 20cm or 8 inches in height)
  • Garbage and debris
  • Dog feces (accumulation in yards)
  • Graffiti
  • Inoperative vehicle (unable to operate, does not have a current permit)
  • illegal dumping​

Snow and Ice Removal By-law 03-296

  • Removal of snow and ice off sidewalks surrounding properties within 24 hours of a snow event
  • Removal of snow and ice that builds up on roofs/eaves that overhang the city sidewalk
  • Place or throw snow and ice on the road or boulevard is a violation​


  • Trees on Public Property By-law 06-151
  • Trees on Private Property (Ancaster, Dundas, Stoney Creek)
  • Woodlands Consrevation Regional By-law R00-054

Business and Establishment Licences

  • Eating Establishments, Food Shops
  • Refreshment Vehicles
  • Mobile (taxi cab, transient trader)
  • Public Garage
  • Places of Amusement (arcades, rides, carnivals, bingo etc)
  • Skilled Trade (plumber, building repairs, heating, ventilation, fire and sprinkler protection and air conditioning)
  • Miscellaneous (flea market, pet shops, pawnbrokers, salvage yards etc)
  • Liquor Licensing
    • The Alcohol and Gaming Commission of Ontario regulates the sale, service and consumption of alcohol beverages. For more information on Liquor Licence Applications, Temporary Extension Permits and Special Occasion Permits please visit

Lottery Licences

  • Break Open Tickets, 50/50, Raffles

Sign By-law

  • Signs By-law and Issuance of Sign Permits
  • Sign and Poster Kiosk Information

Property Standards By-law 10-221 (PDF, 161 KB) addresses health and safety standards for a building and the land around the property.

  • Plumbing, Electrical
  • Stairs, Floors, Walls, Roofs
  • Doors, Windows
  • Fences, Retaining Walls, Barriers
  • Garages, Sheds

Fence By-law 10-142 addresses allowed heights, locations, materials etc.

Zoning By-law 05-200 addresses legal usage of land (residential, industrial, commercial)

Noise By-law 11-285 (including barking dogs)

Heat By-law 04-091 (temperatures are to be no less than 20ºC between September 15th and May 15th of each year)

Public Nuisance By-law 20-077 addresses urinating in public, knocking over mail, newspaper boxes and waste containers.

  • A team of Officers doing proactive investigations for Yard Maintenance, Property Standards and Zoning By-laws in wards 1 through 8.

Request to Review By-law Fee

If you are not able to meet an Order to Comply under the Yard Maintenance By-law and the Property Standards By-law you will be charged a fee by the City of Hamilton to complete the work. If you do not agree with this fee, you can submit a request to:

  • Review fees for clean-up, repair or demolition costs
  • Review file for fee(s) for inspection

How to submit a Request to Review:

  1. Complete the Request to Review (PDF, 47 KB)
  2. Include the non-refundable fee of $42. Cheques or money orders are payable to the City of Hamilton.
  3. Submit the completed request form and fee:

In person to:
Licensing & Permits Office
330 Wentworth St N. 
Hamilton, Ontario L8L 5W3
Accepted methods of payment: Cash, Debit Card, Visa or Mastercard

By mail to:
City of Hamilton
Attention: Municipal Law Enforcement, Licensing & Permits
71 Main Street West, 1st Floor
Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5
Accepted method of payment: Cheque. Do not send cash in the mail.

File review is only available to the registered Home Owner. Municipal Law Enforcement staff will not conduct a file review unless payment is made in full.