Property, Gardens & Trees

Property Use By-laws

Hamilton has several by-laws that ensure properties are kept to a minimum standard. These by-laws help keep neighbourhoods clean and safe. You should be familiar with the by-laws to understand your responsibilities and avoid by-law violations.  The most commonly requested by-laws are listed below or you can read about all Hamilton By-laws.

No Hamilton residents can set off family fireworks except on Victoria Day and Canada Day weekends without a permit. You need written consent from the property owner if you intend to set off fireworks on a property that you do not own. Any person 18 years of age and over who is duly authorized under the Explosives Act (Canada) and approved as a Display Fireworks Supervisor may apply for a permit to hold a fireworks display on days other than those specified in the By-law. Call 905-546-3344 for more information about this permit. 

Read about Hamilton’s Fireworks By-law No. 02-285 (PDF, 719 KB)

If you want to build a fence on your property, you must follow the standards and guidelines set out by Hamilton’s Fence By-law and Hamilton's Fencing of Private Outdoor Swimming Pools.

Read about Hamilton’s Fence By-law No. 10-142 (PDF, 509 KB) and Hamilton's Fencing of Private Outdoor Swimming Pools By-law No. 03-125 (PDF, 390 KB)

No person can make or permit an unreasonable noise or a noise that is likely to disturb their neighbours in Hamilton. 

Read about Hamilton’s Noise Control By-law No. 11-285 (PDF, 598 KB) and exemptions for various activities.

Noise Exemption Permit Application

A Noise Exemption Permit Application may be made when a company, person or event believes they are going to exceed the allowed regulations in the Noise By-law.

Fees to apply for a Noise Exemption Permit:

  • Application and Fees paid with at least 60 days prior to the event: $189
  • Application and Fees paid with less than 60 days prior to the event: $285
  • Outdoor Commercial Patio: $525

Types of Noise Exemption Permits

There are three different types of Noise Exemption Permits (each has their own application)


A construction project may require work to be done outside the permitted times of 7 am to 7 pm. If this is required, they should complete an application and submit it with payment with as much advance notice as possible. 

How to apply: Complete the Noise Exemption Permit Application - Construction (PDF, 92 KB) and submit in person or by fax to:

Municipal Law Enforcement
77 James Street North, Suite 250
Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 2K3
Fax: 905-540-6280


Includes events on private property to allow for noise such as amplified sound (music, speakers, microphones). This could be for a fundraiser, backyard party, wedding, cultural event, etc.).

Conditions for Noise Exemption Permits are:

  • This Permit is posted in a conspicuous place at the address during the event where it can be viewed by police, municipal law enforcement and the public.
  • Amplified sound does not exceed 90 dBA as measured 10 metres from its source.
  • Amplified sound does not exceed 60 dBA at any point on a property, including City property, other than the address of the event.
  • The volume of the sound is lowered or turned off immediately during the event at the request of police or municipal law enforcement.
  • This permit expires upon a breach of any of its conditions.

How to apply: Complete the Noise Exemption Permit Application - Event (PDF, 94 KB) and submit in person or by fax to:

Municipal Law Enforcement
77 James Street North, Suite 250
Hamilton, Ontario, L8R 2K3
Fax: 905-540-6280

Outdoor Commercial Patio

There is a pilot project going on now that is allowing businesses to have entertainment on their outdoor patios. Prior to this pilot, the Zoning By-law prohibited entertainment of any kind on a patio. Check the maps for the areas of the pilot at All maps are included with the exception of the Bayfront area

All inquiries should be directed to 905-546-2782 or [email protected].

Noise Exemption Permits may be issued with these restrictions:

  • any noise does not exceed 90 dBA as measured 10 m from its source
  • any noise does not exceed 60 dBA at a point of reception

When considering the issuance of a permit the City will take into consideration:

  • any negative effects the issuance of the exemption permit may have on neighbouring properties or on the City;
  • any benefits the issuance of the exemption permit may have on neighbouring properties or on the City;
  • any previous violations of this By-law or an exemption permit by the applicant

Sound pressure levels

The City may impose certain conditions such as:

  • the type and volume of the noise that may be made
  • the times during which noise may be made
  • the period of time during which the exemption permit is in effect

If the applicant is found in contravention of any conditions in the Exemption Permit, the permit may be rescinded.

If you have a rural property, you can apply for an open air burning permit to burn clean wood or brush. 

Read about Hamilton’s Open Air Burning By-law No. 02-283 (PDF, 768 KB). 

Property owners are prohibited from using pesticides on their property within the City.

Read more about Hamilton’s Pesticides By-law No. 07-282 (PDF, 545 KB) and exemptions.

All property owners must maintain and repair the interior and exterior of their property in accordance with certain standards. These standards are put in place to protect the health and safety of occupants and the general public. 

Read about Hamilton’s Property Standards By-law No. 10-221 (PDF, 161 KB).

Appeal a Property Standards Notice to Comply

A property owner has the right to appeal the Order to Comply to the Property Standards Appeal Committee for a decision. 

How to submit a notice to appeal

  1. Complete the Notice to Appeal (DOC, 52 KB)
  2. Include the non-refundable fee as indicated on the Order. Cheques or money orders are payable to the City of Hamilton. Do not send cash in the mail.
  3. Submit any documents that support your grounds of appeal, such as photographs to:
    Janet Rutherford

    Licensing and By-Law Services
    #250 – 77 James Street North, Hamilton, Ontario L8R 2K3
    Email: [email protected]

  4. Send the completed notice and fee by registered mail or deliver in person to:
    City of Hamilton
    Office of the City Clerk
    Attention: Property Standards Committee Secretary
    71 Main Street West, 1st Floor Hamilton, Ontario L8P 4Y5

You must not act in a way that could be considered a public nuisance. Such acts include urinating or defecating in public places and knocking over mailboxes, relay boxes, newspaper boxes, recycling boxes and waste collection containers. 

Read about Hamilton’s Public Nuisance By-law No. 20-077 (PDF, 93 KB).

You must clear all snow and ice from your sidewalks within 24 hours after a snowfall, or 24 hours after a series of snowfalls. 

Read about Hamilton’s Snow off Sidewalks By-law No. 03-296 (PDF, 162 KB).

You must ensure that standing water does not accumulate on your property between April 1 and October 31 of each year. Standing water can be a breeding area for pests, including mosquitoes, and is likely to interfere with the enjoyment of the use of private properties and public areas.

Read more about Hamilton’s Standing Water By-law No. 03-173 and exemptions (PDF, 61 KB).

Many trees on front lawns are actually on the road allowance, which is City-owned property. You must not trim, cut, remove, nail, rope, wire or fasten anything to a City-owned tree.

Trees on public property By-law No. 15-125 (PDF, 856 KB)

Trees that are on private property are protected by by-laws based on the former municipality that you live in.

Trees on private property Urban Woodland By-law No. 14-212 (PDF, 857 KB), Ancaster By-law No. 2000-118 (PDF, 700 KB), Dundas By-law No. 4513-99 (PDF, 633 KB), Stoney Creek By-law No. 4401-96 (PDF, 746 KB)

Trees on private property in the rural area

If you own a vacant building, you must register the vacant building with the City. 

Read about Hamilton’s Vacant Building Registry By-law No. 10-260

You must not feed wildlife on your property, except for birds.  If you feed birds, the feeding must not disturb your neighbours.

Read more about Hamilton’s Wildlife By-law No. 12-130 (PDF, 152 KB).

You must keep your property clean of waste and ensure grass and weeds do not exceed 20 cm (8 inches) in height. The exterior of property needs to be free of graffiti including all buildings, structures, fence, walls and vehicles. 

Read about Hamilton’s Yard Maintenance By-law No. 10-118.

Amendments to By-law No. 10-118
Please add By-law No. 19-100 Passed by Council May 9, 2019

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 $41. 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.