If you find yourself in Bracebridge, Ontario, and you experience something that makes you want to let out a yell – go ahead! Hooting and hollering are now permissible in city limits, with some restrictions.
In a recent town council meeting, the Bracebridge Council unanimously approved a noise control bylaw that permits “yelling, shouting, hooting or similar noises made by a human.” However, hooting & hollering and any similar such noises are prohibited in the town between the hours of 11 pm and 7am.
Mayor Graydon Smith declined to provide an example of either hooting or hollering, saying it was subjective and “up to the ears of the citizens” to determine.
Some Councilors wanted an earlier ‘quiet limit’ of 9pm. However, Councillor Barb McMurray (a self-described “pretty good hooter”) pushed for the limit to be 11pm. McMurray felt that Council would be “giving people duct tape across their mouths” with a 9pm noise curfew.
Peter deMos, a business owner in Bracebridge, acknowledged that while some limits were necessary to preserve the peaceful atmosphere people go to Bracebridge for, that shouldn’t mean that all noise should be banned. “People are going to hoot and holler around a campfire at 1opm because they’re on vacation and that should be cool.”
Hooting and hollering may be permissible. However, the legal status of a brouhaha, hubbub, uproar, hullabaloo, fracas, melee, or hurly-burly are not explicitly covered by the Bracebridge bylaw. For any of those, you should use your best judgement.
Or, if you are concerned about bylaws and bylaw enforcement you can contact the municipal law team at Daniel & Partners LLP. We have assisted municipalities in drafting and prosecuting Noise By-Laws. We have also acted on behalf of landowners, developers, public interest groups, and citizens in seeking exemptions from, and in defending against provincial offences charged laid pursuant to Noise By-Laws. Our team of municipal lawyers has vast experience that gives them a unique understanding of by-law enforcement and prosecution. If you require assistance with municipal law, contact us, as we can provide opinions and advice on all issues effecting or concerning municipal government.
Blog post written by Karen Shedden, NCA Candidate