Hooting and whistling still allowed after Ontario town votes down ban
This undated photo supplied by Trius Winery at Hillebrand shows the winery's backyard vineyard and Winemaker’s Lookout in Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ontario. (AP / Trius Winery at Hillebrand, Joseph Chan)
TORONTO -- Niagara-on-the-Lake, Ont. town council has unanimously voted down a widespread ban on excessive noise that would’ve prohibited an array of everyday sounds.
The proposed bylaw would’ve banned noise louder than 50 decibels (dB) overnight and 55 dB throughout the day, while a normal conversation is typically measured at 60 dB.
Of note, the bylaw would’ve banned “yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing” after 9 p.m., and a selection of everyday noises overnight, including barking dogs, idling cars, snow blowers and musical instruments. Anyone caught in violation of the bylaw would’ve been subject to a $350 fine.
“Last night, we decided not to go forward with the bylaw,” Niagara-on-the-Lake Lord Mayor Betty Disero, told Newstalk 610 in St. Catharines, Ont.
“The reaction was so overwhelming that we thought: ‘Even if we try to adjust this, people are now opposed. Period.’”
Disero said the bylaw was meant to crack down on a “number of issues in the community,” but primarily to stop people partying in short-term rental homes. She added that there are already bylaws that might be better suited to handle these matters.
“It is a noise issue, but I think we should have the short-term rental holiday homes be more accountable to what’s happening in their home,” she said.
“(This bylaw) was trying to be all things to all people and I just don’t think you can.”
In a Facebook post, Joe Pillitteri, a local comedian who voiced his opposition to the proposed bylaw, expressed his satisfaction with the council’s decision.
“Thanks to every single person who helped organize and support our petition and to our town council for listening to voters,” he said.