IE10 and below are not supported.

Contact us for any help on browser support

Nuisance Party Bylaw

The City is exploring the concept of a Nuisance Party Bylaw as a local enforcement tool. The introduction of a Nuisance Party Bylaw would provide Police and Bylaw Enforcement with the ability, under one City-wide bylaw, to address the negative impacts on neighbourhoods of behaviours associated with large social gatherings.

The intended scope of a Nuisance Party Bylaw proposed for the City of Kingston would be limited to addressing behaviour specific to large social gatherings or parties, rather than a catch-all bylaw attempting to curtail all public nuisance behaviour. By exercising the authority provided under a nuisance party bylaw, anContinue reading

The City is exploring the concept of a Nuisance Party Bylaw as a local enforcement tool. The introduction of a Nuisance Party Bylaw would provide Police and Bylaw Enforcement with the ability, under one City-wide bylaw, to address the negative impacts on neighbourhoods of behaviours associated with large social gatherings.

The intended scope of a Nuisance Party Bylaw proposed for the City of Kingston would be limited to addressing behaviour specific to large social gatherings or parties, rather than a catch-all bylaw attempting to curtail all public nuisance behaviour. By exercising the authority provided under a nuisance party bylaw, an Order can be issued by Police for large social gatherings to cease, and for the dispersal of people not residing at a residence where the social gathering is occurring.

Bylaws of this nature have been enacted by a number of Ontario municipalities, bridging the gap between existing bylaws and charges under the Criminal Code. The regulatory purpose of this concept is to create a duty upon those hosting a social event or party to control the participants, and to give law enforcement personnel a mechanism to control and disperse people where the event has become a public nuisance. Nuisance party bylaws can therefore provide additional enforcement options beyond those available under existing bylaws and statutes.

Have a question regarding the Nuisance Party Bylaw? Please submit it using the box below.

Ajax loader transparent
Didn't receive confirmation?
Seems like you are already registered, please provide the password or use a different email ID
  • what education/training will police, owners and the public have around this bylaw? How will you know if it is successful? have you got a baseline to start from? Why is it called "party" bylaw? not just "nuisance bylaw?" Is "Party" defined? If the police/city does not enforce current bylaws -what guarantees do we have that this bylaw will be enforced -fairly? Has the City tried to use/adjust what is already on the books before creating yet another bylaw? What part of the current bylaws failed and why? I think increasing fines is a good idea - but do we need a whole new bylaw? Perhaps it would be better to educate and enforce.

    Mike Gurnick asked 18 days ago

    City staff view education of tenants, property owners and the general public as essential in the implementation of this type of bylaw. The details of each of these communication pieces will be finalized as this process moves forward. City staff has and will continue to consult with the Kingston Police as to how the additional authorities contained in the bylaw will be appropriately and consistently enforced.

    The measure of success will be largely based on changes in the occurrence of nuisance-type behaviours across the City, as measured by calls for service, fine issuances, and anecdotal observations by the Police and City Bylaw staff.

    The term “Nuisance Party” was used in the title to clearly identify the intended scope, which is limited to addressing behaviour specific to the context of large social gatherings/parties, rather than a catch-all by-law attempting to curtail all public nuisance behaviour as seen in other municipalities (often titled “Public Nuisance Bylaw). The meaning of the term “Nuisance Party” will be clearly defined in the context of the bylaw.

    City staff believe that a bylaw containing provisions designed specifically to give Police the authority to order that nuisance parties cease and that attendees disperse could be more effective than existing bylaws such as the noise bylaw, particularly when accompanied by significantly higher fines for failing to comply with the direction given to persons by a Police Officer.

  • I have a couple of questions regarding the Nuisance Party Bylaw. Primarily, who will enforce this bylaw and how will they enforce it? My point of this question, is how will the City of Kingston, it's police force and bylaw officers, ensure that this bylaw is not discriminating against a certain demographic? i.e. Queen's students. For example, look at every single (not exaggerating) news article published on this bylaw - what are the pictures of? Queen's students! Many members of the greater Kingston community have already stereotyped the Queen's community; whitewashing all students as disrespectful drunks with rich parents who come to Queen's to have nothing but a good time. Look at every single comment on your Twitter and Facebook posts about this new bylaw - many include hate speech directed at the Queen's community. I want to know how this bylaw will be applied to more than just the Queen's community. I want examples of this bylaw being applied to other members of the community. If other applications do not exist, than this bylaw does nothing but promote discrimination and hate speech. Two things that certain members of the Kingston community already direct at Queen's students, without it being promoted by the municipality. Yes, I am a student at Queen's. However, this is not a biased opinion. My education and how I pay for my education are my primary focuses in Kingston. I do not party in the streets and this bylaw would have no effect on me, personally. Nonetheless, I will not sit back and watch an environment of hatred against a demographic I am a part of be fostered by bylaws enforced by the city I choose to live in. I have already been the victim of derogatory remarks while grocery shopping, seeking medical care, and walking down Princess Street and the only reason for these remarks have been because I am a Queen's student. I cannot accept that would enforce the stereotyping and discrimination already experienced by the Queen's community.

    kaitlynv asked 26 days ago

    Thank you for the questions, and for taking the time to provide feedback. If passed, the Nuisance Party Bylaw would apply city-wide, and would be enforced as such. The Bylaw would target nuisance behaviours rather than any specific neighbourhoods or groups of people.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • this is a bad idea. i've seen the online FAQ and almost everything this claims to be trying to stop is already illegal. this should not be introduced or passed and i will vote against any councillor that votes for it.

    roseglace asked 26 days ago

    Thanks for your comment. A Nuisance Party Bylaw could provide Police with more effective tools than are currently available to them in existing by-laws to use to shut down large nuisance parties occurring anywhere across the City. The higher fines associated with violations of a Nuisance Party Bylaw could also prove to be more effective at deterring nuisance behaviours from occurring or from continuing, once Police have ordered the party to end and the guests to leave or risk being ticketed.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston


  • What measurable criteria would the police or by-law enforcement officer use to determine a nuisance party?

    DuncanParker asked 28 days ago

    Thanks for your question. Police would determine if a social gathering should be declared a nuisance party if one, but usually more, of the following activities or behaviours are present or are occurring and are impacting the neigbourhood:

    • Public intoxication;
    • The unlawful sale, furnishing, or distribution of alcoholic beverages or controlled substances;
    • The unauthorized deposit of refuse on public or private property;
    • Damage to public or private property;
    • The obstruction of vehicular or pedestrian traffic, or interference with the ability to provide emergency services;
    • Sound that is unusual or excessive, or that is unwanted by or disturbing to persons;
    • Unauthorized open burning or the display of unauthorized fireworks;
    • Public fights;
    • Outdoor public urination or defecation;
    • Use of or entry upon a roof not intended for such occupancy.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston


  • Is there any evidence that increasing penalties actually encourages compliance? Have other municipalities that have implemented these types of bylaw (e.g. London, Guelph, Waterloo) observed decreases in negative behaviour, or simply increased penalties?

    CC asked 23 days ago

    Thank you for the question. In discussing the implementation of respective Nuisance Bylaws with the Cities of London, Guelph, and Oshawa, all three generally attributed their bylaw to observed decreases in negative behaviours on neighbourhoods associated with large social gatherings through both general deterrence (i.e. those who are aware of the financial consequences of engaging in this behaviour are more likely to be dissuaded from doing so), and specific deterrence for those ticketed under the By-law.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston


  • Will the bylaw include interaction with the owner of the property (e.g., commercial landlord) as well as the host(s) of the party (renters)? If there are fines included, I would like to see a warning to the owner the first time the bylaw is broken, followed by fines (increasing each time) if the bylaw is broken again. And I would like to see the same applied to the host(s). The reality of the situation is that commercial landlords must be encouraged to rent to responsible people and must take some responsibility for what happens on their properties. And the bylaw should be a strong disincentive to those who buy commercial properties for income and then turn a blind eye when their renters run roughshod over the neighbourhood.

    smegaffin asked 27 days ago

    Thank you for your comments and question. The City is examining a wide range of potential interactions, including with the owner of the property and host(s), as well as anyone who creates, causes, sponsors, conducts, continues, or attends a Nuisance Party. As seen with the enforcement of the Nuisance Party By-laws in the City of London and the City of Guelph respectively, we envision landlords being held to account after repeat occurrences of nuisance parties at a given premise. Landlords could be require to demonstrate that they are making a reasonable effort to address these behaviours and activities occurring on their property. 

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Kingston has many shift workers. Can the bylaw be applicable 24 hours a day as it is in cities like Barrie?

    colin.baillie asked 27 days ago

    Thank you for your question. As in Cities such as London and Guelph, the Nuisance Part By-law would be applicable at all hours of the day. There are no foreseen time restrictions as part of the by-law at this time.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston


  • How is bylaw enforcement going to stop nuisance parties around queens and st Lawrence?

    AaronP35 asked 27 days ago

    Thanks for your question. A Nuisance Party Bylaw could provide Police with more effective tools to use to shut down large nuisance parties occurring anywhere across the City. The higher fines associated with violations of a Nuisance Party Bylaw could also prove to be more effective at deterring nuisance behaviours from occurring or from continuing, once Police have ordered the party to end and the guests to leave or risk being ticketed.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Could there be a clause in there about requiring party hosts to clean-up post-party street garbage? (i.e. Red beer cups!!!)

    Maggie asked 27 days ago

    Thanks for your question. An option that is contained in the City of Guelph's Nuisance Party Bylaw allows for that City to impose a fee upon any person involved in a nuisance party, including the owner of the property, to cover any of the administrative and enforcement costs incurred by the City in responding to and addressing the nuisance party. Cleaning garbage left on City property adjacent to a premises that hosted a nuisance party could potentially be a cost that is included in such a fee. Imposed fees that remain unpaid can be added to the property owner’s taxes.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Is there a specific catchment area for the by-law, eg only University district, or would it be city-wide?

    Cdwallbridge asked 28 days ago

    Thanks for your question. A Nuisance Party Bylaw would be in effect City-wide and is intended to address nuisance behaviours rather than any specific neighbourhoods or any specific groups of people.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Why should nuisance just be for parties? What about considering including private nuisance also?

    Catherine Teepell asked 28 days ago

    Thank you for your question. Behaviours or activities that do not have an impact on a neighbourhood or public place may still constitute a violation of an existing City bylaw. For example, an immediate neighbor or an occupant of a next door apartment may be making noise that constitutes a violation of the Noise Bylaw and could be addressed by Police or Bylaw Officers under that regulation.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • How are the existing laws failing to reduce the impact of large social gatherings, and how would a “Nuisance Party Bylaw” more effectively minimize large parties?

    Dkt12 asked 28 days ago

    Thanks for your question. Currently, the fine amounts for violations of the Noise Bylaw may not be regarded by some individuals to be high enough to deter them from making loud noise. The fines for violations of nuisance party bylaws in other municipalities range from $300 to $750. Fines this high should carry more deterrent value. Also, a Nuisance Party Bylaw could provide Police with the authority to order that a party cease and that all attendees disperse within a specified time frame or risk receiving a significant fine. A Nuisance Party Bylaw could also provide Police with the authority to order persons to get down from the roof of a residence or building.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Surely our local police have the authority to arrest and charge members of the public for being drunk and disorderly. However they seem to ignore this responsibility during Queen's Homecoming activities. Will this bylaw really make any difference?

    Barrie Chamberlain asked 28 days ago

    Thanks for your question. Under a Nuisance Party Bylaw, Police would be able to issue tickets to persons who refuse to leave a nuisance party, including a social gathering in a public place,  after being ordered to do so by a specified time. The fine for violations of a Nuisance Party Bylaw in other municipalities range from $300 to $750. This represents a significantly higher penalty than a fine issued for public intoxication under the Liquor Licence Act.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • How would this bylaw be any different - or any more effective - than the current noise bylaws, for curtailing this so called "nuisance behaviour"? Would bylaw officers be any more likely to lay charges/consequences? Would this bylaw be a greater deterrent to partygoers or party organizers? As someone who lived in the University District for over a decade, and who was chased out because of increasing noise and disruption from student rental houses, I would love to see a solution, but I am not sure this is it!

    BrendaMelles asked 28 days ago

    Thanks for your questions. A Nuisance Party Bylaw could provide the Police with the authority, once a social gathering has been declared a Nuisance Bylaw, to order the host of the party to end it and to order anyone attending the party to leave by a specific time given by the Police. Failure of the host to end the party, and/or failure of guests to leave, would then allow the Police to issue fines to the host and the guests. The fines for violating Nuisance Party provisions in other municipalities range from $300 to $750. Those fine levels are considerably higher than the current fines for violations of the City's Noise Bylaw. It is anticipated that higher fines would act as a greater deterrent to this type of behavior.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston

  • Sounds like a good idea. Is there any downside?

    Norma asked 29 days ago

    Thanks for your question. We see a Nuisance Party Bylaw as being an effective tool for Police to use. The integrity of this, and any bylaw, is based on it being enforced only when appropriate and always in a fair and consistent manner.

    Greg McLean

    City of Kingston