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Important Ottawa By-Laws

General Description

Here we would like to give you some of the by-laws posted by the city of Ottawa on their website as of the April 12/2016.

We select certain by-laws that commonly interest visitors.

If you need more information on other subjects, or if you need more up to date information on these topics,

please visit the city of Ottawa website for more complete description of their by-laws, or contact

City of Ottawa at:  110 Laurier Avenue West Ottawa, Ontario, K1P 1J1

You can also call them at


  • (613) 580-2400 (standard local number)

  • 1 (866) 261-9799 (toll free)

  • (613) 580-2401 (TTY service for the Deaf, Deafened and Hard of Hearing)


When calling the City of Ottawa, you may request the assistance of an interpreter.

This service is available in over 170 different languages when you call one of the following numbers:

3-1-1 (if you are in the city already)

Ottawa Public Health Information Line (613) 580-6744 

OC Transpo Information Lines (613) 741-4390


Speak your own language: Ask the 3-1-1 agent for an interpreter

您想用自己的母语交流吗?请联系 3-1-1 代理人获取口译服务

Habla en su propio idioma: Pida al agente 3-1-1 de un intérprete

Tweets by @ottawacity

When calling a City phone line, you may ask to be placed into a three-way call with an interpreter and a City staff member.

The interpreter will then provide you with an opportunity to discuss services in the language of your choice.



The Animal Care and Control By-law No. 2003-77 regulates cats in the City. Cat owners may not be required to keep their pets leashed or indoors, but they are expected, under the Animal Care and Control By-law, to be responsible for their pet’s outdoor activities such as preventing damage to or disturbance on another resident's property.

What does the by-law say?

  • Cats must be registered with the City.

  • Registrations must be renewed by April 30 every year.

  • City issued tags should be securely affixed to the cat's collar or harness.

  • Replace lost tags immediately. Replacement tags are free of charge.

  • No more than five cats over the age of twenty weeks are permitted in a residence unless the premises is a licensed kennel, an accredited veterinary facility or a registered facility for temporary foster care.

  • The total number of cats and dogs allowed in a residence is five.

  • A maximum of three dogs are allowed in a residence where both cats and dogs are kept.

  • Regulations related to cats do not apply to owners who live on lands zoned agricultural, general rural, rural, rural-agricultural or marginal resource in the applicable zoning by-laws.



What is the intent of the by-law?

  • All dogs must be registered with the City.

  • Registration must be renewed every year,

  • City issued tags must be securely affixed to the dog's collar or harness at all times.

  • Replace lost tags immediately. Replacement tags are free of charge.

  • Only three (3) dogs over twenty (20) weeks of age may be kept in a residence unless the premises is a licensed kennel, an accredited veterinary facility or a registered facility for temporary foster care.

  • Dogs are not allowed to run at large and must be kept under the control of their handler at all times when off their property.

  • Stray dogs may be impounded at the Ottawa Humane Society and a fee must be paid in order to claim your pet.

  • Dogs must be on-leash at all times when off their property, unless posted signs indicate otherwise, or they are in a securely fenced private yard.

  • The leash may not exceed three metres (3m) in length.

  • Dogs are not allowed within five metres (5m) of:

    • a play structure,

    • a wading pool, or

    • a spray pad

  • You must pick up all waste produced by your dog both on and off your property.

  • It is an offence to permit your dog to bite or attack without provocation, a person or domestic animal.

  • A dog that has bitten or attacked may be required to wear a muzzle.

  • The Dog Owners’ Liability Act prohibits anyone from owning, breeding, transferring, importing, fighting or abandoning "pit bulls" in Ontario. The definition of a "pit bull" under the Act includes:

    • pit bull terrier

    • Staffordshire bull terrier

    • American Staffordshire terrier

    • American pit bull terrier

    • a dog that is similar to any of the previous dogs



What does the by-law say?

  • Firecrackers may not be sold or discharged. A firecracker is a pyrotechnic device that explodes when ignited and does not make any subsequent display or visible effect after the explosion. It also includes "Chinese" firecrackers;

  • The sale of fireworks is permitted only on Victoria Day and Canada Day and the seven business days preceding those days.

  • Individuals can only hold a fireworks display on Victoria Day and Canada Day, and the day before and after those days.

  • Persons holding a fireworks display must obtain a permit from the Fire Chief. The application for such a display must be received by the Fire Chief 30 days before the event.

  • You must be 18 years of age to discharge fireworks or be under the direct supervision of a person at least 18 years of age.

  • Applicants for a permit to display fireworks must provide proof of Commercial General Liability insurance of no less than five million dollars ($5,000,000.00).

  • For further information and to make an application, contact Sylvie Idone at 613-580-2424 ext. 44107.


Idiling Control

What does the by-law say?
The Idling Control By-law prohibits drivers from idling their vehicles for more than three minutes in a given 60-minute period, when the temperature is between 5°C and 27°C (including the humidex calculation and wind chill value as determined by Environment Canada). Please visit this by-law’s page for exceptions.



Smoking in public places is regulated under the Smoke-free - Public Place By-law No. 2001-148 - Respecting smoking in public places and the Smoke-free – Workplace By-law No. 2001-149 - Respecting smoking in the workplace. The following information provides an overview of this by-law, however if you would like more details, please refer to the actual by-lawBottom of Form


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