Unsanctioned Social Gatherings and Nuisance Parties

Did you know that the City of Hamilton enacted a By-Law  last year to regulate nuisance parties?

The Nuisance Party By-Law 22-235 , which provides Hamilton Police and Municipal Law Enforcement with the ability to lay additional charges when responding to large social gatherings.

Under the authority of the By-law, Hamilton Police can issue an order for large social gatherings within our city to cease and disperse individuals not residing at a residence or property where a social gathering is taking place.

If charged an individual host, property owner, or attendee can face a fine of up to $10,000 for a first offence. Subsequent offences related to a nuisance party could see up to $25, 000 in fines.

A nuisance party is a gathering of people where any of the following activities occur:

·         Public disorderly conduct

·         Public drunkenness or public intoxication

·         The unlawful sale or distribution of alcohol or controlled substances;

·         The deposit of refuse on public or private property;

·         Damage to or destruction of public or private property

·         Obstructing pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic, or obstruction that could interfere with the provision of emergency services;

·         Excessive noise including loud music, shouting

·         Unlawful open burning or fireworks;

·         Public disturbances, including public brawls or public fights;

·         Outdoor public urination or defecation; and

·         Use of a roof not intended for such occupancy;

When our officers respond to these type of gathering it puts strain on our city and our partners such as, Hamilton Fire, Hamilton Paramedics, Hamilton Municipal Law Enforcement and Hamilton Public Works departments.

In Ontario, several municipalities including the cities of Waterloo, Guelph, Kingston, and Brampton have enacted Nuisance Party By-Laws to provide additional enforcement options beyond those available under existing By-Laws and statutes. It is our hope it will continue to have the same positive impact on our community as well.

University District Safety Initiative

In addition to the new Nuisance By-Law the City of Hamilton in partnership with Hamilton Police have developed a University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) to address unsafe and disruptive behavior that often accompanies large gatherings that have historically occurred during the month of September and St. Patrick’s Day.

Once operational UDSI timelines are confirmed they will continue to be posted for awareness on the Hamilton Police social media platform “X” formally known as Twitter.

During this specified operational time, the University District Safety Initiative will be subject to zero-tolerance enforcement of the Nuisance Party By-law to minimize negative effects of ongoing nuisance party and to ensure those involved are held accountable.

The University District Safety Initiative for the City of Hamilton encompasses the western section of the Westdale neighborhood and the Dalewood neighborhood.

Quick Facts

·         The Nuisance Party By-Law continues to be in effect all year long, and citywide.

·         The University District Safety Initiative will be in effect during specified operational time periods in September and early October as well as St. Patrick’s Day.

·         Residents can report a Nuisance Party or Noise Infraction to the City’s Licensing & Bylaw Services Division at 905-546-2782 or [email protected]. For after hours, urgent complaints that are an immediate health and safety concern call 905-546-2489.

Additional Resources

Learn more about the Nuisance Party By-Law

Learn more about the University District Safety Initiative