What is happening?

Currently, the city-wide zoning bylaw prohibits "amplified or electronic music (whether performed live or recorded), dancing or other forms of entertainment" on patios associated with restaurants and taverns, with the exception of "non-amplified acoustical music." 

As part of the music, entertainment and culture district strategy approved by city council on 21 March 2017, an amendment to the zoning bylaw to remove this prohibition will be coming forward to a future public participation meeting at planning and environment committee.

Update on 9 March 2018: Council's decision to remove the prohibition on amplified music and dancing on patios was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. Four days of hearings have been scheduled, starting at 11am on 15 May 2018.

Update on 31 May 2017: the staff report recommending removal of the prohibition of amplified music, dancing and other forms of entertainment is now available. This report will be considered at planning and environment committee on 6 June.

There is a related staff report on temporary noise permits, which proposes a 70dbA maximum (measurement locations to be flexible, with a focus on sound-sensitive locations) and a time limit of midnight. This report will be considered by community and protective services committee on 5 June.

Why remove the prohibition from the zoning bylaw?

The existing prohibition prevents most restaurant and bar owners from having any kind of amplified music, dancing or other entertainment on their patios (other than acoustical music). Some restaurant and taverns owners, however, are allowed to do so because they did so before this prohibition was added to the zoning bylaw. They are grandparented.

The city regulates noise through the noise bylaw, which includes this general prohibition: "No person shall make, cause or permit an unreasonable noise, or a noise that is likely to disturb the inhabitants."

Rather than doubly-regulating sound on patios in both the zoning and noise bylaw, I believe we should remove the prohibition on amplified music, dancing and other forms of entertainment from the zoning bylaw and regulate noise in the noise bylaw.

I understand the concerns of residents who live close to restaurants and bars with patios. But I believe we can allow this kind of activity on patios while regulating noise through the noise bylaw.

We attempted to pilot this change in downtown and Old East Village last summer, but the zoning change was appealed to the Ontario Municipal Board. The temporary suspension of this part of the zoning bylaw expired before the OMB heard the appeal.

Proposed changes to the noise bylaw will be coming forward to a future meeting of strategic priorities and policy committee.

How can I help?

If you'd like to allow all restaurants and bars to have the option of amplified music, dancing or other forms of entertainment on patios, please sign this petition and spread the word to your friends and colleagues. You may also want to e-mail Chuck Parker, the planner on the file, at cparker@london.ca and/or members of the planning and environment committee at pec@london.ca.

I don't support this change! How can I stop it?

Please e-mail your comments to Chuck Parker, the planner on the file, at cparker@london.ca. You may also want to e-mail members of the planning and environment committee at pec@london.ca.

261 signatures so far

Will you sign?

Showing 248 reactions

  • signed via 2017-07-12 22:27:39 -0400
    I don’t have time to leave a lengthy comment, but here are my thoughts on the matter.

    I have been lucky enough to live in various locations worldwide throughout my adult life, and never have I seen such controversy created over something so trivial. I have lived in bustling urban areas bursting with activity, where noise is a constant 24/7, and I have lived in sleepy rural areas without any noise at all after about 6pm.

    I see the value in each, but I also realise that when choosing a place to live, consideration needs to be taken to make sure the area is right for you.

    Would I love to have a nice quiet acreage in the middle of the city with nightlife next door that only opened for business when I wanted to go out? Absolutely. Is this even a remote possibility? No, not at all and nor should it be. To choose to live in a downtown, urban location will inevitably put you in an area that attracts young people, people seeking nightlife, bustling shopping centres, 24hr eateries, and hopefully the occasional busker or cultural festival.

    If this doesn’t sound like something for you, then a quiet life in the suburbs is probably more suited to your ideal living space.

    But please, don’t try to police everyone else in an attempt to make your life slightly more comfortable at the expense of the fun of everyone else. If loud noises are that much of a “health hazard” for you, go live on top of a mountain inside a concrete bunker and never take your earplugs out. Or take to the suburbs. But either way, individuals such as the woman who is opposing this progressive move for London are the reason why the city struggles to move forward and become an attractive, happening destination for young people, who will make up the future generations of London inhabitants.

    Get over it, please, for all of our sakes.
  • signed 2017-06-05 15:11:08 -0400
  • signed 2017-06-05 14:26:08 -0400
    We need this .
  • signed 2017-06-05 14:21:49 -0400
  • signed 2017-06-05 14:08:14 -0400
    Please allow amplified music on patios.
  • signed 2017-06-05 07:41:48 -0400
    Please don’t stop the music! Festivals and the downtown core will suffer for it!
  • signed 2017-06-05 07:23:00 -0400
  • signed 2017-06-01 15:58:05 -0400
    Music brings people together and let’s them forget their problems. Also an entertaining value is present. I’m more likely to go into a place that has music compared to another as it appears more comfortable and welcoming
  • signed via 2017-06-01 11:49:42 -0400
    Brian Joan Mortimer
  • signed 2017-06-01 11:28:23 -0400
    Keep the music community inside and out!
  • signed 2017-06-01 11:26:49 -0400
  • signed 2017-06-01 11:25:23 -0400
    Let there be music!
  • posted about this on Facebook 2017-06-01 07:16:30 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont
  • signed 2017-06-01 07:16:00 -0400
    I love hearing the music from the patios and feel that there should be no problem with this at all. I am 63, not all “older” people like only quietness!!!
  • signed via 2017-05-31 22:20:31 -0400
    We think having music and dancing a great idea!! Can’t wait.
  • signed 2017-05-31 20:48:00 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-31 19:48:08 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-31 16:16:42 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-31 16:03:31 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-31 16:01:01 -0400
  • Jesse Helmer posted about Music and Dancing on Patios on Jesse Helmer's Facebook page 2017-05-31 15:53:41 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont
  • @jesse_helmer tweeted this page. 2017-05-31 15:53:36 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/?recruiter_id=5608
  • signed via 2017-05-20 12:14:14 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-20 00:20:03 -0400
  • signed 2017-05-19 09:24:22 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-18 17:12:56 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-18 12:39:14 -0400
    London bylaws are killing live music. Most people live downtown because they want to be close to the action. Let’s stop being so conservative, this is a student town, start being more progressive.
  • @coraliew tweeted link to this page. 2017-05-18 00:15:41 -0400
    Sign the petition to allow dancing and amplified music on patios in #ldnont http://www.helmer.ca/?recruiter_id=71983
  • signed 2017-05-18 00:15:18 -0400
  • signed via 2017-05-17 21:53:21 -0400