By-law Enforcement

To report noise complaints, property standards or parking issues please contact your local city or township.

The Region of Waterloo is responsible for enforcing several pieces of Provincial legislation and Regional by-laws listed below.  To report an issue please email us.

Provincial Acts

Retail Business Holidays

Under the Retail Business Holidays Act, the Region of Waterloo has provided the following exemptions:

 St. Jacobs Village is permitted to open on:

  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Easter Sunday

St. Jacobs Flea Market, Farmer’s Market, and Factory Outlet are permitted to open on:

  • Good Friday
  • Victoria Day
  • Canada Day
  • Labour Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • Easter Sunday

 Waterloo Regional Police are responsible for enforcing the Retail Business Holidays Act 

The Retail Business Holidays Act is provincial legislation that sets out the statutory holidays when retail businesses are required to close, when exceptions may apply, and how closures are enforced.

Smoke-Free Ontario Act 2017

Effective October 17th, 2018 the Smoking law changed to regulate and prohibit smoking tobacco or Cannabis whether it be Recreational or Medicinal and vaping in areas such as workplaces, bars, restaurants, and patios. 

The Region of Waterloo inspects retailers that sell tobacco and electronic cigarette products and ensures compliance with the Smoke-Free Ontario Act. The Region also investigates complaints about smoking and vaping in prohibited areas such as workplaces, bars, restaurants, and patios.

You may view a history of convictions involving a tobacco or electronic cigarette retailer.

For more information visit the Smoke-Free Ontario Strategy webpage.

Noxious Weeds

The Region provides notification annually in the Spring, for all property owners and persons in charge of property, to destroy noxious weeds.

The Region of Waterloo provides weed inspection services in the four townships; cities have their own Municipal Weed Inspectors.  The Region's Weed Inspectors can issue orders for weed destruction to ensure compliance with Provincial legislation

Visit the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs website for a list of noxious weeds and resources on how to destroy them

For property standards complaints please contact your local city or township.

Regional By-laws

Face Covering By-law

Consistent with the updated direction provided by Ontario’s Chief Medical Officer of Health, Waterloo Regional Council repealed the mask by-law requiring face coverings in enclosed public spaces, effective March 21, 2022.

Looking for more information, visit the Face Covering By-law page

Access onto Regional Roads

The Region of Waterloo controls access onto Regional roads. A permit must be obtained before a laneway, driveway or other roadway can be connected to any Regional Road as per By-law 58-87. Please contact the Transportation Planning division for copies of the by-law schedules.

Code of Use (Use of Regional Buildings, Properties and Services)
The Region of Waterloo regulates the use of Regional buildings, properties and services through the Code of Use By-law 13-050, as amended by 18-056 . This includes visitor conduct while accessing Regional buildings, properties or services such as GRT, Regional museums, and Regional headquarters. 
Conservation of Woodlands (tree cutting, removal or destruction)

The Regional Municipality of Waterloo endeavours to protect our natural forests and greenbelts for future generations and enhance the beauty of our communities.  The Region's tree conservation By-law 08-026, applies to all natural forested areas that are at least one hectare or more in size with:

  • 1,000 trees, of any size, per hectare;
  • 750 trees, measuring over five centimetres in diameter, per hectare;
  • 500 trees, measuring over 12 centimetres in diameter, per hectare; or
  • 250 trees, measuring over 20 centimetres in diameter, per hectare

The by-law does not cover a cultivated fruit or nut orchard or a plantation established for the purpose of producing Christmas trees.

To apply for a permit to harvest, cut or otherwise "injure or destroy" a tree please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page. 

Filming or Special Events

Filming Events:

The Region of Waterloo supports the film industry and issues film permits for approved filming projects in our community. You must apply for a permit before you can start filming on a Regional Road as per By-law 05-075. This allows us to protect Regional property, while ensuring the rights, safety and privacy of our citizens. Please submit the permit no later than five business days before filming. When filming on property that is not Regional property, please ensure the proper permissions are in place as well as all applicable insurances.

Special Events:

A special event permit is required for anyone wanting to hold a parade/procession, ceremony, street dance/party, beer garden, solicitation of donations from a motor vehicle (toll road), sidewalk/street sale, festival/carnival, race/walk-a-thon, demonstration or any similar event that requires a lane or road closure or may interfere with the normal flow of traffic on a Regional Road as per By-law 05-076.

A special event does not include a wedding or funeral procession, picketing, or an activity for which the Region has granted a Filming Event Permit or a Work Permit.

To apply for a permit to film or hold an event on a Regional road please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page. 

Needles and Syringes

Medical waste is not permitted in garbage or recycling, see Bans and By-laws.

If you find needles in garbage or other places in our community please report it by email or following the information located on the Public Health web pages

Outdoor Water Use

The Water Conservation By-law 07-069, as amended by By-law 10-020, is in effect every year from May 31 to September 30. 

Answers to questions you may have, including requesting a permit for sod and seed watering or nematode applications, can be found on our Conserving Water page.

Salvage Shops and Yards

The Region of Waterloo licenses and regulates salvage shop and salvage yard operations within the municipality, as per By-law 05-063. This type of operation includes recycling operations and used auto parts sales. The by-law ensures consumer protection by eliminating the possibility of intake and resale of stolen goods. The by-law also outlines standards for the shops and yards that protect our environment and ensure our communities remain beautiful for the residents and visitors of our Region. 

To apply for a salvage shop or yard licence please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page.

Second Hand Goods Shops and Dealers

The Region of Waterloo licenses and regulates second hand shop and dealer businesses within the municipality, as per By-law 05-062. These types of businesses include the buying and selling of second hand merchandise as outlined in the by-law. The by-law ensures consumer protection by eliminating the possibility of intake and resale of stolen goods.  

To apply for a second hand goods shop or dealers licence please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page.


The Region of Waterloo regulates signage on Regional roads and road allowances, as per By-law 10-030. The by-law defines eight categories of signs including election signs. The by-law outlines size and various other requirements for sign placement on regional roads and road allowances. The sign by-law ensures our communities remain safe by preventing sign distraction and keeps our communities looking great. 

Please contact your local municipality for information regarding sign placement on local municipal roads. 

  • Amended by By-law 21-064 to prohibit placement of election signs on Regional roads as of January 1, 2022.

Taxi Cabs

In December 2016, Regional Council approved a new taxi by-law that significantly changed the way the Region licences and regulates metered and auxiliary taxi-cabs within the Region of Waterloo. By-law 16-044 provides the requirements for those operating a taxi-cab service within the Region.

This includes:

  • Broker, Owner, Driver and Vehicle licence requirements;
  • Accessible taxi-cabs; 
  • Public safety and consumer protection.

To apply for a broker, owner, driver or vehicle licence please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page.

Traffic and Parking

The Region of Waterloo regulates parking, vehicle flow and speed limits on all Regional roads. By-law 16-023, outlines specific parking and moving violations within the Region. Enforcement of this by-law is the responsibility of the local municipalities and Waterloo Regional Police. For parking complaints please contact your local municipality. 

By-Law 18-023, a by-law to amend By-Law 16-023 concerning Part VII.

Waste Collection

The Region of Waterloo regulates all waste collection and landfill operations within the municipality. By-law 17-007 outlines requirements for proper waste collection including recyclables such as blue box and green bin. It also regulates the use of the Region's landfill. Sustainable waste collection and environmental protection keep the Region looking its best for future generations. 

Water Distribution in North Dumfries and Wellesley
The Region of Waterloo provides water distribution services for the Townships of North Dumfries and Wellesley. By-law 14-013 outlines consumer requirements including water meter and back flow valve installation. Please contact the Region of Waterloo before connecting to or disconnecting from the Region's water supply. 
Work on Regional Roads

The Region of Waterloo is responsible for traffic control operations and maintenance on Regional roads within the municipality as per By-law 07-029

To apply for a work permit on Regional roads please visit our Applications, Licences and Permits page.   

Contact Us