The City of Thunder Bay is proposing changes to its Property Standards By-law and Yard Maintenance By-laws and is splitting out some sections to create two additional by-laws; the Vacant Building By-law and the Minimum Heat By-law.

The changes come after receiving feedback from the public and Thunder Bay City Council. The City is also expanding the number of Municipal Law Enforcement Officers on staff, which will allow for a more robust enforcement of municipal By-laws.

The following four draft By-laws were presented to City Council as a First Report on June 20, 2022. The regulations were presented to Council for consideration on July 25, 2022, and will be brought forward for ratification on August 8, 2022.

Draft Clean and Clear Yards By-law

Draft Minimum Heat By-law

Draft Municipal Standards for Property By-law

Draft Vacant Building Security By-law

Below are the current and previous draft versions of the Property Standards, Yard Maintenance, Vacant Building and Minimum Heat By-laws:

Property Standards By-law #66-2008

Proposed Property Standards By-law

Yard Maintenance By-law

Yard Maintenance By-law Amendment One

Yard Maintenance By-law Amendment Two

Proposed Clean and Clear Yards By-law

Proposed Minimum Heat By-law

Proposed Vacant Building By-law

Property Standards By-law Comparison Chart

Clean and Clear Yards/Yard Maintenance By-law Comparison Chart

Vacant Buildings By-law Comparison Chart

Yard Naturalization Diagrams

The Property Standards By-law generally deals with maintenance standards of buildings, structures and lands, at residential and non-residential properties in the City of Thunder Bay. This By-law provides a minimum level of standards, which helps protect the health and safety of people who live and work in buildings and upon the property. Under the Property Standards By-law, key issues are addressed including: safety issues like railings, guards, and steps; building protection issues including water penetration, ventilation, roofing, siding and the entry of vermin; interior systems for tenants like plumbing, heating and electrical maintenance, and general repairs are also addressed in the by-law.

The Yard Maintenance By-law, which will now be called the Clean and Clear Yards By-law, generally deals with the appearance, cleaning and clearing of grounds. The By-law is a mechanism to deal with minor issues including debris and other immediate safety issues on private property, for both residential and non-residential lots. Under the Clean and Clear Yards By-law, cosmetic issues like the height of vegetation, boulevard landscaping, accumulations of debris and garbage, derelict vehicles and improper outdoor storage are addressed.

The new Vacant Building By-law will create standards for securing buildings that are unoccupied and require owners to register these properties after 90 days. This was formerly dealt with under the Property Standards By-law. The new By-law will ensure buildings are monitored more closely by owners and properly secured at all times, preventing unwanted access to structures and give the City more tools to deal with repeat, non-compliant property owners.  

Make your opinions on the proposals known on the City’s Get Involved page.

City Council passes by-laws, or municipal laws, under authority from the Province of Ontario. The Province authorizes what the municipality can regulate. The City's Licensing and Enforcement Division enforces these by-laws in our community.

To report a problem related to a City by-law, contact the Licensing & Enforcement Division at 625-2710.

View our searchable Corporate Policy Database.

Commonly requested by-laws*

Animal and wildlife by-laws


Licensing by-laws


Parking and traffic by-laws

Property maintenance by-laws

Sign by-laws

Shopping cart by-law

Taxi by-law

Report a compliment, concern or suggestion using our taxi service report form.

Zoning by-law

The zoning by-law controls land use across the City and follows the City's Official Plan. Each zone has different regulations. Make sure you know what you can build before you buy property or apply for a building permit. 

*These commonly requested by-laws are provided for convenience only. For full and complete accurate reference, consult copies of the official by-laws and documents available at the Office of the City Clerk.

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