New bylaw legalizes hooting and hollering in Bracebridge

Bracebridge, Ont.

The next time you’re driving through Bracebridge, Ontario, give a cheer!

At Wednesday’s town council meeting, a new noise bylaw was approved, which allows for “yelling, shouting, hooting or similar noises made by a human.”

Apparently, before the changes were made, those rambunctious noises were illegal.

“Years ago, the province came out with a model noise control bylaw and the majority of municipalities in Ontario basically adopted it verbatim,” Scott Stakiw, chief bylaw enforcement officer for the Muskoka municipality, told Metro News.

The town decided to look into updating the law after receiving inquiries about kids and summer camp, so Stakiw decided they’d give the kids a break. Now, cheering noises are only prohibited at night.

“Daytime hooting only please,” Stakiw joked with reporters.

So if you’re involved in any rowdy late-night shenanigans, you can still get slapped with a ticket.

We’re willing to bet a lot of cottagers get into some hooting and hollering after a few hours spent around a campfire, which is exactly why District Councillor Steven Clement pushed for the noise limit to be set from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. Some proposed it start at 9 p.m., but Clement had a very particular friend in mind when he fought for the later time.

“His normal voice at a campfire would be against the law, but I think by 11 o’clock we could subdue him…I think we have to be realistic,” Clement told reporters.

If it all sounds a bit crazy, the noise limit comes with good intentions. As one resident acknowledged, people often leave the city to get away from noise, and cottage country can get pretty loud in the summer, especially with the way sound carries over water.

But Bracebridge isn’t the only Canadian town with strange bylaws: There’s no whistling in Petrolia, Ontario; you can’t attach a siren to your bike in Sudbury; and in Fredricton, people aren’t permitted to wear a snake in public.

Here, we dug up a few other unusual Canadian laws you might be breaking.