Understanding Bylaws can help you to make responsible decisions as a member of the Queen’s and Kingston communities. Following local Bylaws fosters a safe, caring community and helps you avoid penalties, negative interactions with law enforcement or neighbours, and potential sanctions under the Student Code of Conduct.
University District Safety Initiative
The University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) was established to reduce the strain put on emergency services during times when large street parties take place, particularly during move-in, orientation week, homecoming weekend, and St. Patrick's Day.
You can find an outline of the Nuisance Party Bylaw, the University District Safety Initiative, Administrative Monetary Penalties and how to host responsibly here.
You can read more about the City of Kingston UDSI here.
Noise Bylaws are in place to reduce excessive noise in residential areas. Show consideration for others by being mindful of noise levels at all hours. Minimize disruption and avoid fines by:
Keeping social gatherings inside and closing doors and windows to contain noise.
Being aware of shared walls.
Avoiding yelling, slamming doors, and honking horns.
Any amplified music or sound causing disturbance, and any persistent noisemaking by a household pet, is prohibited at all times.
Nuisance Party Bylaw
The Nuisance Party Bylaw was put into effect by the City of Kingston in 2018. You can read an outline of the bylaws purpose and how you might be subject to it here.
Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs)
Administrative Monetary Penalties (AMPs) were implemented in 2020 to more effectively deal with the COVID-19 pandemic. If you are found participating in nuisance behaviour you may receive a penalty notice instead of a Provincial Offences Act ticket. A list of AMPs can be found here.
Check out our responsible hosting page for tips and guidelines surrounding gatherings!
Other Important Bylaws
There are many other useful bylaws you and your housemates should be aware of surrounding property maintenance, waste management, parking, utilities, and more. Make sure to look at the City of Kingston website to answer all your bylaw questions.
Common Bylaw FAQ's
Find answers to commonly asked Bylaw questions!
The University District Safety Initiative (UDSI) is in effect during times of the year when large unsanctioned gatherings commonly take place. This includes move-in week, Homecoming, and St. Patrick's Day.
Kingston has a 24/7 noise bylaw, meaning that excessive noise is not permitted at any time. If Kingston Bylaw Officers determine that you are being excessively loud, they can enforce the noise bylaw by giving you a ticket which you will have to either pay or appeal with the City of Kingston. See the City’s website for more information.
You are allowed to have open alcohol in and at your place of residence. However, the sidewalk in front of your house is City property, and open alcohol on public property is illegal.
While the University District Safety Initiative is in effect, some offences incur a mandatory court appearance (a Part I Court Summons) and fines that are above legislative set fine amounts, in an effort to deter the high levels of disruptive behaviours during times of the year like St. Patrick's Day and Homecoming. If you are issued a Part I Court Summons, you will need to appear before a Justice of the Peace in Kingston.
Kingston Police can declare that a gathering is a Nuisance Party if any one of the following activities is taking place:
- public intoxication
- distribution of alcoholic beverages
- deposit of refuse on public or private property
- damage to public or private property
- obstruction of vehicular or pedestrian traffic
- sound that is unusual/excessive, including shouting or loud music
- open burning or fireworks
- public fights
- public urination
- entry upon a roof
You can be given a ticket for hosting a Nuisance Party or just for attending one. While the University District Safety Initiative is in effect, Kingston Bylaw Officers enforce the Nuisance Party Bylaw by issuing Administrative Monetary Penalties, which are fines that must be paid to the City of Kingston. More information about the Nuisance Party Bylaw is available on the City of Kingston website.
Technically, there is provincial legislation under the Liquor Licence Control Act that deems public intoxication illegal, during times with increased police and bylaw presence, such as times when the UDSI is in place, you may be more likely to receive a fine for violation of this law.
Not necessarily. If you are issued a Part I Summons (which is possible if you are charged during times when the UDSI is in effect, or under the Nuisance Party Bylaw), your name will be posted on a public document that is shared with the University. The conduct system looks at this list to determine possible consequences for each case individually depending on possible violations of the student code of conduct.
There are many steps that you can take to avoid getting a ticket during times when Bylaw and Police have an increased presence and are ticketing at a higher rate.
- Don't leave your place of residence with open alcohol.
- Don't break glass on the street or sidewalk.
- Stay off roofs, avoid large crowds, and obstructed roadways.
- Comply with the requests of Bylaw and Police officers, this could include turning music down, or asking people to leave your house.
- Know your limits. Ensure that you are continuing to drink water and eating food.