By-Law Enforcement

Fence in autumn

Our by-law enforcement officer is responsible for ensuring continued public health and safety through the enforcement of several of the municipality's by-laws.


Municipal By-laws

For a list of commonly referenced by-laws, please visit our municipal by-law page at the link below:

Municipal By-laws


Frequently Asked Questions

The following are a few of the common questions we receive with respect to our by-laws. Please note that this list does not in any way replace the content of the by-laws, and if there is a discrepancy between the information below and the related by-law, the by-law will prevail.

Submitting a Complaint or Inquiry

How do I submit a by-law complaint or inquiry?

To file a by-law complaint, please complete our by-law complaint form.

You may also contact our building and by-law department by email or by phone. Phone messages are checked regularly during business hours. Please note all complaints must be in writing (using the form above, email, fax or regular mail). 

Will my information be kept confidential when I make a complaint?

Personal information collected by the municipality is protected under the Municipal Freedom of Information and Protection of Privacy Act, R.S.O. 1990. The legislation provides the parameters for access to information held by Middlesex Centre, and the rules for protecting the personal privacy of individuals who provide information to Middlesex Centre. 

Please see our Freedom of Information Requests page for further details.


Am I allowed to park on municipal roads overnight?

There is NO PARKING on municipal roads between 2:00 am and 7:00 am from Labour Day to Victoria Day.

This is particularly important in the winter to allow for snow clearing.  See the Parking and Traffic By-law for additional restrictions related to traffic and parking.

There wasn’t any snow to be removed from the roadway. Why did I get a ticket?

Winter maintenance includes more than snow removal (salting, sidewalk clearing, etc.). By-law staff actively patrol between 2:00 am and 7:00 am from Labour Day to Victoria Day.

My car was towed. Why?

Your car may be have been towed for interfering with winter maintenance, being located in a tow away zone, or for repeat offenses.

Are trailers permitted to park in the driveway in a residential area?

Yes. Trailers must park on a hard surface driveway in the front yard. 

Please see our Parking Services page for more parking-related information.


Roads and Sidewalks

Can I buy a permit to use the road temporary storage of construction material(s)?

Yes, but you will first need to obtain a road occupancy permit from the municipality. You do not need a permit to have materials delivered to your property.

What if I don’t have enough space on my property to hold all the materials I need to complete my project and it will cost me more if I need to have multiple deliveries?

Unfortunately, private properties cannot use municipal roadways to store materials for construction projects unless they have been issued a road occupancy permit

If materials are left on the roadway, can the municipality remove them?

Yes. Materials left on the roadway may be removed by the municipality at any time to ensure road safety and/or restore traffic flow.

Am I allowed to add shrubs/trees/sprinkler systems or alter the municipal boulevard?

No. Alterations to the municipal boulevard are prohibited as they can cause safety concerns, obstructions and interfere with municipal operations.

I want to install a water irrigation system (sprinkler system) for my front lawn so that it also waters the grass boulevard as well. May I do this?

Locate the service (curb) box on your property. This will identify where the property dividing line is between private property and municipal property. Maintaining a two-foot (2 ft.) set-back from your service (curb) box, should clear your equipment from encroaching on municipal property. Should the municipality be required to do work, the area will be free from any underground hindrances.

Note that when watering over the sidewalk to water the grass boulevard, you are creating an unsafe circumstance, forcing pedestrian traffic to go around the sprinkler, possibly forcing traffic onto the roadway and into traffic.  

Who is responsible for picking up dead animals on the roads?

On municipal roads, please contact Middlesex Centre (phone or email or report a concern form).

On county roads, please contact the County of Middlesex central garage at 519-471-2020.

Dogs and Other Animals

For commonly asked questions about dogs, kennels, chickens and other animals please see our Animal Services page.

Outdoor Fires and Fireworks

Can I have an outdoor fire in my backyard?

In general yes, residents can enjoy a small backyard fire IF they follow some simple safety rules and there is no fire ban in place. You can find the rules for residential backyard fires in our Outdoor Burn Quick Guide. Make sure you are following the guidelines - and keeping yourself and your family safe!

Where can I find out if there is currently a burn-ban in place for Middlesex Centre?

Please visit our Fire Services page.

Are backyard/residential fireworks permitted in Middlesex Centre?

Middlesex Centre has a Fireworks By-law that outlines how and when fireworks are permitted to be discharged.

For consumer fireworks – the kind that can be purchased by the general public – you do not require a special permit ONLY on Canada Day, Victoria Day, and New Year's Eve. If you wish to discharge fireworks at any other time you must apply for an exemption. Please visit our Fire Services page for more information.

Please make sure you are following the manufacturers guidelines and the regulations keep yourself, your family and the community safe! 

Do I need a permit to put on a large fireworks show (display)?

Yes. Display fireworks require a permit. Please visit our Fire Services page for more information.

If you have further questions about outdoor fires, fireworks, etc., please contact Middlesex Centre Fire Services.

Building and Property Improvements

Do I need a permit to build a deck?

A permit may be required. If the deck is not attached to the house and its height is less than 0.6 metres (2’) above grade, a permit is not required - otherwise, a building permit is required. For more information and to apply for your permit, visit our Building Permits page.

Do I need a permit to install a patio?

A permit may be required. For patios, porches and other landscaping, a fill permit may be required if material is deposited on the existing lands and/or the grade of the property is altered. For more information and to apply for your permit, visit our Building Permits page.

Do I need a permit to install a hot tub?

A permit is not required for a hot tub unless it’s a swim spa. The hot tub will need to have a cover over it and be lockable to prevent drownings.

Do I need a permit to put in a backyard shed or similar accessory building?

A permit is required if an accessory building is over 15m and depends on the allowable height permitted in the zoning. Please see our Accessory Building Guide for further details. To apply for your permit, visit our Building Permits page.

What is a Minor Variance, and how do I apply for one?

A minor variance is an exception to a regulation in the Zoning By-law that is provided to a property owner. Please see our Minor Variance Guide for more information. To apply, visit our Planning Services page.

I have a disagreement with my landlord/tenant - what should I do?

If you cannot resolve the issue, you should contact the Landlord and Tenant Board (LTB). The LTB resolves disputes between landlords and tenants, and provides information pertaining to their rights and responsibilities under the Residential Tenancies Act.

Property Standards

My neighbour's grass is too long. Is that permitted?

The municipality regulates long grass and weeds. Grass and weeds should not be taller than 6 inches in height pursuant to the Property Standards By-law.

My neighbour's yard is full of waste. Is that permitted?

The municipality regulates the condition of properties which addresses a wide variety of domestic waste, industrial waste and derelict vehicles. For more information, refer to the Property Standards By-law.

Can I trim my neighbour’s tree if it overhangs my property?

The municipality doesn’t regulate trees overhanging onto neighbouring properties. Please speak to your neighbours and if a mutual agreement cannot be reached, seek legal assistance.

How many garage sales can be held on one property in a year?

Under the Property Standards By-law, garage sales shall not exceed three consecutive days in duration and may not occur upon the same property more frequently than three times cumulative per calendar year. 


I had a sign near my property and it was removed.

Signs that do not have a permit or meet the standards of the Sign By-law may be removed by by-law enforcement officers.

Can I put up signs advertising my garage sale?

Yes, but signs are not to be put on municipal property, public poles or light standards unless permission has been granted by the municipality. Ensure that signs do not block sight-lines for traffic and pedestrians. Note that signs posted in violation of these rules may be removed, and those posting the signs may face fines.

Do I need a permit for a real estate sign and where can it be placed?

A permit is not required for real estate signs. Note that real estate signs are not permitted on municipal property, cannot create an obstruction, or be located closer than 1 ft. to property line.


There were a few people playing ice hockey on the stormwater pond in my neighbourhood, is this allowed?

No. Please see full response in Water / Wastewater / Stormwater below.

Can I fish or swim in a stormwater pond?

No. Please see full response in Water / Wastewater / Stormwater below.

Can I let my dog off its leash at a park or along a trail?

No. Dogs are not allowed to run-at-large. This means they need to be on a leash when they are out for a walk, in a park, etc. The only exception is at designated dog off leash areas.

Water / Wastewater / Stormwater

I witnessed a contractor dumping debris into the catch basin. Are you allowed to do this?

No. Dumping of any deleterious or hazardous material into the sewer systems is not allowed. Dumping of household waste, used cooking oils, etc., and construction materials may be hazardous to the environment. Contact the municipal office for information on how to proper dispose of materials and/or to report infractions. You may also use our online "report a concern" form

There were a few people playing ice hockey on the stormwater pond in my neighbourhood. Is this allowed?

No. Stormwater management ponds are not safe for winter activities like ice skating, hockey and sledding.

Stormwater management ponds are designed to gather rainfall and surface water runoff and temporarily hold this water, releasing it slowly at a controlled rate. This provides erosion and flood control and helps improve surface water quality.

The water going into the ponds, including melting snow and ice, may contain salt and other contaminants that can make any ice that forms unstable and dangerous.

Can I fish or swim in a stormwater pond?

No, fishing is not permitted on the stormwater ponds.


For Questions Contact:

Dan Allarie

Job Title
By-law Enforcement Officer
Building & By-law Services
ext. 5242