By-law Enforcement


Under the authority of the Provincial Statues, by-laws are created to address issues and concerns of the local community.  They are created to protect the environment, public health, public safety or to maintain an orderly appearance to your community.  The most common By-laws sought are available in the Municipal Document Centre under Municipal Policies and By-laws.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes currently employs one full-time By-law Enforcement Officer.  The roll of the By-law Enforcement Officer includes education, investigation and enforcement of all By-laws within the Township and includes parking enforcement, property standards and dog control.

It is not necessary for a By-law Enforcement Officer to attend each site to carryout enforcement procedures. Usually the officer will rely on information provided by the complainant. 

*After-hour calls are handled through an answering service (705-765-3156).  Call takers will contact the appropriate staff if immediate action is required.*

Submitting a By-law Complaint

By phone

Contact the Municipal Office Development Services Department and speak to the By-law Enforcement Officer or clerical staff, if the Officer is unavailable.  A By-law Complaint will be formally recorded and must include the complainant’s name, address and phone number, detailed description of the by-law contravention, address of the by-law contravention and be followed by a written complaint submitted by mail, email, through the Township’s website, fax or hand delivered and must contain the signature of the complainant and a phone number.

By mail, email, fax or hand delivered

A letter may be delivered by email, regular mail, fax or hand delivered to the Township Office and must include the complainant’s name, address, phone number, fax number and email, detailed description of the by-law contravention, address of the by-law contravention and be signed by the complainant.

Through the Township’s website

Complete the online Complaint Form.  When finished entering the required information, save the document to your computer or device. Click HERE and an email ready to send to the By-law Enforcement Officer will open. Attach the completed form to your email and send.

Following the receipt of a complaint, the complainant will be contacted, as required, by the By-law Enforcement Officer to obtain additional information to complete the investigation or relay information to the complainant regarding action taken to address the complaint. The By-law Enforcement Officer may not have to visit the site to address the complaint.

The Township of Muskoka Lakes By-law Enforcement is a three pronged approach.  A By-law Enforcement Officer cannot stop people from contravening by-laws; he/she can only enforce the by-laws.  Compliance with by-laws may be achieved in the following manner:

  1. Giving verbal or written warnings and providing copies of the appropriate by-laws;
  2. Issuing a Part 1 ticket in accordance with the Provincial Offenses Act (short form wording and set fines);
  3. Summoning a defendant to court, usually initiated for a second, third or more serious offense where a larger fine or a Court Order is appropriate.

It is not the responsibility of the By-law Enforcement Officer to mediate neighbour disputes, civil matters or diffuse potentially volatile situations.

Public Nuisance:       If you witness persons damaging or defacing public property or being a public nuisance or disturbing the peace, contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122.

Signs, Building & Zoning Complaints:  Call during regular office hours, Monday to Friday, 8:15 am to 4:00 pm.

Dogs:  Complaint regarding dogs at large are handled during regular office hours.  If a dog demonstrates aggressive behaviour or is a danger to public safety, the By-law Enforcement Officer will be contacted to take any require action.  All dogs found at large of affecting public safety are taken to the OSPCA in Bracebridge (705-645-6225).

Parking:  Complaints are addressed during office hours and during special events.  If a vehicle blocks a driveway at any time, call the Township Office and immediate action will to taken to remedy the situation.


w3cP.O. Box 129, 1 Bailey St., Port Carling, Ontario, P0B 1J0  Phone:(705)765-3156  Fax:(705)765-6755
Municipal Office hours: Monday to Friday 8:15 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (excluding holidays)