Good Neighbour Practices

Be respectful of your neighbours

At the Urban Planning department, we regularly receive concerns from neighbours about construction activities in their neighbourhood. The City is often asked to get involved in resolving private disputes between general contractors, construction crews, owners and neighbours. These disputes sometimes result in delays and additional costs for builders, litigation and/or stop work orders, by-law enforcement notices and potential fines. We recognize that construction may result in temporary inconveniences so we ask that you work with us to minimize the disruptions. Being a good neighbour when you build can save you time and money in the end.

Your neighbours come first

  • Inform your neighbours ahead of time about your upcoming project. Your thoughtfulness will go a long way in creating goodwill and making everyone’s work easier.
  • Take all measures to prevent damage to your neighbour’s property and to mitigate dust.
  • Inform the owners of adjacent properties before excavating near property lines, especially if a neighbour’s tree, its overhanging limbs, tree roots, fencing or any other vegetation or structures are nearby.
  • Let all your neighbours on the street know ahead of time when the road will be blocked by excavation equipment, concrete trucks, delivery trucks or other construction equipment.

Access to your property

You must allow neighbours access to your property to carry out construction, repair or maintenance work on their own property. However, they must give you spoken or written notice, and must repair any damage caused in order to restore your property to its original condition. (excerpt from the “Being a good neighbour” publication produced by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec)


Sometimes the branches or roots of a tree on your land can extend onto a neighbour’s property, causing major problems. In this case, the neighbour may ask you to cut back the branches or roots. If one of your trees seems likely to fall onto the neighbour’s property, the neighbour may ask you to cut the tree down or shore it up.

When planting trees on your property, make sure they are at a good distance from the dividing line between two properties. You must also avoid placing
them where they may damage electrical or telephone lines or underground cables or pipes once they are fully grown. (excerpt from the “Being a good neighbour” publication produced by the Ministère de la Justice du Québec)

List of Good Practices

  • Obtain all required permits, including those required for use of the public way
  • Inform all immediate neighbours of your plans prior to undertaking the work
  • Protect the immediate neighbourhood, including trees on and off site
  • Respect the construction work hours and noise by-law
  • Do not block driveways, keep street and lanes accessible

Inform your contractor of these good practices

  • Construction materials and storage of debris should not encroach on the neighbour’s property and if possible, not be visible from the public way. The general contractor’s safety program should be posted and subcontractors made aware of its requirements.

  • Portable toilets should be placed at the side or back of the property, if possible, not be visible from the public way and should be used.

  • Parking regulations must be respected by workers. Construction vehicles should not be parked on the lawn. Permission must be obtained from owners to park on adjacent properties or driveways.

  • Ensure the worksite is left neat and tidy at the end of each work day hosing down any dust or mud that may have accumulated

  • Refuse bins and dumpsters should be emptied and removed in a timely fashion. Light and loose material should be weighted down. Construction materials must not be stored on the sidewalk or street.

  • Any potentially dangerous material must be disposed through a chute into a refuse bin and should also not be left lying on the site.

  • City by-laws that restrict construction hours must be respected.

  • Construction equipment is not to be parked overnight on the street unless special permission is obtained from the Public Security Department.

  • During winter, snow must be removed from sidewalks adjacent to the construction site.