Mississauga’s Craziest City Bylaws


Published August 2, 2016 at 3:22 am


Every city has bylaws and while some are onerous, most work to ensure residents get to enjoy their cities. While few people are terribly into rules governing street parking (unless, of course, someone is parking in front of your house all day, every day), most enjoy enforceable noise ordinances (unless they’re noisy or into loud music late at night).

All that said, when was the last time you took a look at some of Mississauga’s funnier bylaws? Ones you probably never even knew existed (and if you did know, please feel free to scream “EVERYONE ALREADY KNOWS THAT YOU’RE DUMB!” in the comments).

Here’s a look at five interesting bylaws that you might not have known about.

5) Being an Adult Entertainment Business Owner is Pricey

When it comes to businesses with an erotic edge, the fees are not created equal. If you operate an adult book store, your license will cost you $207 (or $202 to renew). That’s not too bad. However, if you are a body-rub business owner, a license will run you $6,202 to purchase and $6,063 to renew. So, if you’re deciding between opening a body-rub establishment or a book store, know that the book store won’t cost you quite so many bones. Just remember to keep your more salacious materials out of the storefront window. That is a no no!

4) There Are Many Animals You Cannot Own

When it comes to pet ownership, the city is — in many cases — concerned for the animal’s well-being. The bylaw states that pets must be treated humanely, given adequate food and shelter and cared for competently. But Mississauga, like many municipalities, has a list of animals you cannot own. So, if you want to avoid your own Darwin the Ikea Monkey moment, ensure you do not possess:

– Bats
– Kangaroos (or really any marsupials other than domestic sugar gliders)
– Anteaters, sloths and armadillos
– Pigs (although pigs are becoming more popular as pets, the city doesn’t want one in your living room)
– Lions, tigers and bears (fair)
– Chimpanzees (or any other great ape or adorable monkey)
– Elephants, rhinos and hippos (not even fictional house hippos)
– Alligators and crocodiles
– Owls and falcons
– Scorpions (GOOD!)

3) You Can’t Just Use Any Clothesline

There’s an entire bylaw dedicated to clotheslines. If your clothesline does not comply with the bylaw, it will be “corrected or removed to the satisfaction of the Commissioner.” Your clothesline must be safe and anchored strongly. You may only have one clothesline unless your property contains a second unit. Then, and perhaps only then, may you have two. There are height restrictions and mechanical aids (pulleys, etc.) are not permitted. It must be very, very straight.

Oh, and did we mention that a dispute caused the city to enact one of the toughest clothesline bylaws in Canada?

Mississauga residents are serious about not wanting to see their neighbour’s panties blowing in the breeze.

2) No Laser

This might seem like common sense, but is common sense common? While outdoor lighting is fine (and a good safety feature), there are limitations on how freely you can illuminate your property. The city forbids “the use of a laser light source, signal beacons, flood light, spot light, flashing light or any other similar high intensity Luminaire that projects light onto adjacent private property (some exemptions may apply).”  Basically, you can’t go nuts with strobe lights and turn your front yard into a grand pyrotechnical display.


1) You Can’t Just Leave Shopping Carts Everywhere

Abandoned shopping carts are a nuisance and eyesore and Mississauga will have no part of them. In fact, if the city finds out that a FreshCo cart has left the premises and ended up on a Hurontario street corner, it’s coming down on that cart and impounding it. Off to shopping cart prison, it goes! If the owner of the cart can be determined, he or she (or it, in the case of a business) will be called to collect the derelict grocery receptacle and pay a fee.

So don’t steal shopping carts m’kay? 

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