Waterloo Regional police will be enforcing a noise provision bylaw this homecoming weekend
The Waterloo City Council has announced that they will be implementing a noise provision bylaw for this Homecoming weekend from Sept. 24 to Sept. 26. The bylaw has been set to address unsanctioned partying and noise.
The standard noise provision bylaw prohibits persistent noise at all times, and prohibits yelling, shouting, and loud voices from 11 p.m. to 7 a.m. On Sundays, the provision is extended until 9 a.m and there are no current noise bylaw exemptions.
This temporary provision falls under the public nuisance bylaw that addresses large gatherings and parties, allowing municipal law enforcement to take action against any party this Homecoming weekend that falls outside of the designated time provisions.
Wilfrid Laurier University and the University of Waterloo will hold Homecoming on the same weekend, kicking it off with the highly anticipated and infamous “Battle of Waterloo” football game held on Sept. 25.
The noise provision bylaw is typically implemented on St. Patrick’s day; however, it is expected that this year’s homecoming will bring large crowds due to both universities celebrating and the lack of social contact students have experienced since the pandemic began..
According to Waterloo Regional Police, over 14,000 people gathered on Ezra Avenue for Homecoming weekend in 2018.
Police say they have already been called to Ezra Avenue several times to deal with gatherings of up to 2,500 people this year. The most recent incident involved a crowd of 1,000 people who set a chair on fire.
WLU encourages all students participating in homecoming events and parties to be respectful and follow COVID-19 safety protocols. This includes wearing a mask, staying physically distanced and avoiding large social gatherings.
As stated on WLU’s Homecoming 2021 website, “anyone participating in sanctioned street parties could face suspension and/or expulsion from the university, fines for violating the Reopening Ontario Act and possibly criminal charges. Staying Golden means being safe and respectful. We are still in the midst of a global health crisis.”