By-law 545 gives the City’s Municipal Licensing and Standards Division (MLS) the power to license and inspect a variety of businesses and trades in the City. The purpose of licensing is to ensure public health and safety, consumer protection and nuisance control.

Nightclubs are defined as “A premises, including but not limited to a dance hall or disco, used to provide dance facilities for patrons, where seating is not provided for the majority of the patrons and where food or beverage may be offered for sale as an ancillary use.”

Why This Audit Matters

Clear, specific and enforceable bylaws help to ensure that City By-law objectives are enforced in a cost-effective manner. One example where clarity is required is the definition of a nightclub.

As of December 2016, the City had nearly 8,000 licensed eating establishments and 39 licensed nightclubs. Nightclub licences are more restrictive. Applicants must provide or meet:

  • noise and crowd control plans
  • 1 security guard for every 100 patrons
  • metal detector at entrance
  • stricter zoning rules

Improperly licensed nightclubs could pose a health and safety risk, and often lead to more noise complaints in the area.

Read the Full Report

A Review of Municipal Licensing and Standards Division’s Management of Business Licences – Part Three: Eating Establishments and Nightclubs – October 24, 2017