By-law Summaries

This website is a great place to find information relating to various by-laws pertaining to residents in the Township of Zorra.  Descriptions and summaries of some of our by-laws are available by following the applicable links below.


The Township of Zorra Council enacted By-law 50-12 to Govern and regulate the maintenance, occupancy, use of, and other matters pertaining to, those portions of public highways under the jurisdiction of the Township of Zorra known as boulevards.  The purpose of the by-law is to improve boulevard maintenance, safety and aesthetics throughout the Township.

By-law 50-12 defines “Boulevard” as “that part of a Highway (whether assumed or unassumed by the Township) between a Street Line and the edge of the curb or, where there is no curb, that portion of the Highway Road Allowance between the travelled portion to the Street Line.  A Boulevard may or may not contain a sidewalk.   A boulevard must be in a serviced area of the Township as defined in the Official Plan.”

By-law requirements are as follows, but not limited to:

  • Clean and Clear the Abutting Boulevard of all debris, waste, refuse and litter;
  • Clean and Clear the Abutting Boulevard of any abandoned items, machinery, equipment or other thing;
  • Maintain grass and weeds on any Abutting Boulevard at a height which is not greater than twenty (20) cm [eight (8) in] in height;
  • Maintain the Landscaping on any Abutting Boulevard so that Landscaping materials do not encroach over that portion of an adjacent Highway that is travelled or designed to be travelled by Vehicles, adjacent driveway or sidewalk.

If the By-law Enforcement Officer is satisfied that a contravention of the by-law has occurred, the officer may make a Work Order requiring the person who contravened the by-law or who caused or permitted the contravention or the owner or occupier of the land to do the work to correct the contravention.  Failure to correct the contravention will allow the Corporation of the Township of Zorra to have the property brought into compliance and recover the costs incurred from the person directed.


Fire By-law 25-08 

Open Air Burning

Open-air burning within the boundaries of the Township of Zorra is prohibited unless permission has been given by the Fire Chief in the form of a Fire Permit.  Please review By-law 25-08 for more information.

Recreational Burning

Recreational fires may be permitted which are contained within non-combustible containers or pits specifically designed for open-air burnings.  Some General Provisions are listed below, however, please see By-law 25-08 Schedule B for all General Provisions:

  • Burning may be conducted between the hours of 4pm and midnight only.
  • No materials other than dry seasoned wood, commercially produced charcoal and briquettes may be burned
  • Open-air burnings shall be confined to non-combustible containers or to a pit no larger than two feet by two feet with flames not exceeding 2 feet in height.
  • The burning pit shall be confined to a location at least 15 feet in all directions from adjacent properties and or structures.
  • An extinguishing agent of sufficient size and with the capability extinguishing the fire shall be immediately available for use.
  • The fire shall be attended, controlled and supervised at all times and shall be completely extinguished before the site is vacated.
  • Open-air burning is prohibited when the wind speed exceeds fifteen kilometres per hour or during rainy or foggy weather conditions or when a smog alert has been declared.


Dog Noise

The Township of Zorra has a noise By-Law, 69-2012, as amended section 2. (2.1), which prohibits the persistent barking from dogs in all zones of the Township. 

dog barking

Persistent barking would be described as causing excessive noise that has disrupted residents in the surrounding area. 

The Zorra Noise By-law, 69-2012 states:

2. No person shall, at any time, emit, cause, or permit to be emitting or caused, any noise created by:

2.1 The persistent barking, calling or whining of any domestic pet

The fine for a violation to the noise By-law is set at $125.00, plus victim surcharge.

Animal Care and Control By-law

All regulations pertaining to animal care and control are detailed in By-law No. 2015-43.  

Update to the Animal Care and Control By-law 41-16:

A recent update to the Animal Control By-law includes the difference between Dwelling building types and the total domestic cats and dogs that are permitted.

These changes are as follows:

Section 1.1 which defined the term Dwelling unit has been modified to include specific building types. The definitions now include Multiple Unit Dwellings such as, apartments, boarding houses, converted dwelling, duplexes, street fronting townhouses, and other multiple unit dwellingsSingle Dwelling Units are semi-detached, and Single Detached Dwelling mean a building that only contains one dwelling unit.

Section 7 of the By-law outlines how many cats and dogs, and a combination cats/dogs are permitted.

7.1 In a Dwelling – Single Unit, no person shall, within the Township of Zorra, keep any animal except those permitted in accordance with the following:

a) three dogs;

b) three domestic cats;

(Amended by By-law 41-16)

7.1.1 In a Dwelling – Multiple Unit, no person shall, within the Township of Zorra, keep any animal except those permitted in accordance with the following:

a) where there are no dogs, a maximum of two domestic cats;

b) where there is one dog, a maximum of one domestic cat;

c) where there are two dogs, no domestic cats.

Dumping on Private Property

Please be advised that it is a violation of the Waste Disposal By-law 16-2018 to dump refuse on any land in Zorra Township.  Refuse includes but is not limited to: garbage, domestic or industrial waste, automotive parts, tires, material resulting from construction or demolition projects, paper or cardboard packaging, animal remains, rubber, mechanical equipment or parts, soil, concrete, bricks, plastic containers, glass containers etc.

All evidence of dumping will be thoroughly investigated by the By-law Enforcement Officer.  The results of the investigation may include in a Provincial Offences Notice of $500.00.  Please contact By-law Enforcement with any questions related to Dumping.


Residents may set off consumer fireworks on their private property 2 days prior to and 2 days following Canada Day, Labour Day and Victoria Day as long as they are set off before 11PM, must be 18 years of age or older. Consumer fireworks are prohibited from being discharged inside of any building, structure, or vehicle.  Written approval by the Chief Fire Official is required for discharging fireworks from Municipal Property including streets, lanes, squares, parks, etc.  Reminder for residents to let their neighbours know when they plan to set off fireworks.


Fireworks may be sold in the Township, 7 days prior to Canada Day, Labour Day and Victoria Day, to persons 18 years of age or older, as long as the retailer receives an approved permit from the Township.

Anyone who contravenes this by-law may be subject to a $200 fine. Fireworks By-law 2014-36.

Motorized Vehicles 18-90

Please note that the Motorized Vehicle By-law 18-90, prohibits motorized vehicles in public parks within Zorra Township and is subject to a Provincial Offences Charge ($105.00) .  For the purposes of this By-law, motorized vehicles shall include all vehicles, conveyances of every description, and whose motive power is an internal combustion engine and, without limiting the generality hereof, shall include automobiles, motorcycles, motorized bicycles and mopeds, recreational all-terrain vehicles, dune buggys, trucks, tractors and snowmobiles.

Parks prohibiting motorized vehicles are as follows:

  • Grace Patterson Park, Thamesford
  • Thamesford North Park
  • Bob Fisher Soccer Field, Thamesford
  • Lions (South) Park, Thamesford
  • Matheson Park
  • Embro Community Centre Park
  • Wallace Park
  • Memorial Park
  • Harrington Park  
motorized vehicel

NOTE: Unless permission is obtained from property owner. All-Terrain Vehicles (ATVs) are prohibited on private property and are considered trespassing.  All complaints regarding trespassing on private property should be forwarded to the Ontario Provincial Police.

Recreational Vehicles (RV's)

If you are an owner of a recreational vehicle (including trailers and boats) and you reside in a Residential Zone, please keep in mind that the Zoning By-law regulates both the size of RV/boat, location, and length of time to which it can be parked in your driveway.

‘The owner or occupant of any lot in a Residential Zone may store or park not more than two recreational vehicles that do not exceed 9m (29.5 ft) in total length in the front yard ‘of such lot for a total period of not more than 72 hours in one calendar month.’

You may park your RV at the interior side lot and or rear yard provided that it is more than 1 metre from the lot line. 


If you are a dog owner and you have a dog that is very vocal, please be mindful of your neighbours as constant barking can be very disruptive and bothersome.  The consistent barking and whining emitted from your dog may be violating the Township Noise By-law 69-2012.  In addition, if you live in a residential area, excessive noise from stereos, amplified instruments, televisions, etc. may be contravening the By-law.  If you are listening to any electronic devise, be considerate of you neighbourhood, turn the noise down and listen at a general listening level.  Any contravention to the Noise By-law may result in a fine of $125.00 plus other fees.


Parking Control By-law

The By-Law Enforcement Department would like to inform all township business owners and residents of Parking Control By-law 7-95.

One question that is frequently asked is, “Can I park on or over my boulevard?”  Parking is prohibited on or over a boulevard even if the boulevard is in front of your house or business.  Please see the Parking Control By-Law 7-95 Section 3(1)(f).  The by-law states that, “No person shall on a highway stop, park or leave a vehicle standing in any of the following places:  Parked on or over a boulevard”. The fine for parking on or over a boulevard is $50.00. 

Another common violation is parking on the street facing the wrong direction of traffic.  This parking violation can be found in Section 3(13).  The fine for parking facing the opposite direction of traffic is $50.00.  If you have any questions regarding parking and enforcement of parking please refer to the By-Law 7-95

photo of car
Incorrectly Parked
photo of car
Correctly Parked

School Parking

Please be advised the Township of Zorra parking restrictions have changed on McCarty Street in Thamesford at the Thamesford Public School.

  • No parking/standing will be permitted on the North side of McCarty Street, commencing at the intersection with Allen Street, and continuing westerly to the intersection with George Street.
  • No parking/standing will be permitted on the South side of McCarty Street commencing at the intersection with Allen Street, and continuing westerly to the intersection with George Street from September 1 to June 30 of each year between the hours of 8:30am–9:00am and 3:00pm–4:00pm.

Winter Parking

photo of car

Please be advised that the winter parking restrictions will be enforced every year starting November 15th and remain in place until March 31st.  For snow removal purposes, parking is not permitted on any road or street from 1:00 a.m. to 8:00 a.m. 7 days a week during this period.  Any vehicle owner found in violation of this by-law could be fined or have their vehicle removed/towed at owners expense.   The set fine for this violation is set at $50.

Recreational Vehicles (RV's)

Please be advised that Subsection 5.28.4 of the Zoning By-law has been amended (2017) to reflect the following:  

To permit the temporary storage of recreational vehicles in residential zones from May 1 – October 31 in the front yard, provided that the recreational vehicle does not exceed 29.5ft in length and does not impede on sight lines. 

Recreational vehicles includes, boats, snowmobiles, motor homes, and trailers for the hauling of snowmobiles or boats.  You may store a recreational vehicle year round in a garage, carport, or on the interior side yard or rear yard provided that it is stored a minimum of 3.3 ft to the rear lot line or interior side lot line.

Swimming Pool Fencing Requirements

Please be advised that every owner of a privately owned swimming pool in Zorra Township shall erect and maintain a fence completely surrounding such pool in accordance with the provisions of By-law No. 23-08 known as the Pool Fencing By-law. 

A privately owned swimming pool is any type of pool, when filled, contains a depth of 18 inches or more of water at any given section and is not enclosed and covered by an accessory structure but does not include fish ponds, hot tubs, spas or irrigation ponds.  If the pool is an above-ground swimming pool a fence is not required if the structure is at least 4 feet in height above grade, and has no permanently attached ladder which is removed when the pool in not in use.  It cannot contain any exterior foothold or handholds including a pump or accessory appurtenance or structure.

Where a deck is erected at or near the rim level of an above-ground privately owned swimming pool, the deck shall be fenced and gated and such deck fencing and gates shall conform to the requirements

In addition, no owner shall fill a privately owned swimming pool with water or allow water to remain therein unless a fence has been erected in accordance with the bylaw.

pool fence with child

Once the fencing has been completed to the specifications as outlined in the by-law, the owner shall notify the Chief Building Official or the Township Building Inspector within 24 hours or by the next business day so that an inspection may be conducted.

To obtain a full copy of the by-law which outlines materials, construction, general provisions, and enforcement you can review/download By-Law 23-08 or contact the Township Office. The Township will be taking this by-law very seriously and inspections will take place.

Leaves/Snow Removal onto Roadways

This is a reminder to all residents that depositing leaves and snow from private property onto a public roadway is dangerous and in contravention of the Road Protection By-law By-law 6-95.  Pushing or placing any leaves, snow or ice or any other obstruction of a roadway is an offence that carries a Provincial Offences Fine of $105.00.

Reduced Load Season

A reminder to all drivers of heavy trucks and equipment that the reduced load season takes effect for the period of February 15 to April 30 inclusive each year.  In accordance with By-law 21-03, signs will be posted on applicable Township roadways.

Prohibit Smoking at any Township Facility

no smoking

A reminder for residents that Township Council enacted By-law 42-15 on August 11, 2015, to prohibit smoking at any Township Facility.  A portion of the by-law reads as follows:

No person shall smoke, or use a smoking product on any Township facility, including but not limited to municipal parkland, playground equipment, sports fields and spectator seating, at all times, whether or not a “No Smoking” sign is posted.

A full copy of By-law 42-15 is available for download here, or by contacting the Township office.

Yard and Lot Maintenance

Spring is here, the snow has melted and the grass has started to grow.  Please keep in mind that the Township has a Yard and Lot Maintenance By-law that consists of provisions to keep all properties pest free, aesthetically consistent, safe, and to keep the community beautiful and property values high.

In order to maintain this consistency and with regards to safety and appearance, grass and weeds must be maintained at a height less than 8 inches. Further, property owners and tenants shall keep their land free from industrial and domestic wastes, inoperable motorized vehicles (both licensed or unlicensed), vehicle parts, construction materials, and other refuse.  If refuse has started to accumulate on your property, you are required to place it in appropriate containers, stored at the side or rear of your lot, and placed curbside within 14 days. 

The process for a Land Clearance inspection are as follows: 
Upon inspection of a yard that does not conform to the by-law, the Owner will receive a Work Order from the By-Law Enforcement Officer in person or by mail. The order will notify the property owner of the items in need of attention, provide a reasonable deadline, and a notice that the property needs to stay within compliance for a 12 month rolling period.  If, within time noted on the work order, the property does not conform, the Township will charge an inspection fee of $95 + HST collected the same as taxes and will arrange to have the yard remedied at the Owner’s expense.

This is a new By-law, replacing By-law 70-2011.  A copy of the Yard and Lot Maintenance By-law 15-2015 can be found here.