Is it time to call City by-law on my neighbour?


I take great pride in the way I keep my yard.  My neighbour does not.  And I’m thinking about calling the City to enforce my standards on him.  Actually, the City has standards as to how we should keep our yards in the form of by-laws, and I’m thinking it’s time to inform the City to let them know that one of their residents is in violation.

I’ve called City by-law before to let them know when a car has parked in a fire lane, or when the neighbour did significant work in his home without a building permit.  But this recent infraction deals with weeds.  Big weeds.  My next door neighbour has not mowed his lawn since Aug 2015.  It’s now June 2016.

I’m grateful that my neighbour doesn’t fertilize or water his lawn as I do, because the weeds would be worse.  My cat is grateful for the long weeds, as she likes to visit the neighbour’s “meadow” to stalk and pounce.  My biggest issue is not the tall grass and dandelions, but rather with the thistle growing just across the property line that is just as tall as me. While not the world’s tallest thistle, it’s the largest I’ve seen. And it makes me nervous.

ConiferI’ve given the thistle the nickname “The Conifer” because is now the size and shape of a spruce tree.  I’ve even considered putting Christmas balls on it.  That’s a bit cheeky, but I can’t help myself.  There are 3 more thistles in my neighbour’s yard that are between 1 and 3 feet tall, and I know with a week of rain that my neighbour’s backyard will look like a spruce forest.

I’ve tried to look at the positive side of these thistles:  beautiful flowers will bloom, and it does add a bit of greenery to our new neighbourhood that is void of backyard trees.  But at the end of the day these thistles are weeds.  And I am too chicken to tell my neighbour to cut his lawn and cut down his urban forest.  I’m glad I have the City by-law that will hopefully back me up on my standard of what a nice backyard should look like.

GuinessBut on the other, maybe I just tell my neighbour that if he waters and fertilizes his thistle he could be in contention for the Guinness World record for tallest thistle.  Something to think about.

Have you ever had to call the City enforce a by-law due to a neighbour’s property state of disrepair?  What was the result?  Looking forward to hearing your tall tales.


2 thoughts on “Is it time to call City by-law on my neighbour?

  1. ‘I am thinking about calling the city to enforce my standards on him’ Seems a bit extreme over a lawn. Don’t look at it, put up a fence so that you can’t see his long grass. There could be a million reasons as to why lawn care is not on their priority list, maybe they are growing the thistle because it is an excellent supplement used to detoxify and protect vital liver function. Who knows, and who cares? I do not think that ones standard of lawn care should have to be enforced on another. Nobody is getting hurt, and to call a bylaw officer regarding long grass and some weeds seems to be a waste of money and resources. It would keep our bylaw officers from tending to more pressing matters. In my humble opinion, Nah, no need to call.

  2. I have not had to call the city to report on the unsightly premises of a neighbor although I feel your pain. Our neighbor has left a half burned house on his property next door and believe me it is unsightly. One of the reasons we have not called it in, is there will be an order to have it demolished, and then the neighbor can build another building on the site. We like our privacy so we are holding back. It is your right to report if it is troubling you. I think I would forget about telling your neighbor to try for the Guinness Book of Records; that might create another war…

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