The graffiti management by-law

The City of Ottawa’s Graffiti Management By-law was enacted in January 2008. The By-law requires that ALL* property within the City of Ottawa remain free of graffiti. View the Graffiti Management By-law 2008-01.

* (The by-law applies to all property within the City of Ottawa with the exception of any area designated as a “legal graffiti wall”.)


Graffiti vandals

The law is clear – placing graffiti on public or private property is a crime. Under the By-law, graffiti vandals can now face fines of $610 including victim surcharge.


Property owners:

The By-law requires that property owners remove graffiti from their property within a minimum of 7 days after receiving notice from the City. If a property owner chooses not to remove the graffiti within the specified time frame, contractors may be hired by the city to remove the graffiti. Associated costs will be added to the property owners’ municipal tax bill.

There are many options available to help you prevent and remove graffiti in your neighbourhood.

  1. Organize a Neighbourhood Watch Program
  2. Participate in the Community graffiti removal program by requesting a Community Graffiti Removal Kit
  3. Organize a graffiti cleaning day in your neighbourhood
  4. Hire a professional graffiti remover contractor.


What about Urban Art?

Public and urban art play an important role in our community and can contribute to community pride and beautification. Graffiti tagging is vandalism – not art. By encouraging residents to make responsible choices when placing art legally in public and private areas, we can maintain the integrity and the beauty of our city. Legal walls, community art programs and mural opportunities are available across the City to support artists and creative expression.

Check out some of these local programs and opportunities:

  1. Ottawa School of Art
  2. House of Paint
  3. Legal Walls: George Dunbar Bridge (Bronson Avenue), Bob MacQuarrie Recreation Complex (Orleans), and the Albert Street Education Centre (Slater Street).


Should you see any of these violations and wish to report it, please call by-law at 311.