, ,

Restrictions approved for night clubs, restaurants with dance floors in mixed use buildings

Downtown Burlington on Brant Street
The Downtown Restaurant Association brings restaurants together to make downtown entertainment safe and enjoyable for everyone.

On Nov. 26, City Council approved restrictions on night clubs and restaurants with dance floors in mixed use buildings.

Night clubs are defined as an establishment whose principle function is to provide live or prerecorded music for dancing, and having a minimum dance floor of 10m2). Staff recommended, and Council approved, that night clubs not be allowed to operate in the ground floor of mixed-use residential buildings.

Staff also recommended, and Council approved, that restaurants with dance floors only be allowed in mixed use buidlings where there is a one floor separation between the restaurant and the residential units, for example, one floor of office space. To read the staff report and the rationale for these proposals (and why they didn’t recommend additional restrictions) click here and here

I proposed an amendment to prevent restaurants with dance floors in mixed use buildings altogether – the complaints I get are mostly from restaurants with dance floors, not night clubs. Regrettably, this was not supported by committee.

I also sought a distance separator between residential zones and zones that allow night clubs/restaurants. The current buffer between these zones is 15m for restaurants and 45m for night clubs. I proposed that restaurants with dance floors be treated the same as night clubs, and not be permitted within 45m of a residential zone. That motion was also defeated by committee.

Noise review to be part of zoning review

During the night club study, the issue arose of noise generated by other uses within mixed use buildings, for example 24-hour gyms with weights. I brought a motion for staff to review options for controlling this noise as part of the zoning review that the city will undertake within the year or so, following our Official Plan review. That was supported by a vote at Council.

My Take: I’m pleased with the steps taken so far to ensure that our mixed use buildings are livable for residents. We’ve taken a step in the right direction; and I will continue to monitor how the modifications on restaurants with dance floors serve residents.

As more mixed use buildings are constructed downtown, we need to ensure that these buildings are livable for the residents who move in, and that means striking the right balance between vibrancy and livability.

Your View: Send your questions or comments here.

Councillor Marianne Meed Ward
Please check out the articles covering issues that you’ve told me matter to you. I value your feedback on them because it informs the decisions I make. If you want to let me or others know about concerns or events in your neighbourhood, please get in touch.

My email is

What's your take?