So... You're Moving to the Country

Rural Ontario is more than just a pretty place.

Ontario's agri-food sector is one of the province's leading industries, contributing $35 billion to the economy. The sector employs 760,000 people.

Rural Ontario is home to 52,000 farms. There are many types of agricultural operations in Ontario, such as:

  • orchards
  • greenhouses
  • poultry operations
  • beef feedlots

For Ontario farmers, these operations are their business.

Some aspects of farming may affect you. Farms can be noisy, dusty and have odours. Just like any other business, farms have a production schedule. During planting and harvesting season, you may notice extra lights in a field at night, or hear equipment working on the farm.

Normal farm practices are activities that happen on the farm as part of day-to-day business. Some of these activities create disturbances, such as noise, odour and flies. Farm activities and disturbances that are considered normal farm practices are allowed to happen on a farm.

The Farming and Food Production Protection Act (FFPPA) oversees farming activities, and promotes and protects normal farm practices subject to provincial health, safety and environmental legislative requirements.

The FFPPA protects agricultural operations from complaints about odour, noise, dust, flies, smoke, light and vibration disturbances, as long as the disturbance is caused by a normal farm practice. The act also applies if municipal bylaws restrict normal farm practices.

Sometimes disagreements develop between farmers and their neighbours. There is a process in place to help you resolve these conflicts. Contact the Agricultural Information Contact Centre at 1-877-424-1300, or, for more information about normal farm practices and the conflict resolution process.

Please note: this page is not a substitute for legal advice or representation. The Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs accepts no responsibility or liability for the outcome of any hearing in which any party relies on this pamphlet.

Find out more about normal farm practices, the FFPPA and the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board (NFPPB) by reading our other pamphlets:

Read the Citizen's Guide to the Normal Farm Practices Protection Board for more information on the normal farm practices conflict resolution process and the NFPPB hearing procedure.

For more information:
Toll Free: 1-877-424-1300
Author: OMAFRA Staff
Creation Date: 02 February 2010
Last Reviewed: 30 December 2014