In Ontario the norm is for backyard fences, but no frontyard fences. Backyard fences are usually decorative wood or utilitarian chain link. Usually the height is limited to either 6 or 8 feet (6 feet being the minimum required by Provincial law for yards with pools). Where backyards face an arterial road many municipalities now have strict regulations calling for decorative wood or stone fences, even going so far as naming the manufacturer (for consistancy and ease of maintainence), although many municipalities are virtually outlawing such street layouts now.
In Toronto there is an interesting comparison between the suburbs of Scarborough in the east where there were very lax rules for backyard fencing along arterials and Etobicoke in the west where they have stricter rules about the style, maintenance and landscaping (e.g. larger setbacks).
It's amazing to see any pedestrians at all on those streets, but, of course, the only two who are there are students who have no other options. And, naturally, these are precisely the same kinds of people who take their frustration with the built environment out on the fences by covering them with graffiti.
Adolescents have a reason to be as miserable as they often are. We've allowed this kind of crap to be built for the last 50 years, and, then, misguided parents have moved their children into these places without understanding that they actually induce pathologies.