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Municipal Bylaws


The first era of municipal smoke-free bylaws began after passage of the 1994 Tobacco Control Act (TCA), which amended the Ontario Municipal Act to allow municipalities to pass smoke-free workplace and public place bylaws. As the TCA only made certain public places smoke-free province-wide, many municipalities decided to pass municipal bylaws to provide more smoke-free spaces. This first era concentrated on indoor workplaces and public places such as restaurants, bars, municipal buildings, bingo halls/ casinos, and private clubs. Approximately 89% of the Ontario population was covered by smoke-free bar/restaurant bylaws when the Smoke-free Ontario Act (SFOA) came into force in May 2006. The SFOA made all indoor workplaces and public places in Ontario smoke-free, thus unifying the patchwork of smoke-free bylaws across the province. Below is a list of issues encountered by municipalities in their smoke-free bylaw campaigns and implementation process:

Additional information on smoke-free bylaw campaigns can be found by accessing the following:


Since the implementation of the Smoke-Free Ontario Act (SFOA) in May 2006, other second-hand smoke issues have arisen. One issue of growing concern is the regulation of outdoor spaces. These spaces can include patios, building entryways, municipal properties, parks and playgrounds, sports facilities and beaches.

While some municipalities have passed bylaws that address some outdoor bylaw issues, the City of Woodstock was the first municipality to pass a comprehensive outdoor smoking bylaw. Smoking is not permitted within 30 metres of any playground equipment in a municipal park, 15 metres of any active recreation field (baseball diamond, soccer field, etc) in any municipal park, 9 metres of any entrance to a municipal facility, 4 metres of any bus stop or shelter, and on sidewalk café patios.

Many municipalities have since passed smoke-free outdoor bylaws or are in various stages of bylaw development.

Below are some documents to assist municipalities working to develop smoke-free outdoor bylaws (Please note that some of these documents are password protected and only available to those involved in bylaw development):

Legal Opinions (password protected):

Bylaw Summaries:


  • Enforcement updates
  • Complaints
  • Evaluation

ˇ The Issues
    ˇDesignated Smoking Rooms
    ˇPrivate Clubs & Canadian Legions
    ˇBingo Halls & Charity Revenues
    ˇCasinos & Slots-at-Racetracks
    ˇAge Restrictions
    ˇLong-term Care Facilities
    ˇLegal Issues
ˇ Historical Context
ˇ Ontario Bylaws Chart
ˇ Ontario Bylaw Summary
ˇ Campaign Strategy
ˇ Campaign Materials
ˇ Model Bylaw (pdf)

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