Ten Things You Should Know Before Lighting Your Canada Day Fireworks

Summer has officially begun, and thousands of Ontario children will start their vacation with Canada Day around the corner.

For many, the highlight of the holiday is the opportunity to take in a dazzling fireworks display with family, friends, and their fellow Canadians.

If you’re considering trying to recreate the party on parliament hill in your own backyard, and you live within the city of Toronto, you’ll want to consider the bylaw provisions that govern fireworks displays.

Each municipality has its own set of fireworks regulations so be sure to check with your local authorities before lighting up the roman candles.

In Toronto, the discharge and sale of fireworks are governed by the Toronto Municipal Code Chapter 466.

Here are some of the highlights of the by-law as they relate to personal fireworks displays in the city:

  1. Fireworks are permitted on private property without a permit on Victoria Day and Canada Day.
  2. If there is inclement weather on either Victoria Day or Canada, fireworks can be set off the day before or after the holiday without a permit.
  3. In Toronto, only ‘low hazard’ or ‘family fireworks’ are permitted on private property without a permit.
  4. Without a permit, fireworks are not permitted on roadways, laneways, and public parks. Those planning a Canada Day street party with fireworks will want to ensure that they are setting off fireworks on their own private property as opposed to the end of the cul-de-sac or in the neighbourhood park so as not to run afoul of this provision.
  5. If you’re setting off fireworks in your backyard, be sure to have a ready supply of water or fire extinguishing equipment nearby. The city by-law requires a “fully charged garden hose” or “a minimum of a 3A60BC fire extinguisher, ten-litre pressurized water unit”.
  6. Minors are not permitted to discharge fireworks, even with the consent of a parent or guardian.
  7. Fireworks must be discharged in accordance with the manufacturer’s directions.
  8. Fireworks shall not be discharged within 100m of any flammable materials or explosive substances like gas or propane.
  9. Although it is likely self-explanatory, the setting off fireworks into a building or vehicle is prohibited in the city.
  10. The city noise by-laws do not specifically address firework noises but it is always important to be considerate of your neighbours and the character of your neighbourhood.

Fireworks can be immensely fun if discharged safely in your own backyard, however if you prefer to avoid the personal risk of property damage or injury to yourself (or others) then you may want to check out many of the wonderful community displays in the city or your local community.

Happy Canada Day!

Angela Comella
Written by

Angela first joined Gluckstein Personal Injury Lawyers as a summer student in 2004. It was during this time that she developed a passion for advocacy on behalf of injured persons and their families. In September 2005, after a successful completion of the Bar Admission Course, she returned to the firm as an articling student. Angela was called to the Bar in July 2006. Her practice is focused on personal injury matters, medical malpractice, disability law and criminal injuries compensation.