Note: the following has been adapted from the Government of Ontario's Smoke-Free Ontario Act (2017) fact sheet: How the Act Affects: Community Recreational Facilities. Ce document est disponible en Français. Pour obtenir plus d'information, veuillez communiquez avec un agent avec le bureau de santé publique aux numéro suivant (807) 625-5900.
The Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017 prohibits the smoking of tobacco, the use of electronic cigarettes (e-cigarettes) to vape any substance, and the smoking of cannabis (medical or recreational) in enclosed workplaces and enclosed public places, as well as other designated places in Ontario, to protect workers and the public from second-hand smoke and vapour.
Smoking refers to the smoking or holding of lighted tobacco or cannabis (medical or recreational).
Vaping refers to inhaling or exhaling vapour from an electronic cigarette or holding an activated electronic cigarette, whether or not the vapour contains nicotine.
Community Recreational Facilities
Smoking and vaping is not permitted on the outdoor grounds of community recreational facilities or in public spaces within 20 metres of the perimeter of the grounds. A community recreational facility is an enclosed public place or an enclosed workplace where:
- The place is owned or operated by a charity, non-profit or government.
- The place is primarily used for the purposes of providing athletic or recreational programs or services to the local community, including children and youth, whether or not a fee is paid for the use.
a) Sports programs;
b) Children’s play programs; or
c) Fitness programs.
- The public is normally allowed access.
- The place is not primarily a private dwelling.
It is the responsibility of the owner, operator or the person in charge of the place to ensure that smoking and vaping laws are followed.
They are required to:
- Give notice to the public that smoking is prohibited in the smoke-free and vape- free areas.
- Post “No Smoking”, and “No Vaping” signs, or a dual “No Smoking and No Vaping” sign at entrances, exits and washrooms of the smoke and vape-free area, in appropriate locations and in sufficient numbers, to ensure the public is aware that smoking and vaping is not allowed.
- Ensure that no ashtrays or similar items remain in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
- Ensure that no one smokes or vapes in the smoke-free and vape-free areas. •Ensure that someone who refuses to comply with Ontario’s smoking and vaping laws does not remain in the smoke-free and vape-free areas.
Local public health units will carry out inspections and respond to complaints of smoking and vaping on the outdoor grounds and public spaces within 20 metres of the perimeter of the grounds of community recreational centres.
Any individual who violates the prohibition on smoking or vaping in smoke-free and vape-free areas may be charged and if convicted, may face a maximum fine of $1,000 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence).
An owner that fails to fulfill their responsibilities under the law may be charged and if convicted, may face a maximum fine:
- For individuals: $2,000 (for a first offence); $5000 (for a second offence); $10,000 (for a third offence); $50,000 (four or more offences).
- For corporations: $5,000 (for a first offence); $10,000 (for a second offence); $25,000 (for a third offence); $75,000 (four or more offences).
- For individuals: $1,000 (for a first offence); $5,000 (two or more offences).
This fact sheet is intended as a quick reference only and should not be considered to be legal advice. For more information, please contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a tobacco enforcement officer: (807) 625-5900. You may also obtain information by calling toll-free:
- INFOline 1-866-532-3161
- TTY 1-800-387-5559
Hours of operation: Monday to Friday, 8:30 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. (Eastern Standard Time)
For specific information on smoking and vaping laws applicable to community recreational facilities, contact the Thunder Bay District Health Unit and ask to speak with a tobacco enforcement officer: (807) 625-5900.
For more information on the Smoke-Free Ontario Act, 2017, please visit the Ontario Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care website: ontario.ca/smokefree