You can set off fireworks on your private property without a permit only on Victoria Day and Canada Day. You will need a permit to set off fireworks on all other days. Be safe when setting off fireworks in your backyard and dispose of used or unused fireworks correctly.

Fireworks are banned in parks and on beaches. You are also not allowed to set off fireworks in a street, a parking lot or any private property that is not your own.

Contact 311 to report the use of fireworks in a City park or beach, and possible misuse of fireworks.

You are only allowed to use family fireworks on your private property. Family fireworks include low hazard fireworks for recreation, such as fireworks showers, fountains, golden rain, lawn lights, pinwheels, Roman candles, volcanoes, sparklers and other similar devices.

You can set off family fireworks on your private property without a permit only on Victoria Day and Canada Day. You will need a permit from Toronto Fire Services to set off fireworks on all other days. To request a permit, contact tfs_events@toronto.ca or 416-338-8783. Under the Fireworks Bylaw, you may be fined $500 for setting off family fireworks without a permit on days other than Victoria Day or Canada Day

Possession and discharge of fireworks are banned in parks and on beaches. You are also not allowed to set off fireworks in a street, a parking lot or any private property that is not your own. Under the Parks Bylaw, you may be fined $300 for setting off fireworks in a park or beach without a permit.

Always be aware of your surroundings when using fireworks. Do not discharge fireworks where it may be a nuisance or pose a risk of fire, injury or damage to any person or property.

Fireworks have the potential to cause serious injury. Toronto Fire Services prefers that families visit a community fireworks presentation conducted by a professional firework display company.

If you are hosting your own backyard fireworks display, make sure you have the proper sized yard and that there are no buildings or trees nearby.

Only responsible adults should supervise and set off the fireworks. Children and those under 18 years old are not permitted to discharge fireworks.

Always follow the manufacturers label for the fireworks you purchase. This will include information on how far away the spectators need to be so that everyone can stay safe.

Take the time to prepare, protect and prevent: prepare for a safe display, protect all and prevent fireworks accidents. The following list of safety tips is for adults hosting their own backyard fireworks event.

Prepare

  • Purchase fireworks from a retailer displaying a City-issued fireworks vendor permit.
  • Always read and follow the manufacturer’s label directions.
  • Before fireworks and sparklers are used, they must be kept out of reach of children, preferably in a locked cupboard or drawer.
  • Discharge the fireworks a safe distance from combustible materials such as buildings and trees.
  • Before they are ignited, fireworks should be buried at least half their length into a bucket of sand if portable firing bases are not available. Plant the fireworks directly into the sand to make sure each piece is firmly supported and is aimed straight and away from the audience.

Protect

  • Light the fireworks at arm’s length, stand back and keep your face turned away. If a firework fails to ignite, do not attempt to re-light it. Let it sit in the base for 10 to 15 minutes, then soak it in a bucket of water.
  • The adult igniting the fireworks must wear eye protection and avoid having any part of his or her body over the firework.
  • Never throw or point fireworks at other people.
  • Never carry fireworks in your pocket.
  • Never discharge fireworks in metal or glass containers.
  • Never discharge fireworks indoors.
  • If someone suffers a burn, run cool water over it for a few minutes and consider further treatment.

Prevent

  • In order to prevent an accident or injury, sparklers should be doused with water, or allowed to cool in a safe place away from children playing. The ends of sparklers continue to stay hot for some time and will easily burn a child’s skin, clothing or other nearby combustible material.
  • Do not allow sparklers to be used indoors.
  • Children make a great audience, but they must never be permitted to light fireworks. Adults are responsible for handling the fireworks while spectators watch the display from a safe distance.
  • One designated adult should ignite the fireworks.
  • Ignited fireworks must never be hand-held.
  • Light only one firework item at a time.
  • Always have water on hand – a garden hose and bucket of water – to soak fireworks after they have fired.

Pet Safety

During fireworks displays, pets can become scared and run away from homes and loud noises. Here are some simple safety tips to protect your pets:

  • Keep your pets secured inside your home during fireworks displays: Even dogs in fenced yards find ways to escape the scary sounds. If they must be outside during the festivities, please leash them and keep their pet license tag on.
  • Update your pet’s identification and microchips: Double check that the information connected with your pet’s licence and/or microchip is up to date.
  • Give pets a safe place to hide: Set up a comfortable room or crate in your house just for them.
  • Use ambient noise to mask the noise: A radio or TV playing comforting music works well.
  • Skip the celebration and stay home with them: Sometimes your presence makes all the difference.
  • Keep them busy: Treat toys, like Kongs, can help distract them during the display.

It is important to safely dispose of fireworks. Improper disposal of fireworks can cause fires in waste collection vehicles and at facilities. Never put used or unused fireworks in the Blue Bin (recycling).

To dispose of used or unused fireworks, submerge the fireworks in water and soak them overnight. Wrap the soaked fireworks in a plastic bag to keep them from drying out, and put them in the Garbage Bin.

Dispose of used or unused fireworks in small quantities – up to 10 items at a time. Additional quantities of fireworks should be placed in the Garbage Bin over separate garbage collection dates.

Lighters with fuel must be disposed of as household hazardous waste.

Victoria Day and Canada Day both fall during nesting season. Fireworks can have negative consequences for Toronto’s birds and their babies. Fireworks can:

  • drown out a bird’s ability to communicate and cause birds to abandon nests and fledglings for their own perceived safety
  • start fires, especially in meadow habitats, which can destroy ground bird nests and deplete food sources.
  • contain toxic heavy metals that mix with water and create hazardous drinking water for birds

What can you do?

  • Fireworks are banned in parks and on beaches. Do not discharge fireworks near natural habitats, such as ravines or unmowed fields.
  • Properly dispose of used and unused fireworks if you are setting off fireworks on your own property on Victoria Day and Canada Day.

Learn more about birds and wildlife in Toronto.