A hookah is a device designed to heat or burn a substance and produce smoke intended to be inhaled by a user or users of the device.

The Municipal Code Chapter 545 – Licensing requires that certain businesses obtain a licence from the City of Toronto, and sets conditions that these businesses must follow in order to operate. Examples of City licensed establishments include to cafes, restaurants and bars.

The bylaw prohibits hookah use in City licensed establishments, including the inhaling or exhaling of smoke from a hookah, as well as the holding of an activated hookah. The bylaw increases areas where smoking is prohibited to protect the public from adverse health effects of second-hand smoke.

Toronto Public Health performs inspections and responds to complaints to enforce the bylaw within the city of Toronto.

If you see someone smoking in a prohibited area you can:

  • make a formal and confidential complaint by calling 416-338-7600 between 8:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m.


An owner that fails to fulfill their responsibilities under the bylaw may be charged and if convicted, may face a maximum fine of $300 (for a first offence) or $5,000 (for any further offence).